This first article is interesting and revealing, and exposes just how technology is paving the way towards the "Mark":
[Who would have guessed?]
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.…
Technologies designed specifically to track and monitor human beings have been in development for at least two decades.
In the virtual realm, software programs are now capable of watching us in real time, going so far as to make predictions about our future behaviors and sending alerts to the appropriate monitoring station depending on how a computer algorithm flags your activities. That is in and of itself a scary proposition.
What may be even scarier, however, is what’s happening in the physical realm. According to researches working on human-embedded microchips it’s only a matter of time before these systems achieve widespread acceptance.
Chances are you’re carrying a couple of RFID microchips now. And if you are, they’re sending out a 15-digit number that identifies you. That number can be picked up by what’s called an ISO compliant scanner. And they’re everywhere, too.
It’s not possible to interact with society in a meaningful way by not having a mobile phone. I think human implants are likely to go along a very similar route. It would be such a disadvantage to not have the implant that it essentially becomes not optional.
Your initial reaction to this idea may be one of disbelief. There’s no way society would accept such a device. Why would anyone want to implant this in their body?
Consider for a moment where we are right now. For decades Americans rejected the notion that they would submit to being tracked or recorded.
Yet, just about every American now carries a mobile phone. They’re so prevalent, in fact, that many consider it a “right,” prompting the government to actually provide subsidies to those who can’t afford one on their own.
Embedded in every one of those phones is an RFID chip that can track our every movement via GPS or cell tower triangulation. Moreover, those microphones and cameras that come standard on every phone can be remotely activated by law enforcement surveillance systems, a capability that has existed since the early 2000′s.
But as intrusive as these devices are, they are accepted as the norm by billions of people world wide. Not only that, but no one had to “force” them on us. We are, it seems, the masters of our own enslavement. And we pay top dollar to have the best tracking device money can buy!
Granted, one can simply disconnect from “the grid” by throwing away their cell phone. But, the direction these new monitoring technologies are moving coupled with continued government expansion of surveillance suggests that microchip RFID technology will eventually be non-voluntary.
Michael Snyder of The Truth Wins asks What will you do when you can no longer buy or sell without submitting to biometric identification?
This technology is going to keep spreading, and it is going to become harder and harder to avoid it.And it is easy to imagine what a tyrannical government could do with this kind of technology. If it wanted to, it could use it to literally track the movements and behavior of everyone.…And one day, this kind of technology will likely be so pervasive that you won’t be able to open a bank account, get a credit card or even buy anything without having either your hand or your face scanned first.
It’s difficult to imagine a populace that will freely submit to such digital bondage. But as has been the case with the degradation of personal privacy and rights in America, be assured it won’t simply become law over night.
First, the technologies will need to be generally accepted by society. It’ll start with real-time consumer based products like Google Glass. The older generations may reject it, but in a couple of years you can bet that tens of millions of kids, teens and younger adults will be roaming the streets while sporting cool shades, interactive web surfing and the capability to record everything around them and upload it to the internet instantly.
Next, as we’re already seeing from early adopters, RFID chips will be voluntarily implanted under our skin for everything from access to high security buildings to grocery store purchases.
Eventually, once the concept is generally accepted by the majority, it will become our new “social security number.”
To gain access to official services, you’ll need to be a verified human. Without verification you won’t even be able to purchase a six pack of beer, let alone get medical care or a driver’s license.
Whether we like it or not this is the future. Every purchase you make and every step you take will be tracked by a tiny 15-digit passive microchip, meaning that the only way to “turn it off” will be to physically remove it from your body.
In essence, we’ll soon live in a world of Always On Monitoring.
Our children and grandchildren – at least most of them – will likely not only submit to implantation, they’ll gladly pay the costs so that they, too, can “interact with society in a meaningful way.”
Israel’s security cabinet has suspended peace talks with the Palestinians in response to the unity deal between the PLO, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas.
The Cabinet unanimously decided to cut off contacts after a five-hour meeting Thursday. The decision was announced in a statement sent to journalists, AP reports.
According to Israeli media, the country will also impose economic sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Reuters reports.
On Wednesday, Israel canceled a planned session of peace talks with the Palestinians over the deal signed in Gaza between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.
The two rival groups plan to form a unity government within five weeks and hold national elections a half-year after a vote of confidence by the Palestinian parliament.
Thursday, April 24, saw a steep escalation of tensions between Moscow and Kiev after the Ukrainian army killed up to five pro-Russian militiamen in an attack on three checkpoints outside the eastern town of Slavyansk. President Vladimir Putin threatened “consequences.” He added that the legitimacy of the May 25 elections was in serious question. Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shoigu ordered the Russian army to start drills at Rostov on Don near the Ukraine border.
