Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

Jan 9, 2012

Welcome to the Nanny State

The arrival of the new year brought with it a host of new laws that regulate every detail of our daily lives. I read one report that said over 40,000 new state laws took effect at the start of this month. The amount of regulation is reaching insane levels.

In Illinois, you now need to provide photo identification and sign a log just to buy drain cleaners and other caustic substances. State Rep. Jack Franks obtained passage of the new law following attacks in which drain cleaner was poured on two Chicago women, badly scarring them. Noncompliance results in fines: $150 for the first offense, $500 for the second, and up to $1,500 for the third and subsequent violations.

It is now illegal to produce 100W and 75W incandescent light bulbs in the U.S. Anyone who doesn't like the light produced by Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs will need to stock up before they run out. In a few years, they will probably be made illegal all together, and we'll hear stories of them being smuggled into the country.

I'm dead-set against all these laws that trample on our rights while going after criminals. I understand that Sudafed is used to produce methamphetamines, but it shouldn't be a controlled substance for someone who uses it for a cold remedy. Arrest the guy with a drug lab in his garage, and leave the rest of us alone.

The regulation of products used to make drugs doesn't work anyway. It just makes addicts more resourceful. In response to the clamp down on cold remedies, someone came up with a one-pot or shake-and-bake method of producing meth. Instead of a lab with beakers and hoses taking up a lot of space, all drug producers need now is a two-liter drink bottle. A couple of weeks ago, a woman was arrested while making meth in the bathroom at a Wal-Mart. I guess we now need a ban on plastic soda bottles.

Last week, President Obama named Richard Cordray director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB). The appointment was in the news because Obama used unconstitutional means to make appointment. What was lost in the headlines was the fact that here we have yet another layer of regulation gumming up our financial markets. We already had about 20 major agencies governing finance. For some brokerages, their largest division is the one where people are working to ensure compliance to government rules.

One of the most sinister examples of how we are turning into a Nanny State is the regulations that govern our banking industry. Your bank is required by law to keep an eye on your financial transactions to make sure you are not engaged in a growing list of illegal activities. Years ago, it was unheard of to have your bank nosing around in your account. Last year, I saw a photo of a $2 million check written in 1979 by author Hunter S. Thompson. It had “Cocaine” written in the memo field. If Hunter had written the same check today, there would probably be a call to the Drug Enforcement Agency or the FBI.

Turning America into a police state is not going to solve our problems. The need for laws is a sign of the lack of morality in a society. There was once a time when anyone could walk into a drugstore and buy a bottle of opium or heroin. We didn't have drug crimes because people knew the abuse of these drugs was contrary to biblical values.

It absolutely astounds me how tolerant people are about the government incursion into their daily lives. I still can't believe people are now willing to allow strangers to feel them up at the airport. Obama signing the law on New Year's Eve that allows him to arrest anyone for any reason was just plain scary. I just wonder what would cause the public to say to the government, "Now, you've gone too far.”

When I was a youngster, I wondered how the Antichrist would be able to get everyone to line up and receive the mark of the Beast. Back then, there were all types of civil rights watch groups, and anything that hinted of a "big brother" move by the government was automatically shot down. Today, the watchdogs are all gone and any move seems very possible. All the Beast would need to do is say the 666 mark is to fight terrorism, and people will be bustling to be the first in line.

"He required everyone--great and small, rich and poor, slave and free--to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name" (Revelation 13:16-17, NLT).

-- Todd

Gog’s "Evil Thought"

One can sense the dark, coalescing thoughts that are going on within the 2012 presidential election cabals. No, I’m not talking about the U.S. presidential election smoke-filled, back-room wheeling and dealing. Rather, I refer to the intrigues that are no doubt presently taking place in the political chambers of Moscow. A very interesting Russian politician we all know about sits snugly ensconced within the seat of power at the Kremlin, despite the façade he and his fellows present that he is candidate for the Russian presidency. Mysterious doings revolve around this self-promoting, sixty-year-old former KGB officer with his ongoing macho performances, both actual and of questionable credibility.

We remember his photo ops on the shores of the Black Sea and other places where he proudly displayed his six-pack abs. Then, there is the story where he single-handedly dove into the depths of some body of water, then came up with hands full of treasure--treasure that no one, not even professional marine salvage crews were previously able to find.

