THE CHURCH MILITANT
Ephesians 5:11-"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them". This Christian News Blog maintains a one stop resource of current news and reports of its own related to church, moral, spiritual, and related political issues, plus articles, and postings from other online discernment ministries, and media which share the aims to obey the biblical commands to shed light on and refute error, heresy, apostasy, cults, and spiritual abuse.
The United States is facing an “escalating” threat from the use of civilian drones as weapons by the likes of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and MS-13, the FBI director cautioned on Wednesday.
Until the West wakes up and realizes that there is nothing that will stop jihadist zealots, national security will continue to be at increasing risk.
We are particularly concerned by their ongoing and future weaponization of more secure forms of communication, social media, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and weapons of mass destruction…an increasing number of terrorist organizations are making use of UAS for reconnaissance and surveillance.
This should come as no surprise. Jihadists are simply continuing to do what they are mandated to do, and promised they would do to the House of War. They are completely united on their goals of conquest, however they accomplish it.
“FBI Chief Warns: MS-13, Islamic State May Use Drones to Attack U.S.,” by Edwin Mora, Breitbart, October 10, 2018:
WASHINGTON, DC — The United States is facing an “escalating” threat from the use of civilian drones as weapons by the likes of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and MS-13, the FBI director cautioned on Wednesday.”
In written testimony prepared for hearing by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray declared:
The threat from Unmanned Aircraft Systems [UAS] in the U.S. is steadily escalating….While there has been no successful malicious use of UAS by terrorists in the United States to date, terrorist groups could easily export their battlefield experiences to use weaponized UAS outside the conflict zone. We have seen repeated and dedicated efforts to use UAS as weapons, not only by terrorist organizations, such as ISIS and Al Qa’ida, but also by transnational criminal organizations such as MS-13 and Mexican drug cartels, which may encourage [the] use of this technique in the U.S. to conduct attacks.
The FBI assesses that, given their retail availability, lack of verified identification requirement to procure, general ease of use, and prior use overseas, UAS will be used to facilitate an attack in the United States against a vulnerable target, such as a mass gathering.
According to the FBI, the MS-13 gang maintains a presence in at least 42 states in the District of Columbia and counts with the support of “about 6,000-10,000 members nationwide.”
While describing shifts in the threat landscape more than 17 years after the 9/11 attacks on the United States, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen identified the use of civilian drones to advance nefarious activities as an example of emerging threats that are outpacing America’s defenses.
The DHS secretary, who appeared alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray at the hearing, told lawmakers via written testimony:
Terrorists are using drones on the battlefield to surveil and to destroy; drug smugglers are using them to monitor border patrol officers so they can slip into America undetected; and criminals are using them to spy on sensitive facilities. The threat is real, and they can be used for a wide array of nefarious purposes.
Russell Travers, the acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), a component of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), also highlighted the menace posed by the use of drones …
Google CEO Sundar Pichai publicly defended for the first time Monday his company’s work on a censored search engine for China.
Speaking at the WIRED 25 summit in San Francisco, Pichai argued that the search app, codenamed Dragonfly, would be beneficial to the Chinese people.
“It’s a wonderful, innovative market,” Pichai said. “We wanted to learn what it would look like if we were in China, so that’s what we built internally.”
The secretive search product, first revealed by The Intercept in August, would not only track users but would censor terms such as “Nobel Prize” and “human rights.”
Pichai suggested pushback against such features was the result of people failing to understand the values and laws of the Chinese government.
“People don’t understand fully, but you’re always balancing a set of values,” Pichai said. “Those values include providing access to information, freedom of expression, and user privacy. “But we also follow the rule of law in every country.”
Further defending Dragonfly, Pichai argued that despite the app being designed to comply with censorship, the majority of searches would be unaffected.
“It turns out we’ll be able to serve well over 99 percent of the queries,” Pichai added. “There are many, many areas where we would provide information better than what’s available.”
Google’s attempt to re-enter the Chinese market comes 8 years after the company left the region.
In 2010, Google pulled out of China after the government both censored content and attempted to hack dissidents using Google services.
In a lengthy Twitter thread this week, a former Google engineer described how “entire news sections” were censored in China during that time.
US vice president @Mike_Pence just gave a speech in which he called on @Google to "immediately end development of the Dragonfly app that will strengthen the Communist Party's censorship & compromise the privacy of Chinese customers."
It appears that Jean Raspail’s dystopian immigration novel, The Camp of the Saints, is coming true. But instead of landing upon on our shores by boat, the real-life “migrants” heading for American soil are traversing over land, through Guatemala and Mexico.
Some 1,500-2,000 “migrants” are heading toward the U.S. border with Mexico. They shout “Yes, We Can” as they break laws, ignore national borders, and squat on foreign soil. They claim they flee poverty and persecution.
For now, President Trump is firm: No entry. The question is whether he’ll be able to withstand the hysterics from the Left when the migrants arrive. Or his own administration officials permitting them to apply for asylum, then releasing them into our nation’s interior.
Trump: Foreign Aid Might Stop As with the “migrant caravan” earlier this spring, this juggernaut seeks a free pass to enter the United States, where leftist migrant resettlement groups, masquerading as Christian charities, are waiting to resettle them.
Before providing the obligatory sob stories, the Associated Press laid out the politics of the northward march. “The group estimated at 1,600 to 2,000 people fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras marched into Guatemala in sweltering heat Monday, twice pushing past outnumbered police sent to stop them — first at the border and then at a roadblock just outside Esquipulas,” the wire service reported.
