Update on the News
Dec 12, 2014
There is a lot of news to report and not enough time to make it understandable.
The IMF Reform of 2010, which the US congress has refused to pass, is now passing its deadline that the other nations of the world have established. The US budget barely passed, but it did not include ratification of the Reforms. So now, Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, says,
“I have now been informed by the U.S. Administration that the reforms are not included in the budget legislation currently before the U.S. Congress. I have expressed my disappointment to the U.S authorities and hope that they continue to work toward speedy ratification.
“As requested by our membership, we will now proceed to discuss alternative options for advancing quota and governance reforms and ensuring that the Fund has adequate resources, starting with an Executive Board meeting in January 2015.”
For a long time, the other nations have been discussing alternative actions, including one that would replace the IMF with an alternative fund. If the USA wants to be part of it, it would have to settle for a system where it does not have veto power over all policies. The world is tired of the virtually unlimited power that the USA has wielded over the IMF through its veto power.
Of course, we understand from a prophetic standpoint that it is really Mystery Babylon that is fighting to retain dominance in the world. But Babylon is cracking and splitting apart, economically and politically.
The Government Spending Bill
The spending bill, keeping the government programs funded until next September, was barely passed by the House last night (214-212).
Once again it includes all sorts of venomous spiders and toxic sludge. The Washington Post complains that pensioners will take a cut in benefits, as government believe that the poor are the ones who ought to support the system after it has been looted by the oligarchs.
“This is nothing less than a declaration of war by Congress on American retirees,” said R. Thomas Buffenbarger, international president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. “Allowing cuts to existing retirees’ pensions is simply the wrong way to address the problems of a few troubled pension plans. . . . The long-standing promise of a secure pension system must not be overturned by unaccountable lawmakers in a lame-duck session of Congress.”
Since 1974, the federal law governing the nation’s private-sector pensions has prohibited cuts to the benefits of workers who have already retired — a precedent that is now endangered.
The bill also essentially repeals the Dodd-Frank banking reforms that were passed in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis. However, there seems to be a silver lining here. The big banks will have to do their derivatives gambling in a separate subsidiary, rather than directly by the bank itself. This means that when interest rates begin to rise, collapsing the derivatives market, the subsidiary will be the entity that goes bankrupt, rather than the bank itself.
In other words, customer bank deposits will not be used to pay off the creditors in those derivatives markets.
The Torture Report
The official report has now been published about the US government’s torture policies in the wake of the Twin Towers demolition in 2001.
Many of the C.I.A.'s most extreme interrogation methods, including waterboarding, were authorized by Justice Department lawyers during the Bush administration. But the report also found evidence that a number of detainees had been subjected to other, unapproved methods while in C.I.A. custody.
The torture of prisoners at times was so extreme that some C.I.A. personnel tried to put a halt to the techniques, but were told by senior agency officials to continue the interrogation sessions.
The Senate report quotes a series of August 2002 cables from a C.I.A. facility in Thailand, where the agency’s first prisoner was held. Within days of the Justice Department’s approval to begin waterboarding the prisoner, Abu Zubaydah, the sessions became so extreme that some C.I.A. officers were “to the point of tears and choking up,” and several said they would elect to be transferred out of the facility if the brutal interrogations continued….
The report also suggests that more prisoners were subjected to waterboarding than the three the C.I.A. has acknowledged in the past. The committee obtained a photograph of a waterboard surrounded by buckets of water at the prison in Afghanistan commonly known as the Salt Pit, a facility where the C.I.A. had claimed that waterboarding was never used. One clandestine officer described the prison as a “dungeon,” and another said that some prisoners there “literally looked like a dog that had been kenneled.”….
Mr. Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush, said repeatedly that the detention and interrogation program was humane and legal.
Waterboarding is humane? Depriving people of sleep for a week is humane? Please, we regularly jail people for a whole lot less than that. His definition of “humane” is probably from the same dictionary that Clinton used when he defined the word “is.”
If it’s so humane, then perhaps he should undergo this humane treatment for a while. If not, he will surely feel its effects at the Great White Throne, where the “eye for eye” principle will apply to him. How about waterboarding for waterboarding?
As crazy as Bush’s statement is, he was not really joking around. No doubt Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are feeling the noose tightening around their necks. If they are alive when the US loses the power to shield its war criminals, they will surely hang in the presence of an unforgiving world. They have already been tried and convicted of war crimes by a Malaysian tribunal. That is probably why the US orchestrated the downing of two Malaysian airliners recently.
Conflicts between Obama and Netanyahu
The Debka File, an Israeli intelligence group, tells of new alliances being made between Mideast countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel.
The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rulers meet in the Qatari capital of Doha next week amid high suspense across the Arab world. Its agenda is topped by moves to finally unravel the 2010 Arab Spring policy championed by US President Barack Obama, moves that also bear the imprint of extensive cooperation maintained on the quiet between Israel and key Arab rulers….
The Doha summit is designed to crown a historic effort led by Saudi King Abdullah, UAE ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and President El-Sisi to undo the effects of the Obama administration’s support for elements dedicated to the removal of conservative Arab rulers, such as the Brotherhood.
They have found a key ally in this drive in Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who took advantage of the chance of an epic breakthrough in relations with the leading bloc of Arab nations, with immediate and far-reaching effect on Israeli security and its standing in the region….
Netanyahu may or may not opt to brandish Israel’s diplomatic breakthrough to the Arab world as campaign fodder to boost his run for re-election. Whatever he decides, the rulers of Saudi Arabia, the Arab emirates and Egypt are turning out to have acquired an interest in maintaining him in office as head of the Israeli government, in direct opposition to President Obama’s ambition to unseat him.
The report attributes the Arab Spring to Obama himself, although we know from General Wesley Clark that this policy began under President Bush as early as 2001.
The US policy to overthrow seven Middle East countries in five years has only continued under President Obama, but the policy was instituted under President Bush. What gives the US the right to make war on those other nations? It does not matter how covert these actions were. It is still a violation of international law—and God’s law as well.
While the US publicly decries the Muslim Brotherhood, it has supported it secretly, using it as the main CIA tool in the overthrow of those Arab countries. Are we ruled by the Liars Club?
And yet they claim that the Kingdom of God is a terrible option. What a disaster it would be (to them) if we were actually ruled by those who knew how to speak the truth, promote genuine peace, and other values that Jesus espoused.