A materialistic world will not be won to Christ by a materialistic church. —David Platt
Jan. 13, 2015
The Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Central Command were compromised with messages supporting Islamic State, in a hacking attack the Pentagon dismissed as a prank.
The hostility toward New York Mayor de Blasio that led police officers to stop enforcing laws on minor crimes and traffic violations will continue even after arrests and summonses start to climb.
Treasury 10-year yields matched the lowest in 20 months as a slump in commodities prices damped the outlook for inflation before today’s $21 billion debt sale.
More U.S. small companies said they plan to raise wages in coming months after a net 25 percent recently boosted worker compensation.
OPEC nations can withstand a drop in crude prices to the lowest in more than five years, while shale drillers will probably be the first to curb production amid the collapse.
Japan will increase defense spending for a third straight year as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to counter China’s claims to remote islands in the East China Sea.
Venezuela’s credit rating was lowered two levels to Caa3 by Moody’s Investors Service to nine levels below investment grade as a plunge in oil prices decimates the country’s finances.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will get a legal readout tomorrow on a predecessor to the quantitative easing plan that he’s set to reveal later this month.
Young girls are being increasingly coerced into suicide attacks in the predominately Muslim north as Boko Haram evolves tactics in its six-year campaign to bring Islamist rule to Africa’s largest economy. In the past week, a girl as young as 10 set off explosives at a market in the northeastern city of Maiduguri killing at least 20. Two others detonated bombs near a mobile-phone market in the town of Potiskum, killing at least seven and injuring 48 people.
AP Top Stories
The director of the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention said on Tuesday he was “confident” that the Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa can be brought under control but that “we are by no means out of the woods.”
Sue Ann Arnall, the ex-wife of Oklahoma oil magnate Harold Hamm, vowed on Monday to press on with an appeal of her divorce case, even after she cashed a $975 million check from him.
Democrats appear to have little recourse against a House of Representatives rule change that could prompt a steep cut to Social Security disability benefits next year, congressional aides said.
Egypt’s state sponsored Islamic authority denounced as a provocation the planned publication of another cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in the new issue of French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
One woman has died and at least two were critically injured after smoke filled a subway car in downtown Washington on Monday afternoon, the general manager of the city’s Metro system said. About 60 people were taken to hospitals for examination.
A federal judge in California is weighing the constitutionality of a 45-year-old act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug along with LSD, cocaine and heroin.
Illinois’ new governor, Bruce Rauner, took his first shot on Monday at addressing the state’s crippling financial crisis, saying he will order all state agencies to freeze non-essential spending.
A Beverly Hills rare coin dealer purchased a 1792 American penny for nearly $2.6 million, the most ever paid for a one-cent piece at auction.
Two Albuquerque police officers were charged with murder Monday in the shooting death of a knife-wielding homeless man that led to violent protests and brought new scrutiny to the police department amid a federal investigation.
A federal judge in South Dakota has ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional, but the decision doesn’t mean gay couples can immediately wed.
Funeral ceremonies for seven of those killed in last week’s terror attacks in Paris were held in the French capital and Jerusalem.
A White House spokesman said the US should have sent “someone with a higher profile” to Sunday’s unity rally in Paris, following criticism from US media.
Relatives of the 43 Mexican students who went missing on 26 September in Guerrero state clashed with police as they tried to enter an army base.
The US said it has verified the release of 53 political prisoners in Cuba, agreed as part of a historic deal to restore diplomatic relations.
A court in Egypt overturned former President Hosni Mubarak’s embezzlement conviction and ordered a retrial, paving the way for his release.
There is outrage in India after a minister in Goa said the state government is planning to set up centers to “cure” homosexuals and make them “normal”.
The EU gives states more decision-making powers on genetically modified (GM) crops, which are highly restricted in Europe.
China has banned all imports of U.S. poultry, poultry products and eggs amid recent reports of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza found in the Pacific Northwest.
The issuance to students of IDs that connect them to their test scores is critical to the overall success of the federal government’s Common Core educational program, according to a study.
Algeria’s intelligence services passed information to several European countries indicating there are at least 20 sleeper cells with a combined total of 120 to 180 jihadists ready to act in France, Germany and Belgium.
An Egyptian court has sentenced a student to three years in jail for announcing on Facebook that he is an atheist and for insulting Islam.
