Sunday, August 12, 2018

Overview of the September 2018 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG's 1% have released yet another issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet (September 2018). Let's see what they have to say this time.


The editors for this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 262,346 issues.

Gerald Flurry has an article denouncing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany as an attack to weaken the United States and dissolve the NATO alliance. It is hard to not view this allegation as a desperate attempt to find a topic apart from the ongoing federal investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian individuals.

Richard Palmer has an article demonizing the European Union as the latest revival of the Roman Empire ignoring how the European Union and its predecessor, the European Common Market, have allowed much of Europe to maintain peaceful relations with each other since the end of World War II.

Joel Hilliker has an article insisting that Herbert Armstrong's preaching was a pivotal sign that Christ will soon return. This conveniently ignores the many failed predictions that he made over the years.

Jorg Mardian has a little article encouraging seniors to stay physically fit.

Dwight Falk has an article talking about the Ik people in northern Uganda as an example of what happens in extremely individualistic societies. He cites merely one source, namely the 1972 book The Mountain People by Colin M. Turnbull, who studied this community around 1964-7. In other words Falk discusses events that occurred over fifty years ago. If they occurred in the manner Turnbull perceived. It is so easy for misunderstandings to arise in a situation like this. Falk gives absolutely no indication of skepticism about anything he cites from Turnbull's book. Falk should have been aware of possible problems with that book.

Andrew Müller has an article scare mongering about Mexico's new president López Obrador. PCG's 1% do not like him since he happens to be left wing. On the other hand PCG's 1% tend to be very right wing in regards to politics. It is no surprise that PCG's 1% would views matters that way.

The Infographic shows some of the severe social problems facing Mexico at present.

Jeremiah Jacques discusses tensions regarding the South China Sea.

Andrew Müller also has an article condemning Justice Anthony Kennedy for allowing same sex marriage to be made legal showing no gratitude to Justice Kennedy for allowing President Trump (with advice from the Federalist Society) to tilt the Supreme Court to the right by retiring when he did.

Anthony Chibarirwe and Callum Wood have an article that presents recent moves toward peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea as an opportunity for Iran to expand its power and influence in the region. Even the possibility of peace between formally hostile nations is twisted into a dreaded peril in PCG's fatalistic worldview.

Joel Hilliker also has an article calling upon people to admit being wrong when one happens to be in error. He cites the Peter Strzok testimony as an example of a person who should just admit that he is wrong. How dare Strzok make the preferred political party of PCG's 1% embarrassed.

Brad Macdonald has an article scare mongering that science may find out how to unleash mass destruction in the future.

WorldWatch discusses a recent crisis within the German government concerning immigration; establishment of the European Intervention Initiative on June 25; scare mongering against Julius Malema in South Africa again; a claim that some of the Afghan Taliban are receiving training in Iran; European nations agreeing to establish camps for the refugees; President Erdoğan's victory in the election on June 24; President Xi making a speech to the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing on July 10; and China and Germany signing trade agreements worth $23.5 million on July 9.

SocietyWatch complains that about 33% of Generation Z do not identity themselves as strictly heterosexual; scare mongers about Canadian government officials contemplating how to deal with the return of any Canadian who supported the ISIL criminal network in Iraq and Syria; condemns calls for the abolition of ICE; and mentions a Canadian judge allowing a child's birth certificate to list a mother and two fathers.

There are letters. Here's one from Illinois from a person who accuses "most of the media" of misleading the people.
We read the Trumpet all the time. We are very interested in your opinions and information, as most of the media doesn't present the truth or it presents a very slanted opinion. Thank you again for providing us with the "real deal."
How can this person from Illinois perceive that a trusted source is in error if this person ignores so many other sources of information, namely "most of the media"? It is good practice to listen to several sources when seeking to understand a topic.

Here's another one from Ontario. The author recounts encountering PCG's recruitment magazine in a display rack. The author claims to have never heard of blockchain before. The author also praises the recruitment magazine's authors as having "respect for all peoples". Is the author aware that PCG's 1% teaches that they are the one, true church and all other Christians are merely fake Christians?
I happened to see your magazine in the "free rack" at our local grocery store the other day, and picked it up out of curiosity. What an amazing magazine you have! The stories in the I picked up regarding U.S. elections and backroom politics were fascinating, educational and disturbing all at the same time. I had never heard of the "deep state" or blockchain before I read about them in the Trumpet; you have brought to light some very important information. I was so impressed with your magazine that I have subscribed to the print edition. Your respect for all peoples makes your magazine shine in my eyes, and is the reason that I would like to continue reading it.
And so we see that PCG's 1% has produced yet another issue of their recruitment magazine to keep their followers bedazzled and convinced that PCG's 1% have a right to rule over them and to attempt to attract new triple tithes paying converts.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Mark Armstrong on Turkish Crisis, Alex Jones, Portland Protest and Social Media

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, grandson of Herbert Armstrong, has released another weekly update of his (August 10, 2018). Let us see what he has to say this time.

