Archive for March, 2013
Let us live each day knowing that our life on earth is but a speck in time compared to eternity. And if we are in Him, we shall live and reign with Him for ever and ever!
Sissy: We have a new baby at our house. I am so excited over his birth, a little baby, smiling up at me. God is so good to us. This Easter, I want to thank my family and all my friends and teachers at Earthend for putting up with my cranky self. Easter is a time of new birth, so I am going to work on changing.
Feermeno: Boy, how I miss you guys. You don’t see much of Easter over here in the Far East. I miss home, and Easter dinner with all the trimmings, and Sunday Morning Sunrise Service to celebrate Our LORD’s resurrection.
But duty calls, and some of us have to be overseas to send back news so that Christians can pray for the nations of the world. You guys are praying aren’t you?
Frank Butterman: And as you enjoy your feast, whether at your home, or at a friend’s house, or at a restaurant––please remember to pray over your food. Those prayers may protect you from unfortunate particles in the meal.
Brothers John, Luke and Michael: Remember the true meaning of Easter is not spring weather, or rabbits, or boiled colored eggs. It is about The One LORD Jesus Christ Who identified Himself to us this way: “I Am The Resurrection, and The Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11: 25).”
Taryn: Everyone at I.E. Plexus wishes you a Happy Easter as well. Be sure to contact us for all your blog and online business store needs. And gang, please remind Jael its time to advertise Christian children’s t-shirts.
Jael: Well we’ll see you next week. And don’t forget: “. . . this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1: 11).”
Either Germany’s European Union (EU) severely overplayed its hand in this continuing Cyprus bank crisis, or else this is the first step in their plan to squeeze nations into economic depression by seizing assets, collapsing jobs, and attacking small businesses in order to better ready member nations for WWWIII.
Bank depositors throughout the EU now greatly agitate over their finances. Harold Maass writes: ‘Forget Cyprus: Why You Should Really Be Worrying About Italy’: “ . . . the bailout imposes losses on people . . . unnerving investors in other eurozone countries, particularly Italy, where political instability threatens to undermine the government’s attempts to confront the country’s debt crisis.”
People in every EU nation find similar concerns on their own turf. Guy Verhoftstadt suggests in ‘Avoiding the Next Cyprus’: “Perhaps Malta, which has an even bigger banking sector than Cyprus . . . much of it highly reliant on offshore depositors. Or maybe Latvia, fast becoming the destination of choice for Russian funds flowing out of Cyprus and now on course to join the euro zone.
“Even Spain or Italy could be vulnerable to a similar bailout, now that the Dutch finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is president of the Euro Group of finance ministers, has hinted that Cyprus could provide a model for the resolution of future banking crises.”
Cyprus is the key to understanding why the EU will probably disintegrate. Bible prophecy students remain confident that the EUwill break up before the rise of anti-Christ and his seven-year reign.
Rule over Cyprus has always been a tense struggle between Greece and Turkey. Greece is an EU member, Turkey is not. It is so intense that the United Nations has a Peace Keeping Force there to keep them from further armed conflict.
Both countries are part of what will be known as the Revived Greek Empire in these last days. And they will, during the start of that seven year reign, be on one accord of agreement. Today they are not. The same holds true for several Eastern European countries, which were part of the Roman Empire, and will be in the soon coming Revised Roman Empire.
These issues are part of Dake’s Reference Bible, especially in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, and of Daniel in the Old Testament. More depth is covered in Dake’s ‘Revelation Expounded: Eternal Mysteries Simplified.’
Individuals may not be able to control their bank funds, but they can control their futures in the next World War. Remember, only those who are ‘in Christ Jesus’ are assured of everlasting safety in that coming War:
“ . . . the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. . . .Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (Revelation 5: 5,12).” When those seals are opened, judgment will fall upon earth, such as has never seen before!
Confusing news stories from Cyprus banking officials and from financiers in the European Union do not bode well for savings accounts in banks around the world. But the bottom line seems to be that 20 to 30% will be taken from ‘some’ bank accounts to make Cyprus eligible for a ‘bailout’ from EU bankers.
Cyprus banks are scheduled to open sometime this week, but as far as citizens of that country are concerned, their lives will never be the same. Menelaos Hadjicostis and Elena Becatoros report today for the Associated Press (AP:
“Cypriot businesses were under increasing strain to keep running on Tuesday after financial authorities stretched the country’s bank closure into a second week amid fears that depositors will rush to drain their accounts.”
