Category Archive: America

Mar 16

Woman That Prophesied Trump Would Win Now Warns That A “Great Shaking” Is Coming And Churches Will Fall

By Michael Snyder, on March 13th, 2017

If Dr. Patricia Green is correct, America is about to be shaken like we have never seen before. And considering her track record, I would take what she has to say very seriously. She correctly prophesied in advance that Donald Trump would win the election in November. If you are not familiar with this prophecy, you can find it on a video that she published on September 28th right here. She also correctly prophesied Barack Obama’s first election victory in advance, and she did it at a time when Hillary Clinton was expected to get the Democratic nomination. So unlike many other “prophets” that are floating around these days, she has a very long track record of being accurate.

In her latest video, she says that God told her that a great shaking will soon come to America and that many churches will fall. The following excerpt from her prophecy comes from Z3News.com

Regarding the increase in prophecy, I will show my children what I am about to do on this earth through My prophets. My prophets will arise with this proclamation, “Make way for the coming of Yehoshua. Prepare the way. Prepare your hearts. He will shake the heavens and he will shake the earth with his outstretched arm. This great shaking will usher in great revival. The churches whose foundations are not established on the rock of Yehoshua will fall. Many will be shocked at the churches who fall because those churches put up a good front, but refuse to live in holiness. I will expose the greed, the fornication, the adultery, and the idolatry of these churches. There is a great shaking coming and I will expose the sin. Repent before it is too late.”

If you would like to watch the entire video, you can find it on YouTube right here.

Dr. Green’s message immediately got my attention because it very closely mirrored what I have been proclaiming. I have been heralding the “shaking” that is coming and the “revival” that will follow on television, on the radio, in my latest book The Rapture Verdict, and in my articles. Here is just one brief example

Many are hoping for a great move of God instead of shaking. But the truth is that we should be thankful for the shaking that is coming because it will shake many into the Kingdom.

If we want to make it through the shaking that is coming, we have no other choice but to walk in holiness.

It is easy to point the finger at others, but the truth is that each one of us needs to closely examine our own lives to make sure that we are living the way that we should.

Another voice with a very long track record that is warning that “dark days” are coming to America is Stephen Hanson

These are the days of uncertainty for many. These are the days of turmoil and unrest. And yet I would say that I can give you rest. I can give you rest in the midst of the storm. I calmed the sea when my disciples were in the boat. They were fearful of the storms and the waves, but I told them to look to Me and not to the water.

Dark days are ahead for this nation. It is set in motion—the wheels are turning, and in time the very things spoken, concerning the events leading up to the last days, will come. A pendulum is swinging, and it is chiming out the hours. The very walls of justice will erupt. Confusion and calamity is seen upon the very steps of the White House.

And as I have written about previously, there are many other prophetic voices that are saying the same thing.

Many believe that the church in America is in “good shape”, but the numbers say otherwise. For instance, a new Barna Group study found that only about ten percent of all Americans have a “Biblical worldview”, and for Millennials the number was less than half of that

They found that while more than seven out of 10 Americans call themselves Christians, just one out of every 10 were able to answer basic questions about the Bible and the faith.

The number is low among young Americans as well.

Only four percent of millennials aged 18-29 scored 80 percent or higher on a survey asking questions about their faith.

How can anyone possibly claim that the church is in “good shape” after seeing that kind of data?

Judgment begins with the house of God, and there are so many out there that have refused to listen to the warnings even after many of us have pleaded with them to listen time after time with great love in our hearts.

But there are also many that have heeded the call, and in these last days God is raising up a mighty Remnant that will do great exploits. The move of God that is coming will not have anything in common with the watered-down, lukewarm, wimpy “churchianity” that so many of us have become accustomed to seeing.

In the times that are coming, we are going to need believers that are willing to be bold, strong and militant. I really like how Larry Alex Taunton made this point in an article for Fox News

My father, a career soldier, had a phrase he liked to employ whenever he saw a man behave in a manner that was less than manly. He would say something like, “That was candy-assed.” Of course, my father didn’t invent the idiom, but in his use of it you didn’t need further explanation. You knew exactly what he was talking about.

The term fits the kind of Christianity that has infected the Church and sapped it of its vitality and strength. The expression might offend the sensibilities of some of my readers to which I can only say, it might fit you.

I urge you instead to be offended by the way our God’s name is blasphemed in our country every day; by the 54 million children murdered in the holocaust of abortion since 1973; by the sordid sexual agenda that is eroding the very fabric of Western civilization; by the fact that Christians are dying for their faith, largely at the hands of Muslims, at a rate of 100,000 per year; and, most of all, by the reality that these things are being ignored, trivialized, or celebrated.

Yes, a great shaking is coming, but God is not warning us about these things so that we will be afraid.

Rather, we are being warned so that we will not fear.

God is in control, He knew about all of this in advance, and He has a plan.

And even in the midst of all the darkness, this is going to be the Remnant’s finest hour.

Without a great shaking there would be no widespread revival, so we should embrace the shaking that is coming because it will help spark what I believe will turn out to be the greatest move of God the world has ever seen.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8391

Mar 16

Global Leaders Rattle Their Sabers As The World Marches Toward War

By Michael Snyder, on March 9th, 2017

Iran just conducted another provocative missile test, more U.S. troops are being sent to the Middle East, it was just announced that the U.S. military will be sending B-1 and B-52 bombers to South Korea in response to North Korea firing four missiles into the seas near Japan, and China is absolutely livid that a U.S. carrier group just sailed through contested waters in the South China Sea.  We have entered a season where leaders all over the globe feel a need to rattle their sabers, and many fear that this could be leading us to war.  In particular, Donald Trump is going to be under the microscope in the days ahead as other world leaders test his resolve.  Will Trump be able to show that he is tough without going over the edge and starting an actual conflict?