Vladimir Putin, although officially in a secondary position within the Russian governmental system because of constitutional restrictions regarding succession, nonetheless moves ahead paying scant attention to the fact that he has not yet been elected once again to the nation’s top post. There is little observable opposition to his power-brokering and manipulations, either officially or unofficially. It is as if his is a predestined leadership imperative for his most prophetically significant nation.

One billionaire Russian accuses Putin of trying to reprise a system at least somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, and is opposing Putin’s campaign for the Russian presidency, but isn’t making much headway. One wonders just how long such opposition will be allowed, when considering the recent track records of those who opposed ol’ Vlad. Many of these are in gulag--or are no longer among the living.

A couple of recent news items piqued my interest regarding this man who so dominates the news coming out of the country that many of us who observe prophetic movement believe will be the nation that will lead the Gog-Magog attack of Ezekiel 38-39. Putin’s thinking about Russia’s future differs from the Soviet model in some significant ways, according to one of those articles. At the same time, I find Putin’s emphasis on economy particularly fascinating. His thought is not necessarily on taking over nations surrounding Russia, but in sucking those nations into an inescapable fiscal orbit. The news story explains:

Vladimir Putin has a vision for a Soviet Union-like he hopes will become a new Moscow-led global powerhouse. But, his planned Eurasian Union won't be grounded in ideology: This time it's about trade. The concept of regional economic integration may be losing some of its allure in Europe, where a debt crisis is threatening the existence of the eurozone. But some countries across the former Soviet Union, still struggling economically 20 years after becoming independent, are embracing Putin's grand ambition… In anticipation of a new six-year term as president, Putin has made forming a Eurasian Union by 2015 a foreign policy priority. He is promoting the union as necessary for Russia and its neighbors to compete in the modern global economy. His broader goal is to restore some of Moscow's economic and political clout across former Soviet space and thus strengthen Russia's position in the world. (Peter Leonard, Associated Press, " Russia's Putin Dreams of Sweeping Eurasian Union," 1/3/12)

Mr. Putin’s thought, obviously, is to convince those he hopes to lure within his orbit that great economic gain is a possibility in such a coalition as he will put together once he is president of Russia. This kind of thinking, of course, might just be the nucleus around which could be built a much more ambitious and volatile plan of action. Might that plan include a future invasion to the south as outlined in the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy?

Certainly, that prophecy indicates an ambitious and volatile plan of action following the Magog coalition leader’s “evil thought” of Ezekiel 38:10-12. Until relatively recently, Israel has had little prospect for great wealth of the sort indicated in this prophecy that would entice such a thought or action by enemies to the north. Oh, there has long been talk of great mineral wealth in the Dead Sea, which is within the territory of the tiny nation of Israel today. But there seems to be little interest of Israel’s enemies in those very uncertain riches. But, such wealth as would be sufficiently enticing to provoke that future “Gog” to think to attack Israel has appeared on the prophetic horizon--in my view, at least.

The second news item that caught my attention explains further:

As the liquid oil supply curve continues to drop on an international level, oil prices will only rise dramatically, necessitating the development of unconventional oil productions, IEI CEO Relik Shafir told The Jerusalem Post at a meeting in Tel Aviv on Monday. Creating oil from shale--a dark sedimentary rock containing hydrocarbons--is one such unconventional method, and resources are particularly robust in Israel, Jordan, North America, Russia, Mongolia, China and Australia, according to Shafir…

"Our vision is to allow Israel energy independence," Shafir said. "This is the vision that brought Harold Vinegar to Israel to make aliya, and the vision of the company."

In Israel’s case, the largest source of shale is in the Shfela basin region outside Jerusalem, where the hydrocarbons are located between 200 and 400 meters below the surface, beneath an impermeable layer of rock. (Sharon Udasin, "Shale: A Sound Way to Achieve Energy Independence," Jerusalem Post, 1/3/12)

While the tables of world oil reserves continue to drop dramatically, will the genius that God has placed within the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob leap to the forefront of petroleum technology and produce the “spoil” that will provoke Gog to bring his coalition down over the mountains of Israel? This is a developing story to which every watchmen of Bible prophecy should pay attention.