No man can give at once the impressions that he himself is clever and that Jesus Christ is mighty to save. —James Denney
“As unbalanced parties of every description can never tolerate a free inquiry of any kind, when employed against themselves, the license, and even the most temperate freedom of the press, soon excite resentment and revenge.” –John Adams, Discourses on Davila
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
As we’ve noted on numerous occasions, U.S. oil production is up and demand is down, leading to lower prices. Increased production is taking place entirely on private lands, yet, once again, Barack Obama is happy to take the credit. On Friday, he told a crowd of adoring supporters, “We’re as free of foreign oil as we’ve been in 30 years. We’ve doubled the amount of clean energy that we’re producing. A lot of families are saving a lot of money at the gas pump, which is putting some smiles on folks’ faces.” His remarks received a smattering of chuckles and applause, to which he arrogantly responded, “You’re welcome.” His policies have nothing to do with lower gas prices. Indeed, those lower prices have happened despite his best efforts. He did warn, “[A]t some point, [gas prices] are going to go back up.” He has plans…
Recent terrorist attacks serve as a gruesome reminder that Jihadistan remains a critical threat. In fact, at no other time in history have jihadis controlled such vast swaths of land and boasted such a powerful upper hand. Sadly, rising turmoil has done nothing to sway Barack Obama, who only reaffirmed he’s content to keep the issue on the back burner. His latest national security blueprint contains phony diversions like global warming and homosexual rights, while underestimating the world’s greatest enemy. According to the Associated Press, “Obama says the United States must resist the urge to ‘overreach’ abroad, as he outlined a new national security strategy Friday that is meant to serve as a blueprint for his final two years in office. The 29-page document hews closely to Obama’s long-held views of America’s role in the world and forecasts no major shifts in the military campaign against Islamic State militants or in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.” That’s rich, coming from a man who oversteps his constitutional authority every opportunity he can get. These “national security” protocols literally aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. More…
After the Obama administration spent years calling Nidal Hasan’s murderous attack at Fort Hood an episode of “workplace violence,” and thus denying Purple Hearts for the victims, sanity has finally prevailed. Announcing the decision, Secretary of the Army John McHugh wrote, “The Purple Heart’s strict eligibility criteria had prevented us from awarding it to victims of the horrific attack at Fort Hood. Now that Congress has changed the criteria, we believe there is sufficient reason to allow these men and women to be awarded and recognized. It’s an appropriate recognition of their service and sacrifice.” Rep. John Carter (R-TX) fought long and hard to win this battle against foolish political correctness. “The victims of this attack have struggled, suffered and been abandoned by this Administration,” he said. “No more. Today is a day of victory and I am honored to have fought on their behalf.” Clearly, Hasan was in contact with foreign terrorists, and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he pulled the trigger. No jihadi is a lone-wolf, and Hasan’s rampage was a terrorist attack on our men and women in uniform — they deserve appropriate recognition. More…
The outgoing attorney general certainly tried. First, there was Operation Fast and Furious, the program that was supposed to track how U.S. guns were making their way to Mexican cartels. Then, Eric Holder pressured the FDIC to dry up the loans going to the firearm industry using Operation Choke Point, skirting Congress and the open lawmaking process. There was even the political push to pass federal gun control because of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. It was the latter that Holder points to as the greatest failure of his tenure at the Department of Justice. Holder told MSNBC Sunday, “Well, I’ll say this, [viewing the aftermath of Sandy Hook] was the worst day I had as attorney general. It is, I think, the single failure that I point to in my time as attorney general that I was not able to … convince Congress to really follow the will of the American people — which was to enact meaningful, reasonable gun-safety measures. The gun lobby simply won.” In other words, Liberty was preserved, despite a partisan attorney general with an agenda. More…
In response to the allegations that he lied about embellishing an Iraq war story, celebrity NBC anchor Brian Williams took a leave of absence and canceled an appearance on David Letterman’s “Late Show” to lay low until this whole scandal blows over. “As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News,” he wrote in a statement, “I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days. … Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.” However, Williams’ stories of braggadocio continue to multiply and grow. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air theorizes that the reason NBC staffers have not come forward to contradict or confirm Williams’ Iraq war story is that they edited the footage to suggest their chopper was attacked. Combined with the possibly embellished accounts of Williams witnessing Hezbollah rockets and claiming to see a dead body floating in the French Quarter after Hurricane Katrina, Williams is demonstrating a gonzo streak more at home in Rolling Stone.
In one of the more appalling moments of his presidency, Barack Obama demonstrated last Thursday an unprecedented level of moral bankruptcy, a breathtaking ignorance of history, and utter contempt for a country that twice elected him to the highest office in the land.
The scene was the National Prayer Breakfast, which took place exactly two days after ISIL released a 22-minute video showing captured Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive. And in one of the most ham-fisted attempts by any politician to downplay the connection between a group of bloodthirsty thugs operating under the self-professed banner of Islam and Islam itself, Obama decided that putting Christianity on the same footing as ISIL was the right thing to do.
“Lest we get on our high horse and think this [barbarity] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama declared. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Once again, Obama feels the need to belittle or apologize for America in a pathetic attempt to produce moral equivalency. And even then, he gets it wrong or omits half the story. As noted Islamic historian Bernard Lewis writes, “The Crusades could more accurately be described as a limited, belated and, in the last analysis, ineffectual response to the jihad — a failed attempt to recover by a Christian holy war what had been lost to a Muslim holy war.”
As for the Inquisition, there were several, spanning the 12th and 13th centuries, including some that were secular in nature. In 1998, the Vatican granted 30 scholars access to the archives of the Holy Office, the modern successor to the Inquisition. These scholars produced an 800-page report concluding the barbarism attributed to them was vastly overstated. “The Inquisition was not born out of desire to crush diversity or oppress people; it was rather an attempt to stop unjust executions,” notes historian Thomas F. Madden.
