Category: America

BIBLE BELT MYSTERY: DIVINE OR FROM DEVIL?

Georgia Guidestone statements:

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature
  2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language
  4. Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties
  9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature

ELBERTON, Ga. – In a remote area populated by ramshackle houses, rusted trailer homes and decrepit barns, a mysterious monument rises from the red Georgia clay, cordoned off from the surrounding cow pasture by a barbed-wire fence.

As seen from State Route 77, the Georgia Guidestones might be dismissed as a roadside oddity, attracting the occasional lost traveler.

There would be no other reason for a tourist to visit Elbert County, Ga., or its main city of Elberton, where entrance signs read: “Welcome to the Granite Capital of the World.” This tiny town 90 miles northeast of Atlanta might not have much, but it does have granite, and this singular fact figures prominently in the story of how it ended up with a monument that manages to both attract and repel, depending on one’s worldview.

At the Georgia Guidestones on a recent Saturday, despite the cold drizzle and cloudy skies, a steady stream of pilgrims found their way to what is known as “America’s Stonehenge.”

Some come to the 19-foot-tall behemoth out of curiosity, having seen one or more of the documentaries about the hidden origins of the Guidestones, such as the 2011 episode of Brad Meltzer’s “Decoded” on The History Channel.

Ellie Crystal’s Crystalinks.com, the Lucky Mojo Esoteric Archive, Welsh Witchcraft and other New Age websites have featured articles on the Guidestones over the years, as have some Christian sites.

An assortment of UFO buffs and New Age hippie-types can be found paying homage to the Guidestones on any given day.

According to the neopagan group Welsh Witchcraft, there have been many rituals performed at the site in Elberton.

“Witches, druids, ceremonial magicians, native American, Christian, and neo-pagan groups have all made use of the site for their own purposes over the last 10 years,” according to an article on the group’s website, tylwythteg.com. “It was no accident that the Guidestones were located near a major geodetic alignment and over a Power Point.”

One young woman on May 17 said she had driven 45 miles to see the monument and was not disappointed. The woman, dressed in black, walked slowly between the stone pillars, as if bathing in some sort of magnetic aura not visible to the uninitiated.

“It feels like I’ve been hugged by God,” she said. “If you look by this stone, it’s like you can see heaven.”

Another young couple came with their 5-month-old baby boy. Unfazed by the light rain, they posed for pictures in front of the monument, then sat on a blanket and had lunch, taking in the moment as they gazed intermittently at the granite edifice surrounded by nothing but empty fields.

But even as some treat the Guidestones as holy ground, others see it as a sinister sign of things to come. In 2008, vandals used paint and polyurethane in an attempt to deliver their own message over the top of the messages inscribed in the Guidestones – “F— the New World Order” the graffiti said.

Others, such as conspiracy researcher and author Mark Dice, have referred to the Guidestones as “The Ten Commandments of the Anti-Christ” and called for their destruction.

“The message of the Georgia Guidestones is absolutely appalling, and the residents in Elberton should be outraged and be fighting to have them removed,” Dice said in a statement posted on his website. “The Elberton Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that Elberton County owns the property, and contrary to other reports, they are not on private land.”

A call to ‘unity’ with a divisive message

Each of the four slabs of granite is inscribed with a set of 10 rules or “guides” for humankind, in eight modern languages – English, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Swahili, Spanish, Hindi and Chinese. The capstone contains the message “Let these be Guidestones to an Age of Reason,” written in four ancient languages – Babylonian Cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Classical Greek and Sanskrit.

The first and most controversial rule etched into the granite stones is to “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”

This would require the removal of 90 percent of the world’s current population of seven billion people and about 80 percent of the population that was present on the Earth at the time the Guidestones were erected in 1980. This is followed by directive No. 2, to “Guide reproduction wisely, improving fitness and diversity” and No. 3 to “Unite humanity with a living new language.”

No. 6 suggests nations settle disputes in a World Court, while No. 8 urges societies to “balance personal rights with social duties.”

The 10th and final command: “Don’t be a cancer on the Earth. Leave room for nature. Leave room for nature” implies a strong environmental agenda.

Who is responsible for Guidestones?

Part of the appeal of the Guidestones could be the mysterious nature of how they ended up here on a hilltop in Elbert County in 1980. Nobody knows who was behind the placing of the massive carved stones except for a local banker, who was sworn to secrecy. All that is known is a man calling himself “R.C. Christian” – he admitted this was not his real name – walked into the Elberton Granite Finishing Co. in June of 1979 and put in an order for granite monuments that was larger than any the company had ever received. Lots of articles have since been published, including some that speculate R.C. Christian was the front man for a secret society of Rusicrucians, a Masonic order that traces its roots to 17th century Germany and a man named Christian Rosenkreuz.

R.C. Christian told the granite company he represented “a small group of loyal Americans who believe in God.” He gave specific instructions that the monument should be aligned astronomically to serve as “a clock, a compass and a calendar.” A hole drilled in one slab lines up with the North Star while another port hole in the capstone is positioned so that the sun shines through it at 12 noon each day.

The monument’s messages caused quite a stir in this small farming community when they were unveiled on March 22, 1980, before a gathering of about 300. Reportedly Yoko Ono was among the dignitaries in attendance that day. The widow of John Lennon later praised the inscribed messages as “a stirring call to rational thinking.”

But not everyone sees the stone structure’s messages as rational or even humane.

Some see darkness and a cold-blooded call to forced depopulation under a world government.

Dr. Stan Monteith, a retired orthopedic surgeon and Christian broadcaster with California-based Radio Liberty, is one of several researchers who have looked into the Guidestones’ project.

In an article posted on Radio Liberty’s website, Monteith warns of a dire message hiding in plain view on the granite slabs.

“Limiting the population of the earth to 500 million will require the extermination of nine-tenths of the world’s people. The American Stonehenge’s reference to establishing a world court foreshadows the current move to create an International Criminal Court and a world government. The Guidestones’ emphasis on preserving nature anticipates the environmental movement of the 1990s, and the reference to ‘seeking harmony with the infinite’ reflects the current effort to replace Judeo-Christian beliefs with a new spirituality,” Monteith writes.

