Forgetfulness of God’s grace is one of the greatest tools in the enemy’s war against our souls. —Mark Dever
Dec. 10, 2014
President Barack Obama said the U.S. government made “some terrible mistakes” in authorizing the torture of suspected terrorists in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The CIA sought to shape public and lawmaker opinions about the success of its interrogations by leaking classified information to select journalists, including NBC’s Tom Brokaw, according to a Senate committee’s report.
Iceland’s central bank cut its benchmark rate, to 5.25 percent from 5.75 percent, for a second consecutive meeting as officials move closer to exiting capital controls in place for more than half a decade.
Russia’s central bank will probably raise borrowing costs to avert threats to financial stability as oil prices near the lowest in more than five years and sanctions over Ukraine risk the collapse of the ruble.
European Central Bank Executive Board member Peter Praet said falling oil prices could push the euro-area inflation rate below zero, just as policy makers prepare to examine options for quantitative easing.
Congress will vote this week on a $1.1 trillion spending plan that would avert a U.S. government shutdown as Democrats agreed to roll back rules affecting banks, clean water and rest for truckers.
Russia plans to re-establish a consistent presence in local markets in 2015 after canceling 24 weekly bond auctions this year as borrowing costs soared.
Crude could fall as low as $40 a barrel amid a price war or if divisions emerge in OPEC, said an official at Iran’s oil ministry.
AP Top Stories
Senior U.S. officials who authorized and carried out torture as part of former President George W. Bush’s national security policy must be prosecuted, a top U.N. special investigator said Wednesday.
A Palestinian Cabinet member died shortly after he and other protesters scuffled with Israeli troops Wednesday near a West Bank village. The forces also fired tear gas close to the demonstrators, witnesses said.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev urged Russians to be patient Wednesday as the ruble plunges due to falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine, and said the currency was now undervalued.
Mississippi investigators searched on Tuesday for a “person of interest” in the death of a 19-year-old woman who police said was set on fire after being doused with a flammable liquid.
A Missouri inmate was put to death early Wednesday for fatally beating a 63-year-old woman with a hammer in 1998, the state’s record 10th lethal injection of 2014 to match Texas for the most executions in the country this year.
Police are searching for a missing 11-month-old boy on Tuesday after his mother’s corpse was found stuffed inside a refrigerator in their Houston apartment.
A new dress code for the Montana House of Representatives that bans jeans and warns women to watch skirt lengths and necklines has drawn the ire of female lawmakers, who say it suggests they cannot independently decide what attire is appropriate.
In a personal finance survey published today, 18 percent of the respondents said they expect to be in debt for the rest of their lives. That is double the percentage who expected that in May 2013, the last time the survey was conducted.
Detroit, the largest US city to go broke, will officially exit bankruptcy on Wednesday, according to a letter from its emergency manager.
The US Senate unanimously approved Richard Verma as the new US ambassador to India, the first Indian-American to step into that role.
Brazil’s national truth commission alleged that the country’s military regime systematically carried out torture and executions.
A Frenchman held hostage by an al Qaeda-linked group in Mali was reportedly freed as part of a prisoner swap with two jailed militants.
The Ebola virus that has killed thousands in West Africa is still “running ahead” of efforts to contain it, said the World Health Organization head.
A Polish court ruled that a ban on the ritual slaughter of animals for the needs of the Jewish community is unconstitutional.
Houses are burned after the Chechen leader called for the punishment of Islamist militants’ families in response to a deadly attack in Grozny.
The UN said Western countries will increase the number of Syrian refugees they will accept to up to 100,000, but warns this is not enough.
Three journalists from the Syrian opposition TV channel Orient News were killed while covering clashes in the country’s south-west.
An alleged weapons maker for the Islamic State (IS) claimed that a “radioactive device” has been smuggled into an undisclosed location in Europe, according to an intelligence brief.
A Kentucky clothing company that refused to produce T-shirts for a “gay”-pride festival because of the owner’s Christian beliefs is appealing a state Human Rights Commission’s ruling of “unlawful discrimination.”
Daily Digest for Wednesday
December 10, 2014
“Driven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum.” –Samuel Adams, Speech in Philadelphia, 1776
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
One day before the deadline to fund the government passes, congressional leaders introduced a 1,603-page spending bill that will allocate $1.01 trillion. Because the House expects Congress to break the Dec. 11 deadline, it plans to pass a temporary measure to keep the government funded so they can read what’s in the bill dicker over what’s in the bill. In a joint statement, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) said, “While not everyone got everything they wanted, such compromises must be made in a divided government.” The bill seeks to tweak some of the Obama administration’s policies because Congress holds the power of the purse. Most famously, the bill will fund the Department of Homeland Security only until Feb. 27 so the 114th Congress can better attack Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. The bill also cuts $60 million from the EPA’s budget, and $345.6 million from the IRS — as Republicans seek to reform the organization after it targeted non-profit groups over political beliefs. The bottom line, though, is this is the same as it ever was — spending, spending and more spending. More…
Senate Republicans are debating whether to restore the filibuster for presidential nominations. Soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid detonated the so-called “nuclear option” in November 2013 as a means to ram through a few extra of Barack Obama’s nominees — particularly to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, where many federal regulations and laws are challenged. Now some Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain, think the GOP should do the sportsmanlike thing and restore the filibuster. “I think it’s rank hypocrisy if we don’t,” McCain said. On the other hand, wouldn’t that essentially be agreeing to one set of rules when Democrats are in charge and another when Republicans are? In other words, Democrats need only 51 votes for nominees, while Republicans need 60. Like it or not, that’s now the world Democrats have created. More…
Before Ann Compton retired from her position at ABC News, she told C-SPAN that when journalists talked to Barack Obama off the record, he yelled and swore at them for how they covered his administration. “I have seen in the last year Barack Obama really angry twice,” Compton said. “Both were off-the-record times. One, profanity-laced where he thought the press was making too much of scandals that he did not think were scandals. Another where he took us to task for not understanding the limits he has with foreign policy and the way he’s dealing with the Middle East and Iraq, and Afghanistan. And I don’t find him apologetic. But I find him willing to stand up to the press and look them in the eye, even though it was off the record, and just give us hell.” For such a narcissistic control freak, we’re almost surprised Obama didn’t stomp his feet and cry, too. More..
