America’s Dangerous Latin American Weakness

America’s Dangerous Latin American Weakness

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Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on Feb. 21, 2017

Control over the Caribbean basin is a vital prerequisite for America’s status as a world power. Without that control, it is vulnerable. In the wake of former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and President Donald Trump’s trade policy, the entire region is turning away from the United States and toward foreign powers. Trumpet contributing editor Richard Palmer explains why this is happening and why this trend is so dangerous for America.

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The Rotten Heart of the United States Navy

The Rotten Heart of the United States Navy

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The United States Navy is the most dominant military force in world history. Its firepower compared to rival fleets makes it unchallengeable. However, that power is eroding.

To counteract this trend, President Donald Trump has vowed to implement the biggest shipbuilding strategy since Ronald Reagan. The president said that the U.S. Navy is at its smallest since World War i and needs rapid expansion to avoid collapse. With China, Russia and Iran challenging U.S. naval hegemony, it seems like an appropriate response. Indeed, the U.S. Navy has been losing its edge technologically and numerically since the end of the Cold War. However, this is not the most dangerous threat it faces.

The U.S. Navy has a crisis in character. If not solved, it will completely neutralize one of the greatest forces for good in the world.

In an article titled “The U.S. Navy Is in Trouble, but Building More Ships Won’t Save It,” Matthew Gault wrote for the website Task and Purpose:

But the rot at the core of the U.S. Navy is of a variety that no amount of cash can cure. Over the past two decades, the American military in general, and especially the Navy, has experienced an unprecedented number of ethical failures. Flag officers fall to corruption scandals with frightening regularity and the 7th Fleet—the single-most powerful naval force on the planet—is in the middle of a scandal that is unprecedented in scope.To fix the Navy, we don’t need more ships. We need ethical reform.

Every branch of the U.S. military has faced ethical scandals ranging from sexual misconduct to financial extortion. Every service relies upon commissioned and noncommissioned officers setting the example in the code of conduct and in representing the character of the unit. Without this leadership, no military organization can escape ruin.

Gault provided an insidious anecdote of the corruption found in the U.S. Navy:

Over the past 25 years, Glenn Defense Marine Asia did business with the U.S. Navy throughout the Pacific. The contractor operated ports throughout the region and provided ship-husbanding services to some of the biggest and most powerful ships at sea.It all came crashing down in 2013 when the U.S. Justice Department arrested gdma’s ceo, Leonard Glenn Francis, better known as “Fat Leonard.” The Malaysian playboy had bilked the American taxpayer for years by overcharging for basic ship-husbanding services in the Pacific. He maintained his criminal enterprise by buying off dozens of U.S. Navy personnel.

The Fat Leonard scandal even touched the chief intelligence officer in the navy, Vice Adm. Ted Branch. This is just a prelude to a long list of scandals that have impacted the taxpayer and the reputation of the Navy. Gault continued:

The Fat Leonard case is the biggest ongoing Navy corruption scandal, but it’s hardly the only one. In 2015, officials relieved the captain of the uss Lake Erie of duty, citing a “poor command climate” aboard the ship. That same year, a cheating scandal rocked the Navy Surface Warfare Medical Institute. The Navy kicked out 31 sailors from the school, discharged 13 more, and fired two leaders.The U.S. Navy is a Bermuda Triangle of integrity, where sailors’ moral scruples mysteriously vanish without a trace. The Pentagon spends too little time teaching ethics and morality to its Naval officers. To keep scandals at bay and keep the Navy strong, this has to change.

This character crisis in the American Navy is simply a reflection of the decay found in American society. Every military organization eventually becomes a mirror of the society it protects, no matter how righteous the creed of military ethics. This is exactly what happened in ancient Rome, where the general lawlessness of the citizenry seeped into the military officers and soldiers, until they lacked the character and the will to resist the Germanic hordes. It is a terrible indicator of the moral climate of the American Navy.

Without a benevolent maritime power, the world financial system and free trade falls into chaos, subject to the predatory policies of Iran, China and Russia.

