Archive for February 20th, 2009

Obama’s Housing Plan to Bail Out People Not in Trouble

Friday, February 20th, 2009

President Obama’s mortgage plan is designed to make it easier for an estimated nine million homeowners to afford their monthly payments either by refinancing the mortgages or having their loans modified. The president says he wants to focus on homeowners who are still current in their payments but at risk of default.

Ron Utt, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, notes President Obama is proposing to spend $275 billion on a problem that does not exist yet.

“This establishes essentially a new right, that is, people who are current in their mortgages, who aren’t having any problem making their payments but are unable to, let’s say, refinance at a lower rate because the value of their house has fallen,” he explains. “Well, what we have is sort of this massive program here to allow those people to refinance.”

Original Link.

“Miracle Cells: The Real Stem Cell Success Stories” by Chuck Colson

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Many who listened to President Obama’s inaugural address believe he means to spend taxpayer money on research that destroys human embryos. Before he does, I hope somebody brings to his attention the story I’m about to tell.

A few years ago, a Texas teenager named Laura Dominguez lost control of her car when she hit an oil spill on the road. The accident left Laura paralyzed from the neck down. “You’ll never walk again,” doctors told her.

Laura refused to accept this prognosis. She and her mother met with experts on spinal cord injuries. They learned about an exciting new treatment being performed in Portugal. The procedure is known as olfactory mucosa transplantation. Surgeons take adult stem cells found in the nasal region and transplant them into the injured area.

Laura underwent this treatment—and her spinal cord began to heal. She gained upper body agility, and, in time, she learned to walk with the use of braces and outside help. Laura is determined to walk unassisted by her 21st birthday.

Miracles like this have been repeated many times as researchers bend their attention to the uses of adult stem cells. Writer Bradley Hughes describes many of them in his article “Real-World Successes of Adult Stem Cell Treatment.”

To date, Hughes writes, these “miracle cells” are providing hope for patients with Crohn’s disease, lupus, heart disease, blindness, Parkinson’s, and sickle-cell anemia. And according to biotech writer James P. Kelly, umbilical cord blood stem cells are already being used to treat 70 forms of blood and bone marrow cancers.

And just a few days ago, there was a report at Northwestern University. Twenty-one patients with multiple sclerosis were stabilized following treatment with adult stem cells removed from each patient’s bone marrow. In some patients, the disease was reversed.

But because much of the mainstream media refuses to report on this, many Americans remain unaware of it. Ignorance about these cures may be driving the public’s demand for embryonic stem-cell research, which kills human beings at the embryonic stage.

Americans also seems unaware that not a single clinical success has resulted from treatments using embryonic stem cells. None!

So why do researchers and the biotech industry push so hard for public funds for embryo-destructive research? Because science wants science for science’s sake and, incidentally, because they stand to make huge profits through potential patents. It’s potentially far more lucrative than research involving adult stem cells.

You and I need to spread the word about the miracle cures being found through the use of adult stem cells. They’re a far superior alternative to embryonic stem cells—and nobody is killed in the process of retrieving them.

As science demands unfettered research in the future, we need to be encouraging ethically challenged reporters, researchers, and politicians to take a look backwards for a grim reminder of what happens when science is divorced from morality—euthanasia, gas chambers, and Nazi experiments on children.

Do we really want to start down that terrible road again?

Original Link.

‘Iran Already Enriched Enough Uranium to Make Atomic Bomb’

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Experts say a recent report by the UN nuclear watchdog which states that Iran has slowed down its uranium enrichment program neglects to underscore the fact that Teheran already has enough fissile material to produce an atomic bomb.

The recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report states that inspectors uncovered 209 kilograms of low-enriched uranium that the Iranians had failed to declare, which brings the total amount that Teheran has so far enriched to over a ton, enough, with additional purification, to produce a nuclear weapon, officials told the New York Times Thursday.

Independent weapons experts told the paper that they were surprised by the figures and criticized the IAEA for conducting inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities only once a year.

“It’s worse than we thought. It’s alarming that the actual production was underreported by a third,” said Gary Milhollin, the director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control.

“You have enough atoms” to make a bomb, a senior UN official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The IAEA report, which was made public Thursday, stated that the new assessment of the total amount of uranium enriched by Iran factors in 171 kilograms of newly-produced material and 839 kilograms of old production. In the past, however, the agency had only reported 630 kilograms of old production.

