Archive for December, 2008

Compean’s Wife Wants Heart-to-Heart with Bush

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I wish I understood why Bush is not willing to pardon these border agents.

While another year passes without a presidential pardon for Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, the families are reaching out for an 11th-hour act of compassion.

Jose Compean’s wife, Patty, told WND she will not resent George W. Bush if he leaves office without granting her husband freedom, but she would like to have a heart-to-heart moment with the president.

“I would just sit down, introduce myself and listen to him to see where he’s coming from and what his point of view is,” she said. “Then I’d ask for him to give me the same courtesy. He’d get to see where we’re coming from, and I’d get to see where he’s coming from. I can’t change anybody’s mind, but I would like that opportunity.”

Sign WND’s petition urging President Bush to free U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

While many people might expect her to be angry with President Bush’s silence, Patty has chosen not to take that position.

“I can’t judge the man because I’m not in his shoes,” she said with sincerity. “He’s doing what he thinks is right at the moment. He’s going to deal with the consequences, not me.”

Her calm outlook might be shocking to some people, especially since her children are growing up without a father while the president has pardoned or commuted sentences for 36 drug dealers, 12 thieves, seven embezzlers, an arsonist, an armed bank robber and an illegal-alien smuggler.

Original Link.

Pakistani Spy Agency Aided Islamic Militant Group Linked to Mumbai Terrorist

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

MUMBAI, India — Pakistan’s own investigation of terror attacks in Mumbai has begun to show substantive links between the 10 gunmen and an Islamic militant group that its powerful spy agency spent years supporting, say people with knowledge of the probe.

At least one top leader of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, or “Army of the Pure,” captured in a raid earlier this month in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, has confessed the group’s involvement in the attack as India and the U.S. have alleged, according to a senior Pakistani security official.

The disclosure could add new international pressure on Pakistan to accept that the attacks, which left 171 dead in India, originated within its borders and to prosecute or extradite the suspects. That raises difficult and potentially destabilizing issues for the country’s new civilian government, its military and the spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence — which is conducting interrogations of militants it once cultivated as partners.

A probe could add new international pressure on Pakistan to accept that the attacks originated within its borders.

Original Link.

Atheist Rips into Presidential Oath

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Avowed atheist Michael Newdow, infamous for his attacks against references to God in the Pledge of Allegiance and the national motto, now wants to remove all religious references from Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Newdow, who in past legal battles has tried to strip the United States currency of a reference to God and has sued to alter the pledge of allegiance in schools, now wants to alter history. Newdow wants the president-elect barred from a traditional reference to God in the oath of office — “so help me God” — because those words are not in the oath set out in the Constitution. He also wants two prayers by well-known Christian figures cancelled. Revs. Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery are scheduled to deliver inaugural prayers on January 20.

“I hope people understand this is not an anti-God issue — this is a pro-equality issue,” Newdow tells Associated Press. “And it’s not treating people equal when the government takes one side in a religious debate. To have chaplains come and say that God exists when there are people who think quite strongly that’s not true is just as wrong as to have chaplains come in and say that Jesus is Lord.”

Original Link.

Israel Rejects Truce Call, Continues to Attack Gaza Terrorist

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Of course the call for a truce was for Israel to stop the bombing of terrorist locations in Gaza, not for the Pali terrorist to stop firing rockets at innocent Israeli civilians.
Knowing that a truce would only be beneficial to the Pali terrorist, Israel has wisely decided to continue attacking.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel rejected international pressure to suspend its air offensive against Palestinian militants whose rocket barrages are striking close to the Israeli heartland, sending warplanes Wednesday to demolish smuggling tunnels that are the lifeline of Gaza’s Islamic Hamas rulers.

The diplomatic action was set in motion by the scale of destruction in Gaza since Israel unleashed its campaign Saturday, and a casualty toll that Gaza officials now put at 390 dead and some 1,600 wounded. Hamas says some 200 uniformed members of Hamas security forces have been killed, and the U.N. says at least 60 Palestinian civilians have died. Four Israelis have been killed by militant rocket fire, including three civilians.

The chief of Israel’s internal security services, Yuval Diskin, told Cabinet ministers Wednesday that Hamas’ ability to rule had been “badly impaired.” Weapons development facilities have been “completely wiped out” and the network of smuggling tunnels has been badly damaged, a participant in the meeting quoted Diskin as saying.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed to the media.

