Thursday, February 28, 2013

"The Coming Economic Earthquake?"

There's a new game in Washington, D.C. called "kick the can down the road." The rules? Go from one crisis to another. Wait until the 11th hour to see if the opposition blinks. Agree to a last minute delay. Patch with a temporary band-aid solution and repeat as necessary. After all, no crisis is too big to ignore. The result? A ballooning crisis bubble. Thought you saw the last of the January 1st fiscal cliff?

Nope. It's ba-a-a-a-ack. Only now they're calling it "the sequester." The so-called fiscal cliff "compromise" consisted of a 2-month delay. On March 1st it will rear its ugly head again causing automatic, across-the-board spending cuts to go into effect. President Obama is blaming Republicans, even though the plan was first hatched in the White House as something "so terrible they will never allow it to happen." GOP now says bad spending cuts are better than no spending cuts. "It's a bad idea whose time has come."

Remember the budget? Oh, that's right--they haven't passed one in four years. Instead, Congress has been relying on a series of short-term "continuing resolutions" (CR). The current CR expires March 27, and Congress must pass a new one to avoid a government shutdown. And then there's the debt ceiling (the amount of debt the government must never, ever spend above, or else!)

Originally slated for mid-February, Congress has temporarily raised the debt ceiling until May 19th (when a catastrophic default will result...unless they raise it again). And let's not forget the ever looming Social Security and Medicare tsunami that's relentlessly heading our way. How much longer can D.C. ignore that one? Well, let's see--how far can they kick? The problem with this game is that it can't be won. The road is increasingly bumpy and the cans are turning into time bombs.

Is Congress worried? Nah. They're going on vacation...again.

Okay gang--so what do we do about it? Ideally, we ought to kick them all out of office and start over, but unfortunately that opportunity was lost last November. Instead, many financially savvy experts advise: stop waiting for the government to solve these issues. Prepare your own house. There's a coming economic earthquake that is growing more and more inevitable as each crisis adds more cracks to an already over-stressed system. Any good news regarding the economy must be seen in light of the $16 trillion debt and the seemingly endless money printing.

We'd like to suggest an investment of a different kind: your place in the world to come. (Not sure you're going?click here ). Many of us are so busy living in the here and now, we rarely think about what happens next. Often we fail to realize that the way we live our lives here on earth will have eternal and unchangeable consequences and that our life experience in eternity is being determined by how we invest this life today. Bible prophecy was never intended to merely satisfy our curiosity about future events; it is intended to have a purifying effect on our lives (1 John 1:3).

"Another reason for right living is that you know how late it it; the time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don't live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light. We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior. Don't participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy. But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires" (Romans 13:11-14).  In other words, kicking the can down the road doesn't fly for the Christian.

Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7a).

A wise man once said: "The curtain of this earthly drama will close, but it will open in eternity. What we encounter there will have been determined to some degree by the life we lived on this earth. Only in this life can we impact the kind of eternity we shall enjoy. For we are becoming today, the person we will be throughout eternity" --author Erwin W. Lutzer


  • Fox News Channel: Nearly 50% of Detroit residents failed to pay their taxes worsening the city's fiscal crisis.
  • Politico: ICE announced Tuesday that it has released several hundred undocumented immigrants due to funding cuts (sequestration)
  • FNC: Potentially deadly invasive Asian ant species gaining foothold in U.S.
  • The Telegraph: Moody's downgraded UK credit rating because of "huge debt burden"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Wars and Rumors of Wars--Iran Crossing 'Red Line'?"

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came out of the closet two weeks ago in Cairo and declared Iran was a "nuclear state."

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hastened to walk the statement back: "Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, but no power could stop Tehran's access to an atomic bomb if it intended to build it."

Debkafile reports: "The components of a nuclear weapon have been procured, but Tehran has not yet assembled it. And if the Islamic Republic has acquired the components and knowledge for building one bomb, more would be no object."

Last week, The Sunday Times revealed that Iranian scientists attended the latest North Korean atomic test. The nuclear partnership between the two countries assigns Iran with the development of small nuclear warheads and North Korea with ballistic missiles. Through shared technology, they have achieved a nuclear warhead capacity, leaving Tehran the element of surprise.

