The frightening thing is that, to enter hell, all one has to do is nothing. —Jared Wilson
Jan. 30, 2015
President Obama’s push to normalize relations with Cuba will not include a deal to give up the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.
Senator Rand Paul on Thursday took shots at Common Core education standards and potential 2016 rivals in an aggressive fundraising e-mail from his political-action committee.
The economy in the U.S. expanded at a 2.6 percent annualized rate, slower pace than forecast in the fourth quarter as cooling business investment, a slump in government outlays and a widening trade gap took some of the luster off the biggest gain in consumer spending in almost nine years.
U.S. gross domestic product came in a little weaker than expected in the fourth quarter of 2014, with growth at 2.6 percent instead of the 3.0 percent that was expected. But there was one piece of great news. The U.S. consumer is really starting to show some strength. Personal consumption expenditures grew at 4.3 percent, the fastest pace since 2006.
Mario Draghi’s deflation challenge was underlined on Friday with prices plunging at a pace last seen in the depths of the recession in 2009. The annual inflation rate fell to minus 0.6 percent, matching the biggest decline in prices in the history of the single currency.
AP Top Stories
The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were unknown Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive.
Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman further cemented his hold on power, with a sweeping shakeup that saw two sons of the late King Abdullah fired, and the heads of intelligence and other key agencies replaced alongside a cabinet shuffle.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will visit Stockholm next month after Sweden became the first major state of the European Union to recognize Palestine, the Swedish government announced Friday.
Oil fell below $49 a barrel on Friday and was on course for its seventh straight month of declines, the longest such bear run on record as a supply glut showed no signs of easing with OPEC increasing production in January.
The Islamic State jihadist group killed a senior Kurdish commander and five other fighters on Friday in a major attack in Iraq’s Kirkuk province.
Russia’s top general said on Friday a strong nuclear arsenal will ensure military superiority over the West as Moscow forges ahead with a multi-billion dollar plan to modernize its forces by 2020.
A Texas man convicted of killing a 38-year-old woman nearly two decades ago while he was on parole for a triple slaying years earlier was executed Thursday evening.
Britain said it had summoned the Russian ambassador to London after Russian bombers were found flying close to British airspace, saying the incident had disrupted civil aviation.
Ukrainian troops are struggling to counter artillery fire and electronic jamming by pro-Russian militants, who are flying drones to target the Kiev government forces, a top US general said.
The Philippine president said he has ordered the hunt for a Filipino terror suspect who escaped an anti-terrorist operation that resulted in the killings of 44 police commandos, the biggest single-day combat loss in recent years that threatened to derail a peace deal with Muslim rebels.
A Delta Air Lines jet ended its flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas on Thursday with its captain locked out of his cockpit. The pilot left the cockpit prior to the final landing approach of Delta Flight 1651 but “was not able to re-enter the flight deck because of a door jam.” The first officer of the plane, which was carrying 160 passengers, took control and landed the aircraft safely at McCarran International Airport, without further incident.
The US Senate passed a bill to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, sending it to President Obama’s desk for a likely veto.
South African apartheid-era death squad commander Eugene de Kock, nicknamed “Prime Evil”, got parole after 20 years for killing activists.
The boat that carried Sir Winston Churchill’s coffin along the Thames in 1965 made the same journey on the 50th anniversary of his funeral.
A bomb blast at a Shia mosque in southern Pakistan killed at least 40 people and injured many more, officials said.
Two pilots have surpassed the world distance record for a flight in a helium balloon after crossing the Pacific Ocean. American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev also hope to set a new duration record.
The African Union backed plans for a West African task force of 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram militants.
Eurozone deflation deepened in January, as prices fell by 0.6% compared with last year, pushed down by lower oil prices.
For the managers of West Virginia’s Consol Energy/Consolidation Coal Company, it was just a technological innovation to improve tracking of employees’ time and attendance, but for Beverly R. Butcher Jr. it was the Bible’s “Mark of the Beast.” A jury sided this month with the general laborer, awarding him $150,000 in compensatory damages.
Just days after an Obama administration official went to great pains to explain that the Taliban is not considered a terrorist group, the Afghan-based organization on Friday to credit for an attack that killed three American contractors and said it was carried out by a fighter who had infiltrated Afghanistan’s security forces.
Birth Pangs Of The Coming Great Depression
The signs of the times are everywhere – all you have to do is open up your eyes and look at them. When a pregnant woman first goes into labor, the birth pangs are usually fairly moderate and are not that close together. But as the time for delivery approaches, they become much more frequent and much more intense. Economically, what we are experiencing right now are birth pangs of the coming Great Depression. As we get closer to the crisis that is looming on the horizon, they will become even more powerful. This week, we learned that the Baltic Dry Index has fallen to the lowest level that we have seen in 29 years. The Baltic Dry Index also crashed during the financial collapse of 2008, but right now it is already lower than it was at any point during the last financial crisis. In addition, “Dr. Copper” and other industrial commodities continue to plunge. This almost always happens before we enter an economic downturn. Meanwhile, as I mentioned the other day, orders for durable goods are declining. This is also a traditional indicator that a recession is approaching. The warning signs are there – we just have to be open to what they are telling us. (Read More….)
