First of all, congratulations to you all! You are all winners! You have survived the 2010s! That's quite the accomplishment. Many didn't. Celebrate that you have kept your air addiction!
At the moment, the United States looks pretty good: Unemployment is down, jobs are up, the economy looks better than it has for awhile, there's been a tax cut and there are all sorts of new and interesting technologies available to the masses. It looks good. However, behind the scenes, the American economy is running on fumes.
China too, looks good -- more prosperous than ever before: More and advanced technology, the people are mostly better fed and living somewhat better. There are even quite a few billionaires in China. However, behind the scenes, the Chinese economy is running on fumes.
Especially in the last two decades -- and particularly just before, during and after the 2008 Olympics in China, where billions of dollars were spent on infrastructure just for the games -- the Chinese have been busy building an infrastructure on expected growth. Unfortunately, it was an overreach. The Chinese have had to prop up their economy by taking money from such funds as retirement and other sources to 'pump up' the economy and make it look good. Unfortunately, this has led to roads and bridges going to nowhere and empty towns and cities no one is moving in to.
The biggest problem is that the United States is China's biggest customer. If the United States falters, China will go into depression. If China falters, the United States will go into a recession and the rest of the world will be impacted.
Meanwhile, the Chinese are dumping refuse, much of it toxic, into the environment. The major pollution of oceans of the world, creating islands of plastic islands, comes from 6 Chinese rivers where industrial and other waste is being dumped, with two more rivers in Africa contributing the rest. Air pollution is so bad in China that it drifts across the Pacific Ocean and contributes to 30% of the smog in San Francisco. The liberal / leftist / progressive / socialist Democrats in the United States may want to fix the problems by banning plastic straws from say, Safeway, in the United States, but the truth is that the real environmental wreckage is created mostly by powers far beyond their control. And to tell the truth, they create problems of their own.
We can see the record of the liberal / leftist / progressive / socialist Democrats in the United States by looking at what they have done, particularly in the coastal cities and states in their control. While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who Tucker Carlson on Fox News recently said was "The most stupid woman I've ever seen on television", is spouting ideas like building trains that run under the ocean to Hawaii -- and likely to China as well, the State of California under the liberal / leftist / progressive / socialist Democrats receiving billions of dollars in aid from the Federal Government haven't been able to even build a railroad to span California after a decade of non progress. In fact, everywhere we look, where the Democrats are in power, we see poverty, increasing homelessness, crime and medieval diseases growing in a collapsing infrastructure. If you visit downtown San Francisco, there are helpful maps to help navigate the streets so you won't step in it. If you visit Los Angeles, beware of typhus. If you visit downtown Olympia, the state capital of Washington, you can see for yourself the tent cities for blocks at a time of the homeless. They even have their own mayor. It would be unwise to plan a vacation to Baltimore, Chicago or even New York because of rising crime. And Washington D.C.? There's a reason it's called "The Swamp". Draining it doesn't seem to be an option.
The United States has any number of crises, including, but certainly not restricted to, Opioid addiction and student loan debt. This brings us to yet another challenge in facing problems: The liberal / leftist / progressive / socialist Democrats in the United States are moving to the radical position of socialism. The latest polls indicate that Generation Z mostly favor socialism because of student debt: There is growing support to take money from the rich and redistribute it. Unfortunately, the ones ultimately paying for it will be the rapidly shrinking middle class and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders readily admits this.
The core principle of socialism and communism is central control with strong authority to enforce policy. This is currently in the process of being implemented in China with the skilled help of Google to have social ratings of citizens: Get a low rating on the social scale? Suddenly, you'll find yourself without a job, no place to live and no way to use the transportation system. Cameras will be monitoring you constantly everywhere you go and artificial intelligence will divine what you are doing to restrict you in speech and action. Think of it as a pilot project to be implemented next in the United States and then Europe.
