Love says: I’ve seen the ugly parts of you, and I’m staying. —Matt Chandler
Jan. 14, 2015
President Obama, touching on a theme of Internet access ahead of next week’s State of the Union address, will visit the well-wired city of Cedar Falls, Iowa, to push for an end to laws that impede municipal broadband.
Retail sales in the U.S. slumped 0.9 percent in December by the most in almost a year, reflecting a broad-based retreat that will probably prompt economists to cut growth forecasts.
Russia may unseal its $88 billion Reserve Fund and convert some of its foreign-currency holdings into rubles, the latest government effort to prop up an economy veering into its worst slump since 2009.
There have been 33 recessions in the U.S. since the late 1850s and all but five followed increases in short-term interest rates. After the Federal Reserve was created in 1913 only the slump of 1945 amid the post-World War II demobilization occurred without a tightening of monetary policy beforehand.
The World Bank cut its forecast for global growth this year, as an improving U.S. economy and low fuel prices fail to offset disappointing results from Europe to China.
Asia’s rapid accumulation of debt in recent years is holding back central banks from easing monetary policy to fight the risk of deflation, endangering private investment needed to boost faltering growth, according to Morgan Stanley.
Oil’s price slump may hurt Saudi Arabia and Kuwait more than Iran, which depends less on crude exports than the other two nations, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
AP Top Stories
Astronauts at the International Space Station rushed to take shelter Wednesday after an alert sounded that could indicate a dangerous ammonia leak, but may have been a false alarm, the US space agency said.
Yemen’s al-Qaida branch on Wednesday claimed responsibility for last week’s massacre at a Paris satirical newspaper, with one of its top commanders saying the assault was in revenge for the weekly’s publications of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, considered an insult in Islam.
A U.S. Army soldier who just returned from West Africa and was self-monitoring for Ebola symptoms was found dead on Tuesday near the Texas base where he was posted.
Around 1,500 people protested in one of the Philippines’ main Muslim-majority cities on Wednesday against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, police said.
The Islamic State jihadist group released a video on Tuesday purporting to show a young boy executing two men accused of working for Russian intelligence services. The video shows the two men apparently being shot dead by the child after being interrogated on camera about their alleged attempts to infiltrate IS in Syria.
A quarter of Jews in Britain have considered leaving the country in the last two years and well over half feel they have no long term future in Europe, according to a survey
France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.
Every year, nearly eight out of 10 U.S. tax filers get a federal tax refund. The average amount paid over the past few years was roughly $2,800, according to the most recent IRS data.
Parliament in Haiti was dissolved after the failure of last-ditch negotiations over a new electoral law, leaving the president to rule by decree.
More than 100 bodies were recovered in the river Ganges, apparently dumped by families who could not afford cremations.
Refugee organizations voiced alarm at plans to house asylum seekers in a former outpost of a Nazi concentration camp in western Germany.
The US secretary of state met his Iranian counterpart in Geneva in a bid to revive stalled talks over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
A pair of lawmakers in Mississippi have introduced a bill to make the Bible the official state book, the two said on Monday.
At the end of 2014, President Obama boasted that the year was the strongest for job growth in the U.S. since the 1990s and “businesses” have added 11 million new jobs over 57 months, and the Washington Post’s “The Fix” fact-checker concluded his statements mostly were true.But unmentioned by Obama was another federal report concluding that all net employment gains since the Obama recession have gone to foreign workers while 1.5 million fewer U.S.-born Americans have jobs now.
An Indiana gym teacher is under investigation for allegedly having sex more than 45 times with a 16-year-old female student.
The FBI is aware of at least 22 paramilitary Islamic communes in the U.S., operated by the shadowy Pakistan-based group Jamaat al-Fuqra and its main U.S. front group, Muslims of the Americas.
President Obama has a moral responsibility to push back on the nation’s journalism community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles that might cause a jihadi attack against the nation’s defenses forces, the White House’s press secretary said Jan. 12.
Muslim leaders from across America will gather in Texas this weekend to hold the annual Stand With the Prophet in Honor and Respect conference, a weekend forum that is being billed as a “movement to defend Prophet Muhammad, his person, and his message,” according to event information.
89 Tips That Will Help You Prepare For The Coming Economic Depression
What do we need to do in order to prepare for the coming economic collapse? Are there practical steps that we can take right now that will help us and our families survive the economic depression that is approaching? As the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, I get asked these kinds of questions a lot. Once people become convinced that an economic collapse is coming, they want to know what they should do. And so in this article I am going to share some key pieces of advice from some of the top experts in the entire country. If you are not convinced that economic disaster is on the way, this article might not be for you. Instead, I would encourage you to go to my website where you will find more than 1,200 articles that set out the case for the coming economic collapse in excruciating detail. For those of you that are interested in getting prepared, I apologize in advance for the outline format of this article. To examine each of these points in detail would take an entire book. In fact, I am the co-author of a book that will soon be published that discusses many of these things in great depth. But you don’t have to wait for a book to get prepared. Mostly, it comes down to common sense. In this article, I share 89 common sense tips that will help you get prepared for the coming economic depression. Hopefully a lot of people will find these to be very helpful. (Read More….)