A tie to the U.N.?

It is hard to look at the 10 guidelines inscribed on the granite and not recognize themes held in common with the United Nations and its well-documented agenda to depopulate the planet and further the cause of global governance.

To understand the Guidestones, Monteith suggests taking a look at the contents of the Earth Charter drafted under the auspices of Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong from 1994 through 2000.

It was during this timeframe that the United Nations launched its push toward “sustainable development,” a concept adopted by the American Planning Association that has since been at least partially implemented by nearly every major city in America.

The Earth Charter followed the U.N. Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992. Earth Charter serves as the basis for the U.N. document known as Agenda 21/Sustainable Development. The U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan resolution adopting Agenda 21/Sustainable Development in 1992, committing the United States to implement the doctrine in all agencies of the federal government without signing a U.N. treaty.

“In that (Earth Charter) document you will find an emphasis on the same basic issues: control of reproduction, world governance, the importance of nature and the environment, and a new spirituality,” Monteith writes: “The similarity between the ideas engraved on the Georgia Guidestones and those espoused in the Earth Charter reflect the common origins of both.”

Strong, who contributed to a book “Only One Earth – the Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development,” is believed by some to have inspired the works of Al Gore on climate change.

Another key figure in the creation of the Earth Charter was Steven Clark Rockefeller, a fourth-generation member of the Rockefeller family and an advisory trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Rockefeller is described as a philanthropist who focuses his financial giving “on education, Planned Parenthood, human rights and environmental causes.”

Planned Parenthood is the world’s largest provider of abortions.

But Gore, Gorbachev, Strong and Rockefeller are not the only wealthy elites pushing for depopulation.

In London’s Sunday Times, an article appeared on May 24, 2009, that described the following meeting.

“Some of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population and speed up improvements in health and education.

“The philanthropists who attended a summit convened on the initiative of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change.

“Described as the Good Club by one insider it included David Rockefeller Jr., the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey.”

Turner, in a 1996 interview with Audubon Magazine, said, “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95 percent decline from present levels, would be ideal.”

Twelve years later, in a 2008 interview at Philadelphia’s Temple University, Turner said he would settle for a 70 percent reduction, to two billion people living on the planet. “We have too many people. That’s why we have global warming. We need less people using less stuff,” Turner said.

Turner, a father of five children, has also called for a global one-child policy, as reported in a Dec. 5, 2010, article by the Globe and Mail of Toronto.

“Mr. Turner – a long-time advocate of population control – said the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, suggesting countries should follow China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time,” the newspaper reported. “He added that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce.”

Turner was then quoted as saying, “If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people.”

Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of the Queen of England, also shares the opinion that human beings are far too ubiquitous on planet Earth.

“In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation,” the prince was quoted saying in an August 1988 article in Deutsche Press Agentur.

Prince Philip, who has fathered four children of his own, has for more than 40 years “been warning that overpopulation is storing up disaster for mankind and that without stringent measures to control it, the planet is doomed,” according to an Aug. 18, 2013, article in the British newspaper, The Sunday Express.

Secret sponsor divulges agenda in pamphlet

Further insights into the agenda of those who financed the Guidestones can be found in the Georgia Guidestones Guidebook, published in 1981 by the Elberton Granite Finishing Co., a copy of which can be found at the Elbert County Public Library.

One chapter of the 50-page pamphlet contains the “purpose” for the monument in the words of the mysterious group that paid for it.

“It is very probable that humanity now possesses the knowledge needed to establish an effective world government. In some way that knowledge must be widely seeded in the consciousness of all mankind. Very soon the hearts of our human family must be touched and warmed so we will welcome a global rule of reason.”

The document refers to the monument as “a cluster of graven stones” whose purpose is “to convey our ideas across time to other human beings… We hope they will merit increasing acceptance and that through their silent persistence they will hasten in a small degree the coming Age of Reason.”

To some Christian leaders, the Guidestones represent a worldly affirmation of end-times deception foretold in the Bible.

David Reagan, founder and senior evangelist at Lamb and Lion Ministries in McKinney, Texas, is one such leader.

“The Bible tells us that Satan disguises himself as ‘an angel of light’ and that his servants disguise themselves as ‘servants of righteousness.’ Isn’t it interesting that the man who financed the Georgia Guidestones called himself ‘R.C. Christian’? Is that a coincidence or a revelation?”

Reagan wrote in an article on his website. “We live in an age of deception. Jesus said that in the end times ‘false christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect’ (Matthew 24:24). We must be spiritually discerning. We must test the spirits.”

guide stones

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6403

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad Will Continue Until America is No More

Reza Kahlili

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, all but said on Sunday that negotiations over the country’s illicit nuclear program are over and that the Islamic Republic’s ideals include destroying America.

“Those [Iranians] who want to promote negotiation and surrender to the oppressors and blame the Islamic Republic as a warmonger in reality commit treason,” Khamenei told a meeting of members of parliament, according to the regime’s Fars News Agency.

Khamenei emphasized that without a combative mindset, the regime cannot reach its higher Islamic role against the “oppressors’ front.”

“The reason for continuation of this battle is not the warmongering of the Islamic Republic. Logic and reason command that for Iran, in order to pass through a region full of pirates, needs to arm itself and must have the capability to defend itself,” he said.

“Today’s world is full of thieves and plunderers of human honor, dignity and morality who are equipped with knowledge, wealth and power, and under the pretense of humanity easily commit crimes and betray human ideals and start wars in different parts of the world.”

In response to a question by a parliamentarian on how long this battle will continue, Khamenei said,“Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist. … This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. … This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides.”

Khamenei cited the scientific advancement of the country. “The accelerated scientific advancement of the last 12 years cannot stop under any circumstances,” he said, referring to the strides the regime has made toward becoming a nuclear power.

As reported on May 19 on The Daily Caller, Iran has put up new roadblocks to reaching a deal with the P5+1 world powers over its illicit nuclear program. The powers are the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany.

Three days of negotiations in the fourth round of Geneva meetings ended recently without concrete results when the Iranian team presented the country’s new “red lines” — diminishing any hope by the Obama administration to claim victory in its approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to reports from Iran.

