Minutes to Midnight

News agencies (and here we quote KTLA 5) are reporting that:

The Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the “Doomsday Clock,” a symbolic countdown to the end of the world, to two and a half minutes to midnight. It marks the first time since 1953 — after hydrogen bomb tests in the US and then Soviet Union — that humanity has been this close to global disaster.

Everybody say “god is a good man” (repeat)
Ah, clock on the world
Driving a dump truck up to the sun
A sigh in the human heart

I look at the clock on the wall
It says three minutes to midnight
Faith is blind when we’re so near
Phar Lap floating in a jar ….

Welcome, to February’s Geopolitical.



Here we go, again: Serbia and Kosovo. Are they poised for battle, as Debka reports?

Two armies are already poised for battle: 60,000 Serbian troops, including armored, artillery and air force units, are on war preparedness, facing a much smaller Kosovo security force which, after calling up reserves, numbers around 6,000 combatants.

Not for the first time would a global conflict ignite from sparks originating in the Balkans — before sweeping across Europe like brushfire.

The “Bishop of Rome” (call no man father), has been in the spotlight. He seems a controversial figure, as writes Damian Thompson at The Spectator:

A man who, when he took office, seemed endearingly informal — paying his own bill at his hotel, refusing to live in the Apostolic Palace, making surprise phone calls to members of the public — now cuts a less sympathetic figure. He has broken with a far more significant papal tradition than living in the papal apartments or travelling in limousines. He has defied the convention that a pope, once elected, ceases to play nasty curial politics.

In contrast, continues Damian, Pope Benedict respected this convention:

Liberals who were worried that the ‘Rottweiler’ would harbour ancient grudges watched in amazement — and relief — as he turned into a virtual hermit. This created the factional chaos that led to his resignation — but right up until the end, Benedict was always ‘the Holy Father’.

And then came a surprise announcement: the Bishop of Rome, centrocampista, had played the man and not the ball. The Spectator’s Damian Thompson, this time quoting the Catholic Herald:

The Knights of Malta – an ancient Catholic order that dates back to the crusades – have enjoyed the privileges of a sovereign state for 900 years. Last night the Order of Malta was effectively stripped of its sovereignty in what appears to be a brutal power-grab by the Vatican.



Mr Trump had to contend with a brushfire all his own making:

It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, and heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.

And so February began with a glaring omission by the freshly inaugurated President with, of all things, his International Holocaust Remembrance Day speech. It was not ideal, but it was more a case of diplomatic boundary-drawing by a new Washington administration, rather than the betrayal suggested by many. Let us not dismiss this very sensitive issue, but rather let the survivors speak for themselves:

Mexico will not be paying for the impassable physical barrier of Executive Order 13767. The U.S. Federal Appeals Court also overturned the immigration and refugee ban, which barred citizens from seven “countries of concern”. According to the BBC (and every other news channel), Mr Trump reacted angrily:

What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into US?” he tweeted.

[Ed: In my quieter moments, (and I mean no disrespect by this) I wonder what our world is coming to when the President of the United States can tweet his every inclination.]

Under the new management, 24 civilians and one Navy Seal were killed on a joint Yemeni raid by soldiers from the UAE, the new U.S. administration targeting “senior Al Qaeda people” — or were they merely following through on their Saudi support? And a “veneer of remorse” … that matters little where there is no remorse at all:

Aaron Miller, at Real Clear World, focused on what will be a more calculated, self-interested, risk-averse America under this new management. Our expectations of American foreign policy, for the foreseeable future, should be down to earth:

It may be that U.S. power simply isn’t well suited for the cruel world we now inhabit; and that rather than finding solutions to problems, we may have to settle for managing and producing outcomes, not end states, that hopefully are more favorable to the United States.

Miller’s colleague, Ann Corkery, pressed for the new president to reverse the old president’s last-minute lifting of sanctions on a despotic Sudanese regime:

the regime has done nothing really to deserve this … we’ve seen increasing repression in Khartoum and elsewhere with many arrests and newspaper seizures unprecedented in the two decades I’ve been working on Sudan.

Leading from behind—a theory championed by Linda Hill of the Harvard Business School, that she developed after reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, and one that was ascribed to President Obama’s foreign policy by one of his own advisers—Ann continued, was not leading at all. Great foresight, in this regard, was shown by Charles Krauthammer as far back as 2011, in describing Obama’s foreign policy doctrine.