As for slavery and Jim Crow, Obama neglected two things: Slavery was universally practiced by all cultures for centuries, and Christians led the charge in abolishing slavery in the West. Moreover, millions of Christians opposed the institutionalized segregation of Jim Crow that was ultimately undone by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
None of this is meant to excuse abuses, or those who used Christianity as an excuse to perpetrate them. But note the president had to reach at least 50 years into America’s past — and nearly a thousand years into Church history — to find behavioral and cultural comparisons with what Islamist barbarians are doing right now. Furthermore, Christianity and America have engendered something most Muslim nations and Islam have not: genuine reformation.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal aptly addressed that reality. “It was nice of the President to give us a history lesson at the Prayer breakfast,” Jindal said. “Today, however, the issue right in front of his nose, in the here and now, is the terrorism of Radical Islam, the assassination of journalists, the beheading and burning alive of captives. We will be happy to keep an eye out for runaway Christians, but it would be nice if he would face the reality of the situation today. The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today.”
And let’s not forget part of the Islamic threat includes enslavement — again happening right now. In December, ISIL published a pamphlet entitled “Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves.” Nigeria’s Boko Haram has also sold young girls into slavery, apparently unfazed by the fierce #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign launched against them.
Atrocities Jindal listed as well as the ongoing slave trade were all done in the name of Islam, even as our president has fought tooth and nail to avoid using that term. That is, until Obama finally admitted at the same National Prayer Breakfast that the world’s foremost terror threat is being engineered by those who “profess to stand up for Islam but instead betray it” — followed immediately by his denigration of Christianity. Moreover, it is interesting to note that when Obama was illuminating Christianity’s shortcomings he referred to them as being perpetrated “in the name of Christ.” Would he ever speak of the Islamist’s current depredations being perpetrated “in the name of Muhammad?”
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, gets to the real bankruptcy behind the president’s invidious comparison. “When Christians act violently they are acting in opposition to the teachings of their founder, Jesus Christ,” he told Fox News’ Todd Starnes. “They cannot cite a single verse in the New Testament that calls for violence against unbelievers. On the other hand, radical Islamists can point to a number of verses in the Koran calling for Muslims to ‘crucify the infidels.'”
Perhaps Obama could point to a group of Christians currently engaging in savagery similar to that of ISIL, denounced by the UN last Wednesday for engaging in “the systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities … including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive.”
How tone deaf is Obama? He made his inflammatory remarks at a breakfast commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Genocide — during which more than a million predominantly Christian Armenians were exterminated by Muslim Turks.
It appears there is something profoundly lacking in the mental makeup of Obama. This is a man who spent more than two minutes at a Tribal Nations Conference in 2009 making introductory remarks and offering a “shout out” to a Medal of Honor recipient — before mentioning that Maj. Nidal Hasan, a Muslim, had just killed 13 and wounded 31 soldiers at Fort Hood. When Muslims murdered ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith and Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods in Benghazi in 2012, Obama handed off the crisis to then-Secretary of State Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, not to be heard from again until he turned up at a fundraiser in Las Vegas the following day. Literally minutes after announcing Muslims had beheaded American journalist James Foley, Obama went golfing — and blamed the ensuing firestorm on the press and “bad optics.”
All of those were appalling moments as well. And perhaps what Americans should fear most is what this president is capable of doing “in the name of Obama.”
|Pendulum swings aren’t enduring|
A 2002 book, “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” posited, as the title suggests, an “enduring Democratic majority” in the wake of “permanent changes” to America’s demography. Co-authored by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira, the book’s central idea — the heart of the Emerging Democratic Majority (“EDM”) theory — was that the Democrat Party had amassed such a solid coalition of voters over the decades that the party could endure occasional bad election cycles and still retain control of the levers of government over the long haul. Recently revisiting his book, Judis noted it is, well, wrong. How times change.
Sadly for EDM — and every other Democrat-ideology theory forced into sustained contact with reality — the theory was flawed. It turns out — to paraphrase Mark Twain — news of the Republican Party’s death was greatly exaggerated. What hasn’t been exaggerated is the magnitude of just how far the authors’ theory missed the mark. The theory wasn’t just wrong: It was exactly wrong — a feat extremely difficult even for Democrats to pull off. As Noah Rothman notes at Hot Air, the fatal flaw in EDM is, “Voters expected results from the party in which they had vested new authority.” After the better part of a decade getting none — or should we say the wrong results — voters learned to vote with their feet, walking out on Democrats at the polls.
The results of that reality check have been telling. Americans do not believe Democrats can provide economic security, let alone national security. The Democrat Party has become the party of racial, social and economic division, promoting class warfare as a primary means to gain political power, at the expense of all. It has accelerated national spending to a point of unfathomable debt, reincarnated the permanent welfare state, and turned public education into a 12-year babysitting service in which children simply bide time until they are turned out onto the streets of reality, lacking critical skills to become productive members of society.
In broad brushstrokes, in the wake of the contentious Barack Obama Era, Democrats have lost both the House and the Senate, lost control of 69 of 99 state-level legislative chambers, and lost countless officeholder seats. In short, the Democrat Party is in its worst position in 90 years. Americans no longer believe Democrats can deliver on any of their Pollyanna visions of the future.
Lest Republicans succumb to the same ruinous party-in-majority arrogance that (at least for the time being) wiped out the Democrats, we should warn that there’s a lesson here for every politician. The lesson is this: Ignoring or mistaking the will of the people can be hazardous to one’s political health.
