Archive for September, 2021

Signs of the Times: September 18, 2021

September 18, 2021

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are manymansions; if it were not so,I would have told you.I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you,I will come again and receive you to Myself; thatwhere I am, there you may be also.  (John 14:1-3)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Megadrought conditions remained the same across most of the western U.S., but improved significantly in Arizona and New Mexico, where the percentage of the state in severe to exceptional drought declined in Arizona from 95% to 40% over the past two weeks, while New Mexico decreased from 88% to 47%.

On Thursday, a federal judge denied the Biden administration’s request to immediately block Texas’ heartbeat abortion ban, saying the law presents complex issues that require presentations by both sides in court. US District Judge Robert Pitman, a nominee of President Barack Obama, issued a one-page ruling denying the Department of Justice’s request for an expedited schedule examining the constitutionality of the law, which went into effect Sept. 1.

A federal judge on Tuesday granted an emergency injunction blocking the state of New York from enforcing a new Covid-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. Seventeen medical health professionals had asked the court to enjoin enforcement of New York’s mandate that then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 16. The mandate required staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, adult care facilities, and other congregate care settings, be vaccinated for COVID-19 to continue to be employed. The plaintiffs, including doctors, nurses, a medical technician, and a physician’s liaison, were facing termination, loss of hospital admitting privileges, and the destruction of their careers unless they consent to be vaccinated with vaccines in contradiction of their religious beliefs, the lawsuit argued. Their religious beliefs compelled the plaintiffs “to refuse vaccination with the available COVID-19 vaccines, all of which employ aborted fetus cell lines in their testing, development, or production,” according to court documents.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

A quarrel is brewing between the U.S. and France over the Biden administration’s decision to help Australia develop a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, among other defense technologies, in a deal unveiled by the White House on Wednesday. Because of its deal with the U.S., Australia has cancelled its submarine contract with the French. “A knife in the back,” France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian. The pact, which also includes the United Kingdom, is meant to counter growing Chinese military aggression in the Indo-Pacific. And so the Chinese are mad, too.

  • Increasing rifts and wars will usher in the global government and the anti-Christ.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

Federal law enforcement officers are now prohibited from the use of “chokeholds” and “carotid restraints” in most instances, and instances in which agents can perform “no-knock” or unannounced entries have been limited, the U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday. Newly established department-wide policies “explicitly” ban officers from using such restraints, unless deadly force has been authorized. The new DOJ policy also decreases the circumstances in which “no knock” entries are permitted but allows for such entries when an agent “has reasonable grounds to believe that knocking and announcing the agent’s presence would create an imminent threat of physical violence to the agent and/or another person,” the DOJ said.

  • As law enforcement is being defunded and hampered by new restrictive policies, crime is surging across all large cities in the U.S. Obtaining authorization in advance takes time and adds another layer of bureaucracy. Often, the situation on the ground is urgent and fluid. Procedural days can make a life-or-death difference.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter Victory Boyd says that the NFL canceled her national anthem performance at last week’s season opener because she refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Boyd, a devout Black Christian, was supposed to make an appearance during the leagues’ season opener between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday. Boyd, said that her reasons for not getting vaccinated are grounded in her Christian faith. “The Bible admonishes Christians to appreciate their bodies as being sacred and a temple of the Holy Spirit and to not participate in things that can defile the body or render the body dysfunctional,” she said.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

About 1 in 500 Americans have died of Covid-19 according to the CDC. More than 663,000 people in the United States have succumbed to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus since early last year. People older than 85 make up only 2% of the population, but they comprise a quarter of the total death toll. One in 35 people 85 or older died of covid, compared with 1 in 780 for people of ages 40 to 64. About 1 in 240 Native Americans succumbed to the disease along with 1 in 390 for Hispanics, 1 in 460 for Blacks and 1 out of 1,300 for Whites.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported there were 4 million COVID-19 cases last week, reflecting the first marked decline in more than two months. In recent weeks, there were running about 4.4 million cases. All regions worldwide reported declines in new infections compared to the prior week. The U.S., U.K., India, Iran and Turkey contributed the highest numbers of new reported cases. Worldwide deaths also declined over the prior week at 62,000 fatalities, though Africa reported a 7% increase in weekly deaths.

The Biden administration is imposing new limits on states’ ability to access to Covid-19 antibody treatments amid rising demand from GOP governors who have relied on the drug as a primary weapon against the virus. Federal health officials plan to allocate specific amounts to each state under the new approach, in an effort to more evenly distribute the 150,000 doses that the government makes available each week. The approach is likely to cut into shipments to GOP-led states in the Southeast that have made the pricey antibody drug a central part of their pandemic strategy, while simultaneously spurning mask mandates and other restrictions.

  • Death to free markets, says Biden, reflecting the global offensive against capitalism and for socialism.

International

“We hear and see families crying for help, mothers confused as to how to find the next meal, fathers helpless and unable to find odd jobs to sustain, thefts increasing around the city simply to find money for their families!“ A Sri Lankan Christian doctor poured out her heart to Barnabas Aid about the economic crisis in Sri Lanka due to the Covid lockdown. A food shortage, coupled with inflation and a depreciating currency, has pushed Sri Lanka into a crippling crisis of hunger. Lockdown continues as Sri Lanka struggles with a persistent fourth wave of the pandemic. Even middle-class families are now walking into hospitals and imploring staff to give them just one meal. And for Sri Lanka’s 4 million day laborers, many of whom are Christians, the situation is even worse.

India says the use of the controversial drug, Ivermectin, has enabled them to defeat Covid-19. The government of Uttar Pradesh, which has a population of more than 240 million, said Friday that 33 of its districts are “COVID-free” and the state has a total of only 199 active cases, the Hindustan Times reported. The state said the recovery rate for COVID-19 has improved to 98.7%. The Indian Express reported in May, as the Gateway Pundit noted, that Uttar Pradesh was the first state in India to introduce large-scale prophylactic and therapeutic use of ivermectin.

  • U.S. health and mainstream media continue to claim that Ivermectin is a ‘horse dewormer’ not fit for human use, but the evidence clearly supports its use against Covid-19. The CDC’s recommendation of ivermectin, which was touted as a “wonder drug” in the Journal of Antibiotics, is for the treatment and prevention of intestinal parasites. But the drug – whose inventors were awarded a Nobel Prize – was shown in both in-vitro and in-vivo studies long before the COVID-19 pandemic to have strong antiviral as well as antiparasitic properties. At least 44 peer-reviewed studies, 31 randomized controlled trials and real-world experience indicate it is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel on Friday voted 16–3 to recommend against providing booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals aged 16 and older. The panel later voted to endorse the Pfizer booster for individuals who are aged 65 and older and for those who are at high risk. Throughout the meeting, independent scientists who advise the Food and Drug Administration struck a skeptical tone on the need for boosters, or third doses, for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for the general public. The advisory panel’s discussion is the first major test for the Biden administration’s vaccination agenda as top health officials last month announced they would try to roll out boosters for everyone by Sept. 20.

There is only a 1 out of 13,000 chance of a ‘breakthrough’ Covid-19 case requiring hospitalization. With tens of millions of Americans now vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of August, so-called “breakthrough” cases are bound to occur because the vaccines are less than 100% effective. But there’s reassuring news from new data: Most such cases are mild and those leading to hospitalization are exceedingly rare. Overall, the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that as of Aug. 30, there have been 12,908 cases of COVID-19 resulting in hospitalization or death among vaccinated Americans. Considering that more than 173 million Americans had been vaccinated by Aug. 30, that works out to a one in 13,000 chance of a vaccinated person getting a case so severe that hospitalization is required.

A head-to-head study of all three authorized coronavirus vaccines in the United States finds the Moderna vaccine is slightly more effective than Pfizer’s in real-life use in keeping people out of the hospital, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine comes in third, but still provides 71% protection against hospitalization. Pfizer’s vaccine provided 88% protection and Moderna’s was 93% effective.

The U.S. will announce that it will buy hundreds of millions more doses of Pfizer vaccine to donate in order to donate it to the poorer nations who are way behind in vaccinating their citizens. The announcement of the purchase is slated for early next week and timed to the United Nations General Assembly meeting, according to two people familiar with the deal. The United States is aiming to spark efforts to share vaccines with the global population.

The health minister of Israel – which has experienced a spike in COVID cases and deaths after becoming one of the most-vaccinated nations in the world – was caught on a hot mic admitting so-called “Green Pass” vaccine passports were not being implemented for scientific reasons. Unaware his conversation prior to a Cabinet meeting was being broadcast live on Israel’s Channel 12, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz told Israel’s Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked that there is no epidemiological justification for the COVID passport, and it is only intended to pressure the unvaccinated to vaccinate.

Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, announced Wednesday it would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination at bars, nightclubs, breweries, lounges, and related businesses. The order will also require vaccine proof or a negative COVID-19 test for large outdoor events, including Los Angeles Rams, Chargers, and Dodgers games, said County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors to the Board of Supervisors. Would-be customers will have to have at least one vaccine dose by Oct. 7 and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4, she said.

The U.S. government database that keeps track of deaths from vaccine side effects has exploded by 10-fold since the advent of COVID-19, and the experimental vaccines that have been developed in response, reports WMD.com. The Beltway Report explained that the Virus Adverse Event Report System gets more than 60,000 reports each year, including 1,400 deaths that are documented on average. But since COVID was unleashed on the world, “there have been 14,701 deaths reported,” the report said.

Pfizer said that data from Israel and the United States suggests that its COVID-19 vaccine efficacy drops over time and claimed that booster doses are effective at dealing with new virus variants. “Real-world data from Israel and the United States suggest that rates of breakthrough infections are rising faster in individuals who were vaccinated earlier in the vaccination campaigns compared to those who have been vaccinated more recently,” Pfizer said. Based on its data, Pfizer said that booster doses should be given to all people aged 16 and older six months after they received their second dose of the mRNA vaccine.

The chief executive of a hospital in Texas warned that his facility faces closure as a result of President Joe Biden’s Covid-19vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. If the mandate goes through, Brownfield Regional Medical Center CEO Jerry Jasper said that “Probably 20 to 25 percent of my staff will have to go away if that’s the case,” he said. Losing those workers, he said, would likely cause his hospital to shut down.

A hospital in upstate New York won’t have the capacity to deliver babies after six employees in its maternity ward resigned instead of taking the COVID-19 vaccine as part of an executive order handed down by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo several weeks ago. Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville said it will work with state officials to ensure that the maternity unit doesn’t shut down permanently.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Police are seeking information about a man seen in a shocking surveillance video kicking a woman down an escalator. The alleged assault occurred Thursday evening in Brooklyn as the man in the video is seen walking past the victim on an escalator out of the Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center Station, a typically busy subway stop. He turned around and then kicked the 32-year-old woman in the chest, causing her to fall down the escalator.

A gang of motorcycle-riding robbers forced a Manhattan BMW driver out of his car at gunpoint, then beat him before driving off in his pricey ride early Sunday, according to police and video of the heist. The 23-year-old victim was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital and treated for a cut to his eye and a broken nose.

A man in Queens was seen punching a 77-year-old woman in the face while stealing her purse and Bible. The incident unfolded on Sunday at about noon in Queens, NY. Surveillance video shows the suspect punching the woman in the face while pulling her purse away, causing lacerations on her hands. The suspect fled the scene and is still on the loose as police ask the public for help tracking him down.  