Overnight, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert discussed a 48-hour truce proposal floated by France with his foreign and defense ministers. The meeting ended with a decision to continue the punishing aerial campaign.

“Giving Hamas a respite just to regroup, rearm is a mistake,” Olmert spokesman Mark Regev said. “The pressure on the Hamas military machine must continue.”

Calls for an immediate cease-fire have also come from the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice personally called leaders in the Middle East on Tuesday to press for a durable solution.

Underlying the Israeli decision to keep fighting are the mightier weapons that Hamas has smuggled into Gaza through underground tunnels along the border with Egypt. Previously, militants had relied on crude homemade rockets that could fly just 12 miles to terrorize Israeli border communities. Now, they are firing industrial-grade weapons that have dramatically expanded their range and put more than one-tenth of Israel’s population in their sights.

More than two dozens rockets and mortar shells were fired by mid-day Wednesday, including five that hit in and around the major southern Israeli city of Beersheba, 22 miles from Gaza. One hit an empty school. Another landed in a small farming community about 20 miles southeast of Tel Aviv. No serious casualties were reported.

School was canceled in large swaths of Israel’s south because of the rocket threat. The 18,000 students at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, southern Israel’s only university, were also told to stay home.

Early on Wednesday, Israeli aircraft pounded smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border in another attempt to sever the lifeline that keeps Hamas in power by supplying weapons, food and fuel. Israel and Egypt blockaded Gaza after Hamas violently seized control of the territory in June 2007 and have cracked open their borders only to let in limited amounts of humanitarian aid.

A huge explosion rocked a tunnel that housed a fuel pipeline and aircraft also smashed the house of a smuggling kingpin. In all, two tunnels were destroyed in the raid, Egyptian security officials in Rafah said.

An Egyptian official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media, said Israel has destroyed 120 tunnels since the aerial campaign began. According to conservative estimates, there were at least 200 tunnels before Israeli warplanes began striking.

In Gaza City, powerful airstrikes sent high-rise apartment buildings swaying and showered streets with broken glass and pulverized concrete. The Israeli military said government buildings were hit, including an office of Gaza’s Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh.

A Palestinian medic was killed and two others were wounded when an Israeli missile struck next to their ambulance east of Gaza City, Palestinians said. The Israeli military said it did not know of the incident.

Israeli navy ships also fired at Hamas positions along the coastline.

Diskin, the Israeli security services chief, said Hamas was trying to smuggle out some of its activists to Egypt through tunnels that were still passable. Other militants were hiding in Gaza hospitals, some disguised as doctors and nurses, and in mosques, where militants had set up command and control centers, Diskin said.

Although Hamas leaders have been driven underground, spokesman Taher Nunu said the Gaza government was functioning and had met over the past few days.

“What our people want is clear: an immediate stop to all kinds of aggression, the end of the siege by all means, the opening of all border crossings, and international guarantees that the occupation will not renew this terrorist war again,” Nunu said in a statement.

“Renew this terrorist war again”? The Pali terrorist have never ended it. All a truce means is that Israel has to show restraint while the terrorist go on firing rockets at innocent Israeli civilians.

Original Link.

Taliban Burning, Beheading Its Way Through Pakistani Valley

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

What a sad situation for the good Pakistani people. The Taliban on one side and India on the other. My heart goes out to them.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Taliban militants are beheading and burning their way through Pakistan’s picturesque Swat Valley, and residents say the insurgents now control most of the mountainous region outside the lawless tribal areas where jihadists thrive.

The deteriorating situation in the former tourist haven comes despite an army offensive that began in 2007 and an attempted peace deal. It is especially worrisome to Pakistani officials because the valley lies away from the areas where Al Qaeda and Taliban militants have traditionally operated and where the military is staging a separate offensive.

“You can’t imagine how bad it is,” said Muzaffar ul-Mulk, a federal lawmaker whose home in Swat was attacked by bomb-toting assailants in mid-December, weeks after he left. “It’s worse day by day.”

The Taliban activity in northwest Pakistan also comes as the country shifts forces east to the Indian border because of tensions over last month’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, potentially giving insurgents more space to maneuver along the Afghan frontier.

