Daily Archives: September 1, 2019

September 1 The Reason for Our Hope

Scripture Reading: Jude 1:20–25

Key Verses: 1 Timothy 2:3–4

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

It is difficult for us to recommend a business, service, or product to others when we haven’t tried it ourselves. We can tell them what we have heard about it, but there is no personal experience from which to draw.

When other people come to us and ask us about salvation, and we doubt the validity of God’s promise that our salvation is eternally secured in Him, how can we share our faith with confidence?

There are many reasons why people doubt their salvation. They question how a loving God would allow tragedy. They believe that works, not grace, save them. They fail to take God at His word. They remain living a life of sin, unwilling to submit to the authority of the Lord in their lives. But God’s Word gives us all the assurance we need in order to know that our salvation is secure in Him, giving us the confidence to share our faith with others.

First Timothy 2:4 reminds us that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” And John the Baptist told us, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life” (John 3:36 nasb).

In understanding that our salvation is secure and that God desires all men to know the truth, we can go forth with boldness and tell those around us the reason for our hope.

Lord, I know with surety that my salvation is firm in You. Show me how to convey this to others who are full of doubt and confusion about their salvation.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 256). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Real “Helicopter Money”: Since 2009, China Has Created $21 Trillion Of New Money, More Than Double The US | Zero Hedge

China’s money supply stands at Rmb192tn, equivalent to $28tn. It equals the size of broad money supply in the US and the eurozone put together, yet China’s nominal GDP is only two-thirds that of the US.

Back in the days of the Fed’s QE, much of thinking analyst world (the non-thinking segment would merely accept everything that the Fed did without question, after all their livelihood depended on it), was focused on how massive, and shocking, the Fed’s direct intervention in capital markets had become. And while that was certainly true, what we showed back in November 2013 in “Chart Of The Day: How China’s Stunning $15 Trillion In New Liquidity Blew Bernanke’s QE Out Of The Water” is that whereas the Fed had injected some $2.5 trillion in liquidity in the US banking system, China had blown the US central bank out of the water, with no less than $15 trillion in increases to Chinese bank assets, all at the behest of a juggernaut of new credit creation – be it new yuan loans, shadow debt, corporate bonds, or any other form of debt that makes up China’s broad Total Social Financing aggregate.

Now, almost six years later, others are starting to figure out what we meant, and in an Op-Ed in the FT, Arthur Budaghyan, chief EM strategist at BCA Research writes about this all important topic of China’s “helicopter” money – which far more than the Fed, ECB and BOJ – has kept the world from sliding into a depression, and yet is blowing the world’s biggest asset bubble. 

Budaghyan picks up where we left off, and notes that over the past decade, Chinese banks have been on a credit and money creation binge, and have created RMB144Tn ($21Tn) of new money since 2009, more than twice the amount of money supply created in the US, the eurozone and Japan combined over the same period. In total, China’s money supply stands at Rmb192tn, equivalent to $28 TRILLION. Why does this matter? Because Chine money’s supply is the size of broad money supply in the US and the eurozone put together, yet China’s nominal GDP is only two-thirds that of the US.

This, as the BCA analyst explains, is a major problem.

Below we repost his latest FT Op-Ed, which explains why – as we said in the 2019 year ahead post  – we remain confident that the spark for the next global financial crisis will be in China.

* * *

China’s ‘helicopter money’ is blowing up a bubble, authored by Arthur Budaghyan is chief emerging market strategist at BCA Research, and first published in the FT.

The escalation of the trade conflict between the US and China has raised the likelihood of greater stimulus by Beijing to prop up the economy. While China’s excessive debt isn’t news, investors must wake up to the reality of “helicopter money” — enormous money creation by Chinese banks “out of thin air”.

While this sugar rush may provide short and medium-term cover for investors, the long-term effects will exacerbate China’s credit bubble. China, like any nation, faces constraints on frequent and large stimulus, and its vast and still rapidly expanding money supply will produce growing devaluation pressures on the renminbi.

When a bubble emerges we are often told that this bubble is different. Many economists justify China’s credit and money bubble and continuing stimulus by pointing to the nation’s high savings rate. But this narrative is false. At its root is the idea that banks are channelling or intermediating deposits into loans. This is not how banks operate.

When a bank expands its balance sheet, it simultaneously creates an asset (say, a loan) and a liability (a deposit, or money supply). No one needs to save for this loan and money to be originated. The bank does not transfer someone else’s deposits to the borrower; it creates a new deposit when it lends.

In all economies, neither the amount of deposits nor the money supply hinge on national or household savings. When households and companies save, they do not alter the money supply.

Banks also create deposits/money out of thin air when they buy securities from non-banks. As banks in China buy more than 80 per cent of government bonds, fiscal stimulus also leads to substantial money creation. In short, when banks engage in too much credit origination — as they have done in China — they generate a money bubble.

Over the past 10 years, Chinese banks have been on a credit and money creation binge. They have created Rmb144tn ($21tn) of new money since 2009, more than twice the amount of money supply created in the US, the eurozone and Japan combined over the same period. In total, China’s money supply stands at Rmb192tn, equivalent to $28tn. It equals the size of broad money supply in the US and the eurozone put together, yet China’s nominal GDP is only two-thirds that of the US.

In a market-based economy constraints are in place, such as the scrutiny of bank shareholders and regulators, which prevent this sort of excess. In a socialist system, such constraints do not exist. Apparently, the Chinese banking system still operates in the latter.

There are clear downsides. Helicopter money discourages innovation and breeds capital misallocation, which reduces productivity growth. Slowing productivity and strong money growth ultimately lead to rising inflation — the dynamics inherent to socialist systems.

Air show in Tianjin, China shows off China’s helicopters. Getty Images.

In the long run, more stimulus in China will entail more money creation and will heighten devaluation pressures on the renminbi. As we all know, when the supply of something surges, its price typically drops. In this case, the drop will take the form of currency devaluation.

As it stands, China’s money bubble is like a sword of Damocles over the nation’s exchange rate. Chinese households and businesses have become reluctant to hold this ballooning amount of local currency. Continuous helicopter money will increase their desire to diversify their renminbi deposits into foreign currencies and assets. Yet, there is no sufficient supply of foreign currency to accommodate this conversion. China’s current account surplus has almost vanished.

As to the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves, at $3tn they are less than a ninth of the amount of renminbi deposits and cash in circulation. It is inconceivable that China can open its capital account in the foreseeable future.

If China chooses the path of unrelenting stimulus, investors should recognise the long-term negative outlook for the renminbi. Continuous stimulus will beef up investment returns in local currency terms, but currency depreciation will substantially erode returns in US dollars or euros in the long run.

The investment implications go beyond Chinese markets. Market volatility over the past few months as the talk of stimulus picked up has given us a peek into the future. As the renminbi has depreciated by 12 per cent since early 2018, the pain has reverberated across Asian and other emerging markets. The MSCI Asia and MSCI EM equities indices have each fallen 24 per cent in dollar terms since their peak in January 2018. Long-term pressures could play out even more dramatically.

Fortunately, Chinese authorities recognise these issues. Yet they face an immense task of stabilising growth while containing credit and money expansion. This will be hard to achieve in an economy that has become addicted to credit creation.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/markets/real-helicopter-money-2009-china-has-created-21-trillion-new-money-more-then-double-us

September 1 Walking Worthy of Your Calling

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1–2

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:1

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.

In coming to the United States shortly after her release from a Nazi concentration camp, Corrie Ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place, was answering the call of God for her life.

However, that calling did not go unchallenged. Time after time Corrie’s presence in the United States was questioned. The little support she had in the beginning dwindled. She was tempted to become discouraged but refused. Beneath any thoughts of rejection were a peace and a hope that God would honor her obedience.

When others rejected her, Corrie held fast to the promises of God. Finally her commitment paid off. A door of opportunity opened through a well-known Christian evangelist. Soon Corrie Ten Boom became one of the most recognized Christian speakers of our time. She weathered life’s most severe storms and was found worthy of God’s call.

God has called you to be a light of His love and forgiveness to a world locked away in utter darkness. Therefore, walk worthy of His call. When discouragement comes, stand firm in your faith, and God will mold you into an instrument of His love to others.

Dear Lord, You have called me to be a light as I travel through this world. Use me to minister to others I encounter on my journey.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 256). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Former FBI Assistant Director: The Worst Is Still to Come for Fired FBI Director James Comey — The Gateway Pundit

Fired FBI Director is not out of the woods yet.

As reported earlier he still is facing scrutiny in at least two other investigations.

And former FBI Assistant Director Kevin Brock says the worst is still to come for narcissist James Comey.

The Hill reported:

Next up will be the IG’s findings regarding Comey’s truthfulness before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court and whether he attested to false or misleading statements in order to electronically monitor a presidential campaign.

That determination may not be as cut-and-dried as many think it is, but it hopefully, at a minimum, will explain why Comey believed he could sign off multiple times on a FISA application based largely on information that he, himself, described as “salacious and unverified.” His exposure here is potentially much more devastating than breaking FBI record retention and handling rules.

Close behind the IG’s second report will be findings by U.S. Attorney John Durham whether Comey and his rogue team of investigators violated FBI and departmental guidelines to initiate a counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign. They will determine if Comey had adequate justification for launching such an unprecedented investigation.