Ukrainian forces launched an operation Thursday to drive pro-Russia insurgents out of occupied buildings in the country’s tumultuous east, prompting new threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Within hours of the Ukrainian operation, which killed at least two pro-Russia militants, Russia’s defense minister announced new military exercises for troops massed near Ukraine’s border.
The statements by Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu sharpened anxiety over the prospect of a new Russian military incursion into Ukraine. Russia’s foreign minister warned a day earlier that any attack on Russian citizens or interests in eastern Ukraine would bring a strong response.
In Kiev, Ukraine’s acting president accused Russia of backing and supplying the separatists in the east and demanded that Moscow stop its intimidation campaign and leave his country alone.
Oleksandr Turchynov said in an address to the nation Thursday that Russia was “coordinating and openly supporting terrorist killers” in eastern Ukraine, where government buildings in at least 10 cities have been seized by pro-Russia gunmen.
Turchynov said Russia must pull back its troops from the Ukrainian border and “stop the constant threats and blackmail.”
In St. Petersburg, Putin decried what he described as Ukraine’s “punitive operation” and threatened Kiev with unspecified consequences.
“If the Kiev government is using the army against its own people this is clearly a grave crime,” Putin said.
Russia already has tens of thousands of troops stationed in regions along its border with Ukraine. The latest Russian military exercises will involve ground troops in the south and the west and the air forces patrolling the border, Shoigu said.
The Ukrainian government and the West worry that Putin would welcome a pretext for a military intervention in eastern Ukraine. Putin denies that any Russian agents are operating in Ukraine, but insists he has the right to intervene to protect the ethnic Russians who make up a sizeable minority in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces moved against pro-Russian forces manning checkpoints outside the eastern Ukraine city of Slaviansk, killing and wounding a still undetermined number of people and prompting Russia to launch what the country’s defence minister said were military exercises along the Ukrainian border.
The moves sharply raised tensions in the developing crisis. In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said any fighting would have an impact on Ukraine’s relations with Russia and would prove that Russia was justified in interfering in Crimea.
The Russian military exercises seemed likely to further fray relations with the United States and its Western allies, who have demanded repeatedly that Russia cease its efforts to stir unrest in eastern Ukraine and desist from military action along the border, where the Kremlin has massed as many as 40,000 troops.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the exercises would include troop movements on the ground as well as flights by the Russian air force. Mr Shoigu also complained about NATO exercises in Poland and the Baltics, which the alliance announced recently in response to previous Russian threats of military intervention in Ukraine.
Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said his country will not yield to what he called a "terrorist threat" and told Russia to "stop interfering".
"We will not back down from the terrorist threat," he said in a televised address.
Ukrainian forces were reported to have engaged pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country in what appeared to be a limited action. There were no confirmed reports of casualties, but the Ukrainian government said five separatists had been killed while several people claiming to have witnessed the fighting put the number at one to three. The Ukrainian forces appeared largely unscathed.
Russia on Thursday demanded the US force the Ukrainian authorities to halt the military operation in south-eastern Ukraine and withdraw units of the armed forces. "We are counting on the United States to take urgent measures in the interests of de-escalation," it said in a statement.
The fighting-talk (and actions) is growing louder from Eastern Europe. Following Lavrov's "bloody justice" comments, Ukraine's Acting Head of the Presidential Administration Serhiy Pashynskyi expects a Russian invasion is imminent, warnings that "in case Russian troops cross the Ukrainian border we will qualify it as military invasion and eliminate invaders."
These strongly worded comments come after a Ukrainian military helicopter exploded at a base near the eastern town of Kramatorsk (held by pro-Russian forces) on Friday after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Pashynskyi concludes, rather ominously, "I would not recommend Mr. Putin experiment with lives of his servicemen."
Acting Head of the Presidential Administration Serhiy Pashynskyi does not exclude the invasion of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine at any time but Ukrainian servicemen are ready for that. It was stated by him in the course of the briefing.
But far more importantly, and ahead of yet another round of western sanctions which appears imminent unless Obama is to look even more powerless than he currently is (granted, a difficult achievement),Russian presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev proposed plan of 15 measures to protect country’s economy if sanctions applied, Vedomosti newspaper reports, citing Glazyev’s letter to Finance Ministry. According to Vedomosti as Bloomberg reported, Glazyev proposed:
- Russia should withdraw all assets, accounts in dollars, euros from NATO countries to neutral ones
- Russia should start selling NATO member sovereign bonds before Russia’s foreign-currency accounts are frozen
- Central bank should reduce dollar assets, sell sovereign bonds of countries that support sanctions
- Russia should limit commercial banks’ FX assets to prevent speculation on ruble, capital outflows
- Central bank should increase money supply so that state cos., banks may refinance foreign loans
- Russia should use national currencies in trade with customs Union members, other non-dollar, non-euro partners
In other words, a full-blown scorched earth campaign by Russia.
