The Trouble With Education

The Trouble With Education

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Our society is a product of its educational system. But that system is failing.

More than half of graduating high school students in America—57 percent—may not be successful in college, based on sat test scores and the College Board’s calculated college and career readiness benchmark. President of the organization Gaston Caperton evaluated this state of education as “a call to action,” saying: “Our nation’s future depends on the strength of our education system. When less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, that system is failing.”

Other stats indicate this declining trend in education in the United States. The average sat reading score for the high school class of 2012 was 496 out of a possible 800. This is the lowest score since 1972—40 years ago. And this, as The Foundry noted, at a time when tuition is at its highest.

A number of reasons have been brought up to explain this dismal decline. The College Board explains that these low average scores are a result of an expanding pool of test takers. About a quarter of these students were minorities who did not have English as a native language. Thirty-six percent reported that their parents themselves had not advanced beyond high school. But, as cnn contributor and former U.S. secretary of education William J. Bennett asked, “Since when has diversity and more students taking the test become a legitimate excuse for bad scores?”

sat scores in the U.S. declined for all ethnic groups except Asian Americans, the biggest decline being among blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans. Other studies have also found a correlation between test scores and family income. The Washington Post reported that some educational experts “assert that privileged students do better on the sat because they are exposed to activities, from summer camp to private violin lessons, that give them an advantage in that particular test.”

So, what is the reason behind the failure of the American education system? And what is the solution?

The reason for the failure of education today is simply that it lacks the fundamental dimension of divinely revealed truth upon which true education was originally founded by our Maker.

The solution is simply to reinstate that missing dimension in education to the world’s education systems. That missing dimension is what educates people in how to pursue their incredible, God-given human potential. Without that essential knowledge, man’s form of education tends to be but a regurgitation of the miseducation of previous generations—an education that has but perpetuated the problems of humankind to the point of today’s great global crisis.

In our article “Sucked Under by That College Degree,” we wrote: “This broad failure [in the education system] is part of the reason Herbert W. Armstrong College was founded. Herbert W. Armstrong College is partially sponsored by the Trumpet’s publisher, the Philadelphia Church of God.” With students from different nationalities, family backgrounds and ethnic groups, this college strives to instill studiousness and industry, teaching how to live.

Our free booklet Education With Vision explains more on true education. It reveals just what is that missing dimension in today’s failing education system, the dimension that leads to fulfilling one’s incredible, God-given, human potential.

Germany Opens New Deepwater Port

Germany Opens New Deepwater Port

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On September 21, Germany opened a new port with the potential to dominate the shipping trade in the near future.

“Following World War ii, the port of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, was developed into the world’s largest seaport. Presently, much of this port’s business comes from Germany … but things are about to change” (Philadelphia Trumpet, July 2003).

Nine years later, that statement has been proven true!

On September 21, the JadeWeserPort (jwp) in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, finally opened. jwp is now the only deepwater port in Germany capable of processing massive container ships regardless of tide levels. Hamburg, Germany’s busiest port and the third busiest in Europe, is still limited to a certain extent by the tides.

Last year, shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk contracted with Daewoo to construct the largest container ships ever built. At over 1,300 feet in length, Maersk’s new Triple-E series will be longer than some aircraft carriers. The ships won’t be completed until 2014, but once they are in use, there will only be select ports that have the capacity to handle them. These ships can only be used for trade between Europe and Asia—the U.S. doesn’t have a single port able to handle their size.

The completion of jwp means that, including Bremerhaven, Germany has two ports capable of handling the new ships. jwp will be the only European port capable of handling those ships regardless of tide levels, according to its claims.

Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, has dominated global ocean freight for years. Its 19-meter terminal depths have attracted shipping companies that use massive container vessels. Other European ports like Hamburg, Antwerp and Amsterdam don’t have the same capacity to handle the largest ships currently being used—the rest of Europe has been unable to compete.

But last Friday, that all changed. With the opening of Germany’s jwp, Germany now has the ability to compete with the largest and busiest shipping port in the world. JWP is not yet completely functional, but it will only take a matter of months to finish the area around the port and complete the adjacent railroad.

jwp won’t become an international shipping hub overnight, but it is one more step toward German dominance in world trade.

