Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 78
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Submitted By Johanna
Pride is an emotion which refers to a strong sense of self respect, a refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, nation or object that one identifies with.
In Christianity, Pride (also Vanity or arrogance) is the essentially competitive and excessive belief in one's own abilities that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God, or the worth which God sees in others; for example: "In his Pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." (Psalm 10:4) Pride is also one of the seven deadly sins. (Pride, envy, lust, wrath, sloth, gluttony and greed)
The danger of material possessions
“Be careful that you don’t forget the LORD your God by failing to keep His command – the ordinances and statutes – I am giving you today. When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in , and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, [be careful] that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flintlike rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end He might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me, ‘ but remember that the LORD your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm His covenant He swore to your fathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods to worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will perish. Like the nations the LORD is about to destroy before you, you will perish if you do not obey the LORD your God.
“Here is the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, taking refuge in his destructive behavior.”
A rich man’s wealth is his fortified city; in his imagination it is like a high wall. Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but before honor comes humility.
Because you trust in your works and treasures, you will be captured also. Chemosh will go into exile with his priests and officials.
Divine attitude toward humility and pride
2 Samuel 22:28
You rescue and afflicted people, but Your eyes are set against the proud – You humble them.
Though the LORD is exalted, He takes note of the humble; but He knows the haughty from afar.
Pride numbs spirituality and goodness
In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue the afflicted; let them be caught in the schemes they have devised. For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; the one who is greedy curses and despises the LORD. In all his scheming, the wicked arrogantly thinks: “There is no accountability, [since] God does not exist.” His ways are always secure; Your lofty judgments are beyond his sight; he scoffs at all his adversaries. He says to himself, “I will never be moved – from generation to generation without calamity.” Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth; trouble and malice are under his tongue. He waits in ambush near the villages; he kills the innocent in secret places; his eyes are on the lookout for the helpless. He lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket. He lurks in order to seize the afflicted. He seizes the afflicted and drags him in his net. He crouches and bends down; the helpless fall because of his strength. He says to himself, “God has forgotten; He hides His face and will never see.”
Vanity lessens realization of sin
For in his own eyes he flatters himself [too much] to discover and hate his sin.
Their graves are their eternal homes, their homes from generation to generation, though they have named estates after themselves.
The Lord hates pride
To fear the LORD is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.
Pride brings destruction
Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.
The proud and arrogant person, named “Mocker,” acts with excessive pride.
Patience preferred to pride
The end of a matter is better than its beginning; a patient spirit is better than a proud spirit.
A Bankrupt Mankind
Galatians 4:9 "But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?"
Definition of Bankrupt:
bankrupt >adjective 1 declared in law unable to pay one's debts. 2 completely lacking in a particular good quality or value: morally bankrupt. >noun a person legally declared as bankrupt. >verb reduce to a bankrupt state.
In 2005, the Cherubic Order of Holy Angels revealed to this ministry via a symbolic vision and accompanying message that global monetary collapse was on the horizon.
Ezekiel 7:19 “They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will seem like something filthy. Their silver and gold will be unable to save them in the day of the LORD’s wrath. They will not satisfy their appetites or fill their stomachs, for these were the stumbling blocks that brought about their iniquity.”
Zephaniah 1:18 “Their silver and their gold will not be able to rescue them on the day of the LORD’s wrath. The whole earth will be consumed by the fire of His jealousy. For He will make a complete, yes, a horrifying end of all the inhabitants of the earth.”
The following quote is from the book Chosen: End Times Truths Revealed and is part of the message that was revealed: “The Cherubs are planning to bring about this prophecy in the near future. The process has already begun… It is a bleak outlook to say the least. Everyone had better get stocked up on canned goods rations and plenty of water. If you have an underground shelter, you’ll need to fix the surface to where it’s not easily found. Harder times are ahead. By the time the first Rapture occurs, you’re going to be thinking that it wasn’t going to happen in time.” (2005)
We are now, in 2009, seeing this prophecy coming into full fruition. Splashed across every news source in this day and time are reports of the economy both locally in the U.S. and worldwide. For many, this truth has hit home as they struggle to provide shelter, food and clothing for themselves and their families. For others, it has yet to rear its ugly head in their own personal lives, but they are well aware of the seriousness of the situation.
In the Scriptures, what it means to be morally bankrupt is described to us at 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of religion but denying its power.”
Just as in the Word is both literal and symbolic in meanings; all things in Father Yahweh’s plan also have dual meanings. The duality of Father’s plan, between global monetary collapse and the morally bankrupt occurs here. What most of mankind is unaware of, is the greater debt owed to our Creator Yahweh; that was paid by Christ and how only those in Christ of true faith are declared legally solvent in Yahweh’s eyes. For as the world nears literal bankruptcy, most of the world remains morally bankrupt.
Between what is literally occurring and symbolically occurring and what has now been explained, it should become more obvious to you that Father’s plan is unfolding just as She said that it would. Nothing can be done to stop it, though Dawn Lucifer Satan the Devil continues to work around the clock in vain to halt it. These things must and will take place, as Christ’s Kingdom is on the Horizon and Father will prevail over Her enemies.
Isaiah 42:13 "The LORD advances like a warrior; He stirs up His zeal like a soldier. He shouts, He roars aloud, He prevails over His enemies."
Venom, Poison, Disease, and Treatment
Numbers 21:4-9 — Then they set out from Mount Hor by way of the Red Sea to bypass the land of Edom, but the people became impatient because of the journey. The people spoke against God and Moses: "Why have you led us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread or water, and we detest this wretched food!" Then the LORD sent poisonous snakes among the people, and they bit them so that many Israelites died.
The people then came to Moses and said, "We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Intercede with the LORD so that He will take the snakes away from us." And Moses interceded for the people.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake [image] and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover. So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered.
The concept of venom is simply in the introduction of a destructive substance that usually comes from certain animals, such as a snake or spider. Even a scorpion's tail can be considered venomous, because of its sting. All of which are symbolic, which also helps to describe why other animals do not have a venomous physical attribute (taking note of the above scripture's detail of “poisonous” snakes, where some snakes are not poisonous). At the same time, different venoms are more potent and harmful than others. One could begin to describe the different chemical make-up of venom and how destructive it can be, yet, the basis of the secretion is the destructive and forceful invasion of a foreign substance that only circulates and furthers the initial harm that was inflicted.
Given this description about venom, there can be a further understanding in the spiritual concepts of venom, and what it all implies. In this, it can be seen from the above scripture that the Israelites provoked and angered Father, which, Father, in turn, sent poisonous snakes to their camp. In this correlation, one may be able to see on a spiritual level, that the physical snakes had followed the spiritual ones, and perhaps it took a physical action for the Israelites to see how bitten they were, and that they were already on the brink of death because of their spiritual bites. It is not written in this passage whether or not Satan, himself, or any of his cohorts, had gone into the camp to tempt and inspire rebellion amongst the people, but it can be seen how laziness and impatience can be like an injected venom that kills a person, slowly, but surely. And painfully. And when an individual is in such a state of being, they may have that same sort of impact on others around them. When one person's body is full of venom, there is a chance of passing on that venom to another, as the venom would be in their blood, which means that individual would have to exercise precautions. As well, a venomous bite can send an individual into a paralytic shock, or simply into unconsciousness, and a spiritually unconscious individual would have an increased chance of doing and saying fleshly influenced things. This sort of emergency would require the aid of another individual to save that person's life, lest there be only death.
Looking back at the above scripture, one can further see how Father had provided a means for the Israelites to be healed. The passage does not say that Father took the snakes away, as the Israelites had requested, but rather, the snakes persisted. Moreover, Father had provided only one means to recover, and as one might imagine, there were many Israelites, so their camp was quite large. In order to get to the mounted image on the pole, one would have to, after being bitten, find a way to the symbol in order to look upon it with belief, and be able to recover. It can be seen that it took faith, even a small amount, for an Israelite who was bitten to be healed, because if they did not even believe, they might not have even looked, much less hoped.
Jonah 2:3, 4, 9 – 3 You threw me into the depths,
into the heart of the seas,
and the current overcame me.
All Your breakers and Your billows swept over me.
4 But I said: I have been banished
from Your sight,
yet I will look once more
toward Your holy temple.
9 but as for me, I will sacrifice to You
with a voice of thanksgiving.
I will fulfill what I have vowed.
Salvation is from the LORD!
Poison, on the other hand, does not have to be injected or forced into a person with their knowing it. Poison can be deceptively inserted and introduced into a person's food, into their skin, or even onto their body as they sleep. Poison, oddly enough, can even come from normal, everyday, household products, which is kind of alarming. Even one who cooks can have an assassin intervene with their food, which makes none of it safe. And at the same time, not all poisons can be solely meant to kill. They can be used to just make a person's life miserable, disable them in different ways, or even influence them to have different attributes. Spiritual poison is no different, and a poisoned person can easily spread that same poison onto another, especially if it is a potent one that absorbs through the skin quickly.
And among the three, disease could be the worst, as it spreads nefariously, without many even knowing what the matter is at first, perhaps even ignoring the problem until it ultimately is out of control. Disease can kill quickly, or slowly, or do all that poison and venom can do. Disease may even spread without being on purpose, unlike venom which must be injected, and partially like poison, if one is not aware of their actions. As well, disease does not only have to be on the inside, but it can even start on the outside, much like leprosy. And even though there are remedies for many of the world's diseases, there is no absolute guarantee anything would resolve the disease, or reverse the damage it made. The result of any resolution is ultimately up to Father, as all things, down to the very things that make up atoms, are Her's.
