Global Cooling Is Coming!

Global Cooling Is Coming!

Politics and science are at loggerheads over the question of global warming. The reality is, imminent global cooling is a greater threat to humankind!

Though arguments presently rage over the issue of climate change, only one side is getting the lion’s share of the publicity. The global warmists win hands down on that score. The realists’ argument is plainly not fashionable. It does not win votes, it does not win business and it’s certainly not appealing to the mass media!

That the Earth’s climate is undergoing change is without question. As to its reasons, and its history, they are the nubs of the arguments posed by both the short-term pro-global warming pundits and those who take a longer view.

Believe it or not, in the not-too-distant future, this Earth is in for a big freeze—guaranteed! But it will not be due to any of the long-term cyclical changes that periodically contribute to either a rise or fall in the Earth’s temperature. This freeze will, indeed, be brought on by the hand of man! More of that later.

Take away the intense politics surrounding the global warming debate, take away the self-interest groups, business interests, legal, bureaucratic and mass media influences that all seek to make a buck out of driving public hysteria over the fads and fashions of the age, and pure science—given the history of cyclical changes in the Earth’s temperatures—reveals that man has little influence on the overall surface temperature of the Earth. Man’s influence on temperature is localized at best.

Scientists all agree that the greatest single driver of Earth’s climate is the sun, the source of our Earth’s energy. Only 160 years have elapsed since the end of the Little Ice Age. It was the onset of the Little Ice Age in the 12th century that drove the Viking residents of Greenland from their previously lush pastures on that large island to settle south in warmer climes. During the Little Ice Age, the evidence tells us that glaciers expanded, threatening many a mountain village with destruction. Since 1850, with the end of that cooling cycle—well before the Industrial Age began to add its pollutants to Earth’s atmosphere—the world’s ice packs have been receding.

The problem with the global warmists is that the theories of their politicized pseudo-science do not match the more exact science of those responsible for accurate measurement of global temperatures.

Ocean temperatures are these days measured by 3,000 automated Argos buoys deployed in the seas. These buoys present a challenge to global warmers. “The Argos buoys have disappointed the global warm-mongers in that they have failed to detect any signs of imminent climate change. As Dr. Josh Willis, who works for nasa in its Jet Propulsion Laboratory, noted in an interview with National Public Radio, ‘there has been a very slight cooling’ over the buoys’ five years of observation, but that drop was ‘not anything really significant.’ Certainly not enough to shut down the Gulf Stream” (Brookesnews.com, March 31).

Added to this challenge to the global warming theorists is the evidence produced by nasa’s eight weather satellites. “In contrast to some 7,000 land-based stations, they take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily over the surface of the Earth. In 30 years of operation, the satellites have recorded a warming trend of just 0.14 degrees Celsius—well within the range of normal variations” (ibid.).

In a widely publicized—and criticized—interview with npr, Michael Griffin, the administrator of nasa, in response to a question regarding the legitimacy of spending money on space projects rather than concentrating efforts on attending to global warming, stated, “I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change. First of all, I don’t think it’s within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown, and second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings—where and when—are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take” (May 31, 2007).

Mr. Griffin highlighted that leftists, who tend to be thick within the ranks of the greens and global warmists—most of whom are avid, godless evolutionists who deny the reality of a Creator—generally have no compunction about playing god in efforts to impose their will on the masses.

Food riots in various parts of the world are highlighting the ludicrous nature of government policies that have taken traditional food crops out of the food chain in efforts to create so-called green fuels. In addition to this, the carbon credits fiasco is proving quite a scam for corporatists whose sole interest, far from benefiting global climate, tends to be an increase in corporate profits.

The great danger in so many so willingly hopping on the global warming bandwagon is that suddenly, in the general absence of common sense prevalent in today’s society, the whole global warming nonsense has become a religion, and a very dangerous religion at that. It has politicians who find difficulty in gaining consensus between political parties on issues of vital importance, suddenly finding common ground on the global warming issue.

One prime example was Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who when faced with great divisions within the European Union on a whole range of issues during her leadership of last year’s EU summit, cleverly played the global warming card, raising that issue to the top of the summit agenda. The result of this ploy was that, with all parties falling fashionably in line behind her on this one single issue, she was able to declare the summit, though it was in fact a farce, as being a great success on what she declared was the main issue on which she had sought agreement—global warming!

Spiegel Online reported, “Merkel sees this summit as Europe’s chance to take on a pioneering role in the battle against CO2 emissions and global warming. She wants to use an EU agreement to leverage a G-8 agreement and put pressure on major CO2 emitters around the globe. … ‘I personally am very satisfied and happy that it has been possible to open the door into a whole new dimension of European cooperation in the years to come in the area of energy and combating climate change,’ Merkel said at a Friday news conference” (March 9, 2007).

By cleverly maneuvering climate change to the top of her EU summit agenda, and by achieving consensus on what the media has seized upon as an issue of vital global importance, Merkel was able to snatch victory out of the jaws of what may well have been billed as a debacle—given the wide divisions at the summit on so many other issues—had it not been for this face-saving exercise. Not only that, the German chancellor can now strut her global EU warming stuff on the world stage, greatly enhancing her country’s prestige in the great ongoing global warming debate—a sure winner when it comes to attracting the attention of the global media!