Banks there have been closed ten days, since March 16, while the nation’s leaders tried to figure out how to raise funds required for EU assistance. Vague AP language announces: “Under the deal for a 10 billion euro ($12.9 billion) rescue clinched in Brussels early Monday, Cyprus agreed to slash its oversized banking sector and inflict hefty losses on large depositors in troubled banks.”
While banks were scheduled to re-open today, now it is supposedly Thursday. Even then, the two AP reporters say: “Nicos Anastasiades, who told Cypriots that the central bank would impose some limits on financial transactions, but assured the public that restrictions would not be permanent.” In other words, withdrawals will be limited.
Some banks will be closed altogether, and others will be forced to merge. Both moves will result in thousands of job losses. Specifically, deposits of more than 100,000 euros at the Bank of Cyprus will be frozen while officials decide how much those deposits will be taxed.
But, without funds to pay employees or suppliers, Cypriots in business claim they have already been injured irrevocably. Cyprus has the world’s 10th largest shipping industry. An official for EDT Offshore shipping says: “This is destructive for us. We have to pay our crews salaries and that $ 500,000 . . . and we don’t have access to our bank accounts.”
While he walked back his words a few hours later, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chairman of the eurozone, reportedly told the U.K. Telegraph, “. . . The new policy will alarm hundreds of thousands of British expatriates who . . . have transferred their savings, . . . and other assets to eurozone bank accounts in countries such as France, Spain and Italy.” Thus, he may ‘tax’ them as well.
Only very secondary news sources state the truth on this matter outrightly. As Mike Adams of Health Ranger headlines: “Cyprus Bank Bailout Agreement is Pure Theft: 40% of Private Deposits to be Looted From Selected Accounts.”
Truly, this is a sign of the end-times, when world leaders legitimize theft. As Bible prophecies promise: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; . . . (Isaiah 5: 20).”
Winter, 2013, breaks all weather records around the world, and some scientists say it is because human beings not only perpetuate Global Warming, but their insane destruction of earth’s magnetic fields.
It was heavy wet snow that pelted America’s mid-west this weekend and in the last few weeks. USA Today writes: “The storm dropped 2 to 6 inches in Ohio overnight and . . . sunrise brought 3 inches of snow in areas around Washington, D.C. Light rain and snow were falling in New Jersey.
“Airlines had canceled more than 460 flights Monday morning – and more than 1,300 since Sunday – thanks to the late-season winter storm that’s swept from the Rockies to the East Coast. . . . Springfield, in central Illinois, got slammed with a record 17 inches of snow, and several central Indiana counties declared snow emergencies after getting hit with up to 8 inches of snow.”
Russia as a country expects heavy winter storms. Yet, according to all news channels, this is a record deadly winter. Extinction Protocol and Reuters News Service report: “The coldest-ever December in Russia led to the evacuation of hundreds of people in Siberia, where temperatures fell below -50 degrees Celsius.”
“Unrelenting snowfalls have caused unprecedented chaos in Russia . . . the country has seen scores of traffic accidents, flight delays and, in some cases, the complete isolation of some remote settlements and towns.
“The polar circle city of Norilsk has been buried under 10 feet of snow – entire apartment blocks, markets, stores and offices were buried under snow overnight. Banks of snow were as high as two people put together, reaching the second-story windows of some apartment buildings.”
Over in England, AFP News adds more heavy unseasonal snow brought fresh disruption to Britain this weekend: “The country should be marking the start of spring but in what the British media have dubbed ‘Miserable March,’ wintry storms have instead lashed the country, . . .
“Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales bore the brunt of the cold with 22cm (8.6 inches) of snow in Bingley, West Yorkshire, . . More than 35,000 homes in Northern Ireland, 6,000 homes in Scotland and hundreds in northern England were left without electricity for a second day after power lines snapped . . . Water supplies were also being disrupted due to problems with pumps.”
After all this snow on Palm Sunday, most people around the world should separate Easter Sunday from the Spring season. As Bible prophecies promise: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5: 28-29).”
Well I’ve made it back to the East. After assigning U.S. nuclear plant spills to others, Jael let me go. Other than broken water coolers in nuclear storage tanks, things are calm in Japan. Stories abound on North Korea’s promise to bomb the U.S. and our allies to kingdom come. Only news about thousands of dead pigs found in China’s river take up more print and internet space.
