Occupy Protesters Gear Up for Spring Training

Occupy Protesters Gear Up for Spring Training

Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

With the arrival of spring, activists across the nation are getting ready to emerge from their winter of hibernation.

As a wave of warmer weather sweeps across America, Occupy protests are again popping up in cities across the nation. Just this past week, several hundred protesters participated in a Saturday march through downtown Chicago, the National Park Service issued a cleanup notice to the Occupy DC groups in McPherson Square, and 12 activists were arrested for blocking traffic in Minneapolis.

A large subset of this up-till-now leaderless movement is even seizing the opportunity to form a more unified political front. This front, dubbed 99 Percent Spring, aims to recruit 100,000 activists and will be holding spring training sessions in all 50 states from April 9 to 15 on how to do such things as resist arrest and organize protests.

The initiative includes support from such left-wing social organizations as MoveOn.org, afl-cio, Greenpeace, the Working Families Party, 350.org, Campaign for America’s Future, United Students Against Sweatshops, CodePink, Global Exchange and Color of Change.

The primary leader of the 99 Percent Spring movement is currently Anthony Kapel “Van” Jones—the former special adviser on green jobs to the Obama administration. Jones resigned his post as special adviser in 2009 when Republican lawmakers called for his ouster over revelations about his past association with the radical Marxist group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (storm).

Since his resignation, Jones has worked with organizations like MoveOn.org to launch the Rebuild the Dream campaign, which is intended to counter the Tea Party movement and rebuild America based upon the campaign promises of Barack Obama.

In comments made to the media last month, Jones claimed that the only way to change America for the better was to first reelect Obama to the presidency and then to establish a grassroots social movement capable of pushing the government into making the demanded changes. “I think you need two sources of power to make change, and not just one. I think you need a head of state that’s willing to be moved, and a movement to do the moving,” Jones said.

As economic tensions build and the presidential campaign season gets under way, we can expect massive protests and civil disobedience rallies to become a common occurrence in major cities across the United States. If the precedent set by the Occupy Oakland protests holds true, these civil disobedience rallies may quickly descend from being peaceful protests to violent riots.

Last January, billionaire investor George Soros warned of all-out class warfare as the economy deteriorates and protesting becomes more common. “Yes, yes, yes,” Soros told the Daily Beast on the subject of whether “riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable.” Soros went on to claim that the solution to such violent rioting was for President Obama to increase taxes on the rich in an attempt to solve social inequality.

While Soros is right about the inevitability of rioting in the streets, his solution would only likely further escalate class tensions. Taking money from those who own businesses and giving it those who are threatening to shut them down is not a viable solution to American joblessness.

As Occupy Protests and 99 Percent Spring Rallies proliferate across the nation, expect violent rioting to eventually engulf cities across America. The political establishment is gearing up for a presidential election campaign based on partisan division, class warfare and outright racism. The Occupy protesters are likely to become a major component of this campaign. For further information, read Philip Nice’s article “Blood in the Streets” and Stephen Flurry’s editorial “Will ‘Trayvon Martin’ Ignite Race Wars?

Edmund Stoiber Holds Another Private Audience With Pope

Edmund Stoiber Holds Another Private Audience With Pope

Bernd Weissbrod/AFP/Getty Images

Former prime minister of Bavaria Edmund Stoiber met with Pope Benedict xvi April 9 at the pope’s summer home in Castel Gandolfo.

While heads of state may have to settle with only a brief meeting with the pope, this apparent political has-been and EU bureaucrat meets regularly with the pope. The two know each other from their time working at the University of Regensburg.

This time, Stoiber was there to present Benedict with a book in which several famous people, mainly from Bavaria, share their thoughts on the pope.

But the meeting was more than a book presentation. Stoiber’s spokesman said the main discussion revolved around the pope’s visit to Latin America and the state of the European Union.

