May 22, 2015
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is done defending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay leaders. Now president of the Boy Scouts of America, Gates said that the organization’s position that forbids gay adults from participating had become outdated.
Senators rushed to develop fallback plans in case legislation curbing some U.S. spy programs fails to get enough votes and raised the possibility that anti-terror programs would expire June 1.
George Pataki, the former three-term New York governor considering a run for president, said the U.S. should send troops to Iraq to confront Islamic State militants.
The Clinton Foundation disclosed nearly 100 instances in which it received payments for speeches delivered by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton over the past 13 years, including a number from foreign entities. In all, the 97 engagements brought between $12 million and $26.4 million into the foundation since 2002.
The cost of living excluding food and fuel rose at 0.3 percent, a faster pace than expected in April, indicating inflation is inching toward the Federal Reserve’s goal.
Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives passed a bill that would raise the junk-rated island’s sales tax, a move that may help it sell debt and ease a cash crunch. House members voted 26 to 24 to boost the levy to 11.5 percent from 7 percent through March.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden praised Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s 10-hour, 31-minute attempt to slow down a vote on renewing the Patriot Act. “It represents a sea change from a few years ago, when intrusive new surveillance laws were passed without any kind of meaningful opposition or debate,” Snowden wrote. “Whatever you think about Rand Paul or his politics, it’s important to remember that when he took the floor to say ‘No’ to any length of reauthorization of the Patriot Act, he was speaking for the majority of Americans-more than 60% of whom want to see this kind of mass surveillance reformed or ended.
AP Top Stories
Ireland took to the polls on Friday to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. Allowing gay couples to wed would be a seismic change in a country where homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1993, and where abortion remains illegal except where the mother’s life is in danger.
China declared victory on Friday over an encounter with a US surveillance aircraft overflying the contested South China Sea, saying its military “drove away” the intruder with radio warnings.
Islamist rebels overran a hospital in northwest Syria where at least 150 regime forces and dozens of civilians were trapped for nearly a month, a monitor said.
Emails from Hillary Clinton obtained by a US daily revealed her own sources provided intelligence on a deadly 2012 attack in Libya that conflicted with White House statements.
Militants from Somalia-based al Shabaab attacked a village in northeast Kenya but were beaten back by security forces. Security forces swiftly mobilized and engaged the militants in a gun battle.
The oldest member of the Rockefeller family is giving a gift as part of his 100th birthday celebration: 1,000 acres of land including streams, trails and carriage roads abutting Acadia National Park.
Three Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and 12 wounded in the latest clashes between government forces and Russian-backed separatists, further eroding a three-month-old ceasefire.
Florida officials have resumed raising some of the hundreds of thousands of tires dumped off its shores decades ago during an unsuccessful attempt to create an artificial reef.
A 4.1 magnitude earthquake shook wine country north of San Francisco on Thursday night.
Cash-strapped Greece will cut the pay of bank bailout fund executives by 40 percent because their salaries are a “provocation” during a time of austerity cuts elsewhere.
Islamic State militants have seized the last Syrian government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq, a Syria monitoring group said.
At least 10 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, a doctor has told the BBC. At least 70 had been injured, “some very critically”.
Myanmar has rescued two migrant boats holding more than 200 people in its waters near the border with Bangladesh.
Mexican federal investigators are looking into the disappearance of at least 15 people in the city of Chilapa in Guerrero state, after it was overrun in early May by hundreds of gunmen.
The EU has agreed a $2bn loan to Ukraine – described as a landmark deal for a non-EU member.
Finland has sent letters to nearly a million reservists to collect their contact details and remind them of their duties in case of combat, a defense ministry spokesman said. The letter tells reservists which regiment or unit to join in the event of war.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee led by Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are pressing President Obama and his administration to explain how an illegal immigrant facing child molestation and pornography charges fell under the feds’ radar and received amnesty.
The National Health Interview Survey, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project, found in an extensive research paper in 2013 less than 3 percent of participants labeled themselves as “gay,” lesbian or bisexual, Breitbart reported. Only 1.6 percent in this same survey self-identified as “gay” or lesbian.