Germany and China are prophesied to have a brief alliance, brought about through trade (see “The Great Mart”). In an article on the opening of jwp, Deutsche Welle said last week, “By the end of 2014, up to 250 of the [massive container ships] could travel between Europe and the Asia on a regular basis.” Don’t underestimate the importance of this new port opening in Germany. With the ability to handle the container ships of the future, Germany has the ability to dominate Asian-European trade.

British PM: I Don’t Want to Be Part of a Country Called Europe

British Prime Minister David Cameron took time out from a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York on Wednesday to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman.

They touched on a variety of topics, including Britain’s future with Europe.

“Well, we made the decision as a country, I think rightly, not to join the euro,” said Prime Minister Cameron. “Britain is still one of the biggest economies in the world and we are perfectly capable of having our own currency, our own monetary policy, trying to have that that suits our own economy. … So we are not in the euro, we are not going to join the euro, we are going to keep the pound as our currency.”

“We are part of Europe, we trade, we cooperate, we work together, but I don’t want to be part of a country called Europe, I want to be part of a country called Great Britain.”

More than 40 years ago, Herbert W. Armstrong foretold where Britain’s relationship with Europe was heading. “Germany is the economic and military heart of Europe. Probably Germany will lead and dominate the coming United States of Europe. But Britain will be no part of it, he wrote.

How could have Mr. Armstrong known this so long ago? Simply because it’s what the Bible says. Expect Britain to either leave or be kicked out of the developing European superstate. The Bible says it will be composed of 10 nations or groups of nations—but Britain will be no part of it.

Request a free copy of the booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire at theTrumpet.com to find out why.

Money Printing Covering Nearly All U.S. Deficit

Money Printing Covering Nearly All U.S. Deficit

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In the latest sign that the federal budget is heading for an economic cliff, economist Lawrence Lindsey told cnbc on Wednesday that Federal Reserve printing presses are papering over almost the entire budget hole.

On September 13, the Federal Reserve announced that it would create $40 billion per month out of thin air to buy products from the big banks until the economy improved. Combined with the Federal Reserve’s other money printing program of $45 billion per month, the Fed is virtually “buying the entire deficit,” says Lindsay.

Never before has America relied upon artificially created money to cover so much of its spending. According to Lindsay, the Federal Reserve has taken the drastic action to take the pressure off a gridlocked Congress in an election year. “The Fed, maybe because it can’t do otherwise, has told the Congress: ‘We’re going to buy your bonds no matter what,’” he said. If the president and Congress can’t borrow and spend more money to inject into the economy (due to election constraints), then the Fed will.

But now the Federal Reserve is taking America into an unmapped economic minefield.

“I have no problem doing extraordinary things in extraordinary times,” said the former White House economic adviser, but doing something so out of the ordinary is really risking things.

According to Lindsay, if money printing “becomes the new ordinary,” the Fed won’t have much maneuvering room if another crisis hits.

And another crisis may be on the way shortly. On September 27, the Commerce Department reported that new orders for durable goods (long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods) had dropped by the most since the Great Recession of 2009. New orders fell in August by a whopping 13.2 percent. It was a huge surprise to the downside and could indicate the economy is headed for another recession. Economists polled before the announcement had expected durable goods orders to contract by only 5 percent.

In related news, the Commerce Department also announced on September 27 that the nation’s gdp growth was slowing rapidly. During the second quarter of 2012, it grew at an annualized rate of 1.3 percent—down from 2 percent the previous quarter. gdp growth is now so slow that it is probably zero or negative after accounting for real inflation.

These numbers, which are important numbers for the economy, are “depressingly weak,” especially considering all the money printing the government has done, laments economic analyst Rick Santelli.

Another recession will probably hit soon. But there is a way that you can prosper—even in the midst of a recession. Read: “How You Can Prosper in a Recession!

Why Would the Muslim Brotherhood Want to Ally With Shiite Iran?

Why Would the Muslim Brotherhood Want to Ally With Shiite Iran?