January 30, 2015
“The province of the Court is solely to decide on the rights of individuals. … Questions, in their nature political or which are, by the Constitution and laws, submitted to the Executive, can never be made in this court.” –John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, 1803
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
From the Captain Renault Files, we’re shocked — shocked — that one of the “Taliban Five” Gitmo terrorists Barack Obama released in exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, now wants to rejoin Taliban terrorists. (Yes, they are terrorists despite the Obama administration’s insistence they are not.) The Taliban Five were supposed to be under Qatar supervision, but even Obama conceded last June, “Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely.” On the other hand, Hillary Clinton downplayed the threat declaring, “These five guys are not a threat to the United States.” But as Mark Alexander has argued since the administration started releasing terrorists, “Eventually, when it is determined that some of those terrorists returned to the killing fields — and that time will come — their victims, particularly any American or allied deaths, will be hung around Obama’s neck.” In his State of the Union, Obama said, “[W]e’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of Gitmo in half. Now it is time to finish the job. And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down.” The price of this “responsible cut” will be heavy. More…
The president so adept at capitalizing on every crisis has called the “Republican” sequestration a “manufactured crisis” — a crisis, by the way, that was his idea. Barack Obama will present his proposed budget to Congress Monday. In it, he attempts to undo the gains made in cutting spending growth. Yet in a Huffington Post blog entry, the president wrote, “I’m proud that since I took office, we’ve experienced the fastest period of sustained deficit reduction since the end of World War II. … Of course, to make these common-sense investments in our future without adding to our deficits, we need to turn the page on the manufactured crises that have defined the debates over our budget in recent years.” As usual, Obama doesn’t tell the complete truth. The deficit quadrupled during Obama’s first months in office and he has spent six years paring it down. Even now, the deficit is higher than pre-Obama levels. And that’s just enough for Obama to create a manufactured breakthrough. More…
House Speaker John Boehner announced another vote to repeal ObamaCare. Obviously, this will go nowhere beyond the House — it will likely die in the Senate despite Republican control — but, as Boehner explained, “We have 47 new members of Congress on the Republican side who have never had the chance to cast their vote to repeal ObamaCare.” House Republicans, he added, are also working on alternatives: “Three committee chairmen who have jurisdiction over the health care policy in our country … are working together to craft what we believe would be a better approach with regard to health care for the American people than ObamaCare. … There will be an alternative, and you’ll get to see it.” The three chairmen are Fred Upton (Energy and Commerce), Paul Ryan (Ways and Means) and John Kline (Education and the Workforce). Details remain to be seen, but Republicans also know an alternative won’t become law as long as Barack Obama occupies the Oval Office.
In a 62-36 vote, the Senate sent a bill authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline to the House. Nine Democrats voted for the pipeline, but that still leaves the legislation five votes shy of overriding a promised presidential veto. The bill came with amendments benefitting the Left, including one in which 98 senators declared climate change is happening. “I’d like to congratulate Sen. [Mitch] McConnell for passing this bill in an open, inclusive and bipartisan way,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “After dropping his scheme to tax middle-class college savings, we hope President Obama will now drop his threat to veto this common-sense bill that would strengthen our energy security and create thousands and thousands of new, good-paying American jobs.” But the White House will unlikely do so. As political analyst George Will wryly observed, “America built the Empire State Building, then the world’s tallest office building, in 410 days during the Depression. We built the Pentagon, still the world’s largest low-rise office building, in 16 months while waging a war across two oceans. Keystone has been studied for more than six years. And Obama considers this insufficient?” More…
Barack Obama said he won’t meet with Benjamin Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits Washington in March because it will be too close to the Israeli elections. It would be “inappropriate,” he explained. As Caroline Glick, deputy managing editor for the Jerusalem Post, wrote, “Obama … believes in protocol and propriety which is why he won’t get involved. No, he’s not getting involved at all. He’s just sending his 2012 field campaign manager to Israel to run a campaign to defeat Netanyahu. That’s all. No interference whatsoever.” That’s right: Jeremy Bird, the man who served as Obama’s national campaign director, and who leveraged social media and big data to send Obama to the White House, was hired by a group called OneVoice to inject U.S. campaign influence into the Israeli election. This is the Obama of the perpetual campaign. Not only have he and his meddlesome, anti-Israel goons taken campaigns to the international level, they are using this politicking to unseat a tough, terror-fighting world leader whom Obama despises. More…
Eric Schultz opened up a can of worms when answering a question from ABC’s Jonathan Karl at Wednesday’s White House press briefing. Schultz, the White House deputy press secretary, gave a meandering answer on Jordan’s willingness to trade a convicted terrorist to ISIL for one of its captured pilots, noting that the United States doesn’t pay ransom to or negotiate with terrorists. Except when Barack Obama wants to.