In early March the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (nipcc), consisting of 500 scientists, economists, leading businessmen and government policy gurus, met at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, New York City, to consider the subject of climate change. At the conclusion of their discussions, they released the “Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change.” Considering the topic, the size and eminence of the group that convened to discuss it, and the controversial nature of the declaration to which they appended their signatures, the grand silence from the mass media on this has been deafening.

Yet, perhaps this just demonstrates the great difficulty that human beings have in admitting when they are wrong … especially when they have been duped!

One common-sense commentator, British political economist Rodney Atkinson, posted the following comment on his website (April 24):

Five hundred signatories to the Manhattan Declaration including leading climate scientists have declared that man-made global warming is a myth. They say that “There is no evidence that CO2 emissions from industrial activity have in the past, are now or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.” Indeed, in the historical record the rise in CO2 has always followed periods of warming (as the effects of disturbances on the sun and the Earth created more CO2) not preceded them as the man-made global warming (mmgw) theorists maintain.The Manhattan Declaration calls for an end to the enormous taxation burdens put on individuals and industry by “climate change” levies, etc. Those levies in the UK have raised energy costs by at least 6 percent, which (together with other government disasters like fuel taxation and the failure of the EU gas market) has contributed to a crisis of energy poverty among millions of British households (when 10 percent or more of income is spent on fuel bills). A consultant’s report comissioned by the UK government, estimates the cost of attempting to meet the EU target for 20 percent of energy consumption to be met by renewables by 2020. “The Central Case estimates the cost … to be €18.8 billion, with the lifetime cost of the policy being €259 billion.” … This is a scandalous waste of human resources—and all based on the myths of mmgw.

So much for Angela Merkel’s infamous EU consensus on global warming.

But this is a problem of global proportions. With many economies reeling from the effects of the global credit binge, added to the escalation of energy costs and the flow-on effects of hiking costs on staples, it seems crazy for governments to be adding to their own and others’ mounting financial crises by feeding the fire with policies that continue to escalate the price of anything that needs manufactured heat, light and/or motorized energy to produce it.

Rodney Atkinson continues:

So much of the research into man-made global warming (mmgw) has been funded with hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money (i.e. spent by those least capable—governments!). Little or no government funding has been made available to those who have questioned mmgw, and most of those claiming to speak for the world’s scientists tend to be the very few scientists and managers who run academic associations rather than those engaged in real climate science. There has been massive politicization of science by mmgw fanatics in governments. Those bent on acquiring greater power for supranational organisations have sought to create public concern—regardless of the truth. Some have let their political and ideological intentions out of the bag!No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits … climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world,” said Christine Stewart, former Canadian environment minister ….

The Manhatten Declaration does not mince words when it comes to its final recommendations: “That world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as An Inconvenient Truth. That all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith” (Science and Public Policy Institute, March 12).

Will world leaders agree to such recommendations? They would certainly have to eat humble pie to do so, and world leaders are not renowned for demonstrating such humility. As Rodney Atkinson declares (op. cit.):

There is no greater danger to mankind than those politically motivated global power seekers who use scare tactics to acquire control over the masses and supranational constitutional control over free nations. The quality of politicians in the rich Western democracies is now so poor that groups of scientists and businessmen and ideologically motivated world government enthusiasts can easily manipulate them. Climate change seemed to them a gift from heaven—literally!

Atkinson likens such political movements as mmgw to a “modern equivalent of medieval religious hegemony” which “previously terrified the ignorant and uneducated into submission. The new enslavement may be reliant on the new gods of politically perverted science but the effects of its myth making and global costs are no less terrifying than the Inquisition.”

It is a fact of history that never has a weapon of war been manufactured without an intention to use it. We live in a terribly destabilized and destabilizing world. Nuclear weaponry has been trafficked all over the world. Pip-squeak nations vie with the great global powers to establish their own nuclear weapons programs. The world lives in fear of a madman triggering nuclear warfare. Only quite recently Israel wiped out an alleged nuclear weapons manufacturing establishment in Syria.

There are prophecies in your Bible that indicate, far from global warming being a threat to mankind, nuclear winter is a real prospect for the future (Matthew 24:20-22). That’s the problem that ought to be of greatest concern to us today. Yet, to our great detriment, as Rodney Atkinson observes, due to a real poverty of true leadership within our Western democracies today, we can expect little of positive effect from that quarter. This also is prophesied in your Bible (Isaiah 3:1-4).

Yet, thank God, this “modern equivalent of medieval religious hegemony” will be short-lived. In fact, its very presence on this globe is a harbinger of better, far, far better times to come!

As our editor in chief stated following the 9/11 terrorist attack (November 2001),

But realize also the positive side of this—there is a voice out there warning our people. … Though it comes with a lot of bad news—so much so that the land will eventually not be able to bear our words (Amos 7:10)—it also comes with the greatest news mankind has ever heard.Notice Revelation 1:7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. …”

That’s the real hope, and the only hope, for a future free of the enslavement of minds to such lies as the great global warming hoax!

The Weekend Web

The Weekend Web

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Ehud Olmert’s nine lives and Nazi Germany’s Dr. Death; plus, world leaders embrace Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy.

Israeli investigators grilled Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for an hour and a half at his Jerusalem residence on Friday, leaving some to wonder if this might finally ruin his political career. Of course, Olmert has already survived numerous other investigations, as well as a disastrous war effort in Lebanon—not to mention abysmal approval ratings—so you’d be forgiven for thinking he will survive yet another crisis.