The Iranians made global headlines on Thursday when they conducted yet another ballistic missile test despite being warned by Trump on numerous occasions…

As tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to mount, the semi-official news agency Tasnim is reporting that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has successfully conducted yet another ballistic missile test, this time from a navy vessel.  Called the Hormuz 2, these latest missiles are designed to destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (180 miles).

Reports on the latest test quotes Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, who confirmed that “the naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away.”

The missile test is the latest event in a long-running rivalry between Iran and the United States in and around the Strait of Hormuz, which guards the entrance to the Gulf. About 20% of the world’s oil passes through the waterway, which is less than 40 km wide at its narrowest point.

So how will Trump respond to this provocation?

Will he escalate the situation?  If he does nothing he will look weak, but if he goes too far he could risk open conflict.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, things are already escalating.  It is being reported that “several hundred Marines” are on the ground in Syria to support an assault on the city of Raqqa, and another 1,000 troops could be sent to Kuwait to join the fight against ISIS any day now.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

While the Trump administration waits to decide if it will send 1,000 troops to Kuwait to fight ISIS, overnight the Washington Post reported that the US has sent several hundred Marines to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Defence officials said they would establish an outpost from which they could fire artillery at IS positions some 32km (20 miles) away. US special forces are already on the ground, “advising” the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance according to the BBC.

The defence officials told the Washington Post that the Marines were from the San Diego-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and that they had flown to northern Syria via Djibouti and Kuwait. They are to set up an artillery battery that could fire powerful 155mm shells from M777 howitzers, the officials said. Another marine expeditionary unit carried out a similar mission at the start of the Iraqi government’s operation to recapture the city of Mosul from IS last year.

Meanwhile, China is spitting mad for several reasons.  For one, the Chinese are absolutely furious that South Korea has allowed the U.S. to deploy the THAAD missile defense system on their soil…

China is lashing out at South Korea and Washington for the deployment of a powerful missile defense system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, deposited at the Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening.

The deployment of THAAD follows several ballistic missile tests by North Korea in recent months, including the launch of four missiles on Monday, three of which landed in the sea off the coast of Japan. Though THAAD would help South Korea protect itself from a North Korean missile attack, China is vocally protesting the deployment of the system, claiming it upsets the “strategic equilibrium” in the region because its radar will allow the United States to detect and track missiles launched from China.

Of course the U.S. needed to do something, because the North Koreans keep rattling their sabers by firing off more ballistic missiles toward Japan.

But it is one thing to deploy a missile defense system, and it is another thing entirely to fly strategic nuclear bombers into the region.

So if the Chinese were upset when THAAD was deployed, how will they feel when B-1 and B-52 bombers start showing up in South Korea?

Earlier this week, trigger-happy Kim pushed his luck once more when he fired off four ballistic missiles into the seas near Japan.

Now US military chiefs are reportedly planning to fly in B-1 and B-52 bombers – built to carry nuclear bombs – to show America has had enough.

South Korea and the US have also started their annual Foal Eagle military exercise sending a strong warning to North Korea over its actions.

A military official said 300,000 South Korean troops and 15,000 US personnel are taking part in the operation.

The Trump administration has openly stated that all options “are on the table” when it comes to North Korea, and that includes a military strike.

It has been more than 60 years since the Korean War ended, but many are concerned that we may be closer to a new Korean War than we have been at any point since that time.

And of course our relationship with China is tumbling precariously downhill as well.  Another reason why the Chinese are extremely upset with the Trump administration is because a U.S. Navy carrier battle group led by the USS Carl Vinson sailed past islands that China claims in the South China Sea just a few weeks ago.

In China, the media openly talks about the possibility of war with the United States over the South China Sea.  Most Americans are not even aware that the South China Sea is a very serious international issue, but over in China this is a major focus.

And the U.S. military has recently made several other moves in the region that have angered the Chinese

Also in February, the U.S. sent a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Tindal AB in northern Australia, the closest Australian military airbase to China, for coalition training and exercises. It’s the first deployment of that many F-22s in the Pacific.

And if that didn’t get the attention of the Chinese government, the U.S. just tested four Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles during a nuclear war exercise, sending the simulated weapons 4,200 miles from the coast of California into the mid-Pacific. It’s the first time in three years the U.S. has conducted tests in the Pacific, and the first four-missile salvo since the end of the Cold War.

I can understand the need to look tough, but eventually somebody is going to go too far.

If you are familiar with my work, then you know that I believe that war is coming.  Things in the Middle East continue to escalate, and it is only a matter of time before a great war erupts between Israel and her neighbors.  Meanwhile, U.S. relations with both Russia and China continue to deteriorate, and this is something that I have been warning about for a very long time.

We should hope for peace, but we should also not be blind to the signs of war that are starting to emerge all over the planet.  Relatively few people anticipated the outbreak of World War I and World War II in advance, and I have a feeling that the same thing will be true for World War III.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8385

Feb 28

Evidence of Ancient Megalithic Culture in Massachusetts Revealed For the First Time

In the gorgeously rustic country hills of Northern Ireland, about an hour north of Derry, is the tiny hamlet of Laraghirril. In the distant southwestern fields of this town sits an ancient cairn with beautifully placed megalithic stones. The cairn is perhaps 4000 to 6000 years old, with crafted slabs protruding in dramatic symmetry out of the ground.  If you want to learn more about this ancient cairn at Laraghirril, interestingly enough, it will not be from this article.  Amazingly, the ancient Celtic altar in the image above is found in Heath, Massachusetts, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the northeastern United States, otherwise known as New England.