The Obama administration had hoped that with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif showing an eagerness to solve the nuclear issue and address the West’s concerns, there would be a possibility for a negotiated solution. An interim agreement penned last November in Geneva was touted as an “historic nuclear deal.”

Under that agreement, Iran, in return for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, limited its enrichment activity to the 5 percent level with a current stockpile of over 10 tons (enough for six nuclear bombs), converted much of its 20 percent enriched stock to harmless oxide, and agreed to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspections were limited to only agreed-upon facilities.

The Iranian delegation last week presented new red lines that could not be crossed, including the expansion of the country’s research and development for its nuclear program, the need of the country to continue enrichment, and the fact that the country’s ballistic missile program — despite U.N. sanctions — is not up for negotiation.

At the same time, IAEA officials met again with their Iranian counterparts last week in Tehran to discuss information on the work on detonators and needed collaboration by the regime to clear outstanding issues on its nuclear program as part of seven transparency steps Iran had agreed to fulfill by May 15, which has yet to take place.

iran missile

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6394

THE RECESSION IS COMING: ECONOMIST WARNS IT’S BEYOND CONTROL: “I DON’T SEE WHAT WILL SAVE IT AT THIS POINT”

by Mac Slavo | SHTF Plan| May 23, 2014

 

We are on the verge of another recession. So says Shadow Stats economist John Williams, who warns that by the end of July it will become apparent to all Americans. That’s when the government will release its latest GDP economic figures and according to Williams those numbers, combined with revisions for the first quarter of 2014, will show negative economic growth for a second quarter in a row, the official definition for recession.

In an interview with Greg Hunter’s USA Watchdog, Williams explains that it all boils down to one critical factor. Credit lending has tightened up since the crash of 2008 and without it U.S. consumers don’t have enough money to continue fueling the economy through consumption, the single most important element of economic growth.

We’re turning down anew. The first quarter should revise into negative territory… and I believe the second quarter will report negative as well.

That will all happen by July 30 when you have the annual revisions to the GDP. In reality the economy is much weaker than that. Economic growth is overstated with the GDP because they understate inflation, which is used in deflating the number…

What we’re seeing now is just… we’ve been barely stagnant and bottomed out… but we’re turning down again.

The reason for this is that the consumer is strapped… doesn’t have the liquidity to fuel the growth in consumption.

Income… the median household income, net of inflation, is as low as it was in 1967. The average guy is not staying ahead of inflation…

This has been a problem now for decades… You were able to buy consumption from the future by borrowing more money, expanding your debt. Greenspan saw the problem was income, so he encouraged debt expansion.

That all blew apart in 2007/2008… the income problems have continued, but now you don’t have the ability to borrow money the way you used to. Without that and the income problems remaining, there’s no way that consumption can grow faster than inflation if income isn’t.

As a result – personal consumption is more than two thirds of the economy – there’s no way you can have positive sustainable growth in the U.S. economy without the consumer being healthy.

It’s just not going to happen.

With nearly 50 million Americans on food stamps, a record of over 10 million receiving disability benefits, and millions more depending on unemployment insurance to pay their bills it was only a matter of time before reality caught up with the fuzzy math being used to justify a so-called recovery.

The bottom line is that we, as consumers, have no more money left to throw into the economy. We’re using most of it on food, rent, utilities, and now mandated health insurance taxes. And as Williams noted, incomes aren’t rising, so without additional credit being pumped directly into the hands of the consumer there is no possible way to keep spending money.

Where is all this headed? Williams warns that the government’s failure to address the economy and our national deficits will lead to disastrous consequences.

You are not seeing an annual deficit of $400 or $500 billion dollars. You are really seeing something close to $6 trillion.

That is beyond control, and it raises the question of long term solvency of the U.S. It is a big concern for the global markets. It’s really the reason why nobody outside the United States wants to hold the dollar. Now, look at the U.S. economy, it is turning down. Economic strength is a big factor in the value of a currency.

As the renewed downturn gains wider acceptance or wider recognition, that will intensify the selling pressure. When someone starts selling, it’s going to be a race for the door, and I am looking for a dollar selling panic to be the trigger for the onset of hyperinflation.

What we are seeing in inflation now is a pickup in inflation, but it’s not a hyperinflation. Massive dollar selling–that will be the trigger for the hyperinflation.

I don’t see what will save it at this point. . . . Now we are to the point that the dollar has been ignored for years. The federal deficit has been ignored for years. . . . That’s what we are on the brink of disaster with, and that is what has to be addressed now, and that’s not happening.

The way I see it, the dollar could go to zero in terms of its purchasing power. You don’t want to have your assets in U.S. dollars.

John Williams previously forecast that A Domestic Hyperinflationary Environment Should Evolve by 2014. Food prices, gas prices, electricity prices and the cost of most other essential commodities are rising unabated. Currently, we are seeing an annual rate of inflation for food of over 7%, a level that will lead to serious problems coming into Fall.

Now, as Williams predicted earlier this year, a recession will be apparent once the government is forced to revise their economic growth figures later this summer.

He’s two-for-two so far and he says that what we’ll begin to see next is a loss of confidence in not just the U.S. economy, but the status of the U.S. dollar as well.

Given the rampant manipulation from government and global central banks, the timing of the end game is elusive. But what we know is that nature always wins out, despite our efforts to control it.

This time around, when nature finally shows its economic fury, it could well go down as the largest collapse in the history of the world.

The time to prepare for it is now.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6389

STRATEGIST WARNS OF NEW RUSSIAN THREAT: “IT WOULD BE THE GREATEST BLACKOUT IN AMERICAN HISTORY”

Russia’s control of valuable domestic resources puts them in a unique strategic position against the United States.

 

by Mac Slavo | SHTFPlan.com| May 19, 2014

 

Amid tensions between the United States and Russia in recent months many international analysts have warned of consequences that may include everything from thermo-nuclear detonations to asymmetric warfare such as financial cyber attacks, weapons of mass destruction, or targeting of the national utility grid.

