Winning arguments does not create spiritual transformation. —Paul Wartman
Dec. 18, 2014
U.S. officials plan to announce this week that North Korea is behind the cyber-attack that crippled Sony Pictures Entertainment computers and forced the studio to pull “The Interview.”
“In 2013, the median wealth of the nation’s upper-income families ($639,400) was nearly seven times the median wealth of middle-income families ($96,500), the widest wealth gap seen in 30 years when the Federal Reserve began collecting these data,” an analysis of the Fed’s figures by the Pew Research Center concluded.
President Obama said that a high-level U.S. delegation will be heading to Cuba soon and his spokesman said that a presidential visit to the island nation is a possibility in the future.
The man, who provided intelligence to the U.S., was freed after being imprisoned in Cuba for almost 20 years. President Obama said he had furnished vital information used to break up Cuban spying operations in the U.S.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week as the economy’s continued improvement tempered dismissals. Jobless claims decreased by 6,000 to 289,000 in the week ended Dec. 13.
In a tell-tale sign that the plunge in the ruble is causing panic among Russians, the talk in a downtown Moscow nail salon this week was about stockpiling buckwheat.
Switzerland imposed its first negative deposit rate since the 1970s and threatened further action to stem a tide of money flowing from Russia’s financial crisis. Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan cited the Russian turmoil as a “major contributory factor” for the decision to introduce a charge of 0.25 percent on sight deposits, the cash-like holdings of commercial banks at the central bank.
Six years after Iceland’s banks brought the economy to its knees, a job in the financial industry still pays almost double what a person might make after graduating from a six-year program at medical school. The pay development has angered doctors, who are now fleeing the country in unprecedented numbers. And as the medical industry threatens a second round of strikes unless it’s paid more, Icelanders are left with the Nordic region’s lowest ratio of doctors to patients.
Consumer confidence rose last week to a seven year-high as falling gas prices and continued job growth burnish American attitudes.
AP Top Stories
The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at his annual press conference.
Cameroon’s army killed 116 Boko Haram militants on Wednesday when they attacked a base in the Far North region of the country.
Boko Haram militants killed 32 people and kidnapped scores of others, including women and children, in a brutal attack on a village in the northeast.
Calling it the biggest disappointment of his career, Gov. Shumlin said he was abandoning plans to make Vermont the first state in the country with a universal, publicly funded health care system.
A human rights lawyer says 54 soldiers have been sentenced to death because they embarrassed Nigeria’s military by demanding weapons to fight Islamic extremists, and says they were justified in not going on what would have been a suicidal mission.
Police used pepper spray on Wednesday to disperse an unruly crowd of about 300 people lined up at a mall in Toledo, Ohio for a chance to buy new Air Jordan sneakers.
As more details emerge about the watershed normalizing of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, we’re learning more about the instrumental role that Pope Francis played in helping to bring American and Cuban leaders together.
Two US military blimps flying 10,000 feet above the East Coast will act as a new missile defense system for the United States.
A judge has overturned the conviction of a 14-year-old black boy sent to the electric chair for murder more than 70 years ago. The young teenager’s prosecution for the killing of two white girls in South Carolina was a great injustice, the judge said.
World leaders welcomed an agreement between the US and Cuba to end more than 50 years of hostility and move towards restoring diplomatic ties.
The deadly cafe siege in Sydney sparked a debate about gun laws, with one senator calling for Australians to be allowed concealed weapons.
Obesity can constitute a disability if the health effects have an impact on people’s working lives, the European Court of Justice ruled.
Switzerland’s National Bank will bring in a negative interest rate cutting the value of any money left on deposit in the country.
The bodies of more than 230 people believed to have been killed by Islamic State (IS) have been found in a mass grave in eastern Syria.
A 14-year-old North Carolina boy shot and killed a 18-year-old man who was trying to break into his grandmother’s home Tuesday while he was there alone with the elderly woman.
Jeb Bush has long advocated for all 50 states to adopt Common Core national standards. Now that the former Florida governor has all but confirmed his plans to run for president in 2016, the issue threatens to overshadow his likely campaign.
A Texas plumber is getting death threats after his old truck – still bearing his name – was tweeted on the front line by Islamic jihadists in Syria.
