Archive for May 17th, 2010

Holy Land Prophesy Update

Monday, May 17th, 2010

A couple of news articles caught my eyes this morning that are apropos to Biblical prophesy and the Nation of Israel.
Turkey, Russia and Syria are all called out, in Ezekiel 38-39, as being nations that will more against Israel in end times. Just a few years ago, alliances between these nations seemed virtually impossible. Not so today.

Turkey and Russia Strengthen Economic Ties.

This week’s deal for Russia to build and control Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is a big win for Moscow, which badly wants its state-owned industry to win a bigger share of growing international markets.

But it also marks a new phase in economic relations between rising powers whose mutual interests are centred on energy, but range far wider.

The two countries are driven together by geography: Turkey needs Russian supplies of oil and gas, while Moscow needs Ankara’s help to facilitate traffic from the Black Sea, and pipeline routes to Europe. But the partnership is strengthening thanks to the personal affinity of Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan – two of a kind when it comes to authoritarian populism. It is also underpinned by Ankara’s new policy of balancing traditional western alliances with stronger relations to the east.

The Russians Are Coming… To Damascus.

JERUSALEM – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who visited the Syrian capital of Damascus, arrived with a sharp and clear Israeli message that was conveyed at the start of the week by Israeli President Shimon Peres: Israel wants peace, but is not willing to accept Hezbollah’s military buildup.

In the message that is being conveyed by the Russian president, Israel clarified that it had no intention of attacking Syria and was not interested in a regional conflagration. However, Syria must stop the attempts to transfer arms to Hezbollah. Israeli officials are concerned by what has been defined as Syrian President Bashar Assad’s failure to understand the severity with which Israel perceives the situation. “Assad is playing with fire and doesn’t understand that our patience is running out,” said a senior official in Jerusalem. “There are very dangerous arms here that are flowing freely to Lebanon, and Israel cannot accept this.”

Iran Agrees to Ship Most of Its Enriched Uranium to Turkey.

Iran agreed Monday to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear fuel swap deal that could ease the international standoff over the country’s disputed nuclear program, just as pressure mounts for tougher sanctions.

The deal was reached in talks with Brazil and Turkey, elevating a new group of mediators for the first time in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities. There was no immediate comment from the United States and the other world powers that have led earlier negotiations as to whether the new deal would satisfy them and stave off a fourth round of UN sanctions.

Washington and allies have been pressing Iran for more than six months to accept a UN-drafted plan to send their low-enriched uranium stockpiles out of the country in exchange for reactor-ready fuel rods. Backers of the plan want to keep Iran from expanding its own enrichment capabilities, which some fear could serve as the backbone for a nuclear weapons program.

“It was agreed during the trilateral meeting of Iranian, Turkish and Brazilian leaders that Turkey will be the venue for swapping” Iran’s stocks of enriched uranium for fuel rods, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on state TV Monday.

Iran has previously issued positive signals about possible nuclear deals only to back off later in apparent diplomatic stalling tactics.

See “The Coming War of Gog and Magog, an Islamic Invasion?” for more details.

“Why Do Educators Keep Putting Dunce Caps On Our Kids?” By Tucker Carlson

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Editor’s note: Next week, the Texas State Board of Education begins final debate on proposed new social-studies-curriculum standards for Texas public schools. In March, Texas board members voted 10-5 to reverse what many on the board see as liberal bias in the classroom and in textbooks. Critics charge the interim changes whitewash American history and downplay the role of African-Americans, Latinos and women. But what happens in Texas doesn’t stay in Texas. The conclusion of next week’s vote could have an impact on what and how subjects are taught across the country.

Ever noticed how it’s a lot easier to remember the lyrics to your favorite songs than it is to, say, recite from memory the Periodic Table, or the first 30 lines of “The Canterbury Tales”? Well, in 2004, two recent college graduates named Blake Harrison and Alex Rappaport noticed the same thing. Popular music, they decided, might be a more effective means of teaching children than conventional book study. So the two founded a company they called Flocabulary. Its mission: to teach academic subjects using rap music.

