Greetings from Tyler,

Although the news is almost a week old, the news of the death of Fidel Castro certainly does mark an historic milestone in the lives of millions. It is most notable in the lives of tens of thousands who found survival under the Castro police-state so risky and unbearable that they would set out to sea on anything that would float in an effort to reach the United States. Despite the well-documented stories of horrors under Castro, of being cast into squalid prisons for daring to be critical of the Castro regime or its policies, or having to hide from firing squads rounding up people in the streets, left-leaning personalities in the educational and political realm have seen fit to eulogize the communist dictator as some kind of hero. Public mourning in Cuba continued throughout the week, whether legitimate or coerced, and some reporters from the area claim that Fidel elicited a sense of national pride from all over the island nation that is genuine.

But the Canadian Prime Minister caught almost everyone’s attention. Justin Trudeau praised the communist dictator, expressing “deep sorrow” for his passing. “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century…” The statement went on from there, making everyone wonder whether the young Canadian PM has any idea what he’s talking about. One of the interesting points apparently discovered in documentation recovered after the fall of the Soviet Union is the fact that Fidel Castro actually urged Soviet Premier Khrushchev to fire nuclear weapons at American cities at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, and Khrushchev had to stand against Castro’s wish to engage in a nuclear war that would surely have affected all of us and much of the rest of the world from 1962 forward.

But the left seems to have an abiding respect for the communist dictator. You may have seen some of the interviews with college students who are firm in their opinion that Castro was certainly a better leader than the new President-elect of the United States.

In the weeks since the election of Donald Trump, the mainstream media has been stalwart in their position that the actual governance of the coming administration will be a far cry from the campaign rhetoric. Since early appointments and the actions of the incoming administration look to be consistent with the oft repeated campaign promises, charges of racism, misogyny and xenophobia are out front again. To be kind, even the most vehemently angry and disappointed of analysts and anchors has allowed for the possibility that ALL Trump supporters aren’t racist. That’s mighty big of them.

The rage now is all about FAKE NEWS! Sure enough, there are examples of completely manufactured and false “news” stories circulating on the Internet. They have rarely, if ever, been reported in any format of mass media. The irony is that we’ve been subjected to all manner of bogus propaganda for years now that has emanated from legitimate government sources and reported by the media, mainstream and otherwise over recent years. It is something of a hoot watching the purveyors of massive falsehoods decrying “fake news.” At this point, their outrage is just plain hilarious.

Dare we hope for the kind of enthusiasm that propelled the United States into an era of prosperity and global respect under the leadership of Ronald Reagan? Would it be wrong to hope for the kind of confident representation that put the Soviet Union out of business? Was something inherently evil in the historic accomplishment that freed tens of millions from the dangerous police-state environment that existed behind the Iron Curtain? The majority of us lived through that milestone of recent history and enjoyed the revival of a nation that had been in economic decay and had projected apologetic weakness around the world, notably toward the Middle East and particularly Iran.

Not a lot has changed, other than the fact that Iran has made tremendous strides toward military nuclear capability. Iran now has a military alliance with Bashir Assad and the Syrian regime. Russia is firmly ensconced in Syria with warplanes and military equipment. Whether Russia will be a player in future U. S. relations with Iran is unclear. Iranian leaders are warning of severe consequences if the United States should violate the very nuclear agreement they were violating before during and after the agreement was signed! It should be interesting.

North Korea is another wild-card, boasting nuclear capabilities. Little Kim Jong-un just concluded a week of simulated war games designed to knock out South Korea’s ability to respond in the event of hostilities.

EU leaders, and national leaders from Germany and France have reacted to the recent election with the same foreboding with which they greeted news of Britain pulling out of the European Union. They’re worried that Europeans may also want out from under the heavy-handed mandates that have transformed life, economically and socially, across Europe.

Whatever your perspective, we are living in exciting, historic times. Hopefully, the cries of “racism” and “bigotry” will fade to a level that is a little more consistent with reality. Any honest broker knows that the vast majority of traditional patriotic Americans are not consumed with hatred for those from other races or cultures. But many in the media have not been honest brokers, and it looks as though people in the heartland of the United States have delivered a defeat, not only to the status quo of big government, but to the legitimacy of the mainstream media itself, whether its most prominent personalities notice or not.

From our perspective, laying out the principals of the Bible against the practices promoted or “tolerated” by our modern culture represents a vast chasm. It will not be addressed or healed by an incoming administration, regardless of what are hopefully the best of intentions for the United States and its position in the world. Our commission is to cry aloud to the remnant of the lost tribes of Israel and issue a call for repentance and a return to respect and obedience toward the Creator God prior to a time of coming tribulation, best intentions notwithstanding.


Mark Armstrong

P. S. The new monthly letter is in the mail, and we should tell you that our response and support has been strong. A new issue of Twenty-First Century WATCH is well along, and we plan to have it wrapped up and ready to print next week. We think you’ll be happy to display it at home or show it to friends. Our thanks go out to all of you. Have a wonderful Sabbath.

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