Tag Archives: immigrants

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

Will the flood of migrants occupy and change us?

flood refugeesThe flood of some 800,000 migrants and refugees streaming into Europe in 2015 are stretching the Old World’s civic resources and in some places the public’s civility. And this flood of new arrivals is showing no signs of slowing down. Some officials are now speculating that about 3 million people will come to search for a better life in the West over the next few years. Will the status quo of the West be disrupted and undermined by the cultural/religious baggage that these millions of newcomers are bringing with them?

On Sept. 7th Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the “breathtaking” flow of migrants into Germany will “occupy and change” the country in the coming years. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34173720merkel selfie

Yes indeed! But will it be for the better or the worse? With a general EU unemployment rate hovering close to 11%, most European nations are struggling to create new jobs for their existing population much less millions of newcomers. And the current financial gurus of these same  European nations are struggling to balance their budgets and pay their sovereign debts. Austerity is the word for the financial situation for a significant number European nation states. Consequently, the disadvantaged and unemployed among the established population of Europe viscerally fears the additional competition for scarce jobs and the shrinking welfare benefits that the arrival of this tidal wave of new migrants will herald.  No one in the EU is talking about how much it will cost the various European governments to take care of this tidal wave of asylum seekers.

Here in Canada our new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is eagerly trying to make good on its election promise to let in 25,000 Syrian refugees this year. How they will do this, and how much is it going to cost us, has not been announced. With the price of oil dropping to U.S.$40 a barrel, Canada’s export earnings and tax revenues are tanking. Oil and gas companies in Alberta, the heartland of our oil patch, have already cut more than 36,000 direct jobs so far in 2015. I haven’t seen any figures giving the knock-on effects of these lay-offs and the dozens of cancelled oil sands development projects with the exception of the skyrocketing commercial office vacancy rate. The financial writer, Doug Casey, says Canada is in denial, as to how badly we are being hurt by the incredible collapse of the oil prices.

Yesterday, I was listening to a CBC radio interview with a variety of administrators of immigrant resettlement NGOs who were saying that, as it presently stands, they lack the personnel, housing, and financial resources to deal with such a large number of new immigrants. No money=no capacity for them to help these new people to resettle.

And what about security and domestic terrorism concerns? At present all the media wants to talk about here in Canada is: logistics. Only occasionally is there a comment that slips by the media gate-keepers from someone expressing a concern about “security” or the culture conflict from people who’ve lived all their lives in nations that have traditionally persecuted Christians and other religious or ethnic minorities, not to mention the LGBTQ crowd.  Security is really the elephant in the room everyone refuses to acknowledge. Is anyone really paying attention to what is going on throughout the Middle East and the top half of Africa? If Islam is really such a peaceful religion, why is it that all those Islamic dominated regions are in flames?

manal omarThe Foreign Policy magazine has recently featured in its argument section a debate entitled: Is Islam to Blame for Its Extremists? On one side is Manal Omar arguing that this religion isn’t the cause but rather socio-economic conditions, while on the other side is Aayan Hirsi Ali who argues that Islam is both explicitly and directly to blame for ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and all the other head-chopping, sex slaving jihadi Muslims who capture the media’s attention whenever they perpetrate some new nightmarish brutality. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/11/is-islam-to-blame-for-its-extremistaayaan ali

Recently, Frederica Mogherini, who is the European Union’s head of foreign affairs and security policy, dismissed the whole notion of a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West, when responding to some recent brutal Islamist terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France. Smarting under the criticism of those who have the temerity to suggest that this mass immigration of Muslims to Europe might not be a good thing, Mogherini countered:

“Islam belongs in Europe. It holds a place in Europe’s history, in our culture, in our food and – what matters most – in Europe’s present and future. I am not afraid to say that political Islam should be part of the picture. Religion plays a role in politics – not always for good, not always frederica mogfor bad. Religion can be part of the process. What makes the difference is whether the process is democratic or not.”

Nevertheless Journalist Paul Joseph Watson in his story about Mogherini observes, “Mogherini’s comments will do little to dispel concerns that world leaders are hesitant to fully acknowledge, the threat posed by ISIS, and the fact the group’s campaign of terror is very much Islamic, for fear of appearing politically incorrect. Indeed, the current debate about how to stop ISIS is not centered around combating the ideology (lifted straight from the Koran) that motivates ISIS’ thousands of fighters and its millions of supporters, but an obsession with not calling the group “Islamic”. http://www.infowars.com/eu-security-head-political-islam-is-the-future-of-europe/

This is why a true prophet, Isaiah, warns us in poetic language to beware, for only dystopia is going to result from our leaders lack of understanding and vigilance:

All you ·animals [beasts] of the field, all you animals of the forest, come to ·eat [devour]. ·The leaders who are to guard the people [L His watchmen] are blind; they ·don’t know what they are doing [lack knowledge; are ignorant].

