Greetings from Tyler,

We’re wrapping up a good and productive week here at HQ. The monthly letter has just been sent for Tony Brazil to print, and will be mailed to our First Class list on Monday.

Several crises have been smoldering for months, some for years, and now they seem to have caught fire. We’re watching important segments of the Middle East descend into chaos, with terrorists running amok all over the place. Israel is engaged in the piteous and messy business of trying to deplete the ability of Hamas to continue terrorizing its major cities with an endless barrage of rockets. You are undoubtedly aware that the Ben Gurion airport was temporarily shut down earlier this week when a rocket landed nearby, destroying a civilian home.

We are hearing of all kinds of civilian casualties in Gaza, just as we knew we would, and the increased drumbeat of world opinion which always blames Israel for the injuries and deaths of civilians, even though Hamas routinely uses them as human shields. The UN school that got hit day before yesterday has received constant news attention, and has yet to be satisfactorily explained. But Israel is losing lives in its ground operations in Gaza too, some thirty Israeli soldiers so far. Since many want to argue about the lack of “proportionality” in Israel’s response, it should be pointed out that all of Hamas’ “targets” are civilians in Israel. For that matter, the Hamas charter calls for every Jew to be annihilated.

The western mind is revolted at the kinds of atrocities that are being committed by ISIS, and its newly formed caliphate in Syria and Iraq. They are particularly targeting nominal Christians, demanding they convert, leave without taking their possessions or suffer execution. It is a trend taking hold across the Middle East and in Northern Africa.

Russia is looking to be at war in Ukraine, with more brazen moves by “proxy” fighters with Russian equipment, even in the immediate aftermath of having shot down that Malaysian airliner.

The list of crises goes on and on and on. The United States appears to be completely out of the equation in nearly every situation, beyond the odd offhanded statement, or the sending of the Secretary of State. Right now, every bad actor on earth looks to have an open field to commit all manner of mayhem. Bad actors are also taking advantage of America’s non-existent southern border for human and drug smuggling while every agency dithers over the poor children from Central America.

A very unsettled future is sneaking up on us from every direction, and it appears that our national leadership is firm in its resolve to do absolutely nothing about any of it. Well, not nothing. They are demanding billions more for agencies that mostly seem intent on harassing patriotic Americans. Meanwhile the fires just get bigger, and burn hotter. We have to wonder where the point of no return is, and whether it may already have been crossed. Our prayers and Sabbaths should be more poignant and meaningful to us than ever before. Much of what we’ve worried would come is here, and it’s impossible to know how long we have before everything begins to implode. Short of God’s intervention, help does not appear to be on the way.

Mark Armstrong