But beyond that, Mr. Durham and his team likely will follow up on emerging indicators that Comey may have colluded with other intelligence community leaders to actually “manufacture” the justification needed for an investigation by targeting covert informants against campaign representatives in violation of established policies and procedures.

In short, James Comey is not out of the woods after the first IG report, which has exposed him as someone who casually and carelessly disregarded established rules and regulations. It is not a stretch to imagine that this disregard carried over into other more serious areas of potential abuse of authority.

via Former FBI Assistant Director: The Worst Is Still to Come for Fired FBI Director James Comey — The Gateway Pundit

You Are What You Think! – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

I have often heard the saying “You are what you eat!” Well, there is some truth to that. But I think a more pressing issue is “You are what you think.” I am convinced the pressing problem in our lives is that we don’t think well. And every action begins with a thought.  Every day I get up, I first give my mind to God and ask him to help me to think well during the day.

In other words, I want a mind that is used for his glory. I don’t always do this. But with God’s grace, I strive to improve in this area every day. So let me give a few tips for thinking well.

First, Paul gives us some helpful tips:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” -Philippians 4: 4-9

Notice that , Paul wants us to “dwell” which means to concentrate on the following:

  1. Things that are “true”—the opposite of erroneous thinking
  2. Things that are “righteous” —our thoughts must be in line with the unchanging character of God who is perfectly righteous
  3. “Things that are honorable”—things that are worthy of our adoration and devotion…not things that profane the name of God
  4. “Pure” —things that are morally pure and undefiled
  5. “Honorable”­—things that deserve to be commended.

I am convinced that throughout the day, Christians don’t dwell on these things. We dwell on things that don’t match up with reality or we dwell on things that cause us to covet or to be discontent or envious. Also, if you watch enough reality television,  that will not help matters.

Second, the Christian Needs to Know the Key Idea Structures of the Culture

“False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation to be controlled by ideas […] which prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion.” – J. Gresham Machen, “Christianity and Culture,” Princeton Theological Review 11 (1913):

Paul speaks about this here:

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5 ).

C.S. Lewis said, Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” There is a lot of truth here. The Christian needs to know the idea structures of the world. This includes a thorough understanding of naturalism, pragmatism, rationalism, etc. A good primer is The Consequences of Ideas, by R.C. Sproul 

Third, the Christian Needs to Renew Their Minds Daily

Paul also gives us a key text here:

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”- Romans 12: 1-2

It is impossible to have a disciplined mind apart from regular mediation and reading of the text. There is a difference between devotional reading and studying the text. If we want to think well, we need to ingest the Bible on a daily basis. It is good for us and keeps us sharp and close to God.

Fourth, Thinking Well Means We Need to Know Our Identity In Christ

It is imperative that we continually know our position in Christ. The power of the resurrection comes to us everyday in Christ. Therefore, God wants us to experience the resurrection power of Jesus on an ongoing basis. As Paul says in Galatians 2:19-20, “For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” What we tend to forget that Jesus did not die and rose from the dead only for us to go to heaven. He has given us victory over sin in this life. Thus, he broke the power of sin. Yes, we will still sin some times. But, we should not make excuses and say I just can’t overcome any sin. That is a lie. And it not based on a positional understanding of our relationship with God.

If we don’t think well, we will forget our position and identity in the Lord. We will take our identity from other’s opinions of us or what we have or don’t have.

I hope these tips help. Have a blessed day!

NASA admits that climate change occurs because of changes in Earth’s solar orbit, and NOT because of SUVs and fossil fuels – NaturalNews.com

Article Image

For more than 60 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has known that the changes occurring to planetary weather patterns are completely natural and normal. But the space agency, for whatever reason, has chosen to let the man-made global warming hoax persist and spread, to the detriment of human freedom.

It was the year 1958, to be precise, when NASA first observed that changes in the solar orbit of the earth, along with alterations to the earth’s axial tilt, are both responsible for what climate scientists today have dubbed as “warming” (or “cooling,” depending on their agenda). In no way, shape, or form are humans warming or cooling the planet by driving SUVs or eating beef, in other words.

But NASA has thus far failed to set the record straight, and has instead chosen to sit silently back and watch as liberals freak out about the world supposedly ending in 12 years because of too much livestock, or too many plastic straws.

— Read on www.naturalnews.com/2019-08-30-nasa-admits-climate-change-not-caused-by-suvs-fossil-fuels.html

Hezbollah Will Respond To Israel: But When? How? And At What Cost? | Zero Hedge

The “Axis of the Resistance” has been informed about Hezbollah’s intention to respond to Israel imminently, confirmed sources within the decision-making leadership.

Authored by Elijah Magnier, Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media

ZH note: War correspondent Elijah Magnier’s rare access to high level sources in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, gives him unique capability to articulate Hezbollah’s strategic thinking and perspective, which he does so below from an on the ground perspective based on local sources. 

The “Axis of the Resistance” has been informed about Hezbollah’s intention to respond to Israel imminently, confirmed sources within the decision-making leadership. The main offices of militant leadership and all gathering of forces have been abandoned or forbidden, and a state of full alert has been declared in preparation for a possible Israeli decision to go to war. In Iran, Syria and Palestine, the finger is on the trigger. Is the Middle East going to war? Actually, it all depends on how far and in which direction the Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to go  and the degree to which he will accept, or not, the hit back from Hezbollah.

This all snowballed when, from al-Ayen in the Bekaa Valley, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah launched his threat against Israel. He swore to down drones violating Lebanese sovereignty and threatened to kill Israelis. This is would be carried out in retaliation for the Israeli killing of two Hezbollah members in Syria, and for sending suicide drones to hit Hezbollah high-value objectives and capabilities in the suburbs of Beirut.

Netanyahu responded a few hours late by bombing a position of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) – in the same Bekaa Valley, to send a clear message to Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah’s challenge is being acknowledged, and answered with another Israeli challenge. Now it is only a question of when, how, and at what cost the Hezbollah “bloody retaliation” will be, bloody because it is inevitable that Israeli soldiers will be killed.

Sayyed Nasrallah had no option but to respond to the Israeli violation of the Rule of Engagement (ROE) established since the 2006 third Israeli war on Lebanon. If he fails to hit Israel and accepts the ongoing international mediation and politico-financial temptations offered to the Lebanese government to persuade him to renounce his promised attack, he loses his credibility, which is substantial right now.

Moreover, Israel would then be encouraged to hit more targets in Lebanon as it is doing in Iraq and in Syria for some years now, against hundreds of objectives. If Hezbollah refrains from responding as promised, Netanyahu will “get away with it”: this boosts his chances in the forthcoming election.

Sayyed Nasrallah committed himself before the whole world to hit back at Israel. All eyes in the Arab world – in particular among the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Yemeni and his own Lebanese society that is embracing Hezbollah – are focused on what the target will be and when the attack will take place. In Israel, Sayyed Nasrallah has high credibility, and people believe him, as indeed most Israeli newspapers write today. Hezbollah is expected to halt Israel’s violation of the Rules of Engagement and give an example to follow for all those within the “Axis of the Resistance” and put a stop to the Israeli attacks on their sovereignty.

It will not be possible to stop all Israeli drones from flying over Lebanon and prevent these from collecting intelligence information. That is considered vital to Israel to update its bank of objectives and analyse any potential threat. Sayyed Nasrallah is aware of that and for that very reason he would indeed attempt to down Israeli drones.

Since the attack against Beirut, Israeli drones continue over flying Beirut: “Israel is doing everything to provoke a reaction from Hezbollah so that it can identify our anti-air missile capability”, said a source within the “Axis of the Resistance”.

Israel is also waiting to see if it is possible to continue targeting Hezbollah warehouses or send suicide drones to target-kill specific individuals, depending on the price it needs to pay in exchange for its killing of Hezbollah operatives. Netanyahu has positioned himself at the bottleneck, unable to move in or out. He pushed his arrogance to the limit in Lebanon, knowing that he would corner Sayyed Nasrallah if Hezbollah were not to hit back (due to the critical financial situation in Lebanon) and the desire to stay away from a devastating war. Now, the Israeli Prime Minister is asking Hezbollah to “calm down”. But it looks like it is too late to turn back the hands of the clock.

Because Iraq did not reply to the Israeli targeting of its warehouses (five destroyed so far) and the assassination of an Iraqi commander (killed by a drone on the Iraqi-Syrian border), Israel obviously concludes that the Iraqi stage is open to its military activities. Hezbollah is aware of the Israeli modus operandi so it cannot permit replication in Lebanon, even at the cost of going to war.

Actually, in Israel, many leaders are blaming Netanyahu for gossiping and bragging about Israel’s responsibility in attacks outside Israel’s borders. Israel generally prefers to be quiet about this practice, one used by Israel for decades but now exploited by Netanyahu for electoral purposes.

So, what is the “cost” Hezbollah is looking for? According to sources within the “Axis of the Resistance”, Hezbollah is looking for a target – to kill two or three Israelis or send a suicide drone against an Israeli military gathering or other more deadly and spectacular options. “Israel is only a few meters from the Lebanese borders. Killing Israeli soldiers is so simple when a Rule of Engagement is violated. Netanyahu will have to justify for his people what advantage he gained in breaking the cessation of hostility since 2006 despite repeated warnings of the consequences. He is either looking for war – in which case both belligerents have to be ready – or he will have caused unnecessary killing on both sides. He will have to pay the price for this,” said the source.

