Posted in news

News roundup: Israel/Golan Heights, Economy, Northern lights in Kansas

Here is a news roundup for you, covering several different spheres, articles of interest from each sphere. Enjoy


Laki: Geologist and volcano enthusiast Erik Klemetti has a summary article about the power and impact of the 18th century eruption of Iceland’s Laki, noting its explosive power was less than the immediate pyrotechnics of Tambora and Krakatau, but its impact was much deeper. He begins his article this way:

Local and Global Impacts of the 1783-84 Laki Eruption in Iceland
“Saturday marks the 230th anniversary of the famed Laki (or Skaftár Fires) eruption in Iceland — one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. It wasn’t a enormous explosion like many people associate with giant eruptions, nothing like Tambora or Krakatau. However, it did have a profound impact on people living around the entire Northern Hemisphere for years afterwards…”

Klemetti also noted yesterday on Twitter that “three Alaskan volcanoes on elevated alert status: Pavlof, Cleveland and Veniaminof.”

This article reports that in the last three years, 12 new Alaskan volcanoes have been discovered. Folks, we really don’t know as much about the earth as we think we do…

A Blast of a Find: 12 New Alaskan Volcanoes
“In the past three years, 12 new volcanoes have been discovered in Southeast Alaska, and 25 known volcanic vents and lava flows re-evaluated, thanks to dogged work by geologists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Forest Service. Sprinkled across hundreds of islands and fjords, most of the volcanic piles are tiny cones compared to the super-duper stratovolcanoes that parade off to the west, in the Aleutian Range.” reports today that “Researchers working with data from NASA’s AIM spacecraft have announced that noctilucent clouds (NLCs) are behaving strangely. Boosted by changing “teleconnections” in Earth’s atmosphere, the summertime clouds appeared earlier this year than ever before, setting the stage for an unusually good season of NLCs. “Unusually good” certainly describes the apparition this morning over Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland. “It was an amazing display,” says photographer Mark Ferrier. “The clouds appeared after sunset on June 8th and lasted straight through to sunrise on June 9th. :”

Gorgeous, isn’t it! The clouds look like gentle beach waves touching the sand.

Less gentle has been our sun lately. NASA reports, “The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 6:49 p.m. on June 7, 2013. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where communications signals travel. This disrupts the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, anywhere from minutes to hours.  This flare is classified as an M5.9 flare…”

Spaceweather again, explaining the levels of solar flares. “There are 3 categories: X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth’s polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.”

Northern Lights were seen last night as far south as Kansas! Our skies are truly beautiful, day or night.

“The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person,” (Zechariah 12:1)

Middle East:

There is a lot going on in the Middle East. It is the central point upon which all prophecy past and present will focus down to a laser point at the very end of time. Many people believe that those days are upon us. I myself think that there are not many days left until we are called home by Our Blessed Hope, Jesus, in the rapture. First we turn to Syria, specifically the border with Israel at the Golan Heights.

The civil war going on in Syria for almost three years now is spilling over to Israel. More battles are taking place on the Golan Heights, an important strip of land for Israel in terms of military defense. Recently, the Austrian UN peacekeepers decided to withdraw from the area, citing it as too dangerous for them men and women to remain. In their stead, Russia’s President Putin offered to Israel that Russian peacekeepers would go to fill the void. Israel said, “No thanks.”

UN: Russia Can’t Take Part in Golan Heights Force
“The United Nations said on Friday that Russia cannot send troops to the Golan Heights peacekeeping force, after President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to bolster the force, AFP reported. Putin offered troops after Austria decided to withdraw its 377 soldiers from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) between Syria and Israel because of growing spillover from the Syria conflict. However, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said later on Friday that Russia was banned from taking part in the force because it is one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council. “We appreciate the consideration that Russia has given to provide troops on the Golan. However, the disengagement agreement and its protocol between Syria and Israel does not allow for the participation of permanent members of the security council in UNDOF,” Nesirky told reporters, according to AFP.”

You might remember that Russia has sold Syria S-300 missiles, a missile that greatly enhances Syria’s war capabilities. It is an advanced anti-ship cruise missiles with advanced radar that makes them more effective. Israel asked Russia not to send them, but Russia insisted that they were keeping the deal with Syria.

Instead, Israel hinted that they themselves would fill the void with their own troops.
“Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned that Israel would fill the vacuum left by a disintegrating UN peacekeeping unit in the Golan Heights amid reports that Israeli and Syrian recently came close to their biggest direct clash in 40 years. Only last week, we saw battles close to out border on the Golan Heights,” he said. “The crumbling of the UN force on the Golan Heights underscores the fact that Israel cannot depend on international forces for its security. They can be part of the arrangements. They cannot be the basic foundation of Israel’s security. Mr Netanyahu’s remarks came after it was disclosed that Israel had warned Syria that it was prepared to act after the Syrian army moved five tanks and five personnel carriers into the demilitarised zone between the two countries last Thursday in breach of a longstanding ceasefire agreement.”