All of them are like ·quiet [mute; or muzzled] dogs that ·don’t know how to [cannot] bark.

They lie down and dream and love to sleep.

They are like ·hungry [greedy; ravenous] dogs that are never satisfied.

They are like shepherds who ·don’t know what they are doing [lack understanding; are ignorant.

They all have gone their own way; ·all they want to do is satisfy themselves [each seeks their own gain/profit]. Isaiah 56:9-11 Expanded Bible

 

Reaping what we sow–gendercide and abortion

“The right to liberty… guarantees a degree of personal autonomy over important decisions intimately affecting his or her private life. … The decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is essentially a moral decision and in a free and democratic society, the conscience of the individual must be paramount to that of the state.” (Morgentaler et al. v. Her Majesty The Queen, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30 at 37)

As a consequence of the above legal opinion by Canada’s supreme court, abortion is entirely unrestricted in Canada. In our brave and free True North country, there are about 100,000 abortions to Canadian women each year. Statistics Canada says in its most recent 2005 figures that there were 96,815 abortions, while in 2004 this figure was 100,039. This is more than all the people who live in Nanaimo and its surrounding suburbs! Since 1989 roughly 2,100,000 Canadian babies have been aborted, roughly equivalent to half the population of the province of British Columbia. That’s quite a crowd of not-to-be taxpayers, moms, and dads.

Is abortion negatively affecting Canadian society? Well, I know this is a silly question that has only one answer. Our B.C. provincial finance minister when presenting his post-Olympics austerity budget for the coming year gloomily forecast eroding worker to retiree ratios and warned of a disappearing tax base. To make up for the dearth of native-born workers paying Canadian Pension Plan and other taxes to support our current social schemes, our government admits that it must beat the drum more loudly to convince outsiders to immigrate to our presently affluent but increasingly unsustainable society.

So hey, you would-be immigrant strangers, come to Canada and pay our bills so we can maintain the lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed! We couldn’t be bothered to have enough kids to take care of us in our old age, but come on you all, and do it in their place! We’ll even let you wave those little plastic Canadian flags on July 1st.

What will happen here in B.C. as the number of babies born to our women continues dropping? We presently whine in our letters to the editor about school closings and other unpopular school program cuts being made by those nasty school boards year after year due to declining attendance. But in the near future many Canadian businesses will start struggling to get the workers they need to replace the aging baby-boomers in order for the economy to just keep running in place. Will we be able to keep our stuff and our society as a whole fixed, running, and safe till we die? Who knows?

But consequences of abortion are affecting other nations in even more serious ways. Consider the case of some of the largest Asian societies. Due to governmental one-child policies, and ancient prejudices favouring sons, millions of baby girls have been aborted in China and India amongst other East Asian Nations. Twenty years ago in 1990 the Indian economist Amartya Sen estimated this “gendercide” at approximately 100 million baby girls. By 2010 the figure has undoubtedly grown much higher. There are now scores of millions of young men with little prospect of finding wives and establishing families.

According to the March 6th issue of The Economist magazine’s article on the subject, “Throughout human history, young men have been responsible for the vast preponderance of crime and violence—especially single men in countries where status and social acceptance depend on being married and having children as it does in China and India.” The problem of this disparity between single men and available women is just getting worse in Asia. One thing The Economist didn’t mention is that also throughout history states have used the aggressiveness of unattached single men, the bare branches, as soldiers in their armies.

Did you know that a vision of hundreds of millions of desperate men on the move in Asia was actually prophesied in the book of Revelation?

Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth. I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops (Revelation 9:15-16 New Living Version).

Just one hundred years ago the idea of a 200 million man army coming out of the East was assumed to be preposterous and just another example of a biblical flight of fancy. Considering the actual facts of what is developing right now in China and India, such a prophecy should sober us considerably.

Asian societies do not have the heritage of the Judeo-Christian scriptures. The massive slaughter of girl babies in Asia reflects their traditions and would appear logical according to their values. That is their excuse. What is ours?

A foundational moral teaching of both Old and New Covenants is that “you shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Aren’t our unborn children the closest neighbour any parent could ever have? If we are willing to consign an innocent neighbour to death for our mere personal convenience, don’t we deserve the same? Perhaps the future holds out something far more ominous from the East than merely hordes of immigrants whom we import to pay our debts in the places of sons and daughters who never were.