A popular seven-minute stress-reduction exercise widely used within the U.S. Armed Forces has just been released as a free iPhone and Android app for the general public, under the name “Cure Stress.”
December 18, 2014
“Liberty is a word which, according as it is used, comprehends the most good and the most evil of any in the world. Justly understood it is sacred next to those which we appropriate in divine adoration; but in the mouths of some it means anything, which enervate a necessary government; excite a jealousy of the rulers who are our own choice, and keep society in confusion for want of a power sufficiently concentered to promote good.” –Oliver Ellsworth, A Landholder, No. III, 1787
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Gone are the days when Hollywood released Charlie Chapman’s “The Great Dictator,” a film lampooning Adolf Hitler. Although the film was released March 1941 — months before the attack on Pearl Harbor — it was the comedian’s most successful film. Today, we have a studio poised to release another lampoon of another infamous dictator but essentially self-censoring the film at the threat of hackers, who appear to be connected to North Korea. The hackers broke into Sony Picture’s computer network, released sensitive information, apparently because of “The Interview.” After threatening 9/11-type terror on any theater that dared air the film, which is about the assassination of Kim Jong Un, the hackers forced Sony to bow to the rule of terror — even though DHS thought the threat was not credible. “In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview,” Sony said in a statement, “we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. … Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale — all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like.” The movie appeared to be a crass film dragged along by sex jokes. The product wasn’t worth defending, but the ideal of free speech is. More…
Barack Obama issued fresh race bait Wednesday in an interview he and Michelle granted to People magazine. For Barack, it’s racism when someone threw him the keys to their car. “There’s no black male my age who’s a professional who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car, and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” he said, because, in his eyes, only black men are valets. As Ian Tuttle of National Review points out, it’s not like that stunt wasn’t included in a James Bond film. But Obama had to elevate his story to the status of racial injustice. He continued, “It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a nice gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.” That is another very cheap shot at cops nationwide from a guy who happens to be president of the United States, not a valet guy. Next thing you know, he’ll be complaining that he lives in the White House.
Michelle Obama twisted her tale about a trip to Target to add her two cents to the White House’s long-running race-bait narrative. In an interview with People magazine, Michelle said, “[T]he only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf, because she didn’t see me as the first lady; she saw me as someone who could help her.” Michelle first told the story on The David Letterman Show in 2012, except in that version she said the person asked for her help reaching something “because she was short.” The customer didn’t ask for help because she confused her with a store clerk, but because Michelle was tall — and Michelle even said “I felt so good” helping her. But now she has a race narrative to spin — because she hasn’t done anything for anybody as first lady.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the first order of business for the 114th Congress — hopefully with the 67 votes needed to override Obama’s veto powers. “We’ll be starting next year with a job-creating bill that enjoys significant bipartisan support. The first item up in the new Senate will be the Keystone XL pipeline,” McConnell told reporters. In an effort to show the Republican-led Senate is willing to work with the minority Democrats — who let’s just say haven’t been the most gracious majority in history — McConnell added, “We’ll hope that senators on both sides will offer energy-related amendments, but there’ll be no effort to try to micromanage the amendment process.” Hearing how now-Minority Leader Harry Reid is talking about obstructing “crazy stuff,” it seems like the olive branch won’t be received well. More…
In October, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau attacked the Canadian Parliament after killing a soldier. Leftmedia reports were quick to insist it was a “lone wolf” attack. We declared that wrong at the time. We were right. Josh Rogin writes at Bloomberg, “Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay told me in an interview that not only did the Canadian government believe that Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau, a Muslim who drove over two soldiers only days earlier, were radicalized by the Islamic State, they now suspect both men may have been in direct contact with the group.” According to MacKay, “They were influenced by ISIS there is no question.” Before his attack, Zehaf-Bibeau made a video, and MacKay said his statements in it are “consistent with our belief that his motivations were very much as a result of being radicalized by the Islamic State.” Perhaps the jihadi in Australia will turn up similar connections. More…
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read The Most Important Lesson of 2014, on the things we can learn from what happened this year — particularly the election.
|Obama wearing Che wearing Obama|
Nothing like making friends with commies to bring on the holiday spirit — peace on earth and good will and all that. Taking a break from complaining about being mistaken for a valet driver, Barack Obama announced Wednesday the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the communist dictatorship of Cuba.