Granted, Russian holdings of US Treasurys are not that substantial (and could be monetized entirely in three months of POMO by the Fed), and western financial linkages to Russia, aside from trade routes, are not life-threatening, but if Russia were to take the baton, and other BRIC countries, already furious by the recent US decision to not boost their IMF status, follow suit, then Obama's life is about to become a living nightmare. Especially, if that most important BRIC member - China - does any of the many things it can do to indicate if, in this brand new Cold War, it is with or against the US...
Finally, those curious what are the linkages between the west and Russia are, review our recent post on the matter: All You Need To Know About Russia, In Charts.
The U.S. is providing more arms and training to the moderate rebels in Syria, under a growing secret program run by the CIA in Jordan. Sources tell NPR that secret program could be supplemented by a more public effort in the coming months involving American military trainers.
The change in strategy comes as the White House sees Syrian leader Bashar Assad growing in strength, and continuing to strike rebel strongholds.
Another factor: Russian leaders appear unwilling to help end the three-year-old civil war and are continuing to provide weapons to Assad. Finally, al-Qaida fighters and their allies are expanding in Syria, a development that some believe could threaten the U.S. homeland.
Skeptics doubt the U.S. effort will help much, given the weakened state of the opposition and the inroads made by al-Qaida fighters. The moderate fighters being supported currently have relatively little influence on the ground.
Still, the U.S. plan calls for both small arms and more powerful weapons such as TOW missiles, which can penetrate tanks and other armored vehicles. Rebel forces were pictured last week with some of the first TOW missiles, and sources say that the effort will expand throughout the next year. It's uncertain if the U.S. is sending the TOW missiles through Saudi Arabia, which is also supporting the rebels.
Rev. Graham said, “We do see it rising around the globe – no question about it – and it’s frightening. We see the anti-Christian position in this country. We see so much of it coming out of the entertainment industry, especially in certain segments of the news media. Christians are being attacked.”
“It’s just part of it, and we see it now in Europe the anti-Semitism, no question,” said Rev. Graham. “It’s there, and we’re living in a world that is changing and it is frightening to see how quickly the world is changing. I think we’re going to see real persecution of Christians and Jews in the years to come.”
“You know, we live in a world where we want to be politically correct, we live in a world where people want to be accepted,” he said. “And standing for Jesus Christ, you’re not going to be accepted in some circles. You just have to be willing to accept that, and don’t be afraid.”
“I would encourage Christians to stand and be proud of your faith, and not to be shy,” said Rev. Graham. “Tell others about what God has done for you, what Christ did when He died on the Cross and arose from the grave. Let people know that.”
The State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 states that there is a “continued global increase in anti-Semitism,” and noted incidents particularly in Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary and France.
The State Department report also cited many examples of anti-Christian activities, particularly in China, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia and India.
“In addition to anti-Semitism, intolerance by members of society towards those of other faiths besides Judaism was a growing problem, and all too often evolved into violence,” said the State Department. “While Christians were a leading target of societal discrimination, abuse, and violence in some parts of the world, members of other religions, particularly Muslims, suffered as well.”
According to Israel National News, "Several dozen hareidi Jews, including children, ascended the Temple Mount Wednesday. In the course of the tour of the Mount, Muslims began hurling objects at the hareidim, spat at them, hurled shoes and sticks and pulled the sidelocks of one of the children."
As shocking as the video of Muslims yelling and spitting at Jewish children on the Temple Mount, and throwing objects at them is, it is not surprising. It is part of the pattern the Israeli government has enabled.
Muslims don’t want any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. Hence, Muslims either threaten to riot or they actually do riot in protest of Jews on the Mount. Guess what happens when Muslims riot? They get exactly what they want – Jews, not Muslims, are barred from the Temple Mount.
The Israeli government has enabled this pattern to not only continue, but to escalate. Even to the point of Muslim youth piling and storing rocks in the mosque on the Temple Mount to throw at Jews and at the Israeli police. While my friend Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem gave esteemed Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, and his family, from the United States a tour of the Temple Mount recently, rocks were thrown at them and their police escort by an angry Arab mob.
So while Arabs can scream curses and obscenities at Jews, if a Jew even moves his lips while on the Mount, he is removed, or worse arrested in violation of praying on the Mount. Absurdity at its best
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