Surveying the Democrat debris in the wake of the 2014 midterm Republican wave, the Chosen One commented, “To everyone that voted, I want you to know that I heard you.” The problem is that in his arrogance he didn’t hear. Immediately following his seemingly conciliatory statement, he punchlined, “To two-thirds of voters that chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.” Sure, Barry: It wasn’t popular will, it was just all those eeevil Republicans holding “the people” back from the polls. Any wonder why Democrats went 0-for-2 in Obama’s midterm cycles?
Summarizing the myriad lessons-learned littering the landscape of Democrats’ political destruction, we offer the same advice to Democrats as we do to Republicans: Take time to do the hard thinking to connect the dots between our nation’s core founding principles and today’s voters. The notion that a party can have an enduring majority without understanding the fundamental principles upon which America was founded is mistaken. The same is true for a party that ignores or misunderstands the will of America’s voters. Listen to the Founders. Then listen to the voters. That’s how to create an “enduring majority.” Anything else is just another political theory on the ash heap of history.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Jeff Jacoby: ‘I See Parchment Burning, but the Letters Are Soaring Free’
- Tony Perkins: Prayer Breakfast Jam-Packed With Distortions
- George Will: Education Is the Business of the States
- Burt Prelutsky: ‘I Was on the Titanic!’
- Stephen Moore & Joel Griffith: A Simple Formula for Unleashing Economic Prosperity
OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: “We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. … But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.”
Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “Perhaps the most chilling words ever written about book-burning were penned in 1821 by the great German poet Heinrich Heine: Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen — ‘Where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people.’ … Just one day after news emerged of the book-burnings in the Islamic State’s so-called ‘caliphate,’ the jihadists released a video exulting in the horrific murder of Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, who was burned alive in a metal cage. There is something uniquely diabolical about setting books on fire, a lust to obliterate that almost ineluctably leads to even more dreadful evils. It is no coincidence that those obsessed with annihilating the physical expression of dangerous thoughts or teachings so often move on to annihilating the people who think or teach them. … Any brute can burn parchment, or ransack a library, or blow up a mosque, or bulldoze cultural treasures. But not even mighty armies can destroy the ideas they embody. … ISIS can’t either.”
FRC president Tony Perkins: “[Obama] didn’t mention his stop in Saudi Arabia on the way back to this country, and the fact that they rank by his own State Department as one of the worst abusers of religious freedom in the world. Did he publicly lecture the Saudis for their current climate of oppression? Did he try attending a Christian church during his stop there? I’m sure he didn’t because there are no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia. They’re illegal. Mr. President, the next time one of your family members becomes ill, try finding a local Muslim hospital. Or the next time your motorcade speeds through a town whose economy has been shuttered by your big government economic policies, try referring people to the local Islamic homeless shelter. In your next speech about families, maybe you could challenge Americans to consider adoption through the local Muslim adoption agency. The reality is, Christianity isn’t just the largest religion in America, it’s also the most charitable. And disheartening as this may be to your worldview, Mr. President, America was in fact founded on Christian truths and principles — and it’s that heritage that makes America an exceptional nation.”
Comedian Conan O’Brien: “Brian Williams has admitted he embellished a story about being in a helicopter that was shot at in Iraq. Williams says the helicopter part was true, but it was a coin-operated helicopter outside of a Chuck E. Cheese.”
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/ )”
Feb. 9, 2015
President Obama wants to use tax policy to boost the economic prospects for teachers, construction workers and other middle-and lower-income Americans because so much wealth is concentrated with corporations and the wealthiest individuals.
Two JPMorgan Chase & Co. employees were charged in Germany over the sale of swaps to the city of Pforzheim that resulted in $64 million of losses, prosecutors said.
The private-banking unit of HSBC Holdings Plc made significant profits for years handling secret accounts whose holders included drug cartels, arms dealers, tax evaders and fugitive diamond merchants, according to a report released Sunday by an international news organization.
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex weddings to start in Alabama, letting the number of gay-marriage states climb in advance of a constitutional showdown that may mean legalization nationwide.
As pension plans incorporate new life-expectancy estimates into their calculations, investors are glimpsing the financial fallout from aging societies. AT&T Inc. absorbed a $7.9 billion non-cash charge from rising pension costs, including retirees’ longer lifespans. At Northrop Grumman Corp., updated mortality estimates boosted its pension obligations by $4.5 billion to $30.5 billion while shareholders in International Business Machines Corp. saw their equity shrink by around $6 billion.
Mexican security forces on Sunday freed 10 people kidnapped two days earlier near a southern town where the government says 43 students were killed and incinerated by a gang last year with help from police.
Gold-jewelry demand in Dubai is picking up after a slow start to the year when buyers were held back due to high prices, according to the chairman of the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group.
When it comes to education policy, Common Core is something of a no-go zone for many prospective Republican presidential candidates. On Monday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will deliver a speech in Washington in which he will criticize Common Core, the much-maligned national educational standards, and, by extension, one of its few GOP supporters, Jeb Bush.
AP Top Stories
The European Union delayed putting more Ukrainian separatists and Russians on its sanctions list to give a Franco-German peace plan for Ukraine time to work.
Islamic State has withdrawn some of its insurgents and equipment from areas northeast of the Syrian city of Aleppo, rebels and residents say, adding to signs of strain in the Syrian provinces of its self-declared caliphate.
A Chinese mining billionaire said to have links with disgraced former security tsar Zhou Yongkang and who once launched a bid for Australia’s Sundance Resources was executed for multiple murder on Monday, a court said.
The ISIS video appearing to show a Jordanian pilot being burned alive “absolutely” backfired on the terror group, retired Marine Corps General John Allen told ABC News. “It will be one of these moments that created a unity of purpose and a unity of effort among the nations [of the world,]” Allen, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, said from Amman, Jordan.