Stoiber and Benedict are two men the Trumpet has closely watched for several years. Benedict has made it no secret that he wants to revive Catholicism’s influence in Europe, while Stoiber has made it quite clear he is a staunch supporter of the Vatican. Stoiber currently has no portfolio in the German government, although he serves as the anti-bureaucracy chairman within the European Commission. Yet he is one of only a few men to be granted an extended private audience with the most powerful man in the world’s largest single religion.

Stoiber could still prove to be a useful ally for the Vatican, as the pope strives to turn Europe back to its Catholic roots.

The Last Bubble

The Last Bubble

iStockphoto

A massive bubble is inflating, and when it pops, the world will need a whole new economic system.

There is a new and dangerous bubble hanging over the economy. It is far bigger than the dot-com bubble. It absolutely dwarfs the housing bubble. And it is far more dangerous than the debt bubble that ignited the Great Depression.

This bubble will blow the 2008-2009 crisis out of the water, economist Peter Schiff recently said. Schiff is famous for correctly predicting the housing bubble.

But unlike houses, or Internet stocks, this bubble is less obvious at first—even if the dangers are much more dramatic. Millions of Americans are unknowingly living it each day.

Record low mortgage rates: Thank the bubble. Current low tax environment: Thank the bubble. Somewhat functioning government: Thank the bubble. Only 8.2 percent unemployment—thank the bubble. In fact, this bubble is probably the only thing making possible your current standard of living (as high or low as it may be).

But know this: Standards of living are soon going to change all across America—and for the worse.

Analyst Marc Faber agrees that life in America is about to massively change. Known as Dr. Doom for his pessimistic outlook for the country, his latest forecast warned that it is inevitable that “somewhere down the line we will have massive wealth destruction that usually happens either through very high inflation or through social unrest or through war or credit market collapse.”

“Maybe all of it will happen.” Faber got the housing bubble right too.

What is this looming bubble that so worries sane market observers? Here is a hint. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the Federal Reserve “purchased a stunning 61 percent of the total net treasury issuance” in 2011.

What this means is that 61 percent of the money the federal government “borrowed” to cover its spending did not come from citizens, big banks, or even our Chinese and Japanese creditors. It was money that did not even exist prior to the government spending it.

This is a huge, startling, and ominous development. The government needed money, so the Federal Reserve simply created it out of thin air and debited government bank accounts. Without this conjured money, the government can’t pay its bills. If you or I did what the Federal Reserve is doing, it would be called counterfeiting and we would be thrown in jail. The Fed does it and it is simply called “quantitative easing.” Either way, it is a form of stealing.

But it is actually worse than that.

According to the Journal, the Federal Reserve isn’t just subsidizing U.S. government borrowing and spending, but it is more dangerously masking the “rapidly widening gap between [the] Treasury’s need to borrow and a more limited willingness among market participants to supply [the] Treasury with credit.”

People are beginning to shun American debt!

In 2008, foreign nations lent America the equivalent of 6 percent of America’s gross domestic product. That number plunged to 1.9 percent in 2011. Similarly, private sector lending to America has fallen from 6 percent to 0.9 percent.

It is no wonder that at the end of March, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa announced plans to create a brics bank to compete with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. These nations account for approximately 30 percent of the global economy. The purpose of the bank is to facilitate trade between the five nations in their own currencies, as opposed to the U.S. dollar. It is a step toward breaking their dependence on the dollar.

Perhaps this is why Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has refused to rule out more money printing even though he says the economy is out of recession. If the Fed were to stop printing money to “lend” to the government, the government might not be able to find enough willing lenders, at anywhere near acceptable borrowing costs, to finance its deficits.

The Fed is worried that if it stops printing money, the treasury market will melt down. If America can’t find enough lenders, interest rates will skyrocket. And the economy will seize up. If rates just return to the 5 percent range (as they were in 2007), almost half of all the money the government collects in taxes would go to paying just interest on the debt. Nobody even contemplates what will happen if rates return to the levels seen during the 1980s—because total financial meltdown would occur before they even got there. But interest rates have been there before—so what is stopping them from returning again?