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

President Biden on Wednesday said 2.8 million Americans selected a health plan through Obamacare during a special enrollment period from February to August, bringing the total number of active customers in the program to an all-time high of 12.2 million. Biden credited his coronavirus pandemic-relief bill from earlier this year, which expanded the federal subsidies that defray the cost of premiums in the marketplace. “Americans who purchase their coverage through the Affordable Care Act have seen their premiums decrease an average of $67 a month,” Mr. Biden said. “Over four in 10 Americans who gained coverage during the special enrollment period found a quality plan for $10 or less per month.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced that it had rejected the applications of nearly a million electronic cigarettes and related products. But it also delayed a decision on the fate of the leading vape product brand, Juul, drawing an outcry from anti-vaping groups. Juul products will remain on the market for now, more than 10 years after e-cigarettes first began selling in the United States, while the FDA defers its decision to an unspecified later time.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Members of a school board in Ohio have been told to resign after they utilized an allegedly obscene instruction guide that told students to write about an “X-rated Disney scenario.” Or “ten euphemisms for sex,” or “a roomful of people who want to sleep together,” or “a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom” or “the first time I killed a man” or “your favorite part of a man’s body using only verbs.” The controversy has developed in Hudson, Ohio, where Cleveland.com said Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert and parents of students in the district are demanding the school board and teachers leave because of the book used in the high school’s Liberal Arts II writing class.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

A massive police response mobilized outside a fenced-off U.S. Capitol Saturday morning to greet a group of right-wing protesters who insisted that their noon demonstration won’t descend into violence. On Wednesday, federal workers reinstalled the tall, black security fencing around the Capitol that had been removed in July. Advocates at the “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, D.C., denounced what they call the “inhumane treatment” of dozens of Jan. 6 rioters who remain jailed while awaiting trials that are still months away. Counter-protesters arrived early, bearing giant flags in support of Black Lives Matter and transgender rights. A hand-lettered sign identified the bearer as “proud Antifa scum.” As of 2pm eastern time there was no reports of violence.

The Capitol Police Office of Professional Responsibility is recommending disciplinary action against six officers for their conduct in response to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The OPR recommended disciplinary action for conduct unbecoming in three of the cases, failure to comply with directives in one of the cases, improper remarks in one case, and “improper dissemination” in one case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office found insufficient evidence to charge any of the officers with a crime.

A teacher’s group protesting mandatory vaccinations was seen in New York City marching across the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday, with some protesters chanting against President Biden. They were also carrying signs reading, “Last year’s heroes, this years unemployed,” “My body, my choice,” and “I call the shots.” The protest was organized by Teachers for Choice and begain in Foley Square on Monday. Hundreds of people, including current and retired teachers, parents and other school staffers, were seen in Foley Square denouncing mandatory vaccines in order for people to keep their jobs. The protesters then walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.

An Army lieutenant colonel’s resignation letter is gaining attention on social media after he used it to protest the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and what he described as the “Marxist takeover of the military.” The resignation letter of Lt. Col. Paul Douglas Hague said he was resigning from the Army after 19 years of service and forgoing his pension primarily because of the Pentagon’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination order for all U.S. military service members. 

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Arizona’s Maricopa County and the state Senate have reached an agreement after a months-long dispute stemming from the local government’s refusal to hand over electronic voting equipment logs related to the November 2020 election. Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors on Friday agreed to provide the materials in question to a “special master,” who will hire experts to review the records and provide information to the state Senate. Former Arizona Republican congressman John Shadegg will fill that role.

The Arizona Supreme Court refused to overturn a Court of Appeals ruling that the records of Cyber Ninjas as related to the audit are public. The ruled that the Arizona Senate has no legal excuse to refuse to publicly produce the records of the firm it hired to audit the 2020 election returns. That leaves intact the finding that the records are the property of the Senate. And that, the appellate judges said, makes them subject to disclosure under the state’s public records law.

Two North Carolina judges on Friday struck down a law that required identification to vote, alleging it “was enacted with the unconstitutional intent to discriminate against African American voters.” The law was enacted in violation of the Equal Protection Clause in North Carolina’s Constitution, the majority of the panel said. The clause says that nobody shall be denied equal protection of the laws nor shall anybody be subjected to discrimination by the state due to race.

  • We need a license to drive a car but can vote without any ID? Nonsensical.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Afghan Immigrants

The majority of Afghans airlifted out of Kabul in last month’s emergency evacuation weren’t vetted before getting on the planes, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told senators on Tuesday. Mr. Blinken said they were too pressed to clear the crush of people at the airport and keep the runway open, and had to put off the vetting until later — but he insisted those checks have been done.

  • An Afghan who had been deported from the U.S. after an aggravated felony conviction was found on an evacuation flight back to the U.S. this month, The Washington Times has learned. The man, who had a 2011 conviction for aggravated robbery and was deported in 2017, somehow cleared all the overseas checks the Biden administration says it is making. His case follows that of Ghader Heydari, an Afghan who was convicted of rape in Idaho in 2010 and was deported in 2017, but who also made it onto an evacuation flight and landed at Dulles.

Some of the loudest voices calling for the resettlement of tens of thousands of Afghan refugees in the United States have come from Washington, D.C. – and yet the nation’s capital won’t be receiving any of the initial wave of refugees. The initial group of 37,000 are heading to many states. California (5,255) and Texas (4,481) will receive the largest numbers of the first wave, while smaller populated states like Oklahoma and Missouri will receive 1,800 and 1,200 respectively. Michigan, Florida and Georgia will both receive more than 1,000 Afghans each. New York will receive 1,143 and Arizona will receive 1,610. White House officials say there will be 95,000 refugees in the first fiscal year and made a $6.4 billion request for funding related to the resettlement.

A Republican Study Committee is telling its members that it will fight against a proposal by the Biden administration that allows for the tens of thousands of Afghans being brought in to quickly apply for permanent U.S. residency — warning of a plan to “open our borders to a Taliban-run nation.” The Committee’s memo warns that there are no vetting policies and procedures laid out in Operation Allies Welcome. In addition, “Afghan nationals admitted through this resettlement program will be allowed to take advantage of all existing entitlement programs such as cash welfare, food stamps, Medicaid and public housing,” it says.

Mexican Border

There 208,88 migrant ‘encounters’ at the southern U.S. border in August, a DHS source told Fox News on Wednesday, the second month in a row where the number has been over the 200,000 mark as migrants continue to attempt to enter the U.S. That’s a 317% increase over last August. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “If our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,” Mayorkas said. “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.”

  • Charging the Biden administration with abandoning the border amid an illegal-immigration crisis, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced he is using state resources to close ports of entry, including the National Guard. The governor said Thursday the Biden administration reversed a decision to shut down the borders after a massive influx of migrants, now totaling more than 11,000, arrived at the Texas border. “The Biden administration is in complete disarray and is handling the border crisis as badly as the evacuation from Afghanistan.”

The number of migrants, predominantly from Haiti, waiting under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas has doubled to more than 8,000 in a single day, and then increased to 11,000 by Saturday. Drone footage from Fox News shows the migrants under the bridge waiting to be apprehended by Border Patrol, which was overwhelmed saying the situation is “out of control.” It is the latest scene of chaos at the border as the Biden administration continues to struggle to handle a continued and relentless migrant surge.

  • Homeland Security plans to fly the Haitian migrants who have streamed into Texas back to Haiti as soon as Sunday, U.S. officials say. The Department of Homeland Security is planning as many as eight flights per day to Haiti, according to four U.S. officials who cautioned that details were in flux.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

President Biden’s plan for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for his $3.5 trillion social welfare expansion so far includes 40 new taxes. The menu of hikes ranges from doubling the federal tobacco tax to more than $2 per pack to boosting the top income tax rate to 39.6% from 37%, adding up to one of the largest tax increases in U.S. history. The 40 proposed tax hikes assembled this week by House Democrats would boost federal revenue by $2 trillion over the next decade. The proposed taxes fall heavily on business, including limits to small-business tax deductions, an increase in the corporate tax rate to 26.5% from 21%, and a 3.8% tax on pass-through entities such as law firms. “Big corporations and the super-wealthy have to pay their fair share of taxes,” Mr. Biden said at the White House. “It’s long overdue.”

  • Other new taxes include: Increasing the capital gains tax from 20% to 25%; Raising the top rate on individuals from 37% to the pre-Trump era high of 39.6%; Imposing a wealth tax in the form of a 3% surcharge on individuals with income above $5 million; Hiking the minimum tax on foreign income derived by corporations, from 10.5% to 16.6%.

Consumer spending unexpectedly accelerated in August as back-to-school shopping bolstered sales. Retail sales, a measure of spending at restaurants, stores and online, last month rose 0.7% to $618.7 billion, according to the Commerce Department. Clothing and clothing accessories sales rose 3.3% month over month and were 38.3% above year-ago levels. Clothing and clothing accessories sales rose 3.3% month over month and were 38.3% above year-ago levels. Auto sales declined 3.6% last month due to the chip shortage.

A survey of nearly 45,000 employers across 43 countries showed 69 percent of employers reported difficulty filling jobs, a 15-year high, according to employment-services provider ManpowerGroup Inc.

Americans’ incomes fell last year and more people were living in poverty as the COVID-19 pandemic threw millions out of work. Median U.S. household income decreased 2.9% to $67,500, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday, the first significant decline since 2011. That followed gains of 1.8% in 2017, 0.9% in 2018 and 6.8% in 2019. Household income includes Social Security, public assistance payments and interest and dividend from investment, among other sources but not the recent stimulus payments. There were 37.2 million people in poverty last year, 3.3 million more than in 2019. The poverty rate rose after five straight annual declines. Median income declined 2.7% for White households, 4.5% for Asians and 2.6% for Hispanics.  Income for Black households was roughly flat.

U.S. consumer prices rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% last month, the smallest increase in seven months and a  hopeful sign that inflation pressures may be cooling. The August result declined from a 0.5% increase in July and a 0.9% surge in June, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. It was the smallest increase since a similar 0.3% rise in January. Over the past 12 months, prices are up 5.3% a slight improvement after two months of gains of 5.4%, which had been the highest 12-month gains since 2008.

UK inflation rose at the fastest rate in at least 24 years in August as the price of transportation, restaurant meals and used cars spiked dramatically. The annual rate of inflation rose by 3.2% in August, up from 2% in the 12 months to July. The UK economy has also been facing sustained upward pressure on prices driven by worker shortages and snarled supply chains linked to the pandemic. There were a record 1 million UK job vacancies in June to August and wages soared nearly 7% between May and July.

The Great Resignation is continuing, reports USA Today. Nearly 4 million Americans per month are quitting their jobs. The pandemic prompted many to hang on to their jobs longer than they wanted to, and now they feel comfortable leaving for greener pastures. Others have taken the chance to reassess what matters most. And some are simply taking advantage of the plethora of job openings.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Two individuals in their 20s were stabbed near Jerusalem’s central station on Monday afternoon in a suspected terrorist attack and were evacuated to the nearby Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition. The stabber, later identified as a 17-year-old resident of Hebron, was shot in the chest by a Border Police officer and was critically injured. This past week has seen an increase in violent confrontations reported between Palestinians and Israeli security forces,

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

The Hezbollah militant group said it trucked more than a million gallons of Iranian diesel fuel into Lebanon from Syria on Thursday, celebrating the move as a way of spiting the United States while bringing much-needed aid to a country nearly paralyzed by fuel shortages. With Lebanon suffering one of the worst economic collapses in modern history, Hezbollah portrayed itself as a national savior, stepping in where the Lebanese government and its Western backers had failed. Hezbollah supporters lined roads in northeastern Lebanon as dozens of tanker trucks arrived. They waved Hezbollah flags, distributed sweets, blasted heroic anthems and fired rocket-propelled grenades into the air in celebration. The fuel delivery — which a Hezbollah official said was the first installment of more than 13 million gallons — underscored the severity of Lebanon’s crisis, as well as the government’s failure to address it.

Experts studying new data contained in reports last week by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ atomic inspection group, say that by enriching nuclear fuel in recent months to near bomb-grade levels, Tehran has gained the capability to produce the fuel needed for a single nuclear warhead within a month or so, under the most extreme timeline.

U.S. forces shot down a pair of Iranian drones that attacked the Irbil airport in Kurdish-held northern Iraq late on 20th anniversary of Sept. 11. There were no injuries or damage, according to a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. The U.S. counter-rocket, artillery and mortar system (C-RAM) engaged the two bomb-laden drones which were made in Iran. The Erbil airport, where some U.S. troops are based, has come under a series of attacks this year by Iranian-backed militia forces.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed during a conference Sunday the presence of a secret training base in Iran whose specialty is teaching terrorists throughout the region how to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Speaking at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Reichman University (IDC Herzliya), Gantz said, “The Kashan base located north of the city of Isfahan is used to train terrorists from Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. These terrorists are trained to employ UAVs produced by Iran. This base is a key point from which Iranian aerial terrorism is exported to the region.”