January 13, 2015
“Power in any form … when directed only by human wisdom and benevolence is dangerous.” –John Adams, An Attempt to Land a Bishop in America, 1769
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
What, the president spending the day watching football or John Kerry trying to proselytize climate skeptics in India while other world leaders showed their support for terrorist-hit France was expected to go over well with constituents? “In a rare admission, the White House [Monday] said it made a mistake in not sending a higher-level official to represent the U.S. at the unity rally in Paris on Sunday, in the wake of last week’s terror attacks,” reports ABC News. Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there.” He also explained the security issues that arise with a presidential visit, but the Secret Service says they weren’t even asked about it — not to mention other world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (a Jew), seemed to manage just fine. Memo to the White House: Leading from behind is not leading. The fact it took an uproar to get that through Obama’s thick skull is quite telling. More…
It wasn’t enough for State Secretary John Kerry to miss a gathering of world leaders in Paris, France, over the weekend following last week’s jihadi attacks. Instead, Kerry wasted his breath spewing more nonsense on a phenomena that demands far less attention. “I am convinced … there is one enormous cloud hanging over all of us which requires responsibility from leaders,” Kerry bemoaned during a speech in Gujarat, India. And what is that cloud? Not Islamic terrorism, according to Kerry: “Global climate change is already violently affecting communities not just across India but around the world. It is disrupting commerce, development and economic growth. It’s costing farmers crops. It’s costing insurance companies unbelievable payouts. It’s raising the cost of doing business, and believe me, if it continues down the current trend-line, we will see climate refugees fighting each other for water and seeking food and new opportunity.” Let’s assume for argument’s sake climate change demands immediate attention. Muslim extremists are interested only in eradicating “infidels,” and frankly don’t care if the globe is warming or cooling. The fight for Liberty’s very existence apparently doesn’t warrant more concern from apologists like Kerry and his ilk. More…
A group by the name of CyberCaliphate, a hacking group waging cyber jihad against the West and says it’s aligned with ISIL, claimed responsibility for taking control of the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) Monday. For the 40 minutes they had control, CyberCaliphate posted the flag of ISIL, threatened U.S. soldiers and posted non-classified documents containing the names and addresses of senior military leaders. “CENTCOM’s operation military networks were not compromised and there was no operational impact to U.S. Central Command,” the military said in a statement. “CENTCOM will restore service to its Twitter and YouTube accounts as quickly as possible. We are viewing this purely as a case of cybervandalism.” Compared to hacking military servers, gaining control of a social media account is child’s play. But this hack is not just a prank. The lifeblood of ISIL’s social media strategy is spectacle. While this isn’t as shocking as a beheading, this is a victory for ISIL in the propaganda war. More…
The fraternity accused of gang rape in the grossly irresponsible fable Rolling Stone published in December has been cleared by the Charlottesville Police Department of wrongdoing and has been reinstated by the University of Virginia. It seems the fraternity will do anything to get out of the spotlight. In a statement released by the university, the president of UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi chapter, Stephen Scipione, said the fraternity is working with the university to help enact new measures to prevent what never happened at the fraternity to begin with. “In today’s 24-hour news cycle, we must guard against a rush to judgment as we often don’t have all of the facts in front of us,” he said, adding, “We believe that in the midst of this ordeal, there is an opportunity to move forward with important safety improvements. This has prompted us to take a closer look at ourselves and what role organizations like ours may play in this problem.” There you have it. A group of young men were nationally labeled as rapists, but as the police proved their innocence the leftist university president sees the group as champions for her new anti-rape rules. So where’s her apology? More…
Forget taxation without representation — for years, some residents of the District of Columbia have fought for the basic right to keep and bear arms. Former Mayor Vincent Gray long stonewalled against that basic right. Now, just as the courts have ordered the District to allow its citizens access to handguns, the new mayor has vowed to be as bad as or even worse than her predecessor. In her first week as mayor, Muriel Bower told a gathering at a District church, “You have a mayor who hates guns. If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have any handguns in the District of Columbia. I swear to protect the Constitution and what the courts say, but I will do it in the most restrictive way as possible.” According to The Washington Post, the mayor has bungled the city’s response to a snowstorm and went back on her word that DC would look to host the 2024 Olympics. The Second Amendment, however, is far more consequential. More…
If you thought Democrats were going to change their class warfare strategy after being resoundingly rejected at the polls in November, think again. On Monday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, announced a proposal to address what leftists believe is the root cause of America’s economic malaise — income inequality.
The proposal, billed by The Washington Post as a “stark shift in messaging,” is an attempt to redistribute wealth from the rich to the middle class. Just how this represents a shift from previous leftist attempts to rewrite the laws of economics is unclear, but the details sound familiar enough.
The first step of Van Hollen’s proposal is a paycheck bonus tax credit worth $1,000 to individuals earning less than $100,000 and worth $2,000 for couples earning less than $200,000. This is a significant jump from Barack Obama’s “Make Work Pay” tax credit from the 2009 stimulus, which paid out $400 per worker.
Other elements of the proposal include raising the child care tax credit from $3,000 per person to $8,000, or $16,000 per couple. Workers who put away at least $500 per year toward retirement or other savings would receive an additional $250 saver’s bonus. There are also provisions to reduce marriage penalties for the working poor.
Democrats estimate these tax credits will “cost” the government more than $1 trillion over a decade, and, since they can never merely cut taxes for its own sake, Van Hollen plans to “pay for it” through a series of new fees and regulations aimed at the so-called one-percenters. Things like a new fee on high-dollar financial transactions, a 0.1% fee on stock trades and an end to a series of tax incentives on investments are just the beginning. Van Hollen’s plan would give the government the power to force employers to increase pay by prohibiting deductions for companies that offer executive performance benefits greater than $1 million. Companies would only be able to claim the deduction if workers’ wages were increased by 4%, which is estimated to be the rate of inflation and productivity growth.
Voters didn’t buy Democrats’ income inequality rhetoric in 2014, preferring to see economic growth rather than wage parity. And with a Republican-controlled Congress, this plan stands virtually zero chance of passing. So why bother?
Prepping for 2016, that’s why.
Democrats are hoping that this latest attempt to reframe income inequality as hindering economic growth will lay the groundwork for a theme sure to be central to Hillary Clinton’s (or Elizabeth Warren’s) presidential campaign: economic “fairness.” Class warfare is what Democrats know best, and since their fortunes in many other policy areas are falling they will likely focus their energies here.
“This is a plan to help tackle the challenge of our times,” Van Hollen told reporters Monday. “We want a growing economy that works for all Americans, not just the wealthy few.”