Mysterious Megalithic Works in New England

New England is a small set of states about the size of Ireland, in terms of square kilometers. It stretches from Connecticut, northward along the Atlantic coast of Rhode Island, into the mountainous forests of upstate New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. The old-growth forests and rocky mountain ridges of this area contain the same megalithic wonders that Celtic countries endear as part of their ancient mystical past. The images below are of Celtic megalithic works all within the region of New England. This includes: eloquent stone-chambers, ancient stone-linings of massive proportion at high elevations, cairns in practically every forest, altars on high rocky elevations, and beautiful standing-stones of a unique style specific to New England.

 

A stone chamber found in New England

 

High elevation stone lining in New England

This standing stone (image/above) is located several miles into Tully Lake Forest Reserve, Massachusetts, which is only about 15 miles from the Heath Altar, which I will soon describe. It has never been documented before now. Standing at 6 feet in height, and roughly 2 tons in weight, it is clearly an intended fixture, with incremental indents on its side culminating at an apex. This stone has stood elegantly as an amazing example of the megaliths in Massachusetts for, most likely, thousands of years, and may have been placed in this spot before the forest surrounded it. There is so much more to understand about stones like this. The questions emerge: what culture during the antiquity period of New England had the technical ability to cut and craft megalithic stones as if they were wooden blocks? How could they place them on mountaintops, or in deep forests so easily?  And who did this? In Ireland, these incremental markings can be found on white-granite stones in the heights of places like the Pass at Mount Bearnagh in the Mourne Range (image/below). There are literally thousands of other crafted megalithic stones in the forests and mountain ranges of Celtic and New England ranges.

 

If this type of standing stone at Tully Lake Forest is not compelling enough for those who embrace a more “classic” stylization of “the standing stone”, take a look at this monument just twenty-five miles east of Tully Lake Forest. Looming at the top of a rocky hill in the Lynn Woods Reserve is a 10-foot high, 20-ton standing-stone. This megalith could easily be mistaken for a standing-stone at the top of any Irish, Welsh, English or Scottish valley. This stone, however, is in Massachusetts.

 

20-ton standing stone in Lynn Woods Reserve

Advanced Ancient Culture in New England – Could it be the Celts?

And this is just the beginning. In every forest in New England there are megaliths waiting to be deciphered and appreciated. It seems clear now that a megalithic culture, nearly identical to the Celtic style, once existed in New England. One of the very finest examples of this, in all of New England, is located in the country-town of Heath, Massachusetts, known simply as The Heath Altar Stones.

The Heath Altar sits on a gorgeous rocky plateau surrounded by pristine old-growth forest. This rocky elevation in north-central Massachusetts is only seven miles from the boarder of Vermont, where Green Mountain National Forest rolls dramatically into the northwest. Strategically, this vista is an intelligent place for an altar, with an elevated vantage harnessing the sun’s rays from dawn to dusk. Simultaneously, this altar is not far from a rolling stream in the small valley below, just over a mile to the east.

This water runs in a narrow channel cutting through the hills into several streams that merge and eventually rush as waterfalls through the town of Savoy, south of Heath. At certain points of the stream there is ancient stonework directing the flow of the water. These beautiful stones are an indicator of an extremely intelligent culture capable of harnessing and directing resources to certain focal points in the landscape. The stonework is perfectly leveled with corbel placement.

 

Rock wall in New England

Identifying this particular style is a challenge to those unfamiliar with Celtic fixtures. The masons of the colonial period generally utilized brick or cut-cobble stone with mixed cement. Native Americans were seasonally nomadic in their lifestyle, and generally did not work with megalithic stones in the northeastern part of the continent. Additionally, native tribes simply did not take credit for the existing stonework. Local stories from remaining Native American peoples in places like Upton, Massachusetts, say that the megalithic stones were there before the ancestral tribes arrived.  This would coincide with the testimony of Peruvian and Mexican native peoples of South America, who say that the megaliths of their region were not made by their ancestors, but by “the gods”, and again, were there before their ancestors arrived.

Quartz Used to Harness Energy?

Returning to the Altar at Heath, there are several thought-provoking stone features before reaching the hilltop. Massive quartz stones have been placed all around the area.

 

A large quartz block sits atop a stone lining

Beautiful small ridges made entirely of quartz are fixed into the landscape. Quartz blocks have clearly been quarried and inserted above the granite stone linings surrounding the area. These white transluscent blocks stand in stark contrast against the rusty colored fauna of the field and grey granite stone-linings surrounding the hill. The question arises: why would the builders of this altar choose to extract and set quartz blocks around the area?

The answer is in the properties of the stone. Quartz has the ability to harness and store energy. In the present era we utilize quartz in our computers to transfer and store digital energy within the tiny landscapes of switchboards. Placing quartz all around the hill creates a type of “energy zone”.  It is clear that this culture was well aware of the unique properties of the natural elements in the landscape, and made a serious effort to utilize them. This culture recognized the sun’s value as the ultimate energy source, as well as elements in the landscapes that have the reciprocal ability to harness that energy. Furthermore, streams carry subtle electrical currents through the friction of the waters continual motion against the stones. There are stones that indicate that this ancient culture was aware of the subtle energies produced by the water as well.