Karl then asked, “[Y]ou say the United States government does not give in to demands [and] does not pay ransom. But how is what the Jordanians are talking about doing any different than what the United States did to get the release of [Bowe] Bergdahl — the releasing prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay to the Taliban, which is clearly a terrorist organization?”
Schultz stammered, “As you know, this was highly discussed at the time. And prisoner swaps are a traditional, end-of-conflict interaction that happens. As the war in Afghanistan wound down, we felt like it was the appropriate thing to do. The president’s bedrock commitment as commander in chief is to leave no man or woman behind.” (Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Ty Woods were unavailable for comment.)
Pressed for clarification, Schultz added, “I’d also point out that the Taliban is an armed insurgency; ISIL is a terrorist group. So we don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.”
The Taliban must be wondering what it has to do to earn the “terrorist” label. Apparently, the massacre of more than 130 school children in Pakistan last month wasn’t enough to impress the Obama administration. Nor was the Taliban’s role in killing three American contractors in Kabul this week.
Did we mention that one of the Taliban Five is seeking to return to the battlefield?
Leaving aside the legal questions about the five-for-one swap for a deserter, few believe Schultz’s hair-splitting contrast between the Taliban and ISIL. And, by the way, it’s no mean feat for ISIL to be promoted from the junior varsity to a terrorist group with whom we’re not willing to negotiate — yet.
When Schultz’s boss, Press Secretary Josh Earnest, tried to clarify the remarks, they became even muddier. It was the groups’ scope of effort, explained Earnest, because “the Taliban’s objectives are focused specifically on Afghanistan” while ISIL and al-Qaida have a much larger agenda. That’s small consolation for the American families who lost loved ones fighting the Taliban’s terrorist regime in Afghanistan, particularly as Obama negotiates his foolish withdrawal from that country. The assertion also contradicts the Treasury Department’s consideration of the Taliban as terrorists for the purpose of economic sanctions.
In either case, we’d venture to guess that soon the Taliban will make peace with and provide safe haven for their ISIL brethren, regardless of what the White House press office wants to call it.
The problem with Obama’s foreign policy is that everything is a domestic political calculation. And, therefore, the fruit of Obama’s meandering foreign policy is quite rotten.
|Obama wearing Che wearing Obama|
Cuban dictator Raul Castro announced an extensive list of demands this week in order to re-establish diplomatic relations with the United States. Under normal circumstances this would constitute a deal breaker for the American government. Unfortunately, circumstances are far from normal with Barack Obama at the helm of American foreign policy.
Castro ticked off a whole grocery list of items at a Community of Latin American and Caribbean States meeting Wednesday that he claims are necessary for normalized relations. This list includes a complete lifting of the economic embargo, compensation for economic damage caused by the decades-long embargo, an end to U.S. support of Cuban dissidents, Cuba’s removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, an end to anti-Castro radio and television broadcast transmissions, and the return of Guantanamo Bay to the Cuban government.
As for what the U.S. is supposed to receive in return for all this, well, that would be basically nothing. But Obama would get to claim that he opened Cuba, a hollow victory that would nevertheless occupy an entire wing in his future presidential library.
Obama announced his intention to re-establish diplomatic relations with the Communist regime on Dec. 17. His motivations were two-fold, both equally self-serving. First, he was eager to wash away the embarrassment of the complete rejection of his agenda in the midterms, and second, he wanted something, anything that historians could point to as a major accomplishment of his time in the Oval Office.
In the context of this ongoing dialogue, Castro’s recent demands would supposedly constitute the next step toward normalization. But Raul, like his older brother Fidel, who surfaced long enough to give his blessing to the talks while expressing distrust of the U.S., recognizes that Obama is motivated by love of self far more than he is by love of country. And the Castro brothers will play that to their advantage.
It’s likely why Castro floated such a bold list of demands. He has already stated that he will take whatever the U.S. gives him, but there are no plans whatsoever to change Cuba’s current system of government.
Let’s set aside the fact that Obama cannot make good on many of Castro’s demands without congressional approval. (Though his presidency is littered with examples of his lack of concern for Congress or constitutional process.) There are a number of reasons he should not honor a single one of Castro’s demands. However, these demands fit nicely into Obama’s plans for his own legacy. Take for instance his long-stated goal of closing the terrorist holding facility at Guantanamo Bay. No doubt he can’t wait to use relations with Cuba as another excuse for abandoning the territory.