One problem is the assumption that economic growth is driven by consumer spending rather than investment. Respected economists say this is a backwards view. Investment is the seed of long-term growth. Capital invested in businesses leads to more production, which leads to hiring, which leads to wage growth, and then comes consumer spending.
James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute explains leftists’ unified theory of our economic state of affairs: “To be ‘pro-growth’ in their view doesn’t mean to raise America’s growth potential through investment and ideas — that might require, for instance, lowering the business tax burden — but instead through redistribution and spending.”
Seeing the world as they do, Democrats always double down on an incorrect and disproven view of economics. Instead, they will try to convince voters that they have a solution, dividing along class lines as they go.
The community organizer in chief has a plan to offer “free” community college. It’s a terrible idea and one that, as with every other federal program, isn’t free at all.
While the idea of “free” higher education may sound appealing to high school graduates, taxpayers will be on the hook for an almost surely underestimated $60 billion over 10 years. According to The Hill, “[T]he federal government would pay three quarters of tuition for students enrolled at least half-time who maintain a 2.5 GPA. States would be required to chip in the remainder of the cost — an additional $20 billion over the next 10 years. Full-time students would save an average of $3,800 per year.”
Barack Obama, while speaking lecturing at a community college in Knoxville, Tennessee — which is funded by the state’s lottery — tried to frame the issue as being fundamentally American and urged both parties to come together. He quipped, “If a state with Republican leadership is doing this, and a city with Democratic leadership is doing it, how about we all do it?” A better question is that if a state or a city is doing this, and it’s working (a debatable assertion), then why does this president want to ruin it by nationalizing it?
Has the former constitutional professor never heard of federalism?
According to The Wall Street Journal, Obama’s latest entitlement proposal “comes under the pretext of improving America’s workforce.” Given the federal government’s horrible track record of involvement in K-12 education, will two more years of free taxpayer-funded education really improve the workforce? And why not free four-year degrees from prestigious universities? Moreover, how would the requirement for a minimum grade point average of 2.5 lead to an improved workforce? Last we checked, that GPA wasn’t exactly stellar. Perhaps he means to supply more workers, but in his stagnant economy jobs still aren’t plentiful.
The Obama proposal will require community colleges to meet certain standards. The Journal notes, “To be eligible, community colleges would have to offer academic credits that transfer to four-year colleges or occupational programs that produce high graduation rates and degrees in demand by employers.” Further, colleges will also be required to “adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes,” such as paying for books and transit costs.
On the surface, the eligibility requirements for both student and school may look like sound policy. But what happens if a student or community college becomes ineligible? As National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke asserts, “Does anybody believe for a single second that the federal government would kick anybody off of this program?”
Given that the federal government in general has a dismal record of enforcing rules, and with this president specifically refusing to uphold existing laws (immigration, Defense of Marriage Act, etc.) or changing laws when he sees fit (ObamaCare, etc.), are we to believe that this proposal will be any different? Besides, what heartless and uncaring soul would dare deny anyone the opportunity to go to college?
Rest assured this idea of “free” community college will be a partisan issue as Obama and his educrats paint the GOP as being the party of oppression. But Obama’s proposal runs contrary to the principles of Liberty.
He firmly believes that taxing some Americans to redistribute that wealth to other Americans will benefit the entire nation. And he argues that giving everyone the equal opportunity to go to community college will result in an equal outcome. All for an issue on which the Constitution grants no authority to the federal government.
When higher education is paid for by the individual, or help from family, there is an inherent value placed on getting that education. Yes, it can be expensive. But with the numerous avenues for financial aid, it is very feasible for most Americans who want to go to college to do so.
This proposal needs to be left in the hands of each sovereign state, not dictated by an overreaching federal government. No doubt it’s just part of Obama’s agenda to continue fundamentally transforming the nation, and Congress would be wise to not even consider it.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Dennis Prager: Islam Gets Special Treatment
- Arnold Ahlert: A Leftist-Islamic Alliance
- Stephen Moore: Why Washington Politicians Want to Hike the Gas Tax
- Thomas Sowell: New Year’s Irresolution
- Ed Feulner: Get America on Track With Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None
OPINION IN BRIEF
Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906): “One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands in the midst of the struggle and says, ‘I have it,’ merely shows by doing so that he has just lost it.”
Columnist Dennis Prager: “Why do Western media … always deferentially refer to Muhammad as ‘the Prophet Muhammad’ in news articles and opinion pieces? When Jesus is mentioned, the media never refer to him as ‘Christ, the Lord’ or as ‘the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ Just ‘Jesus.’ In fact, ‘A.D.’ (‘anno Domini’ — ‘year of our Lord’) has been completely dropped by the very academics and media who always write ‘The Prophet Muhammad.’ … Before 9/11, the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’ was translated as ‘Allah is great’ (or ‘the greatest’). Since 9/11, it has been translated as ‘God is great.’ This was deliberate. In 2004, the influential Associated Press Stylebook announced: ‘A new entry has been added to the AP Stylebook: Allah. The Muslim name for God. The word God should be used.’ … Whatever theological side one takes, the fact remains that after 9/11 Allah became ‘God’ in the Western world — in order to essentially show how similar Islam is to Judaism and Christianity. … Here’s the ultimate irony. These PC professors and news media who treat Islam so much better than any other religion are literally Islamophobic. They truly fear Islam.”