In this weekly update Mark Armstrong discusses the fall of the Turkish lira, Alex Jones expulsion from various social media outlets and more vilification of various left wing persons and movements.

First he mentions the current economic crisis in Turkey.
Greetings from Tyler, 
The big story today is Turkey, and how its currency is collapsing.  You can read headlines about sanctions against Turkish officials freezing their assets in the U. S. and retaliatory sanctions against American officials.  But that doesn't explain why the Turkish lira is in free fall.  The recent poor relations with Turkey come from the fact that an American pastor is being held in prison on charges of “Christianization.”  Plus, Erdogan claims that a man who helped organize an attempted coup against him is hiding in the U. S. and there is no effort to extradite him back to Turkey to face legal charges.  If Turkey's fate depends on waiting for President Trump to blink, good luck to them.
Below Mark Armstrong incorrectly labels Turkey as a member of the European Union. While Turkey has tried to join the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1987 it is still waiting to join.

He also speculates that the economic situation's negative effects for Europe may prove "to be the big story." Armstrongites have constantly fear mongered that Europeans would soon conquer the United States since the 1930s. That dire prediction is nothing but a false prophecy. There is no need to be afraid of such dire predictions.
As Turkey's economy falters, Erdogan is blaming the United States, whatever that's worth.  But Turkey is a member of the EU and of NATO.   Several European nations, notably Spain, loaned fabulous sums to Turkey and its financial institutions when the outlook was rosier.  Tremors rumbled through the world's financial markets with the news of Turkey's currency devaluations but seem to have stabilized.   Longer term, EU exposure to a Turkish collapse, at a time when European nations are already faltering, may turn out to be the big story.
He then discusses the recent banishment of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from various social media sites. He never mentions that this move occurred in response to an apparent threat Jones made towards Robert Mueller. However Mark Armstrong uses this issue to make people afraid of the potential power of social media websites.
Here's a lesson that should have been learned long ago.  Banning a book, movie, or in this case an alternative media outlet, is likely to make it more popular than ever.  From what we can tell so far, people who believe in freedom of speech but who would never otherwise go to Alex Jones or INFOWARS as their source of news or opinion, are acquiring the app in large numbers just to go against the apparent social justice monopoly that exists among social media companies.  For several of the top tech outfits to all banish somebody on the same day indicates coordination.  After all, the occasionally offensive, sometimes bogus content of Alex Jones rants has been out there for ages. It didn't just emerge this week, it's been part of the background static since before the Internet was conceived.
So often Mark Armstrong uses these weekly updates to vilify and demonize the left. He continues with that theme again here but this time seeks to blame social media companies as being supportive towards left wing movements that Mark Armstrong opposes.
We've noticed that the corporate giants have behaved as enforcers of every politically correct doctrine, demanding that neither terrorists nor criminal aliens be insulted while working to legitimize radicals, whether Black Lives Matter or Antifa.  Network outlets and the flagship newspapers that steer their content practice censorship on a continuing basis. They publish what they want their audiences to react to and don't pay any attention to anything that goes against their socialist narrative.  Everyone who notices is either “doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin,” or Nazis, according to them and their apologists.
He then accuses social media companies of supporting protesters who opposed a far right, racist rally in Portland, Oregon.
