Tag Archives: Charlie Hebdo

2016: Beginning Badly

cologne fireworksWow! We’re just completing the first full week in 2016 and God help us, if this is merely a harbinger of more of the same to follow.

Let’s see, worldwide financial markets have sold off enough during this past week, due to the extreme volatility taking place in the Chinese markets, that some observers are saying we are now, officially, in a bear—that is declining—market. The Casey Research newsletter says that since Monday the world’s stock markets have lost US$2.5 trillion of their investors’ money! The newsletter quoted George Soros comment about what this first week in 2016 means:cartoon chinese stock

“I would say it amounts to a crisis. When I look at the financial markets there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”

Of course, it’s not just the stock markets that have been falling. Commodity prices have also been plunging for a while. According to Stephen Poloz, Canada’s central bank governor:

“Since mid-2014—when oil prices started to free-fall—Poloz said the country has lost more than $50 billion in national income or about $1,500 per Canadian.” Times-Colonist, Victoria, B.C., Jan. 8, 2016.

poloz diceSince Canada is a major commodity producer its currency, the Canadian dollar, has also been under strong downward pressure on currency exchange markets, dropping from parity with the U.S.dollar in 2013 to being worth less the 0.71 U.S. cents today. This is why I’m paying $3 per pound for California broccoli when its on sale. Otherwise, it costs $5 per pound! Of course, the rising price of all food is not just due to unfavourable exchange rates.

I went to my local health food store the other day to replenish my supply of organic soft white wheat, which is great for making pancakes, dumplings, biscuits, or pie crusts. A forty-pound sack cost me CDN$69.00. Back in the 1980s I remember paying maybe $25 per sack for the same wheat. Oh yes, we know there’s inflation. But when I asked the store manager, whom I’ve know for a long time, whether $69 was a good price, or should I wait until a new supply comes in, he said that it’s not just a question of how much, but whether it’s even available in the first place. He said his wholesalers have been shorting him on what they’ll actually deliver on his orders. The wholesale suppliers are informally rationing what they’ll actually deliver to their retail store customers giving them only half of what they’ve ordered or none at all for some items. I purchased the last sack at the store that day. In short, the weather has not be favourable as it was previously and there is not the supply. Climate change?

And what about what’s going on in the Middle East? The United States under the leadershipobama1 of one of its worst presidents ever is continuing to betray its allies and appease its enemies. The Pax Americana that kept the lid on much of this world’s proclivity to violence since the Second World War is obviously breaking down. America’s enemies don’t take much of what Barak Obama says seriously, because they now know he’s just a paper tiger.

And then there’s the massive wave of 1.1 million Islamic migrants last year into Europe, especially Germany, that has unnerved a whole continent. The New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and rapes of women by “Arabic and North African-looking” men in German public places before cologne held handshundreds or even thousands of witnesses have provided some facts to fuel European anti-immigrant sentiment. According to Jürgen Falter, a political scientist at the University of Mainz.

“The fears and prejudices of people have thus been completely fulfilled, and much faster than expected. Those who have been skeptical feel themselves vindicated and those who have said ‘We can do it!’ [quoting Angela Merkel’s pro-immigrant sentiment] feel unnerved.”

And, of course, in France, Islamic terrorism keeps popping up as a North African immigrant shouting “Allah Akbar” tried to attack the guards in front of police station on the one-year anniversary of the jihadist massacres at Charlie Hebdo.

All these problems are out of the control and beyond the influence of the likes of you or me and they merely add more stress to whatever our personal circumstances have already thrown on our shoulders. What is the solution to our stress? How can you and I remain productive and positive in 2016? I’d like to quote from R.T. Brooks about the secret of how to not only cope but thrive in a time like ours.

“The New Testament is clear that a stress-free life is no part of the Christian promise. What is offered is a way of bearing stress—a way that makes the experience creative without its ceasing to be painful. Physical suffering, family tension, and social insecurity were all part of what the disciples were told to expect. But they were also told that in those experiences they would discover the power of God’s Spirit. The yoke is a natural image of stress and strain, and yet, Jesus offers his yoke [of loving God with all your heart and of loving neighbour as oneself] to the heavy laden, saying, ‘My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’”

The solution to this world’s problems are spiritual. Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Let’s all resolve to dig into the Bible to find not only a relief from stress, but also a plan of action for a dangerous time.

Anxiety & Fear: Good, Bad, Both

Be a Stress Survivor

The Foolish Mistake of the West

charlie hebdoIn the aftermath of the recent Islamic jihadis attacks in France, many Western liberals still don’t get it. They don’t get the implication or meaning of what’s behind the on-going, widespread conflicts between Islamic jihadis and anyone who doesn’t buy into their fundamentalist version of Sunni Islam–which, by the way, is widely taught and vigorously sponsored  throughout the world, especially by Saudi Arabia.

Yet, I hear practically endless pontificating by liberal media about how Islam is a peaceful religion that is all about brotherly love, just like the other major religions. If that is true, how is it that broad swaths of the globe–Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, northern Nigeria, northern Mali, and now northern Cameroon–have become for all practical purposes no-go areas for non-Muslims, especially Westerners. All these areas just mentioned are descending or have already descended into an early medieval barbarism that Mohammad himself would recognize. Islam indisputably plays a major role in the rising level of violence throughout the world. Beheadings? Kidnapping women and girls for sex slave auctions? Massacring children at school? Murder?  Rape? Pillage? Dispossession and exile?

In the Western nations, WHO is responsible for the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks? charlie hebdo3WHO are the Western world’s security forces watching out for? Is it the the orthodox Jews, the Amish, the Catholic Sisters of Mercy or socially conservative Christians? WHO’s shooting cartoonists these days?

Yesterday, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke of the international Islamic jihadist movement,

“They have declared war and are already executing it on a massive scale on a whole range of countries with which they are in contact, and they have declared war on any country, like ourselves, that values freedom, openness, and tolerance. We may not like this and wish it would go away, but it is not going to go away.”

Nevertheless,  many in the West’s media continue to whistle in their own mental darkness as they try to re-assure us all that Islam as it exists is not somehow incompatible with modernity. But it cannot be denied that Islam is indeed the essential malevolent womb that has birthed the international jihadist movement. Without Islam there would be no jihadis shooting up Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris.

Let’s do a reality check. If we could have a magic wand and could make Mohammad and his teachings instantly vanish from the minds and hearts of all who practice that religion, would the world also instantly become a better, more peaceful place? Yes or no? Well, the answer charlie hebdo2would be maybe or maybe not. It would depend on what would fill the void.  However, if the actual teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Scriptures were substituted for those of the medieval Arabian warlord, Mohammad, the answer would certainly be yes–the world would be a more peaceful place! The comparison between how Jesus actually lived and how Mohammad lived is truly dramatic.

The secular Western ruling elite is still willfully blind to the fact that they have created a “conflict of civilizations” problem, which they are completely ill-equipped to resolve. To beat a religious counterfeit that produces bad results one must deploy spiritual truth that produces good results. But when it comes to spiritual things, these secularists can’t distinguish black from white. They don’t understand why reading the Koran produces such different results in comparison to reading and following the Judeo-Christian Bible. They thought all religions were the same.  Consequently, they will never be able to live in peace even within their own borders. Why? Well they imported into the Western nations millions of people  whose belief system is proving to be completely incompatible with their own. They acted foolishly! The prophet Isaiah wrote of these willfully blind leaders:

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

Make the heart of this people dull,
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes;

 lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”

Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
    without inhabitant….” (Isaiah 6:9-1, English Standard Version)