Archive for April, 2011

Obama Finally Releases Long Form Birth Certificate

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

It’s about time.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey set to air Monday, May 2nd, the daytime host asked President Obama why he released his birth certificate now. The president explained that in these serious times, “we can’t be distracted by sideshows”.

The President told the TV host that while he was dealing with the budget debate, “the biggest news was this birth certificate thing.”

And so he was prompted to release the long form of his birth certificate, to put the “silliness” to rest. President Obama released a “certificate of live birth” during his 2008 race for presidency. But the so-called “birther” movement developed when critics of the now-president questioned his citizenship.

Most recently, potential 2012 challenger Donald Trump raised the issue in media interviews calling for the President to come forth with the full document.

Mr. Obama had to get Hawaii to waive a law that prevents the long form birth certificate from being photocopied or released to anyone, including himself.

Today he told Oprah, “And so at that point I said to my team, look, even though this is not usually what the State of Hawaii does, even though the Republican Governor of Hawaii, the Democratic Governors of Hawaii, all the various officials had confirmed that I was born here, let’s ask them for a special dispensation where they will go ahead and provide us with the original to see if we can put this to rest.”

The president also shared a laugh with his friend Oprah joking, “Can I just say? I was there, so I knew that I had been born.”

Original Link.

Storm Death Toll Rises to 193 in the South

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Pray for the people affected by these storms.

The death toll from severe storms that punished five Southern U.S. states jumped to a staggering 193 Thursday after Alabama canvassed its hard-hit counties for a new tally of lives lost.

Alabama’s state emergency management agency said it had confirmed 128 deaths, up from at least 61 earlier.

“We expect that toll, unfortunately, to rise,” Gov. Robert Bentley told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Mississippi officials reported 32 dead in that state and Tennessee raised its report to 14. Another 11 have been killed in Georgia and eight in Virginia.

The fierce storms Wednesday spawned tornadoes and winds that wiped out homes and businesses, forced a nuclear power plant to use backup generators and prompted the evacuation of a National Weather Service office.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said it received 137 tornado reports around the regions, including 66 in Alabama and 38 in Mississippi.

One of the hardest-hit areas was Tuscaloosa, a city of more than 83,000 and home to the University of Alabama. The city’s police and other emergency services were devastated, the mayor said, and at least 15 people were killed and about 100 were in a single hospital.

Original Link.

“PENTAGON SEEKS DEATH PENALTY FOR USS COLE BOMBER” by Fern Sidman

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, April 20th, Pentagon prosecutors declared their intention to re-file war crimes charges against the mastermind of the deadly attack on the USS Cole (an American warship)in the Port of Aden, Yemen on October 12, 2000. 17 US sailors were killed and 40 other US service personnel were wounded when a small vessel, laden with explosives and manned with suicide bombers rammed into the American Navy warship on that fateful day. The announcement included the original request of the military prosecution for an imposition of the death penalty on self-admitted Cole bomber, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 46, the former al-Qaeda chief of operations for the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Nashiri hails from Saudi Arabia and is of Yemeni descent.

Charges against al-Nashiri had been sworn by the office of the chief war crimes prosecutor, Navy Captain, John Murphy, as word of the first full military commission case of the Obama administration came in a Pentagon news release. Initially charged upon his apprehension in Dubai in 2002, the CIA held al-Nashiri at an undisclosed location somewhere overseas before transferrring him to the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba military prison in 2006. On September 29, 2004, he was sentenced to death in absentia in a Yemeni court for his role in the Cole bombing. In December 2008, he was charged before a Guantanamo Miilitary Commission. Reports reveal that interrogators used the waterboarding modality to coerce him into cooperating during the questioning. In 2009, the case against al-Nashiri was dropped, when the Obama admnistration launched an initiative to scrutinize the detention policy at Guantanamo Bay.

As a result of this initiative, a stay was imposed on the filing of charges against prisoners at the compound as well as a stay on all military trials. Court filings in August 2010 revealed that the Obama administration was not considering prosecution of al-Nashiri, saying “no charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to al-Nashiri in the near future.” Prosecutors will now need the approval of retired Vice Admiral Bruce McDonald, the Pentagon appointee overseeing the Guantanamo tribunals to proceed with the charges. If the charge sheet is approved, al-Nashiri would face the first-ever capitol prosecution at the war court called Camp Justice. The Defense Department did not immediately release copies of the charges to the public despite a vow of greater transparency at the war court.

Al-Nashiri, a self-described former millionaire from Mecca, was personally recruited as an al-Qaeda operative when he first met Osama bin Laden in 1996. While in Afghanistan in 1997, al-Nashiri fought with the Taliban against the Afghan Northern Alliance and assisted in the smuggling of four anti-tank missiles into Saudi Arabia. He also facilitated in obtaining a Yemeni passport for a known terrorist and his cousin, Jihad Mohammed Ali al-Makri was one of the suicide bombers in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya.

Eleven charges are being leveled against al-Nashiri in the Pentagon’s 13-page charge sheet, including murder in violation of the law of war, treachery, terrorism and conspiring with Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al Zawahiri, among others. The sheet also listed the names of each sailor that died in the USS Cole attack. Moreover, al-Nashiri is being accused of orchestrating the attempted attack on yet another US warship called the USS The Sullivans as it refueled in the Port of Aden on Jan. 3, 2000. The plan was aborted when the boat he used was overloaded with explosives and began to sink. Al-Nashiri is also accused of planning and preparing the 2002 attack on the MV Limburg, a French civilian oil tanker, that killed one crew member and resulted in the release of 90,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden.

Navy Lt. Commander, Stephen Reyes, Nashiri’s Pentagon appointed defense lawyer, lambasted the decision to try his client at a military tribunal rather than a civilian court. “Nashiri is being tried at the Guantánamo military commissions because of the torture issue,” he said. “Otherwise he would have been indicted in New York,” where a grand jury in 2003 issued an indictment against two Yemenis whose extradition the U.S. has sought from that Arabian Peninsula nation.” Reyes added that, “The military commissions do not have the procedural protections necessary for a capital case. Because of the makeshift rules, my client could be convicted and put to death without ever having a chance to see his accusers take the stand.”

Retired Navy Commander Kirk Lippold, the Captain of the USS Cole has assumed a prominent role in advocating for the Guantanamo war court in general and a war crimes trial for Nashiri in particular. Subsequent to the bombing of the warship, Lippold worked at the Pentagon as a planner in the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with a hand in US detention policy during the Bush administration. In civilian life, he testified at Guantanamo during the sentencing phase of a Bush era military commission trial. A jury had convicted Osama bin Laden’s media secretary, Ali Hamza al Bahlul of Yemen, of conspiring with al-Qaeda through the production of a propaganda video that glorified the Cole bombing, prompting Lippold to describe his disgust at discovering the contents of the film.