Guess What Percentage Of American Children Live In A Home With A Traditional Family Structure?…
It is hard to believe, but in America today only 46 percent of children live in a home that has both a mother and a father that are in their first marriage. An additional 15 percent live in a home that has two parents where at least one of them has been remarried. But that means that an all-time record high 39 percent of all U.S. kids are living in a home with either just a single parent or no parents at all. These numbers were just released by Pew Research, and they are rather startling. The “traditional family” that most of us took for granted growing up is dying. More Americans than ever are delaying marriage, having children out of wedlock and rejecting the traditional family structure. But is this good for our kids? Is this good for the future of America? (Read More…)
Competition for Islamic Terrorism Cluelessness Prize: Carter and Stewart Tie
…it is hard to dispute that the president who has done and said more idiotic things since leaving office is – hands down – Jimmy Carter. And yet in a segment on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart on Monday, Jan. 13, Jimmy Carter seemed to be in a competition with his host to show who is more clueless about Islamic terrorism.
555 Trillion Reasons Why Central Banks Won’t Let Rates Normalize
The Fed may raise rates a token amount this year, but the move will be largely symbolic. With over $100 trillion in bonds and over $555 TRILLION in interest rate derivatives trading based on interest rates, the Fed will not be normalizing rates at any point in the future.
January 14, 2015
“[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” –Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
In advance of his State of the Union speech on Jan. 20, Barack Obama and his propaganda machine are in high gear, claiming credit for, among other things, lower fuel prices. Though Obama has erected an insurmountable gauntlet to oil and gas exploration leases, he recently claimed, “We’re saving drivers about 70 cents a gallon at the pump.” Really? Who is “we”? And this week, after reaffirming his commitment to veto the Keystone XL pipeline project, Obama had the unmitigated audacity to again claim credit for the additional drop in prices: “America is the number one producer of oil, the number one producer of gas. That’s helping to save drivers about $1.10 a gallon at the pump over this time last year.” Recall if you will that when Obama entered office, gasoline cost about $1.60 per gallon. In four short years, on top of the deepening Obama recession, his severe constriction on oil production increased the price to more than $4.00 a gallon. Ahead of the 2012 election, Obama declared, “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices. … [Republicans] are dusting off their three-point plan for $2 gas.” Currently the average price for a gallon of gas is under $2 in 18 states. But for the record, oil production on government land is down 16% since 2009, while oil production on private land has increased 61%. Those gains are despite Obama’s obstruction of oil exploration.
“American Sniper,” the film based on the true story of Navy sniper Chris Kyle and his book of the same name, hits theaters Thursday. Kyle served with the SEAL Team 3 Sniper Element Charlie platoon and was the most lethal sniper in U.S. history. He accumulated 160 confirmed kills and another 95 probables, and was known to his enemies as Al-Shaitan Ramad (The Devil of Ramadi). Though he survived numerous harrowing encounters in Iraq, sadly, he was killed by a vet suffering from PTSD here in the States. That story is, in part, why the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has provided a Facebook forum for anti-gun jackasses to swap spit over the movie and Kyle’s death. “Good Riddance,” jeered one. “What goes around comes around,” derided another. Chris Walker, executive director of 2nd Vote, said, “Americans’ voices don’t end on Election Day, they continue with the dollars they spend every day. The companies and groups that are financially supporting outrageous comments like these need to explain why they continue to receive their support or risk a financial backlash as consumers might choose to take their money elsewhere.” Indeed, such hateful sentiment deserves scorn of its own.
Gun control should only mean hitting your target. So, facing numerous public debate defeats, gun grabbers have rebranded. They will target individual states and will refer to themselves as advocates of gun safety because it’s such a cuddly term. Who could be against gun safety? Sure, we’re all for gun safety: Always assume the gun is loaded, keep your finger off the trigger and never leave your firearms in a place where children could discover them — especially if the child is 75, in Congress and wants to mess with your guns. But the “safety” for which gun grabbers advocate is the iron fist of the government deciding who deserves the right to bear arms. President of Everytown for Gun Safety John Feinblatt told The New York Times that gun grabbers looked to the success of leftist crusades like same-sex marriage for their new strategy. “The arc of the marriage-equality movement started in the federal government, and got them the Defense of Marriage Act,” he said. “Then they went to the states and showed that if you can get the majority of the public on your side state by state, that will influence the courts and Congress in the end.” Of course, same-sex marriage advocates more often than not won by going to activist judges first, only later winning public opinion through guilt and intimidation. Let’s hope support for the Second Amendment is stronger than that. More…
The goober farmer stumbled into the national spotlight to talk about the Charlie Hebdo attack by defending Barack Obama and blaming Israel. “I don’t think there’s any need for criticism,” former president Jimmy Carter said of Obama’s decision to skip going to Paris. “The president sometimes can’t go where he’d prefer to go. He’s just come back from vacation so I think he’s probably got a lot on his desk.” See? According to the least successful president in American history, the president’s ways are higher than our ways. The next day, the addlepated ex-president blamed all attacks by violent Islamists on the Jews. Carter appeared on Jon Stewart’s comedy news show to say, “Well, one of the origins for it is the Palestinian problem. And this aggravates people who are affiliated in any way with the Arab people who live in the West Bank and Gaza, what they are doing now — what’s being done to them.” Two French Muslims attacked a French paper known for its blistering satire about any religion, including Jews, Christians and Muslims. And Carter says the attack has Israel written all over it?