It's not just the way they report, it's what they won't report.  A current example is what happened this week that, if roles were reversed, would have been wall-to-wall.  In Portland, the black-clad, masked and misnamed Antifa “protesters” hurled racial epithets into the faces of black ICE officers calling them names that have been effectively banished from the English language.  There are of course exceptions made for rappers, gang-bangers and residents of the “hood.”  They can scream out whatever they want, at anybody they want.  That's understood and accepted by pretty much everybody, because you see, they are the “victims,” lashing out against their oppressors.  Antifa is not a “protest” at all.  It's mob is made up of fascist thugs (mostly white) who hurt people or damage property to intimidate all opposition.  They demand open borders, free stuff and government mandates to punish and do away with capitalism. Notice how the Portland, Oregon mayhem this week went almost completely unnoticed by mainstream outlets.
He seeks to portray himself and his intended audience as being better than the mainstream media and leftists he so often condemns.
Radicals are the media darlings.  Journalists and networks largely understand their logic even when there is none, promote their demands, attack their detractors, participate in calling patriots racist bigots and run perpetual interference.  Don't they realize that their own round the clock attempt to humiliate and destroy Donald Trump helped result in his winning the presidency?  Calling him and any who would dare vouch for him every evil epithet has not worked.  They've apparently convinced themselves that EVERYONE, save the deplorable, irredeemable garbage people in flyover country, detest him and therefore cheer their efforts to destroy his presidency.  It's not working.
Mark Armstrong indulges scare mongering that the mainstream media are preparing to silence right wing voices like Fox News and himself. He even insists "dozens of stories" have been kept hidden by mainstream media outlets.
There are parallels in these situations that highly educated (indoctrinated) elite opinion makers just can't grasp.  Maybe in hindsight, but not yet.  In the meantime, this may just be the beginning.  The primary networks still operate in lock step.  They (including former star anchors and some in the Senate) dream of the day when there is a single authority sitting as judge and jury presiding over the distribution of information.  This may be the “tip of the iceberg,” as they say.  Fox News already is no panacea.  They have an equal share of naysayers, emotional defenders of Antifa, BLM, Obama, Hillary and the obvious corruption of the premier agencies.  But dozens of stories, particularly those that show corruption in the FBI, CIA, Department of Justice and others, have reportedly been spiked.  Only when a story goes so viral that one of the other mainstream outlets publishes it, will it see the light of day on Fox News.  But that's not good enough.  The radical socialists (including some in very high office) would love to see it banished.  The Trump era has them so rattled, they've dispensed with the “moderate” routine and shown their true socialist colors.
He accuse those he opposes of wanting "conservative speech completely banned" encouraging a sense among his intended audience of being persecuted by those Mark Armstrong opposes.
Most of us realize that loads of false and misleading information is spilled into the public discourse daily.  We either look in on it occasionally to see what others are banking on, or ignore it altogether.  That's not nearly good enough for those that want conservative speech completely banned for the “survival of our democracy,” which to them means mob rule.  May freedom of speech prevail over the machinations of the enforcers, the violent “protesters,” the network anchors, their expert panels, and the tech companies that are pushing the limits of monopolistic censorship.  And they have the nerve to call everybody else “fascist!”
He then complains that these social media companies have hindered his organization's attempts to gain more converts by promoting their writings.
Either you hate Trump and want the U. S. to get back to the Obama transformation or face banishment by the self-appointed guardians of socialist snowflakes.  They've intervened in some of our efforts as well, rejecting boosts for The Answer to Unanswered Prayer.  Arguing with them via e-mail gets nowhere, so we'll find other ways.  We will keep pumping out the Good News and the bad news as it plays out.  Truth is, it feels a lot safer now than it has for many years.  
Mark
And we see that Mark Armstrong continues his rant against the political left and to stir up hostility against the left.