As for the treatment of any of these three destructive influences, and given the last statement of the above paragraph, it can be seen that there is only one solution, one remedy, one cure. As it is read in the above scripture, the snakes were not taken away, and likewise, it is not much different now. The world is still engulfed in snakes and disease, and the world is dying. Even if a person in the flesh right now were to think that they are healthy, their health would be unhealth, because it is under-par to what Father is capable of. There may be thought to be many cures, as there seems to be many religions, but there is only one that will actually work without possibly causing any more ailments. Interestingly, there is medicine that supposedly helps fight off viruses and the like, but it does not mean that it actually solves the root of the problem. As well, it can be read about in scripture that there were different mandates for resolving different ailments and illnesses, all provided by Father. So, as it may be seen, different issues require different solutions to fix them, and putting all the pieces together requires more help than one may be capable of on their own. Therefore, it is imperative to know exactly what to do, when to do it, and how in order to be cured of anything one is afflicted with. The only way to do so, is by Father. However, Father's treatment requires more than one might think, yet, may be just as accessible. In this, we can always be thankful, as Father has always provided, yet, asking for so little.
The Way – Part 11
This week we continue looking at Wrong Attitudes to be Avoided. We will be sharing what has been given to us, but in groups of 3. Before our Ministry holds Bible Study each week, we pray to Father Yahweh for guidance and help in understanding Her Word. We pray the wisdom imparted will find its way to your heart where it may be written up on it. Amen. http://www.biblegateway.com can be used as a reference tool with the Holman Christian Standard Bible as the recommended version.
Avoid gluttony (habitual greed or excess in eating.):
Proverbs 23:20, 21
Avoid gossiping and being a busybody:
1 Timothy 5:12, 13
1 Peter 4:15
Avoid idolatry (worship of idols.):
1 Corinthians 10: 14
1 Corinthians 5:11
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Regina: I'm actually fearful for people because whatever faith they have is waning. They don't understand why if Father loves them, they're suffering and feeling as though they're being punished.
Prince of Yahweh II: "They don't understand " That's the problem in a nutshell; people that fail to come to an "understanding" of what Yahweh's true intentions are – they see only through veiled eyes; they have had a delusion of what they they think the Creator is like and what Her existence and that for creation is about; but the reality is, ALL THINGS EXIST FOR YAHWEH'S WILL. Even Dawn and the fallen angels are permitted to exist for the purpose of doing Father's will; that being, and even though they themselves failed at the test of standing firm within Her truth and remaining obedient to Her every command, is that they serve as outside tempters (in contrast to being tested within by the inner heart) to serve a purpose for a time, then to be eliminated from existence. There is no other reason for keeping them in existence except to do Father's will; the people of this planet – vast majority, fail to do Father's will; they therefore, are being punished for lack of reasoning out the TRUE KNOWLEDGE of what Yahweh expects of Her subjects; the message: LEARN AND ACCEPT THE TRUTH WITH A WILLINGNESS OF THE HEART TO OBEY YAHWEH AND CONTINUE TO WALK IN THE WAY – WHICH IS HER LAWS AND ORDINANCES THAT SHE COMMANDS TO ALL INTELLIGENT SUBJECTS OF HER CREATION. Coming to an accurate knowledge leads to salvation from the wrath destined to overtake this present day world of people, and the promise of the prospect of eternal life that goes beyond Christ's Millennial Rule into the awaiting eternity; happiness is not meant for Dawn's "way" that this world is governed by; it can only come by seeking Yahweh's will to take place, and if necessary, giving up one's life on this physical plane if threatened in order to further Yahweh's will that says we must be faithful even in the sight of our enemies up to death.
Isaiah 51:11 "And the ransomed of the LORD will return and come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake [them], and sorrow and sighing will flee." The sorrow, the sighing, it ends after the ransomed have left Dawn's corrupt world this side of Armageddon, not before.
Is all bad things that occur – are they all evil? NO. Because Yahweh brings bad upon Dawn's evil empire; therefore, as the Creator, Yahweh uses (what some might consider evil tactics) to balance the scales of injustice brought upon Her creation; just as She caused the plagues of ancient Egypt to deliver Her people from bondage, She again brings retribution against modern day Egypt (the entire world of people that do not obey Her will by coming to an accurate knowledge and understanding of Her will and Her true intentions for all of creation. Keep in mind that Yahweh is concerned with all of Her creation, including the welfare of this planet; she noted that there are those that are ruining it 😉 and She will bring those to ruin that are doing so.
Job 31:6 "let God weigh me with an accurate balance, and He will recognize my integrity."
Acts 18:25 "This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught the things about Jesus accurately, although he knew only John's baptism." "Instructed in the way" and relayed things "accurately." Why is this so important? Because – Proverbs 11:1 "Dishonest scales are detestable to the LORD, but an accurate weight is His delight." This all boils down to keeping "accurate balance" in your lives so that when Yahweh weighs each of us, we measure up in steadfast integrity to Her truth of the Way.
Deborah: As we minister on Arks of Safe Haven, so often I feel like the man-made resources that we provide are inadequate to their needs. The funding, housing, food etc… just isn't always available. I find myself wanting and needing to provide more spiritual support because the number of people we speak with are becoming more desperate and their faith is surely being tested. I hope and pray our ministerial works in all areas are pleasing to Father.
Prince of Yahweh II: Just as a mother knows that a child can only do so much, and then that mother steps in to help her child, your heavenly Mother/Father is no different; She sees what is lacking, and then, because Her children put trust in Her, She is heartfelt moved to provide assistance. Father is the Creator of nature as well, and this is born out by Jesus' own words when he used the natural order to make a point: Matthew 23:37 "[ Jesus' Lamentation over Jerusalem ] "Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The city who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing!"
Father gave the animal and bird kingdom this attribute of caring for their young in such a protective manner as to gather them closely to her under her wings. Let's also not forget that Jesus was previously Michael and had angelic wings So, does Father care about the rest of Her creation? Are birds worth caring about? Deuteronomy 22:6
"If you come across a bird's nest with chicks or eggs, either in a tree or on the ground along the road, and the mother is sitting on the chicks or eggs, you must not take the mother along with the young." Our Mother cares about all of Her creation, including even a lowly bird.
"but you were not willing!" As Michael spoke those words as the Christ, they are again true today; people are not willing to accept the healthful knowledge that leads to coming within Father's protection; sad but true.
Signs From Above
“He rescues and delivers, He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:27
RAF UFO spotted by teen
March 21, 2009
A TEEN girl has recorded incredible UFO footage on her camera just miles from an RAF base. Stunned schoolgirl Harriet Rogers is convinced that the bright light seen above her home in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, was alien life. The 13-year-old captured the odd spherical shape on camera as it moved across the night sky and bizarrely started to change colour. She then jumped in the car with dad Barry and tailed the glowing ball as it hovered high above her house, about eight miles from RAF Cosford in Shrops. Harriet said: “At first we thought it was a helicopter but then my dad went outside but could not hear any rotary blades. “To the human eye, it just looked like a bright light but, on the cam-recorder we could see it pulsing, then suddenly changing colours.”
UFO's scramble fighter jets in Arizona; observed during Cape Canaveral launch
March 8, 2009
Buckeye, Arizona, 3/6/09 – Multiple clusters of light over Arizona
Four sets of orange lights were observed in the night sky over Buckeye, Arizona. The lights were grouped in sets of two, three and four, glowing intensely, and blinking on and off in order. The set of four lights (see photograph at right, on the horizon) were moving south over Buckeye towards the desert, between Interstates 8 and 10. The lights on the cluster of four only blinked off once during an hour of observation. The witness then saw six fighter jets from a nearby base begin to follow the object. As the jets got closer to the object, the lights went out one-by-one. The objects returned about two minutes after the jets had left the area. There were two additional sets of three lights over I-10, to the west. These lights were moving south, but at a much slower speed than the others. The last set of lights were due west on the north side of I-10, and moved in an up and down motion for over one hour.
UFOs photographed over London
Strange shapes have been photographed hovering over London leading to speculation they could be UFOs.
March 20, 2009
Derek Burdon was left stunned when he took a scenic picture of the UK capital then noticed four flying saucers on the far right of the picture. Mr Burdon took the photographs 16 floors up on the roof top of Orion House in Covent Garden in the morning. Although invisible to the naked eye, the shapes can be clearly seen on the picture. Derek, 40, of Leverington, Cambs, said: "We couldn't believe it when we came to look at the photo. I just thought I would take some scenic shots of the London Eye and also Big Ben.
March UFOs spotted in 12 states
March 15, 2009
Thirteen cases of UFO sightings at higher altitudes occurred over 12 states between March 9 and 15, as reported in the Mutual UFO Network database. These selected cases include a "greenish" object that moved at a high rate of speed over Texas, a "roundish-shape" sighting over Connecticut, a star-like object making a jerky motion over Florida, a bright blue cigar-shaped object over Independence, Missouri, a bright light seen by many people over Virginia as jets moved in for a look, pulsating lights over Arizona, something seemingly in orbit with Venus as seen from D.C., a stationary object the size of a VW bug north of Pikes Peak in Colorado, a bright blue zigzagging light splits into two lights over Georgia, white lights circling in dense clouds in Ohio, a star-like object over Texas, another star-like object with jets circling it over Washington, and a brilliant star over California changes shape and size.
Salt Lake City UFOs are back
March 15, 2009
New reports of silent UFOs over Salt Lake City have been reported recently. On March 1, we reported – UFO 'squadron' low over Salt Lake City. We reported UFOs back over Salt Lake City on March 6, with testimony from the same witness. A new report from the same Salt Lake City area witness appears below, as well as a second report from a reader of this column. These reports are unedited.
Signs Down Below
"But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but denying its power." 2 Timothy 3:1-5
The Art of Political Distraction
The New York Times
by Sheryl Gay Stolberg
March 21, 2009
WASHINGTON — The questions flew hard and fast at President Obama last week as he stood on the White House South Lawn, preparing to escape for California’s gentler climes. How, Mr. Obama was asked, would he quell public anger over $165 million in bonuses for employees of the bailed-out insurance giant, A.I.G.? “I don’t want to quell anger,” he replied. “I think people are right to be angry. What I want us to do, though, is channel our anger in a constructive way.” It was too late. By the time Air Force One took off, Congress was in full-recriminations mode, with the usual hearings and declarations of outrage. The A.I.G. chief executive, Edward M. Liddy, was pleading with bonus-takers who got more than $100,000 to give half the money back. The search for culprits — Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner? Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Banking Committee chairman? Mr. Obama himself? — was in full bloom. That old Washington question was back: Who knew what, and when?
