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Archive for the ‘Signs of The Times’ Category

from Zero Hedge:

The geopolitical reality in the Middle East is changing dramatically.

The impact of the Arab Spring, the retraction of the U.S. military, and diminishing economic influence on the Arab world – as displayed during the Obama Administration – are facts.

The emergence of a Russian-Iranian-Turkish triangle is the new reality. The Western hegemony in the MENA region has ended, and not in a shy way, but with a long list of military conflicts and destabilization.

The first visit of a Saudi king to Russia shows the growing power of Russia in the Middle East. It also shows that not only Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but also Egypt and Libya, are more likely to consider Moscow as a strategic ally.

King Salman’s visit to Moscow could herald not only several multibillion business deals, but could be the first real step towards a new regional geopolitical and military alliance between OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and Russia.

This cooperation will not only have severe consequences for Western interests but also could partly undermine or reshape the position of OPEC at the same time.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is currently hosting a large Saudi delegation, led by King Salman and supported by Saudi minister of energy Khalid Al Falih.

Moscow’s open attitude to Saudi Arabia—a lifetime Washington ally and strong opponent of the growing Iran power projections in the Arab world—show that Putin understands the current pivotal changes in the Middle East.

U.S. allies Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and even the UAE, have shown an increased eagerness to develop military and economic relations with Moscow, even if this means dealing with a global power currently supporting their archenemy Iran. Analysts wonder where the current visit of King Salman will really lead to, but all signs are on green for a straightforward Arab-Saudi support for a bigger Russian role in the region, and more in-depth cooperation in oil and gas markets.

In stark contrast to the difficult relationship of the West with the Arab world, Moscow seems to be playing the regional power game at a higher level. It can become an ally or friend to regional adversaries, such as Iran, Turkey, Egypt and now Saudi Arabia. Arab regimes are also willing to discuss cooperation with Russia, even though the country is supporting adversaries in the Syrian and Yemen conflicts and continues to supply arms to the Shi’a regime in Iran.

Investors can expect Russia and Saudi Arabia to sign a multitude of business deals, some of which have already been presented. Moscow and Riyadh will also discuss the still fledgling oil and gas markets, as both nations still heavily depend on hydrocarbon revenues. Arab analysts expect both sides to choose a bilateral strategy to keep oil prices from falling lower. Riyadh and Moscow have the same end goal: a stable oil and gas market, in which demand and supply keep each other in check to push price levels up, but without leaving enough breathing space for new market entrants such as U.S. shale.

Putin and Salman will also discuss the security situation in the Middle East, especially the ongoing Syrian civil war, Iran’s emerging power, and the Libya situation. Until now, the two have supported opposite sides, but Riyadh has realized that its ultimate goal, the removal of Syrian president Assad, is out of reach. To prevent a full-scale Shi’a triangle (Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon), other options are now being sought to quell Tehran’s power surge. Moscow is key in this.

Putin’s unconditional support of the Iranian military onslaught in Iraq and Syria, combined with its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon or Houthis in Yemen, will be discussed and maybe tweaked to give Riyadh room to maneuver into the Russian influence sphere. The verdict on this isn’t yet out, but Riyadh’s move must be seen in light of ongoing Moscow discussions with Egypt, Libya, Jordan and the UAE.

A growing positive Putin vibe in the Arab world is now clear. The strong leadership of Russia’s new Tsar has become a main point of interest for the (former pro-Western) Arab regimes. The U.S. and its European allies have only shown a diffuse political-military approach to the threats in the MENA region, while even destabilizing historically pro-Western Arab royalties and presidents. Putin’s friendship, however, is being presented as unconditional and long lasting.

Even though geopolitics and military operations in the Middle East now are making up most headlines, the Saudi-Russian rapprochement will also have economic consequences. Riyadh’s leadership of OPEC is still undisputed, as it has shown over the last several years. Saudi Arabia’s eagerness to counter the free-fall of oil prices has been successful, but a much bigger effort is required to bring prices back to a level of between $60-75 per barrel. Russia’s role—as the largest of non-OPEC producers—has been substantial, bringing in not only several emerging producers, but also by putting pressure on its allies Iran, Venezuela and Algeria.

