18 October 2013

Greetings from Tyler,

As expected, all resistance collapsed, and the great government shutdown has given way to business as usual.  Apparently not a dime will have been saved as furloughed workers will be paid for the down-time.  In fact a headline today suggests all the government agency types are in line for a raise!

Spigots have been turned wide open once again and the ruinous spending is underway for at least another three months, when the debt limit will be breached yet again.  You may wonder why our so-called “representatives” even bother with a debt ceiling when, obviously, the sky’s the limit on borrowing and printing money.  It looks more and more like a giant Ponzi scheme, but instead of new investors, they just “create money.”

But it appears that some of the consequences that were threatened if government borrowing hadn’t resumed will be suffered anyway.  The value of the dollar, having already declined steeply against most currencies over the past few years, took another dive as soon as the three week shutdown ended.  And China is again calling for something other than the U.S. dollar to be introduced as the world’s reserve currency.

It would be nigh unto impossible to conjure up a scenario to bankrupt the United States and all its working citizens that would improve on the formula already in place.  The next great battle to grip our imaginations will be the one to legalize the tens of millions of illegal immigrants within our borders and get them all signed up for a cornucopia of benefits.  We can expect that battle to play out very much like the one that just ended with a whimper.  All the same familiar players will appear to deliver dire warnings and insipid lectures.  But the slide into cultural and economic oblivion, devised by an authoritarian government with cheerleaders in the mainstream media, just keeps getting slipperier.

There is no question that a great vacuum has been created on the world stage.  It is being illustrated in numerous situations.  America has lost it’s clout in the Middle East.  Our relationship with Israel is strained, if not estranged.  Israel keeps saying it may have to go it alone against Iran, even while the United States talks hopefully about dropping sanctions.

America backed a series of uprisings across the Middle East, and none have turned out well.  Take Libya, for example.  But Egypt was the most serious of all, with the U.S. administration putting all its chips on the Muslim Brotherhood. We’ve all seen what a debacle that spawned.  Now that the Muslim Brotherhood has been deposed, it has been left to the Egyptian military to try to restore order.  With the Muslim Brotherhood out of power and on the ropes, the U.S. is cutting financial and military aid.  Egypt is now looking elsewhere for allies.  Against the backdrop of America’s traditional posture in the region, no one could have imagined what has actually transpired over the past couple of years.  Traditional allies have been slighted or worse while traditional enemies have been coddled and embraced.  The result is chaos, and nobody over there trusts America any more.

It opens the door wide for other powers to get involved.  And they have.  Russia was a virtual non-entity in the Middle East until the U.S. began banging the drum about attacking Syria.  And bang it this administration did, until the pope spoke up to condemn any third party that might impose itself on the Syrian civil war.  Maybe it was just coincidence that the issue disappeared over night.  But then again, maybe not.

You may or may not know his name, but the German president, Joachim Gauck made news on the anniversary of German reunification by calling for Germany to take an active, military role in foreign affairs.  He spoke specifically about taking an active role in the Middle East.  He bemoaned the fact that so much has recently transpired without German participation.  He particularly referenced the fact that the U.S. has been urging Germany to participate in military interventions in the Middle East.  He questioned, “Is Germany taking its responsibilities seriously for its neighbors in the East, the Middle East and the southern Mediterranean?”

These kinds of statements are thought now to represent the position of the German establishment, and of the Prime Minister as well.  It is becoming apparent how the vacuum created by America’s flirtation with the Muslim Brotherhood will be filled.  And it is right down the line with the scenario my Dad and his Dad warned about for decades.

Thank God for His promises, for our remaining freedoms and blessings.  It looks as though our leaders are working overtime to abolish them.   We can also be thankful for the knowledge He’s afforded us to be able to understand the confusion playing out all around us.  Now we can retreat to the His Sabbath and take a rest from all the madness.

Mark Armstrong