What the Pros Say: US Is Now 'Bankrupt'
March 20, 2009
Global stocks traded higher, as did the dollar against the euro, Thursday after the Federal Reserve's surprise announcement it would buy $300 billion in US Treasurys in order to help the ailing economy. But experts tell CNBC they have concerns over the Fed's latest move and that the current national balance sheet is a disaster. US is Already 'Bankrupt' Technically, the U.S. is already "bankrupt" because it has a debt that is almost four times the size of its economy, says Puru Saxena, CEO of Puru Saxena Wealth Management. He tells CNBC that the U.S. is at risk of hyperinflation.
Tibetan monks 'held after riot'
March 22, 2009
Some 93 monks have been held by Chinese police after a riot in an ethnically Tibetan town, state-run media report. The monks were held after a crowd of at least 100 attacked a police station in La'gyab township in Qinghai province on Saturday, Xinhua news agency said. The agency quoted officials as saying policemen and government staff had been assaulted and "slightly injured". The unrest was apparently sparked after a monk detained for advocating Tibetan independence escaped from jail. Chinese authorities said the monk fled on Saturday and was still missing.
Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength
By Noah Shachtman
March 18, 2009
Huge news for real-life ray guns: Electric lasers have hit battlefield strength for the first time — paving the way for energy weapons to go to war. In recent test-blasts, Pentagon-researchers at Northrop Grumman managed to get its 105 kilowatts of power out of their laser — past the "100kW threshold [that] has been viewed traditionally as a proof of principle for 'weapons grade' power levels for high-energy lasers," Northrop's vice president of directed energy systems, Dan Wildt, said in a statement. That much power won't get you a Star Wars-style blaster. But it should be more than enough to zap the mortars and rockets that insurgents have used to pound American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama's Forced Servitude Agenda Moves Forward
March 19, 2009
The push towards mandatory national service took another step today with the U.S. House of Representatives voting in favor of the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act otherwise known as the GIVE Act. The bill was passed 321-105 and with a similar bill working its way through the U.S. Senate called the Serve America Act, it seems clear that a national service bill in some form will be passed into law. National service is of course a major part of Barack Obama’s incremental agenda to implement a global prison system of total dehumanization and enslavement. The GIVE Act will setup a commission to explore the prospect of mandatory national service, indicating yet another small step towards their great dream of involuntary forced government servitude.
Signs in Humanity
Sri Lanka children 'being killed'
March 18, 2009
The conflict in Sri Lanka has killed hundreds of children and left many more injured, the United Nations' children's agency, Unicef, has said. Moreover, thousands of children are at risk because of "a critical lack of food, water and medicines", the agency says. Intense fighting is going on between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in north-eastern Sri Lanka. The Tigers have been driven from most of the territory they held by the army. They are now cornered in a small patch of jungle and coastal area in Mullaitivu district. "Children and their families caught in the conflict zone are at risk of dying from disease and malnutrition," Unicef executive director Ann Veneman said in a statement.
Jobless total surges to worst in 12 years
by Alan Jones
March 18, 2009
Unemployment surged past two million for the first time in 12 years today, while the number of people signing on for benefit soared by a record 138,000 last month, grim new figures showed today. The Government was hit by a raft of gloomy news, with redundancies reaching a record high, jobs and vacancies falling and more people claiming jobseeker's allowance. The total number of people out of work, including those not eligible for benefit, jumped by 165,000 in the quarter to January to 2.03 million, the worst figure since Labour came to power in the summer of 1997. The quarterly rise was the highest since 1991, and the total has now increased by 421,000 over the past year, said the Office for National Statistics.
Desperate Japanese head to 'suicide forest'
by Kyung Lah
March 20, 2009
AOKIGAHARA FOREST, Japan (CNN) — Aokigahara Forest is known for two things in Japan: breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and suicides. Also called the Sea of Trees, this destination for the desperate is a place where the suicidal disappear, often never to be found in the dense forest. Taro, a 46-year-old man fired from his job at an iron manufacturing company, hoped to fade into the blackness. "My will to live disappeared," said Taro. "I'd lost my identity, so I didn't want to live on this earth. That's why I went there." Taro, who did not want to be identified fully, was swimming in debt and had been evicted from his company apartment. He lost financial control, which he believes to be the foundation of any stable life, he said. "You need money to survive. If you have a girlfriend, you need money. If you want to get married, you need it for your life. Money is always necessary for your life."
Would you risk your own life to help a stranger in danger?
by Clare Dwyer Hogg
March 21, 2009
The fight happened 14 years ago, when Heidi Scrimgeour had just turned 18, but it is still one of her most vivid memories. Walking home late one night with a male friend, she turned a corner and saw two men beating someone up. "They punched him in the head until he fell to the ground, and then they took it in turns to kick him in the head," she says. "I vividly remember watching his head bounce on the pavement, exactly like a football, and a surreal sense of being surprised that heads did that." In shock, Scrimgeour stayed rooted to the spot, watching, until her friend – adamant that it was too dangerous to get involved – pulled her away. "It was like watching a scene in a film and although every kick made me wince at the thought of the pain, I still couldn't process the brutality. I'd never seen violence like that." She heard later that the victim was in intensive care and possibly suffering brain damage. "I still feel sick at the thought of that. The idea that someone might just walk past one of my children during an attack doesn't bear thinking about." Scrimgeour is honest, though, about her personal expectations if she came across a similar incident: "I still feel a bit ashamed that I didn't at least make an effort to intervene, but I can't honestly say I'd do anything different. In an ideal world I'd leap to the defence of the person being attacked and save the day – but that's not real life."
Americans Make Odd Spending Choices in Tough Economic Times
by Joseph Abrams
March 20, 2009
Americans are threading a thrifty course through the recession, but some folks who can't afford a new pair of shoes are still buying pricy video games and console systems that cost more than a month's rent. What's going on? Some "recession-proof" industries are flailing their way through this economic downturn, while others are taking off for the first time in decades. Look who's making bank and who's going bust — a few of them might surprise you: DOWN: Beer is flat. Well, not straight out of the can, but beer sales have been as still as tap water this year, according to Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer's Insights magazine. The Commerce Department painted an even bleaker picture for the end of 2008, showing an unprecedented sales slump that sent Anheuser-Busch's profits plummeting 95 percent last quarter. But not all brewers have caught the shakes — cheaper brands like Keystone Light are "flying off the shelves," Steinman told FOXNews.com. It's not the King of Beers, but if you're looking to drown your sorrows, it'll get you through the night.
Arks of Safe Haven
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7
The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.
Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.
How You Can Help?
In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small.
CURRENT CASES THIS WEEK:
kybound – Bellfountaine, IA. – We moved to Ohio from KY, not more than 8 months ago for a new start. Unfortunately, my husband had surgery, and got laid off. and I'm being laid of on the 6th of march. Our kids recently moved back in and our lives have fallen apart due to economic problems.We've used all our monies for the bills, and rent. And that's all due again…We need to get back home and start again…. If your interested in helping our family, It would be greatly appreciated…ky.bound
crawfordkim – Douglassville, GA. – We live in Douglasville Ga. My husband just got laid off after working for the company for 3 years. It was a complete surprise, They called for a meeting and he came home with no job.He worked very hard for the company and only missed maybe 4 days in the 3 years he was there. He has been an electrician for 20 years and can't find work. They did not give severance pay or any kind of warning. We have 3 small children and can't pay our rent. The landlord wants his money and we have no idea what to do.We have call many places for help and there are NO FUNDS available, He has put in his resume anywhere they will take it. We have applied for food stamps and are receiving unemployment (very little money there). We are scared and we don't know where to turn. Please, Please, Please if you can help or lead us in the right direction. Thank you, Kim Crawford
Minutes – Little Rock, AK. – I need help for me and my family the detail are very serious…I am looking for cash donations to help me save my home for me and my kids…If you would like to give a gift of kindness we would appreciate it…Email me for details of our situation and how to donate…This is a serious issue for me so please only serious inquires please. I am located in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am about 5400,00 dollars behind on my payments… I am working with the lender but it would be easier if I had some of the money…for good faith…If you have any questions please let me know…
thedawnTemecula, CA. – My family is in need of financial assistance to pay our utilities. Im living day by day waiting to wake up with no lights and/or gas. I'm trying to prevent disconnection because then there will be fees to reconnect and will make it even more costly. Luckily I was able to make an arrangement with the water company so we are fine there. I lost my job last June and up until now have no been able to find one (going to an interview tomorrow, prayer request for that one!). My husband is a hard worker but living on one paycheck, with four kids has been tough to near impossible. We are about to lose our truck to repossession but we can work out carpool for husband for that. I'm mos concerned about our utilities. I home school the children because our living situation is temporary and I didn't want them to have to switch schools 3 times in one school year. I was referred to this site because I posted a help needed ad on Craigslist and this wonderful Minister referred me to this site. If anyone can offer financial assistance, it would be most appreciated. As a mother, I'm very scared and am at my wits end trying to figure this out. The total needed to keep disconnection of electricity and gas is $400. I've contacted the Red Cross, someone suggested, but this area has been very hard hit and their emergency utility fund has run dry and they were unable to assist. I pray everyday that God will not only give me the strength to make it through this tough time but that also God will send help for my family. I felt that I 'needed" to check my email and I was blessed with the email from the Minister. God is good!
sedagive – Orange County, CA. – Hello, my name is Allan and I need a job. It's hard to believe that 2 years ago, I owned my own home, had a great job in construction, making a good wage, yet today I'm unemployed and facing eviction. The company I worked for went bankrupt and I haven't been able to find a job since then. I've sent out hundreds of resumes and have only been on 2 interviews. I've worked as a plant manager, warehouse manager, and construction project manager. I'm not looking for a handout, I want to work and earn my own way. I'll do just about any job, for any wage, just so I have a steady paycheck and can pay my rent. If anyone can help, I would be grateful.
