Archive for February 18th, 2009

Obama Issued Executive Orders Without Notifying Public

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Get used to this type of behavior from The One, His Most Excellent Immensity, Emperor Obama I.

President Obama issued a slew of executive orders and other official decisions without making any announcements to the press, Politico.com reports.

According to an article published Tuesday night, the president has since taking office issued three executive orders, one memorandum, one presidential notice and a proclamation without any attention from the White House press corps. That’s because the White House press office never announced them and never posted any reference to them on its Web site.

A spokesman called the omission a “simple oversight,” and said the information has since been posted to the WhiteHouse.gov site.

Some of the decisions were minor, such as a proclamation for American Heart Month. But others expanded the size of key bodies, including the National Economic Council and the Domestic Policy Council. Two others canceled orders relating to regulatory review from the Bush administration, according to the report.

Politico.com found the decisions in the Federal Register, the government’s official policy record.

Original Link.

Muslim “Global Anti-Aggression Campaign” Promises “No Agreement with Israel…Only Weapons”

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

More violent and death threats from the so-called peace loving Muslims of the world.

At a weekend meeting in Istanbul, 200 religious scholars and clerics met senior Hamas officials to plot a new jihad centred on Gaza.

The BBC’s Bill Law was the only Western journalist at the meeting.

In a hall crowded with conservative Sunni Muslim sheikhs and scholars, in a hotel close to Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport speaker after speaker called for jihad against Israel in support of Hamas.

The choice of Turkey was significant. Arab hardliners were keen to put aside historic differences with the Turks.

As one organiser put it: “During the past 100 years relations have been strained but Palestine has brought us together.”

Many delegates spoke appreciatively of the protest by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who stormed out of a Davos debate on Gaza two weeks ago.

The conference, dubbed the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign, also gave impetus to Sunni clerics concerned about the growing power of Hezbollah, the Shia movement backed by Iran, which rose to international prominence in its own war with Israel in 2006.

“Gaza is a gift,” the Saudi religious scholar Mohsen al-Awajy told me. He and other delegates repeatedly referred to the Gaza war as “a victory”.

“Gaza,” he continued, “gives us power, it solves our differences. We are all now in a unified front against Zionism.”

Mohammed Nazzal, a senior Hamas leader based in Damascus, challenged Arab governments to “open their borders and allow the fighters to come.”

Delegates from all over the Middle East, and from Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan and Indonesia applauded as he stabbed the air with a raised finger and declared: “There will be no agreement with Israel… only weapons will bring respect.”

Mr Nazzal told his audience: “Don’t worry about casualties.”

The 23 days of bombardment of Gaza, in which some 1,300 people, many of them civilians and nearly 300 of them children, are believed to have died, was “just the beginning” of the struggle, Mr Nazzal said.

To laughter in the audience, another speaker noted that twice as many babies were born as children were killed during the war.

Every death, I was told, was a martyrdom on the road to liberation.

For the hardline sheikhs, it was an opportunity to underline what they see as the growing gulf between Arab regimes who are hesitant to back Hamas and the people of the region who, they say, embrace Hamas as heroes fighting against overwhelming odds.

More importantly, this conference represented something of a coup for Hamas. They were promised weapons, money and fighters.

Original Link.

Why Do We Need Jesus? Part 2

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

In part 1 of this series of posts, I covered the topic of “original sin” (for lack of a better term). In this part, I want to go over what God told Israel to do to temporarily “cover up” their sins.

God required animal sacrifices so that people could be temporarily forgiven for their sins. This is outlined in the Bible passages in Leviticus 4:35 and 5:10. From “GotQuestions?“:

“God commanded the [Jews] to perform numerous different sacrifices. According to Leviticus 1:1-4, a certain procedure was to be followed. First, the animal had to be spotless. Next, the person offering the sacrifice had to identify with the animal. Then the person offering the animal had to inflict death upon it. When done in faith, this sacrifice provided forgiveness of sins. Another sacrifice called the day of atonement, described in Leviticus 16, demonstrates forgiveness and the removal of sin. The high priest was to take two male goats for a sin offering. One of the goats was sacrificed as a sin offering for the people of Israel (Leviticus 16:15), while the other goat was released into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:20-22). The sin offering provided forgiveness, while the other goat provided the removal of sin.”

Some of you might be wondering why animals had to die so that people could be forgiven of their sins. The animals hadn’t done anything wrong, so why did they have to die?

Therein lies the crux of the matter; they hadn’t done anything wrong, they were innocent. Only innocent blood can cover up sin. Although temporary, this innocent blood was acceptable to God as a way for Him to overlook the sins the person had committed up to that point. Unfortunately, people are constantly doing sinful things, so the animal sacrifices didn’t work for very long before they had to be repeated.

