Give the Gift of Words

Give the Gift of Words

Trumpet

The power of a “word fitly spoken”

There are few things in life that can touch a human being more than heartfelt words spoken from a well of wisdom. And much more, from a well of wisdom that has been filled to the brim through a lifetime of experience and unusual success. Several years ago, I had an opportunity to spend three days in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a three-day conference. I stayed in the historic Amway Grand Plaza, built in the early 1900s, and recently renovated by Richard Devos, co-founder of Amway, owner of the Orlando Magic professional basketball team, author of three books and sought-after public speaker.

Mr. Devos is extremely well respected in his community and across the globe for his philanthropy and humanitarianism. I would tell you his reported net worth, but he is the type of man who shouldn’t be measured by how much he has earned or what his estate is worth. He is now 84, and it is his life-long journey to towering monetary and family success that is of the highest value to his listeners and readers. He is the kind of man who is best measured by, and who history will remember for, his contributions to society, to his family, to the Grand Rapids community and to the nation he serves. It is through that serving and learning that he obtained uncommon success. So it is the measure of his developed character that can and does enrich his readers and listeners.

And that enriching can be found in his third book, Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People. It is a short book filled with a collection of powerful words that can uplift, motivate and empower you to make others feel good. The 10 phrases are: I am wrong. I am sorry. I believe in you. I respect you. You can do it! I trust you. I need you. I’m proud of you. I love you! Thank you.

In his lecture to the conference, Mr. Devos explained how he has put these phrases to work in his own life. After his helicopter pilot got into a terrible accident, Mr. Devos made an unannounced visit to the aircraft hanger and asked the pilot to join him in a helicopter. As Mr. Devos explained, the pilot asked him what he was doing and where he wanted to travel. Mr. Devos replied something to this effect: I will go anywhere you want; I just want you to know that I believe in you.

For a person suffering under a heavy trial or beset with a personal setback, by genuinely using the words I believe in you we can be a comforting force for good in their lives. Proverbs 25:11 states that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” How beautiful words can be!

On another occasion, Mr. Devos explained how early in his business career he learned the need to say, “I am wrong, and I am sorry.” As he related, he had developed some new product idea and thought he had considered all aspects of product development and formulated a winning marketing and sales cycle. As it turned out, a few employees helped him to see that he had not considered all aspects as he first assumed. He found that humbling, but beneficial. Since then, as he relates, he has learned to frequently say, “I was wrong, and I am sorry.”

In Matthew 5:23-24, Christ expounded the principle and power of seeking reconciliation with others when we are in the wrong. There is humility in the words, “I am wrong, and I am sorry.” It is love in action toward others. In this phrase, we find the ingredients of reconciliation and true happiness.

Mr. Devos also explained how it is important to recognize the “good works” of others. At his vacation home, a garbage man would always come to take away the trash very early in the morning. He was discreet, sure to remove the trash and replace the lids with the utmost silence so as not to disturb the sleeping community. One day, Mr. Devos decided to let this man know how much he appreciated the garbage man’s sensitivity and service to the community. He arose early in the morning and met the garbage man just as he was removing his trash. As he approached, the garbage man asked if there was something wrong. To be up at this early hour must have meant there was some sort of a problem. Mr. Devos explained to the man that there was nothing wrong, but that he just wanted to let him know how much he appreciated his work, and how well he performed in his job. The sanitation worker stated that in his 25 years in performing his work, Mr. Devos was the first person to ever thank him or express any appreciation for his services. Twenty-five years! To that man, those few words were powerful and deeply meaningful.

Herbert W. Armstrong himself was a recipient of such kind treatment—of the gift of words. In fact, as Mr. Armstrong explained in his autobiography, it was a manager’s expression of appreciation, an “I believe in you” and “You can do it!”, which was his spark of ambition—his life’s turning point.

Mr. Armstrong related: “[A]t age 16, during summer vacation, I obtained my first job away from home. The job was waiting on tables in the dining room of a semi-resort hotel in Altoona, the next town east of Des Moines. There was an electric line—an interurban street car—that ran out through Altoona and on east to the little town of Colfax. This Altoona hotel served food of a standard that attracted many guests from Des Moines. …

“I had never realized before that I possessed any abilities. Actually I had never been a leader among boys. Most of the time I had played with boys older than I who automatically took the lead. But now, for the first time, I began to believe in myself. This hotel owner aroused ambition—created within me the desire to climb the ladder of success—to become an important somebody. This, of course, was vanity. But it also was ambition for accomplishment—for self-improvement. And he also stimulated the will to put forth whatever effort it would require to achieve this success. He made me realize I would have to study, acquire knowledge and know-how, be industrious and exercise self-denial. Actually this flowered into grossly overrated self-confidence and conceit. But it impelled me to driving effort.