The historically important Moscow-Riyadh cooperation in oil and gas is unprecedented. Without Russia’s support, overall compliance to the OPEC production cut agreement would have been very low, leading to even lower oil prices.

The Saudi-Russian rapprochement could, however, be seen as a threat by the West and OPEC itself. Western influence in the region has waned since the end of the 1990s, not only due to the peace dividend of NATO, but especially because OECD countries are moving away from oil. Saudi Arabia had to find new markets, which happened with China and India. The Saudi future is no longer based on Western customers or support, but lies in Asia and other emerging regions. The FSU region has also popped up on Saudi screens. Investment opportunities, combined with geopolitical support and military interests, are readily available in Russia and its satellite states.

For OPEC, the Moscow-Riyadh love affair could also mean a threat. Throughout OPEC’s history, Riyadh has been the main power broker in the oil cartel, pushing forward price and production strategies; most of the time this was done in close cooperation with all the other members, most of them Arab allies. This changed dramatically after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to cooperate in global oil markets. Through the emergence of this OPEC/ non-OPEC cooperation, Moscow and Riyadh have grown closer than expected. The two countries now decide the future of global oil markets before they discuss it with some of the other main players like UAE, Iran, Algeria and Nigeria. King Salman’s visit is seen as another step toward a more in-depth cooperation in oil and gas related issues.

Besides global oil market cooperation, Saudi Arabia is and will become more interested to invest in natural gas development, not only to have an interest in Russia’s gas future but also to bring in Russian technology, investment and LNG to the Kingdom. 

At the same time, media sources are stating that Saudi Arabia is NOT asking Russia to take part in the long-awaited Aramco IPO in 2018. Russian individual investors and financial institutions, however, are expected to take an interest.

Putin understands not only Russian chess tactics but also the Arab “Tawila” approach. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman already will prepare his Tawila strategy, putting enough stones on the table to ensure his successful end game. MBS, currently de-facto ruler of the Kingdom, is targeting a full house—Russian cooperation in energy, defense and investments—while softening Moscow’s 100% percent support of the Shi’a archenemy Iran.

For both sides, Moscow and Riyadh, the current constellation presents a win-win situation. Moscow can reach its ultimate goal in the Middle East: to become the main power broker and knock the US from the pedestal. For Riyadh, the option to counter the Iranian threat, while also bolstering its own economy and hydrocarbon future, is now within reach.

King Salman’s trip could go down in history as the point of no return for the West. Pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin and King Salman of Saudi Arabia could replace historic pictures of King Saud and U.S. President Roosevelt (Bitter Lake, 1945). In a few years, King-to-be Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman might tell his children that this was one of the pillars that changed not only the Middle East but also supported his Vision 2030 plan of becoming a bridge between the old (West) and the new (Russia-Asia).

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From Vigilant Citizen:

Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu’s presented her Spring/Summer 2018 collection at London Fashion Week and it was nothing less than a satanic Black Mass. Indeed, the event took place at the altar of St Andrew Church in London and incorporated heavy occult and satanic symbolism. In short, the event summed up everything the fashion world is truly about.

While Dilara Findikoglu is said to an “up-and-coming rebel of the fashion world”, she’s perfectly in line with the industry’s philosophy. She’s not rebelling at all, she’s doing what exactly the type of stuff “they” want her to do.

For this reason, celebrities such as Rihanna, FKA Twigs, and Grimes wear seen wearing Findikoglu’s creations.

Her latest fashion show featured artist Brooke Candy (her videos are full of MK imagery) and drag artist Violet Chachki.

The backdrop is basically a mish-mash of Masonic-inspired imagery. On each side are the Masonic twin pillars. Between the pillars is the letter G inside an inverted pentagram. Underneath it is the all-seeing eye inside a hexagram. There is also the Masonic square and compass in there. To top it off, the runway was a checkerboard pattern. Here’s a classic Masonic painting for comparison.