But despite the gag order placed on the details of the investigation, Israeli news outlets on both sides of the political spectrum are citing sources who say this time it might be different. One senior law enforcement agent told an Israeli TV station that Olmert was in a “grave situation” and would probably not survive it politically. According to the left-wing Haaretz, several Knesset members have called on Olmert to “suspend himself pending the investigations.” The Likud party chairman urged Labor to withdraw from the coalition, saying,

Olmert is the prime minister who has been investigated more than any other in the history of Israel. The Labor Party is responsible for the survival of the coalition and if it stands to present values, control of law and clean hands, it needs to quit immediately.

The Jerusalem Postquoted a Kadima member who came to Olmert’s defense: “From past experiences, we know that all the investigations started with a lot of noise and ended with nothing.”

Whatever might come from this, as an editorial at Ynetnews points out, the timing of this investigation could not have been worse:

Just when it appeared that he controls the situation and the bad winds are calming a little, and just when more people were willing to give him another chance – he is hit with the investigation, which ruins everything he built and reminds us of all the bad thoughts about him. That’s the last thing he needed.

Dr. Death and the Nazi Underground

Last week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center produced its annual list of the 10 most wanted Nazi war criminals. Topping the list is Dr. Aribert Heim, who was responsible for murdering hundreds of Jewish prisoners at the Mauthausen concentration camp during World War ii.

Karl Lotter, a prisoner who worked at the Mauthausen hospital, vividly remembers the gruesome details of the first murder he witnessed at the hands of Dr. Heim.

It was 1941, and an 18-year-old Jew had been sent to the clinic with a foot inflammation. Heim asked him about himself and why he was so fit. The young man said he had been a soccer player and swimmer.Then, instead of treating the prisoner’s foot, Heim anesthetized him, cut him open, castrated him, took apart one kidney and removed the second, Lotter said. The victim’s head was removed and the flesh boiled off so that Heim could keep it on display.”He needed the head because of its perfect teeth,” Lotter, a non-Jewish political prisoner, recalled in testimony eight years later that was included in an Austrian warrant for Heim’s arrest uncovered by The Associated Press. “Of all the camp doctors in Mauthausen, Dr. Heim was the most horrible.”

Aribert Heim disappeared in 1962 and is believed to be still living at the age of 93.

We have written before about the tens of thousands of Nazis who escaped prosecution after World War ii. Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in the Plain Truth as far back as September 1948:

Even before the end of this war, I revealed to you the Nazi plans for a Nazi underground movement, to go underground as a secret organization the very moment they lost the war—to lay low a few years during Allied and Russian military occupation, then to come forth when least expected, restore Germany to power, and go on to finally accomplish their aims in a World Wariii.

Nearly 50 years after Mr. Armstrong wrote that, a declassified U.S. intelligence document confirmed it. The 1996 document, my father wrote in his booklet The Rising Beast, detailed

an August 1944 meeting between top German industrialists, reveals a secret post-war plan to restore the Nazis to power. Several of Germany’s elite industries were represented, including Messerschmitt and Volkswagenwerks. These companies, the document asserts, were to “prepare themselves to finance the Nazi Party which would be forced to go underground.”

Download a free copy of The Rising Beasthere.

Who’s Doing the Dividing?

Barack Obama’s pastor of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, roared back onto the scene this week with several public appearances in which he seemed determined to confirm the fiercest criticisms against him. As the Economistreported,

[Wright appeared] at the National Press Club on April 28th before a massed throng of reporters …. He surrounded himself with some of the most divisive figures in black America: Marion Barry, Washington’s disgraced former mayor, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party, Cornel West of Princeton University and a posse of security guards supplied by the Nation of Islam. And he hurled a succession of rhetorical bombs.He defended his remark about “chickens coming home to roost”. He called Louis Farrakhan “one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century”. He talked about whites worshipping in church in the morning and putting on white Klan sheets at night. He defended his assertion that the American government invented the HIV virus to decimate blacks (“Our government is capable of doing anything.”). He even argued that blacks and whites have different learning styles, further proof that he endorses the racist theory that blacks and white have differently wired brains. …He dismissed Mr Obama’s attempt to distance himself from his former pastor as a politician doing what he had to do. He announced that, if Mr Obama becomes president, he will be “coming after him” because he will represent a government “whose policies grind under people.”

The comments moved Obama to finally do what he refused to do a month ago: “disown” Wright. “Whatever relationship I had with Rev Wright has changed,” he said. Obama’s defenders insist that any further discussion of Wright is off the table—that it represents “race-baiting” (in the words of a New York Timeseditorial, and Howard Dean in a Fox News Sunday interview this morning) since Wright’s views are completely unrepresentative of the presidential candidate.

But as Charles Krauthammer points out, the specific views Wright spoke about this past week that Obama now says are beyond the pale—so “divisive and destructive” that he needed to speak out—are the very views that came to light a month ago.

What were Obama’s three citations? Wright’s claim that AIDS was invented by the U.S. government to commit genocide. His praise of Louis Farrakhan as a great man. And his blaming Sept. 11 on American “terrorism.”But these comments are not new. … Obama decided to cut off Wright not because Wright’s words or character or views had suddenly changed. The only thing that changed was the venue in which Wright chose to display them—live on national TV at the National Press Club. That unfortunate choice destroyed Obama’s Philadelphia pretense that this “endless loop” of sermon excerpts being shown on “television sets and YouTube” had been taken out of context.