Economist Stephen Moore: “Every penny increase in the gas tax will take about $1 billion out of the wallets of consumers. So a 10-cent or 20-cent gas tax will take about $10 billion to $20 billion from consumers. … [Tenn. Senator Bob] Corker is right that America needs more roads and needs to fix the ones we have to reduce congestion and potholes. But this isn’t because the 18.4-cents-a-gallon gas tax raises too little money — $34 billion a year should be plenty and infrastructure spending is near an all-time high. The ‘stealing’ that is going on is from the trust fund. Congress siphons tax dollars away from roads to worthless mass transit systems with tiny ridership. Why should motorists see their gas tax dollars go to transit projects they don’t use? If Washington would simply devote all gas tax dollars to roads, we wouldn’t need a tax hike. … This won’t create jobs, it will destroy them in the oil patches in America. But maybe that’s the point. Even as the politicians in Washington crow about lower gas prices, they continue to do all they can to keep them high. Remember that next time you pull up to the pump.”
Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “The Muslim world is full of inexcusable violence, but the contention is we’re the unlucky ones who get the violence that has logic to it. 12 people get gunned down over there, that’s just mindless violence. If it’s over here, then suddenly there’s logic to it.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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WASHINGTON TIMES — A promotional video for the upcoming NBC show “Allegiance” uses the Pledge of Allegiance but omitted one key word: “God.” “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands. One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” the promotional spot says…. (more)
|Chinese restaurant promises free food to the beautiful.
Posted: 13 Jan 2015 10:11 AM PST
A restaurant in central China is offering free meals to its most attractive clients. The Jeju Island restaurant, a Korean eatery in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, says the 50 most handsome people to arrive at its gates each day will be spared paying their bills. Those hoping for a free lunch have their looks evaluated by a panel of local plastic surgeons whose tummy-tucking talents the restaurant is attempting to promote. More
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|Robots to Greet Customers at Japanese Bank.Posted: 13 Jan 2015 10:06 AM PST
Customers at some branches of Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ in Tokyo will soon be greeted by a robot, in what the bank says will be a first for any major financial institution in the world. The 58-centimeter robots, named NAO, can answer most basic customer-service questions in 19 languages, as well as analyze customers’ facial expressions and behavior, the bank says. “We can ramp up communication with our customers by adding a tool like this,” said Kazunobu Takahara, a bank spokesman. The bank will start by placing the robots in one or two branches, likely in April, and then proceed according to customer feedback. Video of customers recorded by the robot’s forehead-mounted camera can also help the bank develop new financial services in the future, Mr. Takahara said. More
|Archbishops say Church faces ‘Urgent’ struggle to fill Pews.Posted: 13 Jan 2015 10:03 AM PST
The Church of England must face the “urgency of the challenge” of dwindling attendances, an ageing clergy and uncertain finances, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have said ahead of a meeting of the body’s leadership next month. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, also said the Church must raise its social media and digital presence if it is to grow. “The urgency of the challenge facing us is not in doubt. Attendance at Church of England services has declined at an average of one percent per annum over recent decades and, in addition, the age profile of our membership has become significantly older than that of the population,” they said in a joint statement. “Finances have been relatively stable, thanks to increased individual giving. This situation cannot, however, be expected to continue unless the decline in membership is reversed.” The Church of England owns thousands of old buildings, but with falling visitor numbers, the burden of their upkeep “weighs heavily”, Sentamu and Welby said. More
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|British expats flee USA Healthcare System.Posted: 13 Jan 2015 10:01 AM PST
Scottish-born David Gray, a creative director based in Brooklyn, was “doubled-up coughing in the snow” when he fell out of love with the US healthcare system. Gray, on his employer-provided health insurance, needed a US doctor for a checkup. A colleague recommended a doctor’s office housed in “a really grand building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Full floor, incredible views – it looked like a movie version of a New York doctor’s,” he says. “It was just about the friendliest, fanciest place I’d ever been.” A chatty, relaxed doctor and a glamorous receptionist greeted him on that visit. Though the office was devoted to plastic surgery – the shelves replete with cosmetics, glossy leaflets about Botox treatments and dermal fillers – they treated Gray. A year later, the reception he received was quite literally chilly. Gray, suffering from a chest infection, cold, exhausted and weak, headed out in a snowstorm and stumbled along to the same doctor’s office. More
|Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months.Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:56 AM PST
The number of beneficiaries on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—AKA food stamps–has topped 46,000,000 for 38th straight month, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture In October 2014, the latest month reported, there were 46,674,364 Americans on food stamps. Food stamp recipients have exceeded 46 million since September 2011. The 46,674,364 on food stamps in October was an increase of 214,434 from the 46,459,930 on food stamps in September. As of July, the national population was 318,857,056, the Census Bureau estimates. Thus, the 46,674,364 on food stamps equaled 14.6 percent of the population. The number of households on food stamps increased from 22,749,951 in September to 22,867,248 in October, an increase of 117,297. More
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|White House Pushes For New Internet RulesPosted: 13 Jan 2015 09:51 AM PST