Israel’s Brenmiller Energy said it will build a $77.27 million solar power field using an energy storage technology that will generate electricity for about 20 hours a day.
Jordan announced it carried out dozens of air strikes on the Islamic State group, a top US envoy said Iraqi troops would begin a major ground offensive against the jihadists in the weeks ahead.
The U.S. ambassador to Lebanon said Sunday that $25 million worth of weapons and ammunition have arrived in Beirut, the latest American assistance to Lebanon’s army as it fights Islamic extremists along the border with Syria.
A drone strike in Afghanistan has killed former Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rauf, who recently swore allegiance to Islamic State, officials said.
A Pittsburgh teenager who killed a classmate was tracked down after sending a friend a Snapchat selfie of him posing with the body, police said.
The Nigerian interior minister says he is confident the fight against Boko Haram will be successful enough to allow postponed elections to go ahead.
Greek bank shares have fallen sharply after the country’s finance minister warned this weekend the euro would collapse if Greece leaves the Eurozone.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron plans for a possible Greek exit from the Eurozone.
Dozens of posters plastered across the University of Michigan caution students not to say things that might hurt others’ feelings, part of a new “Inclusive Language Campaign” at the state’s flagship public university that cost $16,000 to implement. Words declared unacceptable through the campaign include “crazy,” “insane,” “retarded,” “gay,” “tranny,” “gypped,” “illegal alien,” “fag,” “ghetto” and “raghead.” Phrases such as “I want to die” and “that test raped me” are also verboten.
Samsung issued this warning on its SmartTVs: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”
The Homeland Security Department has set up hotlines for illegal immigrants who believe their rights under President Obama’s amnesty policy have been violated.
A legal team already challenging a Lafayette, California, high school over its use of Planned Parenthood personnel – including a self-described “pleasure activist” and another who led demonstrations at a “sex toy porn shop” – to teach public school sex-education classes now is accusing school officials of allowing a “Queer Straight Alliance” to bully students.
A Day Of Reckoning For The Euro Has Arrived – 26 TRILLION In Currency Derivatives At Risk
This is the month when the future of the eurozone will be decided. This week, Greek leaders will meet with European officials to discuss what comes next for Greece. The new prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, has already stated that he will not accept an extension of the current bailout. Officials from other eurozone countries have already said that they expect Greece to fully honor the terms of the current agreement. So basically we are watching a giant game of financial “chicken” play out over in Europe, and a showdown is looming. Adding to the drama is the fact that the Greek government is rapidly running out of money. According to the Wall Street Journal, Greece is “on course to run out of money within weeks if it doesn’t gain access to additional funds, effectively daring Germany and its other European creditors to let it fail and stumble out of the euro.” We have witnessed other moments of crisis for Greece before, but things are very different this time because the new Greek government is being run by radical leftists that based their entire campaign on ending the austerity that has been imposed on Greece by the rest of Europe. If they buckle under the demands of the European financial lords, their credibility will be gone and Syriza will essentially be finished in Greek politics. But if they don’t compromise, Greece could be forced to leave the eurozone and we could potentially be facing the equivalent of “financial armageddon” in Europe. If nobody flinches, the eurozone will fall to pieces, the euro will collapse and trillions upon trillions of dollars in derivatives will be in jeopardy. (Read More....)
‘Committed Christian’? Obama’s Religious History Unmasked
Why would President Obama, who professes to be a Christian, apparently harbor such animosity toward what he claims is his own faith? The latest example came during his remarks Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, but it was hardly the first time Obama has criticized Christianity or defended Islam. In order to better understand what Obama truly believes, WND looked at the history of Obama’s relationship with religion………….. Click here for full story
Saudi Arabia And ISIS Both Want The Same Thing: World Domination
The brand of Islam that ISIS seeks to impose on the areas of Iraq and Syria that it has conquered has been practiced in Saudi Arabia for centuries. Just like ISIS, Saudi Arabia also publicly flogs those that “insult Islam”. Just like ISIS, Saudi Arabia also beheads those that commit serious violations of sharia law. And it is no secret that the Saudis have been pouring billions upon billions of dollars into organizations that promote jihad all over the globe. ………. Click here for full story
ISIS has released a Manifesto on women and girls. Titled “Women in the Islamic State,” it is far more extreme than even Hitler’s vision of women as belonging in the nursery (Kinder) the kitchen, (Küche) and the Church (Kirche).
Ecuador Becomes The First Country To Roll Out Its Own Digital Cash
In 2000, Ecuador moved to ditch its stumbling currency for the U.S. dollar. Now more than 15 years later, the South American country is revamping its monetary system again—using digital currencies……….. Click here for full story
Ford Contractor Says He Was Fired For Speaking Against Company’s Support of Homosexuality
A former contractor for Ford Motor Company has filed a religious discrimination complaint, alleging that he was fired for speaking against the company’s support of homosexuality……….. Click here for full story
America’s First Islamic Tribunal Based On Sharia Law Being Operated In North Texas
America’s first Islamic tribunal based on Sharia law is being operated in North Texas, according to reports ……… Click here for full story
Obama’s ‘Secret Iran Strategy’ Began in 2006 with Robert Gates :: Goldman in PJ Media
by David P Goldman
February 8, 2015
The Baltic Dry Index Has Only Been Lower Than This 8 Days In 30 Years
At 559, The Baltic Dry Index (having now dropped 46 of the last 50 days and 12 days in a row) is just 5 points above its all-time record low from 1986. In fact, the global freight index has only been lower for 8 days during the July/August period of 1986 in its 30 year history…
We are sure this is nothing to worry about and merely “transitory.”