For 14 days over the next seven months, the Ten Commandments scroll, known to scholars as 4Q41, will make a rare public appearance at the Israel Museum as part of a new exhibit called “A Brief History of Humankind,” the scroll fragment is one of humanity’s most precious documents.
Top News – 5/22/2015
Obama sells Iran deal directly to US Jews
Washington – Amid a bitter public fight with Israel’s government, President Barack Obama on Friday donned a yarmulke and pitched his nuclear deal with Iran and the case for a Palestinian state directly to US Jews.
55,000 have fled IS-captured Ramadi since mid-May: UN
The United Nations said on Friday that around 55,000 people had fled Ramadi since a surge by the Islamic State group in mid-May that landed the Iraqi provincial capital in the hands of jihadists.
Financial markets remain in a prolonged period of stability
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said more work is needed on marathon loan talks with Greece but analysts argue that both sides know there is no alternative to a deal. Speaking after a two-hour meeting late on Thursday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and French President Francois Hollande in Riga, Merkel urged Athens to continue talks with its international creditors.
Boy Scouts’ chief says ban on gay adults ‘unsustainable’
The head of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has said that the organisation’s long-standing ban on participation by openly gay adults is unsustainable. Robert Gates said no changes would be made at the meeting, but opened the door to a future policy review. The former US Defence Secretary cited defiant chapters, possible legal challenges and other developments related to gay rights in the US.
Islamic State ‘seizes last Syria-Iraq border crossing’
Islamic State militants have seized the last Syrian government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq, a Syrian monitoring group says. Government forces withdrew from al-Tanf – known as al-Waleed in Iraq – crossing as IS advanced, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. The loss of al-Tanf to IS follows the group’s takeover of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia: Suicide bomber strikes Shia mosque
A suicide bomber has attacked a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, causing casualties, state media say. One witness told Reuters news agency there was a huge explosion at the Imam Ali mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh. He estimated there were at least 30 casualties in the attack at the mosque, where more than 150 people were said to be praying.
EU agrees €1.8bn loan to cash-strapped Ukraine
The EU has agreed a €1.8bn (£1.3bn; $2bn) loan to Ukraine – the largest financial deal with a non-EU member. The agreement was signed at an EU summit in Riga, Latvia, which brings together the leaders of the 28-member bloc and six post-Soviet nations.
Joe Lieberman: ‘US heading for temporary solution to Iran nuclear threat’
…Joe Lieberman says negotiations with Iran are heading toward a very bad agreement. “The goal was to end the Iranian nuclear program in return for the end of economic sanctions…looks like we’re heading toward the…end of economic sanctions and the temporary dialing back of Iran’s nuclear program.” Lieberman says the move by Congress to give itself power to review any final deal with Iran is “very unusual,” but he sides with it unequivocally.
Baltimore’s mayor: Spike in crime ‘disheartening’
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the city’s recent spike in violence “disheartening” Thursday as police work to address a dramatic increase in homicides and nonfatal shootings.
ISIS executes 17 people in Syria’s Palmyra: Monitor
Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group executed at least 17 people, including civilians, after the militants seized Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra on Thursday, a monitor said. “ISIS executed 17 people, including civilians and loyalist fighters. At least four of them were beheaded,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, told AFP.
Islamic State seizes more than half of Syria
The Islamic State has seized more than half of Syria after taking full control of the town of Palmyra and its ancient ruins, activists said Thursday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the extremists had seized more than 36,000 square miles of the country and had also taken control of “the vast majority” of its gas and oil fields. USA TODAY could not independently confirm the information.
Is China Under The Skyscraper Curse?
The fact is that Shanghai Tower is opening during the darkest period of China’s economy in recent years. This make me wonder if the skyscraper index which showed that the world’s tallest buildings have risen on the eve of economic downturns (see graph above) could have some predictive value than mere coincidence.