Militants began preying on Swat’s lush mountain ranges about two years ago, and it is now too dangerous for foreign and Pakistani journalists to visit. Interviews with residents, lawmakers and officials who have fled the region paint a dire picture.

A suicide blast killed 40 people Sunday at a polling station in Buner, an area bordering Swat that had been relatively peaceful. The attack underscored fears that even so-called “settled” regions presumptively under government control are increasingly unsafe.

The 3,500-square-mile Swat Valley lies less than 100 miles from the capital, Islamabad.

A senior government official said he feared there could be a spillover effect if the government lost control of Swat and allowed the insurgency to infect other areas. Like nearly everyone interviewed, the official requested anonymity for fear of reprisal by militants.

Officials estimate that up to a third of Swat’s 1.5 million people have left the area. Salah-ud-Din, who oversees relief efforts in Swat for the International Committee of the Red Cross, estimated that 80 percent of the valley is now under Taliban control.

Swat’s militants are led by Maulana Fazlullah, a cleric who rose to prominence through radio broadcasts demanding the imposition of a harsh brand of Islamic law. His appeal tapped into widespread frustration with the area’s inefficient judicial system.

Most of the insurgents are easy to spot with long hair, beards, rifles, camouflage vests and running shoes. They number at most 2,000, according to people who were interviewed.

In some places, just a handful of insurgents can control a village. They rule by fear: beheading government sympathizers, blowing up bridges and demanding women wear all-encompassing burqas.

They have also set up a parallel administration with courts, taxes, patrols and checkpoints, according to lawmakers and officials. And they are suspected of burning scores of girls’ schools.

Original Link.

Pakistan: India Moves Troops Toward Shared Border

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

This does not bode well for that region.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan said Tuesday that India had moved troops toward their shared border, following Islamabad’s own redeployment of forces toward the frontier amid tensions over the Mumbai attacks.

But India’s foreign minister insisted it had done nothing to escalate tensions in the region, while another Indian official denied a separate Pakistani allegation that New Delhi had activated forward air bases.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the claims in a televised address that included overtures toward India to decrease the acrimony between the nuclear-armed neighbors, who have already fought three wars in the past six decades.

“I understand India has activated their forward air bases, and I think if they are deactivated, then it will be a big positive signal,” Qureshi said. “Similarly, as far as their ground forces are concerned and which have been deputed and deployed, if they are relocated to their peacetime positions, then it will also be a positive signal.”

But Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said his country had not widened the diplomatic rift.

“We have not done anything which can escalate the tension between India and Pakistan,” he told reporters in New Delhi. “Because from day one, I have been saying that it is not an India-Pakistan issue. This is an attack perpetrated by elements emanating from the land of Pakistan and the Pakistan government should take action against it.”

Original Link.

Israel Vows Relentless Campaign Against Hamas

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Israeli aircraft kept up a fierce assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza on Tuesday, smashing a government complex, security installations and the home of a top militant commander as thousands of Israeli ground troops, backed by tanks and artillery, massed along the border and waited for a signal to attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told President Shimon Peres on Tuesday that the current, aerial phase of the operation is “the first of several” that have been approved, an Olmert spokesman said.

Warplanes launched their bruising aerial offensive on Saturday after the Islamic Hamas defied Israel’s warnings that it would not stand for the rocket barrages on southern Israel that resumed nearly two months ago, toward the end of a recently expired truce.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel would use all legal means at its disposal to stop Hamas rocket attacks and his deputy, Matan Vilnai, said Israel was prepared for “long weeks of military action.”

More than 360 Palestinians have been killed, most of them members of Hamas security forces but at least 64 of them civilians, according to U.N. figures. The toll includes two sisters, aged 4 and 11, who perished in an airstrike on a rocket squad in northern Gaza on Tuesday.

Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit said “there is no room for a ceasefire” with Hamas before the threat of rocket fire has been removed. “The Israeli army must not stop the operation before breaking the will of the Palestinians, of Hamas, to continue to fire at Israel,” he told Israel Radio.

The Israeli military “has made preparations for long weeks of action,” added Matan Vilnai, a deputy defense minister, in separate broadcast remarks.