God wanted a permanent solution. We’ll talk about that solution in part 3.

Star of David – Menorah Pendant from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Periodically I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Star of David – Menorah Pendant.

Star of David - Menorah Pendant

Take a moment to see all of the other interesting items they stock.




Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

Syria Building Chemical Weapons Plant

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Syria has been conducting extensive construction work on a chemical weapons facility in the country’s northwest, satellite images obtained by the defense analyst group Jane’s reveal.

The images of a chemical weapons facility identified as al-Safir were taken by several commercial sources from 2005 to 2008, the analyst group said.

Imagery obtained by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-1 satellite shows that extensive construction has taken place at the facility, as well as at an adjacent missile base, the group wrote. In addition, the images showed that the site contained a number of the “defining features of a chemical weapons facility.”

Al-Safir is home to a chemical weapons production facility and a missile base that holds a significant part of Syria’s long-range Scud D ballistic missiles, according to foreign reports. The Scud D has a range of 700 kilometers and al-Safir is reported to have several dozen underground fortified bunkers where the launchers and the missiles are stored.

Original Link.

“Four Important Facts You Probably Don’t Know About The Stimulus Package” by Tony Beam

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

“No country has ever spent its way out of debt and into prosperity. Debt creation simply shifts the burden of fiscal irresponsibility from the shoulders of the current generation to the shoulders of generations yet unborn.”

By the time you read these words, the United States Congress will have passed and the President will have signed the largest single spending bill in the history of Western Civilization. The total cost of World War II to all the countries combined was 1 trillion dollars. The United States spent the most on the war at $347 billion. It is hard to imagine but this one massive spending bill, coming in at $787 billion, is more than twice the total amount the United States spend to defeat the Axis powers.

To give this number further perspective consider these facts:

1) It is approximately 1.8 times the total amount spent by NASA since 1961.
2) It is about 1.7 times the size of the largest U.S. budget deficit in history.
3) It amounts to 32 percent of the total federal receipts in fiscal 2008.
4) If it was given directly to Americans it would mean $2,600 for every man, woman, and child.

But hold on to your wallets because fact one of the four important facts you haven’t heard about the stimulus package is that the Congressional Budget Office estimates the real cost of the bill to be closer to $3.27 trillion. That figures includes an interest payment of $744 billion on the debt that is being created by the package. It also includes another $2.5 trillion in expanded government programs (over 200 new government programs are included in the budget) that will continue for decades. It is government spending that will require confiscatory taxes collected from many yet to be born generations of Americans.

Fact number two is even more startling when you think about it from the perspective of future generations. When you add in the amount of money necessary to fulfill the promises made by the United States government to future generations through Social Security and Medicare benefits, you come up with $65.5 trillion, which is four times the U.S. GDP and exceeds the total GDP for every country in the world combined. This is before you add in the additional TARP money that will be spent in 2009, which could total as much as another $1 trillion. It is a number that will be virtually impossible to make up through any amount of taxation alone. It will require the combination of draconian tax increases accompanied by a massive, destabilizing decrease in government spending.

Fact number three…not one of the 535 members of Congress read the bill in its final form before the vote was taken. How do I know for sure? Because it would have been physically impossible for anyone to read 1,071 pages in the time between the final draft of the bill and its passage by both houses of Congress. There wasn’t even time to type the entire bill so the final version passed with hand written notes in the margins and whole paragraphs either added or crossed out. This fact alone may be the most irresponsible act perpetrated on any civilized society in human history. Agreeing to vote on the largest spending package in history without giving time for debate or careful consideration is outrageously dangerous. For a majority of our elected leaders to vote in favor of this legislation without knowing what they were voting for is absolutely scandalous.

Finally, the stimulus package, also known as the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, abolishes the hard-fought welfare reforms of the mid-1990’s and establishes new welfare spending. According to Robert Rector and Katherine Bradley of The Heritage Foundation, prior to 1996 the amount of welfare money received by the states from the Federal government was based on the number of people on the welfare rolls. The more people each state enrolled in the welfare system the more money they received from the Federal government. This system obviously motivated the states to add, not reduce the welfare rolls.

Original Link.

No Truce in Gaza Until Release of Shalit

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

It’s about time Israel said “enough” on this issue of Cpl Gilad Shalit captivity.

Israel’s security cabinet has decided there will be no truce in Gaza until an Israeli soldier captured in 2006 is freed, Israel’s interior minister says.

Meir Sheetrit told reporters that the cabinet had backed demands to link Cpl Gilad Shalit’s release to the lifting of Israel’s blockade on Gaza.

Israel has closed Gaza’s borders, allowing only essential supplies in.