Despite the fact that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has yet to decide what manner of execution would be used to carry out a death penalty on a war court convict, his own Defense Department has gone forward with the case. Officials at the Defense Department have reported that 80 of the approximately 170 detainees at Guantanamo are expected to face trial by military tribunal. Among them is the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four of his co-conspirators, who until recently were scheduled to face trial in federal court in New York. According to sources in the Obama administration, reforms have made the military commissions more equitable than those created by the Bush administration in the early years of Guantanamo, which Obama condemned as a presidential candidate and senator.

“The broken military commissions system” should not be used to try al-Nashiri, said Hina Shamsi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project who is likely to register a protest if the death penalty is pursued against al-Nashiri. “All of our concerns about the inherent unfairness of the military commissions are compounded in cases like this one, in which the result could be death,” Shamsi said, adding that, “the Constitution and international law rightly require enhanced protections in death penalty cases, but the military commissions are incapable of providing those necessary protections.”

The ACLU is “deeply disturbed that the Obama administration has chosen to use the military commissions to try a capital case in which much of the evidence is reportedly based on hearsay and therefore not reliable enough to be admissible in federal court.” Shamsi said that “allowing hearsay is a backdoor way of allowing evidence that may have been obtained through torture.”

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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.

EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil Drilling Plans

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

As gas prices push $4 or higher in many parts of the country, true to form, this administration refuses to allow more domestic oil drilling.
Have all of you had enough of this nonsense yet? How high is gas going to have to go before you demand that the president do something other than punish the oil companies (which also drives up prices).

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

“What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case. Earthjustice was joined by Center for Biological Diversity and the Alaska Wilderness League in challenging the air permits.

At stake is an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil. That’s how much the U. S. Geological Survey believes is in the U.S. portion of the Arctic Ocean. For perspective, that represents two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history. That pipeline is getting dangerously low on oil. At 660,000 barrels a day, it’s carrying only one-third its capacity.

Production on the North Slope of Alaska is declining at a rate of about 7 percent a year. If the volume gets much lower, pipeline officials say they will have to shut it down. Alaska officials are blasting the Environmental Protection Agency.

“It’s driving investment and production overseas,” said Alaska’s DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan. “That doesn’t help the United States in any way, shape or form.”

The EPA did not return repeated calls and e-mails. The Environmental Appeals Board has four members: Edward Reich, Charles Sheehan, Kathie Stein and Anna Wolgast. All are registered Democrats and Kathie Stein was an activist attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund. Members are appointed by the EPA administrator. Alaska’s Republican senator thinks it’s time to make some changes.

“EPA has demonstrated that they’re not competent to handle the process,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. “So if they’re not competent to handle it, they need to get out of the way.”

Murkowski supported budget amendments that would have stripped the EPA of its oversight role in Arctic offshore drilling. The Interior Department issues air permits to oil companies working in the Gulf of Mexico.

Original Link.

Happy Easter 2011

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

All of us would like to wish you a very Happy Easter!!

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Matthew 28:1-10 (New International Version)

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Happy Good Friday 2011

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then ” ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ‘For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Luke 23:26-49 (New International Version)

This post is brought to you by:

See Mr. Westbrook’s Bible Story Murals here.
Bible Story Murals
If your church is looking for a unique way to bring the Word of God to it’s children and young people, take a look at Doug Westbrook’s Bible Story Murals. Each wall sized mural is based on the hand painted originals Mr. Westbrook created at Central Baptist Church in Houston, Texas and represents a different well known Bible story.
They are available on durable vinyl wallpaper for easy installation.

Obama Faces Heavy Lift in Downplaying U.S. Credit Warning

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

This is not a good thing at all. Coupled with gold at over $1,500 an ounce, the financial shape of our country is going from bad to worse.

President Obama is once again hitting the road, or perhaps the trail, to sell his financial prescription for the country. But a day after a leading agency put the U.S. government on notice that it was at risk of losing its sterling credit rating, the president faces a heavy lift in convincing voters that Washington is on track toward fixing its debt problem.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service sent shock waves through economic and political circles Monday when it lowered its outlook for U.S. debt from “stable” to “negative.” Though it kept U.S. credit ratings steady, the agency warned that political deadlock could compel it to downgrade Washington’s rating in just a couple years.

Anyone who has dealt with a less-than-stellar credit rating knows how that complicates their ability to obtain anything from a car loan to a mortgage. And while the White House downplays the S&P outlook, others say it should serve as a wake-up call for the country to get out of debt.

“No one can portray this as good news when a rating agency decides to go public with its reservations,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office during the George W. Bush administration. He said not only does this pose a credit problem for the country, but it jeopardizes the ability of the United States to attract investment from job-creators.

“That’s not hard for people to understand,” he told FoxNews.com.

Obama and his team are working hard to play down the announcement and keep spirits high about the possibility of a meaningful deficit-reduction agreement. The president gave a talk about his budget vision Tuesday morning at a community college in northern Virginia, where he expressed confidence in the possibility of a deal.

“I believe that Democrats and Republicans can come together to get this done,” Obama said. He agreed that failing to address the crisis could do “serious damage’ to the economy, but said he’s “optimistic.”

The president, repeating the backstory he gave during last week’s budget address, blamed the deficit problem in large part on Bush-era tax cuts for top earners, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, while defending the deficit-financed stimulus programs under his watch. He expressed the problem in everyday terms, saying, “Just like you, America has to start living within its means.”

The president also tried to rally support for his proposals, telling the audience: “I want everybody to be in the game.”

After Virginia, Obama plans to speak at the Facebook headquarters in California Wednesday and head next to Reno, Nev., on Thursday.

The S&P announcement was in large part a political judgment — the ratings agency based its assessment on the sentiment that a budget agreement addressing the country’s long-term deficit and debt problem might not be reached until after the 2012 election. The Obama administration claims the atmosphere for consensus is better than S&P predicts.

“We think that the political process will outperform S&P expectations,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. He said both parties agree on a long-term deficit-reduction target of about $4 trillion — Obama is looking to achieve that in 12 years, while Republicans are shooting for a little bit more than that in 10 years — and that they can find common ground on how to reach it.

“A statement that observes the fact that there is often gridlock in Washington and that the contentiousness between the two parties sometimes prevents us from getting things done is not one we would disagree with,” Carney said. “But the fact is … when the issues are important, history shows that both sides can come together and get things done. President Ronald Reagan did that with Tip O’Neill, Democratic speaker of the House. President Bill Clinton did it with Newt Gingrich, Republican speaker of the House. President Obama did it 10 days ago with John Boehner, Republican speaker of the House. We can do it again.”

Original Link.

Happy Passover to Our Jewish Friends 2011

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Another year has come and gone. Next Year In Jerusalem!!