Militants, battered but unbowed, have pressed on with their rocket and mortar assaults, killing three Israeli civilians and a soldier and bringing a widening circle of targets into their sights with an arsenal of longer-range missiles.

“Zionists, wait for more from the resistance,” Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said in a text message to reporters, referring to militants’ armed struggle against Israel.

The military estimated that nearly 10 percent of Israel’s population of 7 million people is now within rocket range, shifting the battles closer to Israel’s heartland. Of the four Israelis killed since the operation began Saturday, all but one were in areas that had not suffered fatalities before.

Hamas, whose charter specifically calls for the destruction of the state of Israel, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdon and the European Union and is banned in Jordan.

From 2000 to 2004, Hamas was responsible for killing nearly 400 Israelis and wounding more than 2,000 in 425 attacks, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

From 2001 through May 2008, Hamas launched more than 3,000 Qassam rockets and 2,500 mortar attacks against Israeli targets.

Original Link.

Abortion Industry Asks Obama for Billions in Funding

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Since Obama has made his position on abortion completely clear, the infanticide industry shouldn’t have any problems getting all the money they want from him.

Over 50 pro-abortion groups have submitted a 55-page wish list called “Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration” to the incoming Obama administration. Jim Sedlak of American Life League’s (ALL) Stop Planned Parenthood, or Stopp International, has tallied the cost.

“They want unfettered abortion. They want the government paying for all of its programs,” he contends. “In fact, [if] you total up everything that they’ve asked Obama for, Planned Parenthood and their friends want the taxpayers to give them $4.6 billion next year.”

Sedlak suggests the wish list represents a request to support an agenda, rather than a genuine need.

Original Link.

Israel At ‘War to the Bitter End,’ Strikes Key Hamas Sites

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Israel’s defense minister said Monday the country is engaged in a “war to the bitter end” against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and said the military operation against the terror group would continue and intensify.

“We have stretched our hand in peace many times to the Palestinian people. We have nothing against the people of Gaza,” Ehud Barak said to a special session of parliament. “But this is an all-out war against Hamas and its branches. The restraint that we have demonstrated is the source of our strength when it is time to fight.”

Israel’s air force obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of its overwhelming Gaza assault, striking a house next to the Hamas premier’s home, devastating a security compound and flattening a five-story building at a university closely linked to the Islamic terror group.

Israel declared areas around the Gaza Strip a “closed military zone,” citing the risk from retaliatory Palestinian rocket fire.

The closure could also help Israel mount a surprise ground assault, should it be ordered. A military spokesman told Reuters the new policy meant that civilians, including journalists, may be barred from a buffer zone of 1 to 2 miles from Gaza.

Original Link.

Palestinian Rocket Misfires, Kills Two Girls in Gaza

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A crude rocket fired by Palestinian militants fell short of its target in Israel on Friday, striking a house in the northern Gaza Strip and killing two schoolgirls.

The attack came as Israel sent mixed signals over its plans to respond to continuing Palestinian rocket fire. Israeli defense officials say politicians have approved a large-scale incursion into the territory once rainy conditions clear. But at the same time, Israel appeared receptive to international pressure against an invasion, opening the Gaza border Friday to allow in deliveries of humanitarian aid.

None of Gaza’s militant factions claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on the house in Beit Lahiya. Gaza Health Ministry official Dr. Moiaya Hassanain said the two victims, ages 5 and 12, were cousins. Three other children were wounded, he said.

The girls were the first Palestinian civilians inadvertently killed by militants since their truce with Israel began collapsing six weeks ago. Family members and medics said they were killed by rocket fire.

Original Link.

Pali Terrorist Push Israel to Violence

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

If anyone is actually interested in why Israel is dropping bombs on the Pali terrorist, here is the reason:

“…Palestinian militants have fired some 300 rockets and mortars at Israeli targets over the past week, and 10 times that number over the past year.”

This while there was a “truce” between Israel and Pali-land.

My comment to the Israelis; “go for it and don’t stop”.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli warplanes sent more than 100 tons of bombs crashing down on key security installations in Hamas-ruled Gaza on Saturday, killing more than 200 Palestinians at the launch of an open-ended campaign mean to stop rocket and mortar attacks that have traumatized southern Israel.