“It is impossible to estimate the importance of this sudden arousal of ambition—this injection of an intense desire for success—this igniting of the spark of determined energy to achieve worthy accomplishment.

This was the turning point of my life.”

This manager gave Mr. Armstrong a tremendous gift. He was responsible for helping Mr. Armstrong see for the first time that he had qualities that, if he was willing to work hard, would carry him to success, to worthy accomplishment. What a gift that was to Mr. Armstrong, and by extension, to us all, because we can learn so much from his towering personal and spiritual success.

Such is the intrinsic power of simple words and phrases like “I believe in you” or “You can do it!” or “I was wrong, and I am sorry”!

Think about how you may put these phrases to more frequent use in your own life, in service to others, for the purpose of building up your family, your siblings, your friends, your teachers, your minister, your deacon—to the unsung heroes in your life, or to neighbors you notice performing noble acts of virtue. Yes—even toward the garbage man!

You can do it! Start today! Give the gift of words.

The Revival of Germany’s Economy

The Revival of Germany’s Economy

Soeren Stache/AFP/Getty Images

“A more assertive Germany has emerged.”

While many countries are facing financial ruin, Germany has experienced its best quarter of growth since East and West Germany unified in 1990. During the second quarter of this year, the German economy grew by 2.2 percent, according to data released by Germany’s statistics office.

“[T]he recovery of the German economy, which lost momentum at the turn of 2009/2010, is really back on track,” wrote the statistics office.

The New York Times writes that if growth were this strong all year, then Germany’s economy would increase by 9 percent.

The 2.2 percent growth is well above the 1.4 percent forecast.

The statistics office also revised its growth estimate for the first quarter of 2010 from 0.2 percent to 0.5 percent.

According to Germany’s Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle, the “recovery of the German economy has shown itself to be much stronger than people have recently predicted.”

He predicted that German economic growth for 2010 could be over 2 percent of gross domestic product. “We’re currently living through an extra-large upswing,” he said.

The chief economist at Commerzbank AG, Joerg Kraemer, now predicts that Germany’s economy will grow by 3.25 percent, instead of his earlier prediction of 2.5 percent.

These strong results will probably cement Germany’s role as Europe’s, and even the world’s, economic leader.

“The battle over how to navigate the financial crisis helps display Germany’s emerging post-Cold War identity as a country less tolerant of foreign demands and lecturing, one with a tenser relationship with European partners,” writes the Times.

Germany wanted to deal with the financial crisis in a different way to other countries. Rather than throwing as much money as it could at the problem, Berlin preferred a prudent, cautious approach. German leaders were opposed within and without Europe, but they stuck to their guns. At the recent G-20 meeting, the German solution was victorious over the American one.

“Though Germany has plenty of problems to grapple with at home, it has also become less obsessed with its historical crimes and more enthusiastic about its economic model, its culture and its improved standing in the world,” writes the Times.

“Jenny Wiblishauser, 33, a single mother in the southern town of Memmingen, said Germany’s financial prudence—and its willingness to ignore foreign criticism—made her proud. ‘Before, the Greeks would call us Nazis, and we would act vulnerable,’ she said. ‘Now one says, ‘Well, I’m not driving there for vacation.’”

The Times continues, “The venomous contempt in the German news media directed at Greece raised significant concerns among allies that a more assertive Germany had emerged, said Thomas Klau, an expert on European integration at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

“‘That was like a wake-up call to the rest of Europe that something had changed in Germany,’ Mr. Klau said.”

Now, the numbers seem to show that Germany got it right, and America got it wrong. Germany’s new assertiveness has worked.

Something has indeed changed in Germany. Its economy is stronger, while most of the world is weak. But more importantly, the Germans are growing more self-confident and assertive. Expect this attitude to spread beyond just economic policy.

How the Unions Betrayed America

How the Unions Betrayed America

Index Open

And why unions are just one tiny part of the problem

The union worker, the chief executive, the capitalist, and all of us are facing the same problem: We stand on the very brink of economic breakdown. Can America come together to fix its problems?

States and cities across the country are on the verge of failure. Some small cities have already gone bankrupt. Government officials are being forced to consider unprecedented actions.