The discrepancy between the two figures, 209 kilograms, brought the total amount of uranium enriched by Iran to over a metric ton.

UN officials were quoted by the Times as saying that the inconsistency could be accounted for by the fact that the Natanz enrichment facility was new, which could make it harder for Iran to make an accurate assessment.

The officials rejected the possibility that the gap in the numbers meant Iran could smuggle enriched uranium out of the plant for further processing at a secret location.

“We’re sure that no material could have left the facility without us knowing,” the senior United Nations official said, admitting, however, that inspectors only made the inventory rounds once a year. “It’s only at that moment that we have our own independent data.”

The report also updated the figures for the number of centrifuges in place in Natanz, bringing the total figure to 5,600, up from a count of 3,800 working centrifuges in the IAEA’s November 2008 report.

Original Link.

“From Generation to Generation” by Ron Graham

Friday, February 20th, 2009

“Every generation since Jesus died on the cross has been sure of Christ’s return during their lifetime.” It may very well be true that each generation anticipated Jesus’ return, and well so. However, anticipation and hope alone aren’t what will facilitate Jesus’ soon return to earth. According to the prophetic scriptures, Jesus would only return after certain events.

In centuries past, those who diligently studied Scriptures should have understood that the signs (the events) which were to precede Christ’s return weren’t in place yet. It would have been a mistake to anticipate Jesus’ return during any other generation than this, our current generation.

Past generations of Christians may have believed their own generation to be the one in which Jesus was to return, but by so doing they had to twist Scripture. The signs that the prophets of the Old Testament spoke of and the signs Jesus Christ spoke of, as well as many of the writers of the New Testament, pointed to His Second Advent as being fulfilled at a much later date than when they wrote those prophecies.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end:” Daniel 12:4. Basically the book was sealed until the time of the end. This generation is seeing those signs come to pass. The knowledge to understand the prophecies has been delivered to the faithful by way of God’s Holy Spirit.

Until 1948 most Bible teachers were searching for alternative interpretations of the scriptures that contained the signs of the last days. Why? Because many saw no possibility of Israel ever being a nation re-established and living in the land God promised them. During WWII, when so many Jews were slaughtered during the Holocaust, besides being a horrible tragedy and a very significant blight on the humanity of mankind, it must have been terribly disappointing for prophecy buffs of the time. Six million Jews had just been horribly eliminated from the face of this earth so how could God’s chosen people ever be expected to become a nation once again?

Today we can look at Scriptures which foretold of Israel being back in their God–given land and see that prophecy was fulfilled exactly as God said. Israel is a well-established nation – powerful, self-governed, with an entrenched foothold in the land God gave them. But for those Christian denominations who hold to the erroneous doctrine of replacement theology, this absolutely proven prophecy is looked upon as a non-event. That’s just blindness.

“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land,” Ezekiel 37:21.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” Isaiah 11:11. This verse tells us there will be a re-gathering and return of the Jews back to the covenant land God established specifically for the Jewish people. Clearly God’s end time plans were predicated on Israel returning to their promised land.

Those individuals in past generations who diligently studied their Bibles knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that until Israel was an established nation once again and dwelling in the land God promised them there could be no Second Advent. The Bible is clear as to the signs we are to look for and yet many refuse to seek a clear understanding. Jesus is our sign giver. The Old Testament prophets, through the inspiration of God, wrote down earth’s future history and God preserved those words for all the future generations.

Along with Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah, we have all the Minor Prophets who, even though they are referred to as minor, contributed major prophetic insight into the last day’s events. “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” Amos 9:14-15. This is just one of the numerous end time prophecies that are recorded in the books of the so called Minor Prophets. Actually minor only means shorter in length, not subordinate at all in regards to importance.

Prophecy has been placed in the Bible by God to bring us to a deeper understanding of just what the future history of the world holds. Not only do we discern that God’s word is true, but from prophecy, both fulfilled and not yet fulfilled, we recognize the End Times are yet to come. Yes, we are living in the End Times and have been since Jesus died on that cross, but our current generation is the generation that is living in the very last days of the End Times.