In this heavily occult context, the models were dressed and arranged with a plethora of symbols. Of course, this had to be combined with the current agenda of androgyny and blurring of the genders.

A sigil is an inscribed or painted symbol considered to have magical power. The term has usually referred the pictorial signature of a demon or other entity and is used in ceremonial magic. The particular sigil on the model’s forehead is strongly reminiscent to the Sigil of Lucifer.

In short, the model is basically a “bride of Satan”.

Historically, a Black Mass is a ritual characterized by the inversion of the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and the desecration of Christian objects for Satanic purposes. The fact that models walk around a Church wearing devil horns recalls the concept of Black Mass……

Read the full article here.

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from MSN:

Paul Burress, a charismatic, in-your-face pastor who gained fame for operating a fight club in his house of worship, has been accused of forcibly touching two women.

Burress was for years a pastor at Victory Church, a large nondenominational Christian church. The Victory website does not list Burress as being among its leadership team, and the telephone went unanswered there Monday morning.

Burress, 43, is a mixed-martial arts fighter as well as a minister, and received a great deal of publicity when he was featured in Fight Church, a 2014 documentary.

On Friday morning, however, he was arrested by Monroe County sheriff’s deputies on two counts of forcible touching, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. John Helfer. Helfer verified the person arrested was the minister noted for his “Fight Church” activities.

The charges arose from separate incidents in February, Helfer said. The complainants are adult females.

The offense in question, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, is defined in the state penal law as forcibly touching “the sexual or other intimate parts of another person.”

Burress, who could not be reached for comment Monday, was processed in the sheriff’s Henrietta substation and given an appearance ticket.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in Henrietta Town Court on Sept. 19, according to the Monroe County District Attorney’s office.

The Henrietta pastor has been dogged by accusations of sexual misconduct for several years. Several blogs and news websites featured such claims three years ago, when Burress came to public attention because of his fighting-in-church approach.

But none of those accusations were proved and there is no record of any previous arrest.

Tina Wright, a former member of Victory Church who asserts she has a long personal history with Burress, said she had spoken to one of the women who filed charges.

Wright, who now lives in South Carolina, said she encouraged that woman and others who may have been harmed by the minister to come forward.

“I know beyond the shadow of a doubt there are more victims. There’s a lot of us here,” Wright said. “We need to end the silence so we can stop the cycle of abuse, especially in the church.”

Asked her reaction to reports of his arrest, Wright said, “I’m still in shock, to be honest. I’m relieved that the voices of the victims are finally being heard and they’ll have the opportunity to tell their stories.”

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from Zero Hedge:

Last week D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM), a Christian-based missionary ministry based in Florida, filed a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Amazon after being added to the SPLC’s list of “hate groups” and excluded from Amazon’s charitable donation program, Amazon Smile.  Apparently, at least in the SPLC’s estimation, verbally expressing a religously-based opposition to same-sex marriage and transgenerism is enough to get yourself labeled an “Anti-LGBT hate group.”  Per PJ Media:

 “We embarked today on a journey to right a terrible wrong,” Dr. Frank Wright, president and CEO at DJKM, said in a statement Tuesday. “Those who knowingly label Christian ministries as ‘hate’ groups, solely for subscribing to the historic Christian faith, are either woefully uninformed or willfully deceitful. In the case of the Southern Poverty Law Center, our lawsuit alleges the latter.”

 The SPLC has labeled DJKM an “anti-LGBT hate group” for its opposition to same-sex marriage and transgenderism. “These false and illegal characterizations have a chilling effect on the free exercise of religion and on religious free speech for all people of faith,” Wright declared.

 “After having given the SPLC an opportunity to retract, we have undertaken this legal action, seeking a trial by a jury of our peers, to preserve our own rights under the law and to defend the religious free speech rights of all Americans,” the DJKM president concluded.