“Today,” Obama’s statement read, “the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.” Well, for starters, the U.S. has never had a problem with the people of Cuba; it’s the communist government with which our Liberty-loving nation has taken issue. But casting principle — not to mention law — aside, Obama extended to Cuba the hand of America’s friendship and tossed in an embassy to boot. It’s a metaphorical Bay of Pigs betrayal all over again.
The announcement came after 18 months of secret talks between the U.S. and Cuba and on the heels of Cuba’s releasing U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who had been imprisoned there since 2009. Cuba also released a U.S. intelligence agent who had been imprisoned for 20 years, while the U.S. let loose three convicted Cuban spies.
Yet Obama’s vain attempt to write a foreign policy success story accomplished nothing for Cubans, which is even more remarkable at a time when low oil prices have weakened Cuban sponsors Venezuela and Russia. In other words, the U.S. was in prime position to negotiate for human rights improvements in Cuba. Instead, Obama just offered Cuba a huge influx of dollars for nothing in return.
In heralding this Christmas gift to Fidel and Raul Castro, a senior administration official said, “We are charting a new course toward Cuba. The president understood the time was right to attempt a new approach, both because of the beginnings of changes in Cuba and because of the impediment this was causing for our regional policy.” Translation: Not to worry, Castro brothers, we forgive you. Care for some U.S. economic investment?
Lifting the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba will require congressional action, but that’s never stopped Obama before. As the Guardian reports, “The White House hopes that by using a series of executive actions to minimize its enforcement [of the embargo], it can provide a breakthrough that will encourage political reform in Cuba and soften political opposition in the US.” Congress and the Constitution be damned. Full speed ahead.
Of course, this is hardly surprising, seeing how well Obama was able to get away with amnesty, along with the fact that Congress has gone home for the holidays. And he’s never cared much for the Constitution or Rule of Law anyway.
The truth remains, though, that there is a reason the U.S. closed our embassy in Cuba in 1961 and imposed a trade embargo that same year. That reason was Castro’s oppressive regime. And that regime — and reason — still stand.
Cuban-Americans on both sides of the political aisle aren’t pleased with Obama’s actions. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), soon-to-be former chair of the powerful U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and whose parents came to America from Cuba just before his birth, said, “President Obama’s actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), incoming chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee and whose parents, like Menendez’s, were Cuban immigrants, also slammed the president’s actions. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rubio wrote, “The announcement by President Obama on Wednesday giving the Castro regime diplomatic legitimacy and access to American dollars isn’t just bad for the oppressed Cuban people, or for the millions who live in exile and lost everything at the hands of the dictatorship. Mr. Obama’s new Cuba policy is a victory for oppressive governments the world over and will have real, negative consequences for the American people.”
He also noted, “The opportunity for Cuba to normalize relations with the U.S. has always been there, but the Castro regime has never been interested in changing its ways. Now, thanks to President Obama’s concessions, the regime in Cuba won’t have to change.”
Other nations like Iran are taking note.
It remains to be seen whether Congress will at last take a stand against the president’s recklessness and uphold our constitutional government. In the meantime, somewhere, Comrades Castro are smiling.
The Lima Climate Change Conference hosted by the power-hungry United Nations came to a close Sunday, but not before burning through a whopping 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the organization’s dirtiest carbon footprint to date. The dismissal capped a two-week ordeal that laid the groundwork for a pivotal meeting in Paris late next year, where delegates from across the globe will attempt to hash out a universal blockbuster deal targeting fossil fuels. That event, dubbed COP21, will mark the 21st anniversary of the Conference of the Parties — ironically a few short years older than the global warming hiatus that alarmists have swept under the rug.
The UN assembly preceded what is expected to be a major announcement next month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Should current trends continue, that announcement will effectively crank up the alarm dial right when ecofascists need it most. What is this big news, you ask? Pending the outcome of December’s temperature anomaly, alarmists are drooling over the likelihood of 2014 going down as the world’s “hottest” year yet, providing a nice garnish to policymakers’ narrative going into next year’s symposium.