Long stone-linings that look to our modern eyes like “walls” run directly from the river up to the Altar at Heath. The granite stones might actually be a type of “cable system” connecting the subtle electrical energy of the stream to the quartz stones on the hill.  The entire periphery of the hill is circled with these stone-linings. They branch off in dozens of varying directions. On a sunny day, this place would be absolutely charged with subtle energies.

Ancient Alignments

Continuing towards the pinnacle of the hill where the altar sits, are smaller standing-stones. From the crafting and positioning of these stones, it is clear that they have a directional purpose rather than the utility function of the quartz. Perhaps they are marking the cardinal directions, or Solar and Lunar patterns in the sky. They certainly look to be pointing at something.

 

A standing stone near the main altar

The stone in the image above stands at about 3 feet, with specifically cut dimensions that point cardinal-south. This small standing stone is about 50 yards from the main Altar. The angles are of a particular type in New England that exists at many other sites in the mountains. The image below is of a larger, but dimensionally identical, standing-stone which sits near Squaw Peak of Monument Mountain Reserve in Massachusetts, about 60 miles southwest of Heath. This larger stone stands at about 6 feet, and points to the Sun at exactly mid-day, as seen in the image below.

 

Standing stone near Squaw Peak of Monument Mountain Reserve

The similarity between these two standing-stones, in terms of specific geometry, is remarkable, not to mention difficult. Two parallel sides lead to a 45-degree pinnacle which points, like an arrowhead, to the sky.  Remember also, this is cut out of solid granite, and isn’t exactly a simple process. This is an iconic statement that requires serious skill and understanding, cutting through granite to form exacted parallel lines and points. More questions emerge, similar to those asked in Celtic places: how could this be done with granite slabs some 4000 to 6000 years ago, and at an elevation of about 2000 feet? With what tools did this culture cut and move these massive stones? Where are those tools? And why is there so little acknowledgement of this megalithic culture in New England, as opposed to Ireland where it is revered?

Continuing on to the western extreme of the hill at Heath there is an entirely quartz standing stone that looks to be a marker of some kind, or perhaps a warning for those passing by. This stone is similar in scale to the other peripheral standing stones around the Altar, only about 3 feet in height, but brilliant in contrast to the fauna of the area.

Quartz standing stone at Heath

At the northern face of the hill is a deeply lodged granite stone facing cardinal- north, where the forests of Vermont roll into Canada. This stone is also protruding about 3 feet out of the ground. As you can see, each stone points to a stellar scene beyond.

Standing stone at Heath

A Celtic Altar in Massachusetts?

After acknowledging the amount of stonework around the Altar, the feeling that this is hallowed ground is inevitable. This is an anthropologically sacred place where the stones have been placed in specific orientations. The meaning of the chosen stones, as well as their positions, is yet to be deciphered. It is obvious that this place is not the whimsical machinations of some bored colonial farmer, which would be totally out of context with colonial work ethic. Colonials did not waste the planting or harvesting seasons, not to mention the strength of their cattle or horses, moving megalithic size rocks around for pleasure. With that in mind, everything about this area says: “Celtic altar”.  It is with this understanding that you finally approach the main Altar at Heath.

On the highest ground of the hill sits an 8-by-5-foot square granite slab, guarded at each corner by a massive standing stone.

 

The Altar at Heath

These stones that stand in the corners of the central slab look to weigh at least 2 tons each, if not more. They are notched into the ground like fitted posts, each standing at relatively the same height at 6 feet. There is definitely a type of intended symmetry to this scene. A smaller standing stone centers the entire scene like an emblem, creating a pinnacle just above the main square slab (image/below).

A short distance away, to the west, is another standing stone which is roughly the same size as the corner stones. It looks to be an entry point to the Altar, the final marker and warning to anyone approaching the central scene from just beyond.

The Altar at Heath

Many things could have taken place on this altar. It is the focal point of all the various stones surrounding the hill. Perhaps sleeping here was beneficial in certain ways, or burning a fire for cooking and general warmth with a full vantage on the hill. This would be a perfect place to center an existence, with all the harnessed subtle energies culminating here. The view from the central granite table is incredible. (Image below)

Celtic and northeast-American landscapes have an incredible similarity in scale and style. It makes complete sense that a Celtic altar was built on the hill at Heath, when the hill itself is so similar to native Celtic hills in places like Kinnitty, Ireland. The rolling hills beyond are of the same height and scale.  It becomes impossible to ignore the Celtic aspects of New England, and how attractive a place like Heath must have been to a megalithic culture. The megaliths, the landscapes, the enduring similarity and beauty of both Irish and New England ancient sites continues to compel us towards understanding what this similarity means. Is it one Celtic megalithic culture producing stone-works in several different places? It certainly looks that way.

The Heath Altar Stones remains one of the most beautiful and blatant anthropological connections to the Celtic world that New England has to offer, but it is only a fraction of the overall picture emerging.  There is an incredible megalithic culture within the forests and mountains of northeastern America just waiting to be understood, and many New Englanders are excited to continue this research!

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8363

Feb 28

Wary of Trump unpredictability, China ramps up naval abilities

By Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina | BEIJING

The PLA Navy is likely to secure significant new funding in China’s upcoming defense budget as Beijing seeks to check U.S. dominance of the high seas and step up its own projection of power around the globe.

China’s navy has been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and new Chinese warships popping up in far-flung places.

Now, with President Donald Trump promising a U.S. shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.

“It’s opportunity in crisis,” said a Beijing-based Asian diplomat, of China’s recent naval moves. “China fears Trump will turn on them eventually as he’s so unpredictable and it’s getting ready.”