But the times are unprecedented!

In Hawaii, the state has not only furloughed its teachers, it has furloughed its students—instituting a four-day school week. Student classroom time was cut by 20 percent. The state is far from alone, and the New York Times reports that more school districts are considering doing the same.

In Georgia, Clayton County shut down its bus system in a desperate attempt to balance its budget. The hard decision stranded 8,400 daily commuters.

In Colorado Springs, the city switched off one third of its 24,512 streetlamps to conserve cash. It slashed its police force and parks department.

And all the while, one small business after another shutters its doors for good.

It is deindustrialization on a national scale. But it is more than that.

All across America—North Dakota, Michigan, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere—states are grinding up asphalt roads and letting them go back to gravel. Some states, like Ohio, can’t even afford the grinding costs and are simply letting the roads erode back to gravel. The arteries, the linkages connecting small-town America with the giant interstate markets, are being chewed up and spit out.

Is it a sign that America is headed “back to the Stone Age”? wonders Purdue University’s John Habermann.

Furloughing children, pawning the city’s buses, street lights going dark, reverting to gravel: All these stories have a common theme: squandered wealth. More specifically, plundered wealth.

Almost without exception, the high cost of unions—and the corrupt officials who allowed states to indenture themselves, their children and their children’s children to the unions—are bankrupting the nation.

Don’t believe it? It is simple math.

On a national level, it is well known that Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are on course to break the nation. Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker estimates the U.S. government will need over $60 trillion to pay for these programs over the coming years. Since the total U.S. budget is only around $3.5 trillion, the dirty little secret that everyone in Washington knows, but won’t admit, is that these programs are soon to be severely cut or eliminated. America just doesn’t have the money to pay for all these retirement promises.

Social Security is already giving out more in benefits than it collects in premiums. To make up the difference, the federal government borrows money to pay benefits.

This kind of financial irresponsibility can only go on for so long. The system is already breaking and it is primarily due to two gigantic unions. They are called Democrats and Republicans. Both unions pretend to stand for different things, but in the end, they both just want your vote. And in America, you are a card-carrying member of one or the other or your voice gets squashed.

At the more local level, employee unions are doing a fantastic job of sabotaging the economy too. Take the recent state multibillion-dollar bailout just passed by Congress.

On August 10, at a special session, the House voted to give states $26 billion to prevent 300,000 teachers, police and other public employees from being laid off.

But why do the states need a bailout in the first place? Why is it the federal government is now paying the salaries of state employees? Because states are bankrupt. According to the New York Times, states are running a cumulative $3 trillion funding deficit.

Why such a huge deficit? Because they have made unsustainable and extravagant promises to unions.

For example, in Milwaukee, the teachers union is fighting the school board to get taxpayer-funded Viagra back into their health plans. If a judge forces the school board to pay up, based on historical usage it will cost the city an astounding $786,000 per year.

Think about that.

Seven hundred and eighty-six thousand dollars—each and every year—so teachers can get paid access to the passion pill. This is how ridiculous unions have become. With the whole nation mired in a deep recession, with millions of people losing their jobs, this is the union’s priority?

But here is the real kick in the pants for taxpayers.

According to a consultant for the school board, the $786,000 could be instead used to “keep perhaps a dozen first-year teachers employed.”

Did you get that? In other words, the cost to the city for hiring a unionized rookie teacher straight out of college is $65,000 per year (when including benefits). In some school districts, teachers are paid more than $72,000 per year, not including benefits. Benefits like family health care for a family of four can cost around $22,000 per year.

And when public employees retire, they are often entitled to a salary plus benefits equal to their highest wage earned throughout their career. And employees have learned to take advantage of this, engaging in retirement spiking—by working as much overtime as possible during the final year of employment—and then collecting “juiced” pension payments for the rest of their life.

Let’s assume a private-sector employee wanted to retire and receive a $65,000 annual salary. If that person thought he or she would live for 20 years beyond retirement, assuming a generous 7 percent annual return he or she would need to plop down almost $700,000.

How many people have that kind of money at retirement? Unions have done well.

Next question: How many teachers, police, firefighters and other unionized employees are on state payrolls heading for retirement? New Jersey, for example, has 200,000 members in just its teachers union. Can you see why states are going bankrupt? Look how much money will be needed to cover all these teachers’ salaries as they retire.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been very vocal about the union parasites in his state. In a speech earlier this year he told how each and every teacher is required to pay $730 per year in mandatory dues to the union. And if teachers wants to opt out of the union, that is fine, but they still have to pay $620 per year to the union just for the privilege of opting out. The New Jersey teachers union alone collects around $130 million per year in mandatory dues. According to Christie, it is blood money used to coerce and blackmail politicians into supporting union initiatives.