Just Read an English Translation of the Qur'an

Seeking to learn more about other peoples and other societies I ended up reading a translation of the Qur'an into English by M. H. Shakir wishing to read it for myself and (regardless of how one happens to view the Islamic religion) to try to learn how the Islamic religion emerged as a major religion of the world. Also considering that so many people all over the world have happened to have read this book over the centuries I wished to read what they had read. I have now finished reading it.

One very negative aspect of Armstrongism is that we are often taught to simply accept what we are told by the ministers in the Armstrongite organizations. By being told that we were given the true version of Christianity we were encourage to just believe what we were told by those who led us in the various Armstrongite organizations. But present reality and history of the past is far more complicated than whatever simplistic stories the Armstrongite 1% wish to foist upon lay members. We need to be unafraid of dealing with the wonderfully complicated histories and social situations that form our society instead of retreating to accept simple "black and white" fables taught by the Armstrongite 1%.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Mark Armstrong Blames "Condescending Homosexuals" for President's Troubles

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, grandson of Herbert Armstrong, has released yet another weekly update (August 3, 2018). Let us see what he has to say this time.

The media are so mean to his preferred president, Mark Armstrong exclaims as he so often does.
Greetings from Tyler 
Is there some news in the world that doesn't contain an angle that involves President Trump?  Apparently not.  In truth, the networks can't believe he's still in office. They've reported his demise 24 hours a day ever since his inauguration.  Across the board coverage is 90% negative, and if you look in on the mainstream outlets the number seems low.  It implies that there's 10% positive reporting and there is no such thing, unless you count the perfunctory duty of passing along the financial data dealing with jobs added, unemployment numbers and improving trade deficits.  That must be the explanation for the missing 10 percent.  But those passing along the information can't see it as positive.  After all, it contradicts every expert they've trotted out to foretell catastrophe.
Then Mark Armstrong complains about social media companies and scare monger that they are hiding the truth making it harder for Mark Armstrong's intended audience to adopt the same conclusions as himself. The implication is that other sources of information are not to be trusted.
We think we've got the answer to every question, the resolution of every dispute on the gadget in everyone's pocket.  Now we're finding out that every social media platform is manipulating the information they provide.  They've managed to banish what they'd rather you not know, while promoting things they do want you to believe.  Maybe that's why they lost incalculable sums last week.  Both Facebook and Twitter had a mighty bad last week, losing a substantial percentage of their net worth.  
And mentioning Facebook prompts Mark Armstrong to talk about Xinjiang, China. He says the Chinese government is treating the Muslim communities there harshly even though Mark Armstrong himself has often vilified Muslims in these weekly updates. Islamophobia is very common among the Armstrongite COGs.
Facebook has reportedly agreed to launch a search engine in China, censoring information to include only what the communist Chinese officials want published.  There will be no mention of Taiwan, because the Chinese insist that it is their sovereign territory.  This comes at a time when the Washington Post is reporting that China is arresting Muslims wholesale, sending them to reeducation camps so large that they can be seen from space.  They've outlawed long beards, banned the name Mohamed, and the few family members that have escaped to the United States or some refuge of relative freedom elsewhere say that their family members have not been heard from since they were hauled off.  
He says all this about Xinjiang to insist that his preferred president is not so bad. He then condemns the New York Times for hiring Sarah Jeong, who is not even mentioned by name by Mark Armstrong.
But President Trump is Hitler.  The Asian woman who was just hired to the New York Times editorial board brags that she was calling Trump Hitler before it was cool, along with her musings about using her guns to kill cops and her blatant hatred toward “white men” in particular and “white people” in general.  Her defense, and that of the Times is that she intended the comments as satire, and was only using the kind of language that had been directed toward her on social media.  Oh, now we understand.
Mark Armstrong complains that so many people are fact checking his preferred president. How dare Americans should expect accountability from their elected president. He says that such people are "depending on condescending homosexuals to inform them" making the absurd and hateful accusation that members of the LGBT community are somehow orchestrating a campaign of slurs against his preferred president.
Meanwhile, every uttered syllable by the President is diagrammed, fact checked (by left-wing group-think tanks), and deemed to be fraudulent LIES.  They're keeping track, and send out their mouthpieces to gleefully claim that he's told thousands of them.  Apparently, there are enough people depending on condescending homosexuals to inform them that it keeps the outlets in business.  They speculate endlessly on the smoking gun that may emerge, while standing up to their ankles in smoking guns.  Those are all conspiracy theories hyped by the president's handful of supporters in Congress.  You know, Bob Goodlatte, Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Ron De Santis, Matt Gaetz and Mark Meadows.  That's about it.  The other 429 members of the House are hiding out or waiting for impeachment proceedings to begin, because no news is good if it benefits the president. 
He once again complains that people not on board with his devotion for his preferred president are lacking in humor.
So you better not laugh out loud when you see any portion of the rallies that took place in Tampa or Wilkes Barre, PA.  Nothing is allowed to be funny anymore, particularly if it disputes the rulings of the truth detectors.  You may chuckle in derision if you must, but you'd better role your eyes in disgust at the same time.  The most trusted name in news has pronounced fifty percent of the American population racist, deplorable bigots who go along with the success story being told on stage.  Toothless garbage people who demean the media as FAKE NEWS and the enemy of the people.  They keep telling us, “Somebody's going to get hurt!”
Even though most politically motivated violence in the United States are committed by right wing extremists Mark Armstrong dismiss fears that belligerant rhetoric against the mainstream media will lead to violence by scare mongering of violence by leftists.
Ever heard of Steve Scalise?  He got hurt, nearly killed.  If not for quick intervention a whole segment of legislators might have been killed by a deranged leftist who thought he'd fix everything.  What about Antifa, the hooded enforcers of the kind of mandated socialism the networks and the leftists politicians demand for us?  Portland, Oregon has apparently become the new battle ground, one of many, and is bracing for conflict this weekend.  They demand that ICE be abolished and apparently want to see the whole landscape over-run at taxpayer expense. 
He then brings up Obama even though he is no longer in power. He also says that white farmers are about to lose their land in South Africa and are facing much instances of violence. Without question the situation in South Africa is dreadful. Why is it that he only mentions the plight of white farmers in regards to South Africa? He effectively ignores the fact that criminal violence affects everyone in South Africa, not just white farmers.
Meanwhile our former president visits South Africa, where white farm owners are being murdered and their land confiscated by government decree, and he praises the South African president for being such an inspirational figure. 
Mark Armstrong insists that the media are hiding the "many, many" successes of the administration of his preferred president. Perhaps he should detail these "many, many" successes in future weekly updates. Surely it would be better than these bitter missives of his.