 The lawsuit laid out charges against the SPLC, GuideStar, and Amazon. “SPLC acted knowingly, intentionally, and with actual malice in publishing the Hate Map that included the Ministry and in publishing the SPLC Transmissions to GuideStar that included the ministry,” the suit alleged. “SPLC’s conduct in making these publications was beyond the reckless disregard for the truth standard required by Alabama law for punitive damages.”

Of course, given that “same-sex marriage and transgenderism” generally do not comport with the views of most religious entities, it’s unclear exactly how/why all churches, mosques and synagogues in the U.S. managed to avoid being added the SPLC’s list…maybe DJKM just got lucky?

In all, the SPLC says there are 917 “hate groups” in the United States which they divvy up into the following categories:

  • Anti-Immigrant
  • Anti-LGBT
  • Anti-Muslim
  • Black Separatist
  • Christian Indentity
  • General Hate
  • Hate Music
  • Holocaust Denial
  • KKK
  • Neo-Confederate
  • Neo-Nazi
  • Racist Skinhead
  • Radical Traditional Catholocism
  • White Nationalist
 Only in the U.S. can a peaceful Christian group end up on a “hate” list with “Neo-Nazis” and the “KKK”.  Be that as it may, here is where the SPLC says the “hate groups” of America are located

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Isaiah 5:20:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

from Mass Resistance:

The horrific treatment of Dr. Paul Church has become a nightmare – affecting him, of course, but ultimately all of us as well. Because he told the medical truth and refused to bow to political correctness on this critical public health issue, he has now been banned from four prominent Boston area hospitals and a urology clinic.

This is the frightening state of today’s medical profession.

Dr. Church is a urologist who was on the staff of several major Boston area hospitals and clinics for nearly 30 years. He was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He has done research on diagnosing prostate and bladder cancer, and has spoken to educational and civic groups on the subject of high-risk sexual behaviors.

In 2015, as we reported, Dr. Church was expelled from the staff of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) where he had worked for 28 years. The reason? His comments to colleagues that homosexuality is medically unhealthy and that a hospital should not be promoting and celebrating that behavior in “gay pride” events and other hospital-sponsored activities.

Subsequently, he was expelled from two more Boston area hospitals, Brigham & Women’s Faulkner, where also had worked for 28 years, and Beth Israel Deaconess-Needham, where had worked for over six years. Both hospitals admitted that they did not expel Dr. Church because of anything he said or did at those hospitals. He had a perfect performance record. They expelled him because of his original comments made at BIDMC.

After being expelled by the three hospitals, Dr. Church needed a hospital for patient referrals. A fourth hospital, St. Elizabeth’s in Boston, made an offer in 2016 to bring Dr. Church onto their staff, but then abruptly cancelled it. He had been approved by hospital officials all the way up the ladder to join St. Elizabeth’s. Contracts had been signed and even business cards had been printed up. But as he was about to start work, he was informed that they had disapproved his credentialing. The administrators cited “other disputes” and his hiring was cancelled. Dr. Church later found out that hospital officials feared repercussions by the LGBT community for his views expressed at BIDMC.

He has also been dismissed from an independent urology clinic. In addition to the four hospitals, Dr. Church was asked to leave the staff of Men’s Health Boston, a urology clinic where he had been in practice for more than 10 years. He was told that the reason was his dispute at BIDMC. They told him, “We don’t agree with what you’re doing,” and that the BIDMC issue would be “bad for business.”

At no time throughout his career had Dr. Church ever been accused of any discrimination in his treatment of patients, nor had there been any complaints at all from patients.

Currently, Dr. Church continues to see some patients at a private office in suburban Boston. But without hospital staff privileges, he can no longer do hospital work or perform needed surgeries himself. His livelihood has been significantly impacted as a result.

The medical profession is out of control

What is going on?

Most people don’t realize how extensively the medical profession is ignoring critical medical and public health risks in favor of outrageous LGBT political correctness, and has even incorporated that ideology into their institutions.