Depending on who you ask, Barack Obama has done what King George III never did. Joel Gehrke writes at National Review, “[A]n expert at the Law Library of Congress — a non-partisan branch of the Library of Congress that has advised Congress and the Supreme Court since 1832 — tackled a slightly different question: What would George III do when faced with a law he didn’t like? Not even the King of England at the time of the American Revolution had the authority to suspend laws unilaterally, the Law Library expert wrote in a memorandum to the Senate committee tasked with responding to President Obama’s recent executive orders on the enforcement of immigration law.” But yet, Obama claims he can unilaterally decide who his administration will deport and who will remain de facto citizens — even if they came into this country illegally. Obama has become the king the Founders warned about. More…
The West certainly likes the idea of standing with the little paper that could. A week after jihadis murdered two cops and 10 employees of the French satire paper Charlie Hebdo, the streets of Paris thundered with the march of more than a million people supporting free speech and denouncing violent Islam — among them France’s François Hollande, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. Meanwhile, the paper whose staff was obliterated a week ago published another edition that hit the newspaper stands in Paris this morning, selling out in minutes.
It seems the West will defend the right to state an opinion, no matter how unsettling or contrarian. (Well, unless you oppose any part of the Left’s agenda.) But already the signs of cultural rot show through the narrative. People are standing with Charlie today (or as the French say, “Je suis Charlie”), while the institutions that claim to defend the ideal of free speech are falling away.
This is a cultural double standard. The New York Times — once a paper that fought with the U.S. government all the way to the courts over whether or not it could publish materials deemed classified by the government — backed away from publishing the simple caricature of Muhammad because a group of radical Islamists might take their grievances to the court of violence and terror instead of public opinion.
“There are times for self-restraint, but in the immediate wake of the most threatening assault on journalism in living memory, you would have served the cause of free expression best by engaging in it,” Floyd Abrams wrote in a letter to the Times editor. Abrams was the lawyer who defended the Times during the Pentagon Papers trial.
While the White House admitted it was a mistake for the president to skip the Paris march, Press Secretary Josh Earnest can’t give a straight answer to reporters if Obama believes blasphemy is protected under the First Amendment. When asked if the White House gives its “absolute support” for the mockery of any world institution — sacred cow or no — Earnest replied, “There is nothing that the individuals at that satirical magazine did that justified in any way the kind of violence we saw in Paris last week. No. That is the most important principle that is at stake here. At the same time, it would not be the first time there was a discussion in this country about the responsibilities that go along with exercising the right to freedom of speech.”
So Earnest is only objecting to the level of violence against Charlie Hebdo? Would the White House condone a frivolous lawsuit to bully the paper into submission? Of course there are responsibilities that go along with the freedom of speech. But in the aftermath of a mass murder, the White House needs to reaffirm that free speech doesn’t apply only to banal conversations, but also to speech that enrages and offends.
Average Americans are just as petty and feckless as their leaders. Just last month, it was every citizen’s patriotic duty to see the trash film “The Interview.” This month, it’s every red-blooded Westerner’s assignment to share a picture of Muhammad that took a Frenchman no longer than five minutes to draw. It should go without saying that the freedom of speech applies to these works too, but we’re also cognizant of the fact that much blood and ink has been spilt over aesthetically bad work.
A new poll asked Americans if it’s ever okay to blaspheme another religion. The results were not good for the First Amendment, as just 37% of the respondents agreed that blasphemy is protected speech, while 32% said no, and 31% had no clue.
So much for standing with Charlie.
Conservative editor Rod Dreher says we only like the idea of standing with Charlie. “But what makes it kitschy is that we love thinking of ourselves standing in solidarity with the brave journalists against the Islamist killers,” he writes. “When the principle of standing up for free speech might cost us something far, far less than our lives, most of us would fold. You didn’t see liberals wearing ‘I Am Brendan Eich‘ slogans; many on the Left think he got what he deserved, because blasphemers like him don’t deserve a place in public life. Nor did you see conservatives brandishing ‘I Am Brendan Eich’ slogans, because they feared they might be next.”