George Will also wrote this excellent column explaining why Wright’s views are relevant to the presidential campaign.

The battle lines in the Jeremiah Wright kerfuffle are growing more stark. On one side are people who consider Obama’s choice of pastor a relevant indicator of the candidate’s character and consider Wright’s racism destructive and unacceptable. On the other side are people who apparently believe that the only reason Wright is a problem is because those on the other side insist on making him into one.

The issue has potential to do enormous damage to race relations in America. We at the Trumpet see this as an important story to watch because of the Bible’s prophecies of race-based violence breaking out in America. You can read about those in the fourth chapter of editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.

Elsewhere on the Web

After five long weeks, Zimbabwe’s official election results have finally been released, and Robert Mugabe lost. His challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai, received 47.9 percent of the vote to Mugabe’s 43.2. Trouble is, the narrow victory margin requires a run-off, and you can be sure the incumbent government will ramp up the pressure to ensure the second round leaves no doubt as to the winner.

Jimmy Carter’s policy of engaging terrorist leaders and their state sponsors might be catching on. According to the Independent, “The big powers have formally acknowledged for the first time that the policy of isolating Hamas through an economic blockade of Gaza is not working.”

On the front page of this weekend’s Asia Times: “Iran moving into the big league.” Kaveh Afrasiabi writes, “From the Persian Gulf to the Caspian region, the Caucasus, Central Asia, South Asia and beyond, Iran thanks to its geographical location is an ideal connecting bridge that has not until now fully exploited its advantageous equidistance from India and Europe.” This is exemplified in the us$7.6 billion gas pipeline that will flow from Iran to Pakistan to India, and which is finally close to reality. Tehran is ambitiously moving from regional power to global power.

Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is now joining top military officials in calling for German troop deployment in south Afghanistan. As a new U.S. president takes office next year, America’s role in foreign peacekeeping operations will likely decrease as the Bundeswehr fills the void.

In another move of utter negligence and will to defend its own people, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has given orders to remove three critical anti-terror checkpoints.

And Finally …

After al Qaeda terrorists bombed the USS Cole in 2000, President Bill Clinton vowed to hunt down the perpetrators. “Justice will prevail,” he said.

According to today’sWashington Post, “all the defendants convicted in the attack have escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials.”

The Week in Review

The Week in Review

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Iran courts American allies; Russia goes into Georgia; Zimbabwe wallows in turmoil; and Congress says “oops” on ethanol.

Middle East

Iran’s regional influence stepped up a notch this week with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visiting Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. In the process, Iran increased its political, economic and cultural ties with the United States’ most important allies in the region. The biggest item on the agenda was the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, upon which a final agreement is expected to be signed soon. The trip shows just how little influence the U.S. has on its “allies.” They have no problem welcoming one of America’s worst enemies as a close partner and strengthening Iran’s clout in the area. The U.S. certainly cannot count on Pakistan, India or Sri Lanka to help contain Iran.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said April 26 on Al Jazeera television that the terrorist organization’s willingness to accept a cease-fire is “a tactic in conducting the struggle.” Mashaal explained that “it is normal for any resistance … to sometimes escalate, other times retreat a bit.” “Hamas is known for that,” he said. “In 2003, there was a cease-fire and then the operations were resumed.” Quite an admission: Terrorists’ cease-fires aren’t an honest pursuit of peace, but rather strategies to increase violence at a later date.

In the midst of talks about peace deals, rumblings about an upcoming war in the Middle East continue. Stratfor reported April 25 that Hezbollah has reshuffled its organization in order to streamline its operations in readiness for war with Israel. Stratfor also reported, “Hezbollah military officials reportedly are meeting on a regular basis with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officers in the Iranian Embassy complex in Bir Hassan, near Beirut. These meetings are aimed at beefing up Hezbollah defenses and putting the finishing touches on plans for Hezbollah special forces to launch raids behind Israeli lines if and when the Israel Defense Forces cross the Litani River.”

Also in Mideast news, terrorists launched one of the heaviest strikes in weeks inside Baghdad’s Green Zone on April 27; the U.S. met more resistance in Afghanistan with President Hamid Karzai saying U.S. forces should stop arresting Taliban members in order to avoid discouraging them from disarming; conservative lawmakers won more seats in Iran’s parliament following a second-round runoff, bringing their majority to 69 percent; the U.S. Congress is threatening to block military equipment sales to Saudi Arabia if it doesn’t increase its oil production; and Iran has announced it has stopped trading oil in U.S. dollars.

Europe

Italy edged further right this week with Gianni Alemanno becoming Rome’s first right-wing mayor in 15 years. Alemanno has pledged to take a tough stance against immigration and crime. In the celebrations after the election, Alemanno supporters gave their hero a stiff-armed salute, while shouting “Duce, Duce.” Alemanno’s politics did at one time have similarities with Mussolini’s: He was once the youth leader of the Italian Social Movement, a neofascist group.