Signs in Natural Disasters
“You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:6-7
World faces 'perfect storm' of problems by 2030, chief scientist to warn
Food, water and energy shortages will unleash public unrest and international conflict, Professor John Beddington will tell a conference tomorrow
Ian Sample, science correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 18 March 2009
A "perfect storm" of food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy resources threaten to unleash public unrest, cross-border conflicts and mass migration as people flee from the worst-affected regions, the UK government's chief scientist will warn tomorrow. In a major speech to environmental groups and politicians, Professor John Beddington, who took up the position of chief scientific adviser last year, will say that the world is heading for major upheavals which are due to come to a head in 2030. He will tell the government's Sustainable Development UK conference in Westminster that the growing population and success in alleviating poverty in developing countries will trigger a surge in demand for food, water and energy over the next two decades, at a time when governments must also make major progress in combating climate change. "We head into a perfect storm in 2030, because all of these things are operating on the same time frame," Beddington told the Guardian.
Fungus Kills About 90 Percent Of Connecticut's Bats
By RINKER BUCK | The Hartford Courant
March 18, 2009
White-nose syndrome, the mysterious plague that is decimating the Northeast's bats, killed off about 90 percent of Connecticut's bats over the winter and is now galloping across the country so quickly that it threatens the nation's — and probably the world's — largest bat populations in the American South. Jenny Dickson, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection wildlife biologist supervising the detection and control of white-nose syndrome in the state, said Tuesday that visits to two sample caves in Litchfield County in the past two weeks revealed veritable bat catacombs. Dickson's team of wildlife experts found thousands of dead bats floating like dead fish in standing water, or stacked on top of each other along the flat ledges of the cave walls. "It was grim, and you don't have to be a scientist to realize the implications for the environment inside those caves," said Dickson. "This is a massive, unprecedented die-off, with significant potential impacts on nature, especially insect control."
Mt. Redoubt volcano in Alaska placed back on Orange alert
Los Angeles Times
11:48 AM, March 16, 2009
Alaskans are on alert once more as scientists have elevated the status for Mt. Redoubt volcano from yellow to orange. Orange is a "watch" level just below red, which signals an eruption is imminent or underway. Scientists with the Alaska Volcano Observatory and U.S. Geological Survey changed the status Sunday afternoon after detecting a substantial increase in seismicity and witnessing a vigorous steam plume. In that plume was the first ash emission from Redoubt since the last long series of volcanic eruptions in 1989-90. However, it remains unclear whether Sunday's ash emission was from magma. And Kristi Wallace, a USGS research geologist, assured that an eruption has not occurred. Asked whether an eruption is imminent, she said it does not appear to be the case, as tremor activity has since quieted within the 10,197-foot peak, which is located 103 miles southwest of Anchorage. In fact, scientists estimate the chance of an eruption to be about 50-50 at this point. If Redoubt does erupt, residents and visiting tourists on the nearby Kenai Peninsula, and perhaps even in Anchorage, might experience one or two millimeters of ash fall. "That's not a lot, but it's enough to be a distraction and cause some havoc," Wallace said.
Climate Scientists Struggle To Convince Public Of Urgency
Monday, 16 March 2009, 15:25 CDT
Climate scientists are continuing to uncover new revelations about the impact of man-made global warming on the Earth’s future, but many face frustration when it comes to informing the world’s population of the urgency of such findings. "Science is exciting when you make such findings," Konrad Steffen, who heads the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado, told AFP. "But if you stop and look at the implications of what is coming down the road for humanity, it is rather scary. I have kids in college — what do they have to look forward to in 50 years?" Last week, researchers converged in Copenhagen for a three-day international congress to discuss procedures necessary to change the Earth’s outlook. Among several things discussed last week, experts revealed that global sea levels are set to rise at least twice as fast over the next century as previously thought. “Recent observations show that societies are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate change, with poor nations and communities particularly at risk,” experts noted.
Study: 240,500 killed in disasters last year
The Associated Press
March 17, 2009
ZURICH: Cyclone Nargis and the Sichuan earthquake made last year one of the worst for disasters since 1970 — both in terms of lives lost and economic damage — according to a report released Tuesday by insurance company Swiss Re. Some 240,500 people lost their lives in natural and man-made disaster in 2008, the study found. Most died in Asia, where cyclone Nargis killed 138,000 people when it hit Myanmar last May. An earthquake in China's Sichuan province the same month claimed 70,000 lives, according to the report. The death toll was one of the highest in decades. More people died only in 1970 and 1976, with a tropical storm in the Bay of Bengal and a quake in China being the main killers in those two years respectively. Swiss Re put the economic damage caused by disasters last year at $269 billion, with the earthquake in Sichuan accounting for almost half of this. Insured losses amounted to $52.5 billion, more than three-quarters of which occurred in the United States, the company said.
Natural Disaster Update
5.4 KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA
5.0 COSTA RICA
5.1 OFF E. COAST OF N. ISLAND, N.Z.
5.0 AUCKLAND ISLANDS, N.Z. REGION
5.0 SOUTH OF PANAMA
5.3 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
5.1 CORDOBA, ARGENTINA
5.0 SOUTHERN PERU
5.4 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS REGION
5.2 WEST CHILE RISE
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
6.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.9 PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.0 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.3 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.7 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 POTOSI, BOLIVIA
5.0 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.2 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.2 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.4 TONGA REGION
7.9 TONGA REGION
5.0 CRETE, GREECE
5.2 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.3 TONGA REGION
5.0 TONGA REGION
AUSTRALIA – 'Swarm of earthquakes' interests seismologists – Experts are investigating the third earthquake to hit eastern Victoria this year and say it is impossible to know whether further earthquakes will occur. The magnitude 4.6 quake Wednesday afternoon was centred near Korumburra in Gippsland in eastern Victoria and was felt up to 200 kilometres away. It struck close to the epicentre of another earthquake that shook the region 12 days ago, and a smaller tremor was felt in January. Nearby residents reported their houses shaking and experienced as many as three aftershocks. It is UNUSUAL for earthquakes of the same magnitude to happen in such a short period of time. "That's certainly creating a lot of interest for our researchers here in that we have a small swarm of earthquakes occurring, suggesting that one single movement hasn't been significant to allow the stresses to settle. I would expect that we probably could feel some more."
TONGA – A 7.9 magnitude earthquake about 200km (130 miles) south-east of Tonga has triggered a tsunami warning in the South Pacific, but no damage is reported. The quake hit at 0618 local time (1818 GMT) at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles). The tremor, which residents from Fiji to New Zealand reported feeling, was followed two hours later by an after-shock of 5.3 magnitude. "A long, low rolling motion" from the quake was reported by residents on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island – more than 3,000 km (1,875 miles) from the quake's epicentre. A regional tsunami warning was issued, but withdrawn just over an hour and a half later. A resident of the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa said there was no sign of significant damage or of a tsunami after the shallow quake. This was surprising. "Quite remarkable, given the magnitude of it. We might have gotten off lightly. The house really moved, the trees were swaying and the ground was rippling." People in low lying areas of Fiji fled for higher ground. Several earthquakes have been felt in Tonga recently and an undersea volcano has been erupting off the coast of the main island Tongatapu, although it was not considered to be a threat to people in the area.
VIET NAM could be hit by a major earthquake even though the country does not lie within an earthquake zone, according to scientists. At an international conference on Thursday on earthquake risk in Viet Nam, scientists warned that Ha Noi, HCM City and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province were all located in special zones at risk of an earthquake falling between 5-7 degrees on the Richter scale. "If the epicentre is in the centre of the cities, 30-40 per cent of houses and buildings would collapse." The north and south of the country have felt murmurs from earthquakes in China and the East Sea in recent years. Apart from "hot spots", there are around 30 regions throughout the country at risk of an earthquake of 5 degrees on the Richter scale. According to the institute’s research, there were nearly 1,600 earthquakes in Viet Nam ranging from 3 degrees on the Richter scale upwards between 1114 to 2003.
U.S. – New Madrid Earthquake Fault System may be Shutting Down – The New Madrid fault system does not behave as earthquake hazard models assume and may be in the process of shutting down, a new study shows. A team analyzed the fault motion for eight years using global positioning system measurements and found that it is much less than expected given the 500- to 1,000-year repeat cycle for major earthquakes on that fault. The last large earthquakes in the New Madrid seismic zone were magnitude 7-7.5 events in 1811 and 1812. Estimating an accurate earthquake threat for the area, which includes parts of Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky, is crucial for the communities potentially affected. "Our findings suggest the steady-state model of quasi-cyclical earthquakes that works well for faults at the boundaries of tectonic plates, such as the San Andreas fault, does not apply to the New Madrid fault. At plate boundaries, faults move at a rate that is consistent with the rate of earthquakes so that past events are a reliable guide to the future. In continents, this does not work. The past is not necessarily a key to the future, which makes estimating earthquake hazard particularly difficult." The team determined that the ground surrounding the fault system is moving at a rate of less than 0.2 millimeters per year and there is likely no motion. "The slower the ground moves, the longer it takes until the next earthquake, and if it stops moving, the fault could be shutting down. We can't tell whether the recent cluster of big earthquakes in the New Madrid is coming to an end. But the longer the GPS data keep showing no motion, the more likely it seems." In the Midwest there are other faults that show no activity today but have evidence of earthquakes occurring within the past 10,000 to 1 million years. "If other faults in the central and eastern U.S. have been active recently, geologically speaking, they could potentially be activated again in the future. We need to develop a new paradigm for how earthquakes happen at faults that are inside continents." One possibility is that earthquakes in these areas occur in clusters and then migrate to a nearby fault. "There is the possibility that seismicity migrates with time as earthquakes trigger earthquakes on nearby faults. Geologists studying the seismic history of faults have found that there have been earthquakes on several faults in the central and eastern U.S. and that they seem to produce bursts of earthquakes and then turn off."