However, the rotten heart of the U.S. Navy is far more than lack of ethics. The American people and the American military have a special history and thus are being judged by a special standard. The United States of America has had a special history with the God of the Bible, and rebellion against God’s law has brought great curses upon the nation. The corruption in the U.S. Navy is just another sign of the moral decay and the reason why America will continue to decline. To learn more about the future of the world’s greatest maritime force, read “The History and Future of the U.S. Navy.”

Ninth Circuit Coup D’état

Ninth Circuit Coup D’état

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If we don’t obey the rule of law, we fall victim to the rule of man.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently committed a dangerous act of judicial overreach. After the states of Washington and Minnesota sued United States President Donald Trump on January 30 for an executive order temporarily restricting the flow of refugees from seven countries known for exporting jihadists, District Court Judge James L. Robart struck down the president’s order with a restraining order of his own. The judge’s February 9 order bars enforcement of President Trump’s travel ban anywhere in the U.S. until the Trump administration proves there is an actual terrorist threat from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.

Judge Robart is wrong about the lack of a terrorist threat from the seven countries subject to the president’s order. According to Charles Kurzman, a University of North Carolina sociology professor, 23 percent of Muslim-Americans involved with extremist plots since the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center have had family backgrounds from at least one of the seven countries subject to the travel ban.

Even if Robart had been correct, however, his ruling would still have been a dangerous act of judicial overreach. It is the responsibility of the courts to rule whether or not it is legal for a president to temporarily suspend immigration. It is not the responsibility of the courts to second-guess the president’s judgment by deciding whether a particular threat is real in the first place.

“A 1952 federal statute permits the president to suspend the immigration status of any person or group whose entry into the United States might impair public health or safety or national security,” wrote Judge Andrew Napolitano in an article for Reason. “Trump exercised that authority in accordance with the 1952 law when he signed his January 27 order banning all immigration from the seven named countries.”

It is undisputed that America’s president has the legal authority to temporarily ban certain immigrants from entering the country in the face of a national security threat. In fact, President Trump’s six predecessors, including former President Barack Obama, also used their executive power to temporarily ban certain groups of immigrants from entering the country. What is really at stake in this legal dispute between President Trump and Judge Robart is who gets to decide which immigrants pose a national security threat. Is it the president of the United States, who receives a daily security briefing and is in charge of enforcing laws? Or is it any federal judge who thinks the president’s assessment is flawed?

Federal courts are supposed to respect the separation-of-powers doctrine, which grants Congress and the president exclusive authority to regulate immigration and conduct foreign policy. As Judge Napolitano pointed out, Congress has granted the president the power to temporarily “suspend the immigration status of any person or group whose entry into the United States might impair public health or safety or national security.” The recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit is a judicial coup d’état against the executive branch’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy.

For the past several years, the radical left has undermined the rule of law in America. When it has controlled the executive office, it has used executive overreach. Now that the Democratic Party has lost control of Congress and the presidency, it will have to increasingly resort to liberal judges and judicial overreach to advance its radical agenda, which includes keeping America’s borders as open as possible.

In 2001, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry published No Freedom Without Law. In the second chapter of this booklet, “Justice and Our ‘Evolving Constitution,’” Mr. Flurry writes:

Of course the Constitution is not perfect and needs a little fine-tuning at times. But if we do more than that, we are tearing down the very foundation of our Republic! … [T]oo many of our people want an evolving Constitution and law. … [Our leaders] like an “evolving Constitution,” which places more trust in human reasoning than law. It is a dangerous recipe for disaster. … Our people are being led into more and more lawlessness. Human nature hates law. Events tend toward catastrophe unless law keeps us in check. Our forefathers understood human nature and law far better than we do today.The only perfect law is God’s. The framers of America’s Constitution founded much of that document on God’s law as they understood it. … Proper judgment must always include law. That is why it is so crucial that judges not change the righteous law or reject it.

On Mr. Flurry’s June 4, 2009, Key of David television program, he said, “If we as a people don’t obey the rule of law, then we fall victim to the rule of man. This leads to the horrifying rule of brute force.”

Germany’s Dramatic Transformation—Prophesied in Your Bible

Germany’s Dramatic Transformation—Prophesied in Your Bible

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The New York Times is now reporting on what the Trumpet has predicted for years.

Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on February 20.