This is why the narrative about the Charlie Hebdo is so powerful. As Dreher points out, the cartoonists there were not reporting fact when they were killed. They were making satire. Yet, after their office was firebombed in 2011, after their colleagues were killed last week, the survivors felt so strongly about their work that they once again picked up their pens.
The world was watching. Normally, the paper prints 60,000 copies and sells half of them, but this edition would be printed three million times, translated into Spanish, English and Arabic, and distributed worldwide. The paper needed a remarkable cover.
Cartoonist Renald “Luz” Luzier drew the front page of the newspaper reborn. In a press conference unveiling the drawing, he said, “We needed a front page that would make us laugh. … I had Muhammad, he was holding a sign, ‘Je suis Charlie,’ and he was crying… And I wrote ‘all is forgiven’ above. And I cried. I drew and I cried and we had our f—ing homepage. I’m sorry, we drew him again.”
In an interview, Editor in Chief Gérard Biard explained the cartoon and the paper’s position: “It is we who forgive, not Muhammad.” Forgiveness is speech worth defending.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Ken Blackwell: France Needs a Second Amendment — And So Do We!
- Arnold Ahlert: Cyber Insecurity
- Tony Perkins: NYT Promotes Purging of Christian Leaders
- Michelle Malkin: Hey, How’s America’s Rail Security Doing?
- Jonah Goldberg: The Problem With Romney Nostalgia
OPINION IN BRIEF
Harvard Professor Howard Mumford Jones (1892-1980): “Persecution is the first law of society because it is always easier to suppress criticism than to meet it.”
Columnist Ken Blackwell: “CBS News gave an early report on the terrorist attacks in Paris. It included this telling sentence: ‘A reporter for Britain’s Telegraph newspaper in Paris told Sky News that the first two officers to arrive, who were apparently unarmed, fled after seeing gunmen armed with automatic weapons and possibly a grenade launcher.’ Every American, every citizen of a free country, needs to read, and re-read that sentence. Here is the answer of liberals and socialists to the problem of domestic security. Let the police do it. Let the state protect you. Give all weapons to the professionals who are trained and who can be trusted. … When John Kerry arrives in Paris, he doubtless knows that France lacks a Second Amendment. But France has a National Anthem, the Marseillaise. And a memorable line in that stirring song is: Aux armes, concitoyens! To arms, Fellow Citizens! Now is the time to put self-defense on the international agenda. If your government does not believe in the right to keep and bear arms as a human right, then it probably doesn’t believe in your right to life, either.”
Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “Yesterday, President Obama was poised to announce legislation that would shield companies from litigation if they shared computer data with the government in order to prevent cyber attacks. Opponents of the measure insist adequate safeguards are already in place. … Does the CENTCOM hack justify the further expansion of the federal government’s surveillance apparatus, or is it a conveniently exploitable moment? It would be far easier to determine the answer were it not for this president’s extra-constitutional urges, and the reservoir of ill-will built up by an administration mired in numerous scandals. Unfortunately, the line between legitimate national security needs and America’s devolution into a police state is getting increasingly blurred.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Joe Biden flew to Brazil last week to try to mend relations with Brazil’s government that’s angry over NSA spying. He has a natural curiosity for the country. After Joe landed, he told reporters he was thrilled to be in the Amazon, because he always wanted to see where books come from.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
“The Patriot Post (www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”
Posted: 14 Jan 2015 09:21 AM PST
Iranian military leaders admitted this week to building and operating missile-manufacturing plants in Syria, where it was also revealed that Tehran is helping to build a secret nuclear facility. An Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander stated in a recent interview that the country’s Supreme Leader ordered forces to build and operate missile plants in Syria, where Iran continues to fight on behalf of embattled leader Bashar al-Assad, according to regional media reports. IRGC Aerospace Commander Haji Zadeh touted Iran’s capabilities and bragged that Iran has gone from importing most of its military hardware to producing it domestically, as well as for regional partners such as Assad. “A country such as Syria which used to sell us arms, was later on to buy our missiles,” Zadeh was quoted as saying earlier this week by the Young Journalists Club. “Right now the missile manufacturing firms in Syria are built by Iran.” More
|Portland teen accused of threatening to blow up NE Portland Deli ‘in the name of Allah,’ court records sayPosted: 14 Jan 2015 09:18 AM PST
A 19-year-old is accused of threatening workers repeatedly at a Northeast Portland deli when he wasn’t able to buy a single cigarette, saying he would blow up the store “in the name of Allah,” court records say. Abdalah Mohamed also is accused of making disparaging remarks about Jews and Israel in July, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Mohamed was arraigned Monday afternoon on two counts of second-degree intimidation. He entered not guilty pleas to each count. He was booked into the downtown Portland jail on the warrant Friday. Court records indicate he’s lived in Northeast Portland for about six years and is originally from Kenya. According to Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Richard Freud, Mohamed entered Ira’s Deli at 7215 N.E. Prescott St. on the morning of July 14 and asked to buy a cigarette. Shaheen Brodle, who was working behind the counter, told the teen that the deli didn’t sell cigarettes individually and that he’d have to buy a pack if he wanted any cigarettes, Freud wrote. More