Did Obama deliver ultimate insult to Christianity?
Joseph Farah reveals what makes president such a ‘profoundly dangerous demagogue’
There is a temptation to refute everything Obama says because of his track record of failed policies, deliberate deception and the confusion he seems to sow every time he opens his mouth.
Thoughtful Christians, however, should recognize the most effective lies, like those told in the Garden of Eden, are often mixed with some truth.
That’s what makes Obama such a profoundly dangerous demagogue.
Obama, Trying to Add Context to Speech, Faces Backlash Over ‘Crusades’
By purposely drawing the fraught historical comparison on Thursday, Mr. Obama ignited a firestorm on television and social media about the validity of his observations and the roots of religious conflicts that raged more than 800 years ago. (Shear, The New York Times)
The Real History of the Crusades
A series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics? Think again. (Madden, Christianity Today)
On today’s Episode of The Briefing
1) Canada supreme court strikes down euthanasia ban in inevitable outgrowth of culture of death
Canada Court Strikes Down Ban on Aiding Patient Suicide, New York Times (Ian Austen)
Supreme Court rules Canadians have right to doctor-assisted suicide, Globe and Mail (Sean Fine)
2) Congress sets new precedent by inviting Pope to address joint session
Pope Francis to Address Congress Sept. 24, Boehner Says, Wall Street Journal (Siobhan Hughes)
Pope Francis to address Congress, USA Today (Susan Davis)
3) Marijuana sellers push for term ‘cannabis’ in attempt for legitimacy
That’s not marijuana — that’s cannabis, USA Today (Trevor Hughes)
4) Incredible spectrum of germs in subway lesson in wonder of God’s Creation
Big Data and Bacteria: Mapping the New York Subway’s DNA, Wall Street Journal (Robert Lee Hotz)
In other news…
The New Cold War, Slate (Anne Applebaum)
Russia’s Putin says Kiev on “dead-end track” in east Ukraine, Sydney Morning Herald
The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever, The Telegraph (Christopher Booker)
Oath market, The Economist
Is America at War With Radical Islam?, The Atlantic (Peter Beinart)
Pastor Robert Jeffress: Jesus Would Be Incensed That Obama Dare Link Christianity to ISIS
Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas megachurch in Texas, says Jesus Christ would be outraged by President Obama’s audacity when he compared the Crusades and Inquisition to the mass slaughter being committed by the Islamic State terror group.
Jeffress joins a multitude of conservative Christian voices — the Revs. Franklin Graham, Samuel Rodriguez, The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins — in condemning Obama for comparing Christianity to the atrocities being committed by ISIS.
World Council of Churches Feeds the Monster
WCC is among the many coalitions of Christians that embrace the extreme left and the jihad agenda as appeasers and collaborators. According to Melanie Phillips, a British journalist and commentator, Islamic tactics are emboldened largely due to the support of Christian leaders. These strong alliances help to propel the Islamic agenda. Respectable Christian institutions like the WCC have partnered and even befriended this dreadful Islamist fraternity under the guise of ecumenism.
“Can’t we all get along?” says the WCC. “Let’s start a friendly dialogue.” “Let’s mend some fences.” ” Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies’.”
The “god” of this World
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn’t exist.” This quote is a modern rephrasing of a more long-winded recitation by Charles Baudelaire. I would like to rephrase it one more time by saying, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he is not in charge.”
A large portion of the population acknowledges the devil’s existence, but they don’t recognize the control he has over their lives. Recent polls point out this growing problem. While belief in God remains fairly stable, the number of individuals who see Satan as real has been in sharp decline.
Posted: 09 Feb 2015 07:33 AM PST
Ira Hanson milled around an evacuation center near tiny Swall Meadows on Sunday afternoon, not quite sure what to do after learning that the dream home he and his late wife had built 30 years earlier was damaged in a wildfire that consumed 40 homes and buildings. Sheriff’s deputies had banged on the door and urged him to get out less than 48 hours earlier, and he’d fled the house with little more than his medications and a pillow. Officials later told him that fire crews had to knock down one of the home’s walls in an effort to save another house next door, but he had yet to see the damage. “It’s unbelievable,” said Hanson, 79. “It’s like having a nightmare and you’re going to wake up any minute and it won’t be true.”
Fire crews increased containment of the wind-driven wildfire that ravaged communities along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, but they said Sunday that they still didn’t know when the roughly 250 residents evacuated from Swall Meadows and nearby Paradise would be able to return home. Utility workers were busy tending to the charred power poles along the roads in the two towns, and forestry crews sawed at fallen trees that blocked a main thoroughfare. Nearby, two gutted, gray trucks rested on a driveway that led to a pile of rubble. With power poles down and hot spots smoldering near propane tanks, it was unclear when officials would lift evacuation orders.