In 1999, the Trumpet was writing headlines about the rise of Germany that are now appearing all over the news; stories about Germany’s rising military might, its changing identity and the rise of the far right. The Trumpet, along with its predecessor, the Plain Truth, began forecasting these stories decades before any other news source. On today’s show, Stephen Flurry compares today’s stories with the prophecies of Herbert W Armstrong and Gerald Flurry and explains how the Trumpet is able to forecast tomorrow’s headlines today!

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Germany’s Identity Crisis Leading to the Rise of the Far Right

Germany’s Identity Crisis Leading to the Rise of the Far Right

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In a world of uncertainty and crisis, Germany needs a lot of things: A strong leader. A stronger military. Stronger borders. A stable eurozone economy. But there is something else German’s are crying out for: an identity.

In “Germany’s Taboos, Once a Bulwark Against the Far Right, May Now Be Enabling It,” the New York Times wrote:

Since World War ii, trying to define the German national identity, much less celebrate it, has been taboo. Doing so was seen as a possible step toward the kind of nationalism that once enabled the Nazi regime. Flags were frowned upon, as was standing for the national anthem.But spurred by a sense of lost control over the country’s borders, economy and politics, many Germans are reaching for a shared identity but finding only an empty space.

The Trumpet warned about this empty space in 2014 (“Germany’s Identity Crisis”). Brad Macdonald wrote, “Significant changes on the world scene—the Islamic State, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Libya, America’s contraction, Europe’s debt crisis, etc, etc—are forcing German leaders and people to reevaluate some fundamental questions: Who is Germany? What is Germany’s role in Europe? What is Germany’s role in the world in the 21st century?

Until recently, Germany’s postwar identity had been all about pacifism, an absence of military power, and multilateralism, Macdonald explained. But in today’s world, that is no longer a viable option. So what, then, remains of Germany’s identity? “Germany is experiencing an identity crisis,” he concluded. “The Germans are being forced to realize that meekness and passivity are ill advised and dangerous in a world that is increasingly unstable, violent and falling into anarchy.”

“We need to keep an eye on Germany as it comes through this identity crisis,” he wrote. “It is producing a new German nation: a nation far more active and aggressive than what we are accustomed to seeing; a nation that is an aggressive political and military powerhouse.”

The New York Times warned that only the new upstart Alternative fur Deutschland party (AfD) is willing to talk about German identity:

Only the AfD, whose populism puts it far outside of mainstream political norms, is openly promising to fulfill a desire for patriotism that would be routine in most other countries. The result is that a social and political norm intended to stifle the far right is now empowering it. That focus on identity has allowed the AfD, even if it is unlikely to win enough votes to govern, to shape the national conversation to its advantage, and to present itself as the champion of ordinary Germans.The influx of refugees into the country in recent years has caused particular stress, Professor Ben-Ghiat said. “In Germany, you’re not even allowed to say you’re proud to be German. You have to say you’re European,” she said. “So when these people come in, what are they left with?”When people feel a loss of control, they seek a stronger connection to a group identity, and also become more interested in making their group more powerful, Professor Fritsche said he had found in his research. Germany’s traditional political parties have been reluctant to indulge that desire because of political taboos. But the AfD has proved adept at exploiting it.

This is a big reason for the meteoric rise of the AfD. In September 2013, German newspapers were full of warnings that Germany’s national elections could upend its political system. The reason: A brand new upstart party could win 5 percent in the German elections and gain a voice in the German parliament. “Euroskeptic Party Alternative für Deutschland Strikes Fear in Rest” was the headline in the Times.

Since then the AfD has gone from strength to strength:

  • May 25, 2014: AfD won 7.1 percent in the European Parliament, taking its first parliamentary seats.
  • Aug. 31, 2014: AfD won 9.7 percent of regional elections in Saxony, taking its first-ever seats in a state parliament.
  • Sept. 14, 2014: AfD won 10.6 percent of the vote in Thuringia and 12.2 percent in Brandenburg.
  • Feb. 15, 2015: AfD won 6.1 percent of the vote in Hamburg, its first victory in a western state.
  • May 10, 2015: AfD won 5.5 percent of the vote the Bremen, another western German state.
  • Few states held elections in 2015, so it was hard to measure the AfD’s progress. However, the immigration crisis hit Germany hard that year, and the AfD was the party that was willing to talk about immigration and identity when the mainstream parties wouldn’t touch either. “The refugee crisis is precipitating a transformative identity crisis in Europe,” Brad Macdonald wrote in “Europe’s Old Demons Return.” “[T]here is another important angle to this crisis that hasn’t received nearly enough consideration. This is the impact the refugee crisis is having and will increasingly have on Europe. … Europe is experiencing a transformative identity crisis.”