Six years later, Flocabulary has a distribution deal with textbook giant Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt, and about 300,000 students across the country use the program. In more than 12,000 American schools, kids are rapping about English, history, science and math. By most accounts, they love it. And why wouldn’t they? Singing’s more fun than studying.

But are they actually learning anything? That’s less clear. Despite endorsements from left-wing academics like Howard Zinn, there are still no independent studies that demonstrate rapping about social studies is any more educational than rapping about sex or gunfights.

One thing you can say about Flocabulary, though: it’s quick. Let’s say you wanted to teach a room full of kids about the history of the civil rights movement. You could spend weeks reading actual books on the subject, then explaining the facts of what happened and why. Or, in a fraction of the time, you could simply recite a rap:

MLK had a dream, took it mainstream.
Civil Rights Bill, Voting Rights Acts, they passed.
Modern day Jesus, turning the other cheek,
some blacks like “dog, that’s weak.
I’m not looking to get beat deep into next week,
my everyday life is police brutality.”
Malcolm picked up X and dropped his slave name,
radical change, “defense by any means.”
Went on hajj to Mecca, said ‘let God protect ya,
Whites and Blacks, yeah, we’re in this together.’
But there are race riots, people are dying,
Warfare in Watts, tear gas, bullets are flying.
So JFK?
He got assassinated.
MLK?
He got assassinated.
Malcolm X?
He got assassinated.
So it’s up to us to keep that dream alive…

It’s that simple. As long as you don’t care about context or accuracy – as long as your goal is to encourage students to “keep that dream alive,” rather than to teach them legitimate history – rapping is as good as teaching.

It certainly puts fewer demands on the kids. As Alex Rappaport explained to The Boston Globe, “We encourage students to trust their own use of words and understanding of vocabulary, rather than focusing on what some old dictionary says.”

In other words: don’t push yourself or venture beyond the familiar. Ignore the accumulated wisdom of those who came before you. You already know everything you need to know.

The problem, of course, is that this is absurd. Most kids have no reason to trust their own “understanding” of vocabulary. Speaking fluent English – like doing long division, or successfully rewiring a 220-volt electrical outlet – is not a skill you’re born with. It’s something you learn, occasionally even by opening some old dictionary. If kids could correctly intuit the meaning of words they’d never heard, school might not be necessary in the first place.

The unhappy truth is, learning is hard. Get-educated-quick schemes are usually about as sound as subprime mortgage-backed securities: Enticing but basically fraudulent. Almost nobody gets rich or erudite overnight.

Original Link.

“HON. JOHN BOLTON KEYNOTES AT JRP/ATERET COHANIM DINNER” by Fern Sidman

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Warning of the existential perils to Israel, the United States and the entire western world that a nuclear empowered Iran represents, the Honorable John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations delivered a powerful address as keynote speaker at the 2010 Jerusalem Reclamation Project/Ateret Cohanim dinner on Thursday evening, May 13th at Terrace on the Park.

Citing the plethora of misinformation and misimpressions that swirl around the status of Israel, Jerusalem and its surrounding settlements, Ambassador Bolton made several oblique references to the current strain in US-Israeli relations and chastised the Obama administration for pressuring Israel to cease construction of new homes for Jewish residents in East Jerusalem. “People should be able to buy and sell property in Jerusalem, as in any other country, and clearly peace in the region is not dependent on Israel making territorial concessions”, he intoned. Referring to the chilly reception and humiliating treatment that was accorded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his most recent visit to Washington, Ambassador Bolton said, “Today, Afghan president Hamid Kharzi was treated to a gala lunch at the White House and shown the kind of respect that we display to our allies. Lest we forget that Israel is our staunchest ally in the Middle East and as such the prime minister of Israel should receive the same respect.”