Pentagon goes public with latest dust-up in South China Sea
The U.S. military has begun to carefully but publicly challenge Chinese island-building on disputed reefs and shoals in the South China Sea, creating fresh tension in a potential global tinderbox as both countries shift forces into the area.
Iran warns Israel of Hezbollah rockets if attacked
A senior Iranian military official warned on Thursday that any Israeli attack would unleash a firestorm of missiles on its cities fired by the Islamic republic’s Hezbollah allies in Lebanon. The Shiite militia has more than 80,000 rockets ready to fire at Tel Aviv and Haifa, said General Yahya Rahim Safavi, military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Ireland to vote in same-sex marriage referendum
Voters in the Republic of Ireland will take part in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. More than 3.2m people will be asked whether they want to amend the country’s constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Israel rules out any payment to ‘enemy’ Iran
After a Swiss court reportedly ordered an Israeli oil firm to compensate Iran over a scrapped joint venture, Israel said Thursday that its laws prohibited any payment to “the enemy.” Iranian state news agency IRNA said Wednesday that the court had found Israel’s Trans-Asian Oil (TAO) liable for payment of $1.1 billion to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.
Top Headlines – 5/22/2015
May 22, 2015
“The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone.” —Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Ritchie, 1820
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
It seems like Hillary Clinton’s campaign is trying to get all the bad news out early (though there isn’t much good news). That way, the toxic waste might reach half-life before the primary election. The Clinton Foundation released more details into how the Clintons went from “dead broke” to One Percenters, and it shows the family’s overpriced speaking fees raked in $12 to $26.4 million more than previously disclosed. The money came from colleges, Wall Street companies like Goldman Sachs and foreign governments like Qatar. The Clintons didn’t disclose these payments because they counted them as revenue for a service, not donations. But in effect, this allowed groups to hand the Clintons a pile of undisclosed cash. Members of Congress sent a letter to the IRS asking it to reconsider the Clinton Foundation’s tax-exempt status. While asking the government to investigate the Clintons is valid, the letter may galvanize Democrats to rally around Clinton. Instead, Republicans should let Clinton twist in the wind. Either progressives realize Clinton doesn’t represent their idealism and challenge her majesty’s claim to the Oval Office, or they wear her like an albatross. More…
On Wednesday, we noted that longtime Clinton friend and adviser Sidney Blumenthal told Hillary on Sept. 12, 2012, that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was sparked by a YouTube video. But after beginning to comb over some of Clinton’s released emails, The New York Times reports this gem: “The next day [September 13], Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a more thorough account of what had occurred. Citing ‘sensitive sources’ in Libya, the memo provided extensive detail about the episode, saying that the siege had been set off by members of Ansar al-Shariah, the Libyan terrorist group. Those militants had ties to Al Qaeda, had planned the attacks for a month and had used a nearby protest as cover for the siege, the memo said. ‘We should get this around asap’ Mrs. Clinton said in an email to [her then-deputy chief of staff] Mr. Sullivan. ‘Will do,’ he responded. That information contradicted the Obama administration’s narrative at the time about what had spawned the attacks. Republicans have said the administration misled the country about the attacks because it did not want to undermine the notion that President Obama, who was up for re-election, was winning the war on terrorism.”
So Hillary knew with certainty two days after the attack that it wasn’t the spontaneous protest against an obscure Internet video that Barack Obama, Susan Rice and others in his administration would continue to claim for weeks afterward. And she knew this truth before she looked the father of slain former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods in the eye and promised, “We’re going to have the person responsible for that video arrested.” It may turn out Hillary wishes she had released these emails before they became such a big story.