|USB wall charger secretly logs keystrokes from nearby keyboards.Posted: 14 Jan 2015 09:15 AM PST
Privacy and security researcher Samy Kamkar has released a keylogger for Microsoft wireless keyboards cleverly hidden in what appears to be a rather large, but functioning USB wall charger. Called KeySweeper, the stealthy Arduino-based device can sniff, decrypt, log, and report back all keystrokes — saving them both locally and online. This is no toy. KeySweeper includes a web-based tool for live keystroke monitoring, can send SMS alerts for trigger words, usernames, or URLs (in case you want to steal a PIN number or password), and even continues to work after it is unplugged thanks to a rechargeable internal battery. That’s an impressive list of features, especially given that Kamkar told VentureBeat the whole process “took a few days” including a few over Christmas break and this past weekend when he decided “to properly document it.” More
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|DEVELOPING – House votes to overturn Obama immigration actionsPosted: 14 Jan 2015 09:08 AM PST
House Republicans voted Wednesday to overturn President Obama’s controversial immigration actions, despite deep Democratic opposition. The House voted 237-190 on an amendment to legislation funding the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the budget year to the tune of $40 billion. The amendment would undo executive actions Obama announced in November that provided temporary deportation relief, and offer work permits, to some 4 million illegal immigrants. Another amendment would cancel Obama’s 2012 policy that’s granted work permits and stays of deportation to more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as kids. That measure passed more narrowly, 218-209, as more than two dozen Republicans joined Democrats in opposition. A final vote on the bill is expected soon. Republicans say Obama’s moves amounted to an unconstitutional overreach that must be stopped. More
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|New law requires gender-neutral single-stall bathrooms in California cityPosted: 14 Jan 2015 09:05 AM PST
Businesses in West Hollywood have 60 days to comply with a new law requiring all single-stall restrooms to be gender-neutral and not restrict usage to a single sex. The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the law takes effect on Thursday with the aim of accommodating transgender and gender non-conforming people. “I hope we can encourage other cities to adopt this,” Abbe Land, a councilwoman who initiated the law, reportedly said at a meeting last month. “It’s really so easy when you think about it, and I’m glad that we’re one of the cities that is moving forward on that.” The Los Angeles suburb, which has a sizable gay and transgender population, passed the ordinance in June. It doesn’t apply to multiple-stall restrooms. “Gender-specific restrooms can be unwelcoming and potentially unsafe for many people whose gender identity falls outside of traditional gender norms,” said a city statement released this week. The city said the law also will prove beneficial to “people with disabilities or with personal attendants, people with children of a different gender, and to the many people who have waited in line for a gender-specific restroom” when stalls for the opposite sex are empty. More
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|Ex-NYPD Detective: Muslim-Only ‘No Go Zones’ Could Come to USPosted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST
The rise of so-called “no-go zones” in France — segregated Muslim communities governed by local imams and abandoned by French police — are the handiwork of Islamists who plan to spread them throughout the non-Muslim West, a former New York City police detective told Newsmax TV on Tuesday. “I think this is actually a strategy that is slowly being implemented worldwide by radical Islam,” Harry Houck, a private investigator and retired NYPD detective, told “The Steve Malzberg Show,” describing a process of gradual takeover that he said is key to the Islamists’ dream of world dominion. “What they do is they imitate the free countries and then ask the politicians that are giving these free zones — these no-go zones — [to] let them implement some type of Sharia law,” said Houck. “That should be a flag to any politician or any government, that if anybody wants to immigrate to your country and then change your laws for the laws they want to follow, those people should be kicked out immediately,” he said. Scrutiny of France’s walled-off Muslim communities has intensified after last week’s terrorist violence in Paris, where Islamist gunmen all living in Paris — but apart from its secular culture and traditions — murdered 17 people in a three-day wave of violence. More
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|POLL: Troops Turn On Commander In Chief, Deeply UnpopularPosted: 14 Jan 2015 08:49 AM PST
In his first term, President Obama oversaw repeal of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Then he broke with one of the military’s most deeply rooted traditions and vowed to lift the ban on women serving in combat. And the commander in chief has aggressively sought to change military culture by cracking down on sexual assault and sexual harassment, problems that for years were underreported or overlooked. Obama is an unpopular president in the eyes of the men and women in uniform. Yet his two-term administration is etching a deep imprint on the culture inside the armed forces. As commander in chief, he will leave behind a legacy that will shape the Pentagon’s personnel policies and the social customs of rank-and-file troops for decades to come. For Obama’s supporters, the cultural changes he’s overseeing are on a level with President Truman’s 1948 order that desegregated the military and put it at the forefront of the national push for racial equality. But to his critics, his moves amount to heavy-handed social engineering that erode deep-seated traditions and potentially undermine good order and discipline. More
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|Iceland Volcanic Holuhraun lava field bigger than ManhattanPosted: 14 Jan 2015 08:43 AM PST