Kathleen McCartney, the president of Smith College in Massachusetts, sent an email to students advising them that “all lives matter,” and saying she would lead the college in endeavoring to “teach, learn and share what we know” and to “work for equity and justice.” In a normal world, the story might end there — good lesson learned. But we don’t live in a normal world. The email was sent as a response to the unrest over black deaths at the hands of white police officers, but it was unacceptable to suggest that “all lives matter” when, as one student critic admonished McCartney, “This isn’t about everyone, this is about black lives.” After all, “black lives matter” has become a rallying cry. So, naturally, McCartney apologized, saying, “despite [her] best intentions,” she had been properly corrected by those who shared their “wisdom and wise counsel.” Some of that “wisdom” included this dreck from one sophomore: “It felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives.” By saying “all lives matter”? It is remarkable how successful race-hustlers have been in undermining culture and education. More…
Ridley Scott’s epic interpretation of the biblical story of Exodus hits theaters Dec. 12. Scott is agnostic, and this latest Hollywood retelling is unlikely to satisfy Christians. Rebecca Cusey writes that the movie “plays like an atheist manifesto. Moses, a modern skeptic in sheepherder’s clothes, squares off against God, portrayed as a petulant, vengeful, irrational child. The film at time takes the part of the Egyptians, blaming God for devastating plagues striking the populace as Moses takes God to task for His incomprehensible ways.” Sounds like a real box-office smash. But if that’s not enough, Christian Bale, who plays Moses in the film, opined, “If you’re not religious, you can look at it as one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. … Moses was a far more human and fallible character than I had imagined before.” The biblical account — written by Moses, we might add — makes no effort to hide his many failings. He was indeed a human in need of a Savior himself. But the story isn’t his, it’s one of God’s justice, holiness, goodness and salvation. If Bale thinks Moses is just “one man’s terrorist,” he may still be stuck in the ninth plague — he’s in the dark. More…
|9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed|
The United States under Barack Obama is the laughingstock of the world. Earlier this year, Obama traded top Taliban terrorists for an Army deserter. Now the administration and Senate Democrats have released a report spanking the CIA for waterboarding terrorists. All because, Obama says, these interrogation techniques are “contrary to who we are.”
Obama then had the gall to say, “One of the things that sets us apart from other countries is when we make mistakes, we admit them.” When has he ever admitted a mistake?
The report was written by Democrat staffers, whose “expert” findings include:
- Enhanced interrogation techniques don’t work.
- The CIA provided inaccurate information to the Bush administration about its interrogation program.
- Management and oversight was negligent.
- The program was more brutal than represented.
All horse manure. Brutal is when you saw off the head of a civilian noncombatant captive, as ISIL is fond of doing.
According to former POW Sen. John McCain, “I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence.”
First of all, waterboarding is nothing like what McCain endured at the hands of the North Vietnamese. And as several other highly decorated POWs have noted, waterboarding did work in some cases — and they approve. It did produce “good intelligence,” including, according to the CIA, intelligence that helped to disrupt plots, led to the capture of other terrorists, and led to Osama bin Laden’s courier, who ultimately led to bin Laden.
Former CIA Director Michael Haden confirmed, “Enhanced interrogation contributed to the wealth of knowledge that we needed to [get to bin Laden].” Without such techniques, Obama would not have been able to walk to that microphone and say “we got him.”
Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., a 31-year veteran of the CIA, likewise noted that interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed resulted in more than 2,000 intelligence reports, including contributing info leading to Osama.
And for the record, former CIA directors George Tenet, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden, along with deputy directors John McLaughlin, Albert Calland and Stephen Kappes, recount in The Wall Street Journal many of the CIA’s other numerous successes, as well as criticizing Senate Democrats’ profound errors in producing this one-sided, incomplete and out-of-context report.
No CIA officials were interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee because Attorney General Eric Holder refused to coordinate those interviews on the basis that the Justice Department had its own ongoing investigation. (Apparently Rolling Stone followed the Senate Intelligence Committee model by refusing to interview the accused.) Note that the DOJ investigation produced no charges.
The DOJ investigators who reviewed the Senate investigation confirmed they found nothing that would warrant bringing criminal charges against CIA officers and operatives. And that investigation ended two years ago — which is to say Democrats could have called CIA witnesses.
Now Obama administration officials have placed military and law-enforcement personnel on high alert, acknowledging the report may spawn terrorist attacks.
According to Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, “We have U.S. personnel, both intelligence officials and military special operators, in harm’s way. Why would we release [this report] now? What did we have to gain? All of this has been debated. All of this has been settled. … Clearly the administration knew it was going to cause trouble as they sent out warnings all across the world.”
Joe Biden insisted it was just the kind of transparency for which this administration is decidedly not known: “We made a mistake. We made a big mistake. … [This report] is a badge of honor.”
On the other hand, George W. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, described the report as “a crock.” Cheney said of intelligence officials, “They deserve a lot of praise. As far as I’m concerned, they ought to be decorated, not criticized.”
Obama’s current CIA director, John Brennan, agreed with Cheney. According to Brennan, the CIA interrogations “did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.” That assessment directly challenges the core assertions in the Senate Democrats’ report. Brennan threatened to resign over the report, but we believe he remained in place to defend the agency.
The White House insists that Obama has full confidence in Brennan as CIA director. But the problem is Brennan has little or no confidence in Obama as president and commander in chief — and he is not alone.