According to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, “The first 11 months of 2014 was the warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature of 1.22°F (0.68°C) above the 20th century average of 57.0°F (13.9°C), surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.02°F (0.01°C). The margin of error is ±0.18°F (0.10°C). 2014 is currently on track to be the warmest year on record if the December global temperature is at least 0.76°F (0.42°C) above its 20th century average.”
Aside from the obvious disclaimer — the sample size is puny given our relatively brief history of record keeping — there are two important questions that arise. First, is NOAA’s assertion correct? Second, if so, doesn’t that stand in stark contrast to some of the other claims floating around the conservative world?
To answer the first question, we must first determine what methods NOAA uses to compile data. The agency uses two tools: The Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN-Monthly), defined as a “data base [that] contains historical temperature, precipitation, and pressure data for thousands of land stations worldwide,” and The Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature (ERSST), “a global monthly sea surface temperature analysis derived from the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Dataset with missing data filled in by statistical methods.”
Simply stated, the government’s standard heavily relies on land-based instruments that are vulnerable to discrepancies, the most axiomatic of which is the heat island effect among metroplexes. Consequently, those measurements are skewed. And even if they weren’t, NOAA’s report cannot be considered complete. Case in point: The year-to-date temperature departure graph included in the research depicts globs of red ink (heat) intermingled with considerably less blue (cold), but there’s another color that takes up a lot of real estate — gray — which represents the areas that did not have data and were therefore excluded. That would include all of Antarctica and a large portion of the North Pole.
Apparently, publishing a report that omits data from the coldest places on earth — and, importantly, areas where ice is rapidly expanding and rebounding — doesn’t warrant a giant asterisk.
Back to the original question, determining if NOAA is right depends on how you construe data — or, in this case, refuse to consider it. And obfuscating your findings is generally not a good way to build trust. Moreover, this malfeasance extends to the manipulation of pre-satellite records to fit the narrative. WeatherBell Analytics meteorologist Joe Bastardi wrote in an email to The Patriot Post, “The current methods [used by NOAA] involve ‘normalizing’ temperatures in the pre-satellite era, in many cases cooling previous warm periods, making today look warmer.”
And here we thought science was “settled.”
The government does not use one method considered superior by many, and it tells a different story. Remote System Satellite (RSS) measurements reveal that this year doesn’t even rank among the top five warmest. The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch says, “2014 is nowhere near the warmest year on record, so far only ranking as the seventh warmest on record.”
That’s important because WeatherBell’s Bastardi considers satellite measurements the most objective way to accurately record global temperatures. Added Bastardi: “[W]hat we can know is what we see today — and that is the leveling off and eventual downturn in global temperatures as measured objectively. This eliminates any of the ‘fox guarding the henhouse’ arguments, as many people on my side of the argument believe is going on here.”
As for the global warming pause, that was also discovered via RSS. No wonder policymakers discard it too — objectivity has no place among ideologically driven political leaders. Is it really any wonder what the United Nations would have to say about RSS measurements if its findings happened to fit the narrative?
During the Lima Climate Change Conference, Bolivian President Evo Morales delivered an accurate description of the UN’s core motivating philosophy. “The deep causes of global warming,” he complained, “are not being dealt with here. The origin of global warming lies in capitalism. If we could end capitalism then we would have a solution.” His honesty is somewhat refreshing, if disconcerting all the same.
This war that’s being orchestrated by alarmists is not against fossil-fuel-emitting power plants, the greenhouse gas effect or rising sea levels; it’s against the free-market enterprise that springs from the foundation of Liberty. The ones who declare the debate over because Science™ says so are the same ones trashing other reputable scientific findings for their own political gain. Remember that in January when they claim, falsely, that 2014 was “the hottest year ever.”
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Victor Davis Hanson: Are Drone Strikes More Defensible Than Torture?
- R. Emmett Tyrrell: Humbug Narratives
- Jim DeMint: Gruber Reflects the Undemocratic Left
- Cal Thomas: The Rules of War Need Updating
- Larry Elder: ‘Racial’ Cop Stories That Didn’t Make the Cut
OPINION IN BRIEF
Economist Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992): “When it becomes dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself.”