But Mexico, happily, isn’t all that interested in accommodating the border-crashing horde, either:
After those encounters, Mexico’s immigration authority sent out a fresh warning late Monday that the migrants would have to satisfy Mexican officials individually and that only those meeting requirements would be allowed to enter.
But it remains unclear if governments in the region — many of whose own people are migrants — can summon the political will to physically halt the determined border-crossers. Honduras’ ability to stop the caravan also may be limited because it has already moved into Guatemala.
Trump did not follow through on a similar threat to the Central American nation in April over an earlier caravan, which eventually petered out.
For his part, Trump tweeted a threat: “The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!”
The question is whether The Donald has the courage to do that, and to stop this mass of humanity from crossing the border with strict orders to his Homeland Security Department to turn them away.
Sob Stories Then came AP’s violins: “The hundreds of people fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras bedded down wherever they could, with some sleeping on the grass in a church parking lot; others crowded the floors of a migrant shelter and a sports hall.” AP continued:
The migrants arrived at the Guatemalan border singing the Honduran national anthem, praying and chanting, “Yes, we can.” The group defied an order by the Guatemalan government that they not enter.
“We have rights,” the migrants shouted.
Keilin Umana, a 21-year-old who is two months pregnant, said she was moved to migrate to save herself and her unborn child after she was threatened with death.
Umana, a nurse, said she had been walking for four days. “We are not criminals — we are migrants,” she said.
AP, of course, provided no proof that Umana “was threatened with death,” but in any event, another “migrant” said “poverty back home made it impossible to support a family. ‘Every day I earn about $5. That isn’t enough to feed my family.’”
Amazingly, Guatemalan cops on the border surrendered and let the caravan through, even escorting them into the country. Then they were permitted past a second roadblock. Police told them they must return to the border, but “the migrants refused to budge and eventually officers again let them pass.”
Last Caravan The last caravan that surged toward the United States this past spring also began with more than 1,500 mostly Honduran marchers. But only about 300 reached Tijuana on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Arizona Republic reported.
By about the end of the month, the Washington Times reported, the Trump Administration had let most into the country to apply for asylum, then released them on the promise to show up for an immigration hearing.
The White House just officially announced the final numbers for Fiscal Year 2018, which ended September 30. They are ugly: The gap between revenues and spending widened to $779 billion over the previous year, a jump of $113 billion (or 17 percent), despite increased revenues. This is the third consecutive year of rising deficits, with no apparent end in sight.
The White House blamed the usual suspects: the rising costs of “entitlement” benefits (i.e., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and others) and increasing interest costs to service the rising national debt.
Those interest costs increased by one-quarter this year over last, from $263 billion in 2017 to $325 billion in 2018. By 2020, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that interest costs will increase by another 50 percent, to nearly $500 billion.
There is no more talk of how the expanding economy will throw off revenues sufficient to start shrinking the national debt. Now, according to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney, the best that can be hoped for is some eventual shrinking of the government’s annual deficits:
America’s booming economy will create increased government revenues. But this fiscal picture is a blunt warning to Congress of the dire consequences of irresponsible and unnecessary spending.
Going forward, President Trump and this Administration will continue to work with Congress to make the difficult choices needed to bring fiscal restraint, which, when matched with increasing revenue, will reduce our deficit.
The CBO begs to differ. In April, the nonpartisan group projected a $1 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2020, two years from now, and nearly doubling to $1.9 trillion by 2028.
As far as that “irresponsible and unnecessary spending” that Mulvaney referred to, Congress’ hands are largely tied thanks to promises, commitments, and programs previous Congresses have enacted. Of the $4.2 trillion the government spent last year, six percent went to interest and 65 percent went to mandatory entitlement programs, leaving less than 30 percent to pay for everything else, i.e., military, education, etc.
And there’s precious little incentive even to cut any of those “discretionary” programs for at least two reasons: one, it’s an election year; and two, the real crisis isn’t likely to hit before the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office:
If nothing is done sooner, the crisis point could come in about another decade, when interest costs as a share of GDP (gross domestic product), federal revenue and outlays hit their highest levels in modern times, and the Medicare and Social Security trust funds begin to reach their breaking points.
That’s 10 years from today, or 2028. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), “The average years of service for Members of the 115th Congress, as of January 3, 2017, when that Congress convened, was 9.4 years for the House and 10.1 years for the Senate.” How convenient is that? Just when the crisis hits in 10 years, at least half of those members of Congress now in office will either be retired, dead, or behind bars.
And none of this analysis by the CBO bakes into its cake the likelihood of a recession, which would likely cut severely those anticipated and greatly needed revenues.
This is why David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s Director of the OMB, quit in disgust. In his book The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, Stockman criticized the failure of congressional Republicans to cut government spending in order to offset the loss of tax revenues under Reaganomics. This resulted in the national debt nearly doubling during his brief four and a half year tenure as OMB director.
If the past is prologue, then OMB Director Mulvaney is facing the same challenge: nowhere to cut and no interest in doing so even if there were places to cut sufficient to offset the coming rising deficits. With the national debt pushing $22 trillion, taxpayers could see the debt skyrocket to $30 trillion, $40 trillion, or even higher before that “crisis point” is reached.
Speculation abounds as to what happens next. One school of forecasting predicts that bondholders will no longer be interested in buying U.S. government debt for fear of default. At that point the Federal Reserve will “reluctantly” step into the breach and start buying the increasingly worthless paper from the U.S. Treasury, setting off the ultimate solution to the national debt crisis: default through inflation.