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How Egypt is acting as a liaison between Shiite Iran and a constellation of radical, Sunni powers spread across North Africa.

The startling transformation of Egypt into an Islamist state this past summer has left journalists scrambling to make sense of what is happening in the Middle East.

The fact that the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood is now calling for imminent regime change in Shiite-dominated Syria is prompting many journalists—such as bbc Iran correspondent James Reynolds—to predict that Egypt is emerging as a Sunni counterweight to Iranian hegemony in the region.

Journalist Fouad Ajami—writing for the online Tablet website—went so far as to predict that the Muslim Brotherhood would follow the example of Hosni Mubarak and bury its differences with Saudi Arabia in order to fight the Iranian Shiite enemy.

The plain truth, however, is that any analysis of Middle Eastern politics that puts all the Sunnis on one side of the fence and all the Shiites on the other is over-simplifying the matter.

While it is true that many Sunni sects—such as the Salafist movement and the Wahhabi movement—are fiercely opposed to Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates are actually more aligned with Shiite Iran than they are to most Sunni Arab regimes.

The reasons of the affinity between the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran are three-fold:

Reason 1: The Muslim Brotherhood and Iran share a common passion for political Islamism.

The original split between Sunni and Shiite Islam took place in 664 a.d., after the second caliph of the Islamic Umma was murdered by his Persian slave. In the aftermath of this murder, all the Islamic electors agreed that the successor should come from within the Hashemite clan, but some supported Muhammad’s son-in-law Othman and some supported Muhammad’s cousin Ali.

The succession eventually went to Othman, but the supporters of Ali resented this fact, saying that Othman should not rule the caliphate because he was only related to Muhammad by marriage, whereas Ali was related by blood.

Those who supported Othman eventually referred to themselves as the “people of the tradition of Muhammad and the consensus of the Umma” or as the “Sunnis.

These supporters of Ali simply referred to themselves as the “faction of Ali” or as the Shiites.

After Shiite supporters murdered Othman in 657, the Islamic Caliphate erupted into a civil war that eventually split mainstream Islam into two branches—with the Shiites claiming that only direct descendents of Ali had the authority to rule and the Sunnis (for the most part) claiming that any man who embraced the tenants of Sunni Islam could be accepted as a ruler.

The Twelfth Ruler (Imam) of the Shiites, however, disappeared without a descendant in 941, leaving the Shiites without a leader. Thus it became a central tenant of Shiite Islam that there could be no central religious authority until the Twelfth Imam returned as the Mahdi at the time of the end.

So, from the time of the Crusades until fairly recently, radical Islamism has been asleep in the Middle East. The Sunnis were content to accept the authority of practically any moderate Arab ruler who claimed to accept the authority of Allah, and the Shiites were content to wait patiently until the Twelfth Imam returned.

All of this began to change, however, with the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran and of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The basic Shiite tenant that only a direct descendent of Ali could exercise religious authority was problematic for Khomeini, because his main goal was to establish an Islamic theocracy in Iran. So, in his book on Islamic government, Khomeini claimed that while neither he nor any other cleric were the equivalent of the imams, they could still create an Islamic government by following the laws of Islam.

This fundamental shift in Iranian Shiite philosophy made monarchy and all other forms of non-theocratic government illegitimate in the eyes of the ayatollahs. It also brought Khomeini’s brand of Shiite philosophy much closer in line with the political philosophies of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 as an effort to preserve Egypt as an Islamic society after the disbanding of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924. Thus, it abandoned the traditional Sunni belief that any monarch could reign who claimed that Allah was God and Muhammad was the seal of the prophets. Instead, it sought to establish an Islamic theocracy in Egypt similar in style to the Islamic theocracy that Ayatollah Khomeini would later establish in Iran.

According to veteran of U.S. Naval Intelligence Samuel Helfont, the Muslim Brotherhood eventually incorporated several of Khomeini’s ideas into its political platform so it could justify Sunni clerical leadership of an Islamic state.