“New President – Old President”: this is becoming quite a theme

While the Obama years were highlighted by the “rebalancing”—a pivot to Asia—consistent with his more brusque style, Trump plans to pivot through Asia, according to Max Boot:

President Barack Obama will have to wait until after he leaves office to see if some of his most touted foreign-policy achievements — such as the opening to Cuba and the Iranian nuclear deal — survive his presidency. But even before he exits, it is already obvious that his signature policy in East Asia, the “pivot” or “rebalance,” is deader than a dodo. And, no, it’s not just resting; it’s nailed to the perch.

Max went on to show that psychoanalysis, in our modern world, is now the purview of the common man (Freud, after all, has been a sidelined figure in the field of psychology over the decade or so, but unfairly so):

If he is serious about making good on Pacific Pivot, Part II, Trump will need to rethink his aversion to allies and to free trade — along with his habit of unleashing his id every time he opens his mouth or sends a tweet. The new president will soon discover that Xi Jinping, if he feels insulted, has far more potent means of retaliation than Little Marco Rubio, Lyin Ted Cruz, or Crooked Hillary Clinton could possibly have imagined.

Meanwhile, President Trump looks to wind back American funding to the UN. An “Amexit”, according to Kenneth L Marcus of Algemeiner:

The Trump administration is preparing executive orders that would clear the way to drastically reduce the United States’ role in the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties.

Natasha Bertrand, of Business Insider, provides the details:

The legislation, titled the “American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017,” was proposed on January 3. It is co-sponsored by a handful of conservative-leaning lawmakers, including North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, Tennessee Rep. John Duncan, Jr., and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.

But this is in stark contrast to the prior administration (Matthew Lee and Richard Lardner, Times of Israel):

Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.

And on top of this earlier report from CNS News:

The State Department on Tuesday announced it has transferred a further $500 million to a U.N.-affiliated global climate change fund whose congressional critics have derided as a ‘slush fund’ and ‘handout to foreign bureaucrats.’

An erupting issue, with the presidents inauguration, is the risk of any conflict of interest for a president who has spent his entire life as real-estate tycoon. Amid the talk of dossiers, report of emoluments, claim of compromise and provocation, the “I” word—impeachment—also got a run. There are articles even entitled with the “A”-word, heaven forbid.

Trump’s opponents may think he is doing to the constitution what those Russian hookers are alleged to have done to the bed in the Ritz Carlton’s presidential suite.

This is all nothing less than a “foreign policy revolution”, says National Review‘s Charles Krauthammer:

Trump outlined a world in which foreign relations are collapsed into a zero-sum game. They gain, we lose. As in: “For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries” while depleting our own. And most provocatively, this: “The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.”

Calling for the adoption of a 2% of GDP minimum defense spending for individual NATO nations, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis added that:

America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense.

(As it stands, this is achieved only by the United States, (3.6%), Greece, Great Britain, Estonia, and Poland.)

No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values. Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do,” Mattis said. “Disregard for military readiness demonstrates a lack of respect for ourselves, for the alliance, and for the freedoms we inherited which are now clearly threatened.”

Canadian PM Trudeau returned fire in defending his nation’s NATO commitment against criticism from President Trump about unequal investment within the alliance.

At Business Insider, Linette Lopez argues that Steve Bannon not only believes in the theory of saeculum or a “fourth turning”—whereby man’s history moves in cycles of 80-100 years with each culminating in tumult, what the ancient Greeks called “ekpyrosis”, often war—that not only is mankind in one right now (the catalyst for our fourth turning, the GFC says Bannon, has already happened), but that Bannon is trying to catalyse it.

All of these periods were marked by periods of dread and decay in which the American people were forced to unite to rebuild a new future, but only after a massive conflict in which many lives were lost. It all starts with a catalyst event, then there’s a period of regeneracy, after that there is a defining climax in which a war for the old order is fought, and then finally there is a resolution in which a new world order is stabilised.

We have entered How and Strauss’ regeneracy stage, a period of isolationism —of infrastructure building and strong centralised government power and a new economic dawn. Global authoritarian politics is the preparation for massive conflict, East (Middle East or China) vs. West.

This is ‘a global existential war’ that likely will become ‘a major shooting war in the Middle East again.’ War with China may also be looming.

Lopez argues, on the other hand, that there is a large gap, for instance, between Trump’s “American carnage” of today and Roosevelt’s inaugural address of 1933, in which he described a country laid waste by the Depression.