In Los Angeles, the teachers union is currently trying to blackmail the Los Angeles Times into not reporting on the state of the local school system.

America’s education system is a shambles. Union gangsters care more about preserving their power than helping children.

Teachers unions have become so corrupt that it is virtually impossible to fire bad teachers. Unions won’t even allow teachers “engaging in lewd behavior,” or who make sexual advances to students, to be fired. Some unions have even become child molesters’ best friends, protecting them from losing their jobs and paychecks. Here is a snippet from the Los Angeles Times:

Every school day, Kim’s shift begins at 7:50 a.m., with 30 minutes for lunch, and ends when the bell at his old campus rings at 3:20 p.m. He is to take off all breaks, school vacations and holidays, per a district agreement with the teachers union. At no time is he to be given any work by the district or show up at school.He has never missed a paycheck.In the jargon of the school district, Kim is being “housed” while his fitness to teach is under review. A special education teacher, he was removed from Grant High School in Van Nuys and assigned to a district office in 2002 after the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs.Last week, Kim was ordered to continue this daily routine at home. District officials said the offices for “housed” employees were becoming too crowded.About 160 teachers and other staff sit idly in buildings scattered around the sprawling district, waiting for allegations of misconduct to be resolved.The housed are accused, among other things, of sexual contact with students, harassment, theft or drug possession. Nearly all are being paid. All told, they collect about $10 million in salaries per year—even as the district is contemplating widespread layoffs of teachers because of a financial shortfall. …”It’s a glaring example of how hard it is to remove someone from the classroom and how the process is tilted toward teachers,” said school board member Marlene Canter, who recently proposed—unsuccessfully—to revamp the disciplinary process.

As sad as that is, it is just one sad example of what unions have become. And teachers unions are only the beginning.

In Oakland, California, 75 percent of the city budget goes toward paying police and firefighters salaries and 10 percent goes to paying interest on city debt. California has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country, and still these unions are not happy with 75 percent of the money.

Writing for the Plain Truth magazine in April 1985, Herbert W. Armstrong highlighted the problem that unions were becoming. He noted how in the past unions had helped the common workers, preventing them from being exploited by unscrupulous employers.

However, as Herbert Armstrong wrote, the labor unions became corrupted: They “went all out to ‘get’ all possible …. A new ‘get’ economic philosophy infiltrated labor unionism. No longer was a single company a ‘team’ where all worked together against rival competition. … But now capital and management became the enemy of labor. …

“Too often a union leader said to an employee, ‘Slow down, there, buddy—or we’ll all have to work as conscientiously as you are!’”

So now America has come to the state where America can no longer afford unions. When 75 percent of city budgets go just toward the salaries of two unions, they have literally gotten just about all that there is to give.

Yet when it gets right down to it, are the unions really all that different from what goes on in the rest of America?

There are two ways of life: the give way and the get way. As Herbert Armstrong wrote: “‘Get’ seems to have got us all! The ‘get’ incentive is the root cause of all the world’s troubles and evils! The way of ‘give,’ cooperate, serve, help, share, is the basic spiritual law of our Maker! The world has been trying to beat that law—and is being beaten by it!” (ibid.).

How true.

Is Quebec Becoming the World’s First Post-Marriage Society?

Is Quebec Becoming the World’s First Post-Marriage Society?

Rene S.

Cohabitation in this province exceeds the rest of Canada combined.

Is Quebec becoming the world’s first post-marriage society? A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (cbc) radio documentary broadcast on August 9 posed this question based on a national survey on marriage and cohabitation in Canada, particularly in the province of Quebec.

The 2006 study titled “Marriage and Cohabitation: Demographic and Socioeconomic Differences in Quebec and Canada,” by sociologists Don Kerr, Melissa Moyser and Roderic Beaujot, noted that Quebec had rates of divorce, cohabitation outside of marriage and childbirth out of wedlock that were substantially higher than the rest of the country combined!

For a Canadian province that has historical roots in the French language and the traditional Roman Catholic religion, these statistics are startling, to say the least. Kerr, Moyser and Beaujot made comparisons with similar statistics for Sweden, Norway and Denmark, “that now have very low marriage rates and very high levels of cohabitation.”