Outgoing Sen. Saxby Chambliss said, “The majority side of the intelligence committee has spent the last five years and over $40 million focused on a program that effectively ended over eight years ago, while the world around us burns.”
Chambliss concluded, “It seems as though the study takes every opportunity to unfairly portray the CIA in the worst light possible, presupposing improper motivations and the most detestable behavior at every turn.”
In fact, the CIA briefed Congress on its efforts roughly 30 times along the way. Senate Democrats were last briefed on the CIA’s methods in 2006 and the last interrogations were in 2007. Democrats could have stopped the interrogations then. Notably, Nancy Pelosi was fully briefed on the CIA operation in 2002, despite claiming later she had no knowledge of it (these memory lapses are an issue with Pelosi).
The administration’s chief talking point on this report is that the CIA’s actions were an affront to “American values.” But that ignominious distinction belongs to Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Reid.
And a footnote: United Nations Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, issued a statement: “The US Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible. … [T]he heaviest penalties should be reserved for those most seriously implicated in the planning and purported authorisation of these crimes.”
So should Obama and administration officials be prosecuted for releasing Gitmo prisoners who wound up back on the battlefield killing people? If this report results in the death of Americans, should Obama and Dianne Feinstein be prosecuted?
In conclusion, the group of former CIA directors and deputy directors wrote, “Between 1998 and 2001, the al Qaeda leadership in South Asia attacked two U.S. embassies in East Africa, a U.S. warship in the port of Aden, Yemen, and the American homeland — the most deadly single foreign attack on the U.S. in the country’s history. The al Qaeda leadership has not managed another attack on the homeland in the 13 years since, despite a strong desire to do so. The CIA’s aggressive counterterrorism policies and programs are responsible for that success.”
It’s impossible to guess how much of the fabrication and disinformation the Obama administration crammed into its first six years will ever be discovered. But thanks to the thoughtless blabbering in front of cameras by an arrogant yet fatuous member of the higher education intelligentsia, the soft underbelly of Barack Obama’s only significant achievement is being sliced open, and the fetid tangle of lies and corruption are gradually being pulled apart.
Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and other Republican members had the rare pleasure Tuesday of ripping into Obama apparatchik Jonathan Gruber, the MIT health care wonk who contributed much to the design of ObamaCare. Notwithstanding Gruber’s insistence that “I was not the ‘architect’ of President Obama’s health care plan,” he played an enormous role in its construction and was quite proud of that role until Tuesday.
In numerous venues, Gruber arrogantly told many tales about lies Democrats fed the American people about ObamaCare before its passage. Those comments opened a can of worms Democrats would rather have kept under wraps.
To Congress, Gruber offered an apology for saying “mean and insulting,” and “uninformed and glib” things about the intelligence of American voters: “I knew better. I know better. I’m embarrassed and I’m sorry.” Nevertheless, clinging to his popped balloon, Gruber stressed that “my own inexcusable arrogance is not a flaw in the Affordable Care Act.”
But Issa summed up why this is so critical, telling Gruber, “You made a series of troubling statements that were not only an insult to the American people, but revealed a pattern of intentional misleading [of] the public about the true nature of ObamaCare.”
One of the congressmen angriest with Gruber was Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). “As far as I can tell,” he growled, “we are here today to beat up on Jonathan Gruber for stupid … comments he made over the last few years. … They were irresponsibly, incredibly disrespectful, and did not reflect reality.” But worse, Cummings complained, “Dr. Gruber’s statements gave Republicans a public relations gift in their relentless political campaign to tear down the ACA and eliminate health care for millions of Americans!” But Cummings disclaimed any responsibility for the Democrats’ scamming the American public. “I was in Congress when this law was debated, and Dr. Gruber does not speak for me. … Never once did I believe or did anyone suggest that we were somehow hiding our goals from the American people!”
I see nothing! I hear nothing! I know nothing! Cummings is only mad because Gruber gave the game away.
Rep. Patrick McHenry told Gruber that, in a sense, at least he appreciated the professor’s honesty about the intentional lack of transparency in planning ObamaCare. “Dr. Gruber … as everyone knows … when the president said if you like your plan you can keep it, it turns out it was the lie of the year. This was a very significant thing. … [A]ccording to the North Carolina Department of insurance, 473,000 lost their health insurance because of ObamaCare. … When I think about my constituents, though, did you think that there would be such a large number of folks that would lose their health insurance?”
Gruber replied, “What I was focused on was the net increase in newly insured we had under the law, which has been quite substantial.” So he wasn’t focused on the “folks” (as Obama likes to call us) but on projected statistics of newly insured — or so he said. And the increase has in fact not been substantial.
McHenry continued, “So it’s not relevant to your calculation that there would be people that would lose their health insurance?”
Gruber admitted, “That was part of the calculation.” When asked if that was part of his conversations at the White House, though, he insisted, “I don’t recall.”
Reportedly, Gruber received $400,000 for his consulting services with the administration, but his total haul for health policy consulting is much higher. When asked for specific figures on his income, he referred an astonished Issa to his counsel.
“We’re going to have to serve a subpoena. … It’s amazing you haven’t given us one number,” Issa said. “Likely, you’re going to be back here again.”
The committee members returned to this question repeatedly throughout the remainder of the meeting, getting the same smug response to refer to Gruber’s counsel. No doubt, Gruber will be on the hot seat again, and let’s hope he squirms the entire time.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: Rolling Stone Crumbles
- Jonah Goldberg: Using Allegations of Rape in a Grab for Power
- Michelle Malkin: Welcome to TotCare: Obama’s Preschool Takeover
- John Stossel: Climate Catastrophe
- Walter E. Williams: What’s Rule of Law?
OPINION IN BRIEF
Economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006): “A society that puts equality … ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.”