Even though we can’t help being concerned about Israel and the fact that they are surrounded by their enemies – enemies bent on their total destruction – God has promised Israel that they will never again be pulled out of their land. God’s mighty hand is covering Israel and that’s a fact we witness every day. Their enemies will never be successful in their attempts to wipe Israel off the map.

It should come as no surprise that even though the Hamas terrorists lob rocket after rocket into Israel, year in and year out, the destruction of property and the taking of innocent Israelis lives is quite minimal. The taking of an innocent life is tragic under any circumstance, but the very fact that Hamas has launched literally thousands of rockets into the land where God’s people dwell with hardly any effect should give all people pause. We must come to the conclusion that God’s people are divinely protected and established where God wants them.

The Old Testament contains many prophecies which foretold of Jesus’ first advent. They were recorded many, many years before His birth. These prophecies were missed by the Scribes and Pharisees. For instance in the Book of Genesis we were given the first words concerning the Coming of Christ. Speaking to the serpent, God said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15. Note that the Coming One was to be of the woman’s seed, which described the miraculous virgin birth of our Lord. This was written down thousands of years before He was born.

In order to deny the undeniable prophecies recorded in scripture, we must allegorize at least one third of the Bible. On the other hand, if we take the Bible seriously and allow the word of God to speak to us, we can come to an informed and correct conclusion of what will transpire as we move ever closer to Christ’s return and before that, the snatching away of His Church.

We Christians have, for the most part, no problem believing in the virgin birth or the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which was all foretold of in the Old Testament. However, when it comes down to understanding prophecy that is directly pointing to the end of days here on earth and Jesus’ Second Advent, that’s just too weak, too hard to grasp. “It’s all allegories. Those scriptures have nothing to do with our future.” Here’s a news flash for those who think that way: God authenticates His word by giving us history lessons in advance. Fulfilled prophecy is obvious and yet dismissed by many Christian as inconsequential.

The Bible is replete with prophecies both fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled, all establishing the undeniable fact that there will be a Rapture of Christ’s Church and that the saints (believers) will return with our Lord in His glory at the end of the Tribulation. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6.

Why is it so difficult for some to gain an understanding of the end times through prophecy? Because many Christians today refuse to study their Bibles at all, let alone Bible prophecy. They are completely reliant on their pastors, many of whom don’t believe in biblical prophecy. Therefore they parrot what they hear and neglect Bible prophecy altogether.

Paul the Apostle spoke of future events. Paul didn’t know when the events he taught about would occur anymore than we do today. But over the past two-thousand years we can see many prophetic signs that have been fulfilled, and this generation is witnessing the speedy culmination of prophetic signs exploding on the scene.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass,” Revelation 1:1. This may very well be the verse that has tripped up generations of believers in the past. Just reading the English version of the above verse gives us the impression these things referred to here by Jesus would shortly (or soon) come to pass. By carefully analyzing the original language, we can more clearly understand this verse and what it actually is saying. It’s the English word “shortly” that’s the culprit. Translated from the Greek word tachos, its intent isn’t to infer something happening very soon, but is to show quickness or speed. Our English word tachometer is derived from this Greek word. Jesus is going to open the eyes of His servants who study His word to understand the signs of the end times, and when these signs begin to come about they will happen rapidly and speedily, precisely what we see happening today.

Jesus Christ will return soon for His Church and that’s something the enemy doesn’t want people to believe, let alone dwell on. Satan knows the Rapture will happen and if he can keep the focus of the Church on the worldly things which entrap God’s people and re-direct their thoughts and efforts, then Christians will spend much less time, if any at all, thinking about or promoting our Heavenly destination. Our enemy would like to see the Church become just another secular social club totally devoid of God’s truth, especially prophecy.

There are many alternative views floating around for Christians to choose from, many of which disparage Bible prophecy. Amillennialism, Preterism, Kingdom now, or Dominionism, it really is confusing and some of these views are difficult to understand. When we just allow others to influence us with their interpretations instead of searching the scriptures for ourselves, we may find ourselves following a view that is basically unscriptural.

Many believers put little, if any, reliance in the Rapture view even though Paul taught that Christ’s Church would be raptured before the Wrath of God was to come on this Christ-rejecting world.