Historian Victor Davis Hanson: “Drones blow up everybody nearby. Waterboarding does not affect other nearby prisoners who are not being interrogated. If the wrong suspect is waterboarded, he can be exempt from further such interrogation. If the wrong target is blown up, he has no second chance. Did saving American lives distinguish between the two practices? We do not know. But the suspects incinerated by drones never had any opportunity to be interrogated. Their knowledge of terrorist networks went up in smoke with them. However, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the waterboarded mastermind of 9/11, may have offered information about several supposed copy-cat operations to follow. Was President George W. Bush more nonchalant about enhanced interrogation techniques than was President Obama about drone killings? Not really. The charge against Bush is one of laxity. Supposedly, CIA interrogators freelanced without proper executive-branch supervision. In contrast, Obama is said to go over the drone hit list himself.”
Columnist R. Emmett Tyrrell: “Will Rogers, the late American humorist and corn-pone philosopher, once said, ‘All I know is what I read in the papers.’ That statement earned him a place in Bartletts’s Familiar Quotations. Were he alive today it would most likely be inviting widespread derision. Today’s newspapers abound with bogus stories. … The story that originated in Italy’s Corriere della Sera and quickly traveled around the world claimed that Pope Francis, while attempting to console a grieving young boy who had lost his pet, asserted that heaven is open to pets. … Pope Francis never made the idiotic statement and there was no grief-stricken boy. The news story was based on a misreading of the pope’s general audience at the Vatican Nov. 26. Yet the Reverend Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, did have a helpful bit of information for journalists. He said, ‘There is a fundamental rule in journalism. That is double-checking, and in this case it was not done.’ Nor was it done at New York magazine or at Rolling Stone, and, apparently, it will not be done at the University of Virginia’s campus newspaper. Thus we can anticipate more amusements from American journalists in the years to come.”
Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Obama recently said that his day is all about politics, so in the mornings he likes to watch ESPN. So if you get the feeling he’s repeating himself every half hour, that’s where he learned it from.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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A UN Timetable For Israel’s Destruction
The Obama administration is shamelessly outsourcing the United States’ historic leadership in facilitating negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel of a workable, secure two-state solution to the United Nations and European governments …………. Click here for full story
Death Penalty For Smuggling Bibles?
Unconfirmed reports of a new decree imposing the death penalty on anyone caught smuggling Bibles into Saudi Arabia has many Christian ministries and support groups on edge ……… Click here for full story
Hanukkah’s Winning Strategy For End-Time Believers
The story of Hanukkah is a story of defiance. Defiance by a people refusing to conform under immense pressure from a popular culture that had become hostile to the God of the Bible………. Click here for full story
Bank Of Montreal Now Requiring Business Partners To Conform To Its Pro-Gay ‘Diversity’ Standards
The Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth largest bank, has begun a process of requiring the businesses with which it works to conform to its pro-homosexual “diversity” standards………. Click here for full story
Why Muslims Are Converting To Christ In The Face Of ISIS Atrocities
Atrocities by the Islamic State (ISIS) are softening the hearts of Muslims to Christianity, and evangelistic techniques and technologies are proving effective, but locally-based missionaries say the main reason for the spike in conversions in the Middle East is simply that former Muslims are finding God is real ……… Click here for full story
Financial Market Manipulation Is The New Trend: Can It Continue?
A dangerous new trend is the successful manipulation of the financial markets by the Federal Reserve, other central banks, private banks, and the US Treasury. The Federal Reserve reduced real interest rates on US government debt obligations first to zero and then pushed real interest rates into negative territory. Today the government charges you for the privilege of purchasing its bonds. People pay to park their money in Treasury debt obligations, because they do not trust the banks and they know that the government can print the money to pay off the bonds. Today Treasury bond investors pay a fee in order to guarantee that they will receive the nominal face value (minus the fee) of their investment in government debt instruments. The fee is paid in a premium, which raises the cost of the debt instrument above its face value and is paid again in accepting a negative rate of return, as the interest rate is less than the inflation rate.