Obviously, Hezbollah is not looking to push Israeli too far outside its comfort zone, with an “acceptable” number of casualties: a hit in exchange for another hit. It will depend on Netanyahu to take it further into war if he wishes to, or to nurse his wounds. Although the Israeli Prime Minister holds the initiative and was respecting to the “rules of the game” as long as he honored the undeclared agreement, it is time now for him to understand that Lebanon, despite its small size, is not Yemen or Syria or Iraq. 

Sayyed Nasrallah’s disposition to attack Israel was boosted by the Lebanese President Michel Aoun who described the Israeli aggression as “an act of war”. Prime Minister Saad Hariri considered the aggression “a threat to regional stability”. Hezbollah has enough domestic support to stand against Israel and retaliate even if the situation goes out of control. Sayyed Nasrallah is no longer constrained by the Lebanese officials who asked him months ago to take into consideration the tourist season, and to share their positive view of the highly tense situation in the Middle East. Indeed, the Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese fronts are all on the verge of explosion, depending on how Israel and the US are willing to be “guided.”

During the last Israeli elections, Hezbollah decided to keep at a distance. This time it seems the situation is different. There is an opportunity for Hezbollah to damage Netanyahu who is facing elections during the third week of September. In this case, Hezbollah’s reply to Israel must be before the 19th of September. If Netanyahu decides to go to war regardless of the outcome, he will certainly lose his possibility of re-election. Most probably, if he does not respond to Hezbollah, he will look weak but will come out of it with less damage.

This takes us to the date of the attack. First, and indeed above all, it depends on the opportunity and on identifying a selective target. That depends on the military decision and findings on the Lebanese-Israeli borders and most probably in the next 72 hours. Second, there are possibilities for allowing the 31stof August to go by, the date the “Amal” movement is planning a large gathering in Beirut to start celebrating the first day of Muharram. This is the first night that marks the beginning of Ashura, a solemn day of mourning for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein Bin Ali Bin Abi Taleb, Mohammad’s grandson, at Karbalaa, Iraq.

The first 10 days of Ashura bring most of the Shia in Lebanon and in particular Hezbollah supporters, to the utmost level of sacrifice. Netanyahu could not have chosen a worse timing for his violation of the Rules of Engagement.

Sayyed Nasrallah is not obliged to provide a date of attack to Israel. It is common for an organization to first exhaust a country’s resources by forcing it to mobilize its forces on all fronts and abroad to protect its embassies. Therefore, the exact date will be kept in the hands of Hezbollah to evaluate. It could be that allowing the Israeli soldiers to relax on the borders after several weeks of lack of action would create the best opportunity, but I doubt Hezbollah would wait that long. As we have said, Hezbollah as a matter of precaution has abandoned its offices and known gathering places: this is standard practice when war (an Israeli hit or attack) is expected. Netanyahu has really no alternative but to wait and decide if war is really going to be his next best option.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-09-01/hezbollah-will-respond-israel-when-how-and-what-cost

Sunday’s Hymn: O Safe to the Rock That Is Higher Than I | Rebecca Writes

 

O safe to the Rock that is higher than I
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
So sinful, so weary, thine, thine would I be;
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in thee.

Refrain

Hiding in thee, hiding in thee—
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in thee.

In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow’s lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o’er me its power,
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in thee.

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my refuge and breathed out my woe!
How often when trials like sea-billows roll,
Have I hidden in thee, O thou Rock of my soul!

—William O. Cushing

 

Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

Source: Sunday’s Hymn: O Safe to the Rock That Is Higher Than I

Video: ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’ Becomes Anthem for Hong Kong Protests Against China’s Communist Push | Christian News Network

Even though only a small percentage Hong Kong’s citizens profess to be Christian, numerous online videos have captured crowds singing “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” on the streets in recent months among protests against a bill that some fear would extradite residents to Communist China.

Concerns have also been raised over how the move might affect Christians. Believers currently have freedom under the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, but if China encroaches upon the nation, those liberties could be eroded. Christians in China are increasingly persecuted and oppressed, and do not have religious freedom.

“We fear that Christians in Hong Kong will suffer the same fate as Christians in mainland China,” one pastor stated, according to First Things, “with our churches being burnt down, our leaders having to be approved, and our Bible being changed to suit Communist propaganda.”

According to reports, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” first emerged as the common anthem in June after a group of Christian students began singing praise songs at the main protest site, and the simple worship refrain began to catch on. Reuters outlines that the students sang the songs to protect the protesters, as “religious gatherings can be held without a permit in the financial hub.”

Christians have backed the mass protests, which oppose the proposed “Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters” bill. Large crowds have taken to the streets out of concern that those deemed criminals could be sent to Mainland China for trial.

On June 16, an estimated two million people filled the streets to urge the government to formally withdraw the legislation, although  Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the day prior that she would suspend the proposal.

While Lam has reiterated that the bill will not move forward, it has not stopped peaceful gatherings on the street. On Aug. 23, a number of Christians took to the streets to stand against Communism. Wearing shirts that read “God bless Hong Kong,” they again sang the popular anthem “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” and held hands in a chain that was stated to stretch 30 miles after others who are not Christian joined in the effort.

According to online statistics, about 43 percent of Hong Kong’s 7.3 million citizens identify as “religious,” with most of those following Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. An estimated 11 percent of residents are Christian.

However, even with the low percentage, there are still approximately 480,000 evangelical believers in the country, and many of those are active in providing important services to the community.

“Christian churches run a large number of educational institutions, ranging from nurseries to post-secondary institutions. Moreover, they provide 13 hospitals, a large number of clinics, family centers and old-age homes throughout Hong Kong,” the site InterNations outlines.

Source: Video: ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’ Becomes Anthem for Hong Kong Protests Against China’s Communist Push

September 1 Living Life to the Fullest

Scripture reading: 1 Thess. 5:1–14

Key verse: 1 Thess. 5:5

You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.

What does living life to the fullest mean to you? Some may picture a lifelong dream being fulfilled. Others may think of a comfortable retirement, while many more envision what they can achieve if given enough time. But if you really want to start living life to the fullest, begin with Jesus. He is the fulfillment of all your dreams. In Him, you will find the things you need the most—contentment, love, and friendship.

Living life to the fullest also involves your ability to encourage and support others emotionally through prayer. God commands us to love others. Without a godly love tucked away inside your heart, you cannot successfully encourage someone else. And all of us need encouragement. Let Jesus be the object of your affections; then you will find that loving even the unlovely will bring pleasure and encouragement to your heart.

When you encourage others from a position of unconditional love and acceptance, marvelous things can happen. God often uses His love to change and motivate hearts. Divisions may fade, differences may ease, and fears may subside. Where there once was disagreement, unity can prevail. And love—especially God’s love—can change the way you view life. Evaluate your life. Are you living life to the fullest?

I want to live life to the fullest, Lord, and I know that will happen only as I experience Your love. Give me Your love—even for the unlovely.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 256). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Giuliani: Comey Tried to ‘Frame’ Trump | Newsmax

James Comey tried “to frame” President Donald Trump in memos the former FBI director kept of their conversations, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani claims.

In an interview aired Sunday with radio host John Catsimatidis, the former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor called the tactic “horrid.”

“In a case involving the president of the United States, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that what Comey was trying to do was to frame Trump,” Giuliani said, The Hill reported ahead of the airing.

“Law enforcement officers that frame people . . . they’re horrid.”

He also charged Comey engineered the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election by former special counsel Robert Mueller that followed Mueller’s firing in May 9, 2017.

“He orchestrated the whole thing,” Giuliani said. “If you look back on it now, there was never any need for Mueller.”

A Justice Department inspector general report concluded Comey’s leaked memos, which he gave to his friend, Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman, sought to trigger a special counsel appointment.

Comey told the inspector general he had to leak the memo because it concerned a matter of “incredible importance to the nation, as a whole,” according to the report.

Trump has hailed the inspector general’s findings as “vindication.”

Source: Giuliani: Comey Tried to ‘Frame’ Trump

YouTube Says It’s “More Important Than Ever” To Be Open Platform – One Day After Massive Banning Spree | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Chris Menahan via ActivistPost.com,

CEO Susan Wojcicki said Tuesday that it’s “more important than ever” for YouTube to remain an “open platform” just one day after going on a massive banning spree targeting right-wingers for so-called “hate speech.”

Amazingly, this is not satire.

From Vox, “YouTube’s CEO says it’s ‘more important than ever’ to let people upload anything they want”:

Can the world’s largest video company continue to let its 2 billion users upload anything they want, whenever they want?

Yes, says the woman who runs that company: In a letter addressed to creators on YouTube, CEO Susan Wojcicki says the platform is committed to remaining open because she thinks the upside of that approach very much outweighs the downside.

This isn’t a new idea, and it’s one that Wojcicki, along with people who run other giant tech platforms, say in private all the time. But Wojcicki is saying it again, today, as critics are increasingly questioning if it’s a philosophy that works for tech companies at a global scale. […]

“I believe preserving an open platform is more important than ever,” Wojcicki writes in a quarterly note aimed at YouTube’s most ardent users, who upload videos onto the site for fun and profit. While that note is usually dedicated to celebrating YouTube’s wide swath of creators, this one spends most of its time defending the idea that YouTube will continue to keep its doors open to anyone who wants to post just about anything on the site.

We’re reaching levels of propaganda never before thought possible.