Fox News announced Wednesday that only (ahem, only) 10 GOP candidates — the leaders in the polls — will be permitted to participate in the first presidential debate on Aug. 6 in Cleveland. Likewise, CNN will limit the first part of its Sept. 16 debate to the top 10 polling candidates, while allowing any who exceed 1% to come on stage for the second half. Certainly, we understand not wanting to have 27 people on stage competing for a few seconds of airtime. The GOP field is crowded this year, nearly to the point of being silly. But the decision to limit this to poll numbers is asinine, especially for the first debate. Voters don’t know the candidates very well yet, so why limit the stage to polling on people who are as-yet unknown quantities? It amounts to making early name recognition the bar of entry, which then — ta da — limits name recognition for those who haven’t got it yet. This is a good example of what we like to call pollaganda, a propagandistic disinformation technique where political polling masquerades as “objective journalism” and instead advances a particular bias. The networks can thus use the restricted GOP field to drive public opinion rather than reflect or inform it. Our solution: If candidates have done the necessary paperwork and are qualified, put ’em on stage one way or another, even if it takes multiple debates in varying arrangements.
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Nate Jackson
Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, told the organization Thursday at its annual national meeting that the time has come to end the ban on homosexual adult leaders in the organization. Citing the wave of cultural changes taking place under threat from homosexual activists, including same-sex marriage edicts in the courts and anti-discrimination laws in several states, Gates insisted, “The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained.”
“The one thing we cannot do is put our heads in the sand and pretend this challenge will go away or abate,” Gates added. “Quite the opposite is happening.”
Translation: Abandon traditional values in the face of pressure from the Rainbow Mafia.
Far from putting “our heads in the sand,” however, defending both traditional Judeo-Christian values and religious liberty itself is called standing on principle.
Gates did not call upon BSA leaders to make a decision on the matter forthwith, but he did caution that if the organization doesn’t change on its own the homosexual lobby and its allies in the courts are likely to force the issue. “If we wait for the courts to act,” he warned, “we could end up with a broad ruling that could forbid any kind of membership standard,” including belief in duty to God and specifically serving the needs of boys.
So he argued for change, leaving it up to individual troops and councils and the churches who sponsor them … for now. However, such a change would only leave troops and councils across the nation susceptible to legal assaults by the Tolerance Brigade.
Gates, a former secretary of defense and CIA director, has a track record of knuckling under to homosexual activists. He was at the helm of the Pentagon for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010, justifying his actions at the time as an end to discrimination rather than calling the change what it was: an attempt by gays and lesbians to remake yet another institution to suit the needs of a small but vocal fraction of the population.
(On that note, homosexuals and their allies have managed to erroneously convince more than half of Americans that gays make up at least 20% of the population. The true number is more like 3%, but it helps the agenda if it appears there are far more of them.)
When Gates took the job as president of the BSA in 2014, he said he had no intention of allowing openly homosexual scout leaders. The BSA was already reeling from a 2013 decision that summarily dropped the ban on openly homosexual youths. The vote was passed by 60% of the 1,400 delegates in attendance, which may seem like a landslide but is hardly a representative cross-section of the national organization.
Scout membership nationally is already down more than 10% since the last encroachment of gay activists — but the prospect of homosexual leaders overseeing troops will most assuredly lead to a much more significant decline.
Next thing you know, the BSA will be banning water guns. Oh, wait…
Gates is correct that the homosexual lobby isn’t done reshaping the 103-year-old organization to suit its agenda. Scouts for Equality and Human Rights Campaign issued statements after Gates’ speech Thursday saying they were heartened by his words, but wanted to see more action.
HRC President Chad Griffin said, “It’s time for BSA leaders to show true leadership and embrace a full national policy of inclusion that does not discriminate against anyone because of who they are.” Unless of course you want to discriminate against someone for their religious beliefs — that’s perfectly acceptable to HRC and other members of the homosexual lobby.
And never mind that the “tolerant” thing to do would be to live and let live. Set up another scouting organization to advance and promote leftist values, and leave the Boy Scouts alone.
Yet proponents of the homosexual agenda have convinced the courts and the Leftmedia to go along with their plan to dismantle every institution in this country for the sake of accommodating, promoting and advancing their own lifestyle. Submit to homosexual leaders, don’t oppose same-sex marriage, bake the cake — whatever the demand, you will comply. Or else. So-called tolerance is a one-way street.
What takes place between consenting adults is one thing, but when did it ever become necessary to force other people to condone that behavior?