Alphabetical list of all active volcanoes in the world
Abu (Honshu, Japan) shield volcano, 641 m / 2,103 ft Acamarachi (Northern Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, South America) stratovolcano, 6046 m / 19,836 ft Acatenango (Guatemala) Stratovolcano, 3976 m / 13,044 ft Continued:
America under dictatorship
Just as Fidel Castro became Cuba’s dictator when he and his guerrillas triumphantly entered Havana on January 7, 1959, President Barack Obama became America’s dictator on Dec. 17, 2014. Swaggering into Havana dressed in army fatigues with his signature cigar, Castro claimed the island as his own. Like a thief making off with a nation in the middle of the night, Obama waiting until Congress was out of town, opened America to a Communist totalitarian state.
Could This Become Our Nightmare?
No more excuses! Everyone in this country should be fully awake now. The horrendous massacre of innocent students in Peshawar, Pakistan is to be condemned by every human being on the planet. But lest we think that this is a nightmare in some far-off land, we need to quit fooling ourselves and pretending that we are somehow exempt from such atrocities.
Jeb Bush in 2016: The good, the bad and the ugly
It’s finally official.
Jeb Bush announced Tuesday morning that he has set up an exploratory committee to pursue running for president. Virtually every person who takes this step ultimately throws his or her hat in the ring. It’s only a matter of time.
How should we assess Jeb Bush’s candidacy?
Franklin Graham: America Is Lifting Up Sin; ‘It’s Like Little Children Shaking Their Fist at Almighty God’
The Rev. Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritans Purse, says the government’s attacks against Christianity and bans on traditional Christmas themes while society glorifies sin is “like little children shaking their fist at Almighty God.”
“What’s happening is we’re glorifying sin, we’re lifting up sin. And it’s like little children shaking their fist at Almighty God,” Graham told Fox News host Megyn Kelly during a Wednesday segment of “The Kelly File.”
Ken Ham: ‘Every Religious Organization Should Be Worried’
Ken Ham, the founder and president of the Kentucky-based ministry Answers in Genesis (AIG), is expressing concern over new demands that the state is requiring of its proposed Ark Encounter, namely its requirement that the ministry not engage in “religious preference” in its hiring—meaning that it can’t refuse applicants simply because they are non-Christians.
World set to end year in brittle economic state
The global economy is ending the year in a fragile state with factory activity shrinking in China, euro zone business growth remaining weak, and emerging market giant Russia in a spiraling currency crisis.
Obama’s Bailout for Communist Dictators
Why Americans will suffer for Obama’s dirty deal with Castro.
The Castro regime is on its last legs. Its sponsors in Moscow and Caracas are going bankrupt due to failing energy prices. The last hope of the Butcher of Havana was a bailout from Washington D.C.
And that’s exactly what Obama gave him.
Obama has protected the Castros from regime change as if Communist dictators are an endangered species.
GOP legend quits Congress with message for America
“I’m not done. I’m just going to change arenas now. Instead of holding elective office, now I’ll be fighting from the outside,” a jubilant Bachmann recently told WND in a wide-ranging interview looking back on her storied career and eight years in Congress, where she left an impression like few others before her.
Bachmann plans to continue her mission to make America a better place from outside the beltway by writing, speaking across the country at different venues, appearing on media and associating with various groups.
