Archive for February 13th, 2006

Don’t Hold Your Breath…

Monday, February 13th, 2006


Don’t hold your breath…

Outgoing PA parliament tightens Abbas’ grip on gov’t

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Here’s a nice “in your face” from PA leader Abbas and his former ruling Fatah party to the incoming Hamas party. It’s wonderful when terrorist fight with each other instead of murdering inoccent people.

The outgoing Palestinian parliament gave Mahmoud Abbas sweeping new powers Monday, just days before Hamas was to take control of the legislature.
In their final session, lawmakers from Abbas’ defeated Fatah Party gave the Palestinian leader the authority to appoint a new constitutional court which would serve as the final arbiter in disputes between him and a Hamas government.
Lawmakers also appointed Fatah loyalists to four key jobs, including the head of the government watchdog group in charge of weeding out official corruption. Hamas won last month’s parliament elections largely on a promise to end years of nepotism, graft and mismanagement by Fatah.
A fuming Hamas termed the 11th-hour legislation “not legitimate” and vowed to overturn it. One of its incoming legislators called the legislation “a bloodless coup.”
Hamas would need a two-thirds majority – or 88 of 132 seats in parliament – to change Monday’s legislation. It is unclear whether Hamas would muster such a majority. It will control 74 seats in the new parliament, but can also count on support from several independents.
With the new, Hamas-dominated legislature scheduled to convene for the first time on Saturday, the old legislature struck hard in its last session. of nepotism, graft and mismanagement by Fatah.

Read the rest here.

The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.
Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.”
The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.
So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”
Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.”
So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.
Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house.
Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”
When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”
And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him.
Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him.
Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
Jesus wept.
So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!”
But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”
So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.
Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they removed the stone Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
“I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”
When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”
The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him.
But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.

John 11:1-46 (New American Standard Bible)

Investigators: Friends Set Alabama Church Fires

Monday, February 13th, 2006

More information is coming out about the churches burned down in Alabama.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Investigators believe a pair of men in their 20s or 30s, likely “bosom buddies,” are responsible for a string of church fires in rural Alabama, as authorities confirmed the latest blaze at a Baptist church was the 10th case of arson.
The latest fire severely damaged Beaverton Freewill Baptist Church in northwest Alabama, near the Mississippi line. The white, wood-frame church sat about 150 yards off a two-lane county road and had an alarm system that alerted officials to the blaze.
“It’s definitely arson,” state fire marshal spokesman Ragan Ingram said Sunday.
Fire marshals are investigating whether the Saturday afternoon blaze was linked to the other nine this month, which all were set in the pre-dawn hours. Last week, Gov. Bob Riley said the nine earlier church fires appear linked.
A federal investigator said witness reports and behavioral profilers led authorities to believe that two white men were responsible for the fires. Witnesses said they saw two men in a sport utility vehicle near a number of the fires.
“They’re not youths or teens. It’s probably someone in their 20s or 30s. We believe they’re pretty much inseparable. They’re something like bosom buddies,” said Eric Kehn, a spokesman for the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency.
Evidence from one of the earlier fires indicates the perpetrators may have been briefly trapped inside the building and may have been hurt, said Jim Cavanaugh, ATF regional director.
Investigators have said they don’t know a motive, but there is no racial pattern. Five of the churches had white congregations and five black. All were Baptist, the dominant faith in the region, and mostly in isolated country settings.

Families Seek Legislative Remedies From Funeral Protesters

Monday, February 13th, 2006

For those of you who haven’t heard about this, there is a pastor, The Rev. Fred Phelps, of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, who is giving not only the Baptist Church a bad name, but all of Christianity, with his protest at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq.
You see, somehow he has decided that his Bible tells him that the soldiers were killed because the United States supports the homosexual agenda. Further, he and his supporters call each of these soldiers terrible things, at their funerals of all places.
I wonder if Rev. Phelps has actually read the Bible. His must be a different version than mine. His must have the passage in it that says “If you want to pervert My Word in order to make your point, you may do so.” Oddly enough, in my readings, I’ve never run across that passage. Could it be that it’s not in there? That’s my thought.
What the Bible does say is that homosexuality is a sin. But as Christians, we are to hate the sin, but love the sinner.
Rev. Phelps in out of line. As a brother in Christ, I rebuke him and call him out to return to the loving Word of God. If he wants to help redeem homosexuals, it would be best to preach God’s Word of hope and love to the homosexuals, so that they may turn away from this horribly destructive lifstyle, not protest them at the funerals of brave soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq trying to bring freedom to an oppressed people.
The Rev. Phelps does not represent myself, or any other Bible believing Christian.
See my write-up concerning what the Bible actually says about homosexuality here.