Beijing does not give a breakdown for how much it spends on the navy, and the overall official defense spending figures it gives – 954.35 billion yuan ($139 billion) for 2016 – likely understates its investment, according to diplomats.

China unveils the defense budget for this year at next month’s annual meeting of parliament, a closely watched figure around the region and in Washington, for clues to China’s intentions.

China surprised last year with its lowest increase in six years, 7.6 percent, the first single-digit rise since 2010, following a nearly unbroken two-decade run of double-digit jumps.

“Certainly, the PLA Navy has really been the beneficiary of a lot of this new spending in the past 15 years,” said Richard Bitzinger, Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

“We don’t how much they spend on the navy, but simply extrapolating from the quantity and the quality of things that are coming out of their shipyards, it’s pretty amazing.”

RAPID DEVELOPMENT

The Chinese navy, once generally limited to coastal operations, has developed rapidly under President Xi Jinping’s ambitious military modernization.

It commissioned 18 ships in 2016, including missile destroyers, corvettes and guided missile frigates, according to state media.

Barely a week goes by without an announcement of some new piece of equipment, including an electronic reconnaissance ship put into service in January.

Still, the PLA Navy significantly lags the United States, which operates 10 aircraft carriers to China’s one, the Soviet-era Liaoning.

Xu Guangyu, a retired major general in the People’s Liberation Army now senior adviser to the government-run China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said China was keenly aware of the U.S. ability to project power at sea.

“It’s like a marathon and we’re falling behind. We need to step on the gas,” Xu said.

Trump has vowed to increase the U.S. Navy to 350 ships from the current 290 as part of “one of the “greatest military buildups in American history”, a move aides say is needed to counter China’s rise as a military power.

“We’ve known this is a 15-20 year project and every year they get closer to being a blue-water navy with global aspirations,” said a U.S. administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“What you have seen this last year and what I think you will see with the new budget is that they are moving ahead with the short-term goal of being the premier naval force in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, with the mid-term goal, of extending all the way to the Indian Ocean.”

In January, China appointed new navy chief, Shen Jinlong, to lead that push.

Shen has enjoyed a meteoric rise and is close to Xi, diplomatic and leadership sources say.

“The navy has gotten very lucky with Shen,” said a Chinese official close to the military, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Now they know for certain their support goes all the way to the top.”

Recent PLA Navy missions have included visits to Gulf states, where the United States has traditionally protected sea lanes, and to the South China Sea, Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, in what the state-run website StrongChina called Shen’s “first show of force against the United States, Japan and Taiwan”.

Last month, a Chinese submarine docked at a port in Malaysia’s Sabah state, which lies on the South China Sea, only the second confirmed visit of a Chinese submarine to a foreign port, according to state media.

The submarine had come from supporting anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, where China has been learning valuable lessons about overseas naval operations since 2008.

Chinese warships have also been calling at ports in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, unnerving regional rival India.

“It’s power projection,” said a Beijing-based Western diplomat, of China’s navy

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8361

Feb 17

Steps Finally To Be Taken To Prevent ‘Societal Mass Destruction’ As Grid-Protecting CIPA Is Enacted – But Will It Be In Time?

Story submitted to All News Pipeline by Dr. Peter Vincent Pry and Ambassador R. James Woolsey

Congress, virtually at the last minute and unnoted by the press, finally passed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) — arguably the single most important piece of legislation approved by Congress in 2016 — by inserting it into the National Defense Authorization Act.

The bill, long-championed by Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, and sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, in the Senate, has traveled a long road.

Eight years ago, the Congressional EMP Commission urged Capitol Hill to direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect the electric grid and other critical infrastructures from a man-made or natural electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

EMP could cause a protracted nationwide blackout. The EMP Commission warned a nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill up to 90 percent of the American people through societal collapse and starvation.

CIPA implements one of the most important recommendations of the EMP Commission to prevent societal mass destruction. It directs the DHS to establish new national planning scenarios focused on protecting and recovering the nation from an EMP catastrophe. All federal, state and local emergency planning, training and resource allocation are based on the DHS national planning scenarios.

Passage of CIPA means that millions of emergency planners and first responders across the nation, including police, firefighters and National Guardsmen, will become part of the solution to the existential threat that is EMP.

CIPA also requires the DHS to start pilot programs demonstrating that the national electric grid can be protected from the catastrophic consequences of an EMP event cost-effectively. CIPA directs the exploration and development of new technologies to make EMP hardening of all the critical infrastructures easier and even more affordable.

CIPA will further help protect the electric grid and other critical infrastructures from cyberwarfare, physical sabotage and severe terrestrial weather. The Congressional EMP Commission recommended that by protecting against the worst threat — nuclear EMP attack — all these lesser threats would also be mitigated.

CIPA may have passed just in time. The threats from nuclear and solar EMP are not merely theoretical, but are clear and present dangers, right now.

NASA warns that on July 23, 2012, a solar flare narrowly missed the Earth. It could have caused a natural EMP, collapsing electric grids and life-sustaining critical infrastructures worldwide, putting at risk the lives of billions. NASA estimates the likelihood of such a solar superstorm is 12 percent per decade.

Thus, it is likely that the American people, and all mankind, will face an existential threat from a solar superstorm within our lifetimes or that of our children. God willing, CIPA will get us prepared.

The nuclear EMP threat is equally worrisome.

Two North Korean satellites, the KMS-3 and KMS-4, already regularly orbit over the United States on the optimum trajectory to make a surprise EMP attack, if nuclear armed.