Serbia, which holds elections next year, and the European Union signed a pre-membership deal this week. By agreeing to sign this deal with Serbia, Europe is trying to give the country’s pro-European party a boost. The EU has aimed to control the Balkans for years. After sparking the dissolution of Yugoslavia, it is trying to absorb the smaller states bit by bit.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded the Charlemagne Prize this week. The prize is awarded for “the most valuable contribution in the services of Western European understanding and work for the community, and in the services of humanity and world peace.” She was chosen for the award due to her efforts to unite Europe. Charlemagne waded through blood to achieve that goal. Many in Europe want to unite, but history shows it will take more than words for that to happen.

Next Monday, Swiss energy giant egl is set to sign a contract with Iran agreeing to purchase €18 billion in gas starting 2011. The potential deal comes quick after last month’s revelation that Austrian energy company omv signed letters of intent to buy €22 billion of gas from Tehran. While the EU, led by its representatives on the UN Security Council, has agreed to stop economic dealings with Iran when it comes to the banking and the nuclear and missiles sectors, the crucial energy field is off-limits for sanctions. These latest proposals by Austria and Switzerland show that the Continent’s concern lies more with its own energy supplies than the wishes of the superpower across the Atlantic. For further information, read “Which Is the Isolated State: Iran—or America?

Asia

Residents of the Georgian breakaway province Abkhazia welcomed the arrival of additional Russian troops into the region on Thursday. These troops will bolster the approximately 2,000 Russian “peacekeeping” troops in the province. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Tuesday that the troops were being deployed in response to a supposed threat to the Abkhazian people from the Georgian central government. “If Georgia puts in place the threat it has made on a number of occasions about the use of force in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, we would be forced to take retaliatory measures to protect the lives of our citizens,” Lavrov told the press. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and NATO spokesman James Appathurai have both warned Russia against boosting its troops in Georgian breakaway regions, but Russian officials are still intent on expanding their nation’s presence into the Caucasus. By supporting the Abkhazian breakaway movement with peacekeeping troops, Russia seems to be duplicating with Georgia what the EU did with Serbia and Kosovo. This is bound to increase the tension between these two powers.

Abkhazia and Kosovo are not the only pieces of disputed territory the Kremlin covets. Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda last Saturday to discuss the status of the Kuril Islands. The dispute between Russia and Japan over who has legal sovereignty over these islands is the last obstacle to the formation of a treaty between the two nations that would officially end World War ii. At their Saturday meeting, Putin and Fukuda agreed to accelerate negotiations over these islands. These efforts, on the part of both Russia and Japan, are another step toward Japanese solidarity with the rest of Asia.

As the global food crisis escalates, India is enacting protectionist measures in order to keep rice reserves inside the country. On Tuesday, the Indian government imposed a $200-per-ton export duty on basmati rice. This export duty is in addition to the complete ban of non-basmati rice exports already in force. Considering that India is the world’s third-largest rice exporter, these protectionist measures are bound to have a negative impact on rice supplies around the world.

Africa

Zimbabwe has still not verified results from its March 29 election. The opposition is threatening to refuse a runoff election, claiming that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has already won and that any results of a runoff would be fraudulent. This strategy is likely to leave President Robert Mugabe in power ad infinitum.

On April 22, German President Horst Köhler received Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Berlin with military honors. Kagame’s trip, his fourth official visit to Germany, came only two months after Köhler visited Rwanda. President Kagme had two main objectives: first, to woo German businesses to invest in Rwanda; second, to meet with German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung and other officials to discuss establishing military relations. Germany is seeking closer ties with Rwanda as part of a strategy to secure African resources. In addition to fighting the Sudanese government in Darfur, Rwandan troops have also invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo twice in the past decade. Most significantly, both of these enemies of Rwanda are allies of China. Beijing has a strong interest in Africa’s natural resources. Berlin is looking to counter that. By increasing its investment and military support for Rwanda, Berlin is empowering a traditional enemy of a China-aligned nation and is looking to stake its own claim in the region.

Anglo-America

The European Union may not allow the Bank of England to lend money to Britain’s banking sector, the Times reported. “The centerpiece of the government’s plan to unclog Britain’s money markets could be disrupted by European regulators because it falls foul of state-aid rules, competition lawyers said yesterday. The Bank of England’s scheme to free up Britain’s home loan market by injecting £50 billion into the banking sector risks contravening the rules because it gives unfair advantage to British banks over rivals, experts say” (April 26). The news has troubling implications for British sovereignty, which may already be further gone than most Britons realize.

In the United States, federal agencies including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center are countering terrorism by attacking jargon that infers a link between terrorism and the religion of Islam. According to a National Counterterrorism Center report, terms such as “jihadist” and “Islamo-fascism” may offend moderate Muslims or confer legitimacy upon extremist Muslims and should therefore be abandoned in favor of euphemisms like “violent extremist” and “terrorist.” The Middle East Times opines, “The Bush administration has decided that calling the enemy by his name is too risky, too politically incorrect, or oddly, somehow too laudatory” (April 28).

Elsewhere in the capital, Congress is admitting it “overreached” in its ethanol enthusiasm. The Washington Times reports, “Members of Congress say they overreached by pushing ethanol on consumers and will move to roll back federal supports for it—the latest sure signal that Congress’s appetite for corn-based ethanol has collapsed as food and gas prices have shot up. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Democrats will use the pending farm bill to reduce the subsidy, while Republicans are looking to go further, rolling back government rules passed just four months ago that require blending ethanol into gasoline” (May 1).