“We would love to shoot for today, but I don’t know,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Liz Brown. “Once it’s open, it’s open. We don’t have the resources to escort people in and escort them out.” The fire started Friday afternoon near a highway on the border of Inyo and Mono counties. It blew up when 50 to 75 mph winds whipped through wooded areas near the two communities for about three hours, turning the flames into a “freight train,” Brown said. April Miller, who was evacuated but later learned that her house survived, watched the blaze from a nearby crest. “It was horrifying — this whole wall of red,” said Miller, 72. “My friend had binoculars and she could see the skeletons of houses in the conflagration.” The relatively affluent community of Swall Meadows, which boasts sweeping views of the snow-covered Sierras and is home to retirees and outdoor enthusiasts, was hit hard by the blaze. Thirty-nine homes were destroyed there while one burned in the community of Paradise, Brown said. More
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|1,500 Russian troops, military equipment enter UkrainePosted: 09 Feb 2015 07:20 AM PST
BREAKING NEWS – At least 1,500 Russian troops and convoys of military hardware entered Ukraine over the weekend, the Ukrainian military said on Monday. “One thousand five hundred Russian soldiers and 300 pieces of military equipment, including Grad missile systems, crossed the Ukraine-Russia border on February 7 and 8,” Ukraine military spokesman Andriy Lysensko told journalists. Around 170 vehicles, including trucks, petrol tankers and cars, also crossed the border, he said. Ukraine and the West accuse Moscow of supplying troops and equipment to pro-Russian separatists battling the Kiev military in the east of the country, something Russia denies. Yahoo News
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|Greek FinMin Warns “Euro Will Collapse If Greece Exits”, Says Italy Is NextPosted: 09 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST
The time for the final all-in bet has arrived. As we explained yesterday, when we wrote that “Greece Gambles On “Catastrophic Armageddon” For Europe, Warns It “Only Has Weeks Of Cash Left“”, and as confirmed further by today’s fire and brimstone speech by Greek PM Tsipras, in which he not only did not concede one millimeter to Europe but raised the stakes even higher, by promising among other things to raise the minimum wage and to halt foreclosures, Greece is now betting everything that Europe will not allow it to exit, hoping that “this time is not different”, and the existential terror that would be heaped on the Eurozone as forecast in 2012 by the likes of Citi’s Buiter and IIF’s Charles Dallara, will still take place, and Europe will concede that spending a few more billion on Greece’s bridge program is worth to avoid what could potentially spiral into an out of control collapse. To be sure, that is precisely what Yanis Vaourfakis implied today when he said that “if Greece is forced out of the euro zone, other countries will inevitably follow and the currency bloc will collapse, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday, in comments which drew a rebuke from Italy.” The comments emerged from an interview we commented on earlier with Italian state television network RAI, Varoufakis said Greece’s debt problems must be solved as part of a rejection of austerity policies for the euro zone as a whole. He called for a massive “new deal” investment program funded by the European Investment Bank. From Reuters: “The euro is fragile, it’s like building a castle of cards, if you take out the Greek card the others will collapse.” Varoufakis said according to an Italian transcript of the interview released by RAI ahead of broadcast.
The euro zone faces a risk of fragmentation and “de-construction” unless it faces up to the fact that Greece, and not only Greece, is unable to pay back its debt under the current terms, Varoufakis said. “I would warn anyone who is considering strategically amputating Greece from Europe because this is very dangerous,” he said. “Who will be next after us? Portugal? What will happen when Italy discovers it is impossible to remain inside the straitjacket of austerity?“ So now that Greece is all in, the time for even more truth has emerged, and if Greece is finally being honest, it may as well spook Italy and drag it down – or rather up – with it. “Italian officials, I can’t tell you from which big institution, approached me to tell me they backed us but they can’t tell the truth because Italy also risks bankruptcy and they are afraid of the reaction from Germany,” he said. “Let’s face it, Italy’s debt situation is unsustainable,” he added, a comment that drew a sharp response from Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who said in a tweet that Italy’s debt was “solid and sustainable.” Varoufakis’s remarks were “out of place”, Padoan said, adding that Italy was working for a European solution to Greece’s problems, which requires “mutual trust”. Italy’s public debt is the largest in the euro zone after Greece’s and Italian bond yields surged in 2011 at the height of the euro zone crisis. They have since fallen steeply and have so far come under little pressure from the renewed tensions in Greece.
And while the Greek “scorched earth” approach would have no doubt succeeded had it taken place three, two or even one year ago, when Europe still had some faint resemblance of an actual market, the difference this time is that by dint of its recently launched QE, which revealed that Germany’s staunch “anti money printing ” stance was nothing but melodramatic theater all along, it is the ECB that is in charge of every asset class in Europe: from the EUR, to the German Bund, to the Italian BTPs, to the DAX to, well, everything, and neither fundamentals nor non-central bank players matter any more. Which is why Greece may have waited just three weeks to long with its final gambit, as Europe is confident that the ECB’s interventions can offset the loss of faith in an already crashing Eurozone (if only for a short period of time, of course). Because the alternative, ceding to Greece, means that all other European peripheral states will demand the same treatment. More
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|Egypt and Russia Proposing to ditch US DollarPosted: 09 Feb 2015 06:33 AM PST
Russia and Egypt might soon exclude the US dollar and use their national currencies in the settlement of accounts in bilateral trade, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview to Egyptian media ahead of his Monday visit to the country. The issue of abandoning the dollar in trade is “being actively discussed,” Putin told Al-Ahram daily newspaper ahead of his two-day trip to Egypt. The Russian president was invited for a bilateral meeting by his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. “This measure will open up new prospects for trade and investment cooperation between our countries, reduce its dependence on the current trends in the world markets,” Putin said. “I should note that we already use national currencies for trade with a number of the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] states, and China. This practice proves its worth; we are ready to adopt it in our relations with Egypt as well. This issue is being discussed in substance by relevant agencies of both countries.”
Egypt is a long-time and trusted partner of Russia and the relationship between the two countries has been rapidly developing, the Russian president said. “The volume of bilateral trade has increased significantly over the past years: In 2014, it increased by almost half compared to the previous year and amounted to more than $4.5 billion,” he said urging for this trend to be strengthened. He also praised the development of “mutually beneficial and effective” cooperation in the sector of agriculture. “Egypt is the major buyer of Russian wheat, Russia provides about 40 percent of grain consumed in the country; as for us, we import fruits and vegetables.” Moscow imposed a full ban of EU, US, Australian, Canadian, and Norwegian food exports to Russia on August 7 for one year. Amid Russian sanctions, Egypt said in August that it was ready to boost agricultural deliveries to Russia by 30 percent. During 2013, Egypt’s deliveries of agricultural products to Russia amounted $440 million, while during the first half of 2014, Cairo supplied $460 million, said the head of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, Nikolay Fedorov in August 2014.