Russia, China and Iran all subscribe to a new way of warfare that combines EMP and cyberattack against electric grids and other critical infrastructures to swiftly and decisively defeat any adversary. The Congressional EMP Commission warned that Russia and China have developed Super-EMP weapons to implement this strategy — and have apparently transferred the design for a Super-EMP weapon to North Korea.

CIPA is a first necessary step to protect our nation from an EMP catastrophe and other threats. But CIPA will fail if its provisions are ignored — or if corrupt actors in the federal bureaucracy and industry continue to pretend that the EMP threat is not real.

For example, the Obama administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) conspired with industry’s private Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to produce a “junk science” study that argued that a nuclear EMP attack would not destroy electric grid transformers or cause a protracted nationwide blackout.

EPRI in 2012 joined with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to produce another “junk science” study that falsely claimed natural EMP from a solar superstorm would not damage transformers or cause a protracted nationwide blackout. This was debunked by independent experts at a technical conference before the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Although U.S. FERC compelled NERC to adopt a standard to protect the grid from natural EMP, the standard is grossly inadequate.

Interestingly, the Energy Department and EPRI excluded the EMP Commission from their dubious study on nuclear EMP effects. Indeed, the Obama administration’s Department of Defense did everything in its power to “slow roll” and impede the work of the EMP Commission by withholding funding and security clearances, to which the Commission is legally entitled.

Beyond CIPA, the next necessary step is to “drain the swamp” at FERC, DOE, NERC and EPRI — to reform or replace these with new institutional arrangements to protect our critical infrastructures and the lives of the American people.

This story was originally published at the Washington Times within their 2017 Defense And Military Top Priorities Special Section. We thank Ambassador R. James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence and negotiated the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty with the USSR and Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Executive Director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security who served in the Congressional EMP Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, the CIA and is the author of Blackout Wars available through CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com, for submitting this story to ANP.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8348

Feb 17

Trump Renounces US Commitment to Two States

By Tazpit Press Service February 16, 2017 , 8:30 am

“And I will plant them upon their land and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them saith Hashem thy God.” Amos 9:15 (The Israel Bible™)

President Donald Trump has announced that US Middle East policy is no longer wedded to the two-state solution.

Speaking at a joint press conference at the White House, at the conclusion of his meeting with PM Netanyahu, the American President said he doesn’t care whether a peace agreement is based on a one state or two state solution, as long as it works. “I’m looking at two states and one state. I am very happy with the one that both parties like. I thought for a while the two state might be easier to do, but honestly if Bibi and the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, then I am happy with the one they like the best,” Trump said.

He also said that both parties understood that any peace agreement entails compromise from both sides.

Regarding settlements, the US President said he had asked Netanyahu to “go easy” for a while.

He also criticized the UN over the way it treated Israel, saying it was unfair.

He reiterated his commitment to work towards achieving a peace agreement. “Our administration is committed to working with Israel and our common allies in the region towards greater security and stability.  That includes working toward a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.  The United States will encourage a peace and, really, a great peace deal.  We’ll be working on it very, very diligently.  But ultimately it is the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement.  We’ll be beside them; we’ll be working with them, but it’s up to them.”

The Israeli Prime Minister opened his remarks by thanking President and Melania Trump for “the truly warm hospitality you have shown me, my wife Sara and our entire delegation.”

After emphasizing the strong bonds of common values that are the foundations of the “remarkably strong” alliance between Israel and the US, he said those values were under attack from radical Islam.

“Our alliance is based on a deep bond of common values and common interest, and increasingly, those values and interests are under attack by one malevolent force: radical Islamic terror. Mr. President, you’ve shown great clarity and courage in confronting this challenge head on,” Netanyahu said.

“You call for confronting Iran’s terrorist regime, preventing Iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal, and you have said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. You call for the defeat of ISIS. Under your leadership, I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam, and in this great task, as in so many others, Israel stands with you, and I stand with you.

“Mr. President, in rolling back militant Islam, we can seize an historic opportunity, because for the first time in my lifetime and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly – as an ally.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8346

Feb 15

China may be preparing for a crippling preemptive missile strike on US military bases

Business InsiderFebruary 7, 2017

(Military vehicles carry DF-10 ship-launched cruise missiles as they travel past Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing Thursday Sept. 3, 2015.Andy Wong/Reuters)

A new report by Thomas Shugart on War On The Rocks details the disturbing level to which China appears to have planned out a crippling missile attack on US military bases in the Pacific should its interests in the region be threatened.

For some time analysts have noted that China seems to be tailoring its military to counter the US’s. For example, Beijing tested its “carrier killer‘ ballistic missile on a model of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, while its own aircraft carrier is designed for coastal defense and will likely be destined for the South China Sea.

But Shutgart’s investigation of satellite imagery comparing China’s missile testing grounds with US bases in the region shows an eerie pattern. It appears that China’s latest missile tests have all been geared towards knocking out US carriers, destroyers, and airfields in East Asia.

This falls right in line with one of China’s core military doctrines — “active defense.”

Essentially, if China thinks it is facing a foe that actively seeks to challenge its territorial cohesiveness or sovereignty, the PLA will engage the enemy through all available means: Legal challenges, psychological and cyber warfare, counter-space systems, and preemptive strikes.

Under President Donald Trump, the US has made the most serious challenges to China’s territory and sovereignty in recent history.

Trump and key members of his administration have chastised China for its “massive military fortress” in the South China Sea, and even threatened to cut off China’s access to the islands it has built and militarized in the region. Trump’s phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen struck at the core of China’s very existence, as it could undermine China’s policy of considering Taiwan as a rogue province that must be back into Beijing’s fold.