“We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be,” Gates declared. Well, the world as it is right now is being reshaped by an aggressive minority who want little more than the power to reshape the culture and its institutions in its own image.
TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US
- ANALYSIS: Changing Climate or Changing Subject?
- Krauthammer: Obama Sounds Like Baghdad Bob
- When You’ve Lost Piers Morgan…
- Polar Ice Caps Put a Freeze on Alarmist Narrative
- Obama Administration Already Assumes Iran Deal a Success
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Mona Charen: Can Republican Men Criticize Hillary?
- Charles Krauthammer: You Want Hypotheticals? Here’s One
- Joe Bastardi: Disaster Du Jour
- David Harsanyi: There Is No Such Thing as Unbiased Journalism, So Let’s Stop Pretending
- Michelle Malkin: How Obama Radically Transformed America’s Patent System
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Mona Charen: “Here’s how Democrats prefer to arrange matters regarding women: They claim that nominating the first woman for president is a huge advance for all women, proving that women are just as competent as men. Yet they demand that their particular woman be insulated from the usual vigorous debate that is essential for democracy. Any criticism of Hillary Clinton is presumptive sexism, while her attacks on opponents are unrestricted. Neat trick if you can pull if off — and she can if Republicans accept the bridle. In a sense, Clinton has been using the victimized-woman angle for her whole political career. … The best response to the charge of sexism is ridicule. Any female candidate who hides behind her own skirts to avoid robust debate is not striking a blow for equality or dignity. Rather than displaying fitness for the job of commander in chief, she’s conveying her weakness and inability to compete. Any male candidate who pulls his punches is patronizing her. Anyone who takes her on (within the bounds of civility) is according her respect. … Male Republicans … can comb [Hillary’s] State Department and Senate careers for material without fear. She’s asking to be taken seriously. Oblige her.”
Insight: “It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.” —Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Non Compos Mentis: “Franklin Roosevelt, probably the best president we ever had, certainly in the 20th century, was very secretive and manipulative. And we still thought he was a good president. So if Hillary Clinton is secretive … is that going to help us get any further here?” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews
Hold him to it: “Look, 20 years from now, I’m still going to be around, God willing. If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this. I think it’s fair to say that in addition to our profound national-security interests, I have a personal interest in locking this down.” —Barack Obama
Annals of the absurd: “I don’t think we’re losing.” —Barack Obama on the fight against ISIL
Sometimes Hollywood gets it right: “Life’s not fair, it never was, it isn’t now and it won’t ever be. Do not fall into the trap, the entitlement trap, of feeling like you’re a victim. You are not.” —Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey to University of Houston graduates
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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 (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”
1) Pot edible fad presents nationwide challenge police, parents, and even children
New Challenge for Police: Finding Pot in Lollipops and Marshmallows, New York Times (Catherine Saint Louis)
2) Use of energy drinks, ADHD drugs for productivity reveal redefinition of ‘normal’ energy
Selling the Young on ‘Gaming Fuel’, New York Times (Hilary Stout)
Workers Seeking Productivity in a Pill Are Abusing A.D.H.D. Drugs, New York Times (Alan Schwarz)
3) Addiction to porn and video games present crisis of masculinity, says pschologist
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo: ‘Boys risk becoming addicted to porn, video games and Ritalin’, The Guardian (Stuart Jeffries)
Porn and video game addicts risk ‘masculinity crisis,’ says Stanford professor, Reuters (Robert Galbraith)
Hijacking the Brain — How Pornography Works, AlbertMohler.com (R. Albert Mohler)
4) American culture now discouraging taking on adult responsibilities
Punishing parents who deviate from the government-enforced norm, Washington Post (George Will)
In other news…
Hearts, minds and cakes, The Economist
ISIS is ‘everywhere’ in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, CNN (Greg Botelho and Khushbu Shah)
Obama would ‘relish’ opportunity to visit Cuba, spokesman says, Miami Herald (Mimi Whitefield)
Iran vs. Israel: Who’s Making the Threats?