The Obama administration has already begun implementing sanctions against Russian politicians and business interests, but rather than leading to a compromise the controversial geo-political maneuvers may be further fueling the fire. According to Marin Katusa, Chief Resource Strategist at Casey Research, Russia’s control of valuable domestic resources puts them in a unique strategic position against the United States and gives them significant leverage should they choose to implement sanctions of their own.  The country is rich in oil and gas, an advantage they have used time and again in negotiations with Europe by simply threatening to shut down gas pipelines if their demands weren’t met. But something most people don’t realize is that the Russians also dominate the rare earth metals sector, namely the mining of uranium.

If Russia were to restrict the export of that uranium, explains Katusa, life as we know it in the United States could come to an abrupt halt.

If that happened America’s lights would go out. It would be the greatest blackout in American history…

The irony is John Kerry is going out there with Obama and talking about all these sanctions they’re going to put on the Russians. If the Russians wanted they could pull the rug out from under the American energy matrix and 20%, one out of every five homes in America, would be in blackout.

You have to remember the facts… You can talk about hope and dreams all you want, but the reality is that one in every five homes in America is powered by Russian fuel.

In the following must listen interview with Future Money Trends, Marin Katusa delves into the facts behind America’s dependence not just on foreign oil, but uranium and other resources, and explains the repercussions should Russia choose to literally “pull the plug” on the United States.
In 2013 America consumed just over 45 million pounds [of uranium] and in the U.S. last year they produced just under 4.4 million pounds. So, depending on which numbers you want to use and what the actual recoveries are, somewhere confidently less than 10% but more likely somewhere around 6% to 7% [of the uranium Americans use is mined in the United States].

The U.S. imports over 90% of what they consume and that is a strategic issue when you think about the fact that 20% of base-load power is based on nuclear energy and they depend on 90% from imports… Americans should be in shock with that. On of that, half comes from the former USSR, what I call the Soviet influence.

Ironically, what people do forget is that the Russians produced more uranium on American soil than all the American companies combined, so that’s alarming.

For years the Obama administration, as well as their predecessors, have surrendered America’s energy independence to foreign interests. Americans are already familiar with the economic effects of oil embargos such as the one that lead to the 1973 crisis that quadrupled oil prices. Most recently, as tensions in the middle east rose in 2008, the price of gas rose nearly 40% in a single year and threatened America’s domestic strategic oil reserves.

Since the end of the cold war we’ve experienced a relatively stable trade relationship with Russia up until a few months ago when Ukraine exploded in revolution. Now Americans face a new energy threat that could, should Russia choose to exercise this option, lead to rolling blackouts across the United States and cause electricity prices to sky rocket almost overnight.

It’s a threat that doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar, but one that could have an immediate impact on Americans’ way of life if Vladimir Putin decides he’s had enough of the political showmanship.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6383

Business as Usual or Something More?

Posted by lamarzulli on May 16, 2014

If you live in the US, there is a 50 per cent chance your area is abnormally dry. According to the National Drought Monitor, half of the country is now in some level of drought, and almost 15 per cent is in “extreme or exceptional” drought. The sustained dry spell may explain why wildfires have broken out earlier than expected in California.

As most of you know who visit this site often, I am a fan of maps.  Maps can reveal any situation at a glance and give us an a good overview where it might take paragraphs of text to convey the same meaning.  Such is the case with the map above.  Bottom line, it’s not good.

I spoke to my Wifey yesterday, from Peru and she told me that it was 92 degrees at the house.  The wind was sill blowing and everything was very dry.  This May has been very unusual as we usually get a heavy marine layer from the ocean which waters everything in the morning and then burns off by the afternoon.  This isn’t the case this year.

The question I have is this, is the drought and wild fires business as usual, or does it point to what I would call the prophetic end-times agenda?

If we look at just the drought we can say that droughts have happened throughout history, so what’s the big deal now.  Things will turn around maybe next year and we’ll be back to normal.  But what if it doesn’t?  http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/05/15/california-drought/9124415/

This drought and other climate disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, pestilence has affected our food bills which are getting higher all the time.

In closing todays short post as I’m off to Paracas today where I will be meeting with our Peruvian Archaeologist.

I don’t believe it’s business as usual.  I think that the signs of the times are here.  I believe we are headed into an unprecedented time in history, the Time of Jacob’s trouble.  We’re ramping up to  it.  When we look at all the other signs Jesus warns us will precede His coming, it’s like a modern-day check list.  Wars and rumors of war, famines, pestilence, earthquakes in diverse places and troublesome times.

So what do we do?  We should first of all pray and get our lives in order.  Then we should be telling people and warning them of what is coming on the earth.  We should stockpile some food and water.  We should look for ways to present the good news to people without sounding religious.  In short, we should look up, because He’s coming back soon!

us drought

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6373

De-Dollarization: Russia Is On The Verge Of Dealing A Massive Blow To The Petrodollar

Michael Snyder Economic Collapse May 14, 2014

Is the petrodollar monopoly about to be shattered?  When U.S. politicians started slapping economic sanctions on Russia, they probably never even imagined that there might be serious consequences for the United States.

But now the Russian media is reporting that the Russian Ministry of Finance is getting ready to pull the trigger on a “de-dollarization” plan.  For decades, virtually all oil and natural gas around the world has been bought and sold for U.S. dollars.  As I will explain below, this has been a massive advantage for the U.S. economy.  In recent years, there have been rumblings by nations such as Russia and China about the need to change to a new system, but nobody has really had a big reason to upset the status quo.  However, that has now changed.  The struggle over Ukraine has caused Russia to completely reevaluate the financial relationship that it has with the United States.  If it starts trading a lot of oil and natural gas for currencies other than the U.S. dollar, that will be a massive blow for the petrodollar, and it could end up dramatically changing the global economic landscape.

The fact that the Russian government has held a meeting to discuss “getting rid of the US dollar in Russian export operations” should be front page news on every mainstream news website in the United States.  That is how big this is.  But instead, we have heard nothing from the big mainstream news networks about this so far.  Instead, we have only heard about this from Russian news sources such as the Voice of Russia

Russian press reports that the country’s Ministry of Finance is ready to greenlight a plan to radically increase the role of the Russian ruble in export operations while reducing the share of dollar-denominated transactions. Governmental sources believe that the Russian banking sector is “ready to handle the increased number of ruble-denominated transactions”.