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

A U.S. drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, was conducted after numerous miscalculations by commanders who wrongly believed an aid worker was hauling explosives in his car, defense officials said Friday, reversing the Pentagon’s earlier insistence that the operation prevented an imminent suicide attack on U.S. forces. In fact, the driver, Zamarai Ahmadi, was a longtime aid worker for a U.S.-based group and was hauling water cans for his family, officials acknowledged. “We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced, and that Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as were the others tragically killed,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

North Korea said Monday that it successfully tested newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, the first known testing activity in months, underscoring how the country continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States. The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that the missiles showed they can hit targets 930 miles away. The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” — wording that implies they were developed with the intent to arm them with nuclear warheads. 

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

The greatest threat to the U.S. from international terrorists comes from nations such as Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Iraq, with Afghanistan further down the priority list after the two-decade American troop presence ended, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said. Although U.S. intelligence officials are closely watching whether terrorist groups re-emerge inside Afghanistan, the country is no longer the prime concern when it comes to harboring terrorists who could carry out an attack inside America, Haines said Monday at a national security conference in the Washington suburbs.

The defeat of the American-backed government in Afghanistan has increased the danger that the al Qaeda terrorist group will launch another attack on the United States very quickly, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said Tuesday. “The current assessment conservatively is one to two years for al Qaeda to build some capability to at least threaten the homeland,” said Army Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier. CIA Deputy Director David Cohen agreed that the al Qaeda threat is increasing and that the group will be capable of new attacks within a couple of years.

An analysis by Counter Extremism Project has determined that more than half of the Taliban’s 33-member cabinet in Afghanistan are on the U.N. Security Council’s terrorism blacklist. This finding counters the Taliban’s claims of a new moderate government that will guarantee the rights and safety of its citizens and productively cooperate within the international community. If recognized by the U.N., the Taliban government could potentially receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid that could instead be allocated towards terrorist activities.

An explosion from suicide bombing has killed at least 11 people Tuesday in the Somali capital. Witnesses said a suicide bomber walked into a teashop made of corrugated tin and detonated an explosive vest. The attack occurred near a checkpoint manned by Somali government security forces in Wadajir district, which is next to both Mogadishu’s airport and the headquarters of the Africa Union forces. Soldiers as well as civilians are among the dead. The Islamic al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

As fire and ash spread through Sequoia National Park, fire-resistant aluminum blankets were wrapped around endangered giant sequoias Wednesday, including the world’s largest tree, called General Sherman, which stands 275 feet tall and is over 36 feet diameter at the base. On Tuesday, the U.S. National Park Service closed Sequoia National Park after a pair of lightning-sparked wildfires, collectively known as the KNP Complex.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the Los Angeles area on Friday evening. The quake was centered in Carson, south of downtown, but was felt across Los Angeles County — as far northeast as Victorville and as far south as the U.S.-Mexico border. The 8 p.m. PT earthquake had a depth of about 9 miles and followed two other smaller temblors within the last week-and-a-half that were 3.0 or higher. Los Angeles usually has around five quakes of 4.0 to 5.0 each year. 

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

According to the most recent data estimates available from the Environmental Protection Agency, just 8.7 percent of the plastic that was discarded in the U.S. in 2018 was recycled. Over decades or even centuries, much of that littered and landfilled plastic breaks down into tiny particles known as microplastics, which contaminate our food, the air, and water. They also accumulate in our bodies, potentially increasing our risk of chronic inflammation and other ills. The only way to stem the rising tide of plastic is for companies to make less of it and for recycling programs to be retooled so that more of what we throw away is actually turned into something useful. There’s little to suggest this will happen anytime soon.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Hurricane Nicholas brought strong winds and flooding rainfall that covered streets and damaged homes in Texas as the storm came ashore and moved across land Tuesday, spreading into Louisiana. Hundreds of thousands were left without power across Texas after trees and power lines were toppled. The storm strengthened into a hurricane right before it roared ashore around 1 a.m. local time near Matagorda, Texas. Winds gusted up to 95 mph there and video showed storm surge enveloping coastal roads. Nicholas was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday. Nicholas then dumped heavy rain on parts of the South as the storm slowly inched across land, bringing more misery to some areas hit just over two weeks ago by Hurricane Ida.

At least one person is dead and 10 missing after a landslide struck on 9/11 near Mexico City, the latest in a string of bad weather and other disasters to hit the country. Tlalnepantla State Gov. Alfredo Del Mazo said recent heavy rain and a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the region Tuesday likely contributed to making the land unstable, sending huge boulders down a hillside and into a neighborhood north of the city. Four homes were damaged and about 80 others were evacuated.

Two people are dead and several injured after a tornado on a small Italian island in the Mediterranean flipped cars and threw people from their vehicles. The twister struck on Pantelleria, which is south of Sicily, shortly before 7 p.m. Friday on 9/11. Utility poles were bent over, roofs damaged and trees knocked down. Nine persons were injured, including two in critical condition.

Signs of the Times: September 11,2021

September 11, 2021

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

The State Department said it “facilitated the safe departure” of four U.S. citizens from Afghanistan on Monday, noting that the Taliban “was aware” and did not interfere in the evacuation. A senior State Department official said the evacuation was done “by overland route from Afghanistan.” “Embassy staff was present upon their arrival,” the official said. “They were in good condition.”

It took only hours for Methodist Health System in Texas, facing a legal demand letter from Liberty Counsel, to decide to grant several employees religious accommodations to its demand that all accept the experimental COVID-19 vaccines. The hospital corporation had announced that all workers would be required to accept the shots or be fired. But that, according to Liberty Counsel’s letter, delivered just a day ago, violated several state and federal laws. Three of the four employees cited in the Liberty Counsel letter were notified, within about five hours of the letter being issued, that, “The Exemption Committee re-analyzed some of the exemption requests that were submitted and had been initially denied…and has reversed its initial decision and has now approved your exemption.” A decision on the fourth employee was expected shortly.

Florida’s 1st District Court on Friday reinstated a stay on mask mandates in schools, blocking local school requirements for now, court documents show. Lawyers for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis filed the emergency appeal after a judge ruled on Wednesday that the state of Florida must stop their enforcement of a mask ban. The latest court ruling comes amid a showdown between the state and some local school districts that have insisted on requiring students to wear masks as Covid-19 infections surge.

The city of Tucson, Arizona, has paused a mandate that ordered employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine or face five days of suspension and other discipline. Arizona’s attorney general said Tuesday that the mandate, imposed last month, was illegal because it violated an executive order that Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled earlier this year, in addition to a state law that is set to go into effect later this month. Mark Brnovich, the attorney general, warned Tucson officials that unless the mandate was rescinded, he would proceed with directing the state treasurer to withhold the city’s portion of state shared revenue until officials halted the policy.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

President Biden will direct the Department of Labor to develop a rule that companies with more than 100 employees will require vaccinations or once-per-week testing for their workers, potentially affecting tens of millions of U.S. private-sector employees, according to the White House. The administration’s rule will require that “all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work,” which will affect more than 80 million workers in the private sector.

  • Republican members of Congress and state governors were appalled. “This is absolutely unconstitutional,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky, /said. “The U.S. Constitution does not give the President this type of authority. Nowhere in Article 2 of the Constitution will you find anything that even remotely gives the President this kind of power,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala. “This is exactly the kind of big government overreach we have tried so hard to prevent in Arizona,” said Republican Governor Doug Ducey.
  • Once again, government mandates are unconstitutionally eliminating individual and religious rights and freedoms. Big Brother has arrived, and according to Revelation 13, it will only get worse.

Members of the National Archives’ task force on racism have recommended removing the “charters of freedom” description for America’s founding documents, such as the Constitution, arguing that it did not initially grant freedom for all individuals. The subgroup also recommended “reimagining” the Rotunda, which houses America’s founding documents, arguing that it doesn’t “tell the whole story” of slavery. Other ideas include new displays in the exhibit cases that grapple with the contradictions between the founding ideals and the realities of slavery and Indian removal and present a full and honest history of this founding era.”

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

After 20 years, the Taliban has once again taken Afghanistan. Women will almost certainly face unforgiving brutality despite the Taliban’s glib promises. Two female journalists in Afghanistan independently told Fox News they were barred from their newsrooms and hid out of fear that the Taliban would kill them. One told her story over the sound of gunfire, and the other changes her location every day to avoid getting caught. After returning to power, the Taliban announced that they would be more permissive than during their previous reign and would give women broader rights, so long as they fell within the bounds of Sharia law. But these experiences seem more reminiscent of the Afghanistan women knew before the U.S. intervened in 2001.

  • The Islamic militants are reportedly ‘hunting’ anyone who has aided the U.S. in the war over the last 20 years and going door-to-door to do so, according to a pregnant American woman who remains stranded in the country.
  • The Taliban’s use of violent force to ‘crush’ a women’s protest demonstration is ‘another sign that they will not tolerate peaceful dissent in Afghanistan, notes the New York Times.

Alaska Airlines has been accused by two former employees of anti-religious discrimination after the corporation fired them for asking questions about the company’s promotion of the Equality Act, an issue the company itself had proposed for discussion on a type of chat forum. According to First Liberty Institute, formal complaints have been filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and charge the company discriminated against the two flight attendants because of their “Christian beliefs.”

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

The Justice Department is suing Texas over a new state law that bans most abortions, arguing that it was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution.” The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in Texas, asks a federal judge to declare that the law is invalid, “to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.” The Texas law, known as SB8, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity — usually around six weeks.

  • President Biden and other liberal/progressives are calling abortion a constitutional right, but there is nothing in the constitution to even suggest that such a right exists.

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order to limit abortion access in her state following the historically restrictive law signed in Texas last week. The first-term Republican governor Tuesday signed a directive that bars physicians not licensed in South Dakota from prescribing abortion-inducing chemicals to someone, would make it illegal to deliver such products via courier, telemedicine or mail service, and prohibits abortion-inducing drugs from being dispensed or provided in schools or on state grounds.

Mexico decriminalized abortion Tuesday, a dramatic step in the world’s second-biggest Catholic country. The Supreme Court’s decision makes Mexico the most populous country in Latin America to permit the procedure. The ruling comes as Texas, just across the border, tightens restrictions. The decision reflects activism by a powerful feminist movement, as well as concern about women dying or suffering harm from illegal abortions.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

The 7-day average of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. has declined to 145,666/day on 9/11 from 164,382 on 9/2, an 11% decrease. The highest peak for new cases was 259,616 on 1/2/21. Deaths, however, are up 29% over the past two weeks since deaths lag cases by 10-14 days. Hospitalizations have remained about the same this past week at about 100,500.

The vast majority of Americans who are dying or getting serious cases of Covid-19 are unvaccinated, reports Fox News. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 30, about 99 percent of hospital admissions were among those who hadn’t been fully inoculated. As of Aug. 30, a little over 1.6 million Americans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 — but only about 0.65 percent of them, or 10,471 patients, were fully vaccinated, the CDC data show. “The numbers highlight the vaccine’s effectiveness in warding off serious cases of the virus, even as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread across the country,” notes Fox News.

Some hospitals in the U.S are so full of Covid-19 patients that they have begun to ration medical care. More than 101,000 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19, according to data Thursday from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Now, some patients wanting urgent care won’t get it because so many beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients. Some of these patients are “being put on the back burner,” said Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, chief clinical officer of Providence Health System in Seattle. In Idaho, the Department of Health and Welfare activated its Crisis Standards of Care in the northern part of the state Tuesday due to “a massive increase in patients with Covid-19 who require hospitalization.”

Second Circuit Judge John Cooper has ruled against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appeal to reinstate his ban on mask mandates and is allowing Florida schools to continue to have mask mandates while the case is appealed at a higher level. DeSantis had appealed Cooper’s earlier ruling that stated the governor overreached and did not have the authority to ban school districts from implementing mask mandates without a parent opt-out.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 83% of Americans 16 and older have at least some immunity to COVID-19 and that prior infection provides similar immunity as vaccination. The team worked with blood collection organizations in every state as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, testing the blood of 74% of the population. In July 2020, 3.5% of samples carried antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. The number increased to 11.5% by December. With no vaccine available, all those antibodies were from infections. By May 2021, the number rose to 83.3%.

The mu coronavirus variant has been detected in 49 U.S. states and 42 countries, according to estimates, as health officials keep an eye on the strain to see if it becomes dominant. The strain, also known as B.1.621, was first identified in Colombia in January and was added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “variants of interest” list. Though nationwide the variant has been detected in less than 1% of samples. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert, on Sunday said that the mu variant demonstrated mutations that “indicate that it might evade the protection from certain antibodies.” He said the mu variant was “not an immediate threat.”

