Still alive? Count it all joy.

Four months into the Tribulation and we have an unsettling calm befall our big ball.

Admittedly, not many think we are “tribulating”; but I am convinced. After all it’s probably been the worst five months of my life, since September 23.

But enough about me, let’s get back to the main game, the globe, and its epicentre, Israel — or should I say Jerusalem.

A nervous anticipation lies heavy over the Middle East after the resounding decision by Donald John Trump, 45th President of the United States, to shift his nation’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And despite a backlash at the United Nationsten nations have immediately stepped up to confirm they too will move their embassy.¹

The nations include Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, Romania, and South Sudan.

The uneasy calm plumes over mankind shaped like a giant truncheon: that truncheon, according to some, is wielded by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. President Erdogan, apparently, wants to be caliph.²

An uneasy calm because despite Trump’s obvious friendly moves toward Israel, and in stark contrast to his predecessor — thanks to President Trump, the momentum in the Middle East is steadily swinging back in Israel’s favour — there is, as yet, apart from a few words here and there, no Intifada, no usual apocalyptic threats of annihilation and extinction of Israel, no mass riots in the streets. Even Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt have questioned Erdogan; at least that’s the face they’re showing publicly.

This relative calm amid such pressing news about Jerusalem belies the reality. If things seem good, they’re not. If things seem bad, they are far worse.

For instance, moving to the global context, which of the following names render an image in your mind of a leader willing to back down: Kim Jong-un, Donald John Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, or Xi Jinping?

Meanwhile, President Trump’s predecessor remains America’s “most admired man” ten years running.³ If this is a race, will we see a late run on the scene by a dark horse?

Make of all of that what you must.

  1. These countries voted with US as UN condemns Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,  Kaitlyn Schallhorn – Fox News, 22 December 2017; Israel ‘in talks with 10 countries’ about Jerusalem embassy move – SBS News, 26 December 2017

  2. Erdogan’s Israel Obsession, Efraim Inbar – Middle East Forum, 24 December 2017; Turkey’s Erdogan has eye on becoming global caliph, Bob Unruh – World Net Daily (WND), 28 December 2017

  3. Barack Obama Is ‘Most Admired Man’ For 10th Year In A Row, Gallup Poll Says, Jenna Amatulli – Huffington Post, 28 December 2017

Further Reading
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Global Viral News

Roll on with the Rollbacks

Behind the bluster, Donald Trump has made steady and incremental regulatory change, argues John Whitesides at Reuters, toward smaller government.

President Trump has made use of many of the instruments available to him, including some lesser known ones like The Congressional Review Act.

He has rolled back hundreds of rules and regulations, signed 47 executive orders and used a previously obscure legislative tool, the Congressional Review Act, 14 times to undo regulations passed in the final months of Obama’s presidency. The law had only been used once before, 16 years ago.

The rollback takes us back to the days of President Reagan:

“By far, this is the most significant regulatory rollback since Ronald Reagan,” said Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “The Trump mode so far is to regulate bureaucrats rather than the public.”

In its first six months, the Trump administration impacted upon more than 800 regulatory actions of its predecessor.

President Trump is playing the game at two levels, rolling with the punches in both. In the Twitter-verse he is breaking through leftist media and recalcitrant leaders to give himself more breathing space. At the daily grind, he is making purposeful and regular administrative changes and reducing the burden of government on people’s lives.

Left or Right, it is a refreshing change for an America that much needs an overhaul.

Read John Whitesides’ article at “Beyond the daily drama and Twitter battles, Trump begins to alter American life“.

Featured Image: Pixbay

Are we there yet?

The short answer is no. Not by a long shot.

Islamic State took Mosul, needless to say by force, in June 2014. Now, June 2017, they’re on the verge of relinquishing that pivotal gain and, for the first time since becoming a threat, we are realistically talking about their demise.¹’²

All that does not necessarily mean an end to the threat posed by ISIS.³ But it does signify a significant shift in ascendancy of the global will. It does mean the West is back in the scrap.

While the world is not a safe place, far from it, the world is in a slightly more balanced state. Granted, the future does not look good. But, for the first time in many years, we are able to look at the world with clear eyes — and realise the predicament we’re in. Even a year ago that was not the case.

A year ago we were still hurtling headlong into the abyss and, apart from an uneasiness that no-one seemed to be able to put their finger on, none the wiser.

Our eyes have been cleared enough to see how far it is that we have fallen. That’s because we, finally, have a leader who is prepared to call a spade a spade. We have been deluded for far too long. Stuporous from sweet-talk, our senses numbed.

Love him or hate him, for all his faults, it took President Trump 6 months to do what his predecessor seemed incapable of doing in 3 years.

On the contrary, ISIS grew under the previous president’s watch. People should reflect on that fact alone.


¹The Great Muslim Civil War — and Us, Charles Krauthammer – National Review, June 22, 2017

²ISIS Defeat in Mosul ‘Inevitable,’ Ground Forces Commander Says, Lisa Ferdinando – DoD News, Defense Media Activity, U.S. Department of Defense, June 14, 2017

³How ISIS Will End, Mark Juergensmeyer – The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Summer 2016

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U.S. Department of Defense

President Trump’s Special Theory of Relativity

President Donald Trump could afford Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, forty minutes of his time today in New York, as they met aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid; and that only after delaying the meeting for 3 hours.

The President was in Washington lobbying to get his legislation to repeal “Obamacare” through the House, which he did. (It now has to get through the Senate where, of course, the Republicans also hold the balance of power.)

The delay in meeting with Mr Turnbull may not be so much of a snub, but you would think that the President could apportion more than 45 minutes of his time for the Prime Minister of Australia. A staunch ally, in this geopolitical climate, ought to be treated well. Yet speaking with the ally’s leader for 45 minutes is hardly preferential treatment. But, Mr Trump might have bigger fish to fry.

Perhaps Mr Trump is of the opinion that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Maybe that is why he gave Mr Turnbull the: ok, you’ve got 45 minutes!, routine.

Or perhaps he feels that he has so many engagements that he wants, in a show of equanimity, to apportion to each 45 minutes. Interestingly, both Mr Trump (real estate) and Mr Turnbull (investment banking) have a background in business. Mr Turnbull has spent more time in politics than Mr Trump, but Mr Trump knows his way round a deal.

Clearly unhappy with the refugee deal — made by the Australian government with the previous Washington administration — because it goes against his ethos, and mandate, to put America first, Mr Trump, however reluctantly, accepted the deal; artless as it may seem to him. For that, it’s hard to fault him.

It is important that we consider Mr Trump’s antecedent  behaviour, what he displayed even before he was sworn in as president. He hit the ground running before the election result was called. He knew (and he knows) that there is no time to lose, and he has been go, go, go, ever since. It is in this context that we should read the forty-five minutes.

Others have said that the President showed great personal restraint and respect for the relationship with Australia by leaving Washington at all, to go to New York, for the meeting and dinner.

As odd as it sounds, it is possible that President Trump really only had 45 minutes to spare. As important as face-to-face meetings are, in this age of media, much of what can be done in person can be subsumed electronically.

And, as the President knows, you can’t be in two places at once.

Featured Image: World line [Wikimedia Commons]