WASHINGTON — It was a typical scenario for the Westboro Baptist Church — another demonstration outside the funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq. This time the venue was Meadowood Baptist Church in Midwest City, Okla., noted a full rundown of the event recorded later by church members on their web site.
The signs held by members that Feb. 2 were dutifully noted on the church’s web-journal: “Steve held ‘Thank God for Dead Soldiers,’ ‘You’re Going to Hell’ and ‘Fags Doom Nations’ while Shirl held ‘America is Doomed,’ ‘God is America’s Terror’ and ‘Don’t Worship the Dead’ with a flag tied around her waist.”
The Kansas-based church, which believes God is punishing America for its tolerance of homosexuality by sending home U.S. soldiers “in body bags,” chose as one of its most recent demonstration sites the funeral of Army Staff Sgt. Lance Chase, 32, father of two sons, who died from a roadside bomb while on duty in Iraq on Jan. 23. On Sunday, Westboro’s adherents traveled to Yankton, S.D., to the memorial service for 21-year-old Army National Guard Spc. Allen D. Kokesh, Jr.
As a result of their unwelcome presence at these and other memorials, at least 14 states are considering measures to ban demonstrations outside of funeral services.
“I believe these families have given the ultimate sacrifice — their loved one — and they should be allowed to bury their loved one in peace,” said Kansas state Sen. Jean Schodorf, who has sponsored legislation to keep protesters at a safe distance from funerals and memorial services.

Read the rest here.

Report: Iran Begins Uranium Enrichment

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Just in from Fox News.

VIENNA, Austria — Iran has started small-scale enrichment of uranium — a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or bombs, diplomats said Monday.
“Uranium gas has been fed into three machines,” one senior diplomat familiar with Iran’s nuclear file told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.
To produce significant amounts of enriched uranium, gas must be fed into hundreds of such machines. Uranium enriched to a low degree can be used for nuclear reactors, while highly enriched uranium is suitable for warheads.

Re-Post: “Back to Peace” from Rapture Alert

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Back to Peace
by Michael G. Mickey
(2-11-06)

Ever notice how quickly things change in these end times? Prior to the recent Palestinian elections taking place and terrorist organization Hamas winning a major victory, everyone was hopeful that peace was going to come to the Middle East in the not-too-distant future. What has followed since has been a series of setbacks, grumblings, threats, accusations and counteraccusations that have, as odd as it has been to watch unfold, led us right back to where we were before the January 25th Palestinian elections took place – back to talk of Middle East peace.
As I’ve pointed out on many occasions, the international community is convinced that the only way we’re going to win the war on terrorism is when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a thing of the past. An AlterNet article by Stephen Van Evera entitled “U.S. National Security Requires Mideast Peace” demonstrates this to be true in the minds of many, stating the following in part:
In fact, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict now poses a major threat to U.S. national security. It does this by easing al-Qaeda’s recruiting efforts, helping al-Qaeda terrorists to find friendly haven in Arab and Islamic societies, and making Arabs and non-Arab Muslims less willing to cooperate with U.S. efforts to destroy al-Qaeda networks. Accordingly, the U.S. should treat the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a serious menace to America’s safety and move forcefully to end it.
Is it any wonder, in light of the mindset the international community collectively has toward the Middle East peace process, that Hamas, in contrast to what it was saying immediately upon winning the Palestinian elections, now seems prepared to change its stripes somewhat, offering to talk peace with its archenemy Israel, as seen in a BBC article which states that the political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, has said the terrorist group is willing to take a ‘serious step’ towards peace if Israel does the same? Additionally, we are told in a Yahoo News article, “Hamas could agree to a “long-term truce” with Israel only if it is willing to return to the 1967 borders and recognise the rights of Palestinians to self-determination.” I wonder how long a “long-term truce” would be? Seven years? Time will tell.
Two days before the BBC and Yahoo News articles linked above broke, my eye was caught by an EUBusiness.com article, which I immediately bookmarked for future reference. Its headline read: “EU will talk with Hamas ‘in six months’: radical leader.” What was going on behind the scenes, I wondered, leading Hamas to think the EU would be chatty with them so soon given their post-election anti-Israel rhetoric, aside from the fact EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana was rumored to have held secret talks with Hamas in November of 2004, which he initially admitted to, but later recanted somewhat.
Interestingly, Solana, as seen in a current EUBusiness.com article, is going to be off to the Middle East next week where he will be making a five-stop Middle East trip “seeking to repair ties strained by the recent Prophet Mohammed cartoon row”, among other things. At the end of Solana’s visit, according to the article, “he will meet Palestinian Authority head Mahmud Abbas in the Palestinian territories, before travelling to Israel for talks with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. As well as the cartoons row, Solana will talk with Abbas and Livni about the Middle East peace process, clouded by the victory of militant group Hamas in Palestinian elections, as well as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s incapacitation.”
The prophet Daniel tells us, as seen in Daniel 9:26-27, a leader of Roman descent is going to confirm a covenant of peace in the Middle East seven precise years in length “with many.” This covenant, which will be preceded by the Rapture of the Church, will mark the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation Period, as well as catapault the leader of Roman descent who will somehow “confirm” it, the Antichrist, toward becoming the most powerful dictator the world has ever known.
Am I implying Javier Solana is the prophesied Antichrist in the making? To be certain, I am not. The identity of the Antichrist is veiled in secrecy and will remain so until the time of his advent, as predestined in God’s prophetic plan, which could take place a week from now, a year from now, or a decade or more from now! What I am strongly implying, however, is the revived Roman empire of Bible prophecy the Antichrist will someday lead, the European Union, is in a prime position, based on a number of factors, to play a prominent role in Middle East peacemaking, ironically at a moment in history when terrorist organization Hamas may be ready to abide by a long-term truce with archenemy Israel, given certain concessions are made by Israel – concessions I’m hard-pressed to believe the present Israeli government, under the leadership of acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, will be unwilling to make in light of recent events.
What’s next? I have no idea, but I’ll be watching developments in the troubled Middle East closely and passing my observations along as we continue, in accordance with Titus 2:13, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ!Keep looking up, saints! Jesus Christ is Lord and He is coming soon!