Amid a flood of media reports supporting a veterinary version of the drug ivermectin with one for human use that is touted worldwide by physicians and in more than 100 scientific studies as a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, a 74-year-old Vietnam War veteran died in Texas after a hospital refused to administer the drug in defiance of a court order, according to the family.

The Indian Bar Association is charging WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan with the mass murder of Indians.  Dr. Swaminathan spoke against the use of Ivermectin in the Tamil Nadu province with the consequence that Ivermectin’s use was blocked and Covid cases skyrocketed with deaths increasing ten-fold. In the provinces where Ivermectin was used—Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Goa— Covid cases declined sharply by 98%, 97%, 94%, and 86%.

  • And yet, the U.S. government and hospitals continue to ban the use of Ivermectin.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a resurgence in other infections that strike hospitalized patients, according to a study, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including UTI, Sepsis, and Staph infections. The study found that rates of several types of hospital-acquired infections have risen since the Covid-19 pandemic reached U.S. shores in 2020. The trend is disconcerting, in part, because U.S. hospitals had been making steady progress in preventing those infections before the pandemic.

International

Officials in India are racing to contain a virus outbreak that has claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy and is deadlier than COVID-19 — the Nipah virus. The reemergence of the Nipah virus is compacting a problem in the nation already grappling with the effects of COVID-19, with over 30,000 new COVID cases reported on Monday. The Nipah virus was first discovered in Malaysia and Singapore in 1999 after multiple pigs and people became sick. So far, the only recorded outbreaks have occurred in Asia. It’s classified as a zoonotic virus that initially spreads from animals to people. The Nipah virus is not related to COVID-19 but may have the same originating source, bats. It can also be transmitted through contaminated food and directly between people. WHO reports that 40% to 75% of Nipah cases are fatal compared to COVID-19 fatality rate of around 2%.

The government of South Australia is implementing a program for people to use an app that has facial recognition software and geolocation to prove they are abiding by a 14-day quarantine requirement. Steven Marshall, premier of the state of South Australia, launched the quarantine app policy in late August. Residents returning from New South Wales and Victoria, two other Australian states, may spend their 14 days in post-travel quarantine at home, rather than in a hotel, so long as they download and use the “Orwellian” app, developed by the South Australian government, ABC News Australia reported.

A 28-year-old Vietnamese man infected eight people with COVID-19 and has now been put behind bars as a result. Authorities say Le Van Tri returned to the city of Ca Mau after having traveled to Ho Chi Minh City and did not quarantine for the three weeks required by law. One of the people he infected with the coronavirus died after battling COVID for a month, authorities say. Vietnam has strict quarantine rules and has sentenced two other people to suspended jail terms for the same charge of “spreading dangerous infectious diseases” for which Tri was convicted after a one-day trial.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Missions Board announced this week that it will require its missionaries to be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying it is necessary in order to take the gospel around the world during a global pandemic. The Missions Board, which has more than 3,600 field personnel, said the new policy will require all missionaries and any children ages 16 and over to be vaccinated. The new policy, the IMB said, is necessary to “maintain access to unreached peoples and places” and to “advance the gospel.”

The Los Angeles school board voted to require students 12 and older to get the coronavirus vaccine. School board members said mandating a vaccine is the best way to protect students and keep schools open for in-person learning. Los Angeles is the nation’s second-largest school district and by far the largest to mandate the vaccine for students.

The CDC reported Friday that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of Covid-19 than those who are vaccinated, They also said that the Moderna vaccine is more effective in preventing hospitalization than the other vaccines. However, the report highlighted the continued effectiveness of all three vaccines amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

Unions that represent federal workers pushed back Thursday against President Biden‘s plan to require all federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The American Federation of Government Employees, which is part of the AFL-CIO and represents over 670,000 federal workers, said they encourage members to get vaccinated. However, they said COVID-19 vaccine requirements should be negotiated with the unions during collective bargaining, not mandated through an executive order.

WND.com reports that “anyone who dies within 14 days of getting vaccinated is considered “unvaccinated”? No wonder they claim everyone who is dying is unvaccinated… Worst of all, the media have blacked out the developing disaster in Israel. Israel is the most vaccinated country in the world. They all got the Pfizer vaccine. At first, deaths and hospitalizations went to almost zero. Israel declared victory over COVID-19. But everything changed. Today a massive COVID-19 outbreak has engulfed vaccinated Israel. Hospitals are full. People are dying. At this moment, Israel, the most vaccinated nation in the world, has more COVID-19 infections per capita than any country in the world.”

A leaked report reveals that the FDA knew about vaccine side effects in advance of their release and did not inform anyone about it. “All of the clotting and coagulation.  All of the heart damage.  All of the female reproductive issues. All of the people suffering heart attacks and strokes and people sadly dying. All of it was predicted by the medicine regulators before the jabs were even rolled out,” reports the Daily Expose. “Even the multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome in children was predicted and it is a brand-new disease where children have symptoms resembling toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, in which the coronary arteries enlarge or form aneurysms. Also common are heart inflammation with impaired heart function and low blood pressure, rash or red eyes, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Which is why we can be certain that vaccine enhanced disease also known as antibody-dependent enhancement is occurring and will occur, because the health regulators have predicted it will do so.”

A coalition of Oregon police officers and firefighters have sued Gov. Kate Brown over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state employees. The plaintiffs—including the Oregon Fraternal Order of Police and the Kingsley Firefighters Association—argued in a lawsuit filed Friday in a Jefferson County court that Brown’s executive order violates a number of laws and want it blocked. Brown issued an executive order on Aug. 13 that imposed a mandatory vaccine requirement on all executive branch employees.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

A judge in Florida on Monday ordered a suspected gunman held without bond a day after the Marine and self-described “survivalist” allegedly broke into a stranger’s home in a methamphetamine-fueled rampage and murdered four people, including a three-month-old baby boy in his mother’s arms. Bryan Riley, 33, of Brandon, Florida, is believed to have “zero connection” to his victims in the unincorporated area of Lakeland, where he then barricaded himself inside their home and fired at law enforcement. After he came outside and surrendered with his hands up, officers entered the home to also found an 11-year-old girl who had survived despite being shot at least seven times.

Authorities are looking for a suspect they consider to be armed and dangerous after he allegedly opened fire into a crowd in downtown Athens, Georgia, last weekend. In total, seven people were injured early Sunday morning, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said in a news release posted on Facebook. The shooting happened in downtown Athens as students and fans filled the streets to celebrate the University of Georgia’s victory in football over Clemson.

A 12-year-old boy in California was punched multiple times in an unprovoked attack Sunday while riding on a bus to visit his grandma in Long Beach, according to his father. The boy’s father, Billy Brown, said that an Hispanic male got on the bus and sat next to his son when the disturbing attack unfolded – and no one stepped in to help. Police identified the suspect as 36-year-old David Manuel Santana Garcia. Police said he was arrested without incident and charged with child cruelty, assault, battery, and other public transportation-related charges.

Division: Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all,but rather division.For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. (Luke 12:51-52) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

A pro-Chinese government online influence operation is targeting Americans in an effort to exploit divisions over the Covid-19 pandemic and “physically mobilize protestors in the US in response,” according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Mandiant and experts at Google. The operation has expanded into a “global campaign that’s operating in seven languages, on at least 30 social media platforms and across 40+ website & forums,” experts at Mandiant and Google say. U.S. officials believe the operation is linked to the Chinese government.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Los Angeles Police Department officers say they’ve been instructed by their chief to collect the social media usernames of everyone they stop, including people who are not arrested or accused of a crime. The information is needed for investigations, arrests and prosecutions, according to a July 2020 internal memo from Police Chief Michel Moore. Officers are given field-interview cards which they must fill out when questioning people. Along with the usual information, such as name and date of birth, there are places to record Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social-media accounts.

  • Personal privacy is being invaded more and more as governments collect more and more data. Even the U.S. Post Office was found to be collecting personal data. Big Brother is no longer a fictional concept.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

At least 1,000 schools across 35 states have closed for in-person learning because of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year, according to Burbio, a New York-based data service that is tracking K-12 school reopening trends. Schools listed in the company’s tracker have closed for anywhere from one day to several weeks. Most temporarily moved to remote learning. Others temporarily closed with no instruction. And a small number delayed the start of school or shifted into hybrid learning.

  • The rising number of closures comes amid a battle over mask mandates in schools and a surge in pediatric COVID-19 cases largely because of the highly contagious delta variant.

A lawsuit has been filed against the state of California accusing officials there of requiring students to pray to Aztec gods of human sacrifice, even as Christian prayers remain banned. The lawsuit outlines how the state’s “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum” requires “Affirmations, Chants, and Energizers,” which addresses deities both by name and title. It also acknowledges them as “sources of power and knowledge, invokes their assistance, and gives thanks,” the lawsuit said. That, essentially, is a “state-mandated prayer,” the case claims.

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

More than 93,000 Americans died from a drug overdose last year, according to provisional data from the U.S. CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. This means that 2020 was the deadliest year on record for drug overdoses. Asia’s drug cartels adapted quickly to the pandemic in 2020, flooding markets with synthetic narcotics worth tens of billions of dollars even as the global economy ground to a halt, according to a new United Nations report. Methamphetamine seizures in East and Southeast Asia surged 19% from 2019 to a new record-high, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report found. The primary concern now is that the Asian cartels are using ‘creative chemistry’ to avoid detection of meth.

TikTok is giving people a mental health education they never had before. Mental health content has exploded on the immensely popular social media platform. The hashtag #mentalhealth has 15.3 billion views and #therapistsoftiktok has 318 million. Therapist creators say the pandemic likely accelerated the space’s evolution, but they credit its existence to the broader de-stigmatization of mental health issues as well as the app’s younger users who are more comfortable not only disclosing but also publicly processing everything from childhood trauma to relationship abuse.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Thousands of French citizens demonstrated in several cities last weekend for an eighth straight weekend, as protests continued against the country’s COVID-19 vaccine passport system that regulates entrance to most public areas, including stadiums, cafes, restaurants, and gyms. The health pass, which was passed by the French Parliament weeks ago, mandates an individual be vaccinated, have a recent negative COVID-19 test, or prove they have fully recovered from the virus. Another law slated to go into effect this month will require all healthcare workers to get the vaccine. France’s Ministry of Interior confirmed to news outlets over the weekend that about 140,000 people partook in demonstrations over the weekend.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is downplaying an ugly moment Monday in which protesters struck him with gravel. “It’s no big deal,” Trudeau told reporters after acknowledging he got struck on the shoulder while boarding his campaign bus in London, Ontario. Trudeau has been regularly encountering protesters opposed to government mandates on vaccines and masks. He canceled a rally last month because security officials deemed demonstrators who had gathered in advance to be a threat. “There is a small fringe element in this country that is angry, that doesn’t believe in science,” Trudeau said earlier Monday.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Texas Gov. Abbott signed a new voting law Tuesday that Democrats had tried to block by fleeing state. The fight now goes to the courts. The GOP law already faces two challenges in federal court, with nearly two dozen organizations and individuals suing Republican leaders and election officials as well. Democrats say the law is too restrictive while Republicans say it ensures election integrity and reduces the risk of fraud.

An independent team from the Voter Integrity Project conducted a door-to-door canvassing audit in order to try and figure out if there was any legitimate fraud that took place in the 2020 election. The team reports that: “During the canvass, of the 4,570 registered voters we gathered data on, 964 individuals were interviewed at their residence who were registered to vote in Maricopa County but whom the county said did not vote. Of those 964, 34.23%, or 330 people, said they had actually voted. Overall, there were 505,709 people in the county registered to vote who did not have a vote recorded in the election. Extrapolating these results to the entire county, it is estimated that 173,104 voters had their votes stolen.”

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Wholesale prices soared 8.3% in August from a year ago, the biggest annual gain since the Labor Department began tracking the annual inflation data. Wholesale food prices rose 2.9% in August and have climbed 12.7% in the past year. The price of beef has risen 59.2%. Energy prices have risen 32.3% in the past year.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) price index, which follows international prices of globally traded food commodities, averaged 127.4 points in August, up 3.9 points (3.1%) from July and 31.5 points (32.9%) from the same period last year. In August, the most significant factor in the increase was the FAO Sugar Price Index, which jumped 9.6% from July due to frost damage to crops in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter. The second-largest jump in the basket was the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, which rose 6.7% last month, as international palm oil prices soared to historic highs because of below-potential production. A combination of global droughts, volatile weather, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions persisting from COVID, among others, have contributed to the rapid rise in food prices over the last year.