Columnists L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: “No parent wants to consider the travesty that when he sends his 18-year-old daughter to college, she could be vulnerable to sexual assault. But in the increasingly punitive atmosphere surrounding sexual-assault allegations, he should also fear sending his 18-year-old son to campus, where he may be falsely accused of rape. The national media are deeply feminist. Their default position is the presumption that ‘the victim’ is the female accuser. Some pundits have even argued in national newspapers that the accuser should be ‘automatically believed.’ This is a serious problem for the left. First, they are the ones who have been exquisitely sensitive about the presumption of innocence for communists, radical Muslim terrorists and violent thugs like Willie Horton. Second, they have forcefully extolled that female accusers of sexual assault are to be automatically disbelieved if they are accusing Bill Clinton or other powerful Democrats. These allegations and any attempt to discuss them or verify them are considered ‘witch hunts’ and ‘McCarthyism.’ … The liberal media never lose their halo as the sympathetic guardians of the public good, no matter how wrong — painfully, harmfully wrong — they are.”
Columnist Michelle Malkin: “On Wednesday, the White House Summit on Early Education will unveil nearly $1 billion in new ‘investments’ to ‘expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America’ from ‘birth and continuing to age 5.’ It’s a retread of President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union school-spending plan, which was a repackaging of his 2011 Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge program. … Think Obamacare is bad? Well, welcome to TotCare. The goal of the educational central planners, you see, is the elimination of competition. The fact is that the vast majority of Pre-K kids are already happily enrolled in early childhood programs outside of Fed Ed’s clutches. The ‘problem’ isn’t most families’ lack of access to preschool. It’s Washington’s lack of access to your kids for their institutionalized warehousing, data mining and pedagogical propaganda schemes. The Nanny State’s ceaseless quest for control keeps creepily rolling along.”
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel: “Obama was diagnosed with acid reflux. His approval rating is so low that he’s starting to get pushback from his esophagus. … His doctor said he needs Zantac. Sadly, that’s actually the best news President Obama’s gotten in a very long time. So now, Joe Biden is just a heartburn away from the Oval Office.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
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The McAvany Intel Memo
Following over 200 years of at least semi-free-market financial enterprise in our country, the more recently assigned economic dictators at the Fed have been put in charge of our nation’s (and to a great extent the world’s) money game. And our new money game is designed and administered, by Federal decree, exactly the same way as the old Russian and Chinese pure-communist economies were run: by a sole financial and monetary planning Czar. Centralized planning ruled everything in the communist state “for the good of the uneducated masses,” in the same way as is now done in America.
We need to let this sink in: Our financial system is now based on the same sort of centralized planning that destroyed communist Russia and communist China – only with far more leverage than the communists ever dreamed of.
Unlimited use of credit and debt (QE to infinity) administered by Janet Yellen now makes this all possible. The Fed chairwoman follows in the shadowy footsteps of Greenspan and Bernanke in drastically changing our American way of life. And it is very possible that “Chair Yellen” (even sounds a little Russian or Chinese doesn’t it?) will become the patsy in the next year or two in taking all the blame for a worldwide American dollar collapse. And she’ll repeat over and over in slow, reasoned words during her Congressional testimony, “I just did what I had to do.”
(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, August 2014, by guest editor Jim Deeds)
Pearl Harbor: 6 Things We Should Remember To Avoid Repeating History
The conditions that led to the Pearl Harbor attack in Hawaii exist today, on an even broader scale. The United States was in a high state of vulnerability on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 – a date President Franklin Roosevelt declared would “live in infamy.” But it was also a day full of lessons vital for our times …………. Click here for full story
How Does It Feel To Be Number Two?
For more than half of its lifespan, the United States of America has been considered the leading economic superpower of the World. That’s quite a run, and one that no other nation can lay claim to. For nearly 140 years, America’s economy has been the largest among the nations; but there’s a new Power that holds that position ……… Click here for full story
Israel Air Strikes Wiped Out Russian Hardware For Thwarting US No-Fly Zone Plan Over Syria
High-ranking American military sources revealed Monday, Dec. 8, that Israel’s air strikes near Damascus the day before wiped out newly-arrived Russian hardware including missiles that were dispatched post haste to help Syria and Hizballah frustrate a US plan for a no-fly zone over northern Syria………. Click here for full story
An Iran-Russia Axis?
What do two nations with a history of over 200 years of enmity and war do when they seek a change of discourse? Find a common enemy — real or imagined. For Russia and Iran, traditional foes since the 18th century, that common enemy is the United States, according to political circles in Moscow and Tehran………. Click here for full story
New Israeli Government In March Will Determine Future Of Peace Process
Israeli politics are famous for their unpredictability, and events in recent days have only underscored that reputation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday fired two senior coalition partners and announced snap elections next March—all this, not even half way through his third term ……… Click here for full story
Now Britain Is Looking For A Suspicious Submarine In Its Waters
NATO patrol planes helped Britain scour the waters off its western Scottish coast after a submarine’s periscope was spotted, in a search reminiscent of the Cold War, media reported. Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it had received NATO help in an operation, but declined to go into further details. News of the operation, first reported in Aviation Week, comes amid growing tensions between Western powers and Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis. More
President who vowed to end war, now seeks sweeping power to expand it.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry told Congress Tuesday that President Obama wants expansive war powers to pursue the Islamic State terrorists wherever and however he deems necessary, stunning lawmakers by requesting a war authorization that would even allow the Pentagon to commit American combat troops to the fight. Though Mr. Obama doesn’t want combat troops, he won’t have Congress tie his hands against unforeseen directions the war could take should the Islamic State evolve, expand its fight to other countries or prove more difficult to rout, Mr. Kerry said. More
Russell Simmons: ‘America has not seen protests like those that are coming’.
Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, appeared on CNN last night on Out Front with Erin Burnett to warn there are more protests coming if “demands” are not met. We are seeing the beginning of the end of police policing the police, he added. “On Wednesday, we are going to ask for indictments and list of achievable demands.” (“We” referring to high profile celebrities and athletes that share Simmons’ beliefs.) “And America has not seen protests like those that are coming if justice doesn’t start to come down,” warned Simmons. Simmons told Burnett, “Over 150K cases were brought before the grand Jury and and only 11 cases didn’t come back with indictments. It’s like lightening striking the black community over and over and over again.” We need special oversight committees, we shouldn’t leave it to DAs who work with the police, explained Simmons. More
Never Ignore These Cancer Warning Signs
Many people ignore potential warning signs of cancer, a new British survey found. The study involved 1,700 people aged 50 and older in the United Kingdom who completed a health questionnaire listing 17 symptoms, including 10 widely publicized possible cancer symptoms. More
Is San Andreas Movie a “Prophetic Warning” for California?
As if the idea that a devastating earthquake could hit California at anytime wasn’t terrifying enough, there’s now a movie coming out that brings that possibility to life. In San Andreas, Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play ex-spouses on a hunt to find their daughter, played by True Detective‘s Alexandra Daddario, after a giant earthquake hits the the Golden State. From the looks of the trailer, it’s the west coast version of The Day After Tomorrow, complete with destroyed landmarks (the Hollywood sign) and attempted rescues by — who else? — The Rock. More
Retailers Using ‘Consumer Neuroscience’ To Shape Shopping Experience.
Retailers are trying to get into customers’ brains and they now have the technology to do it. It’s called consumer neuroscience and companies are getting valuable shopper intel that can shape the shopping experience. To get a firsthand look we went shopping at Betsy Jenney on Newbury Street with Dr. Carl Marci of Boston-based Innerscope Research. I was given glasses with a special camera to track my eye movements and sensors were attached to my fingers to keep tabs on the electricity in my skin. “What we are collecting here are things we are not very good at articulating with words,” explains Dr. Marci. Things a shopper doesn’t even realize are happening subliminally and subconsciously. More
Experts Demand Action To Prevent Asteroid Strike
One hundred leading scientists, astronomers, former astronauts and celebrities have called for more to be done to prevent a devastating asteroid strike.
TV physicist Professor Brian Cox is backing the campaign, as is Queen guitarist Brian May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics. He said: “The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it becomes that the human race has been living on borrowed time.” More
Hallmark Pulls Holiday Wrapping Paper With Swastika-Like Image
Hallmark Cards Inc, the purveyor of products that it says “make the world a more caring place,” was pulling gift wrap from U.S. stores after a complaint that the paper appears to display a swastika, a symbol associated with the persecution of Jews. Hallmark issued an apology on Tuesday and said that the blue and silver wrapping paper was designed to represent a type of vessel, and any similarity to a swastika was unintentional. The company said the pattern has been in the company’s reference archives for several years. More
Giant swastika found in Brazil swimming pool
A large swastika was discovered painted on the bottom of a swimming pool in southern Brazil. The large Nazi symbol was identified during a kidnapping investigation last week, where police used aerial surveillance, CNN reported. The swastika is located on private property in Pomerode, Brazil in the southern state of Santa Catarina. It reportedly has decorated the bottom of the pool for the last 13 years. No charges will be filed since the pool is located on private property, according to CNN, citing local officials. More
Britain would vote to quit EU says new poll
Britain would vote to leave the EU if an in/out referendum was held today, a major new survey has found.The poll showed that dramatically more voters would opt to leave than those who wish to remain. Some 46.6 per cent would vote “out”while just 34.3 per cent would vote “in”,with 19.1 per cent undecided.Among those likely to vote, the gap was starker, with 48.8 per cent opting to leave, compared to 34.7 per cent wanting to stay and 16.5 per cent undecided. More
Natural Remedies for Respiratory Infections
12-09-2014 • By Dr. Joe Alton and Nurse Amy
Even if used judiciously, even ample quantities will eventually be depleted. Without the ability to produce them synthetically, we will have to consider natural substances that might help alleviate various respiratory symptoms and strengthen the body’s immune response.
Historically, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and other antioxidants taken regularly are supposed to decrease the frequency and severity of respiratory infections. Many studies confirm their usefulness, although the amount of down time due to colds/flus per year was only decreased 1 day in one study. Despite this, antioxidant support of the immune system can be obtained through good nutrition or supplements and should be part of any survival food storage strategy.
Ben Stein: Media Are ‘So Far Up Mr. Obama’s Backside’
Former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein opined on Fox News’ “Your World w/ Cavuto” that the reason the media isn’t complaining about being lied to about what was in the Affordable Care Act is because they are “so far up Mr. Obama’s backside.”
Bank of America sees $50 oil as Opec dies
“Our biggest worry is the end of the liquidity cycle. The Fed is done. The reach for yield that we have seen since 2009 is going into reverse”, said Bank of America. The Opec oil cartel no longer exists in any meaningful sense and crude prices will slump to $50 a barrel over coming months as market forces shake out the weakest producers, Bank of America has warned. Revolutionary changes sweeping the world’s energy industry will drive down the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG), creating a “multi-year” glut and a mucher cheaper source of gas for Europe.
America needs a Patriotic President
What America needs most is a Patriotic President, a president who puts love of country well above love of self. America needs a president who, even before coming forward, has already shoved his ego into his back pocket; one wise enough to ignore the pandering of the moment and one whose head is never turned by Mae West type publicity.
Obama makes ‘1st move’ toward ‘sanctions’ on Israel
Amid White House denials, Palestinians receiving signals
While the White House has dismissed as “unfounded” reports the Obama administration is contemplating sanctions on Israel, the Palestinian Authority told WND it is already receiving signals the U.S. president may not support Israel at the United Nations and in the international community.
Researchers Use Fetal Cells to Create ‘Supermouse’ With Half-Human Brain
We have arrived at the predicted last days “days of Noah.” — OTM
Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York are using fetal cells to create a “supermouse” with a half-human brain in order to study human diseases of the brain and find cures for those ailments.