A key feature of the fourth turning, is that of a key figure, a “Grey Champion”:

Early on in their epoch, Fourth Turning Grey Champions are faced with a choice. Either they will die to their political ego and tell the truth like the Lincoln did in the Civil War Saeculum. Or they will succumb to the allure of quasi-heroic can kicking like FDR did in the Great Power Saeculum.

The election of Trump did not mark the end for the Deep State, but just the beginning of the end. Just as Paine’s Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence denoted the beginning of a long string of bloody trials and tribulations, Trump’s ascendency to the presidency has marked the beginning of a battle – with the outcome dependent upon our response to the clashes ahead.

The regeneracy spurred by Thomas Paine and the nation’s Founding Fathers in 1776 was followed by five years of ordeal, misery, misfortune, bloody routs, and numerous junctures where total defeat hung in the balance. Lesser men would have abandoned the cause during the dark bitter winter at Valley Forge in 1778.

Lending to the debate, in his new book Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity,  is Samuel Huntington. As portrayed at Online Opinion, fundamental to national identity is culture, and Anglo-Protestant culture is what defines America rather than (her) creed: “those aspirational political values which Americans hold dear, liberty, equality, democracy, individualism, human rights, the rule of law, private property.”

Don DeBats explains:

Huntington sees both the idea of an American national political identity and its cultural core as under attack. But these enemies are not Islamic terrorists. They are America’s own political and cultural elites with their doctrines of cultural pluralism. Armed with a misinformed virtue, these elites, says Huntington, have systematically undermined the very idea of a national identity and sought to erase its cultural component, leaving the salience of American national identity low and the substance resting on an insufficient political creed.

By invoking Wilbur Zelinsky’s doctrine of ‘First Effective Settlement’, “the original Anglo-Protestant cultural core as carried by the first settlers”, Huntington’s says, that that “exerted an extraordinary shaping force on the ideas of those who followed.”

In this Anglo-Protestant culture was the definition of America as a Christian nation with a specifically Protestant moral compass and the work ethic; here was the central agreement on English as America’s only language, the British traditions of law, justice and limits on government. And here too was the source of America’s love of European art, literature, philosophy and music.

Lopez makes a good argument and her fear is not misplaced, but we cannot help but suspect that Steve Bannon is more right than wrong on this one. Sometimes you just have to go on instinct, and not the facts as they appear at any point in time.


The signing of executive orders has become almost a daily occurrence in the recent American past:

As one of his first acts in office, President Trump signed an executive order signalling that the Keystone XL pipeline is on again.

Not good news for Venezuela:

Not to put too fine a point on it: Keystone XL is a kick in the nuts Ottawa has aimed milimetrically at Caracas.

“The whole point of Keystone XL”, argues Francsico Toro at Caracas Chronicles, “is to take Alberta’s extra-heavy oil from the middle of Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.” The Gulf [of Mexico] Coast is home to the specific refineries that can process the extra-heavy crude — which just so happens to be the same type of crude that oil-rich (but in economic dire straits) Venezuela produces. Keystone XL is a direct competitive threat to Venezuela’s oil industry.

President Trump met with Japan’s PM Abe, the latter looking to arrange for a bilateral trade agreement in the wake of the demise of the TPP at the hands of the former:

And ex-CIA boss Brennan—extrapolating from Lloyd Billingsley FrontPage Mag article—may have a genuine chance of being offered the role of chimney-sweep:

He faces damage left by outgoing CIA boss John Brennan, who never should have had that job or any intelligence post, not even to make coffee.

In mid-January, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega received a visit from Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen. Not a wise move, according to Rod Sweet (Global Construction Review):

It is astonishing because Ortega (pictured) has pinned Nicaragua’s fortunes on a Chinese-built, $50bn transoceanic canal that would make it a global shipping node to rival Panama, while, for China, Taiwanese sovereignty is a thick red line, the crossing of which makes any government a mortal enemy of its long cherished “One China” policy.

Finally, in the Americas, President Trump gave his first address to Congress, including a lament and honour to fallen Navy Seal Owens. As reported by J. E. Dyer, the difference between what President Trump said and what his predecessor would have said (in those circumstances) is stark:

It was like balm to the spirit, to hear a president simply assure a sailor’s widow, not that she had our support, as if she were a collapsing railroad bridge, but that her husband’s legacy is etched into eternity.