On Thursday, February 21, a UN nuclear report stated: "Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant." In response, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warns: "Centrifuge report shows Iran nearing "Red Line" and is closer today than ever before to obtaining the necessary enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb." The White House said "that the window remains open for diplomacy with Iran, but will not stay open indefinitely," according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Japan has warned it would launch a preemptive military strike against North Korea if it had firm evidence Pyongyang was planning a missile attack. According to Press TV News: Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said, "When an intention to attack Japan is evident, the threat is imminent, and there are no other options. Japan is allowed under law to carry out strikes against enemy targets."

The UN Security Council said in a statement on February 12: "There continues to exist a clear threat to international peace and security." Members of the Council would "begin work immediately on appropriate measures in a Security Council resolution."

It seems Iran's nuclear ambitions are beginning to cause a ripple effect:

  • Iran threatening Israel
  • Japan threatening North Korea
  • North Korea threatening South Korea
  • Both Iran and North Korea threatening the U.S.
  • How long before China and Russia jump into the act?

Netanyahu's office released a statement quoting the prime minister as saying the latest findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were "a very grave report which proves that Iran is continuing to make rapid progress toward the red line." President Obama plans his first trip to Israel next month. Let's hope preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is finally on his agenda.

A wise man once said: "No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism."  Winston Churchill

"And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows" Matthew 24:6-8.


  • U.S. News: Economic review finds Detroit in 'Financial emergency'; unable to fix budget woes.
  • NBC N.Korea threatens 'final destruction' of S.Korea in UN debate.
  • Fox News Channel: H&R Block warns Obamacare tax penalty will negatively impact low and middle income tax returns starting next year.
  • CNBC: President sounds dire warnings as automatic spending cuts (sequestration) nears.
  • Bloomberg: In a leaked email, top Walmart executive blames tax hikes on middle income for "total disaster" in February sales.
  • CNBC: U.S. Senate considers new bio-metric Federal ID card.
  • CNBC: DoD prepares possible furlough of 800,000 employees due to sequestration.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"North Korea, Vatican Bombshells"

North Korea, the most unpredictable country in Asia, triggered a scrambling panic among its neighbors on Tuesday by conducting its third nuclear test. And guess who they're blaming?

Us! The United States.

Pyongyang said the test was an act of self-defense against, "U.S. hostility." Um-m-m, what hostility?

Anyone remember the online video they posted last week? The one featuring a North Korean man dreaming about blowing  New York City to smithereens? Look who's calling the kettle black!

The test was met with condemnation from around the globe. The White House called it a "highly provocative act that undermines regional stability" and constitutes "a threat to U.S. national security." The explosion registered a magnitude 5.1 with a yield of "several kilotons" according to the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Arms experts believe the country is making advances that will allow it to lob a nuclear-tipped missile as far as the U.S. mainland, though no analysts take them seriously. So what are they going to do about it?

Well, emergency meetings were held all over the place. South Korea and Japan got together with their top national security officials while the U.N. Security Council convened in yet another emergency session.

The end result? More sanctions, of course.

North Korea is already one of the most heavily sanctioned states in the world. "The more North Korea shoots missiles, launches satellites, or conducts nuclear tests, the more the U.N. Security Council will impose new sanctions," says Professor Shen Dingli. "It's an endless, vicious cycle," and not likely to succeed. And it gets worse, people.

According to one U.S. senior official, "(it's) very possible" that the North Koreans are being paid to test nuclear bombs for Iran. The two countries have long cooperated on missile technology, and many intelligence officials believe they share nuclear knowledge as well, though so far there is no hard evidence. President Obama said, "The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies." Let's hope he means more than just another round of useless sanctions.

Meanwhile, the news out of Rome this week have many counting down the days to the End. Apparently, the ancient Catholic prophecies attributed to St. Malachy, a 12th-century Irish bishop, predicted the exact number of popes before the end of the world. (Move over Mayans!)

As Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on Monday, a collective gasp was emitted. Wasn't Benedict the 111th pope?

Uh, oh. According to Malachy, there will only be 112 popes. Period. The End. Literally.

And that ain't all, folks. The centuries-old "prophecy of the Pope's", describes each of the last 112 popes with a few cryptic words that adherents insist fit like a glove.

For instance: John Paul II--Pope # 110 was associated with the phrase, "From the labor of the sun." It so happened that he was born on the day of a solar eclipse and was entombed on the day of a solar eclipse.

Next came Benedict XVI, # 111--"glory of the olive." The fulfillment? A monastic order founded by St. Benedict are known as--get this--Olivetans!