All the major Boston hospitals now participate in the annual “Gay Pride Week” – a public display of sexual and emotional dysfunction. They also heavily promote LGBT events and issues internally.

read the full article here

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from Breitbart:

More than 90 per cent of Christians in the UK believe their faith is being marginalized in British society, a survey has revealed.

It also found a majority of Christians thought their faith was not given the same respect as other religions in the UK, with most feeling it was considered unacceptable for them to share their beliefs in public.

The survey, conducted by Premier Christian Communications, questioned more than 12,000 “ordinary Christians” as part of a ‘State of the Faith’ study.

93 per cent of respondents said they “believe that Christianity is being marginalized” in Britain, and half said they had experienced prejudice because of their faith.

80 per cent of respondents said “Christianity is not given equal respect” compared with other religions and worldviews, and 67 per cent said they did not think it was considered acceptable in society for Christians to share their faith with others.

Younger Christians were more likely to say that they experienced prejudice for their faith, with 70 per cent of respondents aged 15 to 19 reporting negative experiences.

“Partly because of illiteracy [and] partly because of those who have a very different agenda, we may be moving into a period when debate is shut down — where you can’t have an honest debate and agree to differ,” said Nola Leach, head of a Christian lobbying group Care.

Premier CEO Peter Kerridge said in a statement that “It’s clear we are not the liberal accepting society we think we are if we don’t tolerate and accept everyone, including Christians.”

He added that the survey “clearly indicates how it feels to be an ordinary Christian today … This is not the clergy talking, or academics theorising, or politicians making a case.

“These are ordinary Christians who feel overwhelmingly that their Christian beliefs are being marginalised and that as a result, it is becoming far more difficult to live as a person of faith in the UK.”

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from PJ Media:

penly gay LGBT activist Tim Gill, who has poured $422 million into the homosexual movement since the 1990s, recently told Rolling Stone why he won’t allow Christians to opt out of participating in same-sex weddings.

“We’re going to punish the wicked,” Gill told Rolling Stone. After the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage across the country, Gill turned his activism apparatus against religious freedom restoration acts (RFRAs) and toward a legal mentality that would penalize Christians, and anyone else in business, who refuse to participate in a same-sex wedding.

“In the wake of Obergefell, … some donors and activists declared victory and moved on,” Rolling Stone‘s Andy Kroll explained. “But Gill insists the LGBTQ civil-rights movement is far from finished: In 28 states, it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in housing, employment and public accommodations like restaurants, hotels and restrooms.”

It may not be surprising to see Rolling Stone so misrepresent the situation like this (see “UVA rape scandal”). But the record needs to be set straight: The “public accommodations” push is exactly the line LGBT activists use to undercut Christians’ freedom to opt out of serving same-sex weddings.

Concrete court cases reveal the falseness of this “discrimination” narrative. A Washington state florist and Oregon bakers were fined for refusing to serve same-sex weddings, but they each gladly served the lesbian and gay people who requested wedding services. In both cases, they refused to serve a wedding, fearing that such service would be a public endorsement of something they believed a perversion of marriage.

Under Obergefell, same-sex couples can get married. But a wedding ceremony is still a private event, and people should not be forced to celebrate it, if such a ceremony is opposed to their convictions. This isn’t just an issue of religious freedom — it also involves free speech and free association.

But public accommodation laws have become a cudgel by which LGBT activists attempt to force people to violate their consciences. Indeed, an LGBT group in Ohio actually announced plans to try to force churches to host same-sex weddings on their property. A Christian farmer and his wife in Michigan were excluded from a farmer’s market because they posted on Facebook that they would not host a same-sex wedding on their own property.

In March, the ACLU sued a Sacramento Catholic hospital, even after the hospital helped a transgender patient find another hospital at which to have “his” hysterectomy. The ACLU’s lawsuit makes it clear that this debate isn’t about access — it’s about forcing people to violate their religious convictions.

Last month, the Supreme Court announced that it will consider the case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who also refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Like the Washington florist, the Oregon baker, and the Michigan farmer, Phillips gladly served LGBT people, he just would not endorse a public event which violated his beliefs.

 

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