Hilariously he scare mongers about the "purveyors of information" supposedly trying to remove his preferred president from power. Does this mean anyone purveying information are a threat to his preferred president?

He also claims that those he oppose teach an "ideology that America is intrinsically evil because slavery was practiced everywhere during the period of our national inception." This is a crude straw man argument against those who study the issue of slavery in American history.
Liberty within Law was God's intent for mankind.  Most of western civilization has squandered its blessings, run over by the arguments and word games of Marxism.  Fairness, equality, diversity, you know the drill.  The United States, against all odds, has a leader who is not impressed with globalism, diversity, climate-change mandates or the ideology that America is intrinsically evil because slavery was practiced everywhere during the period of our national inception.  He may have the support of approximately half of the population who cares but the whole bureaucratic government sees any success as a threat to their way of life.  The media sees every success (and there are many, many) as another chink in their dwindling credibility.  Enjoyable as the spectacle may be, it rests on very few shoulders that matter.  The pendulum could swing back, and the purveyors of information are doing everything in their power to see that it does. 
He then ends his missive by stating how thankful he is that his preferred president is in power. His assumption of the presidency is hailed as "a miracle of national revival". He also insists that "our blessings, our identity" and "our liberty" was on the verge of being "lost" before the rise of his preferred president.
When it looked like all was lost, our blessings, our identity, our liberty, we witnessed a miracle of national revival that has infuriated the media, the educational institutions and for some reason the corporate giants.  We'd better not take it for granted.  There's a chance now to express our faith openly, and repent of the heinous national sins heaped upon us by wretched ideological judges who not only think themselves above the Constitution, but way above the Laws of God.  That appears to be changing, but we can't afford to squander the opportunity that presents itself. It may be our last chance. 
Mark
He then adds in a postscript discussion of how his organization is trying to recruit new tithe paying members.
P. S.  We were welcomed warmly by David Overstreet, Jr., his wife and the people in Tampa last Sabbath.  With 28 in attendance, thirteen very fine people were new to us and we surely enjoyed their participation.  My son Michael was on hand to provide statistics from our on-line advertising.  Here's the latest.  Our posts have been viewed by almost 4 million, with 1,200 new page “followers,” and 39,000 NEW visitors to our website.  One current campaign is directing “Is God a Mystery?” to people who are specifically interested in the “Trinity.”  That should get interesting.  More to come...
May such attempts of gaining new tithe paying recruits fail miserably.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Mark Armstrong on Supreme Court Nomination, Facebook, Iran, the Trade War and Immigration to the EU

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, grandson of Herbert Armstrong, has released another weekly update (July 27, 2018). Let us see what he has to say this time.

This week Mark Armstrong boasts about his preferred president being able to appoint right wing judges to the Supreme Court; scare mongering about Iran; and once again complaining about immigrants.
Greetings from Tyler, 
It seems we're caught in something of a whirlwind. The press slavering for something, ANYTHING that might bring the Trump agenda to a screeching halt.  All but one mainstream network has been trying and convicting the president of every conceivable evil motive, perpetual lying, conspiracy and probable obstruction of justice. 
News programs on television networks cannot try or convict anyone of criminal offenses. That role is fulfilled by the judicial authorities, not TV news programs.