Apology: Adolf Hitler Arrives in Ukraine Shops

Apology: Adolf Hitler Arrives in Ukraine Shops

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The Trumpet.com has withdrawn an article titled “Adolf Hitler Arrives in Ukraine Shops. The source material that the article was based on was both inaccurate and misleading.

In the article, we stated that 16-inch figurines of Hitler were to be sold in Ukraine. It implied that dolls were going on sale in large numbers. This is not the case. A few may be available in specialist shops; but dolls of Adolf Hitler have also gone on sale in specialist shops both in the U.S. and the UK. The same doll is, in fact, available in Britain. There is nothing unique or remarkable about the fact that these dolls are available to a niche market in Ukraine.

We also stated that “Germany’s occupation of Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union, left 2 to 3 million people dead, including 1.5 million Jews,” as reported in the Telegraph. This statement is misleading. It is hard to calculate exactly how many Ukrainians died in World War ii as Ukraine was then part of the Soviet Union. Reliable estimates put Ukraine’s wartime deaths as high as 10 million.

The article has been removed from our website and we apologize for any offense we may have caused any of our readers. Thanks to those who wrote in to inform us of our error. The Trumpet remains committed to providing accurate reporting and analysis.

Abraham, Part 1: Man of Destiny

Abraham, Part 1: Man of Destiny

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A six-part series on the father of the faithful

God called Abram.

We must sense the magnitude of that moment. This single event of the remote past opened up an unbroken history that will continue far into the distant future. Abram’s life holds incredible meaning for every human being. He was a well-known world figure anciently. He soon will be a sought-after international figure at Jesus Christ’s return. It is vitally important that we come to know the history of this remarkable man. His chronicle is the prologue to ancient Israel’s history. It is more. Abram’s life is the earliest beginning of Church history that extends out to the time of new Jerusalem. In fact, Abram is destined to be a major leader of that city.

Our modernist historians have concealed the incredibly fascinating accounts of his life. Most scholars claim that he (along with his ancestors listed in Genesis 11:10-26 and descendents listed in Genesis 12-50) was a mythological hero—the stuff of Jewish legend. Others admit that he existed but claim he was a backward, donkey-riding nomad poking along dusty trails between Canaan and Egypt.

Abram, whose name God later changed to Abraham, was an intelligent, well-educated, very wealthy man. This may sound shocking, but non-biblical sources also tell us he was an expert in mathematics and astronomy—a deep-thinking scientist. Of course, the Bible focuses on the fact that he became an obedient servant of God. When we put the whole picture together, we learn that, like the nation that sprang from him, he wielded a powerful influence on the world of his day. In fact, this man of history became a man of amazing destiny.

History Purposely Hidden

Here is one example of how modern history books answer inquiries about him. “As to the question whether these figures are individuals or personifications, the individuality of Abraham is the most strongly marked of the three, so that he must be considered a historical personality …” (The Cambridge Ancient History, Third Edition, vol. ii, part 2). Although dragging his feet, this writer admits Abraham did exist. But then, in the same sentence, he states his son Isaac and grandson Jacob are not historical figures.

Can this writer establish a date for the life of Abraham? Read this next quote carefully. The writer references a history-changing battle that Abraham won against four Assyrian kings. “It has proved a delusion to think that the story of the struggle of Amraphel King of Shinar, Arioch King of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer King of Elam, and Tidal king of the ‘nations’ or the land of Goyim, against five petty kings in the region of the Dead Sea might be a basis for a fixed date for Abraham and therefore for the other patriarchs” (ibid., emphasis mine). The writer is calling into question a major historical event in Abraham’s time discussed in Genesis 14. The Apostle Paul refers to this same event in Hebrews 7:1. Essentially, modern historians say one would be crazy to believe that a date can be fixed for Abraham’s life.

What is the writer’s conclusion about Abraham’s history? Don’t expect anything positive. “So the patriarchs remain figures enshrouded in mists and shadows, and historical conclusions as to their character are hard to reach” (ibid.).

If we believe historians, it becomes terribly discouraging. According to historians, why bother studying the history of Abraham? We are led to believe that his life is lost in fog and darkness and that we can know nothing about the events in his life or his character—when just the opposite is true. It is time to clear the fog and let light shine on Abraham’s illustrious life.

Historical-Minded Hebrews

We have a choice. We could accept the prejudice of scholars and remain ignorant. Or we can believe what the Bible reveals about this man. Remember, Herbert W. Armstrong taught that one third of the Bible is history. Since it is God’s Book, He specifically chose what history went into it. This sacred history concerns primarily Israel. It is important to note that in writing the Bible, God used mostly Israelites. This fact has caused critics to fault the Bible as being a compilation of myth and legend. However, we must recognize that the people of God were vigilant and accurate about their history.

David S. Noss, author of A History of the World’s Religions, writes, “Being socially sensitive, the Hebrews were historical-minded, and not in any casual or intermittent way, but steadily. This fact needs stressing.” Why were the Hebrew people so focused on history? God inspired them to be so. They were responsible for preserving the historical record of God’s dealings with them—not just for themselves, but for all mankind. We can depend fully on the Bible’s history.

In the Bible, God also reveals key slices of historic events from other nations as they came in contact with Israel. Assyria, Babylon and Egypt are mentioned quite often. But God also expects us to fill in the details from secular history. In other words, God gives us fantastic clues for further study if we are willing to put them together. We will do just that in this series of articles. We’ll start with what the Bible reveals about Abraham and then look at what secular sources have to add about his life.