This is what Schiff and Faber are worried about: The explosion of the biggest bubble in the history of the world—the U.S. government debt bubble.

And the resulting end of the financial system as we know it.

Consider America’s situation. It has never been more dependent on financial markets to pay its bills. Yet lenders are coming up short.

Since the 2008 crisis, America’s national debt has increased by $5.6 trillion. To put that into context, according to analyst Jim Quinn, it took all the years from 1789 until 2000 to accumulate the first $5.6 trillion of government debt.

Prior to the crisis, America’s yearly deficits never exceeded 4 percent of gdp. Now they exceed 9 percent. In the eight years preceding 2008, the deficits averaged $190 billion, according to Quinn. Since 2008, they have averaged $1.3 trillion.

And the debt is piling up. At current spending rates, America’s official debt will hit $20 trillion by 2015. That’s if things go well. The official debt doesn’t include the $60 trillion or so the government has already promised but not funded to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

America’s debt reckoning may be looming.

Analyst Grant Williams notes that in 2012, approximately $3 trillion, or 30 percent of U.S. debt, comes due. And America doesn’t have the money. He says it will be “the biggest refinancing in U.S. history.” But it may also be the beginnings of the end of the government debt bubble.

Either way, with government debt levels inflating rapidly, the risk to America’s economy is expanding. Each year America has to not only find more money to borrow, it also has to convince its lenders to relend the money they have already lent.

The government debt bubble is the single most important economic issue facing America today. It is about to affect virtually every aspect of your life, because America’s economic system is a debt-based system. When the debt bubble explodes, it will feel like a hydrogen bomb just went off in the economy. It will be the last bubble because it will wipe out everything. The world will need a whole new economic system.

Get prepared to greatly reduce your standard of living. You can do it on your own now while it is relatively easy, or it can be forced upon you when the government debt bubble explodes.

Israel, Italy Strengthen Ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted his Italian counterpart in central Israel on Sunday. Netanyahu discussed Iran’s nuclear program and the Middle East peace process with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at a meeting in Caesarea.

“We have just completed very fruitful discussions and I’m very glad to see you Prime Minister Monti in Israel, and I look forward to our bilateral governmental meeting,” said Netanyahu said at a joint press conference.

Many in the international community, including Israel, fear Iran will use its ability to make nuclear fuel to eventually develop atomic weapons. Iran claims it only wants to build reactors for civilian energy and medical research.

Regarding the Middle East peace process, Monti said that Italy supports giving the Palestinians their own sovereign state.

The Trumpet has long forecast that Iran’s bid for hegemony in the Middle East will ultimately be crushed by a European power. The European Union took a step in this direction in January when it imposed tough new economic sanctions against Iran. Rome has come out in support of these sanctions, which will come into effect in the coming months.

Just as significant is a growing relationship between Israel and Europe. With the U.S. losing influence in world affairs, Israel is being forced to look for a new protector. The Trumpet believes this protector will be the same European power that will eventually put a violent halt to Iran’s nuclear program. Continue to watch for Europe to take a stronger stand against Iran, and for Europe to make Israel its dependent.

Why Did the City of Tel Aviv Honor Herbert W. Armstrong?

Why Did the City of Tel Aviv Honor Herbert W. Armstrong?

Trumpet

Minister of Tourism Moshe Kol praised Mr. Armstrong’s ‘iron bridge’ with Israel.

At a November 1974 banquet honoring the international ambassador for world peace without portfolio, city officials, parliamentarians, ambassadors, diplomats and national journalists recounted bridge building of goodwill led by Herbert W. Armstrong.

In 1968 Belgium’s King Leopold and Japan’s Prince Mikasa met with this modern-day patriarch of peace and understanding among all peoples. That same year, Moshe Kol, one of the original signers of the 1948 Israeli declaration of independence, spoke before parliamentarians at the Knesset proposing the building of “an iron bridge” connecting Hebrew University and Ambassador College.