After this Mark Armstrong hysterically insists that should the government enforce laws he claims contradict his religion then it is usurping the power of God.
But we've seen our religious liberties reaffirmed by the current administration and by the Supreme Court.  For a while it looked like anybody, or any business could be baited into refusing to provide service in violation of their conscience.  Who do you want to be in trouble with, the STATE or God?  The STATE seemed to think it had replaced God.  Forget all that racist, bigoted, anti-gay stuff in the Bible.  No, the demonstrators know better.  They've decided what our values are, or what they should be, and the demand that the STATE not only adhere to their “progressive” (as they call them) “values” or prepare to be sued out of existence.  No wonder they're freaking out.  That may no longer be possible.
Mark Armstrong rubbishes the law of the land for contradicting his hostility against the LGBT community.
The fact that Constitutionalists are being appointed to the Supreme Court, means we're not going to see the kind of rulings that legalized and sought to MANDATE cooperation with every perversity, or else!  “It's the law of the land!”  How often were we lectured about “respect” for gay marriage?  As we noted many times over recent years, any law that contradicts the Laws of nature, God's Laws, is no law at all.
Mark Armstrong then exploits the recent fall in the stock market price of Facebook to insist that right wingers are skillfully putting pressure on Facebook for supposedly marginalizing right wing commentators.
Chances are we're going to see cases before the Supreme Court in the months and years ahead that won't go the way they'd been going for the last thirty some odd years.  These involve some of the most crucial national sins, having become not only legal, but nearly impossible to criticize. The social media phenomenon became an enforcer, and is to this day.  Maybe that's why Facebook  lost $100 billion dollars in two days this week. Their technical explanations about algorithms being to blame for banning conservative ideas didn't wash.  The notion that these mysterious algorithms have a mind of their own, and accidentally banish content that doesn't square with political correctness would be like saying CNN is the most trusted name in news.  Everybody, except the most committed of angry socialists, sees exactly what is going on.
Mark Armstrong's preferred president has initiated trade wars with the European Union and China. It is hard to know how this could disrupt the world economy. Americans will have to pay more for goods from these nations and get less profits exporting to them as well. No one wins a trade war. This will probably reduce the income for the COGs including the Intercontinental Church of God. But Mark Armstrong, receiver of the tithes, seems unworried. If anything he seems content to condemn anyone badmouthing his preferred president.

He also mischaracterizes an investigation seeking to uncover possible criminal activity as a "coup attempt to topple a presidency".
We've got scandals, corruption, and a (so far) failed coup attempt to topple a presidency that is projecting American success.  Whether internal dealings in economic matters, such as the rollback in the mandate-happy regulatory bureaucracy, or international relations with foes like North Korea, China, Russia and Iran, or allies like the the EU, France, Germany, the UK and Canada, the status quo has been turned on its head.  We heard not only the mainstream news but some of the most revered conservative voices scream bloody murder.  They said friendly nations are being punished by tariffs that will lead to a full-blown trade war, and that it is the American consumer who will pay.  But, as seen with this week's visit of the EU's Junker, tariffs, or the threat of them, may be a ploy to bring them to the negotiating table, and that looks to be what is happening. 
And just after talking about the trade war with the European Union he suddenly muses that Americans are quite focused on internal affairs.
Maybe we can be forgiven for being wrapped up in domestic drama. Much of the rest of the world is watching it closely and are wrapped up in it too. After all, the stakes are massive with implications for everything you can imagine. But there are other matters that scarcely make mainstream mention, even with round the clock news coverage.  
Mark Armstrong then scare mongers about Iran by mentioning Saudi Arabia's decision to avoid sending ships past war torn Yemen following an attack by the Houthis against Saudi shipping. Curiously he makes no connection between Saudi Arabia's involvement in fighting the Houthis and how that would give an incentive to the Houthis to attack Saudi shipping.
Saudi tankers were just attacked, apparently from Yemen, at the southern most strait of the Red Sea. For years there has been concern about the Straits of Hormuz, where oil shipments exit the Persian Gulf. But now Saudi Arabia has said it's curtailing shipments through the Bab al-Mandeb strait. How long might this go on, and with what effect on oil prices worldwide?  Yemen is in the midst of a years' long civil war, with Iran believed to be deeply involved. Needless to say, Saudi Arabia and Iran are enemies. 
Mark Armstrong then scare mongers about Iran as he has often done.
President Trump warned Iran this week about their penchant for threats against the United States and dire, apocalyptic  predictions if they are hindered in any way. Now they've threatened Trump's personal holdings, hinting they will use terrorism to “destroy everything you own.”  This should get good. Iran's leaders have been talking through their turbans (to put it kindly) for nearly forty years.  This time they just might get their bluff called.  They talk in terms of “the Iranian people.”  But the Iranian people are hostage to a troubled and brutal theocracy with tens of thousands (maybe more) in revolt. The leadership, however is involved in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and the results are pretty clear. You wouldn't want to vacation at any of those destinations. No doubt President Trump would be open to some kind of diplomatic deal, but chances of that are waning.
He then switches his attention to scare mongering about the European Union. He scare mongers that the arrival of immigrants has created a rise in crime but this is unlikely to be true. Generally immigrants are so busy trying to establish themselves that they tend to stay away from criminal activities in order to be allowed to stay where they are.
Europe is in political and economic turmoil. Angela Merkel is barely afloat in Germany and nobody seems to know what to do next about the mass migration she welcomed into all of Europe. Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal are economic basket cases and the whole thing is held together with baling wire and chewing gum. European news is so convoluted as to be exhausting in its complexity. The immigrant problem with its resulting crime has become a massive political issue, with some nations pulling the plug regardless of EU mandates.
He praises Prime Minister May for making a joke while trying to negotiate Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.
Two years later, since the British voted to get out from under EU rule, everybody's still arguing and there seems to have been very little progress if any.  President Trump, it has emerged, suggested that Prime Minister sue the EU, which she related to an interviewer with good-natured levity.  It's good to see the she has retained her sense of humor in the whole mess. Everybody else seems to have lost theirs. 
He ends his missive by implying that these events point to Christ's return in the future.
It is a unique time, not only in the United States but in Europe, the Middle East and pretty much everywhere else. We know the outlines of Bible prophecy, and the table is not yet set.  However, you can clearly see that Europe is in economic and political tumult, as is the Middle East, and the onslaught of North African and Middle Eastern immigrants is just liable to upend the status quo, just as it has here in the United States. They're not sending their best. 
Mark
And so Mark Armstrong's weekly denunciation of the world outside of right wing America ends. He does not tend to vary his topics that often.