The study, which documented family change in Canada, examined two important points of transition. The first came in the late 19th century, when fertility and mortality rates declined as a consequence of Canada’s entry into the modern world; this decline continued until the mid-20th century and ended with the post-World War ii baby boom.

The second transition was much more recent. The authors observed “the particularly rapid pace at which cohabitation became a popular alternative to marriage in the province of Quebec.” As an example, in 1986 approximately 12 percent of Quebec couples were living common law—the same percentage observed today in the rest of Canada. In 2001, the percentage of cohabiting couples in Quebec had reached an alarming 29.8 percent! (That figure is confirmed by a similar independent study by The Vanier Institute of the Family.) According to The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, by 2006, common-law-couple families in Quebec represented 44.4 percent of the national total, which came in at 17.9 percent.

Along with commenting on Quebec’s having the dubious distinction of the highest divorce and cohabitation rates in the entire country, the radio documentary also reported the shocking statistic that 60 percent of children in Quebec are born out of wedlock. This statistic included births to single mothers as well as cohabiting couples.

In attempting to explain the reason for the increase in cohabitation, one of the authors of the study said, “Many men and women in the event of a divorce are hesitant to marry for a second time, and subsequently, cohabitation serves as popular alternative.”

In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Herbert W. Armstrong identified France’s ancestor as Reuben, the son of Jacob. That would include those from northern France who eventually migrated to New France (Canada). Mr. Armstrong wrote, “The tribe of Reuben settled in the country that is France today. They had lost their national identity. But the French have the very characteristics of their ancestor, Reuben.”

As Jacob’s firstborn son (Genesis 29:32), Reuben would have automatically inherited the birthright upon the death of his father. However, due to sexual impropriety, Jacob “disinherited” Reuben and passed on the birthright to Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 35:22; 48:14-16). Under God’s inspiration, when Jacob (Israel) outlined the prophecies of what would happen to his sons in the end time, he singled out Reuben as “unstable as water” because he had defiled his father’s bed (Genesis 49:3-4).

It seems Reuben’s proclivity for illicit sexual relations and marriage problems can be seen even among his modern-day descendants.

To obtain God’s revealed understanding about the spiritual principles of the marriage state and the roles of the husband and wife within that relationship, read Mr. Armstrong’s booklet Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete?, available free upon request.

Europe—Clash of the Titans

Europe—Clash of the Titans

Reuters

Harbinger of a much hotter war to come, the world’s two greatest export nations join battle on German soil.

Germany and China are this world’s two greatest export economies, by far. After heading the chart as the leading global exporter in recent years, suddenly, a few months ago, Germany was eclipsed by its chief rival in international trade, China. Now China has taken its trade battle right on to German soil near the ancient city of Cologne.

There, within view of the venerable old Cologne Cathedral, China is building a pristine new factory to produce concrete pumps.

“Sany, one of China’s flagship machinery groups, is set to become the first engineering company from the Middle Kingdom to launch production in Germany, a move that presages an attack by China’s rapidly advancing industrial companies on Europe’s engineering market” (Financial Times,August 11).

This is the latest in a concerted effort by China to challenge its major competitor on its home ground—and it’s being aided and abetted by the powers-that-be in Berlin. This is the power of “the merchants” in action (Revelation 18).

Germany and China have become increasingly interdependent economies. The recent presence of China in the Mediterranean and Europe, and increasingly in Europe’s leading nation, Germany, is part of a tit-for-tat deal between the two. Even as Sany’s Cologne facility reaches its commissioning date, German industrialists are working to establish a strong foothold on Chinese soil.

Recently, the New York Times highlighted this phenomenon:

While the Moscow-Berlin political relationship gets a lot of attention, German companies have come to realize that the money to be made in Russia is overshadowed by the prospects even farther afield in China.Germany is China’s biggest trading partner by far in Europe, and the trade is increasing by leaps and bounds, especially for high-value electrical and electronic goods. Germany’s car industry, which suffered greatly during the global financial meltdown, has recovered thanks in large part to a surge in Chinese demand for the top range of German cars …. Even the big German retailing chains, like Metro, are setting up shop there.

While the Federal Republic of Germany (then commonly known as West Germany to distinguish it from then Communist East Germany) and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations in 1972, essentially it has been largely over the last half decade that Germany has cemented the closest of ties with China. Germany’s federal government website declares that “China is Germany’s most important economic partner in Asia and Germany is China’s leading trading partner in Europe. In the face of the global economic and financial crisis, stable cooperation between the two countries’ strongly export-oriented economies is of great importance.”