Some of this has its curious roots in the age of corporatism of the early 20th century, with the Rockafellers, particularly with Nelson Rockefeller. Nelson Rockafeller was a religious sort, spreading evangelism during the age of oil and creating some rather Draconian measures. Even while he was helping spread protestant missions to Indians in the United States, he was forging partnerships to both evangelize South American Indians while tapping into the opportunities of extracting Oil, particularly in Venezuela and Brazil. The short story to all of this is that the decades of pursuit, the people in South America began to look to socialism (and communism) as a way to take control of their own natural resources and, indeed, their own destiny. In fact, we might be able to make the case the Nelson Rockefeller began the fall toward today's tragic Venezuela.
As a side note, Nelson Rockefeller was also part and parcel of the efforts to create mind control through MK Ultra managed by the CIA and the curious experiments of ex(?) CIA officials found wandering the halls at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington for "The Great Experiment". In 2017, we got a brief glimpse of the effect of those efforts during the campus meltdown. It's a weird, creepy, infuriating situation which has now led to "restructuring" the programs there.
Meanwhile, in Europe, we see the dumpster fire of the European Union, look very much like a meltdown. Will there be BREXIT or not? If there is, when will it happen and how hard will the exit be? The European Union is the brain child of global elitists who want to saturate Europe with immigrants and displace the current populations. They want to do this because it is a very large advantage to the 1% of the 1% elite billionaire globalists: If you bring in masses of immigrants, you can get cheap labor and depress the wages of the existing citizens, which lowers your costs and increases your profits -- if you should be among the elite. The main proponents of this transformation is Germany and France, with promises of prosperity to the other European nations, which one might expect will fall far short of the vision that has been created in the minds of those pursuing the dream.
As we move to the Middle East, we see the Arab Oligarchs who aren't just in it for the money. They have a real and very intense belief system behind their motivations -- which may, arguably, be more powerful than their lust for money. Understand that for the sake of political power, these particular globalists have forged a temporary alliance with feminists and gays, whom they loathe. You can be very sure that when they are done with them, the gays first (within 5 years) will have no place to go and the third wave feminists will follow later. The feminists and gays have been misled and used, believing as they will that this 'minority' of over a billion people -- a religion, not a race -- really want to support them out a good heart.
Moving further east to Russia, we find somewhat of a somewhat isolated pocket. The Russians are building their own Internet. It isn't working well yet because of technical problems. Russia has massive problems with crime, particularly in the large cities, and the divorce rate is one of the highest in the world. There are many social and economic problems which lead to many challenges to the people. As a world economy, Russia ranks somewhere around 4th or 5th.
Now we get to the relevance to this background for the next decade, for both the world and Armstrongism: The currency of the world is now authoritarianism. The elite, the globalists, the billionaires -- all have the power; they have the authority. They set the standards. They manipulate governments and commerce. They are made more powerful by high tech companies. Google (Alphabet), Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and some of the other social media outlets are under their control. Mainstream Media, such as the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post are their unified voice. What the globalists want is their narrative in their echo chamber to be promulgated and woe be to those who would dare to disrupt the establishment. For example, if someone became the President of the United States and was positioned to push against their agendas, there would be no end of opposition. They may even get their shills to impeach him even if there are no valid grounds to do so. They might not just get their henchmen in the Hen House of Representatives to impeach him once, but perhaps twice or maybe perpetually -- it might become the impeachment of the month.
At the end of 2019, Mark Steyn, filling in for Tucker Carlson on Fox News brought on Constitutional lawyer, Jenna Ellis, Senior Legal Adviser to the Trump Campaign, and she had this to say [starting with the impeachment trial in the Senate]:
It's a quasi judicial forum, the context of the Constitution says specifically that the power to try all impeachments is given to the Senate, so they get to decide their process. A couple of things here, first, it is a complete ridiculous and fake and phony illegitimate argument to say if the Senate just dismisses this outright and doesn't have a full on trial that somehow that's against process -- that's entirely fabricated and false -- and even in a regular judicial form that happens all the time with summary judgment motions, other motions to dismiss where there's no probable cause to bring a case in the first place, which is actually similar here. And so if the Democrats are actually arguing, OK, this is this is a rigged trial, so therefore impeachment exoneration and acquittal is not actually legitimate, well then wouldn't logically follow that Trump hasn't actually been impeached because that way [it's] a sham partisan political process? So the Democrats are trying to have their cake and eat it too; they're trying to completely control the process, and that's why, Mark, legitimacy in our law is so incredibly important, because when you don't have impeachment and exoneration and acquittal based on fact, truth and evidence, then you make a mockery of the entire system and that's what we are seeing the Democrats really after here -- just an impeachment circus, they want to dictate the political narrative and they want to control the outcome for their specific cause -- that's activism, that's what they've been doing in the courts for the past 60 years, that's why they hate President Trump because he's putting more Constitutional conservatives on the Federal Bench and in the Supreme Court than any other President in U.S. history and this is really really scaring them for the future of their control of the Constitution and for America.
