Germany Calls for New EU Treaty

Germany Calls for New EU Treaty

EdStock/iStockphoto

Chancellor Merkel wants EU leaders to hold a convention to forge a new treaty that binds Europe yet closer together.

Germany wants the European Union to hold a convention to create a new treaty to tie Europe closer together by the end of the year, Spiegel Online reported August 25. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s EU policy adviser Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut has discussed the idea with “high-level EU officials,” Spiegel wrote.

Merkel would like the treaty to change the EU into a political union, with the power to intervene in the taxation and spending policies of individual nations. For example, Germany wants the European Court of Justice to be able to punish nations who borrow too much money.

The German desire for a new treaty is not new, but other EU nations have consistently rejected it. Even the majority of the so-called “Berlin Group,” the 10 foreign ministers who meet to plan closer integration, don’t want it.

But Germany does, so it will probably happen.

Chancellor Merkel’s unwavering view is that if other nations are going to share Germany credit, then they must share responsibility. Almost all proposed solutions to the eurozone crisis involve Germany becoming responsible for paying back the debts of other nations, if those nations get into financial difficulty. That is a big commitment. Merkel won’t accept that commitment without a set of rules that gives Germany the power to intervene in a nation’s taxation and spending to prevent it abusing the German credit card.

Of course this isn’t popular outside Germany. But it is the price Germany demands for fixing the euro crisis.

Some nations may decide they’d rather quit the euro than submit. Spiegel says that Poland believes it’s not possible to get all 27 EU nations to agree to Germany’s new treaty.

It’s right. Britain, for example, refused to go along with the latest push toward integration last December. There’s no way it will agree to this.

But it doesn’t seem politically possible for Germany to save Europe without this kind of treaty. Germany’s people and parliament won’t allow it. Instead, watch for this treaty to move forward with a smaller group of nations that will agree to Germany’s conditions.

The Trumpet has long forecast that the EU would lead to the creation of a smaller group of tightly knit countries—a 10-nation superstate.

A small group of states with a common or closely coordinated taxation and spending policy is also the only solution to the eurozone crisis. Europe is being pushed along the path that the Trumpet forecast years ago.

What’s Mohammed Morsi Doing in China?

What’s Mohammed Morsi Doing in China?

Getty Images

Egypt may be looking to sever ties with America and join the Iran-China axis.

Thomas Friedman, the eminent liberal icon, lamented in the New York Times Tuesday that he finds it “very disturbing” that Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s new president, is visiting Iran this week. Apparently, Friedman worries that Morsi’s visit is a sign of greater cooperation between Egypt and Iran, and will give legitimacy to Ahmadinejad’s brutal, undemocratic regime.

“This does not augur well for Morsi’s presidency. … He should be ashamed of himself,” Friedman lashed out.

Those are strong, accurate words. They’re also ironic. If you recall, when the Arab Spring rolled though Cairo in early 2011, Mr. Friedman and the New York Times were among the throngs cheering wildly as Hosni Mubarak was tossed from power and “democracy” was established. At the time, neither Friedman nor his counterparts in Washington and in the mainstream media expressed much concern over the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood was standing by, ready to step into the inevitable vacuum created by Mubarak’s ouster.

In his column, Friedman also expressed concern about another visit Egypt’s president made this week. “Morsi’s first big trip shouldn’t have been to just China and Iran,” he wrote. “It should have been all across Europe and Asia to reassure investors and tourists that Egypt is open for business again—and maybe on to Silicon Valley ….” He’s right. It would have been reassuring if Morsi headed to Europe, or to Western-friendly states in Asia. Instead, Egypt’s president opted to visit China, then Iran.

We know why Egypt’s president went to Iran.

The question is, why did he also visit China?

Morsi landed in Beijing on Tuesday, and was warmly welcomed by Chinese President Hu Jintao. For two days, the president and his 80-person entourage of Egyptian business leaders and politicians discussed investment projects with some 200 Chinese counterparts. (Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the China Development Bank had extended a $200 million line of credit to the National Bank of Egypt.) It’s important to note that this was Morsi’s first state visit outside the Middle East and Africa since he became president. Despite the way it appears, this was not a routine state visit.

China is the nation world leaders visit when they want to oppose or undermine America!