Leaders of the Palestinian group Hamas have said the border crossing and prisoner issues cannot be linked.

After the security cabinet meeting, Mr Sheetrit told journalists: “The security cabinet unanimously decided that the release of the soldier Shalit is a condition to any agreement with Hamas.”

Cpl Shalit was seized by Palestinian militants in June 2006 while he was on duty on the edge of the Gaza Strip.

‘Insult to Egypt’

In recent days outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has demanded the resolution of the Shalit issue before looking at “reopening the crossings and rehabilitating the Gaza Strip”.

Before the security cabinet’s decision, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, in exile in Syria, accused Mr Olmert of trying to block Egyptian-mediated truce efforts.

Even Israel’s top negotiator in the peace talks, Amos Gilad, was quoted offering outspoken criticism of the prime minister.

“Suddenly, the order of things has been changed… I don’t understand that. Where does that lead, to insult the Egyptians? To make them want to drop the whole thing?” he was quoted saying in the Maariv daily.

Hamas has demanded the release of 1,400 Palestinians detained in Israeli jails, including ones involved in attacks on Israelis who have mostly been kept out of past swaps.

Aid agencies say Gaza needs the crossings reopened to people and a much greater volume and range of goods if it is to rebuild after Israel’s 22-day air, sea and land bombardment which inflicted heavy damage on the territory’s infrastructure and destroyed some 5,000 homes.

The Israeli authorities believe Cpl Shalit is still alive. In the past they have been prepared to exchange hostages and the remains of soldiers for large numbers of Arab prisoners.

Original Link.

“‘Yes, We Can’ Mentality Must Give Way to a Renewed Era of Fiscal Responsibility”

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Yesterday, Barack Obama said that the $787 billion so-called “stimulus” package he signed into law would be only the first of many such steps taken by our federal government to revitalize the American economy. Also, General Motors asked American taxpayers for another $30 billion–on top of the $13.4 billion previously given–as a matter of life-or-death survival for the automaker. And, more states like New Jersey and cities like Philadelphia are forcing workers to take a number of unpaid vacation days in an attempt to save a few million dollars, while California, facing out-and-out bankruptcy, has already suspended income tax refunds, is now preparing to lay off tens of thousands of workers, and has asked the federal government for assistance.

The answer is NO. Enough is enough.

Start looking after your own balance sheets, people. Don’t have the money for the newest social program, the next endowment, the cushy perk? Don’t spend it. Not generating enough income to cover the social programs, endowments and perks you already have? Cut ’em back, cut ’em out, and begin looking at long-term economic growth. Let’s start practicing the same sort of fiscal responsibility being practiced by families from coast to coast, families struggling to make ends meet, families wondering where the next dollar is coming from.

Read the rest of the article here.

Obama to Send 17,000 Additional Troops to Afghanistan

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I bet Emperor Obama’s anti-war base is livid about this. They are probably wondering if he is going to fulfill any of his campaign promises. It’s interesting just how much his foreign policy is mirroring President Bush’s. So much for “change”, huh?

President Obama will dispatch more than 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, the White House announced Tuesday.

“This reinforcement will contribute to the security of the Afghan people and to stability in Afghanistan,” Obama said in a statement. “I recognize the extraordinary strain that this deployment places on our troops and military families. I honor their service, and will give them the support they need.”

Obama said the deteriorating security in Afghanistan made the troop increase necessary, adding that the country has not received the strategic attention or resources it needs.

Although 17,000 troops have been authorized to go, the Pentagon identified and mobilized only about 12,000. Of those troops, 8,000 will be Marines and the 4,000 others will comprise an Army Stryker Brigade.The additional 5,000 troops will be identified and announced at a later date.

But sources provided FOX News with the identity of all 17,000 troops: 10,000 will be Marines stationed in the South; 3,800 with an Army Stryker Brigade; 1,000 Special Operations Force trainers and 3,200 force enablers.

Obama also said he is withdrawing some U.S. troops from Iraq. He said that will give the Pentagon more flexibility in shifting troops to Afghanistan.

The troop increase is a down payment on a larger influx of U.S. forces that has been widely expected this year. It will get a few thousand forces in place in time for the increase in fighting that usually comes with warmer weather and ahead of national midyear elections.

A spokesman for Gen. David McKiernan told FOX News that they had already started to build camp barracks for the troops in anticipation of the announcement — knowing how sensitive the timing is given the spring fighting season.

It is generally takes about three months for an Army brigade to deploy to the combat zone.

This is the first time the new commander in chief has sent significant numbers of new forces into battle. Obama campaigned on a new strategy for the Afghanistan war, but he has taken his time to approve the new forces.

Original Link.