פֶּסַח שלום

“Blessed art thou, Lord our G-d, Master of the universe,
who sanctifies us with Your commandments, and commanded us
to kindle the light (of shabbat and of ) the holiday.”

barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
asher kideshanu bemitzvotav ve-tsivanu lehadlik
ner shel (shabbat v’shel) yom tov.

פֶּסַח שלום

I praise HaShem, who is Lord and Ruler over all,
for bringing forth bread from the earth.

I praise HaShem, who is Lord and Ruler over all, for
teaching us the commandment of eating matza.

I praise HaShem, who is Lord and Ruler over all, for
teaching us the commandment of eating bitter herbs.

פֶּסַח שלום

Happy Passover!!

Muslim Teen Ran Away From Home to Avoid Arranged Marriage

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

A young Illinois Muslim teen as run away from home, in order to avoid an arranged marriage, in her parents native Pakistan. Police are concerned that if she returns, she may be the victim of an “honor killing”. Please pray for her and this situation.

Illinois police are searching for a missing teenage girl who authorities say ran away from home to avoid an arranged marriage, MyFoxChicago.com reports.

Zaineb Chaudhary, 16, was last seen March 11 at Niles North High School in Skokie, Ill.

Officer Tammy Jacobsen of the Skokie Police Department told the station that Zaineb’s father visited his native Pakistan in October to arrange a marriage for his daughter.

“He has stated that he was there, looking for marriage arrangement for his daughter,” Jacobsen said in an interview.

Police said the girl’s disappearance could be viewed as a disgrace by her family and want to protect her from any possible “honor crime,” according to the station.

“She can come to us and we’re going to make sure that she’s taken care of and that she can feel safe while returning or contact us,” Jacobsen said. “We have a girl, raised here in the United States, being raised here in a different culture than where her parents are from, trying to accept the Western ways here.”

Authorities believe the girl may have posed as a 19-year-old on a social networking site so that she could escape to El Monte, Calif., with a 39-year-old man she met online.

The man, whom authorities have not identified, was questioned by police.

The girl’s 13-year-old sister, meanwhile, has issued a plea for Zaineb’s safe return.

“I just want her to know that she can come home and we’re not going to like hurt her or anything because we just want her to be happy and we want her to be safe,” Maryam Chaudhary told the station.

Police are urging anyone with information on Zaineb Chaudhary’s whereabouts to contact the Skokie Police Department at (847) 982-5900.

Original Link.

In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings
In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings

In Remembrance of Noor Faleh Almaleki. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings
In Remembrance of Noor Faleh Almaleki. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings

“‘JEWISH AL JAZEERA’ NEWS NETWORK ON THE HORIZON” by Fern Sidman

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Russian born oligarch and Israeli billionaire, Dr. Alexander Maskevich, has recently announced his intention to create a pro-Israel international news network, similar to Al Jazeera and the BBC. Speaking at the United Israel Appeal’s annual conference of Jewish leaders in Washington last week, Dr. Mashkevich, who is president of the organization, said of the network, “‘It won’t be a propaganda channel, but will simply tell the truth. The most important thing is to represent Israel on an international level, with real information.”

Also serving as president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Mashkevich told the gathering that the network would offer programs in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, focusing on news only. Some 200 Jewish community leaders and key philanthropists attended the UIA conference which focused on attempts to deal with the adverse effects of the global de-legitimization campaign against Israel. Referencing South African Judge Richard Goldstein who authored the eponymous report on purported Israeli war crimes during the 2008-2009 war in Gaza for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Dr. Mashkevich opined, “Every day that passes we lose the battle for Israel’s image. I am sure that Goldstone is a decent person, who didn’t want to damage Israel consciously and intentionally, but if everything he gets from the media every day is anti-Israel propaganda, I assume it’s hard to make the right decisions.”

Dr. Mashkevich, a native of Kyrgyzstan who became a billionaire through investments in Kazakhstan during the era of former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika, admitted that founding such a channel would not be simple, because of its high costs, but said that he plans to officially present it in Israel in a few months. His fortune is estimated at some $3.7 billion and through his extensive network of contacts, Dr. Mashkevich plans to recruit other philanthropists and senior businesspeople for the mission. “The international de-legitimization has become a huge risk for Israel,” he said, adding that, “I think this idea should be implemented. I already spoke about it several years ago with Israeli government officials and with influential people in the Jewish world, and everyone agrees that such a channel is necessary. It’s unthinkable that Israel has no television network like the channels operated by countries such as the United States, Britain and Russia.”

While the channel is still in the rudimentary stages and as of yet has no specific target date for the launching, Dr. Mashkevich promised, “We’ll purchase talents from all other channels. From BBC, CNN – everyone.” He hinted that, “In about three to four months we’ll hold a presentation in Israel, as we are preparing a work program, adding that the channel “does not require something out of nothing, as there are existing models we can work according to.”

Also present at the conference was Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who offered his analysis of the incessant anti-Israel incitement of the international media. “It’s time for us to stop complaining about how bad Israel’s PR. It’s not just Israel that’s in danger – but all of us. The entire Jewish people are under attack, and this is about the future of all the Jewish people.” He added that, “Those who undermine Israel’s right to self-defense – hurt the entire Jewish people’s right to self-defense. We are not talking about a situation like in 1967, but like in 1947 – about the entire Jewish people’s right to exist. If we unite, others will join us too. So we must launch a well-coordinated campaign. It’s unthinkable that according to research we’ve conducted, the European governments are more committed to Israel than the public opinion in those countries. These are the enemies rising to destroy us – from the inside and the outside.”

Mr. Hoenlein revealed that he has already held several meetings in a bid to strike a collaboration with media organizations and Israeli governmental bodies. Firm in his belief that a news network similar to Al Jazeera is vital, he added that, “people are influenced by it” and that it’s impact will have far reaching effects.

The impetus behind Dr. Maskevich’s campaign to salvage Israel’s international image is deeply rooted in the experiences he faced as a child growing up in Kyrgyzstan, which helped to shape his Jewish identity. “In Soviet Russia people would never let me forget I was a Jew, not for one day,” he said, adding that his parents, who fled the Nazis afforded him, “a proud Jewish education”. Vividly recalling his formative years, Dr. Mashkevich intoned, “I still remember as a child, how difficult it was for me to get to the synagogue, which was far away and crowded.” Since then, he built seven synagogues in different countries naming each of them “Beit Rachel” after his mother, and has donated 17 Torah scrolls. He also personally participates in the bringing in of each new Torah scroll.

“I feel the persecution of Jews on my skin. We can’t just be indifferent. Every year the situation gets worse, and we monitor it. People tend to think that the American Congress members know the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it’s not true. All their information comes from the media. Seventy percent of what the international media reports in terms of the conflict is of an anti-Israel nature. We check the ‘anti-Semitism index’ in 27 countries, and there is definitely a rise in anti-Semitism, which I believe is a direct result of what the media reports”, Dr. Mashkevich ruefully observed.