The White House made a renewed push Tuesday for cybersecurity legislation, asking the new Congress to revive an initiative stalled over the past few years. The new proposal would allow increased sharing of information on cyber threats from the private sector with protection from liability. The measure also would criminalize the sale of stolen financial data, and would require companies to notify consumers about data breaches. The updated proposal “promotes better cybersecurity information sharing between the private sector and government, and it enhances collaboration and information sharing amongst the private sector,” a White House statement said. The plan also “would allow for the prosecution of the sale of botnets, would criminalize the overseas sale of stolen US financial information like credit card and bank account numbers, would expand federal law enforcement authority to deter the sale of spyware used to stalk or commit ID theft, and would give courts the authority to shut down botnets engaged in distributed denial of service attacks and other criminal activity,” the statement said. More
|Egypt’s Grand Mufti warns Charlie Hebdo against publishing new Mohammad caricaturePosted: 13 Jan 2015 07:19 AM PST
Egypt’s Grand Mufti warned the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Tuesday against publishing a new caricature of the Prophet Mohammad, saying it was a racist act that would incite hatred and upset Muslims around the world. Charlie Hebdo is due to publish a front page on Wednesday showing a caricature of the Prophet in its first edition since Islamist gunmen attacked the weekly’s offices in Paris last Wednesday, killing 12 people. “This edition will cause a new wave of hatred in French and Western society in general and what the magazine is doing does not serve coexistence or a dialog between civilizations,” the office of Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, one of the region’s most influential Muslim clerics, said in a statement. More
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|Russian ruble falls further as oil price tumblesPosted: 13 Jan 2015 07:08 AM PST
The Russian ruble accelerated its fall on Tuesday amid a renewed decline in the price of the country’s valuable oil exports. The currency was down more than 4 percent in afternoon trading in Moscow, at around 66 rubles per dollar. The ruble hit a record low of 80 per dollar in mid-December before recovering a bit, but it has been steadily falling since the start of the year. The sale of oil is Russia’s main revenue earner, so the months-long slump in energy markets has weighed on the country’s economic outlook and markets. The price of Brent crude, an international variety of oil, has plunged from $115 a barrel in June to around $47 a barrel on Tuesday. Western sanctions over Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine have also hurt the country’s markets, with the currency’s fall among the more striking developments. Last year, the ruble was the world’s worst performing currency along with the Ukrainian hryvnia. More
|You Won’t Believe What Chick-fil-A Did for This Homeless ManPosted: 13 Jan 2015 07:04 AM PST
It’s been so cold in Birmingham, Alabama, that they’ve had stuff shivering they didn’t know could shake. It was especially bitter on the afternoon of Jan. 7, and a good many folks had taken a respite from the cold by grabbing lunch at the Chick-fil-A on Highway 280 in Inverness. One of the diners who came in that day was a bit unkempt. He was wearing jeans and a hoodie—hardly the kind of clothing for a day like that. Most folks just figured he was a homeless fellow. The man first made eye contact with Mark Meadows, the owner of the Chick-fil-A. “I was about to leave when this gentleman walked in the door,” Mark told me. “I could tell he needed some help. We have people come in from time to time—so you kind of know.” And sure enough, Mark’s instinct was correct. “He asked if there was some work he could do so that he could get something to eat,” he said. More
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|Seahawks Players Shill For Obamacare in New Ad.Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:58 AM PST
Two stars from the Seattle Seahawks took time away from the field to cut an ad shilling for Obamacare. The ad, posted Friday, features Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and rhetorically explosive cornerback Richard Sherman touting the benefits of President Obama’s healthcare law and its web portal Healthcare.gov. Wilson urges viewers to “make the right call” and sign up while Sherman adds, “when your health or the game is on the line, nothing is more important than quality coverage.” More
EMB News Report
January 13, 2014
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. ~ John Adam
MARSHA WEST’S COLUMN
Revisited New Age Pandemic In The Church
Profanity, pornography, filthy programs on TV and on movie screens are occurrences we live with on a daily basis. Most of us find it vulgar and offensive. Our children are watching. We want Hollywood to stop polluting our culture.
Who Is To Blame for the Paris Slaughter?—Andrew McCarthy
If constitutional constraints and Western tradition won’t abide laws that bar speaking against Islam, then we’ll just have to rely on extortion. On that, Hillary Clinton and Anjem Choudary could not have been clearer, or more in sync.
Coddling of Islam fueled Paris attack–Nolan Finley
Part of the entrance fee into a free society is acceptance that while you have the right to believe as you choose, you have no right to expect others will share or even respect those beliefs.
WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Saudi cleric condemns snowmen as anti-Islamic
NEWS TO KNOW
Up to 6 Paris terror suspects may still be at large
The Death of the Jews of France
CENTCOM’s Twitter Hacked By ISIS?
U.S. Welcoming Islamic Immigrants France Now Regrets Welcoming http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/010815-733901-america-ushers-in-islamic-immigrants-while-france-pulls-up-welcome-mat.htm
Is Theologically Orthodox Christianity to Blame for Josh Alcorn’s Suicide?—Laurie Higgins
EDUCATION – Research Links
College Proofing Your Student–Amy Spreeman
We’ve heard the heartbreaking stories from parents who send their student – faith intact – off to University, only to see those young adults come home with a very different world view that reinvents Jesus, or even brushes Him aside. A huge percentage of young people walk away from anything to do with God as soon as they take their college freshmen courses. The stats are staggering: 75 – 90 percent, depending on which pollster you look at.