It is to be wondered if the income for his organization should just happen to go down in the near future would he realize that it could be because of the trade war initiated by his preferred president?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Kieran Underwood's Account of PCG's College

Banned by HWA has posted a fascinating account of life at PCG's unaccredited Herbert W. Armstrong College by Kieran Underwood. This is an important account for anyone keeping up with developments concerning PCG.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mark Armstrong on NATO Summit, Brexit, Peter Strzok and Separated Children

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, grandson of Herbert Armstrong, has released another weekly update to his followers (July 13, 2018). Let's see what he has to say this time.

One common theme of his weekly updates is defending his preferred president and blaming just about any problems his preferred president faces on negative reporting by the media. It is often assumed that the media is doing this maliciously as part of a massive conspiracy to remove his preferred president from power.
Greetings from Tyler, 
You know of the NATO summit that took place this week. Our media reported it as President Trump bullying the leaders and “polite diplomats” like a bull in the china closet, throwing everything into disarray, and the emerging to declare victory. The first issue to be brought up in a “photo op” with live cameras was a big one. The President declared Germany a “captive” of Russia saying they've closed their coal and nuclear plants and are now relying on Russia for close to 70% of their energy needs. It's a deal worth untold billions of dollars and was made possible largely because the chairman of the Nord Stream pipeline corporation is Gerhard Schroeder, the former Chancellor of Germany.
Mark Armstrong also often dismisses environmental concerns as being alarmist and as an opening to being ruled over by foreigners.
Against the hopes of European leaders attending the summit, President Trump raised the issue even before official meetings got underway. Nord Stream 1 is already in operation, transporting natural gas to Germany. The second pipeline, Nord Stream 2 is intended to dramatically increase the amount of natural gas Russia can sell to Germany. It is being blocked, for now, by east European members of the EU who see their countries being bypassed by the pipeline, while Germany, Norway, Sweden and others have already signed on. Trump had the unmitigated gaul to ask what sense it makes for the United States to be providing military protection for Europe, from Russia, while energy security is being outsourced to Russia. “Explain that,” the president said. But there is no good explanation, other than Germany decided to go “green,” shutting down traditional energy production, and has inexplicably made itself hostage to Russian supplies.
Mark Armstrong complains that the United States had paid the majority of defense expenses in the NATO alliance casually ignoring that such expenditure makes it easier for the United States to exert influence upon the world.
Though the mainstream media will dispute this, NATO members appeared to have agreed to pay their share, two to four percent of GDP for NATO military defense, which mostly has been shouldered for decades by the United States of America. 
Mark Armstrong discusses the fallout after his preferred president made comments criticizing Prime Minister May for not advocating for a hard Brexit.
The President then went to London, where massive protests were organized against him while he met with Prime Minister Theresa May and visited Windsor Castle to meet the Queen. Though those visits appear to have been cordially diplomatic, statements were attributed to the President saying that May had botched Brexit, and that the U. S. may be unable to conclude a bilateral trade deal with the UK if the EU continues to exert control. We have no reason to doubt those sentiments were indeed expressed. Theresa May has put her government in jeopardy by negotiating a “soft exit” from the EU, leaving many European controls in place. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, has resigned, citing her proposed deal with the EU. Now her position as Prime Minister is in serious jeopardy.
He then discusses the testimony of Peter Strzok. His testimony was rather well received outside of Republican audiences. Even Mark Armstrong obliquely admits this by describing the hearing as "not particularly productive." Mark Armstrong responds by insisting that Strzok is being "protected by the FBI and those running interference in the hearing."
While those events were playing out across the Atlantic, we've been treated to the three-ring circus that took place on LIVE television from the intelligence committee hearing in the House of Representatives. Peter Stzrok [sic] has become a household name. He gave a performance, punctuated by facial contortions we haven't seen since James Comey was mildly nauseated. Strzok was defiant, proudly lambasting President Trump despite being nailed to the wall by his own digital communications. But he was insufferably smug nevertheless, apparently confident that he'll be protected by the FBI and those running interference in the hearing. Most of us weren't able to watch the whole charade play out, but we've all seen clips that betray his denials. It was another necessary, if not particularly productive, step in proving what we've known for the better part of a year. He had no choice but to deny, deny and continue denying that his own words meant what they said. To do otherwise would amount to an admission to the dictionary definition of sedition, a high crime. 
No mention is made of Strzok's statement that he was disgusted at comments then candidate Trump made concerning a Gold Star family, namely Khizr and Ghazala Khan.