The research, which is now raising ethical questions, involves injecting cells from unborn babies into the brain tissue of baby mice.
The Senate CIA Report and Democratic Treachery
Putting American lives on the line for a political payout.
But adding further threats to Americans already in harm’s way matters not. Beleaguered congressional Democrats are desperate for a political boon and have turned to an old standby: sabotaging national security and sacrificing American lives.
Headlines of Interest
Links of Interest
- The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin by Kris Lundgaard
- I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Frank Turek
- Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions – Edited by Arthur Bennett (leather bound version here)
- Christian Theology by Millard Erickson
- Donate to Stand to Reason (Our thank you gift this month is the book Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas)
- Listen to Annabeth Koukl read Luke 2 when she was 5
- Dislike Is Not Intolerance by Robin Sible
- Is Christmas Pagan? by Greg Koukl
- Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins
- Do Our Prayers Make a Difference by Amy Hall
- How God Answers Our Prayers by Amy Hall
- Not Always Bread, Just No Stones by Amy Hall (on prayer)
What doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. ~ Micah 6:8
December 10, 2014
As you get older; you’ve probably noticed that you tend to forget things. You’ll be talking with somebody at a party, and you’ll know that you know this person, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember his or her name. This can be very embarrassing, especially if he or she turns out to be your spouse. ~ Dave Barry
MARSHA WEST’S COLUMN
Is it true that Jesus never mentioned anything about homosexuality? That He never brought it up, even once? Most of us have heard the argument that the Gospels have no record of Jesus condemning homosexuality. There are individuals, especially from the militant homosexual rights movement, who utter this fabrication with all the raw hostility of liberals who think abortion is their God given right.
STOP OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE AMNESTY
Call your Representatives and tell them to oppose John Boehner’s plan to surrender to President Obama. Tell Congress to block funding for Obama’s lawlessness. As it exists now, Boehner’s plan (which has Harry Reid’s seal of approval) will fund Obama’s open-borders agenda.
Call: (855) 827-2356
This number will connect you to an automated system which will allow you to enter your zip code and will connect you directly to your House Rep.
Lying for the Cause—Victor Davis Hanson
Well aside from “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,” or blanket amnesty that is and is not lawful for a president to grant, there is a special category of progressive mythology. Or rather a particular cast of “truth tellers,” victims, supposed whistle blowers, and popular liberal icons who spin tales for a supposedly higher good, on the premise that untruth for a cause makes it sort of true.
Anti-police bias infects Fox News—Cliff Kincaid
But here are the facts about the grand jury, as disclosed by Stephen J. Rooney, a justice on the Richmond County Supreme Court in New York …
WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Parents angry after school tells 13-year-olds they can have sex, choose gender
Students at one northern California high school are learning more than just the birds and the bees.
NEWS TO KNOW
Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation amid warnings of backlash
Gruber apologizes for ‘mean and insulting’ ObamaCare comments
GOP Spending Bill Gives Nearly $1 Billion To Aid Border Migrants
Ann Compton on Obama: He Launches ‘Profanity-Laced’ Tirades Against Press
House Conservatives Outraged at Boehner Move on Budget Bill http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Boehner-budget-bill-conservatives/2014/12/06/id/611519/
Target and the Real War On Women—Bill Muehlenberg
There are some things that elevate the status of women, and some that denigrate and demean women. Here I want to mention three such things. And they all have to do with the retail chain store Target. The three diverse elements I seek to bring together here are Christianity, Islam and violent video games.
EDUCATION – Research Links
‘This Will Not End Well’: School Board Allows ‘Transgender’ Males to Play on Girls’ Teams
HOMOSEXUALITY — Research Links
Warning: I do not recommend the Daily Beast
The Rise and Fall of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, America’s Worst Gay Power Couple
Just three years ago, Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge were the toast of the liberal establishment. The Facebook co-founder and his politically ambitious husband embodied all the attributes of a bona fide “gay power couple.” In 2012, Hughes bought The New Republic, rescuing the flagship liberal magazine from financial peril and establishing himself as a player in Washington. At the same time, Eldridge was quietly preparing to run for Congress in upstate New York. …
The Gay Slave Trade: Open for Business!
Chinese gay dating app grows to 15 million users
Former Lesbian Turned Christian: ‘We’ve Made God Little if We Believe He Cannot Change People’
Trouble In Transtopia: Murmurs Of Sex Change Regret—Stella Morabito
Ten Stories NBC Nightly News Aired Instead of Covering Gruber Scandal
LIFE& DEATH – Research Links
Researchers Use Fetal Cells to Create ‘Supermouse’ With Half-Human Brain
Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York are using fetal cells to create a “supermouse” with a half-human brain in order to study human diseases of the brain and find cures for those ailments.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY
National Homosexual Activist Organization Targets Christians in Latest Campaign
A homosexual activist organization whose co-founder was recently jailed for sex abuse charges has launched an aggressive campaign to convert Christians to the same-sex ‘marriage’ cause.
CHECK OUT THE BOOK STORE
The Best Gift I Can Give Christian Christmas Haters—Clint Archer
It isn’t wrong to have a fern on my porch or a cactus in my office (chosen for its resilience to neglect, a prerequisite for any plant life under my supervision). But apparently having a fir tree, imitation or genuine, is considered by some to be morally repugnant; though only in December.
Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns http://christiannews.net/2014/12/02/rick-warrens-call-for-christians-to-unite-with-catholics-holy-father-raising-concerns
More Than Half of Americans Believe The Bible is Inaccurate
CREATION VS EVOLUTION – Research links
When and How Did the Grand Canyon Form?—Andrew Snelling
‘We Love Jesus!’ Iraqi Children Proclaim Love for Christ in Face of Islamic Beheading http://christiannews.net/2014/12/03/we-love-jesus-iraqi-children-proclaim-love-for-christ-in-face-of-islamic-beheading
Unless You Repent You Will Perish—Mike Ratliff
Where do Christians get solid food? From voices in their heads, intuition, imaginations, flights of fancy, signs, wonders? No. Solid food is consumed by feeding on the meat of the written
Word of God. ~ Sandy Simpson
Yes, AA’s cofounder was a freemason—John Lanagan
Angels – Research links
Pa$$ The Plate And Let Us Prey–SUFTT
Should we impart an anointing of the Spirit on someone’s head? Does the Holy Spirit posses us, or indwell us? Yes, big difference between these two terms.
Church Growth Movement/Seeker/Market-Driven
Contemplative Prayer – Research Links
Ravi Zacharias on Henri Nouwen – “I regret having said that” “Henri Nouwen Was One of the Greatest Saints In Our Time”—Lighthouse Trails
Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns – http://christiannews.net/2014/12/02/rick-warrens-call-for-christians-to-unite-with-catholics-holy-father-raising-concerns
Does Rick Warren want you to “come home” to the Catholic Church?—Amy Spreeman
Emergent Church – Research Links
Controversial pastor [?] Rob [No Hell] Bell and wife, Kristen, share new view on marriage http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/12/02/rob-bell-kristen-marriage-advice
McLaren’s CANA Initiative marks new era for Neo Emergents–SUFTT
Hebrew Roots Movement
It’s Christmas time and that can only mean one thing: the Hebrew Roots folks are busy telling Christians they are sinning if they celebrate Christmas—Christine Pack
Hillsong NYC’s “biblical” silence about homosexuality—John Lanagan
Eugene Peterson’s The Message “bible” flat out deletes homosexuality as sin from two key New Testament passages, and gives a politically correct spin to a third
“Jesus Calling” – Research Links
Changing “Jesus Calling”—Damage Control for a False Christ–SUFTT
Joyce Meyer cancels speaking engagement at IHOP-KC Onething 2014
“The Message” Bible
The “Message Bible”: A Breach of Truth—John Lanagan
Mormonism — Research Links
Why Mormons Now Want to be See As Christian–SUFTT
Did Polygamy Accomplish the Purpose Given in LDS Scripture? http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2014/11/did-polygamy-accomplish-the-purpose-given-in-lds-scripture.html
New Age Movement/New Thought/Spirituality — Research Links
Controversial pastor [?] Rob [No Hell] Bell and wife, Kristen, share new view on marriage http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/12/02/rob-bell-kristen-marriage-advice
New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism – Research Links
Written in 2008. Posting as a reminder of who these people are.
We have had enough of false prophets—Marsha West
People in this movement believe that the Apostles and Prophets have authority over the Church. Even though they hold a high office, the “apostles” and “prophets” don’t see eye to eye on everything. It has now come to light that some of the “apostles” were concerned about the possible dangers of commissioning Todd Bentley and warned other “apostles” but they were rebuffed — and they’re not taking it lying down….
This Year’s Christmas Must Have A…Ouija Board–SUFTT
Written by a Roman Catholic
The “diminished and distorted” Christ of Pope Francis—Louis Verrecchio
The answer is at once simple and tragic; it is because his is a view of the Resurrection that pales in comparison to the “real one,” and that necessarily means that he, like the leaders of the Sillon, witness to a “diminished and distorted” Christ. …Louie VerrecchioLouie Verrecchio
Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns
Social Justice/Progressive Christianity
How progressive Pharisees brutalize the Bible—SUFTT
Witchcraft – Research Links
Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel — Research Links
Kirk Cameron’s ‘Saving Christmas’ Film Won’t Be Saved from Lowest Rating Ever in IMDB
Smoking still a large contributor to US cancer deaths, study says
Some here, some there — December 9, 2014
Actually, I was looking forward to reading Frank’s post… then I realized that it was “my” day. And so, since I was thinking all yesterday that I already had enough for an SHST, here is one early. Not sure whether I’ll do another Friday, or something else. Suspense!
Have fun, it’s quite the mini-assortment.
- I’ve long said that secularists have no problem with Christians being Christians, just so long as we don’t do it out-loud or in public. Rick Plasterer (seriously) argues that that principle will fall heavily and possibly terminally on Christian institutions, given the current tidal wave of totalitarian, institutionalized immorality (including compulsory approval) that is sweeping what once would have been called Christendom.
- The very people who now sneer at the fact that “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party?” was ever asked, are having no problem with the same question posed of public persons, with the substitution of “Christian religion” for the last two words.
- Reminding one of the immortal words of Cdr. Buck Murdock.
- One last reflection on that article. Plasterer says this almost in passing: “God’s standard given in Scripture is obedience to Him regardless of pain.” How many professed Christians don’t even think it important to obey God regardless of inconvenience or effort, let alone pain?
- Okay, this next item is not at all like the usual. I can only offer three reasons for including it… and they’re stretches. First: it has footage from the Charlie Brown Christmas, including the reading from Luke, so: Christmas! Second: it features one of the very best guitar solos ever recorded by one of the very best guitarists ever to play, so: common grace. Third: it’s awesome and I love it. So: my blog (in part)! Thanks to reader Keith Lamborn for alerting me to it. Enjoy, or move along to the next item.
- I loved that the creator timed the clips so well to the song, but what really won me over was the dances during the guitar solo. Awesome.
- And BTW, the song is about writing a song. In case someone’s going to go all Johnny Todd on me.
- In case you didn’t see it — well, (A) shame on you; and (B) go to my blog and see this lovely version of The Wexford Carol, with Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss.
- You know what’s even weirder (to me) than having Rick Warren in effect say “pish-posh” to the Reformation? Having Reformation 21 publish an article lavishing praise on that wonderfully “generous” evangelical Richard Mouw! In case you don’t remember, Mouw was President pf Fuller Theological Seminary for 20 years, which all by itself would be enough to raise my eyebrow. But what’s more, Mouw is the man who threw Christian missionaries to Mormons under the bus, and who the Mormons love because he has proclaimed Mormonism not to be a cult.
