The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
Hurricane Season devastation
The current hurricane season is causing more than the usual amount of grief:
GONAIVES, Haiti (CNN) -- Hurricane Jeanne continued its westward crawl toward the northern Bahamas Friday after killing more than 1,100 people in Haiti, which it hit with devastating flooding rain.
International relief workers trying to distribute supplies in Haiti on Friday were mobbed by hungry, desperate people, many of whom said they had not eaten since their homes were destroyed last weekend, when Jeanne still was a tropical storm. . . .
Jeanne follows hurricanes Charley and Frances, which hit the Florida peninsula, and Ivan, which pounded the Florida Panhandle, even though its eye made landfall on the Alabama coast. ("Fourth hurricane targets Florida," cnn.com, Sept. 24, 2004)
According to Eric Blake of the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, sea surface temperatures are now 5C higher than recent averages and these have been directly responsible for spawning Hurricanes Ivan, Frances and Charley this summer.
The end result has been devastation. This is the first time in history that one season has produced two storms that have caused more than $1 billion in damage. Combined, Charley and Frances have resulted in insurance claims of more than $20bn. Ivan is likely to match this.
The meteorologists say there is more to come. The warming of the Atlantic that began last year is likely to linger for a couple of decades, creating large numbers of hurricanes. ("Devastation linked to global warming," The Observer, a Guardian Unlimited online newspaper, Sept. 12, 2004)
The spirit of antichrist is prevailing in the world to a far greater extent than it has ever prevailed before. The day of test and purification is just upon us. Signs of a most startling character appear, in floods, in hurricanes, in tornadoes, in cloud-bursts, in casualties by land and by sea, that proclaim the approach of the end of all things. The judgments of God are falling on the world, that men may be awakened to the fact that Christ will come speedily (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 8, 1892).
terrorism n. 1. The use of violence or threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes. (Webster's Universal College Dictionary, 1997 edition)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Gunmen have seized two Egyptians in a raid on their Baghdad office, Iraqi officials say, the third in a series of kidnappings of foreigners in the Iraqi capital this month.
Last week, two Americans and a Briton were kidnapped at their home in Baghdad by armed men. A group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi later beheaded the Americans, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, and posted video footage of the killings on the Internet . . .
Since April, militant groups in Iraq have seized more than 100 hostages. Most have been released but about 30 have been killed. ("2 more hostages taken in Baghdad," cnn.com, Sept. 24, 2004)
Terrorism is a technical term. It describes a modus operandi, a tactic. We side with security professionals who define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of a political goal. Those who bombed the nightclub in Bali were terrorists. Suicide bombers who strap explosives to their bodies and blow up people eating in a pizza parlor are terrorists. The men and women who took a school full of hostages in Beslan, Russia, and shot some of the children in the back as they tried to flee to safety were terrorists. We as journalists do not violate our impartiality by describing them as such. ("Reuters challenged on 'terrorist' policy," Ottawa Citizen quoted by WorldNetDaily.com, Sept. 22, 2004)
The desired goal of peace and safety will not happen until after Jesus comes again:
The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.
The condition of things in the world shows that troublous times are right upon us. The daily papers are full of indications of a terrible conflict in the near future. Bold robberies are of frequent occurrence. Strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand. Men possessed of demons are taking the lives of men, women, and little children. Men have become infatuated with vice, and every species of evil prevails. (Testimonies, v.9, p. 11)
More US Billionaires This Year
Wealth is increasing, especially at the top:
There are now 313 billionaires in the country, the largest number ever and a huge jump over last year's 262 members, according to Forbes magazine, which Thursday released its annual ranking of the 400 richest Americans.
The combined net worth of the 400 rose $45 billion, reaching $1 trillion this year for the first time since 2000, before the dot-com bust.
Retaining the top spot was Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose $48 billion in estimated wealth was up $2 billion from 2003. Gates was again followed by investor Warren Buffett with $41 billion, the list's biggest dollar gainer with a $5 billion increase, and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who held the No. 3 spot although his net worth fell $2 billion to $20 billion. ("Most Billionaires Ever in Forbes 400," FOXnews.com, Sept. 24, 2004)
The global economy has grown sevenfold since 1950. Meanwhile, the disparity in per capita gross domestic product between the 20 richest and 20 poorest nations more than doubled between 1960 and 1995.
Of all high-income nations, the United States has the most unequal distribution of income, with over 30 percent of income in the hands of the richest 10 percent and only 1.8 percent going to the poorest 10 percent. ("Rich-Poor Gap Growing," Vital Signs 2003 [WorldWatch Institute], pp. 88-89.
Those with great wealth also have great responsibility to God. God's judgment on human selfishness is coming (selfishness both in the USA and in other parts of the world):
The enemy has succeeded in perverting justice and in filling men's hearts with the desire for selfish gain. "Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." Isaiah 59:14. In the great cities there are multitudes living in poverty and wretchedness, well-nigh destitute of food, shelter, and clothing; while in the same cities are those who have more than heart could wish, who live luxuriously, spending their money on richly furnished houses, on personal adornment, or worse still, upon the gratification of sensual appetites, upon liquor, tobacco, and other things that destroy the powers of the brain, unbalance the mind, and debase the soul. The cries of starving humanity are coming up before God, while by every species of oppression and extortion men are piling up colossal fortunes. (Testimonies, v.9, pp. 11, 12)
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