Fire and ice have crashed together at the edge of the world for a stunning performance, captured by RT’s Ruptly agency. The Holuhraun lava field has spread across an area greater than the island of Manhattan in the largest eruption since the 18th century. Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, became the venue for an amazing natural phenomenon on August 29, when lava began making its way through its northern fissures. Now, it has become a largest eruption since the Laki in 1783-84, which killed 20 percent of the island’s population. At the beginning of January, NASA estimated the scale of the lava field as more than 84 square kilometers, which is 1.3 times larger than the island of Manhattan. However, the most densely populated New York City borough leaves little space for comparison, as the Icelandic Highlands in the northeastern region is scarcely populated and remote. Still, evacuations have been carried out regularly in the area to prevent tourists and hikers from getting poisoned by the sulfur dioxide, the toxic gas emitted by Holuhraun that is life-threatening. More
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|‘Act of War’: New Charlie Hebdo edition triggers Muslims’ Anger, ThreatsPosted: 14 Jan 2015 08:39 AM PST
A record 3 million copies of the new edition of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have appeared on French newsstands, with new caricatures triggering outrage among Muslims all over the world, and threats from radical Islamists. British radical preacher Anjem Choudary, who is allegedly connected with armed militant groups, decried the new edition as an “act of war” and a “blatant provocation.” Many mainstream Muslim organizations also reacted by saying that the mere depiction of the prophet is a sacrilege: Egypt’s Islamic body Dar al-Ifta branded the publication “an unjustified provocation against the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims,” AFP reported. “This edition will result in a new wave of hatred in French and Western society. What the magazine is doing does not serve coexistence and the cultural dialogue Muslims aspire to,” Dar al-Ifta said in a statement. Sunni Islam’s most renowned center of learning, Al-Azhar in Cairo, said that the cartoons “stir up hatred” and “do not serve the peaceful coexistence between peoples.” More
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|First notable flare of 2015 as dramatic ‘mid-level’ eruption takes place on the solar surfacePosted: 14 Jan 2015 08:35 AM PST
The first notable solar flare of 2015 has been spotted on the sun, NASA has said. An image of the event shows the powerful burst of radiation on the surface. This particular flare is not thought to be any threat to Earth – but does that not stop the burst still looking mightily impressive. The mid-level flare was emitted by the sun and peaked this morning at 4:24am GMT (11:24pm EST yesterday). It was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly. This particular event was classified as an M5.6-class flare. M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares. The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, and so on. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation, but harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere and physically affect humans on the ground. However, when intense enough, they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released – mostly in the active regions around sunspots. Their frequency varies from several a day, when the sun is particularly active, to less than one a week during quiet periods. Radiation is emitted across virtually the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves at the long wavelength end, through optical emission to x-rays and gamma rays at the short wavelength end. The amount of energy released is the equivalent of millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time. Solar flares are not to be confused with coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The former are the flash of light from the sun, while the latter are the actual emission of material that we often see as ‘loops’ coming from the surface. While the two often accompany each other, the relationship between them is not entirely understood. Extinction Protocol
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The Truly Confused Evangelicals
Jan Markell spends the hour with Eric Barger talking about one of his newest DVDs, “The Truly Confused Evangelicals: Understanding and Resisting Postmodernism in the Church.” They take a look at some contemporary pastors and teachers who have truly gone astray. The sound bites played are stunning. Evangelicalism is making the same mistake the Mainline Protestants made 150 years ago as they invented a “new way of doing church.” But this is leaving enormous wreckage, with folks unable to find a solid church. Find the DVD here. We use the mobile app found at the Home page of http://www.oneplace.com.
Half of Britain’s Jews Fear Future in Europe
Almost half of British Jewish people fear they have no long-term future in Britain or Europe, finds new poll.
“The results of our survey are a shocking wake-up call straight after the atrocities in Paris,” said CAA chairman Gideon Falter.
“Britain is at a tipping point. Unless anti-Semitism is met with zero tolerance, it will grow and British Jews will increasingly question their place in their own country,” he added.
Falling Into Place
By Jan Markell
As I’ve previously written, today’s news and information is causing some to become disengaged, discouraged, downhearted, and disconnected. But many more tell me they are now watching with an eye on the sky like never before. They are experiencing not dread, but great expectation, straining to hear a trumpet sound. Surely our troubled times are heralding such an event.
Jesus Promises to Come Again
In John 14 Jesus promised He would come back again. However, many believers miss the other details Jesus shared in this passage about where He would go, what He will do when He is away, and what will happen when He returns. His promise to return includes a great deal of information that can encourage us in our Christian walk today.