Debunking the ubiquitous myth that peace in the Middle East will be achieved by settling the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ambassador Bolton opined, “The Palestinians are being exploited by their own leaders and the US should not force either proximity or direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians because there is no legitimate Palestinian entity to negotiate with. The US needs to stop digging the hole that they’re in because undertaking this huge diplomatic task that will result in failed negotiations will leave the US in a much weaker position.”

Calling Iran the “cradle of terrorism”, Ambassador Bolton said, “Iran has been developing nuclear weapons for the last 20 years and neither diplomacy nor economic sanctions will be effective deterrents against them. Iran has been hiding from IAEA inspectors, concealing data and destroying concrete proof of nuclear facilities. He also provided evidence of Iran’s nuclear ties to the rogue country of North Korea, whose nuclear power plant in Syria was destroyed in a 2007 attack by Israel and spoke of Iran’s financing of such terrorist groups as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban. “Because of the ethnic dissatisfaction in Iran, a regime change is warranted and the ousting of the Islamic revolutionary regime that came to power there in 1979”, he said to rousing applause. Until that time he said that “Iran cannot be contained or deterred” and suggested that Israel might be put in a position to launch a pre-emptive strike while there are no clear indications from Washington that it will support such a venture.

The ambassador concluded by thanking the members of the JRP/Ateret Cohanim for their unflinching devotion to building Jerusalem and for their tireless efforts on its behalf of its people. The Jerusalem Reclamation Project and Ateret Cohanim are organizations predicated on fulfilling a generations old dream of rebuilding and securing a united Jerusalem, strengthening Jewish roots and reestablishing thriving Jewish communities that are centered around educational institutes in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. Referring to Jerusalem as the “heart and soul” of the Jewish nation, its activities include establishing educational centers, helping to renovate old buildings, installing and maintaining security systems and initiating other Jewish educational projects in an effort to revitalize this important area and have a greater Jewish presence in and around the Old City.

The guests of honor at this year’s dinner were Dr. Joseph Frager and Mr. Mel Wadler. Dr. Frager, a renowned gastroenterologist, is the chairman of the board of The Jerusalem Reclamation Project and is widely regarded as one of the leading Jewish activists of today. Mr. Wadler is one of the founding members of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim and established its first office in his home back in 1984. He is a tenacious visionary who has become a driving force in the JRP.

Philanthropists Joseph and Helen Mermelstein were this year’s recipients of the auspicious Jerusalem Chai award and were hailed for their “tireless work on behalf of Jews around the world.” Credited with securing the release of former Soviet prisoner of conscience Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, the Mermelsteins are also active in helping the settlements in Judea and Samaria by donating swimming pools, basketball courts and day-care centers.

The Bonei Yerushalayim honorees of 2010 included three very special people. Mark and Galina Moerdler have been active involved in various Jewish causes including the JRP, Children of Chernobyl and Amit. Their exemplary dedication and commitment to Jerusalem and Israel is manifested through their constant support of JRP initiatives.

Introduced by Shani Hikind who is the JRP executive vice president, Mr. Moe Tawil was described as a “man of action and devotion” and “a Moses in our time” for his stalwart support of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Mr. Tawil was born into a family steeped in the Sephardic traditional way of life where education, the study of Torah and Yirat Hashem were woven into the fabric of their daily lives. Mrs. Hikind said that Mr. Tawil was a true Ohev Yisroel who cares deeply for his brethren and that he confided in her that “Torah is the secret to his longevity.”

Other Jewish luminaries were also present at the dinner including Rabbi David Algaze of the Chavurat Yisrael synagogue in Forest Hills, New York. Commenting on the recent terrorist attempt in Times Square on May 1st by Pakistani born American citizen, Faisal Shahzad, Rabbi Algaze said, “If our elected officials and the media do not name the enemy as radical Islamists, we will never find them. While stereotyping and profiling any group is abhorrent we must realize that Islam is like no other culture. It seeks worldwide domination in the form of a caliphate and their doctrine is based on the teachings of Muhammed who called for the death of all infidels. Islamic mosques and madrassas are breeding grounds for this kind of nefarious ideology and their preachers and imams cannot stop it.”