Carter allowed surveillance in 1977

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Everyone on the liberal left is trying to make a big deal out President Bush using surveillance that was not ordered by the courts. But not only did the Clinton administration use surveillance without warrants, but Jimmy Carter, one of President Bush’s loudest critics in this matter (and inappropriately using Mrs. King’s funeral for his forum), also used unauthorized wiretaps back in the 70’s. I wish the liberals would figure out that the American people are not stupid. They understand that the democrats are hypocrites.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who publicly rebuked President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program this week during the funeral of Coretta Scott King and at a campaign event, used similar surveillance against suspected spies.
“Under the Bush administration, there’s been a disgraceful and illegal decision — we’re not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we’re spying on the American people,” Mr. Carter said Monday in Nevada when his son Jack announced his Senate campaign.
“And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act,” he said.
The next day at Mrs. King’s high-profile funeral, Mr. Carter evoked a comparison to the Bush policy when referring to the “secret government wiretapping” of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
But in 1977, Mr. Carter and his attorney general, Griffin B. Bell, authorized warrantless electronic surveillance used in the conviction of two men for spying on behalf of Vietnam.
The men, Truong Dinh Hung and Ronald Louis Humphrey, challenged their espionage convictions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which unanimously ruled that the warrantless searches did not violate the men’s rights. In its opinion, the court said the executive branch has the “inherent authority” to wiretap enemies such as terror plotters and is excused from obtaining warrants when surveillance is “conducted ‘primarily’ for foreign intelligence reasons.”
That description, some Republicans say, perfectly fits the Bush administration’s program to monitor calls from terror-linked people to the U.S.
The Truong case, however, involved surveillance that began in 1977, before the enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which established a secret court for granting foreign intelligence warrants.
Democrats and some Republicans in Congress say FISA guidelines, approved in 1978 when Mr. Carter was president, are the only way the president may conduct surveillance on U.S. soil.
Administration officials say the president has constitutional authority to conduct surveillance without warrants in the name of national security. The only way Congress could legitimately curtail that authority, they argue, is through an amendment to the Constitution.
The administration’s view has been shared by previous Democrat administrations, including Mr. Carter’s.

Read the rest here.

Survey: Disengagement was ‘useless’

Monday, February 13th, 2006

What amazes me about this was that anyone thought it would help in the first place. The pali terrorist and their arab masters have not hidden their true agenda of Jewish genocide very well. The arab world’s “party line” is to acknowledge Israel and make peace, but remember that we’re dealing with muslims here. Keep this in mind:
Koran 47:34 says “Therefore do not falter or sue for peace when you have gained the upper hand.”
They only want “peace” until they think they can win.