But the naval station at Guantanamo isn’t just a holdout of American territory from a bygone era. It’s a strategic point of operations the U.S. military has used since the Spanish-American War. It has served as a base of operations for U.S. military action against terrorists in the Western Hemisphere. And it held strategic importance on many occasions throughout the Cold War, particularly during the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which the Castro regime was complicit in nearly starting a nuclear war on its own soil.
Obama chooses not to remember any of that. He also chooses to ignore that his offer of normalized relations between the U.S. and Cuba comes with no obligations or sacrifice on the part of the Castro government. Obama is chasing legacy, come what may.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Jonah Goldberg: Saudi Arabia Opens Window of Opportunity for Obama
- Charles Krauthammer: Auschwitz, Today
- David Harsanyi: Obama Keeps Bowing in the Middle East
- Tony Perkins: A Lynch Pin at DOJ?
- Joe Bastardi: The Grand Slam of Climate
OPINION IN BRIEF
General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964): “The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle — the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.”
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “By artificially keeping oil prices low, the Saudis get to deal a powerful blow to the energy revolution in the U.S. (They also get to deliver a severe economic blow to their enemies the Iranians, which is nice.) In exchange, Obama gets an unearned political windfall and can claim vindication for his ineffectual economic policies. Obama is paying back the Saudis by permanently taking the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve’s billions of barrels of oil off the table for all time. By doing so, he also puts the entire Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System (TAPS) on a starvation diet. … Saudi Arabia’s short-term economic hit is an investment in future dependence on Saudi oil. Of course, there need not be a conspiracy, just a convergence of economic and political interests. But the fact remains that Obama could never have gotten away with restricting energy development in ANWR before an election or when gas prices were high. This is Obama’s window, and it appears the Saudis are holding it open for him for as long as he needs.”
Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “The Iranian bomb is a national security issue, an alliance issue and a regional Middle East issue. But it is also a uniquely Jewish issue because of Israel’s situation as the only state on earth overtly threatened with extinction, facing a potential nuclear power overtly threatening that extinction. On the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz, mourning dead Jews is easy. And, forgive me, cheap. Want to truly honor the dead? Show solidarity with the living — Israel and its 6 million Jews. Make ‘never again’ more than an empty phrase. It took Nazi Germany seven years to kill 6 million Jews. It would take a nuclear Iran one day.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “NASA reported that an asteroid a third of a mile wide passed close by the earth Monday, coming to within a relative whisker of direct impact with our planet. The asteroid just missed hitting the earth by seven hundred thousand miles. Michael Moore noted the near-miss and called the universe a coward.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
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Posted: 30 Jan 2015 07:27 AM PST
In the wake of Tuesday’s attack on the Corinthia Hotel in Libya, an Al Jazeera English executive reportedly sent an email to employees banning the use of certain terms, including “terrorists,” “extremism” and “Islamist.” Fox News’ Todd Starnes blasted the network for its new policy. “If nothing else, the leaked email confirms what we’ve long suspected: Al Jazeera is nothing less than a propaganda machine for those who hate America,” Starnes said. “And while they are busy banning words—maybe Al Jazeera ought to add impartial and objective journalism to its list.” More
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|Gay Politician Threatens to Out Adulterous Congressmen for Blocking Same-Sex MarriagePosted: 30 Jan 2015 07:24 AM PST
Alabama’s first openly gay lawmaker says she will “out” elected officials if they try to block the same-sex marriage ruling. State Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, says that if the state’s politicians are protesting gay marriage based on “family values,” she will show exactly how family-friendly they are. “I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have. I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet OUT,” Todd reportedly posted on Facebook. Todd’s comments came after high-profile politicians said they would be fighting a judge’s ruling striking down a ban against same-sex marriage. “Don’t start throwing bricks at my window when yours is already cracked as well,” Todd tells al.com. Todd was particularly offended with Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, who made this comment following the judge’s ruling: “It is outrageous when a single, unelected and unaccountable federal judge can overturn the will of millions of Alabamians who stand in firm support of the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment. The Legislature will encourage a vigorous appeals process, and we will continue defending the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live.” More
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|Judge Roy Moore Takes a Stand Against Judicial TyrannyPosted: 30 Jan 2015 07:21 AM PST