Heavy snow kills 5, disrupts travel in Japan
At least five people have died in heavy snow that has blanketed swathes of Japan, reports said on Thursday, with more than two metres (6ft 7ins) lying in some places and more forecast. Two elderly women were killed on the northernmost island of Hokkaido, Kyodo News reported, with one hit by a snow-plough and another buried when a warehouse collapsed under the weight of fallen snow. Two men, meanwhile, died in traffic accidents on snow-bound roads, one in Hokkaido and the other in Hiroshima further south, police said. More
Top US Diplomat Warns Russia: Don’t Put Nukes in Crimea
A senior State Department official warned Russia on Wednesday against deploying nuclear weapons in Crimea, and said the United States and its allies would respond if Moscow opted to do so. Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said such a move by Russia would be “extremely dangerous,” the Washington Free Beacon reported. Nuland, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute, did not explain what form the U.S. response might take. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that “Russia has every reason to dispose of its nuclear arsenal” on the Crimean Peninsula, which it annexed in March. In late February and early March, heavily armed pro-Moscow separatists occupied Crimea, which had been part of Ukraine since the 1950s. In mid-March, the separatists staged a referendum in which almost 97 percent of Crimea’s residents purportedly voted to become part of Russia. Many international observers have condemned the vote as illegitimate. More
Russia Reviving it’s Nuclear Arsenal in the midst of Recession and Sanctions
The Russian economy may come to “a sudden stop” and a bank run “could be in the cards,” according to an analyst at Moscow brokerage UralSib Capital. “A full-blown currency and financial-crisis scenario seems to be unfolding in Russia in what was supposed to a quiet week as we head into the holiday season,” Slava Smolyaninov, deputy head of research, wrote in an e-mailed report today. “There is a risk that the economy will come to a sudden stop, along with the banks and the overall financial system. Hence, we may have underestimated the level of financial risk in the event of a full-fledged panic. A bank run could be in the cards.” More
As Rouble Collapses Russia Touts War-Readiness with Secret Weapons – Nuclear Missile Trains & Sub-Launched Robots, Drones- As if unmindful of its financial woes that pile up by the day – the falling rouble, the plunging oil prices and the economic sanctions from the West – Russia has decided to uncloak a number of the secret weapons that likely will see action in case of a nuclear showdown with the United States. Economists are wondering what Russian President Vladimir Putin will prioritise amidst the crises that he has to deal with: Guns or butter? It is unclear if any of the two occupies the top spot on Putin’s to-do list but projecting muscle is definitely not taking the back seat as far as the Kremlin top honcho is concerned. More
Russia is reviving its nuclear missile trains from the Soviet Era, receiving the latest developments in the missile industry. Enhancement will make the nuclear trains faster and its missile capabilities far ranging as compared to its predecessor during the Cold War. With its modernisation, the nuclear railway system will be serving Russia up until 2040 at the very least, Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force Colonel-General Sergey Karakayev announce on Dec 17. More
Is 2015 Going to Be the Year of the Robot?
The advent of robotic technology in Asia further showcases how programmatic may be taking over the digital marketing ecosystem. Will 2015 be the year of the robot? This month Nestlé will deploy its newly developed humanoid robot, named Pepper, across 20 home appliance stores in Japan in an effort to enhance brand engagement with customers and to help sell its signature coffee machines in a continually saturated market. More
Church ministers to sign covenant against gay ordination
Evangelicals opposed to gay ordination are forming a protest movement against greater acceptance of homosexual and lesbian ministers in the Church of Scotland. The group, to be launched in Glasgow today and to be called the Covenant Fellowship, will push for a traditionalist stance from within the Kirk, rather than leaving the main body of the Church. It comes as the Kirk’s presbyteries this week returned a majority backing in the penultimate stage of acceptance of gay ordination, with local churches expected to be able to opt to appoint a gay minister in a same sex relationship. More
Senior Russian Diplomat Accuses US of Efforts to Cripple Russian Economy
Moscow has no doubts about Washington’s involvement in deliberate and targeted efforts to create a difficult situation in the Russian economy, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday. “We have pointed out on numerous occasions that US officials have commented with poorly hidden satisfaction on negative trends in various segments of the Russian market lately, including the currency market,” Ryabkov told reporters in Geneva. More
Jordan presents draft of resolution on Palestinian state to UN
Jordan formally submitted to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday a draft resolution calling for peace between Israel and the Palestinians within one year and an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank by the end of 2017. The Palestinian-drafted resolution was formally submitted to the 15-member council, which means it could be put to a vote as soon as 24 hours later, but it does not guarantee it will happen. Some drafts formally submitted have never been voted. More
Radar ‘blimps’ to monitor Washington-area skies
The first of two radar-detecting blimps is slated to rise up over Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland on Friday as part of a three-year exercise testing the integration of an Army air surveillance system with the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The 80-yard long, radar-fitted surveillance balloons, floated to an altitude of up to 10,000 feet, are intended to pinpoint beyond-the-horizon targets such as incoming enemy missiles, aircraft or drones. A second balloon, technically aerostats because they’re tethered and do not float or maneuver independently in the sky, is expected to go up by the end of January. More
Active sunspot AR2242 erupted on Dec. 17th, producing an M9-class solar flare.