MYSTERY BOOMS / SKYQUAKES-
OHIO – 3/18/09 – The Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency fielded between six and 12 calls this morning from people who say they felt a small earthquake. The calls regarding the tremor came in around 9:45 a.m. Officials in Ashtabula sent the info along to the Ohio Seismic Network for further investigation. There were no reports of any injuries or damage. Earthquakes and tremors are not uncommon in northeast Ohio especially along the lake shore. [no quakes recorded in Ohio on the USGS site]
ALABAMA – 3/12/09 – News 5 received reports from Spanish Fort to the Mississippi state line about a big boom around 2:00 p.m. that shook their homes. So far, no one has an answer for it. The National Weather Service had no reports. The USGS is not showing any signs of seismic activity in the area. In fact, the closest earthquake to Mobile within the past week was 718 miles away in Sullivan, Missouri on Saturday night. Eglin Air Force Base says they were not doing any training flights that afternoon which could've caused a sonic boom. And both the Mobile County Sheriff's Office and EMA report nothing unusual. But something definitely happened and it caused a lot of concern. Especially for a West Mobile woman who says dishes fell out of her cabinets and broke on the floor. Whatever it was, it appeared to have come from the West and moved East.
NEW YORK – 3/16/09 – Staten Island residents are trying to figure out what caused a loud boom that was heard in at least six neighborhoods. The explosion-like blast rattled windows of homes at about 7:55 p.m. Monday. It could be heard for miles. Police and firefighters responded to numerous calls to 911, but the loud noise remained a mystery on Tuesday. Police say they found no explosion anywhere in the borough and Con Edison reported no outages or transformer explosions. Last week, witnesses reported big booms of a different sort. A brilliant yellow streak was seen in the skies north of the city, in Westchester and Rockland counties. Some residents believed it was a meteorite fireball.
IDAHO – March 2009 – Mysterious 'skyquakes' return to valley, reported across U.S. – Roughly a year after a series of bizarre rumbling was reported across the Magic Valley, similar incidents are being reported again in south-central Idaho and northern Nevada. On March 3, the Southern Idaho Regional Communications Center heard from people from Buhl to Kimberly and Jerome who reported a loud boom and rumbling that evening. One off-duty dispatcher felt it in Twin Falls, and one supervisor said he felt it at his own home in Kimberly. "I thought (at first) it was my neighbors moving heavy equipment." Farther south, residents of Spring Creek, Lamoille and Elko, Nev., last week reported periodic rumbling and occasional shaking over several days, all at varying times of day. Mining companies in the area said that they haven't done anything unusual that would cause the rumbles and suggested that they may be sonic booms from military aircraft. But the rumblings heard on and off for the past few years last just a few seconds too long and are too continuous to be sonic booms. Mountain Home Air Force Base officials don't believe they're the cause. The closest jet at the time was 23 or 24 miles away from Twin Falls and another base doesn't report any training at the time. But geologists still said that sonic booms may be the best explanation. No earthquakes were recorded anywhere close enough to southern Idaho to have caused the noise at the time. The Idaho Geological Survey wondered about extremely tiny earthquakes, noting that scientists aren't able to record so called "micro-earthquakes." But they still don't believe an earthquake was the culprit, and noted the reports were too widespread to be something local, such as large quarry blasts. "What it actually is, is anyone's guess." Scientists gave similar responses last March, when odd rumblings happened regularly at 11:23 p.m. for several days. But the military then also denied any involvement. Often called "skyquakes," the unexplained booms have become a regular occurrence worldwide in recent years, often coming in waves over the same area, according to reports on Web sites such as http://www.abovetopsecret.com, that track the phenomenon. Southern California news outlets reported a strong skyquake that rattled windows across the Los Angeles-Orange County area at 9:20 p.m. on March 3 just hours after the one felt in the Magic Valley. The following day, March 4, another skyquake was felt over California's Central Coast region. Seismic stations around Monterey Bay, Calif., recorded a compression wave at 9:15 a.m., but the wave lacked the up-and-down shear that usually characterizes an earthquake. And on March 7 residents of Westchester County, NY, reported being shaken from their sleep by a pre-dawn skyquake that rattled the Hudson River Valley area just north of New York City. While widely scattered, the latest string of skyquakes all resulted in the same round of denials from U.S. Geological Survey officials (no earthquakes), civil officials (no construction blasting or other known explosions) and military and civilian air traffic controllers (no exercises or high-speed flights).
TONGA – Scientists sailed Thursday [before the large quake] to inspect an undersea volcano that was erupting for days near Tonga – shooting smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet (meters) into the sky above the South Pacific ocean. Authorities said Thursday the eruption did not pose any danger to islanders at this stage, and there have been no reports of fish or other animals being affected. Spectacular columns are spewing out of the sea about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu – an area where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered. Trade winds continued to blow gas and steam away from the island Thursday. Coastal villages close to the roiling ocean site were not yet at risk and no warnings had been issued. Coastal residents said the steam and ash column first appeared on Monday morning, after a series of sharp earthquakes were felt in the capital, Nuku'alofa. "This is not unusual for this area and we expect this to happen here at any time." Large amounts of pumice thrown up by the erupting volcano would likely clog beaches on the southern coast of nearby Fiji islands within a short time.
INDONESIA – Mt. Semeru has been spewing lava and volcanic ash. The alert status has been raised from third to second highest level. The Indonesia Red Cross began preparing around 400 volunteers Friday in anticipation of the possible eruption of the nearby Mount Semeru. The volunteers were distributed to the four districts of Poncokusumo, Ampelgading, Dampit and Tirtoyudo, the areas nearest to the volcano, the highest in Java. The four districts, located on the northern, western and southern slopes of the volcano, are considered the most vulnerable if an eruption takes place. The volunteers were tasked with establishing areas for possible evacuation spots for survivors. "We have also prepared military tents that we can use as refugee tents in the event of a worst-case scenario." Hot lava is expected to pass through Pronojiwo in Lumajang regency in the event of an eruption.
ALASKA – Mount Redoubt Volcano has brief period of intense activity – Alaska's Mount Redoubt rumbled again Sunday and geologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory increased the official alert level to orange. Alaska's Mount Redoubt has become much more active with a low level tremor taking place for several hours on Sunday afternoon, along with the volcano spewing steam and ash. An observation plane flight over Mount Redoubt by the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported a steam and ash plume rising to about 15000 feet above sea level. That plume created a minor ash fall on the upper south side of the mountain. Redoubt then returned to only spewing steam for a few hours. The activity began at about 1 p.m. Sunday and continued for about four hours. Since then there have only been a series of minor earthquakes. Experts don't expect a major eruption any time soon, based on conditions now. But the forecast could change quickly if the volcano becomes more active. Mount Redoubt is about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.
COLUMBIA – authorities ordered inhabitants to evacuate the area around the Galeras volcano near the Ecuadorian border. It erupted and showered ash over several villages in the southern province of Nariño without taking any victims or causing material damage. The peak located some 700 kilometers (435 miles) southwest of Bogota was on orange alert since Thursday, and on Saturday the category was raised to red alert, signifying imminent eruption or eruption in progress, after the phenomenon registered at 3:55 p.m. local time (2055 GMT) Friday. “An eruption of an explosive nature was registered” and immediately inhabitants of the areas at risk were requested to evacuate their homes and go to the emergency shelters set up in three municipalities of the region. Emergency services officials recommended “people living in the high-threat area of the Galeras volcano to obey the evacuation order issued by the mayors of Pasto, Nariño and La Florida” and “to pay attention to official communiques” on how the situation is evolving. Up to now only 76 of the almost 8,000 people at risk have obeyed the evacuation order.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – a mantle plume – an upwelling of intense heat from near the core of the Earth – may be bubbling to life beneath Nyiragongo, an active African volcano, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “This is the most fluid lava anyone has seen in the world. It’s unlike anything coming out of any other volcano. We believe were seeing the beginning of a plume that is pushing up the entire area and contributing to volcanism and earthquakes." The lava, which resides in the world’s largest lava lake – more than 600 feet wide inside the summit of Nyiragongo – has isotopic compositions of neodymium and strontium which are identical to ancient asteroids. "This suggests that the lava is coming from a place deep inside the Earth where the source of molten rock is in its pristine condition. Because the Earth’s crust is undergoing constant change via tectonic motion, weathering, and resurfacing, its chemical composition has been dramatically altered over its 4-billion-year lifespan, but the Nyiragongo magma source in the deep mantle has not." That magma source is thought to retain some of the solar system's original make-up of elements, and this is what Basu and his colleagues believe they have detected in Nyiragongo’s lava lake. Scientists believe mantle plumes can last hundreds of millions of years, and that their heat can create phenomena such as Yellowstone National Park or the string of Hawaiian Islands. Nyiragongo’s frequent eruptions may be the birthing pains of a similar plume and the possible beginning of new large-scale geological formations in the region. Other well known features of the region also point toward the idea of a growing plume. Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002, sending its super-fluid lava down its slopes at more than 60 miles per hour toward the nearby town of Goma, destroying 4,500 buildings and leaving 120,000 homeless.
A study found that tiny shifts that are making our days longer by some milliseconds, may be due to electrical forces present deep under the Earth. According to a report in National Geographic News, it has long been known that natural phenomena on Earth's surface, such as tides and winds, affect its rotation speed. Now scientists are investigating how events in a mineral layer at the core-mantle boundary, 1,615 miles (2,600 kilometers) deep, similarly affect the planets spin. The length of a day is changing due to the interaction between the mantle and the core in the very deep Earth. This is basically because the bottom of the mantle has very high electrical conductivity. What this means is that the magnetic field in the core can grab onto, or lock into, the lowermost mantle. And so, one of the influences that this can have is in altering the length of day, or the rotation rate of the Earth, depending on when and where the core is grabbing onto the mantle. This interaction accounts for several milliseconds of increase in day length over the past 150 years. Such miniscule time periods might seem negligible, but they do matter.