Federal judges may have the last word on marriage—but they won’t have the final one. That’s becoming abundantly clear in Alabama, the latest state to feel the sting of a runaway court invalidating the will of the people on marriage. In a letter to Governor Robert Bentley (R-Ala.), Chief Justice Roy Moore made that quite clear—explaining that this isn’t an issue that the federal courts will resolve. Rather, he said, it “raises serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.” Unelected judges and a handful of lawyers have been pushing state marriage amendments over like sleeping cows. Meanwhile, stunned Americans have struggled to make sense of a legal system that puts its own political agenda ahead of the expressed will of the people. Like most conservatives, FRC has watched in horror as the courts have robbed tens of millions of Americans of their voice on an issue of critical importance—not just to our nation’s stability, but to its very survival. If the Supreme Court completes the circle and invents a right to same-sex “marriage,” I believe it will be the Roe v. Wade of the 21st Century. People then, as now, insisted that the Supreme Court had the final say on the issue. Forty-two years later, they couldn’t be more wrong. Far from settling the issue of abortion, the Supreme Court ignited a powerful, nationwide movement—now four decades strong—to overturn the justices’ ruling. Of course, there are a few out-of-touch writers who take issue with the comparison, surprised that anyone wouldn’t just “move on” and accept the redefinition of mankind’s most fundamental institution. Damon Linker at The Week insists that legalizing same-sex “marriage” would never spark the kind of nationwide protest that abortion has. It’s “nonsense,” he argues. “Unlike Roe v. Wade, same-sex ‘marriage’ isn’t a life or death issue. They can’t even convincingly demonstrate that anyone is hurt in any way by a gay wedding,” he writes. “The harm, in the present, is purely figurative.” It certainly wasn’t “figurative” for Melissa and Aaron Klein, Jack Phillips, Barronnelle Stutzman, Nang and Chris Mai, Craig James and others who may not have lost their lives—but did lose their livelihoods over their moral beliefs on marriage. Meanwhile, abortion wasn’t widely accepted because it runs counter to nature—mothers don’t kill their own offspring. Same-sex “marriage” also runs counter to nature—since it isn’t the natural bridge that brings the two sexes together. More
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|Imprisoned Pastor Saeed Writes a Poignant Letter to President ObamaPosted: 30 Jan 2015 07:18 AM PST
American Pastor Saeed Abedini has written a letter from his Iranian jail cell to President Obama thanking him for meeting with his wife and kids. Last week, President Obama met with Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and their two children, Rebekka and Jacob, and promised to make Pastor Saeed’s freedom a “top priority,” even telling Jacob that he “will try” to work to get Pastor Saeed home by Jacob’s birthday in March. Yesterday, Pastor Saeed told a family member in Iran who was able to visit him that President Obama’s willingness to take the time to meet with his wife and kids greatly encouraged him. He wrote a letter to President Obama expressing his immense gratitude:
Pastor Saeed—a U.S. citizen—has been wrongfully imprisoned, separated from his wife and kids, for nearly 2 1/2 years in an Iranian prison because of his Christian faith. More
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|Franklin Graham: There Are Storms ComingPosted: 30 Jan 2015 06:58 AM PST
Times have changed. And no politician or political party can save us. That’s what Franklin Graham told an Oklahoma City crowd Monday night at the Oklahoma State Evangelism Conference. Talking about the forces of secular humanism that have taken root in the United States, Franklin Graham called on Christ followers to take an active interest in politics—from local school board races to Washington. “Now I’m not talking about Baptists or Republicans and the Tea Party,” he said. “I have no confidence that any of these politicians or any party is going to turn this country around. The only hope for this country is for men and women of God to stand up and take a stand.” “Well, you say, ‘Now Franklin, your father wouldn’t get onto these subjects,’” Franklin Graham said, addressing the need to stand up to secularism. “Wait a second. My father, when he was going to school, they had a Bible in school,” he continued. “When he was going to school, they had the Ten Commandments on the wall. When he was going to school, you could pray in school, and the teachers would lead in those prayers. “Our country has changed. And we’ve got to take a stand.” Talking about growing up in the ’50s and ’60s under the Red Threat, Franklin Graham recalled that communism was seen as the ultimate enemy of freedom. “When the Berlin Wall came down, everybody said we won,” he said. “And secularism came. And secularism and communism are the same thing. They’re godless. They’re anti Christ.” The message was strong and challenging. But a thread of hope ran through it, from start to finish. “There is only one who can save,” Franklin Graham said. “Only one. Jesus Christ.” Pulling from Matthew 8, where Jesus calmed the storm that had his disciples fearing for their lives, Franklin reminded the crowd that we aren’t very different from the people who were with Jesus 2,000 years ago. “There are storms that are coming,” he said. “And we find ourselves in these storms, and many times we as a church, we run and we run to the wrong place. “You see, Jesus is in the boat. All we have to do is call Him, call on His name.” Sometimes that will mean facing ridicule from a secular world, Franklin Graham continued. But the people of God have to stay strong. More
|This Muslim, Sharia Event in Dallas Saw No Protest From LiberalsPosted: 30 Jan 2015 06:54 AM PST