Here is a critical point of fact. If Abraham did not live, you do not have a Savior. A key element of Bible history is its genealogies. Matthew opens his Gospel with Christ’s genealogy. He writes: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren” (Matthew 1:1-2). Notice that Matthew asserts the historical fact that Jesus Christ is the son of David and the son of Abraham. This apostle of God also asserts the historicity of Isaac, Jacob and the heads of the 12 tribes of Israel. He takes great effort to put the genealogy of Christ’s life together for us. Being a former tax collector, Matthew understood the need to keep accurate records. He does a masterful job of condensing the first four chapters of 1 Chronicles for us. Matthew also recorded in detail the fulfillment of specific promises made directly to Abraham. In Genesis 17:6, God promised Abraham: “… kings shall come out of thee.” David and his family of sons certainly fulfilled a part of that promise. Jesus Christ is the King of all kings from that promise. And in Genesis 12:3, God promised Abraham, “… in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” This promise to Abraham was a direct reference to the messiahship of Christ. It makes sense that Christ must be a son of Abraham.

Christ Confirms Abraham’s History

Jesus Christ directly confirmed Abraham’s history. He repeatedly speaks of Abraham in the Gospels. When at Capernaum, Jesus was truly amazed by the faith of a centurion. The Roman soldier’s servant was sick. He requested that Christ heal him. Christ offered to go to the centurion’s home, but the soldier expressed great faith that Christ only had to give the command to heal the servant. Jesus Christ responded, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:10-12). Jesus Christ states emphatically here that Abraham (along with his son Isaac and grandson Jacob) lived.

It is also helpful to study John 8:30-59. Christ was in the process of revealing new truth to the people; He told them that the truth would make them free (verse 32). What should have been an incredible blessing to them turned into a wrangle. The people snapped back that they were Abraham’s seed and were never in bondage to any man (verse 33). Of course, the people were in deep bondage to sin (and to the Romans). Jesus Christ confirmed that they were the descendents of Abraham. He said, “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you” (verse 37). Jesus Christ had to reprimand them because they would not accept His words given to Him by God the Father. He told them plainly that they were doing the work of their father the devil. The people became even angrier. They yelled back at Christ, “Abraham is our father” (verse 39). He answered: “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (verse 39). In this truly wonderful chapter, Jesus Christ clearly demonstrates that Abraham was a real, living human being.

As the argument with the people continued, Jesus Christ revealed that He had personal and intimate knowledge about Abraham and said he was a man of great character. Most of the people of Christ’s time did not have Abraham’s character. Jesus told them so. Spend time studying these passages. At the end of the chapter, Christ told the people, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad” (verse 56). The people could hardly take it. They became incensed with Christ. They responded: “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” (verse 57). Christ answered them with the greatest truth a person can come to know. He said, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (verse 58). Christ’s response should have sent them to their knees with thanks. But rather, the people decided to stone Him. This chapter should eliminate all doubt that Abraham existed.

The Apostle Paul taught that Jesus Christ came “to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Romans 15:8). Confirming the promises includes confirming the lives of the men who held onto those promises. Let’s not be fooled by modern historians or modern scholars. Abraham lived. His life holds many lessons for us.

(to be continued next Friday)

A Child Left to Himself

A Child Left to Himself

©iStock.com/gradyreese

Grand Theft Auto IV is smashing sales records—and educating our children.

The crime-life simulator leaves little to the imagination with its continual violence, virtual sexual encounters and crime-oriented missions. “The most acclaimed and most reviled game series of all time,” one gaming columnist called it.

Grand Theft Auto iv is not supposed to be sold to children under age 17, but a survey last year by the National Institute on Media and the Family found that half the time, teens under age 17 had no trouble purchasing such video games. What’s more, at least one survey has found the Grand Theft Auto series to be the most popular game among boys ages 12 to 14.

The most popular? How do all those 12-, 13- and 14-year-old boys get a chance to play that game?

No doubt some parents approve and would quite willingly buy the game for their child. But for many, the reality is parents have no idea their children are actually playing such shocking, graphic games. If they know they’re playing the game, maybe they themselves have never actually looked at the content of the game—of what is being absorbed by their child’s mind.

Despite the multiple warnings on its packaging, critics are demanding more stringent marketing of Grand Theft Auto—demanding it be taken from the shelves of Toys R Us; calling on stores to check ids of customers.

Undoubtedly, such trash is a shocking indictment of the depths of depravity and violence our society has sunk to.

But what is the real reason so many children are playing these violent video games?

Because children are left to themselves by parents far too often. And that reality has many more detrimental consequences than children playing unsavory video games.

More than 3,000 years ago, a wise man wrote: “… a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.” According to Lange’s Commentary, “left to himself” literally means, “he who is exempted from discipline, who is left to his own will.”

But look at the beginning of the proverb: “The rod and reproof give wisdom …” (that word wisdom means to become a skillful learner).

In other words, a neglected child brings shame on the family because that neglect adversely affects his ability to learn—to grow in wisdom and understanding. If a child is left to himself—is unsupervised—it handicaps his ability to learn.

In that one proverb, Solomon actually described two opposite approaches to education. One is a disciplined, structured environment where children are corrected and punished in love. In the other, children are more or less left to themselves to decide right from wrong—an environment void of structure and discipline.