That site points to 2004 as the year that trade ties were cemented by mutual agreement between Germany and China: “Since the joint declaration issued by Federal Chancellor Schröder and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on 6 May, 2004, Sino-German relations are described as a ‘strategic partnership in global responsibility.’ China views Germany as its most important partner in Europe both economically and politically—its ‘gateway to Europe.’”

In other words, Germany and China see theirs as a “global responsibility” in the wake of the impact of America’s fiscal irresponsibility on the global economy. They see it as their unique responsibility as the two leading national economies of the world to fill the gap created by the demise of the U.S. global economic leadership that has prevailed since World War ii.

Yet the Sany initiative is rather unique, as it pits Chinese enterprise at the very beating heart of Germany’s export economy—the engineering and machinery core of its industrial center. The Financial Times even prefaced its story on Sany with the headline “Chinese Push Into Germany’s Heart and Soul,” noting within the article that “Sany, which makes a wide range of machinery from excavators to mobile cranes, overtook Germany’s Putzmeister as the world’s largest concrete pumps manufacturer by sales in 2006.”

So what’s going on here?

Well, it’s a unique kind of trade war being played out to the temporary mutual benefit of both Germany and China—a relationship of mutual convenience as each trades off the other in an effort to accelerate their individual efforts to dominate world trade. With the United States patently broke and just not prepared to admit it, the realists in Berlin and Beijing are forging ahead to vie for global economic dominance.

Which nation will win in this grand clash of the titans?

We can tell you who will be the winner in the short term. We can also tell you who the winner will be in the longer term—and we can tell you who wins ultimately at the conclusion of this battle of the titans. These outcomes are clearly documented in the prophecies of your Bible that are presently racing toward fulfillment through the daily events headlined in world news.

The answer lies in a comparing the prophecies of Revelation 13-17 with those of Isaiah 21, Ezekiel 38 and Revelation 21, and simply allowing the Bible to interpret itself.

But there’s a key you need to unlock these prophecies. It’s a key that was revealed through Herbert Armstrong’s writings in his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. If you read and comprehend that book (which we will provide upon request, gratis) and then read our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy with an open mind, the outcome to this clash of the world’s two greatest markets should become apparent. The outcome is as startling as it is revelatory in the most profound sense. For the outcome, believe it or not, actually impinges dramatically upon your own incredible human potential—your own immediate and long-term future!

Even as the events in Germany and China accelerate toward their current competitive trade war becoming hotter—and soon—other events involving the U.S., Britain and its dominions (Canada, Australia and New Zealand) are accelerating them toward subservience to one of these great powers. To find out the fascinating outcome to this whole dramatic scenario that will soon powerfully impact your life and that of your loved ones, add our latest booklet, He Was Right!, to your list of requests for our literature, which we remind you will be sent to you with no charge.

If you have read thus far, you owe it to yourself to check more deeply into this. You may, indeed, find the answers that you have been searching for as to what today’s global disorder is all about and where it is leading! And the answer may very well surprise you, tantalize you and open up a whole realm of untapped resources within you! Indeed, it may unlock your great, God-given human potential!

Isn’t it worth at least a look? And it’s all given to you gratis, with no follow-up, even as our Head has commanded (Matthew 10:8). The rest is up to you.

The Week in Review

PT/Getty Images

President Obama’s preferred weapon against Iran, the coming Eurotax, more missiles in Abkhazia, and watch out what you’re doing with those pills.

Middle East

During a meeting with journalists in the White House on August 4, President Barack Obama said he was leaving open a “pathway” to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue peacefully. He reiterated that the United States would accept a deal that allowed Tehran to pursue a civilian nuclear program, provided it gave assurance that it was not building a bomb through “confidence-building measures.” President Obama also proposed talks with Iran on Afghanistan, stating that Iran and the U.S. have a “mutual interest” in fighting the Taliban. Iran “should be a part of … and could be a constructive partner” in regional talks about stability in Afghanistan, he said. Obama’s statements came the day before the U.S. State Department released its annual report on global terrorism, which declared that Iran “remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism”—including the Taliban. The mass dumping on the Internet of 90,000 classified U.S. military documents last month also provided further evidence of extensive collusion between Iran, the Taliban and al Qaeda. America’s president, however, rejects the evidence exposing Iran as the nexus of Islamic terror and instead seeks to engage the Islamic theocracy as a “constructive partner.”