    The election results since that article was written at the end of 2015 speak for themselves:

  • March 13, 2016: AfD came third in state elections in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, with 12.6 percent and 15.1 percent respectively, well over double its previous level of support in western Germany. In elections held on the same day in Saxony-Anhalt, the AfD finished second, with 24.2 percent of the vote.
  • Sept. 4, 2016: AfD came in second with 20.8 percent of the vote in state elections in Mecklenburg-Vorpommerne, beating Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party in Merkel’s own district.
  • Sept. 18, 2016: In Berlin’s state elections, the AfD won 14.2 percent.
  • “In Berlin at least, the German political system has shattered,” observed George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures following the Berlin election. “If the Berlin results are replicated on a national level, Germany is going to become ungovernable. … [T]his result, taken at face value, indicates that the European foundation, Germany, is moving toward a major political crisis that will resonate” (Sept. 20, 2016; emphasis added throughout).

    Now the AfD seems to be going further and further in appealing to Germany’s lost identity. The New York Times continued:

    That strategy was on full display the night of January 17 at a beer hall in Dresden, ground zero for Germany’s far-right movement. Hundreds of AfD supporters had gathered for a speech by Björn Höcke, one of the party’s fastest-rising figures. … [W]hat he said went far beyond the norms of German politics.Germans are “the only people in the world to plant a monument of shame in the heart of its capital,” he said, a thinly veiled reference to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Germans had “the mentality of a totally vanquished people,” he argued, but it was time for the country to re-embrace its history and develop a positive relationship with its identity.The crowd’s applause shook the floors, a noisy manifestation of how thrilling transgression can feel in a rule-bound society.”The foundation of being able to move forward is identity,” Mr. Höcke later elaborated in an interview. …Mr. Höcke is an extreme figure within his own party, and his speech provoked a backlash from AfD’s national leadership. But his message demonstrates how the party has broadened its appeal: by telling Germans they should have a proud national identity, a message that in Germany could come only from the political fringes.

    The article pointed out how this tactic by the AfD is pushing all of German politics further right—as other political parties try to mimic the AfD’s success:

    Chancellor Angela Merkel opened her reelection bid in December by announcing a more populist agenda. She took a harder line on immigration and called for a ban on Islamic veils that cover the full face, saying they “do not belong to us” and should be “forbidden wherever that is legally possible.”And although she did not name the AfD directly, she expressly tried to reclaim the identity issue, saying that who “the people” are was something for all to decide, “not just a few, no matter how loud they are.”

    German identity is becoming a central issue of German politics as the nation gears up for an election campaign. Continue to watch as Germans grapple with the question of who they are and what they stand for, as this debate leads to the return of a more traditional German identity. For more on where this is leading, read “Europe’s Old Demons Return.”

    Fire and Floods Boil Australia

    Fire and Floods Boil Australia

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    As Australia and New Zealand burn, overheat, shake and flood, can we afford to pass it off as the repercussions of global warming?

    Australia is being baked and boiled as the nation is hit by fires and floods in the same week.

    An enormous patch of hot air lingering over central Australia has bled to the coasts, causing record-breaking—or rather, record-baking—temperatures across the nation.

    Remote towns in Queensland recorded the hottest February on record, sitting at 117 degrees Fahrenheit. The worst off was New South Wales. Sydney saw temperatures above 105 degrees Fahrenheit for days on end, making it officially the hottest summer in the city’s 158-year recorded history.

    Rolling blackouts were enforced across South Australia as energy suppliers struggled to keep up with the demand air conditioning and refrigeration units put on the grid.

    Fire

    With the heat came fires. This week, Australia hit its maximum official fire danger level: catastrophic.