PressTV, The Debate
May 18, 2015
A speech by the Israeli defense minister sets the stage for a discussion of whether Jerusalem threatens Tehran or the other way around. Daniel Pipes debated Brian Becker of ANSWER Coalition on a television station run by the Islamic Republic of Iran..
An excerpt from the conversation, at 12:45:
Pipes: Do I think the U.S. government should bomb the Iranian nuclear installations? Absolutely, and the sooner the better.
Moderator: No, should Israel do it?
Pipes: I would prefer the United States government do it but if the United States government won’t do it, I hope the Israelis will do it, be otherwise we have madmen in Tehran controlling nuclear weapons that threaten the Iranian population, the Israeli population, the American population, and many other populations besides. Best to get rid of this in advance, such as the Israelis did in Iraq in 1981 and in Syria in 2007.
Here are the contents of the two pages Mr. Pipes showed the camera:
1. Iran finances and provides arms to Hamas which periodically attacks Israel.
2. Iran finances and provides arms to Hezbollah which periodically attacks Israel.
3. Khomeini called for “wiping Israel out of existence” on coming to power in. (1979)
4. Mohammad Khatami, president of Iran: “If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.” (2000)
5. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)
6. Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” (2002)
7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran: he repeatedly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” (2005)
8. Nasrallah: “Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: ‘Death to Israel.'” (2005)
9. Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps: “With God’s help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence.” (2008)
10. Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei’s representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: “We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.” (2010)
11. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary force: “We recommend them [the Zionists] to pack their furniture and return to their countries. And if they insist on staying, they should know that a time while arrive when they will not even have time to pack their suitcases.” (2011)
12. Khamenei: “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor that will be removed.” (2012)
13. Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: “The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel.” (2013)
14. Nasrallah: “The elimination of Israel is not only a Palestinian interest. It is the interest of the entire Muslim world and the entire Arab world.” (2013)
15. Hojateleslam Alireza Panahian, the advisor to Office of the Supreme Leader in Universities: “The day will come when the Islamic people in the region will destroy Israel and save the world from this Zionist base.” (2013)
16. Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guard: “The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction.” (2013)
17. Khamenei: “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” (2014)
18. Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard: “We will chase you [Israelis] house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine, and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat.” (2014)
19. Salami: “Today we are aware of how the Zionist regime is slowly being erased from the world, and indeed, soon, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime on Planet Earth.” (2014)
20. Hossein Sheikholeslam, the secretary-general of the Committee for Support for the Palestinian Intifada: “The issue of Israel’s destruction is important, no matter the method. We will obviously implement the strategy of the Imam Khomeini and the Leader on the issue of destroying the Zionists.” (2014)
21. Khamene’i called for Israel to be “annihilated.” (November 10, 2014)
22. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard: “The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime … We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region’s geopolitics.” (2015)
23. Mujtaba du Al-Nour, a senior figure in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards: Iran has rockets that can reach the heart of Tel-Aviv within six or seven minutes after being given the go ahead by the Supreme Guide, “even before the dust of rockets of the Zionists reach us”. (February 23, 2015)
24. General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of Iran’s Basij militia in late March 2015: “Wiping Israel off the map is not up for negotiation.” (April 1, 2015)
25. Mojtaba Zolnour, a Khamenei representative in the IRGC: The “government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has divine permission to destroy Israel. … The Noble Koran permits the Islamic Republic of Iran to destroy Israel. … Even if Iran gives up its nuclear program, it will not weaken this country’s determination to destroy Israel.” (May 12, 2015)
VP Biden equates religious belief on sin of homosexuality to ‘violence with impunity’
by Marsha West
Christian Examiner reports:
Vice President Joe Biden has issued a statement likening “religious condemnation” of the sin of homosexuality to “violence with impunity,” among other things.
In the statement, issued from the White House on the “International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia,” celebrated widely in Europe and South America on May 17, Biden said the lesbian, gay and transgender (LGBT) community had displayed great bravery in the push for equal rights.