If Congress doesn’t raise the limit on federal borrowing the federal government will most likely run out of cash and extraordinary measures next month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned lawmakers on Wednesday. In short, a default would be an economic cataclysm. Interest rates would spike, the stock market would crater, retirement accounts would take a beating, the value of the US dollar would erode and the financial reputation of the world’s only superpower would be tarnished. “It would be financial Armageddon,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told CNN. Lawmakers in Washington are again playing chicken with America’s creditworthiness. And the path to raising the debt ceiling is not clear. Even though Congress has in the past raised the debt ceiling with a bipartisan vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed in July that Republicans will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.

  • Federal debt is spiraling out of control. While not raising the debt ceiling seems ‘catastrophic’ the alternative is not bed of roses either. If the debt buildup continues to outpace gross domestic product, at some point the house of cards will fall. Choose your poison.
  • On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia ripped off the stimulus band-aid and confirmed that it would start to scale back its bond-buying program this month despite concerns about the delicate economic recovery. The European Central Bank followed suit on Thursday, saying that it would make asset purchases at a “moderately lower pace” than in the previous two quarters. The hope is that interest rates and inflation won’t get out of control.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 310,000 from 345,000 the previous week, a pandemic low and a sign that the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant has yet to lead to widespread layoffs. Normal new unemployment claims run around 225,000. The pace of hiring, though, has weakened — at least for now. Last week, the government reported that hiring slowed dramatically in August, with employers adding just 235,000 jobs after having added roughly a million in both June and July.    

More than 7.5 million out-of-work Americans lost all of their unemployment benefits on Labor Day as three federal programs put in place in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic expired on Monday. In addition, another 3 million lost the extra $300 boost to their state jobless aid.

It appears that the federal government may be easing away from stimulus programs for the time being. In the meantime, ten states have initiated – or plan to initiate – their own stimulus plans.

  • Last month, the $100 billion California Comeback Plan was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The bill includes $8.1 billion in direct stimulus payments – $600 checks to be sent to taxpayers earning between $30,000 and $75,000 annually. An additional $500 will be sent to families with dependent children.
  • Any Colorado resident who earns less than $52,000 and received at least one weekly unemployment check is eligible to receive a check for $375 from the Centennial State’s general fund.
  • The American Rescue Plan provided enough funds for Florida to deliver $1,000 checks to educators, police officers, paramedics, EMTs, and firefighters.
  • Georgia has distributed $1,000 bonuses to teachers. Maryland repealed state and local taxes on unemployment benefits. The state also provided families with a $500 stimulus check.
  • Michigan teachers who worked in school buildings received up to $3,000 in hazard pay. Missouri provided correctional officers with an extra $250 per paycheck.
  • More than 4,600 low-income households in New Mexico have recently received $750 in emergency financial assistance.

Faced with worker shortages and higher labor costs, companies are starting to automate service sector jobs that economists once considered safe, assuming that machines could not easily provide the human contact they believed customers would demand. “The robots escaped the manufacturing sector and went into the much larger service sector,” said Johannes Moenius, an economist at the University of Redlands. “I regarded contact jobs as safe. I was completely taken by surprise.” For example, an Arby’s drive through east of Los Angeles has installed an artificial-intelligence voice assistant to take orders. “It doesn’t call sick… It doesn’t get corona. And the reliability of it is great,” says owner Amir Siddiqi

In 1979, people aged 65 and older accounted for 3% of the nation’s workforce, representing the smallest contingent. Teenagers aged 16 to 19 years old were the second smallest cohort at 8.2%, according to the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty years later, that trend flipped: 6.6% of the nation’s workforce were those 65-plus, while 3.2% were older teens. Additionally, the 55- to 64-year-old age group’s share increased by 5.5 percentage points to 17.2%, while the 20- to 24-year-old contingent’s share shrunk 6 percentage points to 8.5%. In 1979, almost two-thirds of the U.S. labor force consisted of workers who were married, the BLS data shows. Forty years later, that share was just north of 52%. The non-white share of U.S. workers increased to 22.3% in 2019 from 11.7% in 1979

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Hundreds of Palestinians were rioting Wednesday evening in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, clashing with IDF forces in response to calls by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups to protest the transfer of Palestinian security prisoners in Israel to different facilities for security reasons. The IDF, along with police and Israel’s Security Agency, is on a manhunt for six terrorists who escaped from the Gilboa prison in the north. Islamic Jihad prisoners at Ketziot prison burned seven of the facility’s 12 cells Wednesday and set fire to various objects. Inmates in the Ramon prison set fire to two cells in different wings. Teams from Israel’s “Masada” intervention unit stepped in and took over and evacuated the prisoners while the flames were brought under control. The clashes began in Huwara in the Nablus area and in Manara Square in Ramallah – and from there on continued to other centers throughout the PA-controlled territory as well as in eastern Jerusalem Hundreds of Palestinians have been burning tires and throwing stones and rocks at the IDF forces.

Iran is refusing to allow inspectors access to nuclear-related sites and hindering a probe by the United Nations atomic agency while continuing to expand its nuclear activities, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in two confidential reports Tuesday, casting doubt on efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. The reports leave the Biden administration and its European allies facing a choice between pushing for a formal rebuke of Iran—which Tehran’s new hardline government has warned could scuttle the resumption of nuclear talks—or refraining from action, potentially undercutting the authority of the IAEA and its leadership.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

A commercial flight took off from Kabul airport on Thursday for the first time since the Taliban seized Afghanistan, hours after the militants cleared a group of about 200 Americans and other foreign nationals to leave the country. It is unclear at this stage whether or how many Americans were on board the Qatar Airways flight, reported earlier to be bound for Doha, or the nationalities of the other passengers.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), whose office has been working to evacuate two elderly U.S. citizens from Afghanistan, said it’s likely that about 500 Americans remain stranded in the country, a figure that’s at odds with estimates provided by White House officials. When including the family members of U.S. citizens, Issa said the number of people stranded in Afghanistan could be as high as 1,000.

A hostage situation is brewing in Afghanistan as the Taliban refuses to allow planes filled with Americans and Afghan allies to leave the country, according to a Republican congressman. Texas Rep. Mike McCaul made the revelation during an appearance on Fox News on Sunday. “We have six airplanes at Mazar Sharif Airport — six airplanes with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters — and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now.”

U.S. Embassy contractors and visa applicants are among the Afghans left behind after one of the largest airlifts in history. The massive evacuation effort left “many of our longtime partners” behind, according to a State Department spokesperson. One person familiar with the matter said they included about 2,000 contractors and immediate family members, some of whom had worked at the embassy for more than a decade.

The Taliban claimed victory Monday over last pocket of resistance in Afghanistan. The group said it seized control of Panjshir province, a restive mountain region, cementing its total control over Afghanistan a week after U.S. forces departed the country. However, the National Resistance Front in Afghanistan (NRF), an anti-Taliban group which has been battling the militants’ offensive in the Panjshir Valley, denied the claim.

The Taliban have announced the formation of a hardline interim government Tuesday for Afghanistan, with key roles being shared among veterans of the militant group and their allies in the U.S.-sanctioned Haqqani Network. Two senior figures in the Haqqani Network, a U.S.-designated terror group aligned with the Taliban and al Qaeda, will be in in the interim government. Both have been sanctioned by the United Nations and the U.S. The Taliban also announced that the country now is a “caliphate” and have promised to ignore international laws that violate their Islamic religious law.

  • The White House said there is “no rush” to recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan, saying that recognition from the U.S. will be “dependent” on their actions. “The world will be watching whether they allow for American citizens, whether they allow individuals to leave who want to, and how they treat women and girls around the country,” press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

As we remember the horrific events of 9/11 twenty years ago, many experts say that our disastrous departure from Afghanistan will increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks in the near future. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan because it was the refuge of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Now, as the Taliban establish control over the country, it will once more become a haven for many terrorist groups who pose an extreme threat to the U.S.

A suicide attack killed at least four people and injured 20 others in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan early Sunday. A convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps was targeted as it was changing duty at a security post. The attacker used a motorcycle to get near the paramilitary force, which is in overall charge of security in Baluchistan, a restive province in northwest Pakistan that borders Afghanistan’s south. More than 13 pounds of explosives were used, officials said. The militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility. The TTP is a separate organization from the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

The number of orphans and widows … continues to grow,” said a Nigerian church leader writing to Barnabas Aid after Fulani militants attacked dozens of villages in Kaduna and Plateau states, leaving 1,500 Christian households displaced – approximately 11,000 individuals. Their homes were damaged and destroyed, and 150 Christians were injured during the attacks. Of these, 17 were seriously injured and needed professional medical assistance for gunshot and machete wounds but could not afford it. Many of the displaced households are sheltering in schools, sleeping in the classrooms.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

The Caldor Fire, which has threatened the popular tourist spot of Lake Tahoe, came under better control this weekend, and some evacuation orders have been downgraded. The growth of the fire burning along the California and Nevada border has slowed significantly. In the 24-hour period between Friday night and Saturday night, the fire grew by only 842 acres and was 43% contained as of Sunday morning.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

A powerful earthquake struck near the Pacific resort city of Acapulco on Tuesday night, killing at least one person and causing buildings to rock and sway in Mexico City hundreds of miles away. The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 10 miles northeast of Acapulco.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

Solar energy should make up 45% percent of U.S. electricity by 2050, Biden administration announced Wednesday. The new Energy Department goal would scale up production of solar panels, which currently provide 3 percent of the nation’s electricity, to 45 percent over the next three decades. The move would transform the nation’s energy industry and infrastructure as part of President Biden’s climate change initiatives.

The Australian government said Monday that the country would keep producing and exporting coal “well beyond 2030,” despite a stark warning from a top UN climate official that failing to scrap the fossil fuel will “wreak havoc” on the economy. The decision, announced by the minister for resources and water, Keith Pitt, puts Australia at odds with several other developed nations, which are working towards phasing out coal by the end of the decade.

The notorious spotted lanternfly continues to wreak havoc on the East Coast as New Jersey adds more counties to its infested list. The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that prevents plants from photosynthesizing, causing them to die. In recent days, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture added five new counties to the growing list of areas being overtaken by lanternflies, bringing the state’s total to 13. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania currently has 34 counties infested.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The summer of 2021, which produced numerous extreme weather and climate disasters, tied for the hottest on record in the U.S. with the Dust Bowl summer of 1936, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The average temperature from meteorological summer — June, July and August — was 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average. More than 18% of the contiguous U.S. experienced record warm temperatures this summer, NOAA reported. California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah each reported their warmest summer on record, and 16 other states had a top-5 warmest.

Excessive heat during several days without electricity is proving to be the biggest killer from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana as the death toll continues to rise. Eleven more deaths were added to the state’s Ida tally Wednesday, with eight of them attributed to excessive heat during extended power outages after the storm.

There was a small overall improvement in the megadrought in the U.S. West, with the percentage of the area in severe to exceptional drought declining over the past week to 81% from 83%, but still higher than the 75% of three months ago. Utah remains the worst with 100% of its area in severe to exceptional drought. Oregon and Montana remained the same at 99%; California improved to 94% from 96% a week ago; Nevada and North Dakota remained the same at 95%; Idaho remained the same at 88%; South Dakota improved to 65% from 70%; Wyoming worsened to 63% from 60%; Washington remain the same at 59%; New Mexico improved to 42% from 54%; Arizona decreased to 40% from 54%; and Colorado remained the same at 24%. The Midwest, South and Atlantic Coast states have virtually no drought at all.

When Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on parts of the Northeast in 2012, it exposed the dire need to strengthen New York City’s infrastructure to adapt to what was then a looming threat of the climate crisis. Nearly a decade later, the city is picking up the pieces after another climate whiplash it was unprepared for. Within two weeks, two storms — Henri and Ida — broke rainfall records in the Northeast. When the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped more than 7 inches of rain on parts of New York City, officials and meteorologists seemed stunned by the devastating flooding that ensued. “This is the biggest wake-up call we could possibly get,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “What we have to recognize is the suddenness, the brutality of storms now. It is different.”