According to the Prime news agency, on April 24th the government organized a special meeting dedicated to finding a solution for getting rid of the US dollar in Russian export operations. Top level experts from the energy sector, banks and governmental agencies were summoned and a number of measures were proposed as a response for American sanctions against Russia.

The “de-dollarization meeting” was chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Igor Shuvalov, proving that Moscow is very serious in its intention to stop using the dollar.

So will Russia go through with this?

After all, this wouldn’t just be a slap in the face.  This would essentially be like slamming an economic fist into our nose.

You see, Russia is not just a small player when it comes to trading oil and natural gas.  The truth is that Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of oil in the world.

If Russia starts asking for payment in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, that will essentially end the monopoly of the petrodollar.

In order to do this, Russia will need trading partners willing to go along.  In the article quoted above, the Voice of Russia listed Iran and China as two nations that would potentially be willing to make the switch…

Of course, the success of Moscow’s campaign to switch its trading to rubles or other regional currencies will depend on the willingness of its trading partners to get rid of the dollar. Sources cited by Politonline.ru mentioned two countries who would be willing to support Russia: Iran and China. Given that Vladimir Putin will visit Beijing on May 20, it can be speculated that the gas and oil contracts that are going to be signed between Russia and China will be denominated in rubles and yuan, not dollars.

And the reality of the matter is that China has seemed ready to move away from the U.S. dollar for quite some time.  In a previous article, I included a quote from a French news source that discussed how China’s official news agency has even called for a “new international reserve currency… to replace the dominant US dollar”…

For decades the US has benefited to the tune of trillions of dollars-worth of free credit from the greenback’s role as the default global reserve unit.

But as the global economy trembled before the prospect of a US default last month, only averted when Washington reached a deal to raise its debt ceiling, China’s official Xinhua news agency called for a “de-Americanised” world.

It also urged the creation of a “new international reserve currency… to replace the dominant US dollar”.

For much more on what China is thinking, please see my previous article entitled “9 Signs That China Is Making A Move Against The U.S. Dollar“.

So why is the petrodollar so important?

Well, it creates a tremendous amount of demand for the U.S. dollar all over the globe.  Since everyone has needed it to trade with one another, that has created an endless global appetite for the currency.  That has kept the value of the dollar artificially high, and it has enabled us to import trillions of dollars of super cheap products from other countries.  If other nations stopped using the dollar to trade with one another, the value of the dollar would plummet dramatically and we would have to pay much, much more for the trinkets that we buy at the dollar store and Wal-Mart.

In addition, since the U.S. dollar is essentially the de facto global currency, this has also increased demand for our debt.  Major exporting nations such as China and Saudi Arabia end up with giant piles of our dollars.  Instead of just letting them sit there and do nothing, those nations often reinvest their dollars into securities that can rapidly be changed back into dollars if needed.  One of the most popular ways to do this has been to invest those dollars in U.S. Treasuries.  This has driven down interest rates on U.S. debt over the years and has enabled the U.S. government to borrow trillions upon trillions of dollars for next to nothing.

But if the rest of the world starts moving away from the U.S. dollar, all of this could change.

In order for our current standard of living to continue, it is absolutely imperative that everyone else around the globe continues to use our currency.

So if Russia really does pull the trigger on a “de-dollarization” strategy, that would be huge – especially if the rest of the planet started following their lead.

The U.S. economy is already teetering on the brink of another major downturn, and there are a whole host of indications that big trouble is on the horizon.  For much more on this, please see the article that I posted on Monday entitled “If Economic Cycle Theorists Are Correct, 2015 To 2020 Will Be Pure Hell For The United States“.

Just about the last thing that we need right now is for our petrodollar monopoly to be threatened.

It would be nice if things would calm down in Ukraine and the relationship between the United States and Russia could go back to normal.

Sadly, that does not appear likely any time soon.

In fact, the Ukrainian government has already admitted that “we are essentially at war“, and on Tuesday six Ukrainian soldiers were killed and eight were wounded in a convoy attack in eastern Ukraine.

The regions in eastern Ukraine that have just declared independence have given the government in Kiev until Wednesday to pull their forces out of eastern Ukraine or else face war.

If a full blown civil war does erupt in Ukraine, it is going to take this crisis to a completely new level.

Unfortunately, most Americans are incredibly apathetic at this point and know very little about what is going on.

But in the end, this could have dramatic implications for all of us.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6369

Harvard Will Host ‘Reenactment’ of Satanic Mass

Memorial Hall at Harvard University; Queen’s Head Pub is in the basement of the hall. (Photo: Harvard.edu)

(CNSNews.com) – A Satanic Black Mass reenactment is scheduled to take place at the Queen’s Head Pub in Memorial Hall at Harvard University on May 12, with the Mass performed by The Satanic Temple, which is being hosted for the event by the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club.

A non-consecrated communion host will be used in the reenactment, according to Lucien Greaves, spokesman for The Satanic Temple.

“While Black Masses are supposed to utilize a consecrated host, ours is merely representative of a consecrated host,” Greaves told CNSNews.com.  “It is not consecrated. We neither believe in nor invoke the supernatural.”

“To us, the Black Mass is an amalgamation that developed through time based on witch-hunting fears and later adopted by some as a declaration of personal Independence against what they felt to be the stifling authority of the church,” said Greaves.

Flyer advertising the Satanic Black Mass at the Queen’s Head Pub at Harvard University. (Photo: Campus Reform.org)

He further said that during the Black Mass reenactment, representatives of The Satanic Temple will provide narration on the academic and historical aspects of a Satanic Mass.

A flyer with an image of a goat-headed, Satanic figure standing on an altar surrounded by damned souls was posted at the Harvard campus announcing the event.  It states that the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club is hosting “a reenactment of a satanic black mass performed by The Satanic Temple ** with commentary and historical context **.