Perhaps this is over-simplifying it a little, but the supreme goal of China’s foreign policy, at least for now, is to oppose and undermine U.S. global power and influence. Be it China’s ongoing naval and military expansion, its regional spats over territorial acquisitions, its behavior in international organizations like the World Trade Organization, or its support of anti-American states like Venezuela and North Korea, Beijing exploits every opportunity to counter America. More than any other reason, this is why China remains a staunch ally of Iran.

The fact that Morsi chose to visit China indicates that Egypt may be looking to join this Iran-China axis!

Last Friday, David Schenker and Christina Lin wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times in which they warned that “if Morsi gets his way, improved bilateral ties to Beijing will embolden, if not enable, Cairo to downgrade Egypt’s ties to Washington.” That’s worth thinking about. For more than 30 years, Egypt has relied chiefly on America for financial, political and military support. Cairo has received tens of billions of dollars in food, merchandise and military hardware. This has given America great leverage. In order to receive this vital aid, Cairo has basically had to endorse, even if unwillingly, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa. For more than three decades, as long as Washington held the purse strings, it was virtually impossible for Cairo to engage in any actions overtly hostile to U.S. foreign policy.

That will change if Egypt develops a significant partnership with China. If Morsi can decouple Egypt from Washington, there will be nothing to hold him back from making decisions that harm American foreign policy.

Here’s something else to consider. The fact that Morsi is cultivating a friendship with China might indicate that he’s about to make some pretty radical changes to Egypt’s foreign policy. These could include severing or rewriting Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, forming some sort of formal political or trade agreement with Iran, or perhaps exploiting the Suez Canal as leverage over the U.S. or Europe. These moves will be controversial and unpopular, and could easily provoke some heated responses from the international community.

With China’s support, Egypt is far likelier to withstand an inevitable backlash.

From China’s perspective, Morsi’s outstretched hand is a no-brainer. Egypt is the largest Arab country in the Middle East. It has massive stockpiles of U.S. military hardware. And Cairo isn’t one to harp on about respecting human rights, foreign currency manipulation, or trade equality. Beyond all that, a partnership with Egypt comes with enormous benefits for China’s maritime ambitions.

Egypt controls the Suez Canal, one of the most important sea lanes in the world. The Suez is more than 120 miles long, and connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, thus linking Europe with East Africa and Asia. Roughly 8 percent of global seaborne trade travels on this maritime highway. It’s also a vital choke point for energy. Each day, 2 to 3 million barrels of oil and fuel products pass through the canal and the Suez-Mediterranean Pipeline, which crosses Egypt. (About two thirds of that oil is headed toward Europe.)

For China, or any global power, developing a healthy relationship with the government that controls the Suez is a strategic necessity!

You need to continue watching Mohammed Morsi and Egypt. Morsi’s visits this week with the leaders of both China and Iran are telling and deeply alarming. China has been instrumental in helping Iran survive every U.S.-led effort to punish the nation for its nuclear weapons program. (Russia has supported Iran too, and it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if that’s Morsi’s next stop.) The fact Morsi also seeks a partnership with Beijing probably indicates that he’s about to make some decisions that will severely upset, perhaps even harm, the U.S., Europe and Israel.

Is Hurricane Isaac a Warning From God?

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

307 Gang Members Arrested in Chicago

Police in Chicago arrested more than 300 members of violent gangs last week.

At a press conference on Sunday, police superintendent Garry McCarthy said that Chicago police across 10 districts carried out a joint operation from Thursday to Saturday.

The sting targeted areas notorious for violent crimes and illegal drug activities. Police confiscated more than 100 pistols, rifles and submachine guns. The department captured a total of 4,222 guns last year, leading all American cities.

Chicago’s active 59 gangs have split into 600 sects, which attack residents and also fight against each other. Police say that fighting over drug markets and revenge murders are the main reason for the city’s high crime rate. Eighty percent of serious violent crimes in Chicago are related to its gangs.

Chicago is beginning to be choked by its deep-rooted criminal activity. This is a sign of things to come for many more American cities. Read “The Chicago Façade” to learn more. Also read Chapter Four of Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet to learn the “more sure word of prophecy” about America’s increasingly violent cities.