Side Note:
Christians have been listening to false teachers who’ve exchanged God’s word for a lie for years. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:13. This manipulation of the saints by deceitful workers has moved Christians into a pattern of resorting back to worldly ideas and concepts. About 90% of all Christians no longer hold a Christian world view. They look, sound, and act just like the earth dwellers (non-believers) of this planet, opposed to true, born again believers, who are just sojourners here. That leaves only a remnant of Christians with a genuine Christian world view.

Prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes; signs are coming to pass. The end of all time is upon us. Secular scientists also speculate the end of planet earth will come, but not for another billion years or so. God says that event will be much sooner. n fact Bible prophecy tells us it’s at the door.

Still, one question remains. When we take God’s word seriously and truthfully where does that leave the unbeliever? The unbeliever is already condemned. So they will only be affected by the Rapture in an adverse way. When the “caught up” happens they will be left on planet earth scratching their heads in bewilderment at the instantaneous disappearance of millions. Will any of your family or friends be stuck in that mode of bewilderment?

God bless you all,
Ron Graham
twotug@embarqmail.com

Original Link.

Buffalo News Story Portrays Muslim Who Beheaded Wife as “Victim”

Friday, February 20th, 2009

From Robert at Jihad Watch:

The poor thing is “almost in shock.” Almost! Here is an appalling farrago attempting to portray a man who beheaded his wife as a victim — and in the process, of course, to exonerate Islamic teaching for any responsibility for this horrific murder.

Moderate Beheading Update: “Suspect ‘almost in shock’ over wife’s beheading,” by Fred O. Williams for the Buffalo News, February 19 (thanks to Soren):

Under arrest in his wife’s brutal death, Muzzammil Hassan is “almost in shock,” his attorney said Wednesday following a court appearance in Orchard Park.“He’s having difficulty coping with this,” attorney James Harrington said.

Poor fellow. He beheaded his wife, and now he is having trouble coping. What suffering he has been through!

Hassan, 44, appeared briefly in the Orchard Park courtroom Wednesday for the first official proceeding since he was arrested last week and charged with seconddegree murder. His wife, Aasiya, was found beheaded at the office of their business in the Village of Orchard Park.Tall and stout in a tan suit, he was led into the courtroom in handcuffs, blinking through his glasses at the approximately two dozen people gathered….

“If and when he’s indicted, he’ll plead not guilty,” said Harrington, adding, “It’s too early to know what approach we’ll take, but we’re exploring everything.”

He must have been crazy! Maybe…Islamophobia drove him to it!

Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable said her office would seek an indictment against Hassan within 45 days on a charge of seconddegree murder. The first-degree charge is reserved for special circumstances, including torture or the death of police.Conviction on second-degree murder carries penalties ranging from 15 years to life in prison, to 25 years to life, she said….

Why not first degree murder? A beheading is likely to have been premeditated.

Harrington said that a history of domestic violence will be part of the case.“They had their problems,” he said.

Orchard Park police said they had been called to the couple’s home on Big Tree Road because of domestic disputes previously. The most recent occasion was Feb. 6, the day Aasiya Hassan filed for divorce and obtained an order of protection barring Muzzammil Hassan from the house.

Although Hassan told police where to find his wife’s body, he has not confessed, Harrington said. Hassan went to Police Headquarters last Thursday evening and said his wife was dead at their business office, a Muslim-oriented television channel on Thorn Avenue.

Obligatory exoneration of Islam:

Harrington rejected a connection between the beheading of Aasiya Hassan and the couple’s Muslim religion and culture.“No, it does not [have any bearing],” he said, adding, “I think the media is doing a very great disservice to the Muslim community.”

How? Who? What media? What mainstream media story has said the first thing about Islam or the culture of honor killing in connection with this case?

The brutal nature of the crime has raised questions about whether it was a so-called “honor killing,” a possibility that the district attorney’s office is investigating. Harrington called questions about the extreme violence of the act inappropriate.Advocates for women — some of them Muslims — have called for the community to acknowledge religious and cultural traditions that stigmatize divorce and heighten the danger of violence in divorce cases.