TROPICAL STORMS –
AUSTRALIA – Queensland braces for weekend cyclone – North and central Queensland will be on cyclone alert over the weekend as the weather bureau monitors a tropical low about 600km northeast of Mackay.
AUSTRALIA – A tropical low brewing over the Coral Sea is tracking south-west towards Queensland's north coast and could strengthen into a cyclone before the weekend. The storm would be named cyclone Ilsa should it rapidly intensify. The Bureau of Meteorology issued a tropical cyclone outlook for the northern region yesterday afternoon, as the tropical low over the Solomon Islands moved towards the northern coastline. There was a 20 per cent chance the weak low currently located south-west of Rennell Island in the Solomons would develop into a tropical cyclone. "Environmental conditions may gradually become more favourable for development by Thursday, however the probability of it becoming a tropical cyclone in the next three days is low. It is still unclear if it will impact the mainland at all." Although there was no immediate threat to the far north coastline, by Friday, the tropical low will be 600 nautical miles due east of Cairns. Ironically, the weather system could create drier conditions in north Queensland at the weekend by drawing in all available moisture in the surrounding atmosphere as it moves towards the coast.
Cyclone Hamish was part of a triple blow to the Great Barrier Reef and scientists and eco-tourism operators are yet to fully estimate the damage to Australia's biggest tourist attraction. Heavy rains up north, increasing sea temperatures and then the cyclonic conditions were feared to have done irreparable damage to the reef, particularly in far north and north Queensland. A summer of extreme weather brought a triple whammy of pressures to the reef. “Historically the reef has been resilient to events like this, but it is RARE, POSSIBLY UNPRECEDENTED TO HAVE SUCH EVENTS IN SUCH A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME."
Global hurricane activity has decreased to THE LOWEST LEVEL IN 30 YEARS. Both Northern Hemisphere and overall Global hurricane activity has continued to sink to levels not seen since the 1970s. Even more astounding, when the Southern Hemisphere hurricane data is analyzed to create a global value, we see that Global Hurricane Energy has sunk to 30-year lows, at the least. Since hurricane intensity and detection data is problematic as one goes back in time, when reporting and observing practices were different than today, it is possible that we underestimated global hurricane energy during the 1970s. 24-month running sums of global ACE or hurricane energy have plummeted to levels not seen in 30 years. Why use 24-month running sums instead of simply yearly values? Since a primary driver of the Earth’s climate from year to year is the El Nino Southern Oscillation acts on time scales on the order of 2-7 years, and the fact that the bulk of the Southern Hemisphere hurricane season occurs from October – March, a reasonable interpretation of global hurricane activity requires a better metric than simply calendar year totals. During the past 6 months, extending back to October of 2008 when the Southern Hemisphere tropical season was gearing up, global ACE had crashed due to two consecutive years of well-below average Northern Hemisphere hurricane activity. The North Atlantic was above normal in 2008 (in terms of ACE), but the North Atlantic only represents a 1/10 to 1/8 of global hurricane energy output on average. During the past 2 years +, the Earth’s climate has cooled under the effects of a dramatic La Nina episode. La Nina falls tend to favor very active seasons in the Atlantic (word of warning for 2009). Through March 12, 2009, the Southern Hemisphere ACE is about half of what’s expected in a normal year, with a multitude of very weak, short-lived hurricanes. All of these numbers tell a very simple story: just as there are active periods of hurricane activity around the globe, there are inactive periods, and we are currently experiencing one of the most impressive inactive periods, now for almost 3 years. The perceptible (and perhaps measurable) impact of global warming on hurricanes in today’s climate is arguably a pittance compared to the reorganization and modulation of hurricane formation locations and preferred tracks/intensification corridors dominated by ENSO (and other natural climate factors). Moreover, our understanding of the complicated role of hurricanes with climate is nebulous to be charitable. (graphs & charts)
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
NAMIBIA – the president on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in areas hit by what he said could be SOME OF THE WORST FLOODS IN RECENT MEMORY. "It is with a heavy heart that I declare an emergency for the north-central and north-eastern parts of Namibia." 92 people have drowned since flooding began in early February and 5,032 people have been left homeless in the southern African country. "Crop fields are submerged in water and I send out an urgent appeal to the international community for assistance … as the current flood is worse than a year ago and could be one of the worst in recent memory." Floods that struck Namibia at about the same time last year killed 42 people and displaced thousands.
FLORIDA – SUPERFOG – It's not just smoke and fog. It's superfog, and it's deadly. More than a year after a fatal pileup on Interstate4, experts said they finally have a word to describe the RARE meteorological phenomenon that reduced visibility on the highway to near blindness. Superfog – a killer combination of thick smoke and dense fog that forms under certain conditions – was a factor behind the horrific 70-vehicle smashup in Polk County that killed five people and injured 38 others in January 2008. Meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Melbourne and officials with the Florida Division of Forestry will meet today in Tallahassee to develop a plan on how to share smoke information with forecasters in order to predict superfog and warn motorists of its deadly consequences. It forms overnight, when humidity is at its highest, as dense smoke captures air moisture and quickly condenses into a ground-level cloud that flows across the landscape, blinding everything in its path. The UNUSUAL WEATHER ANOMALY is now the subject of intense study because of its threat to motorists, especially in Florida, given the state's frequent controlled burns, high humidity and heavily traveled roadways through swaths of wildlands. Eight accidents, including the 2008 pileup, involving superfog conditions on major Florida highways have killed 18 motorists, injured 81 others and wrecked about 110 vehicles since 1996. Developing a plan is critical as wildfires keep burning in Central Florida during this dry spell. Satellites can detect superfog, but only during the day. At night, fog is invisible on satellite and radar images. Infrared images from satellites can detect fog but do not distinguish between regular and superfog. Fire officials do not like to use the word superfog to describe the weather phenomenon. "There's no question that smoke combining with fog can increase the density of fog, but the term implies smoke. Dense fog can happen on its own. We tend to prefer the term 'whiteout.' Warning motorists about superfog is difficult because it develops so quickly and disappears as rapidly as it forms. "You'll be out on the roadway, near a reported fire, and there's nothing going on. So you leave, and then minutes later, the smoke and fog just roll in. It's that fast. Visibility is cut to zero, and now you have a possible dangerous situation."
THAILAND – Weather men say lie low as FREAK storms sweep by – The Meteorological Department yesterday warned of summer thundershowers over upper Thailand until today due to an intense high-pressure system from China. It advised remaining indoors and avoiding big trees, billboards, unsecured buildings and electrical conductors. Wind and waves in the Gulf are rising, and ships are advised to proceed with caution and small boats to keep inshore. Summer thunderstorm yesterday afternoon damaged 57 houses in Kanchanaburi's Muang district and the gusts were so mighty that it blew a water tank on a tap water tower onto a nearby tamarind tree top. Local officials were yesterday dispatched to assist residents on two villages in Mukdahan's Dong Luang district where 44 homes were damaged by summer thunderstorm. In Ubon Ratchathani, thunderstorms ravaged seven villages in Khemarat district on Friday night, causing damage to 14 houses worth Bt1 million. Falling trees damaged electricity poles causing blackouts until 10am yesterday. The weather bureau warned of thunderstorms in the lower Northeast until next week. In Surin's Prasat district thunderstorms damaged 30 homes on Friday night, blowing tin roofs into fields 500 metres away and bringing down fruit trees. Kalasin province has set up a 24-hour centre to tackle thunderstorms and alert residents in all its 18 districts. The Governor paradoxically reported a drought that has half-emptied 18 medium-sized reservoirs and Lampao Dam, hitting 15,000 rai of farmland.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
HAWAII – 3/13/09 – Waves rolled onto Kamehameha Highway in east Oahu – Big waves on Oahu's eastside RARELY reach high surf advisory levels especially during this time of the year. Some residents and drivers were caught off-guard when waves came crashing down along Kamehameha Highway. Although the waves are down on Oahu's eastside, a sign is still up warning drivers to be cautious. Along Kamehameha Highway rocks and debris show how far the waves rolled in during Friday's high surf. "It was so powerful that it could move those rocks especially the loose impediments all over the highways so it was pretty messy." "Roaring, and when we were up in our house we could feel our house vibrating. Kind of scary, because actually no one was out here for the first couple hours when it was really bad, there was no police, no civil defense so it was kind of scary." Surf along east-facing shores reached 15 feet and dropped 6-to-12 feet by late afternoon and traffic continued to flow smoothly in both directions.
Dangerous waves kill man, hinder search for Kauai surfer – 3/14/09 – High surf created dangerous conditions for surfers and boaters Saturday. A man in his 60s fell overboard from a boat in Maunalua Bay and apparently drowned Saturday morning. Off Magic Island, firefighters rescued eight people in an overturned canoe. On Kauai, searchers were not able to recover the body of a 35-year-old surfer missing since Friday afternoon.
UNITED KINGDOM – A surfer was hailed a hero Sunday after saving a dog walker swept into the sea by a FREAK WAVE.
INDIA – 3/13/09 – Giant waves on the beaches at Bekal Fort and Maravanthe brought back memories of the treacherous tsunami that hit the Indian coast a few years ago. Fishermen were apprehensive about venturing out to sea for fishing following the occurrence of massive waves on Friday. More than a half kilometre of the beach came under the sea water. Five makeshift boat sheds, fishing nets, and a small bridge in Pallikere were washed away by the giant waves. No causalities have been reported.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
Climate change is starting to have profound effects on marine ecosystems. Species are being driven into higher latitudes and deeper waters, which is bad news for countries like Chile and China. Climate change is already causing disruption to marine ecosystems, according to a series of talks given at this years' American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting. Oceans are both warming and acidifying, and the effects are different from those traditionally faced by the conservation community, which is having to learn how to use new tools and adapt itself to this brave new world. Projections point to a migration towards higher latitudes and deeper water as species seek out more hospitable habitats. Practically, this means local extinctions in traditional fishing areas (already being witnessed in the Bering Sea), and species invasion into others. Countries are going to lose fish stocks to their neighbors, something we're already seeing with jumbo squid and salmon. Predictions are that Norway, Greenland, and Alaska are going to be the biggest winners, with China, the mainland US, Indonesia, and Chile losing the most.