One of the first to comment on Dr. Mashkevich’s announcement of the formation of a pro-Israel news channel is Dr. Phyllis Chesler, Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the City University of New York and pro-Israel advocate. In her article of April 8th that appeared on David Horowitz’s “NewsRealBlog” web site, Dr. Chesler said, “I have been calling for something like this for seven years. I hope that Mr. Mashkevich and his advisors understand that this new channel must be far better than Al-Jazeera, not only in terms of truth-telling but in other ways as well”.

Adding that “Al-Jazeera broadcasts only in Arabic and English, and is only now preparing to broadcast in Turkish and Urdu”, Dr. Chesler said, “The ‘Jewish Al-Jazeera’ must appear in many more languages simultaneously: Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Bengali, Pashto, the Indonesian and Malaysian languages, as well as in all the European, East European, and former Soviet languages. Why? Because all the Big Lies and blood libels about Israel and the Jews are being told 24/7 in every language on earth. I wrote about this in 2003, in my book The New Anti-Semitism.”

Offering a sober assessment of the reality that Israel faces, Dr. Chesler said, “Even as I write, the Left is busily trying to “spin” the half-hearted Goldstone recantation to their own advantage. They insist that Israel engaged in overkill, that it used disproportionate force, that it is “guilty” of something, of everything; mainly, it is guilty because it dares to exist and presumes it has the right to defend itself.”

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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.

BRICS: Drop the Dollar, Go with SDR

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

If the dollar is ever dropped as the world’s reserve currency, our economy will crash almost overnight. Thanks to the latest round of irresponsibility in Washington, the world is even more determined to move away from the dollar and toward a new international currency.
There is a reason why the United States is not mentioned in end times prophesy. This may be that reason.

SANYA, China (Reuters) – The BRICS group of emerging-market powers kept up the pressure on Thursday for a revamped global monetary system that relies less on the dollar and for a louder voice in international financial institutions.

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also called for stronger regulation of commodity derivatives to dampen excessive volatility in food and energy prices, which they said posed new risks for the recovery of the world economy.

Meeting on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, they said the recent financial crisis had exposed the inadequacies of the current monetary order, which has the dollar as its linchpin.

What was needed, they said in a statement, was “a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty” — thinly veiled criticism of what the BRICS see as Washington’s neglect of its global monetary responsibilities.

The BRICS are worried that America’s large trade and budget deficits will eventually debase the dollar. They also begrudge the financial and political privileges that come with being the leading reserve currency.

“The world economy is undergoing profound and complex changes,” Chinese President Hu Jintao said. “The era demands that the BRICS countries strengthen dialogue and cooperation.”

In another dig at the dollar, the development banks of the five BRICS nations agreed to establish mutual credit lines denominated in their local currencies, not the U.S. currency.

The head of China Development Bank (CDB), Chen Yuan, said he was prepared to lend up to 10 billion yuan to fellow BRICS, and his Russian counterpart said he was looking to borrow the yuan equivalent of at least $500 million via CDB.

“We think this will undoubtedly broaden the opportunities for Russian companies to diversify their loans,” Vladimir Dmitriev, the chairman of VEB, Russia’s state development bank, told reporters.

ALL DOWN TO THE BRICS

The call by the BRICS for a new monetary order are not new.

But, coming hours before a meeting in Washington of finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrial nations, the traditional power brokers of the world economy, Thursday’s communique showed the growing confidence of emerging markets.

Burdened by heavy debt, the United States, the euro zone and Japan are struggling to shake off the lingering effects of the 2008 global financial crisis. Rich countries will grow 2.4 percent this year and 2.6 percent in 2012, the International Monetary fund forecast this week.

By contrast, less well-off countries have emerged relatively unscathed. The IMF is forecasting that emerging and developing countries will grow 6.5 percent both this year and next.

“The quality and the durability of the global economic recovery process depends to a great measure on how the BRICS economies perform,” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

The leaders reviewed the global role of the Special Drawing Right, the IMF’s accounting unit and reserve asset, which some experts believe could grow into a partial substitute for the dollar.

But they stepped around the issue of whether the yuan should join the SDR, saying only that they welcomed discussion of the composition of the SDR’s basket of currencies.

A member-country official said the group was split on whether China’s currency, which cannot be freely exchanged except for trade and investment purposes, met the criteria for being part of the SDR.

“There is a need for a broad-basing of the international monetary system. The SDR is an instrument to do that, but we still have no unanimity on the inclusion of the Chinese currency in the SDR as of now,” said the official, who declined to be identified.

The SDR now comprises the dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.

“India has said that the SDR is an accounting mechanism used by the IMF, and countries such as Brazil have also said that this (the yuan) should be convertible first,” he added.

Though keen on a more diverse global monetary order, Beijing has given no indication that it is ready to make the yuan freely tradable or to dismantle capital controls as the price for the prestige of being part of the SDR.

Original Link.

“The Rapture Index Is Now in Record Territory” by Todd Strandberg

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

End-time activity is at an all-time high, as measured by the Rapture Index. Last week, the index reached 183, eclipsing a record set in September 2001. The new record wasn’t just something out of the blue. The total average for the Rapture Index has been steadily climbing for the past six years.

In case you’re not familiar with how the RI works, it is a type of “Dow Jones Industrial Average” for measuring prophetic activity. There are 45 categories in the index that are rated from 1 to 5. The categories are upgraded or downgraded based on how active they are in the news.

There is a weighted value added to most categories based on their history of importance. For example, because major volcanic eruptions are less frequent than earthquakes, their impact on the index lasts longer. The financial categories can change on a monthly basis based the ups and downs of the markets. If someone appeared on the world stage who matched the characteristics of the Antichrist, he could max out the AC category for several months.

I was looking at the Rapture Index this week, and I noticed we had set another record. This is the first time ever that we did not have a category 1. Even during the time of the old high, we still had two components with a single rating point. During the all-time low set in December 1993, we had 35 categories with a 1 rating.

Another oddity is the lack of 3- or 4-point leaps. This is when a category rated 1 or 2 suddenly jumps to a 5 rating, normally after some calamitous event takes place. It has been at least 5 fives since the last one occurred. One reason it doesn’t happen is because most categories rarely ever drop below a 3 or 4 rating.

The news media has always loved the Rapture Index. In just the past month, we’ve noticed at least five news stories that mention it. The press is drawn to the index because it provides them a very simple way of looking at prophecy. Since we are watching for an event that Jesus barred us from knowing the exact time of, you have to have a basic understanding of prophecy to know where we are on God’s prophetic calendar.

Each week, Terry and I get emails from people who claim to have figured out the date for the Rapture. One person has sent me 16 emails so far this year, pointing to several Rapture dates that have all failed to come to pass. If someone is going to be that prolific in date setting, he should follow biblical guidance and make every day a candidate for the Rapture.