He claims that the investigation by Special Council Mueller is merely based on accusations from "Hillary's campaign ... against the Trump campaign". He also blames the Steele dossier even though rival Republican presidential candidates were among the initial sponsors of the dossier. Little did Mark Armstrong know that Mueller would issue indictments against twelve Russian military officers charging them with hacking the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee and other offense related to the matter. Mark Armstrong makes no mention of that indictment indicating that it was only released after the weekly update was posted. 
What they did is clear and has been since at least last December.  Hillary's campaign generated accusations against the Trump campaign, laundered them through the State Department, through “reliable sources” such as Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, and made sure numerous versions of the “dossier” were handed off to the FBI for investigation.  That's given us the diatribe that dominated every news report, generated the appointment of the Special Council.  That a “hostile foreign entity tried to control the outcome of an American election, subverting our democracy.”  Peter Strzok offered that same rendition, pretty much verbatim, and they're still feigning suspicion that Trump was in on it.  In Proverbial terms, they dug a pit for President Trump and covered it with branches and leaves.  While chasing him down, he skipped over their pit and they fell in it.  What can they do but claim amnesia?  
He then mentions the issue of children of undocumented immigrants being ripped away from their parents. He responds to this by insisting that children are being taken by persons unrelated to them. He makes no mention that the Trump Administration has now admitted that it is unable to return about twenty percent of the younger children that have been separated from their parents. But Mark Armstrong expresses no sympathy regarding this terrible problem.

(Please note: the following passage is presented as it was written.)
During the hearings, some of the hacks in Congress objected to the subject matter and started referencing children separated from parents at the border. You know, the real crisis that should have the full attention of every American. You can be sure they don't want anybody to see this, from Fox News. Migrant Children being used as a “commodity to circumvent loophole,” border agent says. Heightened concern over fraudulent family claims
Border patrol agents say they are alarmed by the growing number of migrants illegally crossing the border with children, who are not their own.
MCALLEN, Texas – Border patrol agents say they are alarmed by the growing number of migrants illegally crossing the border with children – who are not their own – to avoid long-term federal custody.
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz said he’s seeing a growing number of migrant children crossing the border with adults pretending to be their parents. 
Even though it seems all too likely that some of the separated children will never be reunited with their families Mark Armstrong insists that people concerned about this issue are just showing off their virtue.
Do you still get points for compassion, if you're whipped into a frenzy but have no idea what you're talking about? The abolish ICE protesters better hope so. It's really just “virtue signaling,” another phrase necessitated by the practice of political correctness. They REALLY CARE, and you rotten patriots (racists) don't. It's false, no matter how big their signs or how loudly they shout, but they've got allies in Congress sponsoring a bill to abolish ICE. It won't go anywhere. But the record will show they care and those that want a nation with a border, don't. 
Mark Armstrong ends his weekly diatribe by ranting that those people will not judge him in the afterlife.
Those that CARE so much and want open borders and political correctness enforced around the world won't be our ultimate judge. They can call us names, claim they're smarter than we are and that we smell (what did Podesta say Hillary smelled like? Might have been worse than Strzok's Walmart shoppers. Yes, I believe it was.) But they won't judge us in the end, and with God's help we'll escape their socialist paradise permanently.  
Mark
And so Mark Armstrong ends his weekly diatribe defending his preferred president. Somehow managing the affairs of his organization is not worthy of being mentioned in these weekly updates of his.