HOMOSEXUALITY — Research Links
Stonewall Is Not Selma—Cliff Kincaid
President Obama has celebrated anti-police riots at a New York City gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, saying, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma and Stonewall…”
Sodomites “Breeding Hate” Making Way for Foreign Law in America—Bradlee Dean
http://www.newswithviews.com/Bradlee/dean205.htm The sodomites are being used in an attempt to overthrow God’s moral law in hopes of upending the United States Constitution. They are doing this by playing the victims when they are the perpetrators. Inadvertently or purposefully they are being used as a political battering ram to make way for foreign law and its implementation through totalitarian methods. There is no question about it. ,,,
‘Nobody is born gay’ billboard stuck over Virginia highway until next year
Leave Influencing Elections to Us Biased Journalists; Mocking the ‘Barking’ Dogs of the ‘Kamikaze Caucus’
LIFE & DEATH – Research Links
House to vote on 20-week abortion ban on 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade
MARRIAGE & FAMILY
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. ~ Heb 13:4
Jeb Bush backs gay ‘marriage’
CHECK OUT THE BOOK STORE
You won’t believe what Chick-fil-A did for homeless man–Todd Stares
It was especially bitter on the afternoon of January 7th and a good many folks had taken a respite from the cold by grabbing lunch at the Chick-fil-A on Highway 280 in Inverness. One of the diners who came in that day was a bit unkempt. He was wearing jeans and a hoodie – hardly the kind of clothing for a day like that. Most folks just figured he was a homeless fellow.
Europe and the Decline of the Church—Bill Muehlenberg http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/01/04/europe-and-the-decline-of-the-church/
CREATION VS EVOLUTION – Research links
Bill Nye’s Gift to Ken Ham—Ken Ham
I was surprised but pleased that Bill Nye took time to send me a gift before Christmas. You will be very interested in what he sent. Because of our extended stay in Australia (due to the passing of my wife’s dad), I am only just catching up on all my Christmas mail. So yes, I am sending a gift to Bill Nye, as I will explain below.
Atlanta Fire Chief: I Was Fired Because of My Christian Faith—Todd Starnes
“It’s a frightening day in the United States when a person cannot express their faith without fears of persecution following,” White told me. “It’s persecution when a godly fire chief loses his job over expressing his Christian faith.”
You Will Not Be Able To Se3rve the Lord Because He is a Holy God—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
Pro-A.A. authors Dick B., Ken B., misrepresent “born again” quote about A.A. co-founder
Angels – Research links
Why Beth Moore and Not Me? The Danger of Claiming to Receive Direct Revelation–Erin Benziger
Herein lies one of the great dangers of these claims. While many Americans may claim that God has, at one time or another, spoken to them, the despair that can overcome a person who hears of these stories and has not had such an experience can be devastating. Those who follow the teaching of Beth Moore greatly respect and revere her. They admire her and because of this, many undoubtedly strive to mimic her Christian walk. …
Church Growth Movement/Seeker/Market-Driven
Contemplative Prayer – Research Links
Wisdom from the Holy Spirit—Mike Ratliff
Emergent Church – Research Links
The Emerging Global Church—Berit Kjos
Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan & UN Goals – Part 1
Perry Noble Rescinds the Ten Commands for 2015
Noble rewrites the Ten Commandments….oops! “Promises.”
“Jesus Calling” – Research Links
Mars Hill Turning Over Pulpit to Rick Warren to Deliver Final Message Before Closing http://christiannews.net/2014/12/25/mars-hill-turning-over-pulpit-to-rick-warren-to-deliver-final-message-before-closing/
Here’s the message Warren gave:
“The Message” Bible
Mormonism — Research Links
New Age Movement/New Thought/Spirituality — Research Links
New Age Pandemic In The Church—Marsha West
New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism – Research Links
“Apostle” Barb gets a brand new Mantle
This site is not recommended
Death-Switch: The Latest Attempt to Reach Beyond the Grave
Angelina Jolie meets Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican after screening of her movie Unbroken http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2901975/Angelina-Jolie-meets-Pope-Francis-private-audience-Vatican-screening-movie-Unbroken.html
Social Justice/Progressive Christianity
Witchcraft – Research Links
Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel — Research Links
The Idol Speaks: ‘Ban Sledding’—Lee Duigon
DASH named best overall diet for fifth year: report
Boom Goes The Dynamite: The Crashing Price Of Oil Is Going To Rip The Global Economy To Shreds
If you were waiting for a “black swan event” to come along and devastate the global economy, you don’t have to wait any longer. As I write this, the price of U.S. oil is sitting at $45.76 a barrel. It has fallen by more than 60 dollars a barrel since June. There is only one other time in history when we have seen anything like this happen before. That was in 2008, just prior to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But following the financial crisis of 2008, the price of oil rebounded fairly rapidly. As you will see below, there are very strong reasons to believe that it will not happen this time. And the longer the price of oil stays this low, the worse our problems are going to get. At a price of less than $50 a barrel, it is just a matter of time before we see a huge wave of energy company bankruptcies, massive job losses, a junk bond crash followed by a stock market crash, and a crisis in commodity derivatives unlike anything that we have ever seen before. So let’s hope that a very unlikely miracle happens and the price of oil rebounds substantially in the months ahead. Because if not, the price of oil is going to absolutely rip the global economy to shreds. (Read More.…)
Reflections on the Murders in Paris :: Spyer in PJ Media
by Jonathan Spyer
January 12, 2015
The McAvany Intel Memo
Is empire collapse invisible? The people in the Roman Empire never seemed to recognize that they were in their decline until it was over. They always continued to hope for a turnaround to the latest setback. Has America already reached its peak in Empire? The collapse in American manufacturing over the past 25 years, the closing of tens of thousands of US factories (and the moving of those facilities to China), and the permanent loss of tens of millions of US manufacturing jobs all indicate that the late, great American Empire has indeed peaked and is heading down. The insolvency of the American government is another confirmation of this decline in the American Empire. And yet the great majority of Americans and their leaders (as in Rome) cannot see it….