In this program, you’ll learn these details and how they can help us to better appreciate Christ’s promise to return as well as what we can look forward to in the future. Join Dr. Ankerberg with guests Dr. Renald Showers and Dr. Jimmy DeYoung in this fascinating discussion regarding the Rapture.
Headlines of Interest
Five Marks Of An Awakening
by Pastor J.D.
Second Chronicles 29–31 is the story of a king who stood in the gap of faithlessness and disobedience for the people of God at a crucial moment in history. King Hezekiah was a man who believed God on behalf of his people, whose faith and radical “all-in” obedience preserved his nation from disaster. His faith precipitated a national revival, and shows us five marks of any awakening.
1. Awakening happens when God’s people clean out the junk from their lives (2 Chr 29:3-5).
“In the first month of the first year of his reign, Hezekiah re-opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and said: ‘Listen to me, Levites! Remove all defilement from the sanctuary’” (2 Chr 29:3–5). Hezekiah started this revival with himself, the priests, and the house of worship. This wasn’t an accident: revival always begins in the house of God.
We often think the problem is somewhere out there. “They” are the problem, whoever “they” happen to be. Hollywood is too immoral; the media is too liberal; professors are too cynical; millenials are too rebellious. Sure, the world is sinful. But their sin isn’t keeping God from pouring out his blessing. Sin in the church is. What prevents awakening in a community is a community of Christians that harbors secret bitterness, anger, and infidelity. Nothing drives out the presence of the Holy Spirit like unconfessed sin in the church. Revival and awakening always begin when God’s people get serious about their sin.
NY Times Columnist Would End Religious Freedom as We Know It
The commands of Christ include things like “love your neighbor” (Matt. 22:37), “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). These are not private obligations that happen behind the closed doors of a church. These obligations are carried out when Christians go to work or attend school or buy groceries. Jesus does not allow disciples to cordon off any aspect of their lives from these commandments—including baking cakes, taking pictures, or making floral arrangements.
Open Roof Hospitality
Do I have an “open roof policy” in my home? Am I willing for my home to be filled, refashioned, and torn asunder so that people can meet with Jesus? Am I willing for carpet to be stained so that the laughter of children can be the music of my home? Am I willing to put aside my concern of impressing others so that I can focus on house-altering hospitality that points others to Jesus?
Religious Liberty vs. Erotic Liberty — Religious Liberty is Losing
Liberties do not exist in a vacuum. In any historical moment, certain liberties collide with other liberties. We are now witnessing a direct and unavoidable collision between religious liberty with what is rightly defined as erotic liberty — a liberty claimed on the basis of sexual identity and activity. Religious liberty is officially recognized in the Bill of Rights — even in the very first amendment — and the framers of the American order did not claim to have established this right to free religious expression, but to have recognized it as a pre-existent right basic to citizenship.
The happy Christian also wins souls by his optimism. He rejects fatalistic pessimism because he knows that God also loves to win souls, that He delights to save sinners, that He is not only able but willing to do so, and that He will receive any and all who come to Him by Christ.
“There are many more sinners brought to Christ by happy Christians than by doleful Christians.” Charles Spurgeon
There’s a reason why comedians are popular and draw crowds. People feel happier when they are around happy people. Even memories of our school days remind us that funny kids are popular kids.
Trading Fear for Fear
I don’t want fears like that — fears that grip, paralyze, and control me. I want a fear that turns and runs to God, finding shelter in him. I want a fear that trusts him in the midst of storms, and stands in awe of his amazing grace. I want a fear that lets go of everything in my grip and trusts him to be everything I need. I want a right fear, the kind that chases away all other fears. I want the fear of God.
A Prophet for an Un-discerning Church
Beth also claims direct revelation from God. Her claims that God speaks to her are ubiquitous throughout her books and preaching. It is these divine revelations that supply the gravitas for Beth’s extravagant claims. If you watched the video clip above you have already seen her claim to have received a prophetic vision directly from Jesus concerning the future of the church.
If you want to get people mad at you (I mean really mad) just criticize Beth Moore’s teaching. Trust me on this. Many a young pastor has found himself being roasted over the rhetorical bonfire of women’s ministry meetings for daring to raise concerns about Beth Moore’s rather exotic approach to biblical interpretation.
Did the Earliest Christians Really Believe in Substitutionary Atonement (and Even Imputation)?
In sum, the Epistle to Diognetus shows that the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement, and also the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, are not late inventions, but were present very early in the history of Christianity. Did some Christian groups hold other views of such matters? Sure. But, the continuity between the teachings of this epistle, and the writings of Paul himself (see especially Romans 5), make it evident that the substitutionary atonement/imputation view goes back very early indeed.
Ask R.C. Jr.: What are the “third rails” in evangelical social media?
by R.C. Sproul Jr.
What are the “third rails” in evangelical social media?