I think the reason we are seeing such high levels of activity in the RI is because of our nearness to the Tribulation hour. Bible prophecy is all about future events, and as we get closer to that time, eschatology and world events will begin to match up.

Prophecy does little good if people don’t react to the warning signs. It amazes me how quickly people lose sight of what has transpired in recent months. There are already folks who are wondering when the next 9.0 earthquake is going to strike.

What is most lacking today is a sense of priority. Because I see the last days rapidly coming our way, I decided to make supporting the kingdom of God my primary focus. Everyone needs ask themselves if the Japanese quake made them any more end-time minded. If the lives of more than 27,000 people can be snuffed out in a disaster of biblical proportion and there is no change in your thinking, you may have a problem with apathy.

The max for the Rapture Index is 225 points. I don’t expect to ever see it go above 200 before the Lord Jesus calls His saints home. I think we are at a point that God would tip His hand to the watchful believer if He tried any harder to alert the one who slumber.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) .

— Todd

Original Link.

“HUNDREDS GATHER IN SUPPORT OF HEVRON” by Fern Sidman

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

“How can we remain silent when there is the possibility that the Jewish community of Hevron will be uprooted?” queried Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, Director of Tourism for the community of Hevron on Tuesday evening, April 5th in New York. Several hundred people gathered at the West Side Institutional Synagogue on Manhattan’s upper west side to attend a special presentation on the timeless legacy that Hevron represents for the Jewish people.

Addressing the history of Hevron, Rabbi Hochbaum said that when the Arab legions forcibly seized Hevron in the 1200s, they immediately erected an ominous sign that said, ‘No dogs and No Jews’. “Until 1967”, he said “Jews were forced to pray outside the Ma’aras HaMachpela (burial place of the patriarchs and matriarchs). We could only ascend to the infamous 7th step, but now, with G-d’s help, and the brave pioneering spirit of those Jews who have settled in Hevron we can daven at the burial place of our beloved ancestors.”

One of the world’s oldest cities, Hevron commands a unique and central position in Jewish history as it is the place where the founding family of the Jewish people are interred and the place where the eternal bond between the Jewish people and the land of Israel was forged, thus making it a living, perpetual union that has endured for millennia. Having been instructed by G-d to establish his kingdom there some 3000 years ago, King David ruled Judea from Hevron for the first seven years of his reign before ascending to Jerusalem where the Holy Temple was to be built.

Describing the temerity and the tireless dedication of those who live in Hevron, Rabbi Hochbaum recalled the 10th yahrzeit of Shalhevet Techiya Pass, a 10-month old infant that was killed in Hevron by an Arab terrorist sniper who opened fire with a high powered rifle on March 26, 2001 while she sat in her stroller. “Since Shalhevet’s heinous murder, her parents have had five more children and I have a daughter named after Shalhevet. That is the nature of the indefatigable spirit of the Jewish nation. We make it our obligation to re-build, to survive and thrive in spite of those who seek our destruction”, he observed.

The flourishing and burgeoning Jewish community of Hevron is a testament to the indomitable faith of the Jewish people, he said, adding that every year, tens of thousands of Jews from around the world gather in Hevron to celebrate parshas Chaya Sora; (the Torah portion detailing the account of the purchase of Hevron by the patriarch Abraham). In a voice laden with emotion, Rabbi Hochbaum issued an impassioned appeal to his audience; exhorting them to personally engage in concrete advocacy as it pertains to the preservation of this holy city. “In this month of Nissan, our time of geulah (redemption), the gates of Heaven are open, but is we who must do the work. It is incumbent upon all Jews to rise up and speak out for Hevron, to become a leader in the movement to save this city; to provide generous financial assistance and most importantly to come to Hevron; to be a part of the essence of the Jewish nation.”

Helen Freedman, executive director of Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI) served as moderator of the colloquium and was presented with a plaque of appreciation for her decades of service to the Jewish community of Hevron by Hebron Fund executive director, Ari Lieberman. “Today, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Helen Freedman and the wonderful people in AFSI for all that they have done and all that they continue to do to support the courageous Jews of Hebron. Each and every year, Helen and the people on her AFSI Chizuk mission to Israel visit Hebron and help to inspire each and every one of us and for that we are eternally indebted”, he said.

As tears welled in her eyes and with a voice cracking with emotion, Ms. Freedman recounted her visits to the burial places of the forefathers and mothers of the Jewish people as those of “passion, love and devotion”. She added that “Taking a bus at midnight to visit the burial place of Yosef HaTzaddik (Joseph, the righteous one) in Schechem was a privilege for me and was an experience that will be etched in my heart and soul forever. One cannot help but break down in tears when witnessing what the Arabs have done to the resting places of those whom we revere for all time. Visiting Hevron and praying at the Ma’aras HaMachpela is simply incredible and just the thought of not being allowed to access this site is too unbearable.”

A moving and powerful video presentation of the Jewish community of Hevron was shown; illustrating the substantive growth of Hevron since 1967, when Rabbi Moshe Levinger and his wife Miriam Levinger, who originally hailed from the Bronx, served as the progenitors of the modern community. Audience members sat in rapt attention as they imbibed the inspiring narration and striking images of those who defied all odds to ensure a Jewish presence in the city of their fathers.

Also addressing the assemblage was Rabbi Allan Schwartz of the West Side Institutional Synagogue who said, “Hevron is the center of the world and the root of the word Hevron comes from the word “Chevrei” which means friends. It was King David who wanted to “Hevronize”, the city of Jerusalem and personally reach out in friendship to the tribe of Binyamin who resided in Jerusalem so as not to hurt their feelings that the capital of the Jewish nation was originally established in Hevron.” He praised Rabbi Hochbaum as a “profound inspiration” and credited him with “changing the face of Hevron in the last 20 years.”

“Hevron is an endemic part of each and every Jew”, intoned Ari Lieberman, the executive director of the Hebron Fund. He encouraged his audience to initiate social media campaigns for the future of Hevron and to come and make a personal visit.

———————————————-

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.

Palestinian Rockets Target Israeli School Bus

Friday, April 8th, 2011

The Pali terrorist are at their best when they are targeting innocent women and children. This shows you what kind of people the world is trying to bestow a country to. The lunacy of the situation defies all common logic.

SHA’AR HANEGEV REGIONAL COUNCIL – A 13-year-old boy was critically injured by an anti-tank missile that exploded near a school bus outside Kibbutz Sa’ad, shattering windows.

The bus driver also sustained shrapnel wounds to his leg and several people were treated for shock.

The boy was resuscitated at the scene of the attack and airlifted to the trauma unit at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, where he underwent emergency surgery.

Moments before the missile struck, dozens of children had just gotten off the bus, which was traveling near Kibbutz Saad, about a mile and a half from the Gaza Strip.