And then President Trump went on to do many of the things that his predecessor might also have done, but didn’t: like speak about the tangible aspects of American corporate leadership; like using the explicit phrase “radical Islamic terrorism”.



The Threat from Kaliningrad is Real”, argues Jorge Benitez at Real Clear World:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been deploying more and more forces in a strategic piece of Russian territory that lies in a vulnerable area of NATO geography. How President-elect Donald Trump responds to this challenge will be one of the first tests of his new administration.

Russia erred with its show of support for the Trump candidacy, going as far as champagne celebrations to the result of the November ballot. This outward show goes against the precepts of international diplomacy. It is not statesman-like and it shows poor judgement. It invites claims of meddling in the internal affairs of another sovereign, whether the claims are founded or not. And it leaves you open for ridicule when things don’t work out as you had hoped. And things for Russia are not working out, with a Trump presidency, as they would have hoped. (In diplomacy, particularly international diplomacy in the era of instant media, discretion remains the better part of valour.)

At this stage of his rule, Putin faces a dilemma, says Petrov. He can either move further ahead to full scale authoritarianism, or start liberal political and economic reforms. Moving in any direction will be difficult.

“Russian military embarks on ‘colossal’ construction programme”, says the Global Construction Review, including converting the makeshift port at Tartus into a permanent facility “capable of basing 11 ships headed by a vice admiral.” Multiple constructions will begin in and across Russia but also Kaliningrad and the Kuril Islands off the coast of Japan. There are also 100 military infrastructure projects planned for the Arctic this year alone. Utilising modular steel-frame construction, “in 2016, more than 2,500 buildings were added to the military estate”, the remaining infrastructure will all be built within the space of 2-3 years.

[T]he largest of the projects involved the construction of port facilities for submarines at Novorossiysk and accommodation for two missile brigades in the Southern Military District.

The infrastructure spending has two benefits: to boost Russia’s military arsenal; and to give a timely boost to the Russian economy.

Turkey has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, rating for press freedom in the world. That fact is not lost on Chancellor Merkel.

Ms Merkel has the uncanny ability to raise the difficult conversation, in a matter-of-fact way, yet without offending. This is her charm, I am convinced. The Merkel touch. (Perhaps less convinced would be Gerhard Schröder, but that’s another matter entirely.) Of course there is a steely determination behind that affable persona — Ms Merkel, I mean. (Perhaps Mr Schröder too.)



“One China” is a pleasant fiction. It is a vestigial diplomatic arrangement whereby China gets official recognition from most of the world and the U.S. recognizes Taiwan as an unofficial ally.

The Sino-American relationship hinges on three issues. Ben Shapiro, at Geopolitical Futures, sees the crux of this tango to be:

  1. The South China Sea: while the United States is not impressed by China’s behaviour in the South China Sea, the  “political and military costs of stopping them” are not worth the risk.
  2. US-China Trade: is too important for both sides to risk, “there will be friction, accusations and recriminations, but trade will go on.”
  3. North Korea: Is North Korea a top national security threat for the U.S.? Not really.

North Korea does not have a device capable of reaching the United States. If it develops one, North Korea won’t fire it at the U.S. Mutually assured destruction loses nothing in its translation to Korean. North Korea’s key goal is regime survival. Its nuclear program is about ensuring that survival. The irony of nuclear weapons is that they only ensure survival by not being used.


Middle east and north africa

Changes are coming thick and fast in Israel and, as Carolyn Glick argues, in the wake of stalling American plans to relocate its Israeli embassy, Israel’s time to act decisively is now. Israel, according to Glick needs to act while a Republican government is in power — as President Obama’s lasting legacy is “his transformation of the Democratic Party into an anti-Israel party”, ensuring that “his deep hostility toward Israel will likely be shared by his partisan successors.” What Ms Glick never fails to do (and why not?, somebody has to) is retain the dying art of calling a spade a shovel, and always at just the right time:

Trump’s emerging strategy on Iran and ISIS, together with his refusal to operate in accordance with the standard US playbook on the Palestinians, indicates that the US has abandoned this practice. Under Trump, Israel is free to defeat its enemies.

There’s one main obstacle to peace, its name starts with “P”:

The new administration appears to understand, as Obama never did, that the biggest obstacle to peace is the Palestinians, who have repeatedly rejected Israel’s offers of a two-state solution that would involve dismantling settlements. Had they ever said “yes” to Israel’s offers, those settlements beyond Jerusalem and the blocs would have been vacated years ago.