And last but not least--drum roll please--#112, with the spookiest prophecy of all: "In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman church, there will sit Peter the Roman, (or Petrus Romanus) who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end."

And the best part? One of the prime candidates to fill spot 112 is named Peter! (and he's black, to boot! Didn't Nostradamus mention a "young red black one"?) But even if they don't pick that guy, we betcha #112 will still manage to cram that glove on. Why?

Because every pope is a successor to Peter and every pope is based in Rome, thus the name Petrus Romanus is a generic term that will fit any and all popes. We don't want to be party-poopers, but even the Catholic church doesn't vouch for the authenticity of the prophecies. According to Sister Madeleine Grace, a  historical theologian at the University of St. Thomas, "There are a number of red flags. The material that implies they're talking about future popes is rather scanty indeed, and there are factual errors. The likelihood is that they're some kind of forgery."

Rule of thumb? Go with the most reliable info available. St. Malachy, Nostradamus, and the infamous Mayans all pale when compared to the amazing accuracy and detail provided by the eternal, inerrant, God-in-print, Bible.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" John 1:1.

A wise man once said: "In an effort to satisfy man's age-old curiosity about the future, modern-day prophets and astrologers are enjoying the greatest revival since the ancient days of Babylon...yet they over look the ancient seers of Israel, the Hebrew prophets. Three millenniums of history testify to their prophetic marksmanship. To ignore their incredible predictions of man's destiny and the events which are soon to effect this planet will be perhaps the greatest folly of this generation." --author Hal Lindsey


  • New York Post: Russia, Iran sign agreements to form "strategic partnership" as Russia sends warships to Iranian port.
  • Washington Post: Iran's bid to buy banned magnets stokes fears about major expansion of nuclear capacity.
  • Debka File: New estimated Syrian death toll rise to 90,000.
  • FNC: Outgoing Social Security commissioner raises new fears about the program's sustainability.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Does the Government Have Plans to Grab Your 401k?"

Americans have accumulated roughly $19.4 trillion in retirement accounts. The government has accumulated roughly $16 trillion (and counting) in debt. Hm-m-m-m.

You don’t suppose…the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is weighing whether it should take on a role in “helping” Americans “manage” those retirement funds, do you? According to Bloomberg, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Of course, it’s not a done deal. It’s only one “of the things we’ve been exploring and are interested in, in terms of whether and what authority we have,” said Richard Cordray, bureau director.

Oh really? Why don’t they try “exploring” ways to be fiscally responsible and leave our hard-earned savings alone?

They won’t though.

Government has never seen a dollar it didn’t spend. And you can bet the old spin cycle will be running overtime trying to make it sound like it’s for our own good.

For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Labor are the main regulators of U.S. retirement savings vehicles and funds. But in 2010 (right around the time it became obvious the U.S. debt had reached the point of no return), they established the CFPB to “protect” the consumers’ finances. Uh-huh.

Apparently, the CFPB is worried that many Americans, especially retiring Baby Boomers, may be victimized by financial scams. It is the bureau’s job to prevent this.

Of course nothing has been decided. Congress is still in the fact-finding stage. But do we really want the same political system that allows taxpayers’ funds to be spent for a study of why bees can fly looking at ways to ‘help’ us manage our retirement accounts?

The hard truth is this: Our government is desperate. In spite of all the rhetoric about taxing the wealthy, there is simply not enough money in that group to even make a dent in the debt. So they need to look at other options. The devil, as usual, is in the details and the details are not being disclosed.

A wise man once said: “What is the national debt but the visible indicator of gross fiscal mismanagement on the part of our leaders?” –Larry Burkett, former President of Christian Financial Concept, Inc.

“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” Luke 16:13.

·         Drudge Report: DOJ (Dept. of Justice) memo says government can kill Americans overseas under certain circumstances without due process. Memo raises questions about President’s power to ‘kill indiscriminately’ and suggests the President can ‘kill who and where he wants.’ Others believe policy is warranted.

·         CNBC: Obama misses budget deadline for 4th year in a row.

·         Fox News Channel: North Korea posts online propaganda video showing man dreaming about nuclear attack on NYC; ends with man saying “I know my dream will come true.”

·         KFI Radio: Texas school curriculum includes program on socialist flag design. Lawmakers question the program.

·         Reuters: Nationwide ammo shortages surge as people stockpile against feared new laws.

·         CNN: U.S. missile defense activated on Turkish/Syrian border.