Active sunspot AR2242 erupted on Dec. 17th, producing an M9-class solar flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash: The explosion caused a brief HF radio blackout on the daylitt side of Earth. The event was minor, however, and would have been noticed by only a small number of mariners and ham radio operators. Of greater interest is the CME. SOHO coronagraphs have detected a bright and massive cloud of plasma emerging from the blast site: More
Obama Signs Ukraine Freedom Support Act, Imposes More Sanctions
US President Barack Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, the State Department’s spokesperson said. “He signed it yesterday,” Jen Psaki, the State Department’s spokesperson said Wednesday at a press briefing, when asked about the sanctions bill that president Obama is about the sign. A December 17 update to the White House website shows the legislation is still pending Obama’s signature. Despite his opposition to the bill, Obama said he intended to sign the Ukraine Freedom and Support Act after the measure easily passed the US House of Representatives and Senate. More
Muslims Must Save Islam from Islamists :: Fatah in Toronto Sun
by Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun
December 16, 2014
Video – Real Discernment Glory Clouds at IHOP
Responding to the LGBT Movement’s Southern Strategy
If the Human Rights Campaign can make it there, they can make it anywhere — but it’s not New York.
Headlines of Interest
Exodus: According to Ridley Scott
by Nate Sala
The late Roger Ebert once described Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ as a movie that “depends upon theological considerations.” In other words, the movie stands or falls on theological grounds. His astute observation is one I believe holds for all biblical stories interpreted for the silver screen.
I think the importance of weighing these theological considerations can be shown by considering Gibson’s Passion as well as Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. In both instances the directors (as do many) reinterpreted or embellished parts of the story to represent their take on biblical events; but one did so carefully and the other did not.
Sola Sisters: God Came Near
Christmas was always my guilty pleasure every year as a New Ager. My wiccan-pagan-hindu friends would give me a hard time for putting up a tree and decorating, and not having the “strength of my convictions.” But I just always loved the gaiety of the season: the parties, the food, the sparkle, the fun, the decorating. And it seemed so hopeful at heart, this idea that God could have actually come into the world. Impossible, of course, but hopeful.
Once I was born again, of course, Christmas became the most wondrous time of year to me because it was TRUE……God did step into humanity, piercing the veil between the natural and the supernatural, but even more than that, He did it so that wretched men and women could be reconciled to a high and holy God. Amazing!
Soli Deo Gloria.
To Christmas or Not To Christmas…..That Is the Question (Sola Sisters)
Christmas and Christian Liberty (Sola Sisters)
The Glory of Jesus (Sola Sisters)
Christmas Prophecies Fulfilled (Grace To You)
How Christmas Solves The Prophetic Puzzle (Grace To You)
Should Christians Have Christmas Trees? (Grace To You)
The Attack on Christmas (Answers in Genesis)
4 Part Series by Dr. Richard P. Bucher
It Must Be Good
Rick Warren and his kind have built their churches audiences on a pragmatic philosophy that says whatever draws the biggest crowd is a good and godly method. This pragmatism goes back farther than the modern megachurch movement.
The role model for contemporary pastors is not the prophet or the shepherd—it is the corporate executive, the politician, or worst of all, the talk-show host. The contemporary church is preoccupied with audience ratings, popularity polls, corporate image, statistical growth, financial profit, opinion surveys, demographic charts, census figures, fashion trends, celebrity status, top-ten lists, and other pragmatic issues. Gone is the church’s passion for purity and truth. No one seems to care, as long as the response is enthusiastic.
Tozer noticed that pragmatism had crept into the church of his day, too. He wrote, “I say without hesitation that a part, a very large part, of the activities carried on today in evangelical circles are not only influenced by pragmatism but almost completely controlled by it.” Tozer described the danger posed to the church by even so-called “consecrated” pragmatism:
The pragmatic philosophy . . . asks no embarrassing questions about the wisdom of what we are doing or even about the morality of it. It accepts our chosen ends as right and good and casts about for efficient means and ways to get them accomplished. When it discovers something that works it soon finds a text to justify it, “consecrates” it to the Lord and plunges ahead. Next a magazine article is written about it, then a book, and finally the inventor is granted an honorary degree. After that any question about the scripturalness of things or even the moral validity of them is completely swept away. You cannot argue with success. The method works; ergo, it must be good.
—John MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel (Crossway, 2010), 91.
‘Twas the Night Before the Last Christmas!
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