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Michael Heykoop

Early Warning System

It reads like something straight out of a disaster movie. A volcanic eruption lasting nine hours and ejecting 15–30 million tons of sulphur dioxide. The second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century happened to coincide with the arrival of Tropical Storm Yunya a mere 75 kilometers away, covering the majority of the island of Luzon in a mixture of ash and water. There was great damage, but it could have been worse. What made the difference?

The Signs of the Times

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. For millennia, people have recognized that it would be beneficial to be able to read the signs of the times to predict future events. Sometimes the signs can be wide open for all to see, but only those who are able to put them into the right context can understand what they mean for the future!

  Originally Published: 10th April 2012

U.S. debt to finance China's military?

As the United States sees its debt continue to soar out of control, it would be prudent to take time to examine the results of such reckless spending.  Just like any credit card, national debt carries with it the obligation for the debtor to pay interest.  $14 trillion is an immense amount of debt, and it carries with it the burden of substantial interest payments.  Last year alone the U.S. spent just under $413 billion paying off the interest on its loans.

The end of Pax Americana?

Two millennia ago, the Western world was in a state of uneasy peace, commonly referred to as Pax Romana. This peace was brought about by the region's only superpower, an entity powerful enough to give pause to nations thinking about independence. While this peace led to an explosion in literature, culture and technology, it did not last long.

As the Roman Empire collapsed under the strain of supporting a morally—and financially—bankrupt society, this state of uneasy peace came to an end, throwing the region into chaos. History is repeating itself.

False Sense of Honour

How do you define honour? In times past, the word honour was reserved for those with an exceptional sense of honesty, integrity and loyalty. Recently, it has been used in a new way which acts as a slap in the face of those who actually seek to personify those three virtuous traits.  Honour has become an acceptable way to describe a man dealing out his own justice and taking the life of his wife or daughter.

  Originally Published: 03rd February 2011