Following the introductions to Belgium and Japanese royalty, Israeli President Zalman Shazar was the very first head of state to receive Mr. Armstrong. During their historic meeting, Mr. Armstrong “made the promise on that occasion that there would be an iron bridge established” (Worldwide News, Dec. 23, 1974).

With this in mind, as minister of tourism, Mr. Kol introduced the evening by calling Mr. Armstrong “an outstanding personality, with wonderful connections all over the world.” He noted Mr. Armstrong’s role as founder and chancellor of Ambassador College. To the banquet guests he cited the prominent twin travels of U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attempting to quell national tensions and those of Mr. Armstrong “building bridges of goodwill” internationally in the spirit of humanitarianism, proclaiming coming conditions of world peace.

As evidence, he highlighted the close relationship between the guest of honor and Jerusalem excavations, directed by Prof. Benjamin Mazar, in the Jewish Quarter led by Professor Avigad, and near Hadera in consort with Japanese professors of archeology.

Associate activities with the International Cultural Center for Youth in Jerusalem, Beit David, located in Jerusalem’s Old City, and educational projects bringing young people together from Christian, Muslim, Arab, Armenian and Jewish backgrounds, were also championed by the minister as he additionally recognized the honored guests and Mr. Armstrong’s benevolence in their countries, hastening to add that his “involvement, I would say, in Israel is maybe more than in other countries” (ibid).

These recognitions were even more meaningful in light of the absence of Mr. Armstrong, who had become ill moments before the event began. That morning, President Ephraim Katzir received Mr. Armstrong, and in the afternoon he toured excavations of the archeological projects in Jerusalem, returning to his hotel in Tel Aviv just prior to the start of the banquet.

Mr. Kol told the distinguished audience that “we decided, because we heard about this only 6 o’clock that he is in bed, that we will not cancel the evening, but because we came here to honor him and his work and everything, what he is doing here, and we will send him from here greetings for a speedy recovery to continue his wonderful work in the world, in our region, and in Israel” (ibid).

In continuation of that honored legacy, Gerald Flurry, founder and chancellor of Herbert W. Armstrong College as well as chairman of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, has worked to continue the “iron bridge” between these humanitarian institutions and counterparts in Israel. He has traveled extensively throughout the country writing for the Trumpet and recording episodes for the Key of David program.

Currently, the foundation supports various activities in Israel such as maintaining the Liberty Bell Park in the center of Jerusalem, which was a special project originally undertaken by famed Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek and Mr. Armstrong. Additionally, Mr. Armstrong led the foundation in strengthening bonds with the city’s mayor, officials of government, education, music, sports, media, archaeology, and those engaged in humanitarian efforts. For more about this historic collaboration, request a free copy of A Warm Friend of Israel, published by Mr. Flurry. It chronicles the long and storied friendship between the leaders and citizens of Israel and Mr. Armstrong.

Additionally, this summer Mr. Flurry, founder and chancellor of Herbert W. Armstrong College, will again support the “iron bridge” by providing students to assist crucial and historic archeological endeavors in Israel.

The revival of this partnership through the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation has most notably been evidenced by the exclusive premier exhibit at Armstrong Auditorium of historic finds from the palace of King David, discovered by acclaimed Israeli archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, granddaughter of Prof. Benjamin Mazar. Evidence of the legacy of Professor Mazar’s long friendship and cooperation with Mr. Armstrong and aicf is now being perpetuated via the connection between Dr. Eilat Mazar and the foundation. The unique world premiere display of the seals of the ancient Prophet Jeremiah’s captors, as recounted in Jeremiah 38, at Armstrong Auditorium attests to this. Some of the most significant artifacts ever discovered in Jerusalem remain on display through October 16 this year in Armstrong Auditorium, America’s newest and finest performing arts facility. For supporters of the perpetuation of the legacy of the work of Mr. Armstrong, this is an exhibit you are encouraged to visit in person.

Julian Assange and The World Tomorrow

Julian Assange and The World Tomorrow

Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

The title of the television program that Julian Assange is launching next week, The World Tomorrow, was for over 50 years the banner for a program of far different origins.