Following the bus attack, Palestinians fired another 45 mortars and Kassam rockets and two Grad missiles on southern Israel.

For the first time ever, one of the Grads was successfully intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome missile defense system, though the IDF is still evaluating the system.

Immediately after the interception, Israeli aircraft scored a direct hit on the terror cell that launched the missile.

A mortar shell scored a direct hit on a house in Ein Hashlosha, damaging the home, but not injuring anyone.

Residents were ordered to stay in their homes and children were kept inside schools and kindergartens during the barrage.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he held Hamas responsible for all terrorist attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip and ordered the Israeli army to respond quickly to the attack on the school bus.

The IDF said it targeted a number of sites in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians reported one man killed and three injured in the Israeli response to the rocket fire.

There has been a marked increase in Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel in the last few weeks.

Original Link.

“HUNDREDS GATHER IN SUPPORT OF HEVRON” by Fern Sidman

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

“How can we remain silent when there is the possibility that the Jewish community of Hevron will be uprooted?” queried Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, Director of Tourism for the community of Hevron on Tuesday evening, April 5th in New York. Several hundred people gathered at the West Side Institutional Synagogue on Manhattan’s upper west side to attend a special presentation on the timeless legacy that Hevron represents for the Jewish people.

Addressing the history of Hevron, Rabbi Hochbaum said that when the Arab legions forcibly seized Hevron in the 1200s, they immediately erected an ominous sign that said, ‘No dogs and No Jews’. “Until 1967”, he said “Jews were forced to pray outside the Ma’aras HaMachpela (burial place of the patriarchs and matriarchs). We could only ascend to the infamous 7th step, but now, with G-d’s help, and the brave pioneering spirit of those Jews who have settled in Hevron we can daven at the burial place of our beloved ancestors.”

One of the world’s oldest cities, Hevron commands a unique and central position in Jewish history as it is the place where the founding family of the Jewish people are interred and the place where the eternal bond between the Jewish people and the land of Israel was forged, thus making it a living, perpetual union that has endured for millennia. Having been instructed by G-d to establish his kingdom there some 3000 years ago, King David ruled Judea from Hevron for the first seven years of his reign before ascending to Jerusalem where the Holy Temple was to be built.

Describing the temerity and the tireless dedication of those who live in Hevron, Rabbi Hochbaum recalled the 10th yahrzeit of Shalhevet Techiya Pass, a 10-month old infant that was killed in Hevron by an Arab terrorist sniper who opened fire with a high powered rifle on March 26, 2001 while she sat in her stroller. “Since Shalhevet’s heinous murder, her parents have had five more children and I have a daughter named after Shalhevet. That is the nature of the indefatigable spirit of the Jewish nation. We make it our obligation to re-build, to survive and thrive in spite of those who seek our destruction”, he observed.

The flourishing and burgeoning Jewish community of Hevron is a testament to the indomitable faith of the Jewish people, he said, adding that every year, tens of thousands of Jews from around the world gather in Hevron to celebrate parshas Chaya Sora; (the Torah portion detailing the account of the purchase of Hevron by the patriarch Abraham). In a voice laden with emotion, Rabbi Hochbaum issued an impassioned appeal to his audience; exhorting them to personally engage in concrete advocacy as it pertains to the preservation of this holy city. “In this month of Nissan, our time of geulah (redemption), the gates of Heaven are open, but is we who must do the work. It is incumbent upon all Jews to rise up and speak out for Hevron, to become a leader in the movement to save this city; to provide generous financial assistance and most importantly to come to Hevron; to be a part of the essence of the Jewish nation.”

Helen Freedman, executive director of Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI) served as moderator of the colloquium and was presented with a plaque of appreciation for her decades of service to the Jewish community of Hevron by Hebron Fund executive director, Ari Lieberman. “Today, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Helen Freedman and the wonderful people in AFSI for all that they have done and all that they continue to do to support the courageous Jews of Hebron. Each and every year, Helen and the people on her AFSI Chizuk mission to Israel visit Hebron and help to inspire each and every one of us and for that we are eternally indebted”, he said.

As tears welled in her eyes and with a voice cracking with emotion, Ms. Freedman recounted her visits to the burial places of the forefathers and mothers of the Jewish people as those of “passion, love and devotion”. She added that “Taking a bus at midnight to visit the burial place of Yosef HaTzaddik (Joseph, the righteous one) in Schechem was a privilege for me and was an experience that will be etched in my heart and soul forever. One cannot help but break down in tears when witnessing what the Arabs have done to the resting places of those whom we revere for all time. Visiting Hevron and praying at the Ma’aras HaMachpela is simply incredible and just the thought of not being allowed to access this site is too unbearable.”

A moving and powerful video presentation of the Jewish community of Hevron was shown; illustrating the substantive growth of Hevron since 1967, when Rabbi Moshe Levinger and his wife Miriam Levinger, who originally hailed from the Bronx, served as the progenitors of the modern community. Audience members sat in rapt attention as they imbibed the inspiring narration and striking images of those who defied all odds to ensure a Jewish presence in the city of their fathers.

Also addressing the assemblage was Rabbi Allan Schwartz of the West Side Institutional Synagogue who said, “Hevron is the center of the world and the root of the word Hevron comes from the word “Chevrei” which means friends. It was King David who wanted to “Hevronize”, the city of Jerusalem and personally reach out in friendship to the tribe of Binyamin who resided in Jerusalem so as not to hurt their feelings that the capital of the Jewish nation was originally established in Hevron.” He praised Rabbi Hochbaum as a “profound inspiration” and credited him with “changing the face of Hevron in the last 20 years.”

“Hevron is an endemic part of each and every Jew”, intoned Ari Lieberman, the executive director of the Hebron Fund. He encouraged his audience to initiate social media campaigns for the future of Hevron and to come and make a personal visit.

———————————————-

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.

“The Leadership Void” by Todd Strandberg

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

The first president I ever voted for was Jimmy Carter. Since I was eleven years old in 1976, my vote was not in the general election. I cast my ballot in elementary school for the Weekly Reader Student Presidential Election Poll.

I selected Carter for very superficial reasons. I was fascinated that he was a peanut farmer. At the time, Jimmy seemed more motivated than Ford to be president. The press loved him, and the fact he was a Christian sealed my vote.

Of course, disaster soon followed. The Carter years are regarded as the low point for presidential leadership. The online Encyclopedia Britannica states:

Under his watch, Russia invaded Afghanistan.
Inflation soared to 14 percent.
Interest rates reached a high of 20 percent.
He unilaterally removed all nuclear weapons and reduced U.S. troop levels in South Korea.
He canceled the B-1 bomber program, further weakening the U.S. military.

The top failure of the Carter administration was the Iran hostage crisis. It marked a milestone when third-world nations realized that Uncle Sam could be pushed around. Carter’s disastrous attempt to rescue the hostages via his botched plan, Operation Eagle Claw, only underscores his failure as commander-in-chief.

