Mark Armstrong’s Weekly Update and Review of US and World News – January 1, 2015


Greetings from Tyler,

One of the most anticipated events every year is the spectacular Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. It is truly inspiring, whether you’re physically present along the parade route or seeing the coverage carried on national television. It is the culmination of hard work and dedication on the part of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands who laboured in the creation of the spectacular floats, marched and performed in the bands, danced in the pep squads or were chosen as a representative to spread happiness and joy among the millions enjoying the spectacle.

It feels like a throwback to better times, before the most celebrated media events featured “Occupy” demonstrations or Black Lives Matter rants accusing everyone of racism and greed. For a moment on this first calendar day of 2016, we had an unspoiled look at some of the best attributes of America. Well, almost unspoiled. There were the hired skywriters, apparently and thankfully ignored by the major television networks on hand, who couldn’t resist the temptation to take advantage of the assembled audience to inject political division. “Trump is a fascist dictator” and “Trump is disgusting” were printed across an otherwise flawless blue sky this year.

And it turns out that the “Occupy” radicals and PETA have both taken their turns at trying to disrupt this joyful occasion in recent years. Somehow though, none of the dark forces at work in the United States or anywhere else in the world have been able to overshadow the wholesome nature of this beautiful event.

There were no tanks, rockets or ICBM’s on display. No armies, burning flags or chants of “DEATH to” anybody, as are common in some parts of the world. But behind the scenes, there was a tremendous security effort like never before. The night before, the New Year’s celebration in New York featured the heaviest security ever deployed for such an event. You begin to wonder how much security will ever be enough, the way things are going. How much will it cost, and is this really how we want to see all our resources expended?

The same applies to the western nations of Europe. They’ve had “credible threats” of terrorism all over Europe, and had to take measures to match. The terrorist strategy has worked so well that now all it takes is an anonymous phone call, email or text to shut down scheduled events, or whole systems of public transportation. That’s exactly what’s been going on in cities across Europe.

Does nobody take even a moment to wonder why all this is necessary? No. There would be no need to ask, because the answer is so obvious and so politically incorrect in this brave new world of lunacy. And the answer would be, of course, the mass importation of people who have filthy habits and no respect for human life. That mass importation has been underway for years, but now the floodgates have opened up on Europe and the United States.

Social justice dictates that it be so. The blessings that have followed the descendants of Abraham have been redefined as abusive toward third-world populations and laden with guilt. The brilliant Angela Merkel and Barack Obama ‘get it’, even if most of the rest of us don’t. Everybody in the world has the “right” to come in, be supported legally and financially at the expense of citizens. Anyone who asks the obvious questions is a racist and probably a religious bigot, and that is now the conventional wisdom of current western governments and media flagships. The whole arrangement is a recipe for disaster, for Europe and for the United States. Leadership in both places has to be aware of the consequences of their policies, and yet they double down again and again.

Not to spoil the good vibes, the hopeful resolutions or any of the joy of the New Year, but it came with a wave of executive orders and government regulations sure to boil our blood in the days ahead.

But back to that crystal blue morning in Pasadena, California. Where on earth is there anything quite like it? Can you think of anything anywhere that might compare? And why might that be?

It is, I submit, evidence on display of the kind of peace, prosperity and yes joy that God intended for the descendants of Israel and those of all races who wished to apply His laws to their own lives and to live in essence as Abraham’s seed. That opportunity and principal is spelled out clearly in the New Testament, and it was clearly on display at the Rose Parade, as it has been in these United States and in all the western nations.

Sure, even the radiant displays had to be punctuated with reminders of requisite social concerns. The float fitting that description that stood out was the one celebrating women’s education and vocational choices sponsored by a foundation for AIDS research. How rich is that? Good, at least, that they got two guilt trips covered with perhaps the only float that was clunky and unattractive by the extravagant standard set by cities, colleges and corporations.

Beyond the admittance of the few and mostly subdued references to issues not normally associated with joyous celebration, the Parade was a wonderful inspiration and a demonstration of who we are and what we can do as a people, a nation under God. The inheritors, not only of the blessings passed down through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but of the birthright blessing unknown anywhere else on Earth.

None of this would be possible without the basic foundation of God’s laws, or at least those that are codified and enforced in our society. Imagine how great, how prosperous and how secure our society could be if we could all see fit to honor and obey the rest of God’s Commandments. One of those that we will always stand by is upon us now, and that’s the weekly Sabbath, the day that God set aside for our rest and sanity every single week.



P.S. Both the new letter and 21st Century WATCH have been processed and mailed this week. Thanks to all.