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) representing the 48th assembly district in Boro Park since 1982 and husband of Shani Hikind of the JRP said of the burgeoning Iranian nuclear threat, “As Ambassador Bolton suggested in his speech, Israel may have no choice but to make the first move against Iran for self-preservation reasons and not to take action may prove to be worse later on.” Opining on the US position of such an engagement by Israel he said, “the Obama administration has been a disaster for Israel and the US. This administration has done everything in its power to undermine Israel’s security, and thus the ultimate security of the United States.”

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Where’s Jimmy? Just Google His Bar Code

Monday, May 17th, 2010

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Revelation 13:16-17 (New International Version)

Although currently getting an RFID chip place in one’s hand is not “taking the mark of the beast”, I can truly see where this is a precursor or an attempt to normalize the practice, thus making it easier to implement when the time is right. Also, those taking the mark will do so willingly, with complete understanding of what they are doing.

Scientists tag animals to monitor their behavior and keep track of endangered species. Now some futurists are asking whether all of mankind should be tagged too. Looking for a loved one? Just Google his microchip.

The chips, called radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, emit a simple radio signal akin to a bar code, anywhere, anytime. Futurists say they can be easily implanted under the skin on a person’s arm.

Already, the government of Mexico has surgically implanted the chips, the size of a grain of rice, in the upper arms of staff at the attorney general’s office in Mexico City. The chips contain codes that, when read by scanners, allow access to a secure building, and prevent trespassing by drug lords.

In research published in the International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, Taiwanese researchers postulate that the tags could help save lives in the aftermath of a major earthquake. “Office workers would have their identity badges embedded in their RFID tags, while visitors would be given temporary RFID tags when they enter the lobby,” they suggest. Similarly, identity tags for hospital staff and patients could embed RFID technology.

“Our world is becoming instrumented,” IBM’s chairman and CEO, Samuel J. Palmisano said at an industry conference last week. “Today, there are nearly a billion transistors per human, each one costing one ten-millionth of a cent. There are 30 billion radio RFID tags produced globally.”

Having one in every person could relieve anxiety for parents and help save lives, or work on a more mundane level by unlocking doors with the wave of a hand or starting a parked car — that’s how tech enthusiast Amal Graafstra (his hands are pictured above) uses his. But this secure, “instrumented” future is frightening for many civil liberties advocates. Even adding an RFID chip to a driver’s license or state ID card raises objections from concerned voices.

“We are concerned about the implantation of identity chips,” said Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the speech, privacy and technology program at the American Civil Liberties Union. He puts the problem plainly: “Many people find the idea creepy.”

“RFID tags make the perfect tracking device,” Stanley said. “The prospect of RFID chips carried by all in identity papers means that any individual’s presence at a given location can be detected or recorded simply through the installation of an invisible RFID reader.”

Grassroots groups are fretting loudly over civil liberties implications of the devices, threatening to thwart their development for mass-market, human tracking applications.

“If such readers proliferate, and there would be many incentives to install them, we would find ourselves in a surveillance society of 24/7 mass tracking,” said the ACLU’s Stanley.

The controversy extends overseas, too. David Cameron, Britain’s new prime minister, has promised to scrap a proposed national ID card system and biometrics for passports and the socialized health service, options that were touted by the Labour Party.

“We share a common commitment to civil liberties, and to getting rid — immediately — of Labour’s ID card scheme,” said Cameron according to ZDNet UK.

e bottom line is simple, according to the ACLU: “Security questions have not been addressed,” said Stanley. And until those questions are resolved, this technology may remain in the labs.

This is one of the very few times I will ever agree with anything the ACLU says and does.

Original Link.