Gaza sources told FOX News 225 people were killed in in the attacks, and the Associated Press is reporting more than 400 were reportedly wounded in one of the bloodiest days in decades of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. One Israeli was also killed and six Israelis were wounded.

The unprecedented assault sparked protests and condemnations throughout the Arab world, and many of Israel’s Western allies urged restraint, though the U.S. blamed Hamas for the fighting.

But there seemed to be no end in sight.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told FOX News his country “cannot really accept” a ceasefire with Hamas.

“For us to be asked to have a ceasefire with Hamas is like asking you to have a ceasefire with Al Qeada,” said Barak, in the televised interview Saturday afternoon. ” It’s something we cannot really accept.”

Militants often operate against Israel from civilian areas, and that has led to steep civilian casualties in the past when Israel has retaliated. Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language voice mails on their cell phones from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.

The offensive began eight days after a six-month truce between Israel and the militants expired. The Israeli army says Palestinian militants have fired some 300 rockets and mortars at Israeli targets over the past week, and 10 times that number over the past year.

“There is a time for calm and there is a time for fighting, and now is the time for fighting,” said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, vowing to expand the operation if necessary.

Original Link.

Jews Return to Joseph’s Tomb

Friday, December 26th, 2008

JERUSALEM – Eight years after the site was heavily desecrated by Palestinians, Jews this week quietly returned to Joseph’s Tomb in the northern West Bank to rebuild the structure in hopes of a continued Jewish presence at the tomb – Judaism’s third holiest site.

Joseph’s Tomb is the believed burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, the son of Jacob who was sold by his brothers into slavery and later became viceroy of Egypt.

Following repeated Palestinian attacks, Israel in October 2000 unilaterally retreated from Joseph’s Tomb and, with very few exceptions, banned Jews from returning to the site purportedly for security reasons.

Within less than an hour of the Israeli retreat, Palestinian rioters overtook Joseph’s Tomb and reportedly ransacked and then partially destroyed the structure. Local Arabs have since set the tomb on fire several times, including an incident last February in which WND first reported burning tires were found inside.

The past few months, the Israeli Defense Forces has been protecting small, monthly convoys of Jews who quietly pray at the tomb for about an hour under the cover of darkness. The visits were arranged by Israel’s Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika along with a local organization, Shchem Ehad.

On Monday night, Mesika led a group of Jewish students and professional contractors to the tomb, where the group repainted the exterior and interior of the structure and laid a new concrete stone covering on Joseph’s tombstone, which had been smashed by local Muslims.

Shromron Community Council liason David Haivri told WND the plan is to bring more professionals to the tomb in the near future to complete renovations. He said the ancient dome-shaped roof needs to be reinforced and a Jewish seminary attached to the tomb structure needs to be completely rebuilt. In 2000, television footage showed the dome being smashed by Palestinians after it was painted green – a color associated with Islam.

Original Link.

Pakistan Moves Troops To Indian Border Amid Rising Tensions

Friday, December 26th, 2008

We need to continue to keep an eye on this situation. Things can get our of control very quickly.

ISLAMABAD (AFP)–Pakistan has redeployed thousands of troops to the border with India, officials said Friday, in a dramatic escalation of tensions with New Delhi in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh summoned his military chiefs to review New Delhi’s “defense preparedness” while his foreign ministry advised Indians not to travel to Pakistan, saying it was unsafe for them to be in the country.

The developments sent relations plummeting to their lowest point since late 2001, when Kashmiri militants staged a brazen attack on the Indian parliament – an attack New Delhi blamed on the Pakistan-based extremist group Lashkar-e- Taiba.

India has blamed the same group for the Mumbai attacks and has repeatedly said Islamabad isn’t doing enough to rein in militant groups – a claim Pakistan rejects.

Both sides have said they don’t want war but warn they would act if provoked.

In Islamabad, senior defense and security officials told AFP thousands of troops were being moved from the restive northwestern tribal areas bordering Afghanistan to the east of the country along the Indian border.

“We do not want to create any war hysteria but we have to take minimum security measures to ward off any threat,” a defense ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He said leave for “operational” armed forces personnel had been “cancelled as a defensive measure”.

A top security official, who also asked not to be named, explained that a ” limited number of troops have been pulled out from snowbound areas on the western border where they were not engaged in any operation”.