The flyer further says the Mass will occur on May 12 at 8:30PM in the Queen’s Head Pub in Memorial Hall, and that admission is free.

The Harvard Extension Hub, part of the Harvard Extension School, provides information on “school news, blogs, stories & events,” and it posted an “Official Response to Cultural Studies Event” on May 7 about the Black Mass on its website.  (The Harvard Extension School is Harvard University’s primary resource for continuing education courses.)

The “official response” states, “An independent student organization, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, plans to host a controversial student event involving a historical reenactment of a black mass ceremony that has a narrator providing historical context and background.

Lucien Greaves, spokesman for The Satanic Temple, which is scheduled to conduct the Black Mass reenactment at Harvard University on May 12, 2014. (Photo: Shane Bugbee/Vice.com)

“Students at Harvard Extension School, like students at colleges across the nation, organize and operate a number of independent student organizations, representing a wide range of student interests.

“Harvard Extension School does not endorse the views or activities of any independent student organization. But we do support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely.

“In this case, we understand that this independent student organization, the Cultural Studies Club, is hosting a series of events—including a Shinto tea ceremony, a Shaker exhibition, and a Buddhist presentation on meditation—as part of a student-led effort to explore different cultures.”

The Queen’s Head Pub is in Memorial Hall, which is at “the heart of Harvard’s campus” and was “dedicated in 1878 as a monument to Harvard alumni who died during the Civil War,” it states on its Facebook page. The Hall was completed in 1876, and the Queen’s Head Pub was built in the Hall’s basement in 2007. The pub is 12,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 450 guests.

Harvard University was launched in 1639 through a financial gift from the Protestant clergyman John Harvard.  In its early decades, Harvard trained many Protestant ministers who went on to serve the various Christian churches of New England.

The Satanic Temple, which is scheduled to perform the reenactment Black Mass, is the same group that is trying to have a statue of Satan (depicted as “Baphomet”) installed on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Concerning the “child-friendly” Satan statue, Greaves told CNSNews.com, “Our monument will stand in honor of those unjustly accused, the slandered minority, the maligned out-groups, so that we might pay respect to their memory and celebrate our progress as a pluralistic nation founded on secular law.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6363

Here’s the First Look at the New Satanic Monument Being Built for Oklahoma’s Statehouse

In January the Satanic Temple announced plans to erect a monument glorifying the Dark Lord on the front lawn of the Oklahoma Statehouse. An Indiegogo campaign was launched with what seemed like a somewhat lofty goal of $20,000, but by the time donations ended almost $30,000 had been raised. Now an artist trained in classical sculpture is toiling away in New York, crafting a Baphomet figure sitting beneath an inverted pentagram and flanked by two children gazing upward in loyalty. When it is finished, it will be cast in bronze and, the Satanists hope, eventually displayed in Oklahoma.

The statue is a direct response to the state’s installation of a Ten Commandments monument outside the Capitol in 2012. State Representative Mike Ritze paid for the controversial statue with his own money, and therefore it was considered a donation and OK to place on government property. Following that line of reasoning, the Satanic Temple submitted a formal application for their monument.

As Trait Thompson of the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission told CNN last December, “Individuals and groups are free to apply to place a monument or statue or artwork.” The applications are then approved or rejected by the Commission. Unfortunately, the state has placed a halt on issuing permits for any other monuments until a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against Ritze’s Commandments monument is settled.

Nonetheless, the Satanists are building this thing, and I was offered an early peek at the work in progress by Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves. Greaves told me he has received numerous threats from people who want to attack the sculpture, but that he “wouldn’t expect these outraged and nearly insensible reactionaries to actually know how to assault a bronze monument without severely hurting themselves in the process.” Still, he’s not taking any chances. The Temple is building a mold of the sculpture so they can pop these things out like evil, terribly expensive action figures whenever they need a new one.

“Depending on our insurance policy,” Greaves said, “we may be able to cast two from the destruction of one, expediting our arrival to the next battleground.”

The Temple estimates that the monument will be finished in a few months. Once it’s done, they plan to put it in front of the Oklahoma Statehouse regardless of the the Capitol Preservation Commission’s ongoing battle against the ACLU. They feel this should be allowed because their application was submitted before all the hullabaloo over Ritze’s monument.

“After all,” Greaves told me, “the Ten Commandments still stand at the State Capitol. We are fully willing to place our monument at the Capitol, even while the ACLU suit is fought, with the understanding that a judgment against the Ten Commandments will have ramifications for our monument as well, likely resulting in the removal of both.”

The Baphomet, which will stand seven feet tall and be a testament to the glory of the Angel of the Bottomless Pit, would be placed directly beside the sculpture glorifying the laws given to Moses by the Christian God. The idea of a Satanic monument sitting on government property in Oklahoma—which is like the Bible Belt’s Bible Belt—seems a bit far-fetched, but Greaves says that “there has been quite a bit of discussion among legal scholars who recognize how difficult it would actually be for Oklahoma to turn us down… Constitutional law is quite clear on this issue: The state can’t discriminate against viewpoints. If they’ve opened the door for one, they’ve opened it for all.”

Ryan Kiesel from the Oklahoma ACLU seems to agree. He told the Libertarian Republic, “If, at the end of the day, the Ten Commandments monument is allowed to remain on the Capitol grounds with its overtly Christian message, then the Satanic Temple’s proposal can’t be rejected because it is of a different religious viewpoint.”

One popular argument being used against the Temple’s monument is that it doesn’t have “any historical significance for the State of Oklahoma,” as State Representative Paul Wesselhoft told a local news station in January. “The only reason why the Ten Commandments qualified,” he continued, “is because at the Capitol, what we do is we make laws. We are lawmakers. Well, one of the earliest laws we have are the Ten Commandments.” This, it is important to remember, was said by a current democratically elected member of the legislature.

Greaves told me that “the idea that the Ten Commandments are foundational to US or Oklahoman law is absurd and obscene… I would argue that the message behind our monument speaks more directly to the formation of US Constitutional values than the Ten Commandments possibly could. It especially does so when it stands directly beside the Ten Commandments, as it affirms no one religion enjoys legal preference.”