I would be remiss not to mention that Carter was the only sitting president to be attacked by a rabbit.

I learned a valuable lesson from my experience with Jimmy Carter. In the coming of age of my political thinking, I realized there is no place for idealism in this cruel world. Unless you have a plan and determination in dealing with problems, you will only help to compound them.

In 2008, Americans went to the polls and elected Barack Obama for many of the same reasons Jimmy Carter was elected. The Republicans were in charge during a time of great economic turmoil, so votes collectively decided to give the Democratic leadership a swing at bat.

Obama may soon be about to put the Jimmy Carter years to shame. The reason for the eclipse may not be result of decisions Obama is making, but rather may reflect the one huge blunder we made. Let’s not forget that people elected someone whose primary skill was in being a community organizer. A quote out of the Czech Republic kind of sums it all up:

The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

Since the world is already on a path toward financial calamity, there really isn’t a need for Obama to do anything to aid the process. As long as he remains the “Spectator in Chief,” we will continue to advance towards an abyss.

There is a global crisis in leadership nearly everywhere you look. I’ve never seen a time when so many western nations have had governments in a state of gridlock. Indecision is so pervasive that nobody wants to be in charge of the new campaign in Libya. They can’t even agree on what to call it. In a briefing aboard Air Force One, the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said U.S. forces were involved in a “kinetic military action.”

This would be a perfect time for the Antichrist to come on the scene. The Beast will be the evil leader ever to come to power, but at first he will appear to be the world’s savior. The Antichrist will solve one problem after another. Since we have so many problems, I can see why the Bible predicts the global population will worship him.

“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:3-4).

— Todd

Original Link.

CAIR Chief’s Designs to ‘Run’ U.S. Revealed

Monday, April 4th, 2011

For those of you who haven’t figured this out yet, here is the grand design of Islam: control the U.S. and control the world. Islamic law must be supreme, in their opinion, and they will do whatever is necessary to make it happen.

The same national Muslim leader who’s launched an “education campaign” to quell American fears over Shariah law once gave a full-throated speech to Muslims advocating an Islamic rise to power in America.

In a newly surfaced video of a 2000 speech to the Islamic Society of North America, Council on American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Nihad Awad told his Muslim audience: “Muslims in America are in the best position to show Islam and to show action and to show vision – not only for a Muslim school, how it should be run, but for an entire society, how it should be run. Who better can lead America than Muslims?”

The Justice Department named both ISNA and CAIR unindicted co-conspirators in a criminal scheme to funnel millions of dollars to Hamas suicide bombers and their families.

In the same speech, “Participating in Public Affairs: Strategies for the Year 2000,” Awad encouraged Muslim-Americans to be more assertive with U.S. politicians.

“They should be a servant to our issues,” he said. “We should be respected.”

Specifically, Awad advised that Muslim-Americans demand politicians include in their national speeches and party platforms that America is also an “Islamic society.”

“This is no longer a Christian-Judeo society,” Awad maintained. “It is a Christian-Judeo-and-Islamic society.”

At the same time, Awad reminded Muslim-Americans that they are still, first and foremost, citizens of the global Islamic nation and should do everything in their power to help their Muslim brothers fighting in Kashmir against Indian Hindus and in the Palestinian territories against Israelis.

He suggested they demand U.S. leaders in Washington cut aid to both Israel and India.

“We belong to the ummah, and we are an extension of the Muslim world,” he said. “We should talk about Kashmir, and we should talk about Palestine.”

Islamic law in America

CAIR is suing the state of Oklahoma to block a state constitutional measure banning Shariah law, which was approved by more than 70 percent of Oklahoma voters.

In a press release released last November applauding a Clinton-appointed federal judge’s decision to temporarily bar certification of the popular law, Awad announced CAIR was launching an “education campaign” to inform Oklahomans they have nothing to fear from Shariah law.

Awad said voters were confused by “misinformation about Islam” promulgated by “Islamophobes.”

He added: “CAIR plans an education campaign in Oklahoma to offer state residents accurate and balanced information about Islamic beliefs and practices and about the American Muslim community.”

Critics say CAIR’s leaders are worried about the passage of state constitutional bans on Shariah law, because they have a secret agenda to institutionalize Shariah law in America.

“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper told a Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter in 1993, before CAIR was formed.

CAIR’s founding chairman, Omar Ahmad, moreover, has flatly argued Shariah law should replace the Constitution.

“Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant,” he told a Muslim audience in Fremont, Calif., in 1998. “The Quran should be the highest authority in America.”

FBI Director Robert Mueller recently confirmed in congressional testimony that his agency has cut off ties to Washington-based CAIR, citing terror concerns with its national leaders – including Awad.

“We have no formal relationship with CAIR because of concerns with regard to the national leadership,” Mueller testified.

Wiretap evidence from the Holy Land Foundation terror-finance case put Awad at a Philadelpia meeting of Hamas leaders that was secretly recorded by the FBI. Participants hatched a plot to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charity. Wiretaps also record them stating the need to deceive Americans about their true aims.

The secret meeting, held in the 1990s at a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, was called to order by CAIR founding Chairman Ahmad. Both he and Awad launched CAIR not long after the meeting.

Mueller confirmed the wiretap evidence during a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing.

The Justice Department also designated Ahmad as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial, the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history. A federal jury convicted Holy Land’s leaders on all 108 counts.

Ahmad stepped down from CAIR’s board of directors shortly after his federal designation.

Among other evidence collected by the FBI, the names of both Ahmad and Awad – who remains at CAIR’s helm and regularly appears unopposed on Fox News – appear in a secret phone book alongside key Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk, whom the government says directed and coordinated Hamas terrorist attacks on civilians in Israel. Hamas has also murdered 17 Americans and has been listed as a U.S.-designated terror group since the 1990s.

During the Holy Land trial, U.S. prosecutors alleged that CAIR’s ties to Hamas are “ongoing.” In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, assistant FBI Director Richard Power suggested both Ahmad and Awad remain under federal scrutiny.

Original Link.

Deadly Koran-Burning Protests Spread to Eastern Afghanistan

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Once again, we can count on Islam to give us an example of it’s true nature.
What other religions kill, maim and destroy when their holy works are disparaged? Practically none. Did we see Christians killing people and burning and destroying unrelated property when Palestinian terrorist used copies of the Bible for toilet paper, when they hid out, from Israeli troops, in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher? Of course not. But Islam can be counted on to do so at the slightest provocation.
Was it right for the Christian preacher to burn the Koran? No, it wasn’t. But it did prove, once again, how backwards, violent and dangerous Islam is.

JALALABAD, Afghanistan — Demonstrators battled police in southern Afghanistan’s main city on Sunday and took to the streets in the turbulent east for the first time as Western pleas failed to halt the third day of rage over a Florida pastor’s burning of the Koran.