We see the results of a learning environment devoid of structure and discipline all around us in society today. A few years ago, Leonard Irvine wrote for the Salisbury Review (Summer 2003, emphasis mine throughout):

Various reasons have been put forward as to why crime is now so widespread. … What must be looked for is a change that made young boys and youths less able to resist bad behavior, less able to say no to the taking of drugs and less mindful of the consequences of their behavior for themselves and others. It is not violent crime that we must combat but the thing that makes a person a violent criminal. Although fighting crime “at the sharp end” must continue, this society is producing more criminally inclined boys and youths than its law enforcement structure can possibly deal with.The paradox is that in the time up to the 1950s, discipline at home and at school was harsh. Then there was little crime. Today, with the “child centered” style of education and the abolition of any form of smacking in school, children are more violent than they ever were.

Irvine pointed to the modern phenomenon of mental “disorders” among children in Western society, like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd): “The link between antisocial behavior and a short attention span is acknowledged by all professional bodies concerned.” In other words, most troublemakers were brought up in an undisciplined environment.

So how ought we to go about improving the attention span of our children—to help bring more structure and discipline into their lives?

Most people opt for mind-altering drugs, like Ritalin. It helps regulate a child’s disruptive behavior at home and improves concentration at school. But, of course, the drug has many documented side effects: lethargy, depression, poor appetite, insomnia—not to mention long-term effects. In any case, the drug does not bring about permanent change. A change in behavior is noticeable only while the subject is medicated.

But there is another, much less popular, alternative to improving the attention span of youths: a return to the more disciplined form of teaching and educating children! There is simply no substitute for properly training and teaching children—from the point of infancy on up—to concentrate, pay attention and obey certain definite instructions. This, as Irvine explained in this article, increases the child’s storehouse of knowledge because as the child’s attention span improves, year by year, he is learning along the way—adding on top of his previously acquired knowledge.

The early years in a child’s development—from infancy to about age 6—are his most formative years. This is when the child’s personality, character and intelligence are, in many ways, set for life! Child development experts will tell you that about half an individual’s intelligence—his ability to learn and grasp new concepts—is developed in his first three or four years of life! (About 80 percent of that ability is developed by age 8.)

Parents—whether we accept it or not—are responsible most for preparing their children for education—to teach them how to learn. We are their most important educators in life. Not public or private schools, not higher education, not government programs or community organizations—and certainly not music, television programs or video games.

That children cannot pay attention in school is not the real problem here. The problem is with parents who will not pay attention to the needs of their children. It’s with deadbeat dads who will not step forward and lead the family with loving authority. It’s with mothers who are too busy competing in the workplace to care for their children at home.

Too often, children are left with day care, teen babysitters, television and movies, video games, sugary snacks, and lots of toys—anything parents can think of to keep them occupied, or to prevent tantrums. Then, when they enter the more structured environment of school at age 5 or 6, we can’t understand why they won’t pay attention.

Here is how the late Herbert W. Armstrong described every parent’s responsibility in raising children: “Always give your children an abundance of love. Show your affection. Then, from tiniest infancy, by loving but unquestionable insistence, bring your child to absolute recognition of your authority—and before he reaches the end of his first year! If spanking is necessary, use it—always being careful not to injure the child, yet making it smart enough to get results” (The Missing Dimension in Sex).

A super-abundance of love—and insisting on obedience. It’s not that complicated. But it is difficult to put into practice because it takes so much time and unselfish sacrifice. It takes parents who pay attention to their children—educating, teaching and training.

“Don’t be afraid of what the crackpot child psychologists fear,” Mr. Armstrong continued,

to make him feel “guilty.” When a child disobeys, he is guilty, and must be made to realize it!When we disobey God, He tells us plainly, in the Bible, that we are guilty! Yet God loved us enough to give Christ to die for us, that the sin may be forgiven, upon repentance.So let the child know he is guilty—but he can be forgiven upon repentance—which means to change from the spirit of rebellion to an attitude of willing obedience.

Society’s way is to let children do as they please. If they don’t want to listen, it’s just a passing phase—if they throw a tantrum, just let it run its course. Then, hopefully (with fingers crossed), they will turn out to be smart, well-disciplined, law-abiding citizens who raise happy families. That might be the way it works in movies. But not in real life.

It is the rod and reproof, as mentioned earlier, that give wisdom and understanding.

How is this even possible? How can administering discipline make a child more educated? Because in order to receive knowledge, a child must first learn how to listen and pay attention. And nothing establishes this as habit in a little one quite like discipline and correction.

If a child has never been taught to listen to those in authority, why should we expect him to receive knowledge from an authority figure?

Teach a child to honor and obey his parents first (Ephesians 6:1-2; Colossians 3:20)—then they can understand and learn.

Few commentators are willing to go this deep in proposing their “solutions” because it involves much more than changing a curriculum and the disciplinary measures at the local elementary school. In fact, it transfers most of the burden of responsibility to teach, train and discipline youths from the educational system to where it belongs—the parents!

This solution—God’s solution—means fathers must regain control of their families with loving leadership—as provider, protector and educator. It means mothers should assume their primary role as helpmeet to the husband, keeper of the home and the daytime caregiver to the children. And it means children must learn the lesson of obedience first, while growing up in a loving family environment at home.