'Frozen in fear over climate change' – Scientists say they are haunted by the failure to convey to the world just HOW CLOSE EARTH IS TO CLIMATE CATASTROPHE. Top researchers who gathered in Copenhagen for a climate change conference said they were worried that people could not psychologically deal with the enormity of the problem and were reverting to doing nothing. "At first, I thought that we could convince people. But there is a terrible inertia. I fear that society is not up to the challenge of a crisis like this. Today, as a human being I am pessimistic.'' "Perhaps society has realised the seriousness, but it certainly hasn't realised the urgency. But even if you are pessimistic – and sometimes I am – it does not help. What are you going to do? Chop off your hands and give up? That's not a solution either." But even if it is urgent to let the world know just how bad it could be, there is also a danger of frightening people into inaction. "As a scientist, I deal with climate change on a time scale of hundreds of thousands of years, and even I have a hard time dealing with it. The risk is that when science pumps out more and more evidence that we are facing dangerous tipping points'' – triggers that would make climate change irreversible – "that you put your head in the sand and move from denial to despair." Hanging over the conference proceedings like an invisible cloud were the apocalyptic predictions of British scientist James Lovelock. Lovelock commands respect because he understood decades before his peers that Earth behaves as a single, self-regulating system composed of physical, chemical and biological components, a concept he dubbed the Gaia principle. In his just-released book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia, he basically says we have already passed a point of no return, and that it is now impossible "to save the planet as we know it.'' "Efforts to stabilise carbon dioxide and temperature are no better than planetary alternative medicine.'' More than a dozen scientists interviewed could only say that they hoped Lovelock was wrong. None could say – based on the science – that they knew he was wrong.
JAPAN – the sound of waves breaking on the island of Hokkaido "may sound nice, but that means the earth is in trouble." Ice flows down each winter from the Arctic. It forms a thick layer along the shore and gives visitors a rare opportunity to walk atop Arctic ice. But the ice is disappearing, melting in Japan's warmer waters and temperatures, and replaced by the sound of the crashing waves of warmer water. The ice cutter that takes tourists into the heart of the Arctic ice drift takes longer to get there every year. "The air is warmer and temperatures are up. This is global warming." Locals hope to turn back time by dialing back their thermometers. A hotel owner organized nearly every single business in the area to turn down the heaters by two degrees. The Shiretoko Grand Hotel gives guests hot water bottles filled with naturally hot spring water instead to stay warm under the sheets. Local businesses also save their cooking oil which will run city buses in the summer. "Small steps, but our scientists say we saved the equivalent of 21 tennis courts of ice last year." While admirable, leading scientists say that may do little to stop the Arctic ice retreat. "To the best of my knowledge and judgment, there is very little that we can do," says Columbia University's Peter Schlosser of the Earth Institute. "We would have to do something extremely dramatic and even then, the question is whether we could turn it around in time before it disappears. The question for me is rather can we re-grow it once it disappears."
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –
ILLINOIS – Bizarre winter may have lasting effects – Freezing cold and freakish warmth throw nature for a loop. Experts say their peculiar winter, which officially ends Friday, may indeed have some lasting effects on the fauna and flora of greater Chicago. The bitter, sub-zero freeze of January might have slain swarms of city rats, while the lashing winds might have fatally sucked the moisture from some evergreen trees. But the snow that blanketed the ground for much of the season insulated the subterranean lairs of mice and shrews, while the heavy rains created mosquito havens. And the burst of mid-March warmth might actually mean trouble for trees like the magnolia, which could begin to bud early only to be smacked with a crippling, early spring freeze. "That'll bring everything to a screeching halt."
FOOD / WATER / SUPPLIES-
Global crisis 'to strike by 2030' – Growing world population will cause a "perfect storm" of food, energy and water shortages by 2030, the UK government chief scientist has warned. By 2030 the demand for resources will create a crisis with dire consequences. Demand for food and energy will jump 50% by 2030 and for fresh water by 30%, as the population tops 8.3 billion. Climate change will exacerbate matters in unpredictable ways. "It's a perfect storm. There's not going to be a complete collapse, but things will start getting really worrying if we don't tackle these problems." The looming crisis will match the current one in the banking sector. "There will be food and water shortages." The United Nations Environment Programme predicts widespread water shortages across Africa, Europe and Asia by 2025.
PHILIPPINES – Mango production shortage expected in Pangasinan – Pangasinan is one of the top producers of mango in the country but the industry was severely affected by Typhoon Cosme which hit the province in May 2008.
MYANMAR – Salt production in some Myanmar's cyclone-hit areas has been suspended as salt fields in the areas were destroyed by rain.
INDIA – Cotton production drops – "The weather was not supportive of the cotton crop in 2008-09. Unseasonal rains and insufficient cold wave played a significant role in drop in production."
AUSTRALIA – Heatwave crushes the grape harvest – The three weeks in near record heatwave conditions in January left their mark.
KENYA is battling a drought that has left some 10 million people, a third of the population, needing food aid and led the government to declare a state of national emergency. ZIMBABWE, southern Africa's former breadbasket, has been suffering a humanitarian crisis and chronic food shortages. South Africa, the continent's biggest maize producer, has now exported a total of 1.84 million tonnes of both white and yellow maize since the beginning of the marketing season, which runs from May to April. The country exported only 469,059 tonnes in the whole of the previous season in 2007/08. Exports to Kenya have reached 258,219 tonnes, compared with none in the 2007/08 season, while Zimbabwe has so far bought a total of 470,934 tonnes of both white and yellow maize, compared with 45,668 for the whole of the previous season.
TEXAS – The state's ongoing drought has cost the state’s farmers and ranchers nearly $1 billion, and losses could continue to mount this spring.
MOZAMBIQUE – At least 30,000 people in the northwestern Mozambican province of Tete are facing severe food shortages.
NORTH KOREA – As many as 8.7 million people need food aid in the country.
INDIA – After mangoes, freak weather has hit grapes. Rains coupled with hailstorm that lashed Nashik over the past two days have damaged over 45% of the grape crop, besides some varieties of mango and vegetables like tomatoes and cauliflowers.
CANADA – Canadian Red River flooding may delay crop seeding – Flooding in the Canadian end of the Red River Valley will be one of the worst ever with average weather, the Manitoba government said Monday in its latest forecast. The Canadian Wheat Board expects the flood to be significant enough that it may cause farmers in the southern part of the Prairie province to change their minds about what they grow. A blizzard in the northern states of North Dakota and Minnesota last week worsened the flood projection, with well above average snow now on the ground there. A moderate to large flood could delay seeding on 200,000 to 250,000 acres in Manitoba and prompt farmers to plant soybeans, which can be planted late in the spring, instead of wheat. Corn growers on the edges of the Red River valley may also consider soybeans if the flood reaches them.
The world will need an extra 10 billion tonnes of food by 2025, according to some forecasts.
The NOAA foresees drought of considerable duress – largely irreversible for 1,000 years – and identifies the following key regions as facing permanent Dust Bowls:
Eastern South America
“Extreme drought is likely to increase from under 3% of the globe today to 30% by 2100 and areas affected by severe drought could see a five-fold increase from 8% to 40%.” The California drought is anticipated to be the worst in modern times. Already thousands of acres of crops are fallow, with no sign of slowing. Furthermore, the Northern Sierra snowpack for this past winter turned out to be 51% lighter than usual. According to the Los Angeles Times, the state is nearly out of water. Australia has been in the midst of an unremitting dry spell since 2004, as 41% of the country's agriculture suffers the worst drought in the 117 years of record-keeping. Rivers have stopped flowing, lakes are being eradicated by toxicity, and farmers have left their land. Argentina’s worst drought in half a century has turned that country's landscapes to dust. Food production is set to go down a minimum of 50 percent or greater. Africa faces food shortages due to lack of rainfall. Half the agricultural soil has lost nutrients necessary to grow plant. The Middle East and Central Asia, to boot, are suffering from contemporary nadir droughts and food grain production is at the lowest levels in decades. A major shortage of planting seed for the 2010 crop is expected. Stocks of foodstuff are dangerously low worldwide.
The riots that erupted in Mexico early in 2007 in response to rising corn prices were but a harbinger of what’s to come. Given the “dust bowl” droughts (and other conditions in Third World and developing economies) now gripping countries that make up almost two thirds of the world's breadbasket – the U.S., many countries in South America, Australia, China and parts of Canada – the price of food staples like wheat, rice, corn etc., will again rise to riot-causing levels in the coming months. And this is happening just when tens of millions of people are being laid off and billions of people in the developing world are sure to see their already well below poverty-level incomes drop further or cease to exist altogether due to the worldwide ongoing economic collapse and lack of investment in developing countries. “The whole global picture is flagging up signals that we’re moving out of a period of abundant food supply into a period in which food is going to be in much shorter supply.” When you combine no economic growth with rising food prices you have a perfect recipe for unrelenting massive social turmoil. Food prices will soar and in countries with food deficits, millions will be facing starvation. Food riots and social unrest seen in 2008 are going to seem like a walk in the park compared to what might be in store for 2009 and beyond if these epic droughts and worsening economic conditions continue. And if we get hit by a particularly bad harvest or if a severe El Nino strikes, food supplies could get totally out of control in many countries. If this happens then almost any city, and almost any countryside, could be aflame with strikes, riots and civil disobedience.