At the same time it is supporting the Taliban, Iran is also courting Afghanistan’s leader, President Hamid Karzai. On August 5, President Karzai met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, along with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, in Tehran. As Iran seeks to gain further leverage over U.S. interests in Afghanistan, its power in the broader Tehran-Washington relationship will grow.

On August 9, a senior aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran was ready to discuss its nuclear program with the U.S. “While we do not have any faith in the American government … Iran is ready for talks on its nuclear program,” Ali Akbar Velayati told reporters at a press conference in Damascus. He also said that he was confident the U.S. would depart the region soon. Watch for Tehran to continue to employ all the stalling tactics it can while continuing its nuclear program unabated.

In addition to causing a huge loss of life, homes and infrastructure, Pakistan’s floods are helping the Taliban make a comeback. Before the floods hit, the Pakistani government seemed to finally be making progress in the Swat Valley, which has been one of the areas most affected by the flooding. Army officials say that every bridge has been destroyed and that it will take months just to get the electricity back on. The Taliban is taking full advantage of the opportunity, aiming for the hearts and minds of the people. Islamist groups have been quick to respond, with a network of volunteers and donations from urban middle-class Pakistanis. “Given the circumstances, for [the government] to now act against groups who are seen to be doing a sterling job in terms of helping people will be absolutely suicidal,” said Pakistan expert at London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs, Farzana Shaikh. The government, on the other hand, is rapidly losing popularity.

Europe

The European Union is considering creating a new EU-wide tax, imposed on member states by Brussels. On August 9, EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski told the Financial Times Deutschland that he would unveil plans for the tax in September. “[T]he present structure of the revenue of the EU does not reflect the spirit of [EU] treaties,” said Lewandowski, adding that the current situation, where the EU is given most of its budget from member nations, “was not the intention of the founding fathers” of Europe. “If the EU had more of its own revenues, then transfers from national budgets could be reduced. I hear from several capitals, including important ones like Berlin, that they would like to reduce their contribution,” he said. The idea has already been smacked down by most of the important countries in Europe. However, according to Mary Ellen Synon of the Mail Online, these nations already gave Brussels the power to impose new taxes when they signed the Lisbon Treaty. Article 311 of the treaty states, “The Union shall provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies.” This, according to Synon, means that it is allowed to raise its own taxes. Europe is on its way to becoming a unified superstate. The proposed European-wide taxes are just a step in this direction. These taxes may not come into force this time around. But as Europe bides its time, perhaps engineering a crisis or two to get its way, it will grow in its powers over European citizens. Direct taxation is certain to be one of these powers.

The newly appointed EU ambassador to the U.S., Joao Vale de Almeida, boasted of the powers he has in interviews with the U.S. press, August 10. “I do not wish or will impose myself on the member states’ ambassadors …. Where we have a common position, I am the one leading the show. Bilateral matters are the mandate of the 27 [EU member state] ambassadors,” he said. Henry Kissinger once asked who he would call to get a hold of Europe. “In this area code, you call me,” said de Almeida. “I’m the first new type of ambassador for the European Union anywhere in the world. Our delegations now cover a wide spectrum of issues well beyond the economic dimension, trade dimension and regulatory dimension, to cover all policies in the Union, including foreign policy and security policy.” In establishing EU embassies and ambassadors, the European Union is grabbing yet more power from member states.

Asia

Russia announced on Wednesday that it had deployed an S-300 advanced missile defense system in Georgia’s Moscow-backed rebel region of Abkhazia, saying it would provide anti-aircraft defense for Abkhazia and Georgia’s other Russia-supported breakaway enclave, South Ossetia. The move signals that Russian forces are bolstering involvement in the disputed area which was at the heart of the brief 2008 Russia-Georgia war, when Russia conquered Georgian forces after five days of battle and subsequently recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent. So far, only Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru have followed Moscow’s lead in recognizing the two regions as independent. On Thursday, Georgia said Russia had taken an “extremely dangerous provocative step” in deploying the missile system, and beseeched the international community to “take decisive measures to make Russia abandon its policy of military build-up on Georgia’s occupied territories and fully comply with its international commitments.” Stratfor notes that “Although the system’s official purpose is to provide air defenses for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the air defense battery’s range entails broader significance for Georgia and for Russia’s efforts to consolidate its military position in the Caucasus. … [T]his is one component of a multi-pronged Russian effort to consolidate its military control over the Caucasus.” When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “Russia’s attack on Georgia … marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history.” Moscow’s effort to shore up defenses in Georgia’s breakaway regions provides evidence that the dangers of the new era are intensifying.