“In the last decade, thanks to the astounding bravery of the LGBT community and those who have championed their cause, the United States has made remarkable progress toward the ultimate goal of equality in law and in life. Our progress remains incomplete, but the momentum has shifted in the right direction.”
Ireland’s Gay Marriage Referendum a Sign of Roman Catholic Decline
by Marsha West
“In Ireland,” says a character in a 1904 George Bernard Shaw play, “the people is the Church, and the Church is the people.” But not so much anymore. On Friday (May 22), voters in this once deeply Roman Catholic country will decide whether the country’s constitution should be amended to allow for gay marriage. If […]
Study of attitudes to same-sex marriage retracted over “fake data”
by Marsha West
According to The Guardian:
The senior author of a study claiming to find that a brief, face-to-face conversation with a gay political canvasser had the ability to soften the opinions of those opposed to same-sex marriage has retracted its findings, claiming there were errors in his co-author’s work.
The study, which was published in Science in December and was widely covered in the media, found support for same-sex marriage climbed among voters who had a single conversation with a gay or lesbian canvasser. In addition, the authors found that the changed views not only lasted for at least a year, but also positively influenced the opinions of other members of the household.
The optimistic slant on human nature provided by the research evaporated this week, however, when Professor Donald Green retracted the paper.
Posted: 22 May 2015 08:00 AM PDT
A senior Iranian military official warned on Thursday that any Israeli attack would unleash a firestorm of missiles on its cities fired by the Islamic Republic’s Hezbollah allies in Lebanon.The Shiite militia has more than 80,000 rockets ready to fire at Tel Aviv and Haifa, said General Yahya Rahim Safavi, military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “Iran, with the help of Hezbollah and its friends, is capable of destroying Tel Aviv and Haifa in case of military aggression on the part of the Zionists,” he said, quoted on state television.
“I don’t think the Zionists would be so unintelligent as to create a military problem with Iran,” the general said. “They know the strength of Iran and Hezbollah.”Israeli military officials meanwhile have tacitly conveyed a threat to the Lebanese terror group through international media. Last week, the New York Times reported, based on maps and aerial photography from IDF officials, that Hezbollah has moved most of its military infrastructure into and around the Shiite villages of southern Lebanon. According to the paper, Israeli officials say Hezbollah’s move is tantamount to using the civilians as human shields. FULL REPORT
The post Iran threatens to destroy Tel Aviv if Israel attacks appeared first on .
|California drought prompting state to cut water for farmers with oldest rights
Posted: 22 May 2015 07:43 AM PDT
California farmers who hold rights to water that date back as far as the Gold Rush are bracing for their first state-ordered conservation in decades, as a record drought prompts some of the deepest cuts yet in the country’s most productive agricultural state. After telling cities and towns to slash water use by 25 percent and cutting deliveries to some farmers and others, state officials said Wednesday that they would start mandatory cuts this week to the state’s oldest rights holders, who are historically spared from water restrictions.
Regulators said the first orders Friday will affect those holding century-old water rights in the watershed of the San Joaquin River, which runs from the Sierra Nevada mountains to San Francisco Bay and is one of the main water sources for farms and communities. Meanwhile, a second category of senior rights holders are making a surprise effort to stave off those kinds of cuts. Farmers who hold longstanding claims to water because their land lies along the waterways of the Sacramento-San Joaquin river delta offered to voluntarily reduce their water use by a quarter. Officials promised a decision Friday on that offer, which would yield on some of the most iron-clad water rights in California, as they try to chart a path forward for a state locked in its driest four-year period on record. FULL RECORD
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|Iowa bird-flu farms fall short on containment measures
Posted: 21 May 2015 07:37 PM PDT
Measures to control the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history are not being enforced at several farms at its epicenter in northwestern Iowa, potentially increasing the risks that the disease could spread further, spot checks by Reuters show. In visits to six affected sites in Iowa last week, a Reuters reporter found procedures at three in Sioux County did not comply with USDA or state protocols for restricting access to infected sites, providing protective gear to workers and cleaning the wheels of vehicles leaving the sites.