On Jan. 17 Sound Vision Foundation, a Chicago-based 501 (C) 3 organization held a “Stand With the Prophet” event in Garland, Texas, a suburb outside of Dallas, at the Curtis Culwell Center on Independent School District property. The event, permitted by the Superintendent of Public Schools, launched a Strategic Communication Center for Muslims to advocate censoring and criminalizing non-Muslim speech. Sound Vision asks: “Frustrated with Islamophobes defaming the Prophet? Remember the Danish cartoons defaming the Prophet? Or the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims?” After Muslim “defenders of Muhammad” recently murdered 16 people in Paris, and continue to persecute millions of Christians and non-Muslims worldwide, Sound Vision expressed its commitment to “defending Muhammad.” They claim: “This is not an event. It is the beginning of a movement. A movement to defend the Prophet Muhammad, his person, and his message.” They assert “attacks” against Muslims stem from “media defamation” of their religion and that “Islamophobia is causing problems all around the world.” Featured speakers included John Esposito, head of the Saudi-funded Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and close friend of the bombing’s mastermind Omar Abdel Rahman. Watch a video here, in which reporters from several news organizations were denied access to the event, discriminated against because of their faith or last name, despite having purchased tickets in advance. At the 2:37-minute mark in the video, Alia Salem, the Executive Director for CAIR’s Dallas/Ft. Worth chapter (who was responsible for dealing with the media) claims ignorance as to why certain reporters were denied access. She did not offer a solution or resolve the issue. More
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|2nd Amendment threatened in Obama’s trade plansPosted: 30 Jan 2015 06:50 AM PST
Giving President Obama fast-track authority to conclude an international trade agreement is like playing Russian roulette with six bullets in the chamber, says one of America’s leading gun rights organizations. Gun Owners of America is blasting a congressional proposal that empowers Obama to unilaterally negotiate international agreements as “a ‘bait and switch’ scheme that could seriously impact the Second Amendment.” House and Senate committees are currently preparing to hand Obama so-called “fast-track” trade promotion authority. It would enable the president to unilaterally negotiate the TransPacific Partnership, a trade and global governance agreement with the U.S. and 11 other nations bordering the Pacific Ocean. Under fast-track rules, Congress would not be able to amend or even vet the completed agreement. It could only approve everything that Obama has included, including anything tucked away in the 99th page that no one really wants to talk about, or kill it. Gun Owners of America warns fast track “delegates to Barack Obama the legislative authority to do anything he wants – absolutely anything – so long as he includes it in a ‘trade agreement.’” Second Amendment defenders worry, for example, anti-gun measures such as gun or ammunition import bans could be relegated to the bowels of the so-called “trade agreement.” They say Congress would be unable to stop it “when every Establishment interest in Washington starts pushing Congress to immediately approve this ‘up-or-down’ deal.” They point to the experience with the recently approved trillion-dollar “Cromnibus” spending bill, which included the largest funding increase in history for the federal gun database, empowered states to impose gun bans based on doctor’s orders and increased the budget for the ATF. Fast track “is the same dynamic as the Cromnibus, and if we hadn’t just gone through that we wouldn’t see what will happen if they give him fast track,” Michael Hammond, legislative counsel with Gun Owners of America, told WND. More
|The Terrifying Book that Pope Francis Wants the World to ReadPosted: 30 Jan 2015 06:46 AM PST
IN AN AIRPLANE NEWS CONFERENCE ON HIS WAY BACK FROM THE PHILIPPINES, POPE FRANCES REFERENCED A 1907 BOOK ENTITLED “LORD OF THE WORLD” AND ADVISED ALL OF THOSE IN ATTENDANCE TO READ IT
“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:5
From the day he became pope, NTEB has always maintained that Pope Francis was a man on a mission and destined to fulfill end times bible prophecy in a big way. Evidentially, he would seem to agree with our assessment. The book he wants everyone to read is centered around two main people – the Antichrist and the Catholic pope. Seriously, we couldn’t make this stuff up. It’s not the first time Pope Francis has mentioned the 1907 novel by Robert Hugh Benson, but his recommendation appears to be due to the daunting warning that is contained in the novel’s plot line. “Lord of the World” portrays a dystopian vision of the future and culminates in the final battle between humanism and Catholicism, which eventually leads to Armageddon. The author depicts a Marxist world in which a charismatic senator from Vermont named Julian Felsenburgh promises world peace if world’s citizens follow him obediently. He is made president of Europe, and then the world, due to his charisma and promises of utopia, but little remains known about him, even after his rise to power. He replaces the belief in God with secularism and tortures and kills those who oppose his doctrine. As it becomes clear that the Felsenburgh is, in fact, the “anti-Christ,” the Pope gathers with the Cardinals in Rome in an effort to avoid the coming apocalypse. In the end, Felsenburgh ends up destroying Rome, killing the Pope and with the assistance of other world leaders and destroys the remaining vestiges of faith on Earth. More
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Headlines of Interest
Birth Pangs Of The Coming Great Depression
The signs of the times are everywhere – all you have to do is open up your eyes and look at them. When a pregnant woman first goes into labor, the birth pangs are usually fairly moderate and are not that close together. But as the time for delivery approaches, they become much more frequent and much more intense. Economically, what we are experiencing right now are birth pangs of the coming Great Depression …………. Click here for full story
Is Hezbollah Trying To Draw Israel Into A Ground Offensive?