America now has military bases or troops stationed in over 150 countries. We have government personnel stationed in over 200 countries (i.e., CIA, IRS, State Department, Defense Department, and dozens of agencies), and are fighting in wars in Afghanistan and recently in Iraq, and are supporting Muslim insurgencies or fundamentalists in Syria, Libya, Egypt, and several more. Forgetting for the moment the sheer insanity of many of these military/foreign policy operations, the fact is that, just as in the latter days of the Roman Empire, a bankrupt nation, surviving only on trillions of dollars it prints out of thin air (something the Romans could not do) is spread very, very thin all over the world. It is called “strategic overreach.”
[ED. NOTE: This writer and his family used to play the board game RISK, based on military conquest to gain territory and eventually the whole world on a large global game board. Inevitably, as one player was winning battles everywhere and placing his armies in countries all over the board, that player would get spread too thin. Other players would quickly reverse the entire momentum of the game and conquer that player’s armies. Whether on a game board or the face of the earth, strategic overreach is an empire killer. It happened in the latter stages of the Roman Empire, and it is happening to America in our day. The other players in our day? Think Russia and China!]
(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, July 2014, by guest editor Jim Deeds)
Like’ This: Can Facebook Assess Your Personality?
Can your Facebook “likes” give away the true you? A computer was able to accurately assess personality using only a little bit of Facebook activity, researchers reported Monday.
Obama Declares War On ‘Extremism’ – Are You An ‘Extremist’ According To His Definition?
But for elitists such as Barack Obama, the word “extremist” has a much broader meaning. In recent years, it has become a code word for those that do not have an “enlightened” view of the world. If your views on politics, religion or social issues are extremely different from the liberal, progressive views of “the mainstream” (as defined by the mainstream media and by “mainstream” politicians such as Barack Obama), then they consider you to be an extremist.
Franklin Graham: America’s ‘Culture of Death’ Stems From a ‘Sinful, Godless Worldview That Rejects Christ’
Reverend Franklin Graham, son of world renowned evangelical preacher Billy Graham, said that America is increasingly embracing a “culture of death” that echoes what has occurred in Europe, and which stems from a “sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ.”
In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions
Yet there is also trouble brewing for China’s faithful. As evangelical Christianity grows sharply, officials fear it could undermine their authority. Already, Christians may outnumber members of the Communist Party. That has far-reaching implications both for Chinese society and for a party that frowns on unofficial gatherings and other viewpoints. In China, party members cannot be Christian.
Irish priest announces he’s gay during mass
by Marsha West
According to Christian Headlines:
An Irish priest has made international headlines for his announcement that he is gay during a Mass service.
Christian Today reports Father Martin Dolan of the Church of St. Nicholas of Myra was urging parishioners to support gay marriage in the upcoming Irish referendum when he said, “I’m gay myself.” The announcement was reportedly met with a standing ovation from the congregation.
Pastor defines his identity not by his same-sex attraction, but in Christ
by Marsha West
Christianity.com’s Ryan Hoselton penned a refreshing story about a pastor who’s attracted to members of the same-sex yet he chose to wed a woman. Pastor Allan Edwards says he believes that the center of Christianity is the Bible. After completing a thorough study of the scriptures, he concluded that practicing homosexuality is a sin. Thus, he couldn’t simultaneously follow the Bible and his same-sex attraction.
Beth Moore rebukes articulate, discerning young woman; here’s the fascinating email exchange that followed
In her blog post, It’s Hunting Season for Heretics, Beth Moore condescendingly rebuked a young woman, Jessica Lam, for daring to label her a false teacher. Moore then reached out to Jessica, and an email exchange ensued. In making the transcript of the conversation public, Jessica writes:
Here is my brief conversation with Beth Moore, with my husband’s commentary. It breaks my heart that she transforms so quickly from someone who is “here to serve me in every way,” to refusing to answer my last question. Pray for her, pray for her followers, and pray for me and my husband as the spotlight is on us during all of this.
Dustin Germaim has additional commentary over at the Pulpit and Pen blog.
Obama Declares War On ‘Extremism’ – Are You An ‘Extremist’ According To His Definition?
Do you know what an “extremist” is? In the wake of the horrible terror attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in France, Barack Obama is speaking very boldly about the need to win the war against “extremists”, and he has announced plans to host a major global summit on “extremism” next month. And on the surface that sounds great. But precisely how are we supposed to determine whether someone is an “extremist” or not? …………. Click here for full story
Muslims Segregated From French Society In Growing Islamist Mini-States
A backdrop to the massacre in Paris on Wednesday by self-professed al Qaeda terrorists is that city officials have increasingly ceded control of heavily Muslim neighborhoods to Islamists, block by block………. Click here for full story
In China, A Church-State Showdown Of Biblical Proportions
Christianity is booming in China, propelling it toward becoming the world’s largest Christian nation. But as religion grows, it spurs a government crackdown………. Click here for full story
Experts Forecast The End of Privacy As We Know It
Privacy’s future appears muddy at best, judging from a survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center……….. Click here for full story
2014: Worst Christian Persecution In Over 20 Years
Last year saw the highest level of persecution of Christians the world has seen since the fall of the Soviet Union, according to a report by a Christian persecution watchdog group released Wednesday ……… Click here for full story
Theological Extremism In A Secular Age
“From a Christian worldview perspective there are a couple of very crucial issues for us to consider. First is the issue of blasphemy. Islam considers blasphemy a capital crime and defines blasphemy as an insult to the Quran, to Islam, and most specifically and personally, to the prophet Mohammed. Christianity also has a concern about blasphemy, but as a spiritual crime—as a sin against God, not as a matter of civic law.”