View photos

china missiles csis

(CSIS Missile Defense Project)

China has already engaged its state-sponsored propaganda against the US, developed counter-space systems that could denude the US of its huge satellite-driven information advantage, and developed systems uniquely able to counter US stealth aircraft.

If the US continues to actively challenge China and seek to undermine its territorial cohesion, the next logical step in the PLA’s escalation may be to attempt to eviscerate US bases and assets throughout Asia with a blistering missile attack.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8344

Feb 13

Recession 2017? Things Are Happening That Usually Never Happen Unless A New Recession Is Beginning

By Michael Snyder, on February 8th, 2017

Is the U.S. economy about to get slammed by a major recession?  According to Gallup, U.S. economic confidence has soared to the highest level ever recorded, but meanwhile a whole host of key economic indicators are absolutely screaming that a new recession is beginning.  And if the U.S. economy does officially enter recession territory in 2017, it certainly won’t be a shock, because the truth is that we are well overdue for one.  Donald Trump has inherited quite an economic mess from Barack Obama, and it was probably inevitable that we were headed for a significant economic downturn no matter who won the election.

One of the key indicators to watch is average weekly hours.  When the economy shifts into recession mode, employers tend to start cutting back hours, and that is happening right now.  In fact, as Graham Summers has pointed out, we just witnessed the largest percentage decline in average weekly hours since the recession of 2008…

In addition to the decline in hours, Summers has suggested that there are a number of other reasons to believe that a new recession is here…

The fact is that the GDP growth of 4%-5% is not just around the corner. The US most likely slid into recession in the last three months. GDP growth collapsed in 4Q16, with a large portion of the “growth” coming from accounting gimmicks.

Consider the following:

  • Tax receipts indicate the US is in recession.
  • Gross private domestic investment indicates were are in a recession.
  • Retailers are showing that the US consumer is tapped out (see AMZN’s recent miss).
  • UPS, another economic bellweather, dramatically lowered 2017 forecasts.

To me, even more alarming is the tightening of lending standards.  In our debt-based economy, the flow of credit is absolutely critical to economic growth, and when credit starts to get tight that almost always leads to a recession.

So the fact that lending standards have now tightened for medium and large sized firms for six quarters in a row is very bad news.  The following comes from Business Insider

“Although modest over the past couple of quarters, it is still worth noting that this is now the sixth quarter in succession that standards have tightened for large and medium sized firms,” Deutsche Bank economist Jim Reid wrote in a research note to clients.

“This usually only happens in recessions.”

Reid is 100 percent correct on this point.  This is precisely the kind of thing that we would expect to see if a new recession was beginning, and if this trend continues it is hard to imagine that the U.S. economy will be able to continue to grow.

And it is interesting to note that job growth at S&P 500 companies has gone negative for the first time since the last recession, and so large firms are definitely starting to feel the pressure.

Simultaneously, lending standards are also tightening up for consumers

“The most notable tightening in standards though was in consumer loans,” the Fed said. “During the quarter, banks reported an 8.3% net tightening in credit standards for credit cards and 11.6% net tightening for auto loans.”

US consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity and is thus a key driver of growth in the world’s largest economy.

Those numbers for credit cards and auto loans are major red flags.

It is very simple.  Tighter credit means less economic activity which means slower economic growth.  The U.S. economy grew at a dismal 1.9 percent annual rate during the 4th quarter of 2016, and it would be absolutely no surprise if we end up with a negative number for the first quarter of 2017.

One of the big reasons why lending standards are tightening is because bankruptcies are rising.

As I reported the other day, consumer bankruptcies just rose on a year-over-year basis in back to back months for the first time in almost seven years.  Commercial bankruptcies had already been rising on a year-over-year basis throughout 2016, and so the fact that consumer bankruptcies have now joined the party is a very bad sign.

And we have also just learned that real median household income declined in 2016

Its official! The spectacular Obama/Fed “recovery” produced no increase in real medin household income in 2016 (the last year of Obama’s reign of [economic] error). In fact, real median annual household income in December 2016 ($57,827) was 0.9 percent lower than in December 2015 ($58,356).

Yes, I understand that there is a tremendous amount of optimism out there right now because of Donald Trump.

But the truth is that it is literally going to take some sort of an economic miracle to avoid a recession.

And if a recession is going to happen anyway, the Trump administration should want it to occur as quickly as possible.

You see, if a recession starts a year from now, it will be much more difficult for Trump to blame it on Obama.  But if a recession starts right now, he will definitely be able to argue that it happened because of the mess that he inherited from the last administration.

In addition, the sooner the next recession ends the sooner the next recovery can begin.  If a recession is still going on during the 2020 campaign, that would be really bad for Trump, but if a recovery is well underway by then that would be really good for his chances.

If you doubt this, just go back and look at the 1984 campaign.  After a very difficult recession, the U.S. economy bounced back strongly and Ronald Reagan was able to ride that momentum to an easy victory.

So this may sound very strange to many of you, but the truth is that if a new recession is coming Trump supporters should want it to happen as rapidly as possible.

Unfortunately, once a new recession begins it may not play out like recessions normally do.  The U.S. government is 20 trillion dollars in debt, we are in the midst of one of the biggest stock market bubbles in history, and our planet is becoming more unstable with each passing day.  So even though Trump is in the White House and Obama is gone, let there be no doubt that a catastrophic economic crisis could literally erupt at any moment.  I continue to encourage my readers to do all that they can to get prepared, because those that are prepared in advance will have the best chance of successfully getting through what is coming.