*  *  *

It’s absolutely appalling that the vast majority of Americans are fine with censorship and force being used against other human beings as long as their view is the only one that gets attention. YouTube is definitely lying and pushing propaganda. It is not an “open platform” if people can be banned for saying things the establishment doesn’t like.

Source: YouTube Says It’s “More Important Than Ever” To Be Open Platform – One Day After Massive Banning Spree

AOC Claim That Millennials “Most Informed, Historically-Literate” Annihilated In Scathing Op-Ed | ZeroHedge News

AOC has done it again!

The freshman lawmaker – who recently said the Electoral college was a ‘racist scam‘ – declared on Instagram this week that “young people are more informed and dynamic than their predecessors.

(and every one of them has a participation award to prove it!)

The bartendress-turned-lawmaker then added “this new generation is very profound … They actually take time to read and understand our history.”

Annihilating Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s latest expert-opinion is the Washington Examiner‘s Brad Polumbo, who writes in a Friday Op-Ed her claim is “absurd to the point of hilarity,” and that “Nothing could be further from the truth.

***

Via the Washington Examiner

The millennial generation and Generation Z behind them, of which I am part, is uniquely disengaged from history and woefully uninformed. Which she went on to prove, naturally. In praising the new generation as the first “wiling to go to the streets” and protest, she appears to have forgotten about the 1960s. Oops!

But she disproves her own point in more ways than one. Young people increasingly identify as socialist, which on its own shows that they are woefully ignorant of history. That ideology of failure and oppression has a very dark past of which few are aware. And only 16% of millennials are even able to define socialism in the first place.

As far as broader historical literacy goes, two of three millennials, the same generation that Ocasio-Cortez deems “informed and dynamic,” do not even know what Auschwitz is. Ignorance of the Nazi death camp is bad enough, but 1 in 5 millennials aren’t even aware of the Holocaust at all.

This isn’t exactly a surprise, when you look at young peoples’ habits. According to Business Insider, “Millennials spend far less time consuming news overall than older adults, and the time they do spend is concentrated on digital consumption. Millennials ages 21-37 consume only about 30% of the amount of news as adults age 38 and older.”

Plus, many young people don’t read books. At all.

Per Forbes, “38% of students at public and private four-year colleges reported that ‘Books have never gotten me very excited.’ And 45% said ‘I don’t enjoy reading serious books and articles, and I only do it when I have to.’”

These statistics come as little surprise. Take it from someone on the border of both Generation Z and the millennial generation: Today’s young people are not the “most-informed” generation, or anywhere close. If they were, Ocasio-Cortez wouldn’t have a mass social media following in the first place.

Source: AOC Claim That Millennials “Most Informed, Historically-Literate” Annihilated In Scathing Op-Ed

Investors have triggered a recession signal with a perfect 50-year track record — and one expert says years of 0% market returns could be in store | Business Insider

David Karp/AP

  • Barry Bannister, Stifel’s head of institutional equity strategy, says a market indicator with a flawless track record for 50 years is telling him that the US is months away from a stock plunge and recession.
  • For Bannister, that settles a debate over the recent yield curve inversion and whether it’s really telling investors that a recession is on the way.
  • He says that stock valuations are very high, and it’s possible the S&P 500 index will return roughly 0% over the next five years.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Since the US yield curve inverted and startled the market, there’s been a debate about whether the recession  warning sign was for real.

Stifel’s head of institutional equity Barry Bannister says that it is, and the implications are more dire than most people believe. In a note to clients, he writes that stocks are likely to sink in December, with a recession setting in in May. After that he sees a “dangerous” market where the S&P 500 could deliver 0% returns for five years.

A yield curve inversion occurs when short-term bond yields top their longer-dated counterparts, and is a sign investors are deeply worried about the economy. Since it’s happened before each of last seven recessions, it’s considered one of the most trustworthy recession signals. And it’s flashed recently as the trade war prompted an investor flight to safer assets.

But Bannister notes that it’s also sounded some false alarms over the years. So he uses a different yield curve measurement that he says is more precise: a 50-day moving average of the spread between the 3-month and 10-year bonds. He says that version of the yield curve has correctly forecast every recession in the last 50 years without a single incorrect prediction.

“A 50-day moving average of the 10 year-3 month has given no false recession signals in the past 50 years,” he says.

Bannister, who has long had a dim view of the market, shows the measure’s history at the top of this chart. The second chart below shows that these yield curve inversions have been followed pretty quickly by declines in S&P 500 profits.

Bloomberg, Standard & Poor’s, Stifel

Bannister says his yield curve measurement inverted on June 20. His projections about the timing of a market sell-off and recession are based on historic averages of what happened before previous downturns.

“If a recession arrives in May 2020, stocks may plunge in December 2019 with the standard lead-time to the onset of recession,” Bannister writes. Also average, he says, would be a 26% decline in S&P 500 profits and a 32% plunge in index itself.

Hard times

That sounds bad enough, but Bannister adds that the combination of low interest rates and stock buybacks have pushed stock valuations to very high levels, leaving little room for gains in the years ahead.

“The S&P 500 is at the very top of the range predicted by our forward 10-year price range model,” he writes. “The S&P 500 is over-valued/over-owned with a near 0% compound annual total return the five years 2Q 2019 to 2Q 2024E.”

Read more: Trade fears are making stocks wildly unpredictable. The chief of Wells Fargo’s $1.9 trillion investing business told us how you should play defense in the market.

Based on that dire forecast, he’s advising investors to buy defensive stocks instead of those with more exposure to the economic cycle, as defensive companies tend to do better into the middle of a recession. And he’s also urging a lot of caution.

“The implication of a near 0% 5-year S&P 500 forecast is clearly a non-linear, dangerous market, especially for high beta,” he says.

Source: Investors have triggered a recession signal with a perfect 50-year track record — and one expert says years of 0% market returns could be in store

1 Sep 2019 – Rapture Ready News

Earth enters a stream of fast-moving solar wind, G2 – Moderate Geomagnetic Storm Watch in effect
Our planet has entered a stream of fast-moving solar wind flowing from a large positive polarity coronal hole. A G1 – Minor Geomagnetic Storm Watch is in effect for August 31 and G2 – Moderate for September 1.

Muslims in Europe on edge as Czech government encourages their citizens to arm themselves and be prepared to shoot Islamic terrorists
The Czech government has proposed a bill stating that ordinary citizens with a weapons permit can engage and shoot to kill terrorists, reports NTB.

Pope Francis shockingly says that Christians murdered by Muslims are a testament to God’s plan for peaceful coexistence between the two religions
“The lives of 19 religious men and women martyred during the Algerian civil war are a testament to God’s plan of love and peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims, Pope Francis said.”

Colorado public school forces girls to follow Islamic dress code on a school field trip to a mosque
A school district in Colorado is coming under the wrath of the community for telling school girls that they may have to submit to sharia-compliant rules regarding covering their heads and ankles on a field trip to a Muslim mosque.

‘Very graphic’ evidence, including satanic elements, in Ohio child porn case, police say
Police believe there are more victims and possibly more suspects involved after an investigation into two men who have been accused of raping and taking pornographic pictures of children.

Colorado teen suspended from school after target practice with mom
Walmart is unleashing their creepy robots throughout 350 stores this year – most of which will roam the aisles and look for items that are either out of stock or out of place, after which a human will be alerted to remedy the issue, according to Fast Company.

Walmart’s Creepy Robots Are Here
Walmart is unleashing their creepy robots throughout 350 stores this year – most of which will roam the aisles and look for items that are either out of stock or out of place, after which a human will be alerted to remedy the issue, according to Fast Company.

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney Uses Very First Press Conference of the Season to Glorify God

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney has a long history of putting his faith in the spotlight, often making sure to give God the glory before anything else.

MARK OF THE BEAST: Workers in Wisconsin Wear ‘I Got Chipped’ T-Shirts Celebrating New Implants
Employees at the Three Square Market in Rivers Falls, WI actually celebrated by wearing “I Got Chipped” t-shirts after they were implanted with microchips by their bosses.

What Every American Should Know About Siri and ‘Ring’
What Every American Should Know About Siri and ‘Ring’. They are spying on you. Virtually all of your big tech gadgets are spying on you. Google knows when I go to the movies and which movie I saw and whether I had popcorn.

US strikes al-Qaeda jihadists in Syria, 40 reported killed
US forces attacked jihadist leaders in Syria on Saturday, the Pentagon said, in what a battlefield monitor called a missile strike that left at least 40 dead.

Clinton, Omar, the Squad and Democrats Are Ushering In a United Nations Occupation of the United States
…we did a landmark interview on the resurgence of FEMA camps that had taken place near the end of the Obama administration. The obvious presumption was that Hillary would be elected and she would carry out her pre-designed reign of terror. In fact, Hillary even joked about carrying out the FEMA camp objective in the 2016 campaign. When she was being assailed for her criminal behavior, she replied “..people need to relax and go to a fun camp..”

Cameroonian Bible Translator Brutally Murdered, Wife’s Arm Chopped Off in Machete Attack
A Bible translator in Cameroon has been killed in a brutal machete attack. Angus Abraham Fung was among seven people who were murdered when Islamic Fulani herdsmen stormed the Northern Province town of Wum.

Man found dead at Burning Man, sheriff’s office says cause ‘remains suspicious’
A man was found dead in the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada during the annual Burning Man festival on Thursday, according to the Pershing County Sheriff’s office.