It may be too soon to point to a new, cohesive Hezbollah strategy along Israel’s northern border. And yet, repeated rocket fire at Israeli targets in the Golan Heights Tuesday prompts speculation that the Shiite terror group and its ally, the Syrian regime, are seeking to draw Israel into a ground offensive ………. Click here for full story
‘15,000 Young Gazans Complete Hamas Terror Training Camps
Thousands of recruits as young as 15 learned how to kidnap soldiers, use weapons, and infiltrate into Israel though tunnels at a Hamas paramilitary training camp in Gaza……….. Click here for full story
Biometrics To Replace Passwords… Sooner Than You Think
Once the territory of futuristic films, soon biometrics may just spell the end for passwords……….. Click here for full story
Eight Reasons Why Some Full-time Pastors and Staff Should Go Bivocational
Some of you reading this post may need to get a new job. At least you may need to get an additional job. Without a doubt, many churches will always need full-time vocational pastors and church staff. I am not suggesting all of you, even the majority of you, should go bivocational. But I do believe more of you should consider this path ……… Click here for full story
US Passports on Verge of Elimination? Soros-Funded Plan Champions ‘North American Union’
(WND)—A Soros-funded group arguing to replace the U.S. passport with a North American passport appears ready to take up the mantle of championing the concept of a European Union-style regional government to supersede the sovereignty of the United States, Mexico and Canada, fulfilling the dream of the late American University professor Robert Pastor.
FBI Report: More Guns Correlated with Less Crime in First Half of 2014
(BREITBART)—…private gun sales skyrocketed during 2013 with 21,093,273 background checks. And now the FBI reports that during the first six months of 2014—the first six months that all these new guns were in the hands of Americans—”offenses” in the categories of violent crimes and property crimes decreased.
In other words, More guns correlated with less crime in the first half of 2014.
Courageous Saints in an Age of Spineless Wonders
by Bill Muehlenberg
I have written often before about a church paralysed with fear, cowardice, compromise and conformity to the world. where are the heroes who will stand against the surrounding pagan culture and stand strong for Jesus? And where are the godly men who will take a stand? Why does it always seem to be women who are standing up and showing some Holy Ghost boldness?
The Invisible Impulse
by Christopher Ames
One of the impulses among the earliest New Evangelicalism was to make a name for themselves. E. J. Carnell was probably the most explicit:
The Scriptures place great emphasis on our part in sanctification, on what you and I have to do. What is the point of the mighty arguments of Paul and the apostles in their letters if sanctification is something that I am to receive? Why the exhortations? Here is one exhortation from the apostle Peter: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which
How Jesus Would Act in a Homosexual Bar? or “How to Evangelize Homosexuals”
by C Michael Patton
This is one of the most commonly asked questions that I get lately: How do I evangelize homosexuals? It is such a sensitive issue as there are so many passions involved and a growing variety of opinions. The volatility could not be greater and I could not be dumber for writing on this! Nevertheless, I am going to do my best to answer here.
Witnessing to Those Who Have Fallen from Faith
By James Patrick Holding
Christians, in their witnessing, are accustomed to giving a presentation of the gospel and offering their personal testimony. What if, however, the reaction of our evangelistic audience is something like this: “I know what the gospel message is. I once believed it myself, but not anymore” or, “I once had a testimony like yours, but I am no longer a Christian.”
These troubling responses, regrettably, are becoming more commonplace. Support groups for ex-Christians, such as Fundamentalists Anonymous (FA), are gaining prominence; the FA Web site receives tens of thousands of visitors each month, and the Internet is rife with “antitestimonies” of those who once confessed belief in Christ but have abandoned their faith. A few have joined cults or other religions, but the majority have retreated into some form of skepticism. How is the witnessing Christian to respond to the “ex-Christian” for whom the Good News is “old news”?