That at least is good. Calling the Islamic community to account for the cultural and religious traditions that justify honor killing is the only way to prevent more honor killings in the future. But what the mainstream media gives with one hand, it takes away with the other:

Meanwhile, the Imams Council of Greater Western New York on Tuesday issued a statement calling it “unfair to vilify the Islamic faith or Muslims” in the homicide.“To generalize the issue is misleading and masks the real problem that women globally are being abused and domestic violence is on the rise. We must all unite in condemning anyone, of any faith or culture, who harms the innocent and recognize that the causes of domestic violence are not limited to any religion or culture.”

No. False. Wrong. It is not “vilify[ing] the Islamic faith or Muslims” to note that honor killing is widely accepted in Islamic culture, and that honor crimes frequently get lighter penalties than other forms of murder in Muslim countries. This manifests cultural attitudes that must be confronted, or more women will get murdered. It’s that simple. These disavowals of responsibility by Muslim imams are only ensuring that more women will be victimized as was Aasiya Hassan.

Original Link.

Netanyahu Chosen to Form New Israeli Government

Friday, February 20th, 2009

It looks like Bi-Bi won the election in Israel and will form the new government.

JERUSALEM — Israeli President Shimon Peres chose hard-line Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new Israeli government on Friday, ending days of speculation and giving Netanyahu six weeks to put together a ruling coalition.

The question now is whether Netanyahu will form a narrow government with his hard-line allies or a broad government along with his centrist rival, Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni. His choice will have serious ramifications for the Mideast peace process.

Peres made his announcement early Friday afternoon after holding meetings with Netanyahu and Livni. An official ceremony appointing Netanyahu was to be held shortly afterward.

Peres had been meeting political leaders as he decided which candidate would be given the task of cobbling together a new coalition in the aftermath of Israel’s national election last week.

The choice of Netanyahu was cemented on Thursday when Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the hawkish Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party, endorsed the Likud leader.

Kadima edged out Likud in the election, capturing 28 seats to Likud’s 27. But Likud is in a better position to put together a coalition because of gains by Lieberman and other hard-line parties.

Netanyahu now can form a hard-line government or bring Livni into a broad coalition that would provide more stability and help Israel avoid a clash with the Obama administration and much of the world.

Original Link.

“Picking Winners and Losers by Executive Fiat” by David Limbaugh

Friday, February 20th, 2009

It is ironic to the point of absurdity that leftists could ever complain about conservatives threatening their liberties. Now back in power, they’re in a full sprint to grab power and reduce our liberties.

Of course, we always knew the left’s spurious charges against President Bush were not just rank partisanship but also classic projection — accusing him of precisely the type of tactics they would employ if they were in power. And now they are — big-time.

Let’s consider just a few examples.

Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, at the personal expense of incurring the fury of such liberal mouth foamers as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, has helped expose hidden health care provisions in President Obama’s stimulus nightmare that “will affect ‘every individual in the United States.'”

The bill creates a new bureaucracy, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which “will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective.” Note: not what your doctor deems appropriate, but what the federal government does. Doctors and hospitals will face penalties if they fail to kowtow to this fiat requiring uniformity. This new bureaucracy will receive greater funding than “the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined.”

Worse, the bill will result in the rationing of care for the elderly. But that’s OK because Big Brother has determined that individuals will benefit in their younger years and will have to sacrifice later. I’m not making this up. This is one of the rationales defenders of these innovations are serving up.

Much of the impetus for these health care changes came from disgraced former Sen. Tom Daschle, who would be head of Health and Human Services right now but for his little tax issue. McCaughey shares revealing gems from Daschle’s 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” Among them are his opinions that doctors must give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners” and that seniors will have to learn to deal with — rather than receive treatment for — conditions that arise from their age.

Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this particularly noxious stealth provision of the stimulus scheme is not what’s in it, but how it — and other such free market-destroying provisions — were rushed through under deliberate cover of darkness. McCaughey attributes this strategy to Daschle, as well.

A year ago, McCaughey tells us, Daschle warned that the next president should not make the same mistake the Clintons made with Hillary Care, which was to allow debate. Daschle wrote: “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it. The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

So much for “liberal” democracy. So much for transparency. So much for a new era of hope and change.

Read the rest of the article here.

Our Friend James is Not Doing Well – Continue to Pray

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Our friend James has cancer and is not doing well. Please continue to pray for him and his wife, Gail.
Thank you.
-Steve