The state of Louisiana announced Tuesday that seven nursing homes will have their licenses revoked after it was revealed they evacuated residents to a warehouse with terrible conditions as Hurricane Ida neared the coastline. Department of Health Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press that these seven nursing homes “clearly failed to execute their emergency preparedness plans to provide essential care and services to their residents.” At least a dozen people have died while under nursing home care or in senior citizen housing in the wake of Hurricane Ida and its sweltering aftermath, while hundreds of thousands of people are still without electricity.

Less than 10 years remain before the oft-claimed “tipping point” for the planet, but sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is the highest it’s been in nine years, increasing more than 30% from last year, while the Antarctic’s level is well above normal. That’s according to the Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility’s High Latitude Processing Center, pointed out climate-change skeptic Tony Heller. He noted the Arctic Ocean gained a record amount of sea ice during the first week of September. “Most years the Arctic loses ice, but this year ice extent has increased” more than 77,000 square miles, he wrote on Twitter, adding the news likely would not be reported by CNN, BBC News or the New York Times.

Signs of the Times : September 4, 2021

September 4, 2021

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Retired Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, led a “group of special op soldiers including retired Green Berets and SEAL Team commanders” who were inspired to take matters into their own hands “after one of the Afghan commandos they served with contacted them to say he was on the run from the Taliban. His visa had not been approved when the Taliban took over on August 14 and thousands ran for the airport,” “The special ops soldiers first devised a system with U.S. troops at the airport where they sent their comrades to a gate and told them to identify themselves with the password ‘pineapple’ to be put on a plane by the Marines on the ground. The group “worked unofficially in tandem with the United States military and the U.S. embassy to move people, sometimes one person at a time, or in pairs, but rarely more than a small bunch, inside the wire of the U.S. military controlled side of Hamid Karzai International Airport.”

A few days ago, RUN (Reaching Unreached Nations) rescue teams found several widows and 50 children hiding in a cave in Afghanistan. The husbands had been killed; their homes and small family farms were burned to the ground; and they had no food, water, or future. “Thankfully, the Holy Spirit directed our teams to find and rescue them. In the dark of night, we moved them to a place of greater safety inside the country.”

Grace Community Church may soon be receiving a $400,000 payment of legal fees from Los Angeles County following a legal battle over the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, Grace Community Church engaged in a legal battle with the state and county, contending that those restrictions violated religious freedom. The county has already spent over $950,000 in attorneys’ fees and other costs corresponding to the legal battle with the church. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote for the settlement agreement in which the county Department of Public Health’s budget will pay $400,000 for legal fees to the church. Pastor John MacArthur, who has led the church since 1969, celebrated the current matter as a “monumental victory for Grace Community Church and for religious freedom, essentially establishing the Church as an ‘essential service.’

The Virginia Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a lower court’s decision to reinstate Tanner Cross, a physical education teacher at Leesburg Elementary School, to his position after Loudoun County Public Schools suspended him for expressing his views on the board’s transgender agenda. The district has been ground zero in America for the fight over transgender mandates in public schools in recent weeks, and just days ago formally adopted a policy demanding adherence to the socio-political agenda. The lower court had ruled Cross’ suspension was likely unconstitutional because his freedom to speak his opinion is protected by the First Amendment. The school then appealed to the high court, which also ruled in the teacher’s favor.

A human trafficking operation joined by 12 states has rescued 47 victims and arrested 102 people, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced on Aug. 27. The operation rescued victims and made arrests in 12 states. “Operation United Front was an unprecedented human trafficking operation that brought together law enforcement agencies from different jurisdictions—something that rarely happens. When we all come together, we can affect change and more effectively fight human trafficking, a crime that is often multi-jurisdictional in nature,” Schmitt said.

The Falling Away: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (1Timothy 4:1) Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)

A survey conducted in February 2021 by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that most American adults (69 percent) are “self-identified Christians.” However, while they hold to the basic tenets of the faith, these self-identified Christians hold to some beliefs that contradict the Bible, such as believing that people are basically good (72 percent) and that there’s no absolute truth (52 percent). Additionally, 58 percent of self-identified Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being, 64 percent say all faiths are of equal value and 57 percent believe in karma. Regarding social issues (i.e., gay marriage, abortion, etc.), just over four-in-ten self-identified Christians held conservative views on the issues (42 percent), while 36 percent of Christians maintained a liberal viewpoint on social issues and 26 percent had moderate views.

  • A majority of these self-identified Christians are really pseudo-Christians, not true born-again Christians. Unfortunately, these pseudo-Christians cause unbelievers to see Christ’s Church as fractured, inconsistent and hypocritical. True believers must shine the light of truth and love ever more brightly as the darkness of the world increases all the more.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

According to the transcript of a July 23 call by President Biden with then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as reviewed by Reuters, Biden didn’t anticipate the Taliban’s rapid advance across Afghanistan, which ended when its fighters stormed Kabul on Aug. 15 and Ghani fled the presidential palace. Instead, Biden focused much of the 14-minute call on the Afghan government’s “perception” problem, Reuters reported. “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

  • Our Liar-in-Chief was caught encouraging the Afghan president to lie as well. Didn’t turn out so well.

In a recent video, a teacher at a California high school recently bragged on TikTok about having her kids say the pledge of allegiance. But it wasn’t to an American flag, it was to a pride flag instead. She took down her American flag during COVID because it made her uncomfortable. Now she has a LGBTQRSTUV flag hanging up on the wall of her classroom. In another video, preschool teacher brags about how she’s been teaching 2-year-olds about there being more than two genders, brainwashing these toddlers into the progressive agenda.

  • Public schools have become indoctrination centers into the secular humanism religion.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

At a safe house in Kabul, Jaiuddin (not his real name) has been hiding along with 12 other Afghans since the Taliban seized control of the city nearly three weeks ago. In an exclusive interview with CBN News, Jaiuddin and the others, who are part of Afghanistan’s very small Christian community, told us they have no passports, no US government-issued exit papers, and right now, see their hopes of escape diminish with each passing hour. “One of us is always awake during the night, always walking around and praying, so if the Taliban should come and knock on our door, we should alert everyone,” Jaiuddin said. “We had many plans for preaching the Gospel with other brothers and sisters but then the Taliban took control so quickly, it happened so fast,” said Sarah, an Afghan Christian leader. And now they’ve been marked by the Taliban. “Every day I receive a phone call, from a private number, and the person—a Taliban soldier—warns me that if he sees me again, he’ll behead me,” said a concerned Jaiuddin.

Conservative author and commentator Candace Owens was denied medical care in the form of a coronavirus test by a Colorado laboratory because of her political beliefs. Owens was sent a letter by Aspen Laboratories’ co-founder Suzanna Lee informing her that her “booking” was being cancelled and that she would be “denied service” because of both her aversion to governmental face mask mandates and her opinion on the effectiveness of vaccination shots.

An Oregon trooper was placed on paid leave after he posted a video on Instagram saying he will defy the liberal state’s vaccine mandate for government workers. “I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, to protect the freedom of the people who pay my salary,” Zachary Kowing, 29, said in the video posted to Instagram last week. “I do not work for my governor but for them.” Kowing, an eight-year employee of the Oregon State Police, noted in the video that he would “likely get fired” for the comments, but said that he is “nonetheless exercising my First Amendment right to speak freely” about Governor Brown’s vaccine mandate.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Texas passed a new abortion law that outlaws abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. After a panel of appellate judges refused to block enforcement of the law, it became effective at midnight Wednesday. Abortion providers in Texas had asked the Supreme Court to prevent enforcement of the law, but the deeply divided justices voted to not block enforcement of the law by a 5-4 margin. Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberals in voting for the denial. For now, Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas have stopped scheduling abortions beyond six weeks from conception.

  • In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to not block the Texas law banning abortions, President Biden has launched a full federal government campaign to block and overturn the law. On Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress will vote on a controversial pro-choice bill that would legalize abortion “without limitations” nationwide.
  • President Biden on Friday appeared to change a position he had just six years ago on whether life begins at conception. “I respect those who believe life begins in the moment of conception – I respect that,” he told reporters. “Don’t agree but I respect that.” In 2008, he said: “I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.”

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

The 7-day average of new U.S. Covid-19 cases rose to 163,667 on Friday, 9/3, up from a low of 10,608 on July 8. Deaths from Covid-19 in the United States have reached an average of 1,500 daily, far above the low 200s they were in early July. It was expected that deaths would rise following a surge in cases, as has been the trend throughout the pandemic. What is new, though, is that in many places where vaccination and natural immunity is high, deaths are not – while states with low vaccination rates also tend to be where deaths are surging.

Children accounted for 22.4% of total COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for week ending Aug. 26, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. The increase comes as children have begun in-person schooling for the first time since the pandemic began. The ages that states consider to be a “child” case vary, but mostly are in the 5-18 age range. Children under 12 are currently ineligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

More children went to the hospital and emergency room in states with lower vaccination rates, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the two week period in mid to late August, ER visits were 3.4 times higher and hospitalizations were 3.7 times higher than in states with the highest vaccination rates. The states with the lowest vaccination coverage are all in the South.

The “mu” coronavirus variant is now officially a “variant of interest”—and scientists naming COVID variants are now halfway through the Greek alphabet. The mu variant, also known as B.1.1621, was given the designation this week by the World Health Organization. The WHO warned that the variant has a “constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,” meaning it could be a threat to people with immunity due to vaccination or earlier infection. The WHO says the virus was first detected in Colombia in January and now accounts for almost 40% of new cases. The mu variant has been detected in 39 countries worldwide, but it only accounts for 0.1% of COVID cases in globally. In the US, where the delta variant is believed to make up 99% of COVID cases, it is not an immediate threat.

A large-scale study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found a 21% lower incidence of Covid-19 in schools that required students to wear masks compared to schools where masks were optional. The study analyzed some 90,000 elementary students in 169 Georgia schools from Nov. 16 to Dec. 11. However, COVID-19 data in Oregon showed the new statewide mask mandate has not flattened the rate of infection, according to a Oregon Health & Science University analysis.

The demand for monoclonal antibody therapies to treat COVID-19 cases has risen dramatically in America in recent weeks as cases soar. Experts say that monoclonal antibody treatments may significantly reduce the risk of severe illness when used within a week of infection. However, the therapy is given intravenously and a single dose costs $1,250. So, even if the drug is distributed free of charge, the infusion alone can cost $1,000, which may result in hefty copayments even for people who are insured. Regeneron is shipping 125,000 doses per week, up from 25,000 doses in mid-July.

Effective Monday, the entire Liberty University campus is under a temporary quarantine due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The private evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Va., founded by Jerry Falwell Sr. and until recently run by his scandal-plagued son, reported 159 active coronavirus cases among students and staff as of Saturday, surpassing the previous high of 141 cases last fall. Now, classes have been switched to virtual, campus dining has been switched to takeout-only, and large indoor gatherings have been prohibited until September 10, when the quarantine is scheduled to end. The university does not have a vaccine requirement.

International

The European Union is recommending that its 27 member countries reinstate restrictions on American travelers, a change that would primarily affect unvaccinated people, as soaring rates of new coronavirus infections have made the United States a global pandemic hot spot. The move comes with several caveats: The recommendations are not legally binding, and it is up to individual members to decide whether to implement them.

Australia is one of the last holdouts of a ‘Zero Covid’ strategy aiming to totally eliminate the virus. Australians lit up social media over the past year with video of citizens being hauled from their homes by police or handcuffed in parks for violating Covid protocols. But last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a startling admission. “This is not a sustainable way to live in this country,” he said. From now on, cases will be allowed to rise as long as hospitals can cope with them. Most restrictions will be dropped once 80% of the adults are vaccinated, which officials believe is achievable by the end of the year.

  • Last month, New Zealand – the last “zero COVID” holdout – locked down the entire country over one COVID case. The lockdown will remain in effect until at least mid-September, but the number of cases has grown anyway.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

A lot of people are ‘secret vaxers’ – about 11% of vaccinated Americans are keeping it a secret from their family, while 6% aren’t telling anyone, according to a Harris Poll conducted exclusively for USA TODAY.

The concept of what “full vaccination” means – two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one of the Johnson & Johnson shot – is likely to change. That’s the estimation of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who on Thursday presented data supporting booster shots during a briefing of the White House COVID-19 response team. Asked whether another dose will be required, Fauci said the decision will be up to the Food and Drug Administration, but added, “I would not at all be surprised that the adequate full regimen for vaccination will likely be three doses.”