Pakistan’s army and air force have recently scaled back their operations against Taliban-linked militants in both the Swat valley and the Bajaur tribal area bordering Afghanistan. Both operations were launched in mid-2008.

Original Link.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Luke 2:1-7 (New International Version)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”
Matthew 2:1-12 (New International Version)

We hope that everyone has a very happy and safe Christmas.
Merry Christmas!!
-Steve, Missi and Beth

Off From Work Today…

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

I’m off from work today and doing chores to get ready for Christmas. I’ll try to get some blog post up later today.
Thanks!!!
-Steve

“Many Paths to Heaven?” by Albert Mohler

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Are American evangelicals abandoning the exclusivity of the Gospel? A new report out from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life suggests that many evangelical Christians are, at the very least, badly confused about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today reports:

Most American religious believers, including most Christians, say eternal life is not exclusively for those who accept Christ as their savior, a new survey finds.

Of the 65% of people who held this open view of heaven’s gates, 80% named at least one non-Christian group – Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists or people with no religion at all- who may also be saved, according to a new survey released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

This most recent report, released today, clarifies a report issued earlier this year. That earlier report became the cause of some controversy because some researchers questioned the accuracy of the responses, since some of those surveyed may have confused other Christian denominations for other religions.

In releasing this updated report, the Pew Forum isolated the question and made it far more specific. Those who affirmed other ways of salvation were then asked to specify what they meant. As USA Today reports, the vast majority of those who affirmed other ways of salvation went on to specify “Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists or people with no religion at all” as valid options.

The report indicates that 52% of those belonging to churches and denominations that teach that Jesus is the only way of salvation reject that teaching.

Read the rest of the article here.

Children Starved to Coerce Mom to Renounce Christ

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

More examples of the Muslim version of tolerance.

Authorities in Egypt are starving children ages 2 and 4 to try to force their mother to abandon Christianity and return to Islam, according to reports from several ministry organizations.

The Egypt for Christ Ministry is reporting the woman, who converted to Christianity about five years ago and was arrested as she tried to leave her home country just days ago, also has been sexually assaulted by police officers.

The woman, identified by the ministry as Martha Samuel, also has been beaten and tortured in effort to force her to return to Islam, with police promises for her release if she accepts, reports are confirming.

The Assyrian International News Agency said Samuel was arrested last week as she, her husband and two sons were trying to leave Cairo for Russia, after her name was placed on a listed of people who are barred from leaving Egypt.

Then reports came today of the assaults on her. AINA said she was subjected to attacks by Egyptian police at El-Nozha police station as well as at the National Security office in Heliopolis.

“The children are not being provided with food deliberately to pressure their mother to return to Islam,” the AINA reported.

Her husband, Fadl Thabet, also was in custody.

The report said Samuel formerly was known as Zainab Said Abdel-Aziz and her family was fleeing continuous persecution by her own family and Egyptian police officers.

Original Link.

Chuck Norris on Christmas

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

The question is not whether Jesus lived but who he was and is. It’s a question we all will answer, consciously or not, especially this Christmas week. It’s a question even Jesus asked the people of his day. “Who do people say that I am?”

As for me and my house, he is the Son of God and Savior of the world. That’s what we celebrate most on Christmas Day. At the very least, any unbiased reviewer of history cannot deny that time and civilizations have pivoted on his unique and “One Solitary Life”:

“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.

“He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of these things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

“He was only 33 when public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.

“When he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

“Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race, the leader of mankind’s progress.

“All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on earth as much as that One Solitary Life.”

The fact is wise men still seek him. And if you genuinely follow his star, you’ll find a stable, not a fable.

Read the whole article here.

Five Muslim Jihadists Convicted of Conspiracy to Kill Soldiers at Fort Dix

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

We all need to remember that if it wasn’t for a “whistle blower”, most likely the Muslim terrorist would have succeeded.

CAMDEN, N.J. – Five Muslim immigrants accused of scheming to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix were convicted of conspiracy Monday in a case that tested the FBI’s post-Sept. 11 strategy of infiltrating and breaking up terrorist plots in their earliest stages. The men could get life in prison when they are sentenced in April.