Officers and protesters skirmished for the second straight day in the city of Kandahar, leaving two officers and 18 civilians hurt, provincial health director Qayum Pokhla told The Associated Press.

In Jalalabad, the largest city in the east, hundreds of people blocked the main highway for three hours, shouting for U.S. troops to leave, burning an effigy of President Barack Obama and stomping on a drawing of a U.S. flag. More than 1,000 people set tires ablaze to block the highway in eastern Parwan province for about an hour, provincial police chief Sher Ahmad Maladani said.

Resentment has been building for years here over the operations of Western military forces, blamed for killing and mistreating civilians, and international contractors, seen by many as enriching themselves and fueling corruption at the expense of ordinary Afghans.

Coverage of the ongoing trial of a group of U.S. soldiers’ charged with killings of Afghan civilians and the publication of photos of some posing with dead bodies fueled that anger, which violently erupted Friday in a protest over the little-publicized destruction of the Koran last month.

Thousands of demonstrators in the previously peaceful northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif poured into the streets after Friday prayers and overran a U.N. compound, killing three U.N. staff members and four Nepalese guards.

On Saturday, hundreds of Afghans holding copies of the Koran over their heads marched in Kandahar before starting to attack cars and businesses. Security forces opened fire and nine protesters were killed but the governor of Kandahar said officers had only fired into the air. He said 81 were wounded and 17 people, including seven armed men, had been arrested.

Military commander Gen. David Petraeus and the top NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, Mark Sedwill, said that they “hope the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the Holy Koran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people.”

The Taliban said in a statement emailed to media outlets that the U.S. and other Western countries had wrongly excused the burning of the Koran on March 20 as freedom of speech and that Afghans “cannot accept this un-Islamic act.”

“Afghan forces under the order of the foreign forces attacked unarmed people during the protests, killing them and arresting some, saying there were armed people among these protesters, which was not true,” the Taliban said.

The governor of Kandahar said he and the main leaders of the protests in the southern city had reached an agreement that would end the demonstrations. He did not provide details.

Original Link.

Arizona Sheriff: Federal Agents Told to Reduce Border Arrests

Friday, April 1st, 2011

An Arizona sheriff says U.S. Border Patrol officials have repeatedly told him they have been ordered to reduce — at times even stop — arrests of illegal immigrants caught trying to cross the U.S. border.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever told FoxNews.com that a supervisor with the U.S. Border Patrol told him as recently as this month that the federal agency’s office on Arizona’s southern border was under orders to keep apprehension numbers down during specific reporting time periods.

“The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back,” Dever said in an interview with FoxNews.com. “He said, ‘I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away. … They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone. Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back.”

Dever said his recent conversation with the Border Patrol supervisor was the latest in a series of communications on the subject that he has had with various federal agents over the last two years. Dever said he plans to relay the substance of these conversations when he testifies under oath next month before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

“I will raise my hand to tell the truth and swear to God, and nothing is more serious or important than that,” he said. “I’m going to tell them that, here’s what I hear and see every day: I had conversation with agent A, B, C, D and this is what they told me.”

Dever’s charges were vigorously denied by a commander with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The claim that Border Patrol supervisors have been instructed to underreport or manipulate our statistics is unequivocally false,” Jeffery Self, commander of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command in Arizona, said in a written statement.

“I took an oath that I take very seriously, and I find it insulting that anyone, especially a fellow law enforcement officer, would imply that we would put the protection of the American public and security of our nation’s borders in danger just for a numbers game,” he said. “Our mission does not waiver based on political climate, and it never will. To suggest that we are ambiguous in enforcing our laws belittles the work of more than 6,000 CBP employees in Arizona who dedicate their lives to protect our borders every day.”

In recent days, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said the U.S.-Mexican border is more secure than ever, and Homeland Security officials have used recent statistics to support those claims.

“There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been,” Napolitano said at the El Paso border crossing last week. “That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.”

Dever doesn’t agree.

“Janet Napolitano says the border is more secure than it’s ever been. I’ve been here for 60 years, and I’m telling you that’s not true,” he said.

The sheriff of Santa Cruz County, which borders Dever’s Cochise County to the west, said, “This is news to me,” when asked about reports that border agents were being told to turn illegal immigrants back to Mexico rather than arrest them.

“It comes as a complete surprise that that would be something that’s going around,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said. “I meet with Dever all the time and I have great respect for him, so I expect he’d come forward and say what he knows and give the source.

“Not knowing who the source is, how reliable that source is, I really don’t have much of a position,” Estrada said. “I’ve been around a real long time and haven’t heard anything like this. By the same token, you learn new things every day.”

Both sheriffs are elected officials. Dever is a Republican, Estrada, a Democrat.

Others have questioned the methodology and conclusions of the Homeland Security numbers showing the border is more secure.

Mark Hanna, CEO of Real Life Enterprises, a Phoenix-based technology integration and security company, has testified before the Arizona Senate about what he called Homeland Security’s flawed methodology used to compile border security statistics. Hanna maintains the numbers are dangerously misleading.

Hanna, who is currently working on a private/public partnership pilot program along the Arizona border, said he attended a February conference at which Michael Fisher, chief of the United States Border Patrol, and Mark S. Borkowski, assistant commissioner for technology and innovation acquisition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, showed off charts indicating arrests were decreasing and argued the border was more secure. The charts also showed an increase in marijuana seizures along the border and an increase in Border Patrol agents.

But those charts left out crucial data, Hanna said.

“Since we don’t know how many illegal crossings are occurring, then a decrease in apprehensions might mean that there are fewer illegal crossings, and the border is more secure. But it could also just as easily mean that more illegal border crossings are occurring, and we’re just not catching as many. In order to know how secure the border is, you need to know how many are crossing and the threat level of those who are crossing illegally,” he said.

“It is a very dangerous condition for the secretary of Homeland Security to be using incomplete data to form such a conclusion, and then repeatedly announce these conclusions as fact,” he said.

The Department of Homeland Security did not return repeated requests for comment on Hanna’s specific challenges to the agency’s methodology.

Whatever the methodology, Dever said the numbers don’t accurately describe what’s happening on the ground.

“We do not know who’s crossing that border, but that anyone who wants to can. That’s the message our nation needs to hear, that anyone who wants to can, and is. And our own Department of Homeland Security does not have clear definition of what securing the border even means,” Dever said.

“People are disgusted, the smiles are gone off their face, their general sense of welfare been taken away from them and until that’s returned you can throw all the numbers on the board. … I’ll tell Napolitano, in spite of all of your declarations and efforts to the contrary, things are not safe. No, they are not secure.

“You can use your numbers to say it’s more secure, but it does not define a sense of safety or well-being. You can say it’s more secure, but it’s more dangerous than ever.”

Original Link.