For example, in 2007, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood put forth a political calling for the formation of a Council of Clerics—reminiscent of Iran’s Guardian Council—that would ensure the legislative and executive branches of government do not implement laws contrary to sharia law.

This is why Iran has supported the Egyptian, the Libyan and the Palestinian branches of the Muslim Brotherhood for so many years. Even though significant theological differences still exist between the ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood clerics, their views on Islamic government are much more akin to each other than they are to those of the Sunni Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf region.

So, on a preliminary level at least, the basic Sunni-Shiite rift concerning Islamic governance has been healed between the various branches of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.

The one exception is the relationship between Iran and the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Since Syria was ruled by a Shiite dictator, Iran never gave the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood the same support it gave the Egyptian Brotherhood (when it was struggling against Hosni Mubarak) or the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood (when it was struggling against Muammar Qadhafi).

Despite its disagreement with the Muslim Brotherhood over Syria, however, it is certain that Iran will continue to support Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamist movements in Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Ethiopia. In the eyes of the Iranian ayatollahs, it is far better that these nations be ruled by Muslim Brotherhood clerics sympathetic to their brand of political Islamism than it is for them to be ruled by native dictators or Arab nationalists.

The second reason the Muslim Brotherhood is more aligned with Shiite Iran than it is with most of the Middle Eastern Sunni Arab regimes is:

Reason 2: The Muslim Brotherhood and Iran share a common hatred of Israel and the United States.

Traditional Sunni powers like Saudi Arabia definitely possess an enduring hatred for the State of Israel, but they have a much more complicated relationship with other Western-oriented nations.

Even though Saudi Arabia has been known to treacherously finance terrorism on some level, it is also a major oil exporter to Western nations as well as a military bulwark against more radical Middle Eastern regimes.

Other Arab states in the Persian Gulf region, such as the United Arab Emirates, have also spoken out from time to time against Israel and the United States, but have loathed Iranian talk of striking out against the West by shutting down the Strait of Hormuz simply because they derive so much of their exorbitant wealth from trade.

Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood have been far more outspoken against Israel and America—saying that Jerusalem must be conquered and Israel wiped off the map.

In the weeks after Hosni Mubarak’s fall, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated cleric Yusef Qaradawi led 1 million Egyptians in Friday prayers in saying, “I harbor the hope that just like Allah allowed me to witness the triumph in Egypt, he will allow me to witness the conquest of the al-Aqsa Mosque and will enable me to preach in the al-Aqsa Mosque.” At this point the crowd burst forth with enthusiastic chants: “To Jerusalem we go, for us to be the martyrs of the millions; to Jerusalem we go, for us to be the martyrs of the millions.”

Qaradawi—who was once asked to be the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood—has gone on record as saying he hates Jews and has asked Allah to kill “every last one” of them. In 2009, he said,

Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them—even though they exaggerated this issue—he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.

Such statements align with those made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” and with those made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has said Iran will help “cut out the cancer of Israel.”

While there are undoubtedly many Muslims in Turkey and Saudi Arabia who agree with these statements, these nations are likely to bide their time and not jeopardize their oil revenues. Both Qaradawi and Ahmadinejad, however, have made it abundantly clear that they want Israel destroyed within their lifetime.

So, really there are three camps in the Middle East: 1) the radical Shiite camp led by Iran, 2) the radical Muslim Brotherhood camp led by Egypt, and 3) the traditional Sunni monarchies led by Saudi Arabia.

This brings up the third reason the Muslim Brotherhood will be more closely aligned with Shiite Iran than with the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf region:

Reason 3: Bible prophecy foretells that Egypt will ally against Saudi Arabia.

Biblical passages such as Daniel 11 tell of an ancient clash between the Syrian-based Seleucid Empire (referred to as the king of the north) and the Egyptian-based Ptolemaic Empire (referred to as the king of the south). Verse 40 of this same chapter further reveals that this is a dual prophecy that will have a second fulfillment in the time of the end.