Moscow and Cairo are also engaged in energy, automobile manufacturing and transport cooperation, developing the intergovernmental trade, economic and scientific-technical cooperation commission as well. During Sisi’s last visit to Russia in August 2014, the two leaders agreed to look at a possibility of creating a free trade zone between Egypt and the countries of the Customs Union. Meeting in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, the presidents also agreed upon the creation of a Russian industrial zone in Egypt, which will be part of a new Suez Canal project. More
|Signs China may ally with India and Russia after Beijing summitPosted: 09 Feb 2015 06:27 AM PST
Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi met in Beijing on Jan. 2 for the 13th Russia-India-China (RIC) summit to discuss how, as three countries with major influence on global affairs and with emerging domestic markets, they can work together to ensure global and regional peace and stability as well as pushing forward global economic growth.
From his 2012 presidential campaign onwards, Putin has tied his ambitions for Russia’s economy to the Russian Far East’s trade with China and the Asia-Pacific region. Relations between China and Delhi, which have at times been subject to tensions over ongoing territorial disputes, have also matured to enable mutual respect, despite the Indian press’s continuing reports on movements of both countries’ armies in northern Tibet and Indian-controlled Ladakh.
In 2009, the foreign ministers of the three countries met in Bangalore to discuss economic matters, then in Wuhan in 2010, representatives from the three countries met to discuss cooperation on think tanks, industry, agriculture, disaster prevention and relief and public health. In 2012, the three were sufficiently emboldened to call for the promotion of regional peace, security and stability, for the benefit of each of their nation’s peoples. From Nov. 10, 2013, the three countries took similar or identical stances on several issues. Several Russian analysts suggested that the RIC foreign minister talks might become a platform for the three countries and this became a reality in 2015.
The three countries took a long time in even reaching a basic level of agreement: from 2002 until 2009, no substantial written statement was issued; at the 2009 meeting in Bangalore, the three nations only reached consensus on supply of energy resources and on a peaceful resolution to the situation in Afghanistan. In 2010, however, the three expressed agreement or similar views on several international and regional issues and agreed to develop their solid foundation in ties. It wasn’t until 2012, when Beijing and Moscow confirmed that India was capable of developing advanced nuclear technology, that talks between the three took off, which has led up to the current talks in 2015, where prejudices may be put aside and action may be forthcoming. More
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|Is Russia Preparing to Move to the Gold Standard?Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:22 AM PST
An article by Mises Institute contributor Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna believes that now is the ideal time for Russia to introduce a gold-backed ruble.
|Katy Perry Claims she ‘Got a Word From God’ Moments Before Super Bowl PerformancePosted: 09 Feb 2015 06:07 AM PST
Before taking the stage at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, singer Katy Perry told TV host Ryan Seacrest that she believes she heard from God just moments before her performance at last week’s Super Bowl showdown between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. “I was praying and I got a word from God and he says, ‘You got this and I got you,’” Perry said. “And then I was on top of the lion and a guy — a random guy — looked at me with a headset that I’d never communicated with before. He looked me straight in the eyes and said ‘You got this.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, that’s God confirming I can do this!’” The singer, who inexplicably donned devil horns at moments during the Grammys, also described the process of preparing for the coveted Super Bowl performance, noting that she practiced the act at least 40 times before officially taking to the stage during the half-time show. As TheBlaze previously reported Perry, who was once a Christian singer and whose parents are pastors, has publicly renounced her former faith, telling Marie Claire in a 2013 interview that she’s no longer Christian and that she doesn’t believe in heaven, hell or “an old man sitting on a throne.” Perry did tell the outlet, though, that she believes in a higher power — a paradigm that holds her accountable. “Accountability is rare to find, especially with people like myself, because nobody wants to tell you something you don’t want to hear,” the singer said. “I actually don’t trust people who start to turn on me because they get scared of telling me the truth.” Perry also rejected traditional theological labels, but said that, though she has left her evangelical faith behind, she still feels close to the Lord. “I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God,” she said at the time. “I pray all the time — for self-control, for humility. There’s a lot of gratitude in it. Just saying ‘thank you’ sometimes is better than asking for things.” Marie Claire reported that Perry gets her connection to spirituality through the writings of Eckhart Tolle, an author known for his popular books about metaphysics and spirituality. She also practices Transcendental Meditation, a form of mantra meditation. More
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|Madonna Dances Over Pit Of Horned Demons At 2015 GrammysPosted: 08 Feb 2015 09:25 PM PST
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19 (KJV)
She is known for shocking when it comes to her red carpet appearances, and this year’s Grammy Awards was no exception. One of the highlights of the 2015 Grammys was Madonna, dressed with red devil’s horns, and hanging over a pit of demons. Letting her hair down, the Like A Virgin star strutted and danced her way across the stage in the red one piece. In true Madonna style, she was surrounded by scantily-clad masked men – her demons. The demons leaped and pulsated around their matador master – and even simulated sexual acts with her – as she belted out the dance music infused track. It looks like Hollywood’s fascination with demons and darkness is not going to end anytime soon. More
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|Military Chaplains The New ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?’Posted: 08 Feb 2015 08:28 PM PST
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was once a term used to refer to homosexuals in the military. Now, however, the term is more often being applied to Christians in uniform. Military chaplains are feeling the pressure to conform to the new reality, as some label biblical values “hate speech.” Chaplains have been an integral part of the military throughout our nation’s history, bringing hope to the living and comfort to the dying. Now some chaplains are coming under fire from official government policy and must choose between their consciences and their commander’s orders. A Faith at Odds The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” worried the chaplains who follow the biblical view of same-sex relationships. Congress then stepped in, passing a bill that guaranteed the rights of all military personnel to exercise their faith.