Everyone already knows of the dreadful conditions of air and water quality in China. But these dead pigs mysteriously floating in a Shanghai river bring water pollution to a whole new level. It also casts shadows on China’s farm regulations.
By this week’s count, some 13,000 dead pigs have been pulled out of the Huangpu River, which flows through a major Shanghai commercial area, and supplies 22% of the drinking water for 23 million people living there.
The ‘pig dumping’ may comes from reaction to police campaigns against diseased pig meat showing up in area markets. Associated Press (AP) reports, 46 people were sent to jail “for producing unsafe pork from sick pigs that they had acquired and slaughtered between 2010 and 2012.”
Those convicted are part of a gang that “acquired” diseased pigs. “The official Xinhua News Agency said police in the city of Wenling had seized 6,218 kilograms (13,708 pounds) of diseased pork,” AP writes.
Pork is king in China’s diet. Seed Daily and AFP News in Jiaxing say that it accounts for 64 percent of total meat output in 2012. But: “Thousands of dead pigs in a Shanghai river have cast a spotlight on China’s poorly regulated farm production, with the country’s favorite meat joining a long list of food scares.”
China struggles now to keep the diseased meats from getting into food markets. Pigs drawn out of the river test positive for porcine circovirus, a common swine disorder. China’s Chief Veterinarian Yu Kangzhen hedges:
“Due to some farming households having a weak recognition of the law, bad habits, and lack of increased supervision and capability for treatment have led to the situation.” He and other officials insists nonetheless that drinking water is safe.
Other than those few arrests, police have not uncovered the source of this outrageous number of drowned diseased pigs. “ . . . in Zhulin village, a major hog-raising centre in Jiaxing, the farmers claim their innocence in the scandal.”
This incident adds to a list of food industry scandals China has endured in the past few years. Seed Daily recites: “From recycled cooking oil to dangerous chemicals in baby milk powder, a series of food scandals in China has caused huge public concern.” Six babies died and 300,000 were sickened from the milk powder.
China is a Communist country which, by national edict, claims no belief in God. Christian messages in God’s Holy Word demand a moral consciousness in all business dealings. But as, Titus 1:15 teaches: “ . . . unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
As we face the coming hot summer, we should all be aware of a study out by the World Health Organization (WHO) presented to the American Heart Association at its annual conference this week: 180,000 obesity-related deaths per year––25,000 in the U.S.––can be related to sugar-sweetened drinks!
Speaking for those corporations that manufacture such sweet-drink killers, The American Beverage Association claimed these reports are “more about sensationalism than science. This abstract, which is not peer-reviewed nor published in a way . . . It does not show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages causes chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer––the real causes of death among the studied subjects.”
However, reporting in USA Today, Michael Winter details: “Mexico leads the 35 largest nations in deaths tied to sugary drinks; USA is 3rd; 78% of these deaths were in low- and middle-income countries.
“Of the deaths in 2010 linked to drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks, fruit juice or sports beverages, 132 000 were from diabetes, 44 000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 from cancer.”
The Harvard School of Public Health presents a Fact Sheet on the subject which avows: 1) Two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese; 2) The U.S. spends an estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related health conditions;
3) Rising consumption of sugary drinks is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic; 4) The average 20-ounce soda as 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and some 240 calories, while a 64-ounce fountain cola drink has some 700 calories; 5) Those drinking this ‘liquid candy’ are not as ‘full’ as if they had eaten that number of calories in solid food, yet they do not make up for that in-take by eating less.
Moreover, “Despite Industry Promises, Yale Study Finds Unprecedented Marketing of Sugary Drinks to Youth ,” explains: “Young people are being exposed to a massive amount of marketing for sugary drinks, such as full-calorie soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks.
“An 8-ounce serving of a full-calorie fruit drink has 110 calories and 7 teaspoons of sugar––the same amount found in an 8-ounce serving of a full-calorie soda or energy drink.” The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity studied ads about 600 products from 14 beverage companies that had failed to keep their pledge to improve advertising directed to children.
Christian messages describe those who lure children into imbibing such harmful, even deadly drinks, as loathsome people who: “. . . cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children . . . (2 Peter 2: 14).”
Well, all kidding aside, I’ll try to be serious. Yet it is all so funny, and so familiar––but of course, not for the citizens of Cyprus: The truth is this direct tax of as much as 10% taken out of their bank accounts was Germany’s idea.