Germany: Muslims complain about pig breeding, city bans it for fear of offending them
The principle is always and everywhere the same: in Muslim countries, one should conform one’s behavior to Islamic sensibilities. And in non-Muslim countries, one should conform one’s behavior to Islamic sensibilities.

Source: 1 Sep 2019

New World Order In Meltdown | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Jon Hellevig via The Saker blog,

Last week was full of portentous events. Only somebody who has not been awake for the last few years will fail to realize how these at first sight unconnected events are part of the same matrix. There was the ever louder talk in mainstream media about an approaching global recession, inverted yield curves and the negative yields, which tell us that the Western financial system is basically in coma and kept alive only by generous IV injections of central bank liquidity. By now it has dawned on people that the central bankers acting as central planners in a command economy and printing money (aka quantitative easing) to fuel asset bubbles are about to wipe off the last vestiges of what used to be a market economy.

Then we saw Trump taking new twitter swipes at China in his on-and-off “great trade deal” and the stock markets moving like a roller coaster in reaction to each new twitter salvo. Also, we had both Trump and Macron sweet talking about getting Russia back and again renaming their club G8. Last Tuesday at a G7 presser in Biarritz, the Rothschild groomed Macron took it one step further opening up about the reasons why they all of a sudden longed for friendship with Russia: “We are living the end of Western hegemony.” In the same series, Britain’s new government under Boris Johnson was telling his colleagues in Biarritz that he is now decisively going for a no-deal Brexit, after which he went back to London and staged a coup d’état by suspending parliament to ensure no elected opposition interfered with it.

Perhaps the weirdest news to crown it all, came from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the Western central bankers were holed up for their annual retreat. The president of Bank of England Mark Carney shocked everybody (at least those not present) by announcing that the US dollar was past its best-before and should be replaced with something the central bankers have up their sleeves.

The New World Order is in its death throes

What these events have in common is that they amount to an admission that the globalist New World Order project in its present form is dead, or at least in its death throes. It has bumped its head against an impenetrable Sino-Russian wall of resistance. The heated totalitarian propaganda against Russia since 2001 (when the NWO realized that Putin wasn’t their man); regime change and color revolutions in neighboring countries; attempts at Maidan style coups in Moscow; and finally the sanctions since 2014 were key to the Anglo-Zionist empires strategy. They needed to take over either China or Russia to gain absolute world hegemony. Taking over either one, they would have checkmated the remaining one, and after that the entire world. They rightly deemed Russia as the weaker piece and went all out in that direction. The NWO wanted to take advantage of Russia’s weakness in form of its Western minded comprador class and a shell-shocked liberal intelligentsia (dominating media, culture and business, just like in Hong Kong, BTW), which is constitutional uncapable of thinking with their own brains to liberate themselves from Soviet era stereotypes (“Soviet Union/Russia bad, West good”).

They then figured that economic and cultural sanctions (e.g. Olympic ban) coupled with doubling down on the propaganda would break the country. Luckily, the Russian narod, the common people saw through it all and would not play along with the enemy. At the same time, Russia paraded its resurrected military in Crimea and Syria as well as its formidable new hypersonic doomsday weapons. The military option to take over Russia was not in the cards any longer.

Russian economy from strength to strength

Believing their own propaganda, they had got that totally wrong. Endlessly repeating their own self-serving talking points they must have truly fancied that Russia’s economy amounted to nothing else than export of fossil fuels, that “Russia’s economy is the size of Holland’s,” that “Russia does not produce anything,” and that Russia was “nothing but a gas station with nukes” (somehow managing to ignore the significance of the nukes part). I seriously believe, that the propaganda had become so complete that the Western leaders and the intelligence people actually had come to adapt their own propaganda as the truth. What is for sure, is that all Western media, including what should be the most respected business journals and all those think tanks, had not published one honest appraisal of the Russian economy in 15 years. Every single piece I read over the years had clearly been written with the aim to denigrate Russia’s achievements and economic development. Nowhere to be found were reports on how Putin by 2013 had totally overhauled the economy transforming Russia into the most self-sufficient diversified major country in the world with all the capabilities of the foremost industrial powers. In fact, I tend to think that even the US presidents from Bush to Obama were fed in their intelligence briefings cooked up fake reports about the Russian economy and the whole nation. Actually, I would go one step further. I bet that the CIA itself in the end believed the propaganda it had given birth to. (It has been said that at some point the genuine Russia analysts had all been dismissed or demoted and replaced with a team specializing in anti-Russian propaganda).

But actually all the data was there in plain view. I myself took the trouble to compile a report on the real conditions of Russia’s economy fresh at the onset of the 2014 crisis. In the report, I set out to show that Russia indeed had modernized and diversified its economy; that it had a vibrant manufacturing industry in addition to its energy and minerals sector; and that its budget revenues and economy at large were not at all as dependent on oil and gas as it was claimed. Among other things, we pointed out that Russia’s industrial production had by then grown more than 50% (between 2000 and 2013) while having undergone a total modernization at the same time. In the same period, production of food had surged by 100% and exports had skyrocketed by almost 400%, outdoing all major Western countries. Even the growth of exports of other than oil and gas products had been 250%.

The gist of the study may be summarized with this quote from it:

“The crisis-torn economy battered by years of robber capitalism and anarchy of the 1990’s, which Putin inherited in 2000, has now reached sufficient maturity to justify a belief that Russia can make the industrial breakthrough that the President has announced.”

Events have borne out this insight. And it is therefore that Russia won the sanctions battle.

The report represented an appeal to the Western leaders to give up on their vain hope of destroying Russia through their sanctions and risking nuclear war at it. Russia was invincible even in this respect. For that purpose I expressly added this missive in the introduction to the report:

We strongly believe that everyone benefits from knowing the true state of Russia’s economy, its real track record over the past decade, and its true potential. Having knowledge of the actual state of affairs is equally useful for the friends and foes of Russia, for investors, for the Russian population – and indeed for its government, which has not been very vocal in telling about the real progress. I think there is a great need for accurate data on Russia, especially among the leaders of its geopolitical foes. Correct data will help investors to make a profit. And correct data will help political leaders to maintain peace. Knowing that Russia is not the economic basket case that it is portrayed to be would help to stave off the foes from the collision course with Russia they have embarked on.”

A follow-up report of June 2017 covering the sanctions years 2014 – 2016, showed how Russia went from strength to strength never mind the Western attempts at isolation. This report stressed that Russia’s economy had now become the most diversified in the world making Russia the most self-sufficient country on this earth.

In this report we exposed the single biggest error of the propaganda driven Russia analysis. This was the ridiculous belief that Russia supposedly was totally dependent on oil and gas just because those commodities made up the bulk of the country’s exports. Confusing exports with the total economy, they had foolishly confused the share of oil and gas in total exports – which was and remains at the level of 60% – with the share of these commodities of the total economy. In 2013 the share of oil and gas of Russia’s GDP was 12% (today 10%). Had the “experts” cared to take a closer look they would have realized that on the other side of the equation Russia’s imports were by far the lowest (as a share of GDP) of all major countries. The difference here is that while Russia does not export a great deal of manufactured goods, it produces by far a bigger share of those for the domestic market than any other country in the whole world. Taking the 60% of exports to stand for the whole economy was how the “Russia produces nothing” meme was created.

Finally in a November 2018 report, I could declare that Russia had won hands down the sanctions war having emerged from it as a quadruple superpower: industrial superpower, agricultural superpower, military superpower and geopolitical superpower.

Macron et co. realizes that Russia actually is a superpower

These facts have now finally dawned on certain key stakeholders of the globalist regime can be discerned from the fact that they have tasked their handpicked puppet president Macron to make up with Russia. Trump has got the same assignment, which is evident from the siren calls of the two leaders in Putin’s address. Both want to invite Putin to their future G7-8 get-togethers.

As it was said, Macron went as far as unilaterally capitulating and declaring the decline of the West. He went on to spell out that the reason for this spectacular geopolitical about-face was the rise of the Beijing – Moscow (de facto) alliance that has caused a terminal shift on the world scene. Curiously, he also openly blamed the errors of the United States for the dire state of affairs pointing out that “not just the current administration” were to be blamed. No doubt, the foremost of these errors, Macron had in mind, was the alienation of Russia and pushing the country into the warm embrace of China. It is quite clear, that this is what they want to remedy, snatch the bear back from the dragon. Fortunately, that won’t happen. Good if there will be rapprochement and good if the West will try, but after all what Russia has learnt by now it will not sell out on China under any circumstances. I think Putin and the Russian powers that be have clearly opted for a multipolar world order. That is definitely not what Macron’s and Trump’s employers have in mind but let them try.

Until Trump took office, the strategy of the US regime had been to pursue only Russia in its geopolitical ambitions, but by then it had dawned on them that Russia was invincible especially in the de facto alliance with China. In a sign of desperation, the empire then opened big time another front with China. Essentially going from bad to worse.

The world order is being shaken like never before

“The world order is being shaken like never before…”, that’s another quote from Macron. Obviously, it refers to the military and geopolitical strengths of the Sino-Russian alliance, but certainly also to the economic shifts as the West has lost – and will keep losing – its economic domination. This brings us back to Mark Carney of Bank of England and his unprecedented attack on the US dollar arguing that it was time to end its global reserve currency status. As one option Carney brought up that the major Western central banks would instead issue a digital cryptocurrency. That is to say, a NWO currency controlled by the central banks. That would effectively mean the replacement of the Federal Reserve cartel with a cartel of the Western central banks (the Fed obviously being a part of it). That’s yet one step further north from any kind of democratic control and a giant step towards world government.