Back in 1934, a fledgling radio program was launched by Herbert W. Armstrong. It was, as Mr. Armstrong declared at the time, launched with the very humblest of beginnings. Its goal was to educate humankind in the incredible future that the Creator had promised would soon embrace this globe.

Eight years after that program launched, it began airing over radio in Los Angeles under a new title. In Volume 2 of his autobiography, Mr. Armstrong explained that “since in the world’s language the message of the true gospel—the Kingdom of God—is about tomorrow’s world, I adopted the broadcast name The World Tomorrow!”

That program was to develop over the ensuing half century into a radio and television program of unprecedented international reach. Its creator, Herbert W. Armstrong, was to become renowned and much loved by many a world leader in the latter part of the 20th century.

Following his death in his 94th year on Jan. 16, 1986, clandestine forces within the church that he had founded quickly moved to destroy its globe-girdling work and its positive contributions to both world peace and loving relations between all peoples that it endorsed. Within four years of his death, the parent enterprise, the Worldwide Church of God (wcg), bore no real resemblance to that which Mr. Armstrong had so painstakingly and lovingly built up since its inception in 1931.

The lot of continuing on with the legacy of Herbert Armstrong’s work fell to two men—Gerald Flurry and his assistant, John Amos. Today, 22 years after its own humble beginnings, the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg) thrives, leading a worldwide work of increasing proportions, sponsoring its own Key of David television program, its own elementary and high schools—Imperial Academy—its own youth development program and its own tertiary college—Herbert W. Armstrong College. In addition, the church’s flagship magazine, the Philadelphia Trumpet, serves over a million readers worldwide, with the Trumpet website garnering an increasing following monthly. Further, the pcg-sponsored Key of David television program logs an increasing audience.

One of the most impactful of the church’s outreach programs is that of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation. From premises becoming known as the jewel of the Midwest—Armstrong Auditorium in Edmond, Oklahoma—the foundation sponsors concerts by internationally renowned artists in a world-class concert series.

Currently the foundation is featuring a unique premiere exhibition of archaeological findings from digs at Jerusalem’s City of David site, showcasing finds by internationally renowned archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar. Around 20 students and alumni of Herbert W. Armstrong College will, this summer, engage in further excavations at Jerusalem’s Solomonic Wall under Dr. Mazar’s direction. This is an archeological project of international significance.

In 1997, the stance taken by Gerald Flurry and the pcg to confront the wcg in court for possession of the most important of Herbert Armstrong’s published works ended six years later with the pcg gaining ownership of those works. This is the literary foundation upon which the Philadelphia Church of God and its various institutions thrive to this day.

Consistent with Herbert Armstrong’s biblical approach (Matthew 10:8), all publications produced by the pcg are given to recipients—distributed only upon their request—at no charge, with no obligation and no follow-up. The pcg is a non-proselytizing church. All who become affiliated with the church do so voluntarily.

Running against the tide in the general community, the pcg teaches the biblical laws on marriage and the family. The result is a church community producing families with no confusion on gender, race, marital or family roles. Those who visit our campus often comment on the brightness and glowing happiness expressed by the students and church members they encounter. What they see is a church community striving to express the love of God among their fellow human beings, striving to work for peace among all nations and peoples.

The fruits of this way of life, completely biblically based, are most tangibly positive and inspiring. That way of life is simply designed by its Creator to develop and enhance the prospects of all who embrace it in exploiting their full, incredible, God-given potential.

This is the legacy, these are the richly positive and uplifting fruits, of Herbert W. Armstrong and his World Tomorrow program. They are the fruits of a people who engage willingly in a work that seeks to freely give of the blessings that they have received. It’s a work of building up—not tearing down—the prospects of success of every human being with whom it comes in contact.

It will be interesting to note, by comparison, the degree to which the fruits of Julian Assange’s own World Tomorrow program will either contribute to or diminish from the enriching of the human experience.