God’s Door Host
“John was leading in worship in the wilderness and a group of well-dressed Pharisees and Sadducees came to his service. They were interested in being baptized, hearing the spoken Word, and joining the doxological celebration. They reasoned they were notable men. They thought their ethnicity and ecclesiastical positions would provide for them a warm welcome, but they were wrong.”
New & Noteworthy Books in 2015
“Christian children’s books are legion but good children’s books that captivate as well as educate are rare. Getting a pastor-theologian to take up the challenge is encouraging and I’m eager to see what DeYoung and Clark have in store for us. This is a book that promises a biblical-theological approach, connecting the dots throughout Scripture and showing our young ones the wonderful tapestry of the Bible.”
5 Reasons To Pray For Other Churches
“Many local churches are tempted to conduct themselves as if they didn’t know any other local evangelical churches existed around them. Or, if they acknowledge them, they are chasing “end-of-the-year bonuses” by competing with and beating out other churches in ministry. Add to this the fact that many pastors struggle with finding their identity in the size of their church, and it is no wonder that many forget the kingdom for which we are laboring.”
Religion Without God
“My mother is the daughter of a Baptist pastor and the black sheep, theologically speaking, of her family. She wants to go to church, but she is not quite sure whether she wants God. The modern Unitarian Universalist Association’s statement of principles does not mention God at all.”
Left Behind In The Mainline: Witnessing Within Presbyterian Church (USA)
“Since the PCUSA General Assembly, the number of congregations voting to disaffiliate from the denomination has increased dramatically, accelerating the already major losses in membership numbers that the national church body has suffered over the past 10 to 15 years.”
Texas Tough (Book Review of “Rough Country”)
“Why is much Texas religion heartfelt and at the same time racist, hostile to difference, and at ease with violence? Why the affinity between corporate money and religion? Why does such a religious state have so much inequality? Why does this Texas version of Christendom—the intertwining of religion, politics, and culture—persist?”
Are Evangelicals Modern-Day Pharisees?
“We believe ourselves exempt from the lessons of Jesus’ scathing attacks on religious phonies because we view our faith through a self-righteous lens. Jesus’ insight on the subject applies to others but not us, we tell ourselves. Our faith is beyond reproach. Such dismissive treatment of Jesus’ words, however, proves how much we resemble the Pharisees. We disregard this likeness at our own peril.”
Todd Pruitt weighs-in on Beth Moore’s ‘direct revelation, sloppy exegesis, and squishy ecumenism’, wonders why SBC sells her books
Todd Pruitt, LeadPastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, VA, is right on the, uh, money.
The New Age Spiritual Dangers Lurking In Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Deception
by NTEB Health and Wellness Editor Stephanie A. Buist, ND HC
Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life?
This time of year many churches hop on the band wagon to joining the Rick Warren spearheaded Daniel Fast. Churches promote fasting to change your life for health reasons or for seeking direction in life from God by abstaining from food.
I have deep concerns about this fast for Christians. My biggest concern is that Pastor Rick Warren worked with a group of new age doctors to put together this program. The who’s who of wolves seeking to devour the Christian church. These men are not believers. They should not be championed within the church.
Eph 5:11 (KJV) “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
What is it about them that makes them qualified to create a program based on Biblical principles? Nothing! Years ago this would have been thrown out of the church as heresy. But now we embrace it because a bible verse / story was slapped on it, printed by a Christian publisher and away we go.
Dr Mark Hyman, Dr Daniel Aman and Dr Mehmet Oz where the key contributors to the Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life. But these three doctors are part of the new age movement. Dr Hyman is a known Buddhist, Dr Daniel Amen is a New Age psychiatrist who uses kundalini practices in his work, and Dr Mehmet Oz is also deeply into the New Age movement. This blog really spells out the issues with the Daniel Plan and the church. If you still doubt that this is doing harm, check out this personal account of a person who attended the seminar at Saddleback Church when this program was launched. The main message of this program was that we have the power to change and that we need to be part of a community to succeed. This is Agenda 21 / Sustainability and Rick Warren is ushering it into the church. And it is not just with the Daniel Plan. Over the years he has done this through the Purpose Driven Life, Chrislam and so much more. Stunning!
What does the Bible tell us about fasting? We are told to conceal our fasting – to do it in secret. Is that what churches are doing with the Daniel Plan?
Click here to read the rest of this story on Stepping Stones Living…
The post The New Age Spiritual Dangers Lurking In Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Deception appeared first on Now The End Begins.
What About The Catholic Church?
Q. In your recent article Seven Major Prophetic Signs Of The Second Coming, Heading #4, The Ancient Roman Empire Will Re-Emerge As A Political Force, explaining about Islam being the fastest growing and upcoming religion. Where does this leave the Roman Catholic church and Catholicism?
What Do The Jewish People Do About Their Sins?
Q. As always, thank you for your beautiful site and for teaching us according to the Bible. I was wondering how do the Jews of today cleanse themselves of their sins without offering animal sacrifices?
What’s The Difference?
Q. What is the difference between seeking the kingdom (Matt. 6.33) , and seeking God (Psalm 34.10) and how do we know when we have achieved these things to God’s satisfaction? In other words we have fulfilled the conditions so that God can begin to bless.
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