The majority of the Israeli public believes that the disengagement from the Gaza Strip was of no practical value, according to a survey conducted by the Geocartographic Institute on behalf of Army Radio.
Most of those who participated in the survey held that the evacuation of settlements in Gush Katif was damaging, or at the very least, was ineffective in the fight against Palestinian terror.
Some 70% of those surveyed replied that the implementation of the disengagement plan did not contribute anything towards peace, while only 20% thought the plan was a stimulus for improved relations with the Arab world.
However, a significant majority believed that the withdrawal from Gaza aided relations with Europe.
Strong feelings surfaced about the treatment of evacuees. 68% of survey participants thought that the government neglected the settlers who were evacuated from Gush Katif.
The head of the Disengagement Authority (Sela), Yonatan Basi, reacted to the survey, saying that “the measures that the Israeli government took before and especially after the disengagement, when we had cooperation from the settlers, were unprecedented. I believe that Sela is acting appropriately.”
Neveh Dekalim evacuee Hana Fikar, a resident of a caravilla in Nitzan, described the hardships she has endured since the disengagement in August of last year. “200 families from Neveh Dekalim live here, but it is not Neveh Dekalim,” she said. “It is impossible to say that we have rebuilt a community. You have destroyed a community, you have destroyed values and moral principles. It’s all gone.”
Some 50% of those surveyed categorically denounced any future unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. 18% supported a future disengagement on condition that it created conditions conducive to a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. 23% said that a unilateral withdrawal was necessary, since the Palestinians were not partners for peace.

Storm Dumps Record Snowfall on Northeast

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Here in Texas, we had to put on our “heavy” coats…for the first time this winter. We have had next to no winter down here, but have been very dry too. Seem that the weather is all out of sorts. Kind of makes one wonder if there’s anything Biblical to this…

NEW YORK — Road crews scrambled to clear streets and travelers stranded at airports tried to get home Monday as the Northeast dug out from a record-breaking storm that dumped two feet or more of snow across the region.
Utility workers were restoring power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses left in the dark. Winds gusting up to 50 mph knocked down power lines.
The storm blanketed the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to Maine over the weekend, dropping 26.9 inches of snow in Central Park — the heaviest snowfall since record-keeping began in 1869. The old record was 26.4 inches in December 1947, the National Weather Service said.
While the storm was bad, it would have been worse on a weekday.
“The headache has been minimized because it happened on a Sunday,” Weather Service meteorologist Patrick Maloit said. “It was good timing for a storm of this magnitude.”
In Fairfield, Conn., 30.2 inches of snow fell. Rahway, N.J., got 27 inches, according to unofficial observations reported to the National Weather Service. Just west of Philadelphia, 21 inches of snow were recorded in West Caln Township; the average snowfall for an entire winter in Philadelphia is about 21 inches.
Children were thrilled to dig out their sleds, little-used this winter until now.
“We’re hoping for 365 days off from school,” said 9-year-old Reagan Manz, playing in Central Park with friends. “We could go sledding the whole time and not get bored.”
Philadelphia public and parochial classes were canceled Monday, as were schools throughout central and northeast Maryland. New York City public schools were open, although some in Long Island and private schools were closed.
Two of the three major New York-area airports — Kennedy and Newark — had reopened with limited service. A Turkish Airlines flight skidded off a runway at Kennedy as it landed Sunday at 9:20 p.m., but none of the 198 passengers was injured, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The airport closures and grounded planes stranded travelers across the country. About 7,500 people were stuck at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, spokesman Steve Belleme said.
“Our car’s in Newark. We can’t even get close to there,” said Maria Martinez, whose flight from Miami International Airport was canceled. “We can’t even get to Philadelphia or D.C.”
Some passengers also were stranded on the Long Island Rail Road, where trains got stuck on snow-covered tracks, officials said. One train was marooned for five hours.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 2,200 snow plows and 350 salt spreaders were working to clear the city’s 6,300 miles of streets by Monday’s rush hour. He said 2,500 Department of Sanitation employees were working in 12-hour shifts, and temporary workers were being hired at $10 an hour to shovel snow.
In New Jersey, officials expected the roads to be cleared Monday.
The storm knocked out power across the Northeast, most severely in Maryland, where more than 150,000 customers were blacked out. More than 55,000 Baltimore Gas & Electric Company customers remained without power late Sunday, and officials said it would not likely be fully restored until Tuesday. “We’re just going to have to continue to attack it,” said spokesman Rob Gould.