And one person’s errand is to predict President Trump’s next move, and its name starts with “F”:

Predicting what Donald Trump will ultimately do in the Middle East or anywhere else is a fool’s errand. But if there is any one overarching theme to his foreign policy it is a rejection of his predecessor’s approach. Trump has already shown an understanding that Obama’s misguided Middle East preoccupations weakened the U.S. position and made the region a more dangerous place. He may make mistakes of his own in the next four years, but it is highly unlikely that he will repeat those of his predecessor.

Adam Kredo, at Washington Free Beacon, in effect claims (and who would argue this) that national security adviser Flynn was ousted by political pressure originating from none other than ex-President Obama himself.

The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.

Webster Tarpley reports of his reservations for all the potential candidates to replace Mr Flynn: including General David Petraeus, who served as Director of the CIA in 2011/12; former head of the NSA, General Keith Alexander; former 4-star marine General James Jones who was head of the National Security Council for President Clinton in 1993; and John Bolton who served as ambassador to the UN in 2005/06 . More importantly, with respect to this saga, and as anticipated, there are clear and continuing signs that ex-President Obama will not go quietly into the night. He may be officially out of office, but the ex-President’s tenure is not yet over — not if he has anything to do with it.

But at Geopolitical Futures, George Friedman saw things differently, believing that Flynn may have been undercut by the likes of Mattis and Tillerson within his own ranks:

The real problem is not that he spoke to the Russians or visited Moscow. There was no secret deal. Rather, the problem was that he tried to execute a radical shift in strategy that was actively opposed by senior officials. When they heard what Flynn was doing, they went ballistic. To put it another way, Trump shut down an attempt by Flynn to bring the Russians into the IS war. And Putin did not escape the sanctions.

With the usual media circus around Washington, it’s easy to forget that world continues tearing itself apart, one car bomb at a time.

Baghdad, Feb 17 (2017)

Islamic State is under the pump but managed, critically, to recapture a handful of villages on the outskirts of Raqqa by mid-month, using “dam warfare” to raise the Euphrates River water level. Islamic State fighter numbers has been the purview of guestimates but they are still sufficient, according to Cheyenne Ligon, for IS to fight on multiple fronts.

The current battle unfolding between the SDF [Syrian Defence Forces] and IS in western Raqqa is significant. It represents an instance in which IS’ core territory is being threatened.

According to the Iraq Sitrep, Muqtada Al-Sadr is inciting large scale demonstrations again:

The increased intensity of the Sadrist demonstrations could escalate ongoing intra-Shi’a competition in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Sadrist Trend leader Muqtada al-Sadr retains the momentum to continue mass protests, busing in and mobilizing thousands on February 11, then again on February 14, and calling for another protest on February 17.

The GCR is also reporting that Iran, freed from the imposition of sanctions, is negotiating $8.6 billion of oil refinery refurbishment contracts as well as planning for 12 new refineries, while Reuters reports that Iran has discovered  two billion barrels of light crude in reserves, in its western Lorestan province, to add to its 160 billion barrels of proven reserves that amounts to 10% of the world’s total and ranking it fourth highest in the world


European Union

The export-heavy German economy may become a victim of her own success, if the European and global economic doldrums continue. Antonia Colibasanu, at Geopolitical Futures, reports on the triad of exports, banks and shipping, with Germany recording the largest trade surplus of any nation in the world at almost half its GDP. Germany, critically then, is dependent on foreigners having money to but her exports. But on the same day as the trade figures were released, the second largest bank in Germany, Commerzbank, announced increased provisions for bad shipping loans. And this is hot on the heels of Deutsche Bank (Germany’s largest) losses on shipping loans having tripled in a year. It is this financial sector exposure to the shipping industry coupled with her strong balance of trade that makes Germany vulnerable to the economic global winds of fortune.

Based on Petrofin Global Bank Research statistics, German banks own one-fourth of all outstanding shipping loans made by large banks (about $90 billion). That makes them vulnerable to the shipping malaise. … So far, none of these shipping-related credit problems have been big enough to challenge the German banking system’s stability. … But the rate at which losses are increasing year-on-year is worrisome, especially since the shipping industry is not expected to recover large profit margins anytime soon. The acceleration of bank losses due to shipping sector problems indicates the increasing vulnerability of the German banking sector to global markets.