Over in neighboring Jordan, Multinational Military Exercises Launch in Jordan
“Patriot missiles were deployed for the first time at an annual multinational military exercise in key U.S. ally Jordan on Sunday, Jordanian and U.S. army officers said. The 12-day “Eager Lion” exercises have brought together 8,000 personnel from 19 mainly Arab and European countries to bolster defense capabilities in the face of a possible flare-up from neighboring Syria. … Meanwhile, Syria’s regime and its patron, Russia, have expressed concern over the Patriot deployment.”

The Guardian reports that sectarian divisions are popping up and adding to the religious divisions already present in the Middle East.

Conflict in the Middle East is about more than just religion
“Recently, Shia-Sunni conflicts have seen Hezbollah help Syrian government forces to recapture Qusair. Battles rage between the two sides in Lebanon while in Iraq the monthly death toll from Sunni-Shia violence has topped 1,000. But religion alone does not explain the escalating tensions. Fundamental political shifts begun by the Arab spring are helping create new regional disputes in the Middle East.”


The sinful culture is just getting putrid. Let’s face it- it is garbage out there. It is garbage in churches too. It seems that no please, no heart, no spot in earth is not being revealed to have been deeply stained by the curse. Not that we believe there is one area unstained by it, but the increasing visibility of it astounds us. The rapidity of the disintegration is amazing.

Julian Assange: U.S. rule of law suffering ‘calamitous collapse’
“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Friday that the US justice system was suffering from a “calamitous collapse in the rule of law”, as Washington reeled from the sensational exposure of vast spy agency surveillance programmes. “The US administration has the phone records of everyone in the United States and is receiving them daily from carriers to the National Security Agency under secret agreements. That’s what’s come out,” said the 41-year-old Australian. Two damning newspaper exposes have laid bare the extent to which President Barack Obama’s intelligence apparatus is scooping up enormous amounts of personal data — on telephone calls, emails, website visits — on millions of Americans and foreigners.”

Limbaugh: ‘We are in the midst of a coup’
“President Barack Obama and his administration are leading a “coup d’etat” to “take over” the United States, Rush Limbaugh claimed on his radio show Friday. Reflecting on the administration’s recently-discovered massive domestic surveillance programs, Limbaugh argued there is a “coup” taking place to subvert what the kind of country the United States has always been. “[It’s] not a violent coup, and not a militaristic coup, but nevertheless a takeover of a government, and it’s being done by the Obama administration,” he said.”

In the The Limbaugh Letter he explained further,
“There are people attempting to take over this country and to make it something that it wasn’t founded as; turn it into something that it wasn’t intended to be. That is happening. You know it and I know it. It’s peaceful, nonviolent. The military isn’t involved. But nevertheless it’s a coup. … We have Fast and Furious. We have Obamacare. The evidence of the totalitarian nature or the authoritarian nature of this administration is on display undeniably every day … The story is that practically every major tech group and company in this country is participating with the government in allowing the government access to their servers. E-mails, texts, phone calls, photographs. Virtually any communication that’s taking place via the Apple servers, the Microsoft servers, the Google servers, the NSA is able to look at in real time. This is the story now.”

While America is crumbling in rule of law (crime too), other nations are having their own horrific wake-up call.

American woman gang raped in India
“An American woman was gang-raped in the northern Indian resort town of Manali, police said. Three men in a truck picked up the 30-year-old woman as she was hitchhiking to her guest house after visiting a friend, police officer Sher Singh said. The men drove to a secluded spot and raped her, he said. She went to police and they filed a rape case. Authorities issued an alert for the three men and set up roadblocks to check any trucks leaving the town, he said. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon, Singh said. The rape came after a Swiss tourist was gang-raped in March while on a cycling trip through rural India. Six men were arrested in that attack. The same month, a British woman traveling elsewhere in northern India jumped from a third-floor window fearing a sexual attack after the hotel’s owner tried to force his way into her room. Concern about sexual assaults in India has heightened since the fatal gang-rape of a woman in New Delhi in December sparked public protests demanding better protection for women.”

As society crumbles, the society’s most vulnerable are always at risk: children and widows (or, women alone). (Isaiah 10:2, Psalm 146:9, James 1:27, Malachi 3:5).


Ouch. Just reading this next headline hurts.

Hourly Compensation of U.S. Employees Declines Most Since 1947

12 Clear Signals That The U.S. Economy Is About To Really Slow Down
“If we were going to have an “economic recovery”, it should have happened in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Unfortunately, as a recent Los Angeles Times article detailed, an economic recovery never materialized…Now we are rapidly approaching another major economic downturn. But poverty in America has continued to experience explosive growth since the end of the last recession and dependence on the federal government is already at an all-time high.”


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.