The five, who lived in and around Philadelphia for years, were found guilty of conspiring to kill U.S. military personnel. But they were acquitted of attempted murder, after prosecutors acknowledged the men were probably months away from an attack and did not necessarily have a specific plan. Four defendants were also convicted of weapons charges.

The federal jury deliberated for 38 hours over six days.

The government said after the arrests in 2007 that case underscored the dangers of terrorist plots hatched on U.S. soil. Although investigators said the conspirators were inspired by Osama bin Laden, they were not accused of any ties to foreign terror groups.

Defense lawyers argued that the alleged plot was all talk — that the men weren’t seriously planning anything and that they were manipulated and goaded by two paid FBI informants.

Faten Shnewer, the mother of defendant Mohamad Shnewer, said the informants should be the ones in jail. “Not my son and his friends. It’s not right, it’s not justice,” she said after the verdict. The government “sent somebody to push him to say something; that’s it.”

Convicted were: Shnewer, a Jordanian-born cab driver; Turkish-born convenience store clerk Serdar Tatar; and brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka, ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia, who had a roofing business. A sixth man arrested and charged only with gun offenses pleaded guilty earlier.

The government said the men were targeting New Jersey’s Fort Dix for an attack but had also conducted surveillance at New Jersey’s Fort Monmouth, Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and other military installations, and had talked about assaulting some of those spots. The jury did not have to find that the men had any specific target in mind to convict them.

“These criminals had the capacity and had done preparations to do serious and grievous harm to members of our military,” Ralph Marra, the acting U.S. attorney for New Jersey, said after the verdict.

Of course, the Muslim leadership, instead of condemning the so-called “radical” element in their midst and calling for them to punished to the fullest extent of the law, instead choose to take the Muslim “persecution” route. This is what I keep going on about. We came under fire for posting the cartoon called “Muslim Voices”. I encourage you to read the comments here. Once again, Muslim actions resemble the cartoon. If you Muslims don’t want this stigma hanging over you, then you are going to have to change your religion, from the inside out, and unmercifully root out this violent element.

But some Muslim leaders in New Jersey disputed that.

“I don’t think they actually mean to do anything,” said Mohamed Younes, president of the American Muslim Union. “I think they were acting stupid, like they thought the whole thing was a joke.”

Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said: “Many people in the Muslim community will see this as a case of entrapment. From what I saw, there was a significant role played by the government informant.”

The yearlong investigation began after a clerk at a Circuit City store told the FBI that some customers had asked him to transfer onto DVD some video footage of them firing assault weapons and screaming about jihad.

The FBI asked two informants — both foreign-born men who entered the U.S. illegally and had criminal records — to befriend the suspects. Both informants were paid and were offered help obtaining legal resident status.

During the eight-week trial, the government relied heavily on information gathered by the informants, who secretly recorded hundreds of conversations.

Prosecutors said the men bought several assault rifles supplied by the FBI and that they trekked to Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains to practice their shooting. The government also presented dozens of jihadist speeches and videos that the men supposedly used as inspiration.

According to prosecutors, the group chose Fort Dix because one of the defendants was familiar with it. His father’s pizza shop delivered to the New Jersey base, which is 25 miles from Philadelphia and used primarily to train reservists for duty in Iraq.

The group’s objective was to kill “as many American soldiers as possible,” prosecutors said.

Original Link.

Read Michelle Malkin’s post here.

“Primary and Secondary Racism” by Mike S. Adams

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Ann Coulter was right when she said the essence of being a liberal is having one set of rules for oneself and an entirely different set of rules for other people. Similarly, it could be asserted that the essence of liberal arts education is developing one set of theories that apply only to other people. Few better examples can be found than in the case of labeling theory, which derives from the pseudo-science of sociology.

Frank Tannenbaum had a number of valid points when, in the 1930s, he established some basic premises of labeling theory. He argued that, as a juvenile, everyone engages in some form of delinquent behavior. And he correctly pointed out that not everyone who engages in delinquency is caught and, therefore, labeled “delinquent.”

Tannenbaum was also correct in saying that parents, teachers, and peers sometimes over-react to juveniles caught in an act of delinquency. He was again on firm ground in asserting that these occasional over-reactions could actually produce more delinquency.

Read the rest of the article here.