What could possibly have prompted such a radical US hegemony puncturing idea to be put forward? One reason obviously is that the Western economies really are in that extreme critical condition that more and more analysts caution about. (We shall look at the economic facts further down). There’s a very real possibility that we will be hit by a doomsday recession. What’s sure is that Carney’s bizarre speech could possibly not have occurred in a normal economic environment (any more than Macron’s admission that the Western hegemony is done with). According to Zerohedge, The Financial Times, the party organ of the globalist elite, admitted as much in its report on the Jackson Hole meeting. The central bankers “acknowledged they had reached a turning point in the way they viewed the global system. They cannot rely on the tools they used before the financial crisis to shape the economic environment, and the US can no longer be considered a predictable actor in economic or trade policy — even though there is no imminent replacement for the US dollar in sight.”

There was an effective admission that the central bankers had run out of tricks to pull the economies out of the everything-bubble mess, not to mention the looming doomsday recession. According to FT, Carney went as far as flashing the war card saying: “past instances of very low rates have tended to coincide with high risk events such as wars, financial crises, and breaks in the monetary regime.” On the one hand this can be seen as an admission on how deeply tormented they are about the financial situation and what could happen when it comes crashing down. On the other hand, it can be seen as a sales pitch, “only we can fix it, trust us, give us a carte blanche.” Or more probably, both.

Note from above Carney saying: “the US can no longer be considered a predictable actor in economic or trade policy.” Bank of England President here directly attacking President Trump.

And just a couple of days later William Dudley an ex-president of New York Federal Reserve Bank (the most influential of the 12 federal reserve banks that comprise the Federal Reserve System) followed up on a direct attack on Trump. But as they say about spies, there are no ex-spies, and I would think the same applies for the global financial elite. And yes indeed, Dudley is a card carrying member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Dudley had penned an op-ed for Bloomberg titled “The Fed Shouldn’t Enable Donald Trump,” where he openly lobbies for the Fed to deliberately damage the economy in order to neutralize the policies (namely trade wars) of the sitting president and prevent his reelection chances by willfully ruining the economy.

One thing is for sure, the elite is desperate and in serious disarray. Very probable that the elite is split, too. It seems as if there were two globalist factions competing with each other and wanting to follow vastly different strategies. One faction supports Trump and the other is against him. Possibly, one that wants to do things with force and another that wants to gain by stealth. That could be Pentagon and the military-industrial complex vs. the financial elite, who also owns the media. My argument does not hinge on the veracity of those division lines, but that some rupture exists among the elites must be taken for granted, otherwise Trump would have been ousted by now with all that pressure on him.

To summarize this introduction.

The Western world is in turmoil: the previous overwhelming geopolitical domination is gone and over with; military solutions against the main adversaries – China and Russia – are off the books; hybrid wars against them have failed; China and Russia are economically stronger than ever, too strong for the adversary; and to boot the domestic Western economies are in extraordinary bad shape, risking a depression of epic proportions.

*  *  *

Further down in this report, I will look at the one aspect of the question I am best equipped to handle, namely the economy. I will outline just in how bad shape the Western debt-fueled casino economies are. Having that as the background, I will then show how surprisingly strong the Russian economy is, at least in comparison with the Western gambling nations. Most importantly, Russia is virtually debtless, and that’s really the clue to survival in this extraordinary economic environment. In addition to the solid finances, Russia has other things going for it, too, as we will see below. I will not provide comparative data on China. One reason for that is, that China is not an economic risk. China does not have the debt problem that it is frequently touted in Western press to have. China, as the world’s number one export country, would of course take a hit in a serious global crisis, but that would not kill the economy. Although, China is the biggest exporter, there has been a shift from export-led growth towards domestic investment and consumption. The share of exports of goods and services in the country’s GDP was by 2018 down to 19.5%, half of the 2006 peak of 36%. On the contrary, the Chinese economy would stay vivid and therefore also help to sustain Russia’s exports.

I may add as one more piece of background, that it is my firm belief that the approaching economic disaster has long been evident to the central bankers and the globalist elite decision makers. Most likely the game plan was to establish the absolute world hegemony – which they not long ago thought was within early reach – and then after that deal with the debts as they saw fit as democratic dissent would not matter a bit anymore by then. That’s why they felt confident in building up the asset bubbles to carry them over to the final solution. Reminds me about a story told about Moscow’s so-called Khrushchyovka tenement buildings. These are low-cost three- to five-storied houses built quickly and cheap during the Khrushchev era to address the dire housing shortages of the 1960s. According to the story, the planners knew they would serve only for a few decades, but that would not matter all that much because by that time there would be Communism and everything would be perfect anyway. No Communism materialized, but presently the Moscow government under Mayor Sobyanin has initiated a program to tear them all down and erect new buildings where flats with title will be given for free to house the 1.5 million present residents of those buildings slated for replacement. – Well, that’s sort of Communism, isn’t it? – This kind of wishful thinking must have kept the globalist elite going, too. Unfortunately for the dreamers, though, their plans hit a snag in form of Russia and China.

Central bank fueled asset bubbles

Russia is low in debt, but you can’t say the same about the US and other Western nations. And that debt really is what got the world in the present mess and brought it teetering on the brink of financial collapse. Since the late 80s, the US central bank, the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan developed an addiction to cure any downward tick on Wall Street with easy credit, eventually requiring after every downturn ever bigger central bank liquidity injections to keep the stock indices on a growth curve. Greenspan was experimenting with a policy aimed at creating a “wealth effect” aka “trickle-down.” The idea being that Wall Street bankers and big corporations be stuffed with all the free money they can swallow for the purpose of keeping stock and bond prices high. The theoretical frame told that doing so something would eventually trickle down to the real economy, and everybody would live happily ever after. After stocks and bonds, Greenspan’s wealth effect policy was addressed to inflate home prices and all real estate with that. That was the road that eventually led to the 2008 subprime loan crisis, which took down Lehman Brothers and then all of Wall Street and the whole global economy.

But Wall Street recovered soon, because Greenspan’s successor Ben Bernanke had set forth to blow up an even bigger asset bubble. And the Europeans followed suit. The Fed fueled the market frenzy with creating money out of thin air (aka quantitative easing) in favor of governments, banks and corporations to the tune of $3.5 trillion in the decade following the 2008 collapse.

The European Central Bank has done the same for Europe in volumes more than 2.5 trillion euro to date. All the other Western central banks joined the gambling by flooding the markets with fiat money at same levels relatively speaking.

But anyway this astronomic leverage and the humongous budget deficits of the Western countries didn’t get the real economy anywhere. They have blown up asset bubbles of phantasmagorical proportions with preciously little trickle-down. Since the pre-crash peak in October 2007, the broadest US stock index (Wilshire 5000) has gained 95% (on top of covering the nearly 60% crash from in between). In the same 12-year period industrial production (manufacturing, mining, energy, utilities) has grown only 5% combined over all those years. Deduct – the in itself lossmaking – shale oil and gas and there is barely no growth left in the 12 years. In fact, the US manufacturing sector was in June still 1.6% below the pre-crisis peak in December 2007. So we have a 5% gain in the most important part of the real economy vs. 95% in stock market gambling. The absurdity of the stock market growth is further evidenced by the gap between growth of real final sales and stock valuations since 2007 peak. Since then, the former has grown on an average 1.6% per year, while the stock market has delivered annualized growth at levels of 15%. Total industrial production share of the GDP in the US has sunk to 18%. (For comparison, the figure for Russia was 32% and growing.)

Trickle-down, anyone?

It would be false to claim there has not been any trickle-down at all. Millions of people have kept their jobs because of it. But at the same time they have had their real wages squeezed and the overwhelming majority have seen their standards of living drop. Only massive loads of consumer credits and ultra-cheap mortgages have kept up an illusion of superficial prosperity among the middle classes. This debt-fueled prosperity and it’s cursory result, the artificial real estate asset bubble will prove a wolf in sheep’s clothing when the everything-bubble bursts.

There’s been another form of trickle-down, too, a much more real and actually beneficial one. By creating the debt-fueled illusion of prosperity, the Western central banks have actually subsidized China, Russia and all of the emerging world as they have flushed their export goods on the global markets where the Western nations have picked it all up on borrowed money. Thanks for that, though. At the same time, that has driven production costs up in the West with the consequence that their own industries have been priced out.

The humongous borrowings fail to produce GDP growth

Every year since the last bout of the crisis in 2008, growth of debt in the national economies of each Western country has far exceeded the growth of economic output measured as GDP. Below chart shows just how bad it has been in the US.

The debt and GDP growth curves started to diverge in the late 70s, but from 2000 debt has spiraled out of control delivering preciously little incremental GDP. Deduct the wasteful debt and wasteful spending and there would be no growth whatsoever.

Not only has there been no real GDP growth but even the nominal growth has to a crucial extent been provided for by means of the enormous government borrowings. We see from below table that that in each year from 2008 to 2017 even the nominal GDP growth has been less than the growth of government debt, with 2015 and 2015 as the only exceptions when they were on par.

In the peak crisis years 2008 and 2009, debt growth was a staggering 5.7 and 6.3 times that of GDP growth.