David Rogers at Global Construction Review summarises the port infrastructure “revolution” coming to a desperate continent, where 90% of trade, including domestic, “moves by sea … partly because it can’t move any other way”, thanks to the insatiable resource appetite of the cashed-up Chinese.

With its crippling deficiency in ports and overland transport infrastructure, Africa has been cut off from modern world trade. But over the next five years, thanks to international investment, much of the continent will be fitted with state-of-the-art deepwater container terminals able to handle supersized box carriers, plus modern transport networks to distribute them.

One of the projects has been the “commissioning of a standard-gauge electric rail line between Addis Ababa and Djibouti”, … giving “landlocked Ethiopia a much-needed outlet to the Indian Ocean”.

Finally, this month, did Ian Tuttle—Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow at the National Review Institute—follow our recent post on partisanship? Probably not. But he may as well have:

This country has plenty of activists, in government and out of it. Massive numbers of people on both sides are prepared to march and shout and donate and propagandize on behalf of their preferred causes. We don’t need more activists. We need journalists.

Where has that old friend gone
Lost in a February song

Tell him it won’t be long
till he opens his eyes, opens his eyes …

Donald Trump settled quickly into the Whitehouse, hitting the ground running. His stunning election victory is a point of inflection in global politics, unleashing a reactionary wave of leftist movements both domestically and internationally (having become long-accustomed to the reactionary far-right discourse that so closely accompanied the Obama years radical agenda). With policies that are inclined increasingly toward the far right, we are now quickly getting used to the howls from the left. It’s February 2017, and two-and-a-half minutes to midnight.


Note: Quotes are linked, for ease of referencing.

Top most video is of Midnight Oil, in concert, on Goat Island, Sydney Harbour, in 1985 (as per User: Skitizen, YouTube), with those distinctive vocals—and theatrics—of Peter Garrett. For those of you who are Midnight Oil fans and in Australia, Midnight Oil are back together and touring. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

Further Reading
Further Reading
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Temerity and the Deep State

Let me preface this post by asking that you consider reading it through to the end, even if you don’t have the time to watch all the video. Forsake the world, before it’s too late …

When I say temerity, I am referring to Mr Trump. But don’t misunderstand me: I mean his boldness to go against the powers that be rather than any assumption to arrogance; his willingness to have a go — to chance his arm.

Recorded before the election, Jim Marrs summarises, I think, Mr Trump’s predicament and outlook nicely:

A deep state in America:

Ron Paul points out the hidden but all-too-real pressures that Mr Trump will face from within:

Mr Roberts looks more deeply at these internal machinations:

Ed: America — the entire globe in fact — is in a very precarious position right now. The world is truly at a calamitous inflection point in its history (and I don’t mean only financially, but physically, morally, and metaphysically). Great and perilous evil is afoot, with certain leaders showing reckless tendencies and giving off a false sense of safety (and of course, I don’t mean Mr Trump — he has not yet had the chance to show his wares).

There are some leaders who I make a point of avoiding hearing what they have to say, because they are distorted, corrupting, and nefarious. They are sending the unwary down a pit. There are not many people I hate in the world, but this one politician (or at least what he seemingly stands for) I hate categorically. He has brought nothing but destruction to the world.

But, we must all quickly and desperately be turning our attention from leaders and the news and turning our focus to the Almighty. I am reminded that the we are not friends with the world.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Time is running out. We have all become weak. We need to pray for guidance and strength and to walk in the Spirit (Ruach). 

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Let me tell you, Messiah means it.

We need to be on guard against the continual evil the world offers.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Let me tell you, Messiah means it.

And we need to act our way out of this malaise — by speaking and behaving our way out of it. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your ways and to guard your tongue. Do more: around the home; at work; in church; and elsewhere. Do good. Repay evil with good (because not only is this edifying to the evil-doer and good for you, but it also heaps hot coals on the offender’s head such that they question their behaviour). And that is the point. We need to act the way we want the world to be. And for that, Messiah Yeshua is role model and mentor. And we have been given the power and authority. We now must use that power and authority invested in us by Messiah.