Russia, China, India and Turkey have entered into trade deals that violate U.S.-led sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas sector. The sanctions were intended to rein in Iran’s nuclear program, which Washington believes is driven by Tehran’s desire to develop nuclear weaponry. Washington and the EU hoped to intensify UN sanctions against Tehran by adding their own restrictions on companies that supply fuel to Iran. Although Iran is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, it lacks refining capacity to meet its demands and imports up to 40 percent of its petroleum. Russian oil giant lukoil and China’s state-run company Zhuhai Zhenrong have resumed sales of gasoline to Iran, and India and Turkey are also rushing into the lucrative void left by Western nations that halted their gas supply to Iran. All four countries also have opened talks or signed deals regarding investments worth billions of dollars in Iran’s gas and oil fields. Ben Rhode, an analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said that Russia, China, India and Turkey are “making it very clear they are not going to go along with the new American and European efforts to ratchet up pressure on Iran.” As the Eastern powers become stronger and more defiant, the rift between East and West will continue to broaden.

The U.S. should stay out of disputes between China and Southeast Asian nations over territories in the South China Sea, Filipino Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo said Monday. In recent months, China has become more aggressive in its claim on the entire 1.3 million square miles of the resource-rich South China Sea, which competes with claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Last month, the U.S. effectively rejected China’s claims to sovereignty over the entire sea, declaring that Washington would get more involved in the disputes to guarantee free trade and open navigation throughout the region. Many countries of Southeast Asia, led by Vietnam, made clear that they welcome such a U.S. role to counter China’s muscle. But the Philippines is not among them. In a stark deviation from historic allegiance, Manila said Washington should have no part in the territorial row. Emphasizing that negotiations should be conducted exclusively by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (asean) and China, Romulo said, “It’s asean and China. Can I make myself clear? It’s asean and China. Is that clear enough?” The new government of Benigno Aquino is striving to find a balance between appeasing China, the region’s mushrooming economic power, and simultaneously working with its time-tested ally the U.S.

Africa/Latin America

Zimbabwe began its first auction of diamonds from the Marange fields on August 11, after the diamonds were approved under the Kimberly Process. The Kimberly Process—which prevents the sale of conflict diamonds—suspended the sale of Zimbabwe’s Marange diamonds in November last year. In July, it ruled that the diamonds were conflict free and that Zimbabwe could export them. The diamonds from Marange could be worth up to $1.7 billion. On Wednesday, $72 million of these diamonds were up for sale. The Kimberly Process’s decision to approve the diamond sale was controversial, as there are still many accusations of violence, rape and slavery in and around the Marange field.

A car bomb outside a radio station in Bogota, Colombia, exploded, injuring nine people, on August 12. It was the first attack since Juan Manuel Santos took over the presidency on August 7. “This is a terrorist attack,” said Santos. “I believe this is a message, this is not gratuitous.” After former President Alvaro Uribe’s war on the farc terrorist group, the leftist militia is at its lowest ebb in decades. However, attacks like this show that Colombia is still vulnerable.

Anglo-America

The Associated Press reported Thursday that the $700 billion bailout program launched by the federal government benefited other countries more than those countries’ rescue packages benefited the United States. Billions of dollars in taxpayer funds ultimately deposited themselves in big French and German banks, a Congress watchdog report said. The report alleges that the government did not gather any data about where the money would go.

Jobless claims rose more than expected last week, a sign of more firings and a slower economy, Bloomberg reported. Initial jobless claims rose by 2,000 to a total of 484,000, the highest level in six months. Reacting to the news, investors grew gun-shy and U.S. stock prices fell for the third straight day.

The AP also reported on Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration (faa) is vulnerable to cyberattack. According to the Department of Transportation inspector general, the faa’s measures to upgrade its computer systems have been only partially successful. While some air traffic control facilities have been retrofitted with better networks, the majority have not, the inspector general said. Some air traffic control support systems have been breached in the past. The Trumpet has often warned of America’s strategically vulnerable overreliance on technology as being its Achilles heel.

The Guardian reports that health workers accidentally killed three people in England and Wales in less than a year using strong painkillers. The wrong doses also caused severe harm to two other patients, and were some of more than 1,300 mistakes using pain drugs.