The debt game has been equally miserable all over the West, perhaps with the only exception of Germany, who has wisely refrained from participating, even when egged on by liberal economists calling Germany’s more prudent policy unfair to the gambling nations. Below chart shows how much more the Western governments have borrowed than produced economic growth. The chart covers years 2004 to 2013, but the trend has been the same ever since. GDP growth has been vastly less than the growth of the colossal debtberg.

Note Russia there as the shining exception.

Below chart ranks countries according to their debt burden relative to GDP. And again you see how debtless Russia is compared with the squandering nations.

These charts concerned only government debt, when we add private debt to it, the picture is doubly worse. From the point of view of a national economy it really doesn’t matter in which form the excess debt expands, public or private. In fact, on an average in the West the situation with household debt is equally dire. Below chart tells you just how bad. And again note Russia as the one shining exception.

And it’s no better with corporations, which have throughout the last decade been enjoying mindboggling levels of central bank largesse in form of virtually unlimited interest-free financing. For example, compared to earnings, US bond issuers are about 50% more leveraged now than in 2007.

Finally, there is the black hole containing trillions and trillions of bankers derivative risks. Deutsche Bank – which was recently placed in emergency care – alone is said to have 49 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives. These risks alone could take down the whole global financial system.

First no real interest, then on to negative yields

One of the many deadly side effects of the central bankers’ practice on gambling with the national economies is that they first eliminated real interest rates (pushed rates below inflation) and then doubled down on the destruction of sound economic principles by cooking up a system with negative yielding bonds (bonds which yield below zero). By now $30 trillion of the $60 trillion US bond market yield below inflation (no real interest) and nearly $17 trillion worth of bonds are in negative yield territory. That’s mostly made up by sovereign debt of Japan and European governments (12 at the moment) but recently the mass of negative yielding corporate bonds has also doubled to $1.2 trillion. Half of the $5 trillion worth of European government bonds sport a negative yield as well as 20% of European investment grade corporate bonds.

Inflation risk

Normally, this kind of excess liquidity artificially put on the market (aka money printing) would have led to high inflation if not hyperinflation. Several factors have helped to keep prices in check. First, it needs to be pointed out, though, that inflation is actually a lot higher than what the government reports. This has been pretty convincingly proven in the case of the United States. Official statistics may not see it, but people sure feel it.

Secondly, the asset price bubbles in real estate and financial markets in fact represent inflation, it’s just not officially recorded as such. As it is only the 10% (and increasingly, the 1%) who get the money, they spend it on the stuff that counts for them, stocks and real estate. Keeping their loot offshore also helps to dampen inflation at home. The squeeze on the middle classes and stagnating wages, is sadly an important factor in keeping inflation down. Ordinary people just can’t afford to buy.

One should also note, that resulting from the illusionary debt-fueled prosperity and its effect on keeping the local Western currencies artificially high, there has actually been an inflation in wages and production costs, but only in relative terms in comparison with the emerging world. This in turn has led to further offshoring of manufacturing jobs.

A crucial factor, which in the crazy money printing environment has kept consumer goods from hyperinflating has been imports from the emerging Asia and especially China. Huge growth of the Chinese manufacturing industry coupled with massive influx of cheap labor from the rural countryside into the cities enabled China for a couple of decades to constantly increase its exports to the US and Europe and these countries to keep prices down. (Including by domestic industries having to lower prices in competition). With the Trump trade wars and dramatically increasing protectionism, this will change. And it could get very ugly.

Finally, there is an important consideration that few if anyone seem to understand. That is the fact that the US and other Western countries have been able to print the stupendous amounts of money while keeping rates down and without the currency values crashing only because they enjoy local currency monopolies in their respective territories. The USD has of course been enjoying a global monopoly, but that is fast fading. All the other factors mentioned above (and several other ones), have enabled to prop up and prolong these currency monopolies, but there is a limit to everything. In the coming recession, I would expect some of the lesser currencies to lose their monopoly trust and that would shatter the position of the bigger currencies USD and Euro and force them to raise interest rates. I have earlier written more in detail about this in a report titled How the Dollar and Euro Monopolies Destroyed the Real Market Economy. https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/dollar-euro-monopolies-destroyed-market-economy/

The below chart suggests that the Western countries are already on the way to lose their respective currency monopolies. The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) now have a combined GDP (measured in PPP, which is the only correct way to measure the relative size of national economies) larger than not only the G7 countries, but the US and Eurozone economies combined.

At its foundation in 1973, the G7 countries had a combined GDP PPP of 50% of the world economy, by today it is down to 30%. In the same time the nominal GDP share of world economy has crashed from 80% to 40%. The currency monopolies came with the economic superiority, it is therefore only natural that with the economic domination goes the currency domination, too. If we haven’t reached the tipping point yet, then that will happen within 5 to 10 years.

In summary, everything else unchanged, the risk of inflation picking up with just a few percentage points could have the entire Western financial systems coming crashing down due to the pressure on interest rates growing. The Fed and the ECB are continuously speaking about their inflation targets and how they want to pump the markets with more liquidity to raise inflation. There could yet be a big surprise in store for them. Interest rates as such could also be the primary trigger (even without inflation first rising), as nations would have to protect their currencies and attract financing for their colossal debtbergs.

Must add as a P.S. that the incipient flight to gold might well be one of the trigger events for those currencies to lose their monopolies. (Gold price is up 20% since May).

Deleveraging will come

These massive borrowings have delivered nothing of tangible value. Now, when the party is nearly over all there is left are the debt bubbles that have hit the roof. The real values of all the assets below bear no relation to the money that went into inflating the balloons. What’s left is economic hardship for 80% of the people, a crumbling infrastructure and simmering social tensions.

The debt saturation point has been reached, therefore this time it will be different, the central bankers have lost their magic wand and won’t be able to renew the debt binge and extend it with one more decade. Instead, there will be a day of reckoning. Governments and corporations will have to put their act together and let the market weed out the failed entities. Those who cannot carry the debt, will have to shed it. There will be bloodbath with defaults, bankruptcies and massive unemployment. – Perhaps a revolution here and there. – There will be no choice, deleveraging must happen.

Now, whether this system will come crashing down or just slowly die as it trundles downhill will not matter all that much. It will eventually die either way. Most people would prefer the slow motion option, but only with the crash would a cure come. Whatever, it has become increasingly difficult to stave off the crash and this time around, the financial markets would take the real economy down with them big time.

The impressive figures on Russia

The question then is, who would be left standing? Naturally, those who are less leveraged. Now, scroll back to have a new look at the above charts on government and household debt. Find the position of Russia there? That’s right. Russia is the country with – by far – the least debt, both public and private. Having after 2014 following sanctions been cut off from the Western debt orgy, even Russian corporations are shielded against a possible Western debt apocalypse.

In a global recession, no country is safe, but Russia looks to have quite a lot going for it in terms of economic advantages. Russia’s national balance sheet is next to none with by far the lowest debt of all major countries. All economic actors, the government, corporations and households are economically solid and minimally leveraged. Not only is the government virtually debtless, but it has again replenished its spectacular forex and sovereign wealth fund reserves. On top of that comes a hefty budget surplus. – Yes, you heard that right, surplus. In a time when all Western countries are in a chronic fight against deficits, you rarely even hear the term budget surplus. And more, Russia runs the world’s third biggest trade surplus. Add to that the current account surplus, and there’s the hat trick in form of your classic triple surpluses. Russia has a lot more going for it, too, as we will see.

Let’s look at Russia’s present financial health report.

Thanks to import substitution (domestic production instead of imports to neutralize sanctions) Russia’s industrial production rose 2.6% year-on-year in June. (USA +1.1%, UK +0.8%, Japan -2.4%, Germany -5.9%). Above, we mentioned that US industrial production was up with as little as a cumulative 5% since 2008 to date. In the same period Russia’s industry grew 18% notwithstanding the hardships of sanctions and sharp drop in oil price. In fact, since 2014 when the sanctions were first imposed, Russia’s industry has grown 12%.

Russia’s merchandise trade surplus for the first half of 2019 was $93 billion, ranking third in the world after China and Germany and before South Korea. Imports were down by 3%, the other side of the coin of growing domestic manufacturing. Even when exports also were slightly down, lower imports will keep the surplus on track to reach levels near $200 billion for the full year, just under last year’s record $212 billion.

Q1 current account surplus clocked in at $33 billion, up 10% over the year.

In this connection, it might be helpful to remind that Russia’s economy is nowhere near as dependent on fossil fuel extraction as it is habitually believed in the West. In fact, oil and gas only account for 10% of Russia’s GDP according to World Bank statistics. (In 2017, total natural resources share of GDP was 10.7%, but that includes minerals and forest, too).

We also need to point out that Russia has an enormous strength by way of being the world’s most self-sufficient major country. Russia has the by far lowest level of imports relative to GDP of all countries, as evidenced by below table. It shows that Russia’s imports as a share of GDP was as low as 7.2%, while the corresponding level for Western European countries was between 30 to 40%. The extraordinary low levels of imports in a global comparison obviously signifies that Russia produces domestically a much higher share of all that it consumes (and invests), this in turn means that the economy is superbly diversified contrary to the claims of most so-called Russia experts.

Despite initial scares, inflation has remained low even when the VAT rate was from the new year raised from 18% to 20%. The rolling 12-month inflation runs at 4.6% but with the declining trend the full year inflation is expected to hit the central bank’s target 4%.