Start by removing any unwholesome talk and instead speak edification over your life and to those around you. It is the path to life. Halliluyah (“I praise Yah”) and Halleluyah (“you praise Yah”). 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

I gave my life to the Lord four years ago, water-immersion baptised 12 months ago. The evening before last, I had visitation. Truly, Messiah revealed himself to me in a show of great meekness. I felt His awesome presence. His great power. It rendered me unable to stand and unable to speak. I was (and still am) shaken by it. He is not happy with our ways. I did not hear His voice but, at the end, He did reveal to me His face. And His face was some way into the distance. I feel this represented at least a couple of things: firstly, that He is not yet here but coming very quickly; second, that when He does get here — as He gets closer and closer — His power is going to be absolutely tremendous. Yes, I have seen the Messiah. But I am so blown away by His power and by what will soon unfold in the world that I cannot, right now, indulge in that fact. Briefly, what blew me away was that despite all this power His countenance was matter-of-fact and with a humility beyond any comparison. I cannot do His humility justice with description, suffice it to say for now that: given His testimony as the Son of Man, and his immense authority and power (and eyes full of purpose), His humility defies understanding. And I cannot reinforce enough that He is the King. And He is my KING. My allegiance is to Him. This visitation brought His Word into stark relief, confirming the truisms that He speaks. The worldly interpretations and portrayals do Him no justice. I thought I knew Him, but I now see Him in a whole new light. And with that His words take on a new weighty and earthy reality. It has brought it all home.

He means what He says and says what He means. It is that simple. Simple and also frightening, but at the same time encouraging.

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

I tell you, for I have seen His face: Messiah means it.

I am not ready to write about the whole encounter now (it was all too much), but, hopefully, in the near future I will be. I am not want to talk of my testimony but, at such times as these (and if it edifies others), so be it. Please take heed of this message, and spread the word. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is coming. And I don’t mean He will be here tomorrow. But the evil is here already and escalating exponentially and soon (within weeks to months) very dark days will be among us. This is not pie-in-the-sky stuff. This is all too real. In Messiah’s words: verily, verily. Truly, truly.

I am suspecting that large swathes of people will lose internet access in the not-too-distant future, so I have chosen to write this now. It’s time to get prepared for the worst, but always praying for the best and maintaining good cheer and edifying those around you. Please. I implore you. There is no time to lose.

Your humble servant and in the name of the King of Kings, Messiah Yeshua (not only is He real but He is much more than anyone could manage to describe or portray, such that even writing these few things about Him now has reduced me to tears).

Probation for the kingdom is drawing to a close, get yourself in through the narrow gate.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

This is a long audio. Naturally, for a session so long, it does lose it’s way a little in the middle. But it comes home with a wet sail, helping to wrap up the predicament in the USA right now  — so it may be worth your while to listen to. You can have it playing while you’re peeling the spuds. 🙂

Do we get the leaders that we need or the leaders that we deserve?

President-elect Trump will make a good leader. Campaign rhetoric and bluster aside, he has shown enough compassion to suggest that he will — for a hard-nosed conservative — be sensitive to the people’s needs. Not that his rhetoric has no substance: he comes across as genuine, if not a little too genuine, but he appears to learn (and quickly) from his mistakes. Before you all throw up your arms in the air in dismay then, he may be what America needs. But will he make America great again?

Having thrown the handbook out during his campaign (probably more like only just received the handbook now), one suspects that he will stick to a tight script in office. He has never had any military experience. Coupled with no political experience, his will be a tall hill to climb. The learning curve is steep.

In many ways we do get the leaders that we deserve. A brash leader for a brash and proud nation. But we also get the leaders that we need: a hard leader for hard times. And make no mistake, these are (and will be) hard times. Many don’t yet realise just how hard. They soon will. They soon will realise that times are going to get very, very hard. Sure, just as in the days of Noah — they’ll be eating, and drinking, and marrying. [This is a terrifying prophesy, suggesting that outwardly everything will seem like business as usual.] But the profligacy, the good time, is over. It hearkens back to the days of President Reagan — only worse. Moreover, it may represent a paradigm shift (the boot’s on the other foot) and we should “party” like its 1989?

We are at the very steps of unprecedented global financial chaos and conflict — it is that simple. And all the solutions that man will throw out in response, in the coming months, will fail. That much is sure. The election of a U.S. president who looks to be focusing increasingly inwards (on domestic issues) is probably the appropriate choice right now. And that is what won Mr Trump the election. America needs to look after America.

[I sure hope that we do not see any threats made to Mr Trump’s personhood. I wish him well and pray for him as I pray for all our leaders (whether they seem agreeable or not). But the days are surely evil. Yet bright we must shine, as declares Ephesians 5 (emphases my own).]