As we reported yesterday, Rick Newman was correct: richer European nations are tired of bailing out nations in financial trouble. While the funds come through the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)––it still comes from taxes in EU nations.
After much inter-nation grumbling, taxes taken from EU nations have already bailed out Greece, Portugal and Ireland. But it is election time in Germany, and politicians want to win re-election. So like politicians everywhere, they don’t want to tell constituents they are giving away more of their money.
Michael Steininger of the Christian Science Monitor writes: “For months, eurozone finance ministers have been debating how to help Cyprus, whose banks, exposed to large amounts of bad Greek debt, are in dire need of recapitalization.
“But for the first time, at the insistence of the German government, private account holders were being asked to shoulder a part of that bailout, around 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion), through a special levy on their savings.”
Michael Fuch, a Christian Democrat member of Angela’s Merkel’s Parliament, says: “The German taxpayer is willing to help Cyprus. but the Cypriots have to help themselves and pay a tax on their deposits.”
Steininger agrees with Newman: “German politicians and many of their European colleagues suspect Cyprus to be a tax haven and a money-laundering site for Russian oligarchs. Of the 68 billion euros stored in Cypriot bank accounts, around 20 billion ($26 billion) belong to Russian account holders.
“Germany’s ruling coalition of conservatives and liberals is facing general elections in September, and politicians fear accusations they are sacrificing German tax money to bail out Russian billionaires.”
That may be fine to help German politicians get re-elected, but at the same time, don’t they at realize that all EU bank savers––in fear that their savings accounts could also be taxed by fiat without notice––will pull their money out of banks, at which point the international financial system would collapse?
Maybe its all a ruse. If such a collapse happened, nations would simply march into World War III. Extreme poverty, and “loss” of financial control are excellent prods to war. So perhaps German thinking is not so unintelligent after all!
Yet, whether Germany’s move was a foolish slip-up or part of wise planning, all must recognize, that as used Christian books promise, God alone is The Wise One: “Now unto The King eternal, immortal, invisible, The Only Wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1: 17)!”
Since the end of last week, bankers and politicians throughout the European Union (EU) have worried without measure about a proposal from the government of Cyprus to take tax funds directly out of savings accounts in the nation’s banks.
Just like most financial crises in the EU, this one started because EU bank funders proposed a bailout of 10 billion Euros for the island nation, but required the Cyprus government to raise tax funds. Sooooo the locals got the idea to immediately tax the bank accounts of their citizens and “others.”
Annnddddd once that announcement was made, the smarter ‘average citizens’ of Cyprus starting running to bank windows and cash machines and jerking out as much of their hard-earned cash as they could!
Theeenn, what do you know? Bankers across Europe got so scared that their customers would do the same, that they yelled to EU governments to shut the whole thing down. Soooo Cyprus closed all banks until Thursday supposedly. Thuusss, Europe is in another financial mess, one that threatens U.S. banks too.
In an example of the outcry, BBC’s Mark Simpson says: The Cyprus ‘bank tax’ has led to worries. Fianna Fáil’s statement––“A rubicon has been crossed. Savings are no longer sacrosanct.” Simpson posits: “The unprecedented raid has sent shockwaves across Europe, with fears it could be repeated in other countries.”
Liz Alderman of Associated Press expounds in ‘Facing Bailout Tax, Cypriots Try to Get Cash Out of Banks,’ “Although banks placed withdrawal limits of 400 euros, or about $520, on A.T.M.’s, most had run out of cash by early evening. People around the country reacted with disbelief and anger.”
One of the few reporters who got to the heart of the matter, Rick Newman, writing ‘How Cyprus—and Russian Gangsters—Could Harm Your 401(k),’ writing for U.S. News and World Report explains:
“Finland, the Netherlands and other European nations have made taxpayers increasingly unwilling to fund bailouts for other members of the euro zone, and more willing to risk the ramifications of the euro zone splintering.
“There’s another juicy complication: Cyprus is the Cayman Islands of Europe, a lightly regulated offshore banking center that attracts a lot of money from people from who don’t like to answer questions. As much as half of the money in Cypriot banks belongs to Russian oligarchs dodging taxes, some of it probably illicitly gained.”
Surely everyone knows criminal money keeps too many banks afloat! If money watchers, such as the Federal Reserve Bank, don’t quickly give Cyprus a way out of this mess––economies around the world will be suffer.
Perhaps it is best to heed the advice on Christian clothing wholesale: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal (Matthew 6: 19).”