...That's what they're hoping and Democrats are the party of hypocrisy, where they are trying to control the rules and when they think the rules play in their favor, then they want to hold everyone to the letter of the law, but when the rules don't work in their favor and their preferred outcome, then they want to completely throw it out and they want to rip and burn the U.S. Constitution, that they are only about control of their own concentration of power. And so we can see that very clearly because in the House inquiry, they weren't all about "Hey, let's hear from all the witnesses," they denied the minority party of a hearing of their own, they denied most of the witnesses that the Republicans in the House wanted to testify, but now suddenly, when they don't control the Senate and they don't control the outcome, now Nancy Pelosi is saying, "Hey, we're not even going to give you the articles until you agree to conduct a trial the way that we prefer." That is unconstitutional and is blatantly against their oath of office and it is against the interests of the United States of America; it's against 'we the people' who voted these elected officials into office, who voted for President Trump and we are the only ones who should be able to dictate and make sure that they are holding their oath of office and are complying with the Constitution and so we should be able to dictate whether or not they remain in authority and whether they remain in Congress and hopefully 2020, we will hold them accountable through our vote because that is 'for we the people' to determine....
Sometimes authoritarians panic and do a really sloppy job when they go to control the narrative and the outcome. Of course, in controlling the narrative, there is a formula with 7 steps, outlined in creating the Innovation Culture: Leveraging Visionaries, Dissenters and Other Useful Troublemakers in Your Organization by Frances Horibe in the section Stages of Suppressing Dissent:
Those reading this article should be very much familiar with this outline. It works for all authoritarians. Saul D. Alinsky in his 1971 book, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals became the central core of Colleges and Universities in Western 'civilization'. It is the primary source of the socialist movement among the academics forming the decades of leaders. One thing they have all learned to do is yell, Racist! This is the ad hominem argument to put a stop to anyone daring to engage in the hate speech of science or presenting objective facts. If you are a white male you are not only Racist!, you are a member of the privileged white class, you have toxic masculinity, made even worse if you believe there are two genders. You might even be transphobic. Never mind that Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association declares those who seek to change their gender as having a mental disorder, subjecting them to a much higher rate of depression and suicide but also making them sterile. This was all invented to change definitions so the authoritarians can use their shills to win. Just remember, snow is Racist!, milk is Racist! and vanilla ice cream is Racist! because they are all white. It's clear that you do not need to be sane to be a member of the progressives. If you do not believe in 'the religion of peace' which has killed an estimated 275 million people over the centuries, you are Racist! never minding the fact that Islam is not a race, it's a religion and there may some small basis for Islamophobia. Ah, but one cannot speak ill of that which controls the narratives of society.
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo tells us of the horrifying experience of the Stanford Prison Experiment, which was supposed to be for two weeks but was shut down in 6 days. A group of young white male middle class Stanford students were divided randomly into two groups: The police and the prisoners. The 'prisoners' did nothing wrong, but ended up being tortured by their assigned guards. In the end, the small cadre of students became representative of the wider social order of elite authoritarians and the subjects. It applies equally to the behavior of the Democratic Party or the Nazis or The Worldwide Church of God under Herbert Armstrong to varying degrees.