  • U.S. health officials warned Friday that booster shots initially may be limited to Pfizer recipients. There’s been no guidance yet for those who took the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Florida Department of Health has issued a notice indicating it will start issuing $5,000 fines to businesses, schools, and government agencies that require Floridians to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, effective September 16.

A large study from the UK released Wednesday found that “breakthrough” infections among vaccinated people remain within the expected performance of the vaccines, and that vaccinated people who do become infected are twice as likely to be asymptomatic. The study published in the Lancet medical journal looked at data on 1.2 million vaccinated adults between early December 2020 and early July this year. It found that less than 0.2% reported a breakthrough infection more than a week after their second shot. Among those who were infected—mostly older people or those with underlying illnesses—the risk of hospitalization was reduced by more than two-thirds.

The CDC’s ‘Vaccination Adverse Event Reporting System’ (VAERS) is showing that there have been many severe reactions and deaths for teens aged 12-17. However, VAERS is a passive system requiring individuals to report adverse reactions. There is no vetting of the data, so it’s accuracy is questionable. Generally, it shows that overall adverse vaccination reactions are substantially more than the official data the CDC collects.

More than 80% of Americans 16 and older have some level of immunity against the coronavirus, mostly through vaccination, a survey of blood donations indicates. The survey, led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, worked with 17 blood collection organizations working in all 50 states plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico to test blood covering 74% of the population and tested about 1.4 million samples. In July 2020, before any vaccine was available, 3.5% of samples carried antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. That rose to 11.5% by December, they reported in the medical journal JAMA. By May, 83.3% of samples had antibodies to the virus, most of them from vaccination.

  • Those who donate blood may not be representative of the overall U.S. population.

A judge in Chicago barred Rebecca Firlit, the mother of an 11-year-old boy, from seeing her son under partial parental custody because she is not vaccinated against COVID-19. Ferlit is appealing the decision, claiming the judge was placing his views onto her. “I’ve had adverse reactions to vaccines in the past and was advised not to get vaccinated by my doctor. It poses a risk,” Ferlit told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I was confused because (the hearing) was just supposed to be about expenses and child support. I asked him what it had to do with the hearing, and he said, ‘I am the judge, and I make the decisions for your case.’”

First anti-vaxers Dick Farrel, then Phil Valentine, and now a third conservative radio host who had spoken out against the COVID-19 vaccine has died of the coronavirus. Marc Bernier, a well-known 65-year-old talk radio personality in Daytona Beach, Fla., died Saturday night after being hospitalized August 7. He had been off the air the previous week because he was sick, and was diagnosed with COVID the day prior to his hospitalization. Bernier had long distrusted vaccines due to impacts he believed they’d had on people close to him,. In December, he vowed on the air never to get the COVID vaccine, referring to himself as “Mr. Anti-Vax” when his friend and co-host questioned him about it.

International

Israeli government officials said that COVID-19 vaccine passports will expire six months after the second Pfizer dose, meaning that people will need to receive booster shots to keep their passes valid. “From today, the third dose is available to everyone,” said Israeli Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash on Sunday, Aug. 29. The vaccine passport is required to access a number of different venues, including restaurants, theaters, and bars. France, Italy, as well as cities such as New York City and San Francisco, implemented similar mandates in recent weeks, triggering concerns that such systems would create inequality between those who are vaccinated and those who are not.

The European Union’s counterpart to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said there’s no urgent need to deploy COVID-19 vaccine boosters, coming a week after U.S. federal health officials recommended them and set a Sept. 20 deadline. “Based on current evidence, there is no urgent need for the administration of booster doses of vaccines to fully vaccinated individuals in the general population,” the EU agency stated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging countries to hold off on giving COVID-19 booster shots through September so poorer nations can provide citizens with their first dose of the vaccine. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that some low-income countries, including many in Africa, have less than 2 percent of their adult populations fully vaccinated. More than 5 billion COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered globally, with 75 percent of them administered in just 10 wealthier countries.

Japan has discovered a contaminant affecting millions of doses across hundreds of vaccine injection sites. Japan announced on Aug. 26 that it’s suspending the use of about 1.63 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to reports of contamination. “It’s a substance that reacts to magnets … it could be metal,” a ministry official reportedly said, according to Nikkei Asia.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

New Zealand authorities were so worried about an Islamic extremist they were following him around-the-clock and were able to shoot and kill him within 60 seconds of him unleashing a frenzied knife attack that wounded six people Friday at an Auckland supermarket. Three of the shoppers were taken to Auckland hospitals in critical condition, police said. Another was in serious condition, while two more were in moderate condition.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

There have been more than double the number of ambush-style attacks on law enforcement so far this year compared to the same time in 2020, national police union records show. As of Tuesday, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) recorded 67 “ambush-style attacks” on officers year to date, with 83 officers wounded — 20 of them did not survive. “What we’re witnessing should alarm all Americans: 2021 is on pace to have record levels of officers SHOT and KILLED by gunfire,” the union said in a Wednesday tweet. 

Thieves stole 880,595 vehicles in the U.S. during the pandemic in 2020, up 10.9% from 2019, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “We haven’t seen this kind of a stark increase … in the last 30 years,” NICB CEO David Glawe said. The spike appears to be continuing into 2021. Glawe added that jobless young men are especially susceptible to committing vehicle theft.

New Orleans police are looking for a 911 operator accused of deliberately hanging up during emergency calls who has since been fired, authorities said. The New Orleans Police Department on Thursday said it was looking for Precious Stephens on charges of malfeasance in office and interfering with an emergency communication. Stephens was working with the Orleans Parish Communications District when she allegedly disconnected 911 calls without taking vital information or relaying the calls to other dispatchers for aid.

Racism/Critical Race Theory: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

U.S. hate crimes rose in 2020 to the highest level since 2008, propelled by increasing assaults on Black and Asian victims, the FBI reported Monday. Over a tumultuous 12 months marked by a global pandemic, a divisive presidential election and economic upheaval, the number of hate crimes reported to the FBI grew to 7,759, a jump of 6 percent since 2019. Anti-Jewish bias accounted for 676 incidents — 57 percent of the 1,174 religiously motivated hate crimes in 2020 — aligning with the annual finding that the Jewish community is disproportionately targeted by religiously motivated crimes, given that Jews account for less than 2 percent of the U.S. population. However, the total number of anti-Jewish incidents is down from 953 in 2019.

A Colorado grand jury has indicted five police officers and paramedics involved in the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was stopped by police while walking home from a store, put in a carotid hold and then injected with ketamine, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Wednesday.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

The Justice Department on Wednesday secured its 50th guilty plea in the January 6 capital riot. Nearly 600 people from 44 states and Washington, DC, have been charged in federal court. Prosecutors are working to resolve many of the lower-level cases, and most of the 50 guilty pleas are for nonviolent rioters.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Parents are taking their children’s education into their own hands in record numbers after a disastrously tumultuous school year. The U.S. Census Bureau’s experimental Household Pulse Survey, which is an online survey recording social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrates a dramatic shift towards homeschooling within the past year and a half. During Phase 1 (April 23 to May 5, 2020) of the survey, about 5.4 percent of households with school-aged children said they were homeschooling. By the fall (September 30 to October 12, 2020), 11.1 percent of households with school-aged children reported homeschooling. The number increased to a staggering 19.5 percent by May of 2021.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

The GOP lawmakers in the Texas legislature give final approval to new voting restrictions Tuesday, overcoming Democratic opposition. The bill, which Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to quickly sign into law, bans measures such as drive-through voting, which was adopted in Harris County during the pandemic last year, and empowers partisan poll watchers.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Philadelphia International Airport has been transformed into a welcome center For Afghan evacuees, processing hundreds of men, women, and children fleeing the country as U.S. troops leave. On Saturday, the city reported 505 total evacuees came through the airport on two aircraft. On Sunday, several hundred more evacuees arrived on three aircraft. Upon arrival, refugees enter terminal A-East where they find representatives from city, state, and federal agencies, as well as local hospitals and non-profit agencies, who provide immediate services after they deplane and are cleared by customs. They receive a general medical evaluation that includes a required COVID-19 test, physical and mental health support services, and the opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Refugees are then escorted to retrieve luggage and be transported to their next destination.

  • It’s not clear yet what their ‘next destination’ is. While some may have family to take them in, many of them have no prior connections to U.S. residents or organizations.

Older Afghan men with young girls they claimed as “brides” were among the people evacuated from Afghanistan by the United States, according to U.S. officials. Working at intake centers in Wisconsin and the United Arab Emirates, the officials found numerous incidents in which older men presented young Afghan girls as their wives. In Muslim-majority Afghanistan, child marriage is not uncommon. But several of the Afghan girls at a transition site in Abu Dhabi alleged that in order to escape Afghanistan, they were forced to marry older men who had raped them, according to a diplomatic cable.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday that his department has flagged some Afghan evacuees as potential security risks and blocked them from reaching the U.S., and he vowed to make America’s safety the core of the airlift. Mr. Mayorkas, in his first briefing on the airlift, said those who reach the U.S. will be resettled in the country, and said it’s a commitment the U.S. owes to those who helped the American effort or who face dangers from the Taliban takeover of their home country. But Mayorkas didn’t reveal what has happened to those who were blocked.

Sixty-one people died trying to sneak into the U.S. in May across the Mexican border, and 383 have died over the last 10 months. They’ve drowned, fallen from the border wall, died of exposure, succumbed to illness or, increasingly, perished in car wrecks when the smugglers careened out of control. If seasonal patterns hold, the number of border deaths are on pace to exceed 2005 as the worst year on record.

E-Verify, the government’s pricey system to verify that employees are authorized to work legally in the U.S. has approved thousands of illegal immigrants and hundreds of thousands of foreigners without using its own photo-matching process to confirm identities, reports Judicial Watch. Additionally, the system, which is operated by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, deemed around 4,000 foreign-born applicants as “employment authorized” based on employer-sponsored visas without verifying that candidates were actually hired by the employers that sponsored them.

  • Yet another government program fraught with malfunction and malfeasance at great taxpayer cost.

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2) Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1Corinthians 6:19-20)

America’s addiction to sugar and sweeteners has reached epidemic levels, healthcare experts warn. In fact, it has become the root cause of many chronic illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Sugar is the most popular ingredient added to the nation’s favorite foods and drinks — not just in sweet treats, but in processed items like ketchup, crackers, bread, soup, cereal, and salad dressing. “Americans are having dessert several times a day and don’t know it,” says pediatrician Alan Greene.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Hiring slowed sharply in August as employers added a disappointing 235,000 jobs, with COVID-19 surges dampening both consumer demand and Americans’ willingness to return to work. Economists had estimated that 750,000 jobs would be added last month, Restaurants and bars, which had been driving record employment gains, actually shed jobs., However, the unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, fell from 5.4% to 5.2%, the Labor Department said Friday. However, Black unemployment rose from 8.2% to 8.8%.

  • There are 10 million job openings, and 8.4 million unemployed. But the economy is undergoing massive changes, so there’s a big mismatch at the moment between the jobs available and what workers want.
  • So far, the U.S. has recovered 17 million, or 76%, of the 22.4 million jobs lost in the spring of last year, leaving the nation 5.3 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level.
  • A McDonald’s in Oregon is pushing towards a new business model: Hiring 14-year-old and 15-year-olds to help offset a shortage of workers in the COVID era. 

In July, the median price of an existing home sold rose to $359,900, according to the National Association of Realtors. That represents a 17.8% increase compared to July of 2020. With housing inventory lacking, buyers have limited options these days for finding homes that fit within their budgets.

If Congress doesn’t implement a new eviction ban, 750,000 American households could be evicted later this year, according to new research. Goldman Sachs estimates that between 2.5 million and 3.5 million households are significantly behind on rent, owing a combined $12 billion to $17 billion to landlords. Without rental assistance funding or new legislation, Goldman Sachs estimates three-quarters of a million renters will face eviction this fall and winter. The Wall Street bank noted that roughly half of all U.S. eviction filings resulted in eviction between 2006 and 2016.