The job market continues strong with record low unemployment levels, while the job participation rate has not deteriorated (so no tricks here). The July reading of 4.6% translates to 3.4 million unemployed, which is low for a country with a population of 146 million. The strength of the labor market was underscored by an increase of real salaries by 3.5% by July. This while disposable income otherwise has remained subdued.

Whereas the US is combating persistent budget deficits (latest reading, a deficit of 4.5% of GDP) – likewise the EU countries – Russia mustered a huge budget surplus equal to 3.4% of the GDP by July this year.

Russia’s foreign exchange and gold reserves have also done a spectacular comeback reaching $520 billion.

The Russia sovereign wealth fund surged in July to reach a value equal to 7.2% of GDP.

Despite the wholesome macroeconomic environment and impressive figures, Russia’s GDP growth has been less than 1% so far this year (year-on-year 0.6% in Q1 and 0.9% in Q2). However, by the looks of it the fundamental economy seems to be growing and modernizing, while the drag on the growth comes from depressed household consumption. What’s more important, though, is that while Russia’s growth is hovering around the 1%, so is that of all of the Western world. (Accuse me of whataboutism if you will, but these things need to be put in perspective). Q2 growth in the Eurozone was 1.1%, with Germany even about to slide into recession. UK clocked in at 1.2% and Japan at 0.4%. (All figures, year-on-year). The US showed only 2% (revised down 28 August) even when fueled by a mountainous budget deficit set to reach $1 trillion for the fiscal year and despite all that easy money the Fed keeps pumping out. Only China remained firmly in growth territory with 6.2%.

But, the real conundrum is, how can Russia produce the same GDP as all the Western countries with their seemingly limitless injections of give-away money? How is it possible that all those trillions and trillions that the Western central bankers have thrown on the economy do not produce any real incremental economic output?

The big disadvantage Russia has compared with the Western countries is the exorbitant real interest rate that the central bank maintains. The steering rate is presently 7.25%, with inflation predicted to be 4%, that translates into a primary real interest of 3.25%. Compare that with the negative real interest – and even negative yields – of competitor countries. As, the Russian central bank has failed to create a real banking sector which would lend according to international standards to the country’s businesses, the ones that are lucky to get a loan at all would look to pay interest at the level of 15% of more (save the largest corporations). The Governor of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina does not see this as a problem, though. She has said that instead she would pin her hopes on improving the countries investment climate (sic!). (She calls for improvement of corporate governance, development of human capital, and all kinds of nice things. That would sure do it.)

Just this week, Putin called a high profile meeting with Nabiullina, the minister for economic development Maxim Oreshkin, and the finance minister Anton Sulanov, to express his deep concern with the sluggish GDP growth and stagnating income. No doubt, that the depressed income is not only a drag on the economy but on the president’s popularity. There is only one quick fix for it. The government and the CBR must ditch their overzealous austerity programs. It’s good that Russia is not over leveraged with debt, but certainly some debt would be in order to finance the infrastructure and other national strategic development programs instead of ripping it off people’s backs. Free the funds for raising pensions and public service salaries instead. And most importantly, Nabiullina must lower the rates and not run real interests in excess of 3% when the rest of the developed world is in negative territory. There is no other quick remedy for raising people’s income. That’s Putin’s choice. Hope somebody tells that to him.

In conclusion, we are not saying that Russia would not be hurt by the coming recession, we merely express our confidence that Russia is among the world’s countries best placed to cope with it.

Source: New World Order In Meltdown

China: ‘End is coming for those attempting to disrupt Hong Kong’ | WND

(SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST) — Communist Party mouthpiece Xinhua on Sunday condemned the increasingly violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong, warning that “the end is coming for those attempting to disrupt Hong Kong and antagonise China”.

The news agency’s commentary did not threaten specific action to end the protests, other than repeating unwavering support for the Hong Kong government and police actions to end them.

But the commentary – the latest in a series of strongly worded statements from Beijing – did lay out three bottom lines “that must not be crossed”.

Source: China: ‘End is coming for those attempting to disrupt Hong Kong’

Newt Gingrich: Mike Rowe has incredible Labor Day insights on the importance of labor and American workers | FOX news by Newt Gingrich

Labor Day is the perfect time for us to reflect and join Mike Rowe’s effort to fix our relationship with work.

I am particularly excited this Labor Day weekend to share with you my conversation with someone who has come to personify the work ethic, the legitimacy of work, and the need for everyone to understand and appreciate that labor itself (and the people who do it) are critical to our society.

I’m talking about Mike Rowe, who was host of the Discovery Channel’s hit show “Dirty Jobs” and now hosts the podcast “The Way I Heard It.”

Mike is a busy man. He also runs a foundation – the Mike Rowe Works Foundation, to provide scholarships to students entering the skilled trades. And he has just written a book, which is also called “The Way I Heard It.”

So I was honored this week to have him on “Newt’s World” to talk with me about his personal story of how becoming reconnected with work and skilled labor changed his life forever.

MIKE ROWE URGES BUSINESS OWNERS TO HIRE VETERANS: ‘THERE’S NO GOOD REASON NOT TO’

When Mike was young, he idolized his grandfather, who was a master tradesman. As Mike told me, his grandfather could build a house without blueprints and fix or create virtually anything.

Mike grew up believing that he, too, would grow up to build things and follow his family trade. However, as he put it, “the handy gene is recessive.” When he reached his early 20s, Mike realized he did not have the natural talent required to do what his grandfather did, and so he went to community college, university, and later entered the media/entertainment industry.

However, a single call from his mother concerning his grandfather’s health changed Mike’s life in fundamental ways and set him on his current course. It still colors nearly everything he does.

I hope you will listen to this week’s episode, because Mike shared with me the touching story about how “Dirty Jobs” came into existence. It was initially Mike’s homage to his grandfather, but it turned into a profound and deep respect for all people who work hard every day to help our civilization function.

But this was just one story that Mike shared with me. He also talked about his high school chorus teacher (who was also a Golden Gloves boxer) who cured Mike of a stutter by forcing him to audition for theater. He told me how that ultimately led him to fake his way into the Baltimore Opera (yes, Mike also sings opera).

This was one of the most fascinating episodes I have recorded. Mike was incredibly candid, and we had an interesting conversation about how we as a society have lost our connection with skilled labor and trades.

Labor Day is the perfect time for us to reflect and join Mike’s effort to reconnect and fix our relationship with work. It’s also the perfect day to pause and appreciate the millions of people who get up every day to keep America (and the world) running.

Source: Newt Gingrich: Mike Rowe has incredible Labor Day insights on the importance of labor and American workers

The Vital Role That Christians Play in the Hong Kong Protests — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

If Hong Kong’s fight for democracy is trampled by Beijing, Christians have a lot to lose. The fear of this possibility, along with their faith in Christ, compels Christians in Hong Kong to play a vital role in the pro-democracy protests that have been going on for 12 weeks now. A meeting at Hong Kong’s Chater Garden last Friday marked the first time several churches came together publicly and deliberately to lend their voices and presence to the Hong Kong protests.

Christians Join Hong Kong Protests

“Salt and light, for justice we walk together,” was the meeting’s motto. A press release for the meeting explained the rally was designed to give Christians a platform to “express themselves outside the church.” Rally organizers encouraged Christians to “safeguard Hong Kong by singing, praying, worshipping God and at the same time speaking up for justice and standing together with all the Hongkongers in difficult times.”

The protests started in June when Hong Kong’s rulers–which are technically elected by Hong Kongers, but only after they’ve been approved by China’s seat of power, Beijing–put forth a bill that would allow for the extradition of offenders in Hong Kong and other Chinese territories to mainland China. On Saturday, June 15th, after a surprising 1.03 million people took to the streets in protest, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, announced the bill would be shelved, indicating it likely won’t be passed this year. For the protestors, though, that announcement was not enough. The protestors are calling for Lam’s resignation as well as other measures that will ensure the “one country, two systems” policy will remain intact.

Christians, in particular, hold a wild card in the protests. There are laws in place to discourage public assembly in Hong Kong, but the laws include an exemption for religious gatherings. In theory, this means religious groups such as churches could potentially assemble to protest without fear of the police breaking up their meeting. However, the fear of police brutality is high in Hong Kong at the moment.

Early on in the Hong Kong protests, the hymn “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” became an unofficial anthem of the pro-democracy movement. Videos show Christians and non-Christians alike singing the hymn in front of police barricades and as they march down crowded Hong Kong streets.

The Hong Kong Protests Intensify

While Christians are committed to protesting peacefully, last weekend saw some of the most violent clashes between protestors and riot police. Protestors can be seen in videos throwing bricks and petrol bombs at police, while police fire back with tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Several weeks ago, a woman lost an eye to a rubber bullet, which is why you may see images of protestors covering one eye with their hands.

Friday, August 23, 2019 was the 30th anniversary of one of the biggest anti-Soviet protests. The Baltic Way was a peaceful protest utilizing a human chain. Hong Kongers acknowledged the anniversary by following suit. They formed a human chain that stretched nearly 22 miles across various areas of the city. Some Christians who attended the Chater Garden meeting also joined in the “Hong Kong Way” demonstration.

Click here to read more.
Source: Church Leaders

via The Vital Role That Christians Play in the Hong Kong Protests — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network