Well established authoritarian organizations can get away with outrageous behavior with impunity with no consequences. An accountant who worked for a firm working for the Church of Latter Day Saints has recently divulged that the Mormon "Church" may have embezzled $100 billion in 20 years. That makes Herbert Armstrong look like a piker.
There is an aphorism which is attributed to Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Baronet in the 19th century: Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is very clear, neat, logical and wrong. For deists, this presents a very large problem, for if power corrupts, God must be the most corrupt being in the universe. The truth is that power permits a person (or organization) the ability to become who or what they already are: Someone with true integrity will retain faithful no much power he or she may have, but take off the limits and leave accountability on the cutting room floor and you have... the evil elite authoritarians. Now some people are wanna-bes. They have some ascension to power, but they aren't billionaires. Herbert Armstrong was one of these: He never made it even to the billionaire stage, let alone the 1% elite, but he sure wanted to be. And in his lust, he managed to be evil, making myriad people miserable.
There may be little difference in high concept between Herbert Armstrong and Joe Biden. Both of them have had a less-than-honorable son. Vice President Joe Biden strong-armed the Ukraine, threatening them through quid pro quo extortion to stop the Ukraine from preventing his son, Hunter from becoming a board member making millions of dollars in a corporation of which he knew nothing and had no salable skills. Vice President Biden also flew off to China in Air Force Two and shortly thereafter, Hunter Biden had another highly profitable gig from the Chinese. Joe Biden really looked after his son Hunter. As we all know a cocaine addiction is very very costly and those millions of dollars certainly helped. It's just too bad he left some in a taxi. It's hard to get it back. As an aside, President Trump was accused of doing the same thing that Joe Biden did to the Ukraine. There's nothing like accusing your 'enemy' to take the heat off or yourself, if you happen to be an authoritarian.
By the same token, Herbert Armstrong provided for his boozing alcoholic, adulterous, gambling son, Garner Ted Armstrong to keep his life style alive. Is there really much difference at the core between the two situations? They are both evil.
There is a real downside to building a monolithic authoritarian centralized society / government. With distributed independent but loosely linked social / government structures, there can be a basis for common goals without sacrificing local independence. This was the original idea of the United Church of God, an Independent Association. However, it wasn't long before UC Gaia lapsed into the familiar monolithic authoritarian centralized structure replete with an Home Office. The monolithic authoritarian centralized society / government will go into extinction if the top authority is wiped out. This was certainly a factor in the dissolution of the Soviet Union and seems to have played a part in the ultimate demise of the Worldwide Church of God. In other words, if you want to survive the centuries, it might be better to be a Switzerland than be Venezuela or the Roman Empire. The empires always seem to fall. The units that are diverse and independent with a loose association tend to survive much better.
Building a consensus is sometimes difficult and always time consuming. Diversity can breed dissent, but if the differences can be resolved, it always results in a better, more solid and longer lasting product. Authoritarianism is much faster (although bureaucracies can slow things down considerably). When problems crop up, solutions can be introduced and implemented quickly. The problem is, though, that solutions that are developed by authoritarianism tend to have side effects, which means that each solution brings newer and bigger problems with it -- problems which are not foreseen, but for actions there are always consequences and authoritarianism results in a greater chance of unintended consequences.
For 2020: The decade ahead, there will undoubtedly be authoritarianism in our future. It is inevitable. Voters are often lazy and stupid. In a recent survey in Times Square 11 people were asked who is the vice president of the United States. 10 people didn't know. You have a choice. There's always a choice. It may not be a very good choice, but the best choice is one which has a background of integrity. Objective evidence rather than crazy ideas and narratives will render better long term results. The best choices often require a lot of work, a measure of pain and significant investment.
James O'Keefe of Project Veritas works hard to find the truth. He encourages everyone to Be Brave. Do Something.
Make the decade of the 2020s a personal success by choosing integrity. How the next decades progresses for you is entirely up to you.
Choose your path wisely: Be Brave. Do Something.
"Armstrong was a man utterly without honor, without principles, without a shred of genuine decency or patriotism. He was the ultimate exterminator of religious life for thousands, and the grand compelling creator of a vast army of atheists."
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