Nashville Evangelical Church Comes Out For Marriage Equality
Amidst cautious applause, a Tennesee church has become one of the first evangelical megachurches in the country to openly stand for full equality and inclusion of the LGBTQ community, along with EastLake Community Church near Seattle. GracePointe is located in Franklin, Tenn., twenty minutes south of Nashville and in the heart of the country’s contemporary […]
“Jesus was a Palestinian” is a False Narrative
In early December I came across a video of Dr. Mitri Raheb, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, summing up the pro-Palestinian Christian narrative. While Raheb’s duplicity is disturbing, his rather succinct commentary offers an opportunity to debunk the lies that he and his colleagues advance
The Law: God’s Law and the Christian
This marvelous news of salvation by grace, apart from the works of the law, however, in no way excuses us from living in conformity to God’s Law as kingdom disciples. In various quarters of the evangelical world –– even in some sections of the Reformed camp –– there seems to be a conspicuous de-emphasis upon God Law as a guide for the Christian life. Some even give the impression that stressing the importance of Christian obedience compromises the gospel. There is much talk about the Law as that which convicts, condemns, and drives us to Christ. But less attention is given to “the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among the nations” (Romans 1:5b).
My Baby’s Heart Stopped Beating
He gives purpose to our suffering (Romans 8:28). My miscarriage didn’t happen in a vacuum. Both my child and I were created in God’s image, designed for his glory. My intentions for my child’s life were not the Lord’s intentions, and my timetable was not his timetable. He chose for that tiny person’s purpose to be fulfilled through seven weeks of life. He chose for my purpose to be further revealed through the death of that little one.
Will Christians Be Allowed To Serve As Judges In California?
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court ruled that state judges could no longer hold membership in the Boy Scouts of America. Why? Because the Boy Scouts allow gay scouts but not gay Scout leaders. As far as the California Supreme Court is concerned, the Boy Scouts discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and that violates their code of ethics.
Cross-Contamination at the Lord’s Table
I love how Oden didn’t merely focus on the seminary and the religious professionals. He wrote a book to expose them to the congregants who were affected by this poison. Discerning worshippers had already been noticing something different being preached from their pulpits. When theology is reduced to ideology, it’s the local church that is starved and poisoned in the end. Oden faced great opposition from some in his own denomination and faculty for his work. But that didn’t stop him.
Are Sacraments Fundamentals?
If the sacraments are not gospel issues, then why should we not ordain someone who holds to transubstantiation? Consubstantiation? Memorialist? Usually, we’re not willing to go there. But then, that would mean that we view some sacramental issues as gospel issues, and other issues as not gospel issues. Perhaps this is true. I, for one, am not willing to die on the whole grape juice versus wine debate, though since Jesus used wine, I see no reason why we should ever have switched to anything else.
A High (And Prioritized) Ecclesiology
Outside of the visible church there is no ordinary possibility of salvation, but outside of the invisible church there is no possibility of salvation whatsoever. For man baptizes in water, but God our Savior “saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
On Friendship: A Review of “The Company We Keep”
If you’ve been thinking about friendship, desire good friendships (or if you think negatively about friendships!) I highly recommend this booklet: The Company We Keep by Jonathan Holmes. It’s a brief (just over 100 small pages), concise (to the point), and clear (outlined and explained well) biblical discussion of Christian friendship. The contents include 1) A definition and goal of biblical friendship, 2) Pseudo-friendships or substitute types of friendships, 3) The marks of biblical friendship, 4) Making and having friends, 5) Threats to friendship, and 6) The purpose of biblical friendship.
When Your Church Is Disappointing and Boring
Church has a much higher purpose for existence than not being boring or disappointing. The most important thing is not that we are bored or disappointed, but that our lives and churches exist for the glory of God.
Who Will Repopulate the Planet?
Q. Can you please provide some clarification regarding what remnant of the surviving Tribulation population will go on to repopulate the planet after the Second Coming? Will it be those who come to faith during the Tribulation and survive, will it be those who are unbelieving until Christ’s return, or will it be a combination of both? We are a little confused as to whether the surviving Tribulation believers will be residing in the New Jerusalem with the returning saints, or living on the out skirts repopulating the planet and if so, how will they be differentiated from those who did not believe until they actually see Yeshua’s appearance?
The 144,000 And The 2 Witnesses
Q. I am confused about the 144,000 and the two witnesses. Which one came first, the two witnesses, did they witness to the 144,000? Or did the 144,000 witness the to the two witnesses? Will these two witnesses preach during the last half of the Tribulation? Will the 144,000 have any ministry during the last half of the Tribulation?
Can we Lose Our Salvation? Follow Up
Q. Re: “Can We Lose Our Salvation Through Disobedience” In your response about the fear of losing one’s salvation, I have a question. My understanding is if we fear that we can loose our salvation then we are trusting in ourselves and not in God’s provision. Therefore we are not truly saved because we are in essence trusting only in ourselves and not in God for our salvation. The fear of doing something that would loose our salvation is depending on our own works to save us and not trusting in God to save us. So I consider people who believe they can loose their salvation are not really saved at all. Please help me with this if it is incorrect.
Our Time is Short
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