Other passages, such as Psalm 83, show us that during this end-time clash, Syria will be allied with a German-led revival of the Holy Roman Empire (along with other traditional Sunni Arab states like Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia). This treacherous alliance will fulfill its dream of destroying Israel while at the same time keeping its oil revenues from Europe intact. Since Syria, the ancient king of the north, is subservient to Germany in this alliance, Germany will be the primary power that inherits the end-time title of “king of the north.”

Read the cover story of the September edition of the Trumpet magazine for a full description of the modern-day identities of the nations listed in Psalm 83.

This German-led alliance of Sunni Arab states will also strike out again the end-time king of the south. Current world news events show that this king of the south will be an Iranian-led Islamic confederation composed of the radicalized Middle Eastern nations not listed in Psalm 83.

Daniel 11 tells us that the Egyptians, Libyans and Ethiopians will be allied with this power. Yet just as Germany is the end-time king of the north due to the fact that it rules over Syria (the ancient king of the north), Iran will be the end-time king of the south due to the fact that it dominates over Egypt (the ancient king of the south).

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry recently wrote in an editorial titled “Egypt Unites With Iran and Fulfills a Bible Prophecy,” it will be a Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt that brings the radical Sunni regimes of North Africa into the Iranian camp.

With the traditional Sunni regimes of the Persian Gulf region increasingly looking to Germany for armaments and the radical Sunni regimes of North Africa increasingly looking to Iran for support, events in the Middle East are on the verge of starting World War iii—and bringing about the end of the age of human rule on this Earth!

Ayatollah Khamenei Posters in Iraq Display Iran’s Influence

Ayatollah Khamenei Posters in Iraq Display Iran’s Influence

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Billboards in Iraq displaying the image of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei are depicting the extent of Iraq’s fall to Iran.

Iraqis, long familiar with former dictator Saddam Hussein’s cult of personality in his omnipresent posters and statues, which were removed or toppled after his demise, now see “pictures of the Persian dictator” taking over, as an Iraqi government worker observed. These posters, he noted, show that Iraq is turning into “a total Iranian stooge.” A Baghdad businessman lamented, “When I see these pictures, I feel I am in Tehran, not Baghdad.”

Associated Press noted that Iran’s influence in Iraq “picked up after Saddam Hussein’s fall from power in 2003, and, in many ways, accelerated since the U.S. military pulled out” in December 2011.

The posters were first erected in at least six Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad and in Shiite south Iraq back in August around the pro-Palestinian Quds (Jerusalem) Day observations. They are yet to be removed. A local government official in Baghdad speaking on condition of anonymity, said that municipal workers fear retribution from pro-Iranian militia like the Asaib Ahl al-Haq (Band of the People of Righteousness) if they remove them. Asaib Ahl al-Haq has boasted of distributing 20,000 posters of the Iranian cleric in Iraq.

Iran funds and arms at least two other militia in Iraq. It has enhanced business with Iraq to the tune of billions of dollars, skirting sanctions and embargoes in the process. Some parts of Iraq have absolutely no barriers with the Iranian rial currency and Farsi language. Daily pilgrimages to Iraqi holy Shiite sites by Iranians also show strengthening religious ties between the two countries.

According to the Associated Press, the posters may be a means to increase Iran’s religio-political influence in Iraq. Iran is lobbying for the replacement of Iraq’s 81-year old, Iranian born Shiite spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, with 64-year-old Iraqi-born Iranian Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. While Sistani favors an Islamic state in Iraq, he wants a clear separation of religion and politics. Shahroudi, on the other hand, is a member of Iran’s Guardian Council and would turn Iraq into a mirror image of the theocracy in Iran.

In a Trumpet Weekly issue of June 2003, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “Now that Iraq has been taken out of the picture [by coalition forces], Iran is even closer to becoming the reigning king of the Middle East. It may seem shocking, given the U.S. presence in the region right now [now withdrawn], but prophecy indicates that, in pursuit of its goal, Iran will probably take over Iraq. At least, it will have a heavy influence over the Iraqi people.” News forecasts of an Iranian takeover of Iraq first appeared in Mr. Flurry’s December 1994 article titled “Is Iraq About to Fall to Iran?” Back then, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made fewer headlines than did Saddam Hussein. Today, his posters in Iraq are making headlines.