Teen Time With Dad Critically Important

Teen Time With Dad Critically Important

kali9/iStockphoto

It is often assumed that teens prefer to spend time with their friends, rather than their parents. A new study just released from Penn State University shows this is not necessarily the case.

Yes, teens want to spend time with friends. Yes, teens want their own space. Yes, teens want more independence. Yet, teens do not always just want to spend time with their friends.

Researchers have discovered that teens want to spend private time with their parents, and that time can actually increase during these critical developmental years.

Psychcentral.com reported on August 22 that Susan McHale, a professor of human development at Penn State University and co-author of the study, said, “The stereotype that teenagers spend all their time holed up in their rooms or hanging out with friends is indeed just a stereotype.”

McHale also said, “Our research shows that, well into the adolescent years, teens continue to spend time with their parents and that this shared time, especially shared time with fathers, has important implications for adolescents’ psychological and social adjustment” (emphasis added). The study is published in the August issue of Child Development.

HealthDay News also reported that the purpose of the study was to discover how time spent with parents affected teens’ self-esteem and sense of social competence with their peers.

Researchers created a study in which they invited families in 16 school districts in Central Pennsylvania to participate. Two hundred white, middle- and working-class families living in small cities, towns and rural communities accepted the invitation. The study lasted for seven years.

On five occasions over the seven years, the research team conducted home and telephone interviews with the father, mother, teenager and younger sibling in each family. At the start of the study, the oldest child was about 11 years old, the second-oldest was about 8.

During the home interview, the children reported on their social skills with peers and their self-esteem. After each home visit, the researchers also conducted a series of seven nightly phone interviews, asking the teens about their activities during the day of the call, including who participated in the activities with them.

McHale said, “Talking to the kids on the phone about what they did that day really gives you insight into the reality of everyday life for them. Rather than getting generalized or processed information, it’s right when things have been happening and in the children’s own words, and it’s harder for them to make mistakes or forget.”

One conclusion drawn from the study shows that teen time with parents and friends together declines as the teen grows older. However, teen private time with the parent often increases as the child grows into the late teen years.

The study authors were surprised to discover that when fathers spent more time alone with their teenagers, the kids reported that they felt better about themselves. “Something about the father’s role in the family seemed to boost self-esteem among the teenagers in the study,” McHale said.

Researchers also recognized that one of the significant ingredients that differentiated one family from another was how much time the father was around and involved with the family.

This study flies in the face of previous studies that concluded the role of the father was obsolete. Be sure to read online or download Gerald Flurry’s booklet Conspiracy Against Fatherhood. This booklet emphasizes the need for strong, loving fathers.

The New York Times’ Most Idiotic Attack on Men Ever

The New York Times’ Most Idiotic Attack on Men Ever

Trumpet/istockphoto

What do intellectuals have against men?

Back in June 1999, American Psychologist printed “Deconstruction of the Essential Father,” asserting that kids don’t need a dad. The implication was that children stand just as good a chance of growing up healthy and well-adjusted if raised by one parent, or unmarried parents, or homosexuals, as if raised by their own biological dad and mom in a happy marriage.

Now, the New York Times has taken the argument a step further. It says men are totally unnecessary.

Men, Who Needs Them?” asks Greg Hampikian, a professor of biology at Boise State University.

Men are becoming “less relevant to both reproduction and parenting,” he asserts. How so? From a biological perspective, “women are both necessary and sufficient for reproduction, and men are neither.”

Did you know that men are not even necessary for reproduction? One would think that even artificial insemination requires a man at some stage, but the professor says no: A recent genetic experiment apparently proved that “the female component of sexual reproduction, the egg cell, cannot be manufactured, but the male can.”

Hail scientific progress.

The Times article states that even those who reproduce by more archaic methods need to understand just how insignificant the male contribution really is. When you developed in your mother’s womb, you received literally everything from Mom. The only thing contributed by the man who impregnated her was dna, which is “infinitesimally small … less than one millionth of your mass.”

But Professor Hampikian isn’t finished. He reduces the role of men not merely to our raw biological contribution to human reproduction, but even less: the weight of that contribution—in trillionths of grams. “[Y]our father’s 3.3 picograms of dna comes out to less than one pound of male contribution since the beginning of Homo sapiens 107 billion babies ago.”

Males’ combined contribution to humankind throughout history hasn’t even amounted one whole pound! Who needs them?