In addition to superbugs’ ability to overcome even the strongest antibiotics invented to date, international medical systems warn that non-communicable diseases will kill far more people than uncontrollable germs and other diseases.
In ‘Tsunami of Diseases Waiting to Hit,’ Isolda Agazzi of Inter Press Service (IPS) warns that the United States and other developing countries have so over-financed diseases from superbugs to HIV-AIDS that they are unprepared for the giant waves of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) already in their midst.
Jeffrey Sturchio, senior partner at the U.S. consulting firm Rabin Martin, told the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) Conference on World Cancer Day: “. . . [NCDs]––cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, among others––have become the leading cause of death worldwide.”
In addition he said: “Some 36 million people die from (NCDs) every year, 80 percent of them in low and middle income countries – a figure that will increase by 17 percent in the coming years and by 25 percent in Africa.”
GlobalHealth.gov further defines NCDs as those diseases: “not caused by an acute infection,” but which share common risk factors, including “Tobacco use, Unhealthy diet, Lack of exercise, and Harmful use of alcohol.”
In ‘A Prioritized Research Agenda for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases,’ the World Health Organization argues: “Currently, noncommunicable diseases (NCD) are responsible for almost two- thirds of all deaths globally. Of the 57 million global deaths in 2008, 36 million, or 63%, were due to NCD . . . As the impact of NCDs increases and as populations age, annual NCD deaths are projected to continue to rise worldwide.
plos.org posits: “NCD research in high-income countries (HICs) . . . can result in mutual advantages in the areas of replication and extending findings; discovering new causes of NCDs; studying health effects of exposures rare or ubiquitous in HICs; and exploring links between infectious diseases and NCDs.”
However, medical experts insist, developing countries still concentrate on germ-generated diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS. However, Sturchio insists: “The disease burden is shifting to NCDs, but since developing countries still have to fight infectious diseases, they face a double burden.”
He argues that in the last 20 years, some 20 billion dollars have gone into AIDS research, when much of those funds were needed to combat NCDs. The need for NCD research is especially keen in African and other Third World nations.
These issues present more indication that this earth needs a benevolent Savior and Healer, as groups in need and men of wealth who produce many of these killers will never agree on priorities. Well said is the Christian messages of Apostle John’s cry: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22: 20).”
World health organizations warn doctors, hospitals and medical officials in all nations to expect an influx of communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as drug-resistant superbugs, even among rich developed nations.
Lena H. Sun of the Washington Post acknowledges in ‘CDC Says ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ a Growing Threat:’ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] sounded the alarm recently about a deadly superbug attacking hospital facilities has increasing resistance to even the strongest antibiotics.
Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told a news conference to say that his scientists warn the U.S. has a very serious problem: “Our strongest antibiotics don’t work, and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections.”
Known as Carbapenen-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), this bacteria, Frieden explains, poses a “triple threat:” In addition to resisting even the strongest antibiotics, it kills some 50% of patients who get its infection in their bloodstream. “And third , the bacteria can transfer their antibiotic resistance to other bacteria within the family, potentially making other bacteria untreatable, as well.”
Kate Kelland, reporting for Reuters in ‘Antibiotic Resistance Poses ‘Catastrophic Threat’ To Medicine, Says Britain’s Top Health Official Says That British Health Officials,’ have the same concerns:
“Antibiotic resistance poses a catastrophic threat to medicine and could mean patients having minor surgery risk dying from infections that can no longer be treated.” Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, told Kelland:
“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital . . . for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics.”
In ‘Nightmare’ Bacteria Spreading in U.S. Hospitals, Nursing Homes: CDC,’ MSN News and The Extinction Protocol add: “The [CDC] said 4 percent of U.S. hospitals and 18 percent of nursing homes had treated at least one patient with the bacteria, called [CRE], within the first six months of 2012.”
They quote Frieden: “We only have a limited window of opportunity to stop this infection from spreading to the community and spreading to more organisms.” These more detailed reports add:
“CRE are in a family of more than 70 bacteria called enterobacteriaceae, including Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli, that normally live in the digestive system. . . Although CRE bacteria are not yet found nationwide, they have increased fourfold within the United States.”
As wholesale Christian books explain, God is Our Ultimate Healer: “If thou wilt diligently hearken to The Voice of The LORD Thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes . . . I Am The LORD that healeth thee (Exodus 15: 26).”