Regardless of what happens at the statehouse, the Temple is charging ahead with the monument. And if it doesn’t end up in Oklahoma City and the Ten Commandments are forced to be removed, the Satanists will try to find a home for the Baphomet in another deserving state. Texas, for instance, has had a monument of the Ten Commandments sitting on its capitol grounds for 40 years. As Greaves put it, “There are no shortage of public locations across the US where religious monuments await a contrasting voice.”

ok

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6357

‘Harbinger’ rabbi warns America of ‘impending judgment’

From Capitol, nation implored to ‘wake up and cry out to God’

Published: 2 days ago Garth Kant WASHINGTON – At the National Day of Prayer event held on Capitol Hill Thursday, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn issued a dire warning to America: The nation “stands in danger of impending judgment, and we all know it.” “Too much of the church has lost its saltiness to do anything about it,” he declared. “And now the same biblical signs of national judgment that appeared in the last days of ancient Israel are reappearing on American soil.” At the beginning of his commanding speech, Cahn, author of runaway bestseller, “The Harbinger,”and its movie companion “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” from WND films, warned that his address would not be politically correct. He urged the nation to “come before the Lord and seek His face, and His purposes, and His will for this land and to pray for America.” While Cahn said America has been blessed as no other nation has been blessed, he added, “To whom much is given, much is required.” “America, as did Israel in its blessing, has been turning away from God, driving Him out of its public squares, bringing in idols in His place and calling what is evil good and what is good evil,” he declared. “And as Israel sacrificed thousands of its children on the altars of Moloch and Baal, so America has also lifted up millions of its children on the altar of pleasure and self-indulgence, and their blood is on our hands.” Warning of impending judgment, the rabbi told the story of how, 3,000 years ago, King Solomon stood in another sacred assembly in his nation’s capital. “There he dedicated a temple and the nation’s future to God,” Cahn said. “There he interceded and prayed that if his nation would ever turn away from God and calamity came upon it, if the people turned back to God in repentance that God would have mercy on them.” God told Solomon, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” As Cahn explained, 400 years later, the calamity of judgment fell upon the land – and the Temple Mount, where Solomon prayed, was destroyed. “God was saying, ‘Return, Israel,’” he explained, adding that America came into existence 225 years ago this week. On that day in America’s capital, George Washington placed his hand on the Bible and gave the new nation a prophetic warning: “[T]he propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” Cahn said, “The warning was this: America was blessed because of God alone. If America ever turned away from God, then the blessings of heaven would be removed from the land.” Today, that warning is coming true, he said. “After giving that word, Washington and the entire first government of this nation proceeded on foot to the place specially appointed to dedicate America’s future to God,” Cahn explained. “It was America’s consecration ground. Where was it? It was in the nation’s capital.” However, he added, the nation’s capital was not in Washington, D.C. Washington bowed his head to pray that day in New York City. “Where exactly was it?” he asked. “The place at which they dedicated America to God on its first day as a nation – America’s consecration ground – is Ground Zero.” Cahn revealed the message of that sacred ground. “God is crying out to this nation, ‘Return! Return! Return!’” he implored. “The forefathers gathered in the capital city that day to consecrate America to God, so we have gathered this day in the capital city to do likewise, to rededicate this nation into the hands of God and to re-consecrate our hearts and lives to the will of God.” The hope of America does not lie in the White House, he said. You won’t find it under the Capitol dome, on Wall Street or any place else. “America’s hope lies in the name of Yeshua Hamashia, Jesus the Messiah, the Light of the World,” he said. “It was for Him this nation came into existence. It is in Him alone that hope lies. And we come together this day in this city named after the one who gave that warning and who bowed his head and prayed that this nation be dedicated to God with a holy and crucial purpose. It is time to humble ourselves. It is time to pray. It’s time to seek the face of God. It’s time to turn from our evil ways that He might hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land.” Cahn prayed that – whatever it takes – there will be a widespread repentance, awakening and revival in America. “Let the will of God be done,” he prayed. “Let the name of God be lifted up. Let the City on a Hill, America, shine again. Let God’s grace shine upon here, and let the glory of the Lord be revealed in the name of Yeshua Hamashia, Jesus the Messiah, the Light of the World and the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Amen and amen.” Cahn brought the National Day of Prayer gathering to its feet, clapping and cheering. As WND reported, Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, made big news when he blasted Barack Obama as “the abortion president,” and there were plenty of other broadsides launched against modern-American society. Other speakers were also sharply critical of the state of the nation, and almost all stuck to one theme: America is on the wrong track wrong and heading for disaster if it does not change course, repent and return to the ways of God. Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Rev. Billy Graham, was the keynote speaker for what turned out to be the largest National Day of Prayer in history, broadcast and live-streamed around the world. She, too, warned that America has strayed so far from the ways of God that time is running out and judgment is coming soon. Lotz said God is urgently warning America to repent right now through a series of calamities, including:

  • Natural disasters, including a series of record-breaking storms
  • Social disasters, such as rampant abortions and pornography
  • Mass shootings
  • Financial disasters and nearly $18 trillion in national debt
  • Unchecked growth of government
  • Pervasive secularism
  • Spiritual malaise

Lotz said, while God is sending severe and scary warnings, the solution is still within our reach. If America would turn back to prayer, then, she said, God will forgive the nation’s wicked ways and heal our land. “It is time to wake up and cry out to God,” she declared. However, Lotz also called this a time of great hope, “unparalleled in human history,” primarily for two reasons. One, the rebirth of Israel after 2,000 years seemed nothing short of a miracle. And, two, for the first time in history, the gospel is being preached to the entire world, thanks to modern mass communications, including the Internet. Although the official theme of the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer was the optimistic “One Voice, United in Prayer,” most speakers echoed the warning that America is heading for disaster. “We recognize the only thing that can turn the tide of this nation” is God, said Jeff Noel, national coordinator at the National Prayer Committee and pastor at Grace Heartland Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He asked the gathering and people around the world to pray for the soul of America. Noel said our message for God should be a simple one: “We repent.” He implored America to repent for “putting our faith in our economy, our government, our own ideas,” which “always come up short.” Noel also urged America to repent for:

  • “Sacrificing our children on the altar of convenience, selfishness and pleasure”
  • “Allowing marriage to be redefined on our watch”
  • And “allowing our culture to advance the agenda of the enemy”

Also speaking at the bipartisan event was U.S. Tax Court Judge Maurice Foley, appointed by President Bill Clinton. Foley emphasized that, while he has great respect for the legal system, his sense of justice comes from God. “If I trust in the Lord, He will direct my thoughts, and He does.” Foley insisted it is the “awe of His majesty and powers that enables a judge to be fair, just and patient” and quoted King Solomon in saying “Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” The judge’s advice? “Be humble, or God will humble you.” Democratic lawmaker Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., said the good news is the House of Representatives and the Senate both have prayer breakfasts every week and hold Bible study. He also noted that, every week, lawmakers in the National Prayer Caucus ask God for guidance in their making their votes. And, when people complain to him about the state of affairs in Washington, D.C., he asks them to pray for lawmakers, their staff and families. Former Rep. Bob McEwen, R-Ohio, related how, when delegates to the Second Continental Congress got hopelessly bogged-down while trying to formulate the Constitution, they followed the advice of Benjamin Franklin and fasted and prayed upon it for three days. When they returned, they began with a prayer and finished their work. Ever since, McEwen noted, every session of Congress has begun with a prayer. U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen Joseph S. Ward shocked the crowd by informing them that 22 services members a day now commit suicide, and stressed one thing that could help – allowing men and women in uniform the ability to express their faith freely. The 63rd annual National Day of Prayer was hosted by Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6348

EPIDEMIC OF HUNGER: NEW REPORT SAYS 49 MILLION AMERICANS ARE DEALING WITH FOOD INSECURITY

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
April 28, 2014

If the economy really is “getting better”, then why are nearly 50 million Americans dealing with food insecurity?  In 1854, Henry David Thoreau observed that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”.  The same could be said of our time.  In America today, most people are quietly scratching and clawing their way from month to month.  

Nine of the top ten occupations in the U.S. pay an average wage of less than $35,000 a year, but those that actually are working are better off than the millions upon millions of Americans that can’t find jobs.  The level of employment in this nation has remained fairly level since the end of the last recession, and median household income has gone down for five years in a row.  Meanwhile, our bills just keep going up and the cost of food is starting to rise at a very frightening pace.  Family budgets are being squeezed tighter and tighter, and more families are falling out of the middle classevery single day.  In fact, a new report by Feeding America (which operates the largest network of food banks in the country) says that 49 million Americans are “food insecure” at this point.  Approximately 16 million of them are children.  It is a silent epidemic of hunger that those living in the wealthy areas of the country don’t hear much about.  But it is very real.

The mainstream media and our politicians continue to insist that “things are getting better”, and that may be true for Wall Street, but the man who was in charge of the new Feeding America report says that the level of suffering for the tens of millions of Americans that are food insecure has not changed

Nothing is getting better,” said Craig Gundersen, lead researcher of the report, “Map the Meal Gap 2014,” and an expert in food insecurity and food aid programs.

Let’s stop talking about the end of the Great Recession until we can make sure that we get food insecurity rates down to a more reasonable level,” he added. “We’re still in the throes of the Great Recession, from my perspective.”

In fact, a different report seems to indicate that hunger in America is actually getting worse

Children’s HealthWatch, a network of doctors and public health researchers who collect data on children up to 4 years old, says 29% of the households they track were at risk of hunger last year, compared with 25% the year before.

If someone tries to tell you that “the economy is getting better”, that person is probably living in a wealthy neighborhood.  Because those that live in poor neighborhoods would not describe what is going around them as an “improvement”.

In particular, many minority neighborhoods are really dealing with extremely high levels of food insecurity right now.  The following comes from a recent NBC News article

“Minorities are facing serious hunger issues. Ninety-three percent of counties with a majority African-American population fall within the top 10 percent of food-insecure counties, while 60 percent of majority American Indian counties fall in that category”

But if you don’t live in one of those areas and you don’t know anyone that is facing food insecurity, it can be difficult to grasp just how much people are actually suffering out there right now.

For example, consider the story of a young mother named Tianna Gaines Turner

Tianna Gaines Turner can’t remember the last time she went to bed without worrying about how she was going to feed her three children.

She can’t remember the last time she woke up and wasn’t worried about how she and her husband would make enough in their part-time jobs to buy groceries and pay utilities on their apartment in a working-class section of Philadelphia.

And she can’t remember the last time she felt confident she and her husband wouldn’t have to skip meals so their children could eat.

Have you ever been in a position where you had to skip meals just so that other family members could have something to eat?

I haven’t, so it is hard for me to imagine having to do such a thing.  But there are millions of parents that are faced with these kinds of hard choices every day.

Things can be particularly hard if you are a single parent.  Just consider the story of Jamie Grimes

After Jaime Grimes found out in January that her monthly food stamps would be cut again, this time by $40, the single mother of four broke down into sobs — then she took action.

The former high school teacher made a plan to stretch her family’s meager food stores even further. She used oatmeal and ground beans as filler in meatloaf and tacos. She watered down juice and low-fat milk to make it last longer. And she limited herself to one meal a day so her kids — ages 3, 4, 13, and 16 — would have enough to eat.

I have such admiration for working single mothers.  Many of them work more than one job just so that they can provide for their children.  It can be absolutely frustrating to work as hard as you possibly can and still not have enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month.

Those that believe that the economy has gotten “back to normal” just need to look at the number of women that have been forced to turn to government assistance.  As I mentioned the other day, a decade ago the number of American women that had jobs outnumbered the number of American women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of American women on food stamps actually exceedsthe number of American women that have jobs.

The truth is that we are nowhere close to where we used to be.  The last major economic downturn permanently damaged the middle class, and now the next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching.

Right now, there are nearly 50 million Americans that are facing food insecurity.  When the next economic crisis strikes, that number is going to go much higher.

There is going to be a great need for love and compassion in this country during the hard times that are coming.  Instead of just cursing the darkness, I hope that you will choose to be a light to those that desperately need it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6341