- Do you think Harold Lindsell is looking smug in heaven? Are other saints having to tell him to stop saying “QED!”?
- So is Reformation 21 prepping an article praising the generosity of Rick Warren? Unknown.
- But the president of Covenant College agrees. So there’s that.
- Well, now to something more directly seasonal, and as a reward for Frank — if he’s read further than the post title — this:
Yesterday following the morning service a dear and faithful brother approached me at the door. In his customarily intense way, he looked me in the eyes and thanked me for the sermon. He expressed his appreciation for how the gospel was present throughout the exposition. Then he moved from appreciation to loving critique. Not about the sermon, but about my posts on Ferguson-related themes. He asked if I thought the gospel should run throughout Christian comments and responses to Ferguson.… When I told my wife about the conversation she looked at me with that “I’ve been telling you that” look. So, here goes. An attempt to apply the gospel in actionable ways to these Ferguson—Staten Island—Cleveland—New York kinda times we’re in.
For all the obvious pitfalls, it seems that love and fidelity in the digital age may have a new snag: backburner relationships. Unfortunately, our friend is not alone. Facebook is increasingly cited in divorce proceedings while texts and e-mails document cyber trails of indiscretion. The reality is so prevalent that there are even apps that allow you to monitor your partner’s online behavior. But for all the obvious pitfalls, it seems that love and fidelity in the digital age may have a new snag: backburner relationships.
It may seem to be impossible to misinterpret the birth narratives in our advent sermons. What could be easier to preach at Christmas than the birth of Jesus? What could be harder to misread than these plain, simple stories of Jesus coming into the world?
But when we turn off our interpretational radar, we are likely to crash and burn.
Unfortunately, pastors often substitute secondary applications for the primary interpretation in their Christmas sermons. We sideline the main purpose for these stories – to teach about Jesus – and focus on the incidental actions of the characters instead.
How does that happen? Let’s look at Matthew’s birth narratives and see.
How to make a hit Christmas song
It hurts (but it’s also true):
Does ‘Exodus’ movie leave the Bible behind?
By Ted Baehr
Director Ridley Scott’s new epic, “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” tries to follow the Bible, but it does so in a manner that avoids the richness of the biblical story, and it could be summarized as the “CliffsNotes” version or a comic-book version of the story of Exodus. The best that can be said is that it’s gloriously junky, with magnificent battle scenes and spectacular special effects, but diminished by mediocre character development and an annoying lack of set-up of biblical events.
Why Christian Discipleship Is Critical to Christian Survival
by J Warner Wallace
Just before leaving the disciples, Jesus gathered them together and commissioned them with an important task. He told them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, […]
The Strange Oprahfication of Rob Bell – “Without intending malice or slander, I have to suggest that Bell is sounding less like a preacher of Christianity (even a liberal one) and more like the newest member of an affluent, West Coast cult.”
ADVENT: THE PROMISE
This Wednesday’s Word has been adapted from my Christmas devotional, “Advent: The Whole Story.” Download your free copy today at http://www.PaulTripp.com/Advent.
Have you ever accused God of being absent? Have you ever criticized the Lord for being unloving? I would like to think that I’ve always trusted in God’s omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and eternal, unshakeable love. After all, these are things I’ve been taught since my earliest days Sunday School!
But I’m deeply persuaded that many “theologically sound” Christians actually doubt the presence and love of God. Why do I think that? Because God says we do! Take Isaiah 59:1, for example: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear.”
We Are Not Orphans
How is it possible? It is so because he is present with us, as we say, by his deity, his majesty, his unconditional favor (grace), and his Holy Spirit. He has kept his word. He has fulfilled his promise. He is with us. He shall be with us. No one can dissolve the bond, the union between Christ and his people. No one is closer to us than Jesus. No one is more present with us all, everywhere, in all times and places than Jesus.
The Hatred of Adam’s Hatefilled Race
Why? Because the heart of man is exceedingly hateful. To not love another is hate. And, if I can insist on it, the true tragedy of hatred is not the victimization, marginalization, or oppression of another. The ultimate tragedy, the ultimate outrage of hate is that hatred is sin. This is serious! If you hate your neighbor you’re in danger of the fires of hell. And it’s become clear to me that I don’t hate hatred near enough.
Is Same-Sex Attraction Sinful?
We are sinners by nature and by choice. At the most fundamental level, in fact, our nature produces our choices. We inherit a sinful nature from our father Adam so that we are spring-loaded to sin. And that is not merely a word for people experiencing same-sex attraction. That is a word for all of us. Same-sex attraction is merely one variety of fallenness. But make no mistake. It is not the only one. We are all fallen and are in this predicament together.
The Best Gift I Can Give Christian Christmas Haters
But conversely, it needs to be acknowledged that Christians are free to esteem one day better than another if they are convinced in their own mind. I am convinced in my own mind that Christmas is a thoroughly enjoyable time of family traditions and themed parties and eggnog lattes at Starbucks. You need not be as convinced, and that is perfectly okay. Just please don’t equate my appreciation of cheap tinsel with pagan idolatry. Jeremiah 10:3-4 is NOT referring to Christmas trees, but hand-crafted idols, hewn for the express purpose of worshipping as a god.
Matt Recker and the Gospel Coalition, Part 7: The Clarity of the Gospel
To this gospel, Keller, in the name of the kingdom, adds a program of social activity. His approach leapfrogs the question of whether Christians might use social activity as a tool to gain a hearing for the gospel—a question upon which Christians have differed. Keller goes further. He thinks that social activity is actually part of the gospel. By confusing social improvement with gospel proclamation, Keller ends up diluting—and thus obscuring—the very gospel that he hopes to defend. This error is more than incidental.
‘Twas the Night Before the Last Christmas!
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