Ron Crews, head of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said the result of that legislation is that “chaplains can be chaplains.” “They can, in fact, bring their faith to the table in their work,” he said. Crews served as an Army chaplain for 21 years. “Chaplains, and not only chaplains but all service members, cannot receive recriminations for living out their faith in the military,” he said. “We want not only chaplains but all those who serve to be able to exercise the religious liberties that they are putting their lives on the line for.” Despite the law, many Christians, and especially chaplains, often find themselves at odds with military leadership. “I got an email from a chaplain in Afghanistan who preached a sermon for his unit out of 1 Peter, talking about the last days and the fact that there would be a rise in homosexuality during the last days,” Crews said.
“He got called into his commander’s office, he got told, ‘You cannot preach out of that text,’” Crews said. “He wound up getting a bad OR from that commander in the war zone.” Exploding Controversy Another example of this tension happened recently at Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade. A chaplain was asked to give a suicide prevention class. But what happened next exploded in controversy. Capt. Joe Lawhorn serves as chaplain for the 5th Ranger Training Battalion based at Fort Benning. He was asked to lead a class on suicide prevention at the Mountain Ranger Camp. In addition to covering the Army-wide curriculum, he cited his own experience and shared his personal struggle with depression. “And so he gave his rangers a handout,” Crews said.
“On one side was all of the resources available to military personnel. On the other side, though, he said, ‘I want to tell you that this is what worked for me.’” What was on the reverse side were referrals to Christian counseling services. “During the presentation, according to those who were witnesses, at no time did Chaplain Lawhorn say ‘mine is the only way,’” Crews said. One ranger took a picture with his phone and sent it to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, and that group made a big issue of it. Lawhorn’s brigade commander later issued Lawhorn a “letter of concern,” which the Pentagon insists is administrative in nature. In our investigation the military has been unable to cite any written rule or regulation the chaplain actually violated. Meanwhile the Ranger who complained received no punishment at all, although he violated Army policy by going outside his chain of command. Read More
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|A Day Of Reckoning For The Euro Has Arrived – 26 Trillion In Currency Derivatives At RiskPosted: 08 Feb 2015 08:19 PM PST
This is the month when the future of the eurozone will be decided. This week, Greek leaders will meet with European officials to discuss what comes next for Greece. The new prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, has already stated that he will not accept an extension of the current bailout. Officials from other eurozone countries have already said that they expect Greece to fully honor the terms of the current agreement. So basically we are watching a giant game of financial “chicken” play out over in Europe, and a showdown is looming. Adding to the drama is the fact that the Greek government is rapidly running out of money. According to the Wall Street Journal, Greece is “on course to run out of money within weeks if it doesn’t gain access to additional funds, effectively daring Germany and its other European creditors to let it fail and stumble out of the euro.” We have witnessed other moments of crisis for Greece before, but things are very different this time because the new Greek government is being run by radical leftists that based their entire campaign on ending the austerity that has been imposed on Greece by the rest of Europe. If they buckle under the demands of the European financial lords, their credibility will be gone and Syriza will essentially be finished in Greek politics. But if they don’t compromise, Greece could be forced to leave the eurozone and we could potentially be facing the equivalent of “financial armageddon” in Europe. If nobody flinches, the eurozone will fall to pieces, the euro will collapse and trillions upon trillions of dollars in derivatives will be in jeopardy. More
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New DARPA Search Engine Exposes The ‘Dark Web’ With Memex
Memex, a powerful new search tool that goes beyond the realm of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, is launched by DARPA
This week on 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl and producer Shachar Bar-On got an early look at Memex, a powerful new search engine developed by DARPA, the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The inventor of Memex, Chris White, sat down with Stahl and Bar-On and explained how Memex works–and how it could revolutionize law enforcement investigations.
“The internet is much, much bigger than people think,” White said. “By some estimates Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo only give us access to around 5% of the content on the Web.” That leaves a lot of room for bad actors to operate freely in the shadows.
White says that Memex goes far beyond the realm of traditional search engines and gives law enforcement a powerful new tool to search the “dark web,” where criminals buy, sell, and advertise in the illegal weapons trade and sex trafficking.
“The easiest way to think about Memex is: How can I make the unseen seen?” said Dan Kaufman, director of the information innovation office at DARPA.
“Most people on the internet are doing benign and good things,” Kaufman said. “But there are parasites that live on there, and we take away their ability to use the internet against us– and make the world a better place.”
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Does Failure To Forgive Bring Loss Of Salvation?
Q. I just heard a prominent TV preacher say that if we do not forgive others, God cannot forgive our souls. So, I submit that millions of people who believed that Jesus Christ died for their sins, have died resenting the actions of another person and hold that person in a condition of unforgiveness. So according to this TV preacher, there souls are not forgiven and eternally separated from God’s presence. What say you, Jack?
Could The Church Have Done A Better Job?
Q. Recently I have come across articles that blame the church for all the evils in the world. These people claim that the world wouldn’t be in the state it’s in if more Christians had entered politics, teaching positions, and other positions of authority, as well as failure to witness. Some of these articles come from Christians. What do you think?
Won’t God Be Obvious?
Q. You mentioned that the New Jerusalem will become the source of light for the earth. Wouldn’t the people on earth during the Millennium realize that it has replaced the sun and moon? How could there be any doubt about God among the nations if it is a visible light for them to see?
Our Time is Short
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