General Motors will idle nearly all its assembly plants in North America starting Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic affects production of semiconductor chips. The industry already has been experiencing a global shortage of the chips, used in a variety of car parts, since early this year. The chips are also used in small electronics and as more workers and children stayed home from work and school last year during the pandemic, demand for personal electronics, such as laptops and smartphones, rose and created a shortage of chips. 

Fortune 500 corporate boardrooms increasingly have embraced a “woke” agenda — such as Gillette lecturing its shavers about toxic masculinity and Bank of America having guest speakers declare capitalism evil. In response, some Wall Street players now are offering exchange traded funds (ETFs) that exclude left-wing companies, taking a page from the activist playbook that created investment programs to boycott enterprises deemed environmentally unfriendly. In the process, the ETFs seek to influence not only the behavior of investors but also of company directors.

Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain, is teaming up with Kitchen United to open ghost kitchens in its grocery stores. Ghost kitchens provide facilities for restaurants, catering services, and other businesses to prepare food for takeout and delivery. Rarely do ghost kitchens feature any sort of seating area for customers. The benefit of ghost kitchens is that they can be shared by multiple restaurants or brands. Wendy’s announced that they will open 700 ghost kitchens by 2025.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian Authority (PA) chair Mahmoud Abbas on Monday evening, marking the highest level discussion between PA and Israeli politicians in over a decade. Gantz wrote on Twitter that the two men had discussed “security-policy, civilian and economic issues.” “I told chairman Abbas that Israel seeks to take measures that will strengthen the PA’s economy,” Gantz added. “We also discussed shaping the security and economic situations in the West Bank and in Gaza. We agreed to continue communicating further on the issues that were raised during the meeting.”

Israel and the U.S. have agreed to pursue a joint strategy to halt Iran’s nuclear program, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, without providing further details. “We achieved all the goals that we set for this visit, and even more,” Bennett said before boarding a flight to Israel from the U.S. Bennett, who met with President Joe Biden on Friday, said Israel had made “significant headway” in equipping its military and had also made progress on its bid for visa-free entry for its citizens to the U.S.

“A surface-to-air missile was launched overnight from Syria to Israeli territory. The missile exploded above the sea,” an IDF statement read. “This morning, residents of central Israel located a number of the missile’s fragments scattered on the ground.”

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

U.S. and European efforts to coax Iran back into nuclear negotiations as soon as this month are being blunted by support the Islamic Republic’s already emboldened leaders are receiving from China and Russia. The result is that three years after former President Donald Trump imposed his “maximum pressure” policy, Iran has enriched uranium close to weapons grade while its economy is showing some signs of stabilizing with the help of Beijing and Moscow, even as crucial oil exports remain heavily sanctioned. 

Iran and Syria vowed on Sunday to take “mighty steps” to confront U.S. sanctions imposed on the two regional allies, saying their relations will strengthen under Iran’s new leadership. The announcement was made by Iran’s new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who was received at the airport a visit to Damascus by his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad. Iran has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s strongest backers, sending thousands of fighters from around the region to help his troops in Syria’s 10-year conflict that has killed half a million and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

The Pentagon said Monday that the United States had pulled out the last of its troops and the evacuation operation at Kabul’s international airport had ended. The departure caps a chaotic withdrawal that was rushed by the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country and scarred by a deadly suicide attack that killed 13 U.S. service members and scores of Afghans. More than 120,000 people had been evacuated since Aug. 14, amounting to one of the largest airlifts in history, but the deteriorating security situation and chaos at the airport resulted in some Americans and thousands of Afghan allies being left behind.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged Tuesday that Americans were “stranded” in Afghanistan, despite the earlier stance by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that use of the term to describe those unable to escape the Taliban-controlled country was “irresponsible.” U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) head Gen. Frank McKenzie said that there the number of Americans who remain in Afghanistan “in the low hundreds.” “There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” said McKenzie. He said that if U.S. troops remained in Afghanistan for           another 10 days, “we wouldn’t have gotten everybody out … and there still would’ve been people who would’ve been disappointed.” There are also “thousands” of American University of Afghanistan students left behind to an uncertain fate at the hands of the Taliban.

“The majority” of Afghans who worked for the United States during its two decade military campaign were likely left behind in the chaotic and rushed evacuation from Afghanistan, a senior State Department official said Wednesday. The unnamed official described an evacuation effort confronted by numerous challenges, including Taliban checkpoints with “variable” and “unpredictable” criteria for allowing people to pass.

Students, alumni, and staff of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, as well as their relatives, have been informed that evacuations are over and they should return home. The group says it spent seven hours waiting for clearance to get into the Kabul airport only to be turned away Sunday; an email from university administration that day told students, “I regret to inform you that the high command at HKIA in the airport has announced there will be no more rescue flights.” The Taliban has spoken out against universities where Muslim minds are “corrupted.”

Taliban fighters took the Afghan capital city of Kabul faster than anyone anticipated earlier this month – including the Taliban – but according to a Washington Post report, the U.S. had an opportunity to hold the city only to willingly turn it over. When Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the city began to collapse as gangs were reported to be taking over. This led to U.S. military leaders meeting and reaching an agreement with the Taliban, a U.S. official told the Post. Faced with the decision of whether to accept control over Kabul or allow the Taliban to do so, the U.S. opted for the latter, given President Biden’s insistence on withdrawing from Afghanistan by August 31. As part of the agreement, the U.S. assumed control of Kabul’s airport until the end of the month to facilitate its exit while the Taliban ruled the city.

The U.S. drone attack on the car of suspected ISIS-K bombers killed nine members of a nearby family, including six children, a relative claims. Neighbors and witnesses agree that children were among the dead, CNN reports. “We know that there were substantial and powerful subsequent explosions resulting from the destruction of the vehicle, indicating a large amount of explosive material inside that may have caused additional casualties,” a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command said Sunday.

The Taliban on Wednesday showed off dozens of American-made armored vehicles along with newly seized weapons at victory celebrations in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar Fighters waved white Taliban flags from Humvees and armored SUVs at the military parade, where many of the vehicles appeared in near perfect condition. The Taliban also organized an air display with a recently seized Black Hawk helicopter flying past the militants along the road while also trailing a white Taliban flag.

North Korea appears to have restarted the operation of its main nuclear reactor used to produce weapons fuels, the UN atomic agency said, as the North openly threatens to enlarge its nuclear arsenal amid long-dormant nuclear diplomacy with the United States. The annual report by the International Atomic Energy Agency refers to a 5-megawatt reactor at the North’s main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang. The reactor produces plutonium, one of the two key ingredients used to build nuclear weapons along with highly enriched uranium. The renewed operation of the 5-megawatt reactor and the radiochemical laboratory are “deeply troubling,” the IAEA said. The reactor had previously been inactive since December 2018.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

Four days after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, 20-year-old YouTuber Najma Sadeqi sat on her bed and recorded a final video to tens of thousands of followers. Usually, her posts would show her cooking or exploring Kabul alongside her friends, in bright clothes and with cheerful music playing in the background. Not this one. She told viewers she was too scared to walk the street, and asked them to pray for her. Days later, Sadeqi was killed in a terror attack outside Kabul’s international airport.

Afghan folk singer Fawad Andarabi was dragged from his home and killed by the Taliban in a restive mountain province north of Kabul on Friday, a local journalist told CNN, raising fears of a return to the militant group’s harsh rule of 20 years ago — including a clampdown on music.

One ISIS militant pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with the beheadings of four Americans. Alexanda Kotey, 37, was among a group of Islamic State members who abducted and beheaded Americans in Syria. Kotey is the first person convicted in a U.S. court in connection with the series of slayings. Journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller were killed by the militants. The three men were beheaded on camera in videos posted online. Foley was abducted in 2012 and the other three victims were abducted in 2013.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

Bearing down on scenic Lake Tahoe, the Caldor Fire grew overnight after jumping a highway and prompting mass evacuations of the lakeside town, fire officials said Tuesday. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the wildfire reached nearly 330 square miles on Thursday and is 27% contained. Wind gusts up to 35 mph and single-digit humidity caused the fire to grow rapidly. On Monday, roughly 22,000 residents of South Lake Tahoe jammed the city’s main artery for hours after they were ordered to leave as the fire advanced, chewing up drought-stricken vegetation.

  • After days of fierce winds, firefighters battling the Caldor Fire near Lake Tahoe took  advantage of better weather conditions Thursday and were even able to allow some people back to their homes.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

A federal judge Monday threw out a major Trump administration rule that scaled back federal protections for streams, marshes and wetlands across the United States, reversing one of the previous administration’s most significant environmental rollbacks. U.S. District Judge Rosemary Márquez wrote that Trump officials committed serious errors while writing the regulation, finalized last year, and that leaving it in place could lead to “serious environmental harm.” The ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, which applies nationwide, will afford new protections for drinking-water supplies for millions of Americans, as well as for thousands of wildlife species that depend on America’s wetland acreage.

Tiny armyworms are marching and munching their way through lawns across the country, leaving grass and plants dead in their wake. Experts say a particularly widespread and intense outbreak of armyworms is overtaking lawns, leaving masses of Styrofoam ball-like eggs stuck to patio furniture and the sides of houses. But when they hatch, the pests can turn a lush green lawn into a brown, barren wasteland seemingly overnight. Rick Brandenburg, an entomologist at North Carolina State University, said, “In my 40 years, I have never seen the problem as widespread as it is this year.” Brandenburg said the fall armyworms are laying siege to North Carolina but also as far west as Texas and as far north as Michigan and northeastern states, areas that rarely see such significant armyworm populations.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Weather disasters are hitting the globe five times more often than they did in the 1970s and are causing seven times more damage, according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nations’ weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization. “The number of weather, climate and water extremes are increasing and will become more frequent and severe in many parts of the world as a result of climate change,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a statement.

The remnants of what was once Hurricane Ida combined with a stalled front to dump heavy rain (over 8 inches in some places) that triggered massive flooding across the region. The remnants of Hurricane Ida roared through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York Wednesday night, killing 49 people, inundating roads and homes and leaving nearly 250,000 people without power. Central Park recorded the most rain it’s ever had in a single-hour span – 3.5 inches. Most of the victims were in New York and New Jersey, where people drowned in submerged cars and basement apartments or were swept away by rushing water.

  • Subway passengers were left stranded on platforms and in trains overnight. “I would not be surprised if we find additional bodies,” said the mayor of hard-hit Passaic, N.J.
  • At least 11 people died in NYC after water rushed into their below-ground apartment sunits, filling these ‘death traps’ up completely as the torrents kept residents from getting out or rescuers from getting in. The city is suspected of having tens of thousands of the illegal units.
  • A 70-year-old New Jersey man died after his car got stuck in two feet of water. “The water was rising 6 to 8 inches every 2 to 3 seconds,” the local fire chief aid, and rapidly reached a depth of 8 feet. “I have never seen rain like this,” he added.

Hurricane Ida’s catastrophic crawl across Louisiana and Mississippi inundated miles of roadways and neighborhoods, ripped apart buildings and trapped hundreds of residents who can’t call 911 because service has been knocked out and cannot be rescued because conditions are still too treacherous to reach them. At least 4 died. More than 1 million customers in Louisiana alone were without power, including all of New Orleans, where devastating damage occurred to the city’s transformers. All of Louisiana’s levee systems performed “extremely well,” Louisiana Gov. John Edwards said Monday. Two million Louisianans remained without power for a fourth day Wednesday as the impact of Hurricane Ida grew more dire amid oppressive heat. Officials say many will be without power for weeks due to the extensive, widespread damage of transmission lines and transformers.

  • At least 671 people had been rescued from floodwaters in Louisiana by Monday afternoon. Ninety percent, at least, of the homes in Jean Lafitte have got serious damage, reports the mayor. Over 700,000 people were either without water or under a boil-water advisory as of Tuesday. A top wind gust of 172 mph was confirmed by the National Weather Service. The situation after Ida was so dire that one Jefferson Parish official told those who had stayed during the storm to now leave rather than endure the weeks of hardship ahead. Seven children and five adults were taken from a home in New Orleans to the hospital Wednesday morning due to carbon monoxide poisoning. As of 7 am CT on Wednesday, more than half of the gas stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans were without fuel.
  • Ida’s catastrophic crawl across Louisiana and Mississippi has left at least four people dead and hundreds of thousands of people without power for what could be days, if not weeks. A portion of a highway collapsed near Lucedale, Mississippi, and killed at least two people and injured 10 more. Multiple cars fell into the expanse.