We all have our sensitive issues, things that tend to instantly shut down our reason and jack up our emotions. It is usually those things, however, that call for careful reason most. What ought to happen and what does happen, sadly are often far apart. Over the years I have from time to time sought to boldly take up the prophet’s mantel and speak to these kinds of issues. On some occasions I’ve been thanked by those who have been helped. On others I’ve learned my dispassionate careful approach wasn’t careful enough, and I was in the wrong. Most of the time, however, I’ve found myself standing on the third rail as intense wattage of reader angst coursed through me. Like a dim dog not quite mastering the concept of the invisible fence, I sometimes return to the jolt. But I’m learning. Here are five things perhaps better left untouched, sacred cows better left untipped if you don’t want to be gored:
The Ministry of Officer Ramos
There are things about the life of New York Police Officer Rafael Ramos that every Christian should know. So . . . please stay tuned to BreakPoint.
A False Jesus Has Been Calling
We haven’t tackled “Jesus Calling” at Falsified Ministries, because frankly so many other trusted bloggers and faithful pastors have spoken on the heresy of this book already.
However, it is continuing to make rapid strides in the evangelical community, and many of our readers have told us that you are faced with family members and friends who are reading it.
We believe it is now time for us to join in the action, not only to make our personal stand against this book, it’s author, and the new age, mystical gobbledygoop contained therein, but also to share some other Biblical truth from others in case you missed it.
Words of Comfort: “Is ‘hell-fire’ preaching effective?”
Preaching the reality of Hell, without using the Law to bring the knowledge of sin (the Ten Commandments) , can do a great deal of damage to the cause of the gospel. A sinner cannot conceive of the thought that God would send anyone to hell, as long as he is deceived into thinking that God’s standard of righteousness is the same as his. Paul “reasoned” with Felix regarding righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come (Acts 24:25). This is the righteousness that is of the Law and judgment by the Law. Felix “trembled” because he suddenly understood that his intemperance made him a guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God. The reality of hell suddenly became reasonable to him when the Law was used to bring the knowledge of sin.
Imagine if the police burst into your home, arrested you, and shouted, “You are going away for a long time!” Such conduct would probably leave you bewildered and angry. What they have done seems unreasonable. However, imagine if the law burst into your home and instead told you specifically why you were in trouble: “We have discovered 10,000 marijuana plants growing in your back yard. You are going away for a long time!” At least then you would understand why you are in trouble. Knowledge of the law you have transgressed furnished you with that understanding. It makes judgmentreasonable. Hell-fire preaching without use of the Law to show the sinner why God is angry with him will more than likely leave him bewildered and angry—for what he considers unreasonable punishment. [From, The Evidence Bible]
Beth Moore’s heretic hunting article and its fallout
On Twitter one day, a young woman mentioned John Piper and Beth Moore in a negative light. She’d said,
“just watched an interview with @johnpiper saying he supports false teacher @bethmoorelpn #sosad”
The young woman’s name was Jessica Lam. Mrs Moore was apparently disturbed by Mrs Lam’s Twitter comment, so Mrs Moore wrote a long essay at her popular blog accusing Jessica of various things.
The title of Mrs Moore’s blog essay about Jessica was “It’s Hunting Season for Heretics“. This implies, of course, that Jessica Lam is a heretic for calling Mrs Moore a false teacher. Please keep in mind that Mrs Moore is pushing 60 years old, and Mrs Lam is 22.
In Jessica’s own words, here is what Mrs Moore accused Jessica of-
“Beth Moore wrote a blog about me because she didn’t agree with what I said about her. In it she put me down because of my age and implied that I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m only 22… I’m not experienced enough.. I’m not thinking for myself.. And then she blocked me.”
The bible says, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5).
As sometimes happens (due to the Holy Spirit, I’m convinced) this particular interaction blew up. Mrs Moore’s supporters flooded her blog with hundreds of comments. (364 as of today). The interaction was widely circulated and discussed on Twitter and Facebook. Preacher Tony Miano emailed Mr Lam, and Pastor Justin Peters called Mr Lam to offer support and encouragement.
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness (Titus 2:2)
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, (1 Timothy 5:1)
At this point, Mrs Moore began to backtrack, at one point even asking someone to post Jessica’s phone number so Mrs Moore could personally call Jessica. Moore promised to “quickly delete it.” This brought out the protective husband instinct in Mr Lam. The couple have been married only 4 months, by the way. Mr Lam didn’t feel it was wise or safe to post their home phone number on a blog with hundreds of angry supporters just so Moore can “quickly delete it.”
Anyway, somehow the two women connected via email. Mrs Lam asked her readers for prayer so that their conversation on both sides would be biblical. Lots of people were praying that would be so.
Mrs Lam has posted the email conversation between herself and Mrs Moore. It can be accessed here.
Several men have commented on this situation. Here are their links.
I am going to include this into my “All Beth Moore Critiques Here in One Place” essay
And sadly, though this next link has nothing to do with the current brouhaha, the legacy Beth Moore is leaving is this: one of rebellion. Witness this article from Christianity Today published just a few days ago.
Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)
Our Time is Short
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