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The presidential battle was unprecedented in rhetorical style and substance and notable for flagrant abandonment of any pretense to the rules of public discourse and demeanour. It is a testament to the character of both candidates that they made it through to the vote. Is it going too far to say that running — for both candidates — was an existential necessity? It was hard and brutal. It leaves the distinct impression that this is the way that public life will be, for the foreseeable future.

We are witnessing the irrevocable decline in the great republic that we call America. It will not go quietly, yet it will not be completely destroyed. But it will never be the same again. And perhaps that’s a good thing. Within the next half-decade — yes, that quickly — American power will wane remarkably. And there’s nothing Mr Trump, Mrs Clinton, or anybody else can do about it. The remnant nation will be a significant player in the globe, but it won’t be the significant global player.

America will no more look to be global leader — after the tremendous upheaval that is coming, she simply will not have that ability. She will resign to confirming herself within the continent rather than on the global stage. Yes, she will be great again. But she will be regionally great, not globally great. [She may need Mr Trump’s wall after all]. The Republic is dead; long live the Republic. And out of the chaos — it won’t be pretty for the next 5 years (there will be global financial chaos and military conflict) — will arise a new beacon, from the east. No. Not the far east. Not Russia or China, for they too will see their power reduced commensurately. But Israel. Yes, Israel. That now tiny nation will be the new world leader — and Jerusalem that light on the hill. [Take a good look at the world now, for it will soon be no more.]

One final thought: it will be interesting to see how President Obama adapts to the President-elect and manages his own withdrawal from office, as much as it will be to see how the President-elect adapts to his new found status. First impressions are that Mr Trump was somewhat humbled by the grace shown to him by the American people. And so while there are great headwinds for the nation and the world, we are at least off to a good start. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how the people respond to a Trump presidency. First impressions here are less than favourable. But sometimes we need to take a step back before we take steps forward. This is a lesson that America, perhaps for her very first time on the global stage, is about to learn.

The Pot Calls Out the Kettle

President Obama defies convention in his talk of Mr Trump.

I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said so last week, and he keeps on proving it.

To be so open about it the president must, no-doubt, believe this ardently. He must feel also that he has earned the right and confidence of the American people. And certainly he would have a lot of people who would agree with him. Perhaps that is why he said it? But I am happy to give him the benefit of the doubt, and consider it the former—that he said it out of a pure zeal for what he believes to be so.

Not many of us know what it’s like to run a country, let alone the world superpower (most of us have trouble enough running our own household). And there’s that old caveat about statistics. Nevertheless, others have looked at President Obama’s tenure (and many still will):

U.S. Economic Indicators under President Obama

The Good
source: tradingeconomics.com





and The Unprepossessing



Before 1980, greater increases in government debt were subsequently repaid. Since the 1980s that all changed, with ever-increasing debt (and perhaps no intention of ever paying off that debt) becoming the new norm.


The only time in history that U.S. government debt has been higher was in 1946 (118% of GDP) to fund the war effort. The debt is currently equal to that of GDP: the U.S. government spends as much as the entire nation produces. In the mid 1900’s, annual government spending was just 3% of GDP. [Image: Metrocosm]

What of the social ramifications of the current president’s tenure? What of the street riots, police shootings, and general discontent? Not that we are blaming the president for these things, but they are part of the general malaise that seems to have gripped the U.S.

[Image: Metrocosm]


Presidencies are more than just economies, and superpower presidencies far more than domestic issues alone. Think back to before 2008, when there was very much a global status quo. That state of equipoise was delivered by a century of American global oversight—our pax Americana.

Admittedly, 2008 was the time the GFC hit the globe. Nonetheless, we have since seen a planetary shift in fundamental international relations, most notably in the Middle East, and we appear to be falling headlong into another Cold War.

More than anything else, this presidency will be marked by an unmatched keenness to maintain American hegemony while drawing down on the resources used to do so. It is the age of “managing” international relations by forcing other nations to do much of the heavy lifting. It is (and will be) seen in the South Pacific, in Eurasia, in South America, and it’s wake is the very vortex in the Middle East.

That is, and will be, Mr Obama’s legacy.

And with that legacy, is the president entitled to his opinion? Has the president won the overwhelming confidence of the American people to give that opinion? Does the president have the authority, with the runs on the board, to dote some grandfatherly gesture to his ‘progeny’ like so?


As far as my eyes see, America (and the world) is not fit for a haircut. And much of that is because of what has occurred on the current president’s watch.

We are at a precarious time in human history, in absentia of leaders. All is not well.


Further Reading