Is the U.S. Government Changing the Amount In People’s Financial Accounts with Its Offensive Cyber Capabilities?

White House Panel Slams NSA, Says Mass Spying Is Unnecessary
“These Programs Were Never About Terrorism: They’re About Economic Spying, Social Control, and Diplomatic Manipulation. They’re About Power”
Former Top NSA Official: “We Are Now In A Police State”

Hidden in the report which the White House panel on NSA released today is a stunning implication: that the U.S. government has been using its massive offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts and otherwise manipulating financial systems.

Specifically, the panel’s report states (page 221):

(1) Governments should not use surveillance to steal industry secrets to advantage their domestic industry;

(2) Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems ….’s-financial-accounts-its-offensive-cyber


Habukkuk Chapter Two

1 ¶ I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
5 ¶ Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!
7 Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?
8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!
10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.
11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.
12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?
14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
15 ¶ Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD’S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

Christianity Booming in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa

Some in the West may see Christianity as an archaic religious construct in constant danger of extinction, but the religion is rapidly building strongholds in lands as foreign to Christian churches as Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Warnings of the death knell of Christian faith echoed yet again this week–just in time for Christmas–as Prince Charles noted ominously that Christians in the Middle East are “deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants,” just as the number of devout Christians in Britain continues to dwindle. A report this May found that Christianity in the UK is diminishing at a 50% faster pace than believed, and in the United States, the fastest growing religion is Wicca. Similarly, in the ancient cradles of Christianity, persecution has triggered alarm from even tolerant Muslims that this religion is not long for this world.

However, while London, Paris, Cairo, and Aleppo may face unprecedented challenges to their Christian populations, the Christian history of non-Europeans in what is often labeled the Global South is just beginning, and the future of the religion lies with reaching the furthest corners of the world from its cradle.

The so-called decline of modern Christianity is more of a relocation than a decline, with Christianity consuming a broader percentage of the globe every decade. According to a June 2013 report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, the countries with the largest increase in Christian populations are currently Nepal, China, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The list also includes some of Africa’s poorest nations: Benin, Burika Faso, South Sudan, and Mali. No European countries made the list.

A 2013 Pew Research Center study corroborates this shift, noting that Europe and the Americas, which once housed 93% of the world’s Christians, account for only 63% today. Sub-Saharan Africa’s Christian population rose from 9% to 63% in the century between 1910-2010. Meanwhile, a different Pew study puts countries like China, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia on the list of most Christian-populated nations. In Malaysia, where Islam dominates both culture and politics, Christians are making inroads at the top of their political tickets.

The statistics alone do not show this steadily louder presence of Christians in foreign lands, however. Unfortunately, conflict among those who practice native faiths and growing numbers of Christians has become a staple in some parts of the globe. A study from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity in the United States released this year suggested that about 100,000 Christians have been killed every year for the past decade as a result of their faith. These attacks are most commonly reported in the Muslim world. Tens of thousands of Syrian Christians have left the nation fleeing persecution; in Iran, Christians face lashings for participating in the ceremony of the Eucharist.

But the Middle East and Near Asia are not alone in this phenomenon of increased conflict where Christianity is spreading, though perhaps suffer of an excess of violence because the first Christians came from there and this tension has had millennia to simmer. The Central African Republic made headlines this week for its sudden outburst of violence as its Christian population huddled together to avoid massacre by the Muslim half of the country. Widespread but barely publicized reports of beatings and arrests of Christians in China have become yet another staple of the communist nation’s oppression. Incidents of Hindu extremists in India physically attacking known Christians on the street are on the rise. Buddhist extremists alarmed by Christianity’s prevalence in Sri Lanka began to call for further persecution of Christians in the second half of this year. And the world’s greatest oppressor of Christians is a country barely anyone associates with the religion, or any religion at all: North Korea.

The spread of the Christian faith outside of its traditional European stomping grounds has become so dangerous to the status quo of many nations that Christians face a life-or-death situation in avowing their faith publicly. This makes the members of this new Christian world phenomenally courageous, but serves to highlight that they are poorer and increasingly less European than the Christians of the past century–a fact that will keep the faith thriving while contributing greatly to its evolving global face.

What shall he gain?


Matthew 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
How little attention does this infinitely important subject gain in the world! How few consider the salvation of their precious souls, as the great business of life! You who are reading these lines, did you ever consider it? Did you ever lay it to heart, and are you acting accordingly? If this is the case, the following language will express your heart-felt convictions:
” I have a soul as well as a body. My soul must live for ever in happiness or misery. It is capable of pain or pleasure inconceivably greater than my body. It is a matter of comparitively little importance whether I am in abject poverty or the greatest affluence, during the few years I am to continue in the present world; whether I am respected or despised by my fellow mortals; whether my body is sickly or healthy, painful or at ease. These are matters of small consequence; death is certain, is near. ‘Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust,’ must soon be pronounced over my lifeless body. In a dying moment, if I could call the whole world my own, what good would it do me? What comfort could it afford me?
But whether my soul is to be happy or miserable; the companion of angels and saints made perfect around the throne of God, or doomed to weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, with devils and damned spirits in hell, where the worm never dieth and where the fire never will be quenched; this is the momentous inquiry I ought to make. To escape from the wrath to come, and secure an inheritance among the saints in light, ought to be my great concern. Is it so? Which world is most in my thoughts, this or the next? What am I most anxious about? Am I not often inquiring, what shall I eat, what shall I drink, or wherewithal shall I be clothed? But when did I seriously inquire, ‘What shall I do to be saved?’ If I have no prevailing concern about my soul, I may be certain my state is bad, and its danger awfully great.”

Isaiah Chapter Five

1 ¶  Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
2  And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
3  And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4  What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
5  And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
6  And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
7  For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

8 ¶  Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!
9  In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant.
10  Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah.
11  Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!
12  And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.
13  Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
14  Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
15  And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
16  But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
17  Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.

18 ¶  Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:
19  That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!
20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
22  Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
23  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
24  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25  Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
26  And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:
27  None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:
28  Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind:
29  Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.
30  And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.

Zephaniah Chapter Three

Zephaniah Chapter Three

1 ¶  Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
2  She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.
3  Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
4  Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
5  The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
6  I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.
7  I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.
8 ¶  Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

9  For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.
10  From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
11  In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
12  I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.
13  The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
14 ¶  Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
15  The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
16  In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
17  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
18  I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
19  Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
20  At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.