    On February 12, the Australian state of New South Wales alone saw almost 100 separate bushfires. As Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said, “This is the worst day we’ve seen in the history of New South Wales when it comes to fire danger ratings and fire danger conditions.”

    Over that weekend, at least 30 houses were destroyed, with more areas still to be assessed. Residents of the small community of Uabry returned to find the entire community wiped out. Some residents were left with nothing but the shirt on their back.

    The efforts of firefighters have not only been hampered by extreme heat and wind, but also by arsonists. A number of men and teenagers have been arrested for deliberately starting fires.

    Flooding

    The irony is, when the rains do come, they come too strong. While eastern Australia burned, Western Australia saw floods. Towns in the southern regions of the state were cut off as rivers burst their banks and cut supply roads.

    While still early, estimates put the damages at over $100 million.

    Two men swept away by floodwaters have been confirmed dead.

    New Zealand Still Reeling

    Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand is faring only a little better.

    Last week, fires destroyed at least 11 Christchurch homes and burned 1,850 hectares of land. Hundreds of residents were evacuated as 130 firefighters, 14 helicopters, three planes and additional pump and tanker crews struggled to contain the inferno.

    A civil state of emergency was called in Christchurch and Selwyn. At least one person has been killed so far.

    The region is still getting to its feet after earthquakes late last year. A 7.8-magnitude quake rocked the island nation in November. Then a 6.2 quake and hundreds of aftershocks rippled through the country. The repair costs are soaring into the billions.

    As recently as last week, the nation has experienced 5.2-magnitude quakes. While no more major damage has been caused, it is a reminder of the constant threat of a serious disaster in the quake-prone land of the long white cloud.

    Why?

    Last year, Australia was battered by severe storms—before that, crippling drought. In 2011, it was major flooding. In the same year, New Zealand was hit with a terrible earthquake in Christchurch, leading to the deaths of at least 181 people.

    It is not just Australia and New Zealand hit by these disasters. In the last 12 months, the global community has seen its share of disasters. As the Washington Post wrote in November 2016, “The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on Wednesday. … The overall activity was the highest we’ve seen since 2010 and included several record-breaking events. It may have also been the deadliest hurricane season since 2005, with perhaps 1,700 or more fatalities.”

    To the south, Chile burned through the “worst fire disaster” in the nation’s history. President Michelle Bachelet told bbc, “Chile is living the greatest forest disaster in our history.” In Ecuador, more than 600 were killed in a 7.8-magnitude quake.

    Central Italy was also rocked by a 6.2 quake in 2016 that killed more than 200 people. Then an avalanche in January claimed 29 lives. Shortly thereafter, an avalanche in Afghanistan claimed more than a hundred lives.

    In North Korea, more than 130 were killed in 2016’s Typhoon Lionrock. During August, flooding in China left 181 people dead or missing as levees broke under heavy downpours.

    The devastation of Hurricane Matthew saw numerous death toll reports ranging from 500 to 1,000 across the Caribbean.

    The repercussions of these “natural” events are still being felt as families mourn the dead and communities rebuild their homes.

    But why? Is it global warming and fault lines? That is certainly the easiest and most common opinion. Is this “natural” or the result of a few degrees of temperature and melting icecaps? Could there be another reason?

    Of course, as late Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser wrote in “Why Have Natural Disasters Increased?”, this understanding is muddied and ridiculed because of “kooks, screwballs and fanatics out there who instantly seize on the latest catastrophe to declare ‘the end is nigh.’”

    He explained:

    Doomsayers have been doing this for years. Far too many get involved in such activity for personal profit. They peddle their scaremongering by taking advantage of vulnerable people and, for a price, promise to show a way that the gullible can escape the wrath of their god, the next disaster, creatures from outer space, the end of the world, the implosion of the universe or some other such wacky idea. They make it doubly hard for the genuine seeker after truth.

    But for those who believe the Bible, there is irrefutable proof that God does control the weather for a reason. He warns and tries to get our attention through these extreme weather events.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0mSItxcvXs&feature=youtu.be&t=57s

    For the biblical truth behind natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, read our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters? and watch our Key of David program of the same name.