Unfortunately, a lot of people out there seem to believe that all of our problems have somehow evaporated just because Donald Trump is now living in the White House.

That is simply not true, and we all need to be praying for guidance and wisdom for Trump and his team as they prepare to deal with the great challenges that are ahead for our nation.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8337

Jan 30

Trump’s next target: The U.N.

President prepares executive orders to cut U.S. funding of global body

Published: 17 hours ago

Two executive orders currently being prepared by the Trump administration promise to reduce the U.S. role in the United Nations by dramatically cutting funding and potentially abrogating certain multilateral treaties.

The first draft order released Wednesday – titled “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations” – lays out criteria for cutting off total funding to certain U.N. agencies and other international bodies, reported the New York Times.

Those seeing their access to U.S. tax dollars terminated include groups giving full membership to the Palestinian Authority or the Palestine Liberation Organization, organizations that fund abortion or are involved in activities that violate sanctions against North Korea or Iran. Any group “controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism” or carries out persecution of marginalized groups is also covered.

In addition to terminating U.S. funding of agencies meeting these criteria, the Trump order calls for “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in financial support for international organizations.

U.S. funding currently makes up 22 percent of the U.N.’s annual operating budget and close to 30 percent of the much larger peacekeeping budget – a $3 billion hit on U.S. taxpayers. That far exceeds the combined $2.5 billion paid by China, Russia, Britain and France – the other four permanent Security Council members. Indeed, the U.S. contributes more than 185 countries combined.

The second order, titled “Moratorium on New Multilateral Treaties,” calls for evaluation of all current and pending treaties between the U.S. and more than one nation to identify those from which the U.S. should withdraw. Treaties “directly related to national security, extradition or international trade” are exempt from review.

Two U.N. treaties were explicitly mentioned in a White House release: the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Previously, Trump has criticized the Paris climate agreement, but since it includes trade language, it’s unclear if the present order covers it.

As WND reported this week, Congress is considering a plan that would accomplish several anti-U.N. objectives: remove the U.S. from the U.N., ban any continued financial support, bar American military members from serving under U.N. command and remove the diplomatic immunity of U.N. officials.

The bill is the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2016, H.R. 193, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.

According to the congressional description, it would repeal “the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and other specified related laws.”

“The bill requires: (1) the president to terminate U.S. membership in the United Nations (U.N.), including any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body; and (2) closure of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations,” it explains.

“The bill prohibits: (1) the authorization of funds for the U.S. assessed or voluntary contribution to the U.N., (2) the authorization of funds for any U.S. contribution to any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (3) the expenditure of funds to support the participation of U.S. Armed Forces as part of any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (4) U.S. Armed Forces from serving under U.N. command, and (5) diplomatic immunity for U.N. officers or employees.”

WND has reported on the call for the U.S. to defund — and even exit — the U.N. by political, religious and other influential leaders from both the left and the right.

The calls for defunding began when the Obama administration refused to use its veto power to block the U.N. Security Council’s Dec. 24 resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Rick Santorum, who served in the Senate the last time the U.S. refused to pay its dues in full, told the Washington Post the crisis in U.S.-U.N. relations brought about by the Obama administration’s betrayal of Israel was the perfect opportunity to dismantle the U.N. completely.

“This has opened up the opportunity for those of us who are very anti-U.N., who think the it has passed its prime, it’s not serving any really good purpose, it’s not helping legitimate governments around the world and it’s outlived its usefulness,” he said. “To the extent we can deconstruct it, the better.”

David Greenfield at FrontPage Magazine pointed out that for its money, the U.S. gets a U.N. email system that was “used to distribute child pornography … U.N. staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor.”

Defunding is “something that we and every sane country should have done decades ago,” he wrote.

“If you give money to the U.N., it will end up anywhere and everywhere except where it’s supposed to go. But defunding the U.N. isn’t enough. There is no reason for us to remain there at all.”

He finished: “We should defund and withdraw. … The billions we waste on the U.N. will go toward taking care of our people. And once we are free of the U.N., we will actually be able to promote real human rights instead of pandering to the dictators and Islamists of the United Nations.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8319

Jan 27

Trump, Netanyahu Plan First Meeting to Cement New, Stronger Ties

By Valerie Locke January 22, 2017 , 10:30 am

“And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.” Numbers 22:15 (The Israel Bible™)

The first official state meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly-inaugurated US President Donald Trump could take place as early as next month, Ynet reported on Sunday.

Government officials say that the meeting may happen in the first week of February. Netanyahu is also expected to meet with Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, whom Trump has said will head peace efforts in the Middle East during his administration.

His pro-Israel stance was a basic tenet of Trump’s campaign platform, and meeting with the Israeli premiere has been a priority for the president since his election in November. When Netanyahu called Trump to congratulate him following his victory, Trump took the opportunity to invite Netanyahu to meet at the “first opportunity.”

The Trump team also reportedly extended an invitation to the January 20 inauguration, giving rise to speculation that Netanyahu would be the first Israeli prime minister ever present at an American inauguration. However, Netanyahu did not attend, though several leaders of Israel’s settler movement did.

Now, both leaders are eager to cement what Israel expects will be a close and fruitful relationship, firmly closing the door on eight years of strained personal relations between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.

The two will likely discuss big issues such as construction in Judea and Samaria, the Iranian nuclear deal, and the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israeli leaders anticipate that Trump’s stances on the issues will align much more closely with Israeli interests than Obama’s policies ever did.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8311

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