HEALTH THREATS –
The disaster death toll in 2008 WAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST IN DECADES. Cyclone Nargis and the Sichuan earthquake made last year one of the worst for disasters since 1970 – both in terms of lives lost and economic damage . Some 240,500 people lost their lives in natural and man-made disaster in 2008. Most died in Asia, where cyclone Nargis killed 138,000 people when it hit Myanmar last May. An earthquake in China's Sichuan province the same month claimed 70,000 lives, according to the report. More people died only in 1970 and 1976, with a tropical storm in the Bay of Bengal and a quake in China being the main killers in those two years respectively. The economic damage caused by disasters last year was put at $269 billion, with the earthquake in Sichuan accounting for almost half of this. Insured losses amounted to $52.5 billion, more than three-quarters of which occurred in the United States.
Tennessee – dozens of songbirds are dying across the state in a salmonella outbreak and officials are investigating whether it's related to a national peanut recall. They've found dead birds – especially goldfinches, purple finches and pine siskins – in seven East Tennessee counties and found as many as 30 dead birds in one group. Experts say that birds normally carry some salmonella bacteria in their digestive tracks, and periods of stress such as cold weather or food shortages can weaken their systems. Two bird food companies have recently recalled suet and seed blends containing peanuts that could have been contaminated with salmonella.
Signs in False Shepherds & False Religion
"For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also." 2 Timothy 3:6-9
God-less 'congregations' planned for humanists
The Associated Press
By JAY LINDSAY – 3 days ago
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The monthly schedule is church-like, with its parenting classes, guest speakers and small group meetings to hash out shared beliefs. But God isn't part of this Cambridge congregation. Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, is building a God-free model of community that he hopes helps humanists increase in numbers and influence. Epstein sees potential in research showing that there are more people with no religion. In the latest American Religious Identification Survey, released this month, 15 percent of respondents in 2008 said they had no religion, compared to 8.2 percent in 1990. Epstein believes that group includes large numbers of people who are humanist, but have never identified themselves that way and can be reached. At the same time, there is broader acceptance of those with no faith, as indicated by President Barack Obama's mention of "nonbelievers" in his inaugural address, Epstein said. Definitions of humanism vary. Generally, humanists reject belief in the supernatural and are guided by reason, experience and compassion for others. Epstein defines the philosophy as a commitment to living ethical, personally fulfilling lives while serving the greater good.
The coming evangelical collapse
An anti-Christian chapter in Western history is about to begin. But out of the ruins, a new vitality and integrity will rise.
The Christian Science Monitor
By Michael Spencer
from the March 10, 2009 edition
Oneida, Ky. – We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West. Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century. This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good. Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.
Vatican insiders declare the Pope a 'disaster'
Pope Benedict's repeated gaffes and the Vatican's inability to manage his message in the internet era are threatening to undermine his papacy, Vatican insiders have said.
By Nick Squires in Rome
19 Mar 2009
The Holy See is struggling to contain international anger over the Pope's claim on his first official visit to Africa that Aids "cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems". The Pope's remarks about condoms, and a recent furore over his lifting of the 20-year excommunication of a British bishop who has questioned the Holocaust, has left him looking isolated and out of touch, prompting calls for a radical shake-up of the way the Holy See delivers its message. The Pope is isolated and fails to adequately consult his advisers, said a Vatican source with 20 years' knowledge of the Holy See. Another Vatican insider described Pope Benedict's four-year-old papacy as "a disaster", recalling the pontiff's previous inflammatory remarks on Islam and homosexuality. "He's out of touch with the real world," the Italian insider said. "On the condom issue, for example, there are priests and bishops in Africa who accept that condoms are a key part of the fight against Aids, and yet the pope adheres to this very conservative line that they encourage promiscuity. The Vatican is far removed from the reality on the ground."
Cleveland Catholic Diocese announces church closures
by Michael O'Malley and Robert L. Smith/Plain Dealer Reporters
Sunday March 15, 2009, 6:38 AM
There were tears and cheers in Catholic churches throughout Greater Cleveland on Saturday as the faithful learned for the first time whether their parishes will fit in — or not — in a new, smaller version of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. At Sacred Heart of Jesus in Slavic Village, parishioners shouted, "My God! Why?" when they heard their church was closing. At St. Stephen on West 54th Street in Cleveland, there was a burst of applause and a shout of "Hallelujah" at the news it would stay open. At St. Ignatius of Antioch on Lorain Avenue in Cleveland, an emotional pastor, the Rev. James McGonegal, told a shocked congregation he would appeal the decree to close. "This is a process and it is not over yet," McGonegal told the congregation. "Stay with us. Pray with us."
Atheists call for 'debaptism'
By Robert Pigott
Religious Affairs correspondent
John Hunt was baptised in the parish church of St Jude with St Aidan in Thornton Heath in south-east London. But 50 years later he stands outside and regards its brick facade without much affection. Mr Hunt was then sent to Sunday school in west London and later to confirmation classes, but he decided early on that he had no place in what he felt was a hypocritical organisation. He recalls that his mother had to get lunch ready early for him to attend the classes. "One Sunday I came back home and said 'Mum, you needn't get lunch early next Sunday because I'm not going to the class any more'. And she decided not to argue." Now Mr Hunt has become the pioneer in a rejuvenated campaign for a way of cancelling baptisms given to children too young to decide for themselves whether they wanted this formal initiation into Christianity.
Faith under Fire
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
“You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endured to the end will be delivered.” Matthew 10:22
My imam father came after me with an axe
Hannah Shah had been raped by her father and faced a forced marriage. She fled, became a Christian and now fears for her life
From The Sunday Times
March 15, 2009
We are all too familiar with the persecution of Christians in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Yet sitting in front of me is a British woman whose life has been threatened in this country solely because she is a Christian. Indeed, so real is the threat that the book she has written about her experiences has had to appear under an assumed name. The book is called The Imam’s Daughter because “Hannah Shah” is just that: the daughter of an imam in one of the tight-knit Deobandi Muslim Pakistani communities in the north of England. Her father emigrated to this country from rural Pakistan some time in the 1960s and is, apparently, a highly respected local figure. He is also an incestuous child abuser, repeatedly raping his daughter from the age of five until she was 15, ostensibly as part of her punishment for being “disobedient”. At the age of 16 she fled her family to avoid the forced marriage they had planned for her in Pakistan. A much, much greater affront to “honour” in her family’s eyes, however, was the fact that she then became a Christian – an apostate. The Koran is explicit that apostasy is punishable by death; thus it was that her father the imam led a 40-strong gang – in the middle of a British city – to find and kill her.
Minister beaten after clashing with Muslims on his TV show
By Jonathan Petre
Last updated at 4:39 PM on 15th March 2009
A Christian minister who has had heated arguments with Muslims on his TV Gospel show has been brutally attacked by three men who ripped off his cross and warned: ‘If you go back to the studio, we’ll break your legs.’ The Reverend Noble Samuel was driving to the studio when a car pulled over in front of him. A man got out and came over to ask him directions in Urdu. Mr Samuel, based at Heston United Reformed Church, West London, said: ‘He put his hand into my window, which was half open, and grabbed my hair and opened the door. He started slapping my face and punching my neck. He was trying to smash my head on the steering wheel. Then he grabbed my cross and pulled it off and it fell on the floor. He was swearing. The other two men came from the car and took my laptop and Bible.’
Judge rejects atheists' 'so help me God' ban
Pledge attacker rebuffed for challenging presidential oath
March 13, 2009
11:45 pm Eastern
By Drew Zahn
A federal judge in Washington, D.C, dismissed a case yesterday brought by Michael Newdow and the American Humanist Association seeking to ban prayer and the phrase "so help me God" from presidential inaugurations. Newdow, a California attorney who pushed a case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in an unsuccessful effort to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, previously joined Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and others in an attempt to obtain an injunction barring pastors Rick Warren and Joseph E. Lowery from praying at Barack Obama's inauguration. As WND reported, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton refused to halt Inauguration Day prayers and rejected Barker and Newdow's requests to stop Chief Justice Roberts from saying "so help me God" at the end of the presidential oath. In court yesterday, Judge Walton again ruled against Newdow and company in the atheists' attempt to ban prayer and "so help me God" from future inaugurations.
Homeschool-denying judge sets case on mom's Sabbath
Previously reconvened hearing because of problem with his dog
Posted: March 15, 2009
The judge who ordered a North Carolina homeschooling mother to place her children in public school demanded all objections to his order to be filed today – the day the mom in the case observes the Sabbath. Venessa Mills says she was unable to meet the deadline for two reasons – because it was Sunday and because she was up until midnight helping her estranged husband move out of the house as part of the judge's order. Judge Ned Mangum's ruling that it would be in the "best interests" of the three children, ages 12, 11 and 10, to be placed in public school in compliance with the wishes of the husband, Thomas Mills, in a divorce case, has raised concern throughout the homeschool community nationwide since it was first disclosed by WND last week. Ms. Mills is accusing the judge of insensitivity to her plight, especially since Mangum recessed a December hearing in the case because of an emergency involving his dog. Originally the deadline for filing the objections was set for Monday, March 16. Following the national publicity the case received, the judge changed the deadline to today – Sunday.
INDIA: PASTOR SHOT IN BOMB ATTACK ON CHURCH
Attacker said he aimed to stop Christian conversions; Hindu extremist connection suspected.
NEW DELHI, March 10 (Compass Direct News) – In an effort to stop conversions to Christianity in the eastern state of Bihar, a 25-year-old ailing man on Sunday (March 8) exploded a crude bomb in a church and shot the pastor. Police Inspector Hari Krishna Mandal told Compass that the attacker, Rajesh Singh, had come fully prepared to kill the pastor, Vinod Kumar, in Baraw village in the Nasriganj area of Rohtas district, and then take his own life. “However,” Mandal said, “believers caught him before he could do more damage or kill himself.” The 35-year-old pastor was taken to a hospital in nearby Varanasi, in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh and at press time was out of danger of losing his life, according to a leader of Gospel Echoing Missionary Society (GEMS) who requested anonymity.