Okay, well, maybe dads work to provide for their kids, read to them, help with homework, play catch, go camping, teach responsibility, give them a sense of values, protect them from dangers in society, help them toughen up and face adulthood—not to mention helping moms shoulder the burdens of parenthood through the years. But what does all that amount to, when you consider that, biologically speaking, they each contributed a measly three picograms of dna?

Only an intellectual could find cosmic wisdom in such niggling numbers. These are the kinds of dead-ends that human reasoning can lead to when we put blinders on and view everything in crudely material terms.

“If a woman wants to have a baby without a man, she just needs to secure sperm (fresh or frozen) from a donor (living or dead). The only technology the self-impregnating woman needs is a straw or turkey baster,” Professor Hampikian pontificates. “If all the men on Earth died tonight, the species could continue on frozen sperm. If the women disappear, it’s extinction.”

There’s more: “Ultimately the question is, does ‘mankind’ really need men? With human cloning technology just around the corner and enough frozen sperm in the world to already populate many generations, perhaps we should perform a cost-benefit analysis.”

It is truly a bizarre fantasy: a world populated entirely by women inseminating themselves with frozen and manufactured spermatozoa. The only drawback to Dr. Hampikian’s utopia, presumably, is that approximately half of the babies produced this way would be little boys. Little boys fated to grow up in a female-dominated world, bereft of purpose, their one contribution to society—their seed—practically nullified by science.

Really, what are we to make of this report? What does the Times mean by publishing it—except to fuel the already spectacularly successful effort to undermine traditional family?

“With expanding reproductive choices, we can expect to see more women choose to reproduce without men entirely,” the article says. A sad truth? Not as Professor Hampikian sees it. “Fortunately, the data for children raised by only females is encouraging. As the Princeton sociologist Sara S. McLanahan has shown, poverty is what hurts children, not the number or gender of parents.” Thus, in a single scholarly flourish, men are erased from the family altogether.

Trouble is, it’s a big lie. Studies that aren’t deliberately trying to prove the superfluity of men have shown time and again that fatherlessness hurts children. It is the number one predictor for a whole range of pathologies. Kids who grow up without fathers are far likelier to fail at school, commit violent crime, use drugs, get pregnant as teens, run away, and commit suicide. Furthermore, many more studies show that fathers fill a unique and special place in children’s lives. Kids tend to draw on Dad in particular to learn duty and responsibility, to build a personal drive for achievement, to gain emotional balance and stability, to grow in assertiveness and independence, to develop a sense of judgment, justice and fairness. Read “Teen Time With Dad Critically Important” on today’s front page.

The fact that there are women who manage to rear well-adjusted, healthy children by themselves is a credit to them—they’re doing a two-person job alone—but it can hardly be taken as proof that men are expendable.

It would be one thing if this were some dabbler venting on his personal blog. But this is a PhD who teaches biology in a public university, who is regularly consulted and published in sources like Scientific American, USA Today, Datelinenbc, npr and cnn, writing for the New York Times.

The reduction of child rearing to mere biology is fantastically stupid. The thinking behind this article could be easily dismissed—I’m sure most people would consider it extreme and ridiculous—except that, in truth, it is only a fringe version of what has become quite mainstream thinking about fathers.

Our culture simply has no clue what a man’s purpose is in society and within the family.

The problem today is hardly that men are overestimating their value to their families—it’s that too many are neglecting it. Too many think of themselves as little more than sperm donors, while they shirk their responsibilities as providers, protectors, educators, disciplinarians, leaders.

God created us male and female for a reason. It wasn’t an experiment or an accident. In His Word He explains why a man is so essential to the well-being of children and family. He intends a man to fill a specific role that resonates with profound spiritual meaning. If you want to know more, read “Fatherhood 101.” As Herbert Armstrong explains in Chapter Four of The Missing Dimension in Sex, even the process of human reproduction—including the man’s indispensable part—portray awesome spiritual realities that actually illuminate the gospel!

Intellectuals, having rejected that revealed knowledge, are left adrift in their own inexhaustible reasoning. The harder they think, the more they work themselves into ridiculous intellectual knots, trampling common sense, ignoring plain and beautiful realities. Even to the point of trying to erase half of humanity and pretending the other half could carry on just fine. Unbelievable.