Burke Healey, the USDA’s national incident commander coordinating response to the bird flu, said he was concerned about the findings of lax biosecurity in Iowa after hearing about them from Reuters. Shortfalls in biosecurity can violate agreements signed by farm owners, he said. “If they’re allowing you to drive in and out of that property unrestricted, then that’s going against what we’ve requested of them and what they’ve agreed to do for us,” Healey said. FULL REPORT
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|Push to criminalize cash so that banks can manipulate digital money accelerates
Posted: 21 May 2015 07:27 PM PDT
There is an echo chamber of economic elitists, corporatists and officials forming to eliminate physical money in favor of creating a digital means of engaging in commerce that governments would control. One of the latest examples is Jim Leaviss, head of retail fixed interest at M&G Investments, who wrote recently in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that a proposed new Denmark law should be viewed as a first step — a model, if you will — of abolishing “physical currency” and “normal bank accounts,” all to give “governments futuristic new tools to fight the cycle of ‘boom and bust.’”
Leaviss says the Danish proposal “sounds innocuous enough on the surface”; it would give local businesses and shops the right to refuse cash payments and instead insist that customers use “contactless debit cards” or another means of electronic payment. He continues: Officially, the aim is to ease “administrative and financial burdens,” such as the cost of hiring a security service to send cash to the bank, and is part of a program of reforms aimed at boosting growth – there is evidence that high cash usage in an economy acts as a drag. FULL REPORT
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|Pacific Ocean off California coast turning into desert-like dead zone
Posted: 21 May 2015 07:17 PM PDT
It’s anyone’s guess why temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are heating up off the coast of Southern California. Is a natural El Niño effect occurring, or is there something more sinister happening under the blue ocean waters? Off the coast of California, drastic signs of a rapidly changing Pacific Ocean are cropping up. Warmer currents have forced species of fish away from the coast. A massive fish migration, coupled with typical overfishing, has led to dwindling populations of key species like sardines, oysters, shellfish, scallops and krill.
As the aquatic species move away from the coast in search of a better habitat, the sentinel California sea lion population is suffering. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that more than 3,000 sea lion pups have become stranded in 2015. The Marine Mammal Center is sending out veterinarians to rescue the stranded sea lions so they can be nursed back to health. FULL REPORT
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|US Pressing Israel to Lose Its Nukes
Posted: 21 May 2015 07:06 PM PDT
Assistant US Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, Thomas Countryman, recently visited Israel and held talks with senior Foreign Ministry officials, about the possibility of making the Middle East nuclear-free. Washington seeks to advance the idea after reaching agreement with Russia about the matter.
The State Department confirmed Countryman’s visit and sources in the US Administration said that Israeli agreement to the idea would be a catalyst for bringing additional countries into discussions on the matter. The Americans have been attempting to convene an international conference on the subject for some time, without success. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about the idea with pessimism, and said it was “a very tough challenge.” FULL REPORT
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|Century After Welsh Revival, Students Vote Against Word of God
Posted: 21 May 2015 11:51 AM PDT
Students at a Welsh university have voted to remove thousands of Bibles from halls of residence, in a move being described as “illiberal and intolerant.” A motion passed at an Aberystwyth University Students’ Union meeting called for an end to the tradition of having Gideon Bibles in students’ bedrooms, branding it “inappropriate in a multicultural university.”
Those behind the motion are pressing for the Bibles to be removed by the end of the academic year and have proposed that students could instead request a religious text if they want one. University officials will now decide whether or not to accept the motion. Aberystwyth University alumnus and Group Chief Executive of Bible Society James Catford said when the proposal was first put forward, that he disagreed with the idea. Responding to claims that the Bible ban is in the name of multiculturalism, he said: “The answer to a diverse and multicultural society is not to remove all traces of diversity. That seems illiberal and intolerant.” FULL REPORT
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|How Franklin Graham Is Praying for the Supreme Court
Posted: 21 May 2015 11:45 AM PDT
While Americans wait and watch for the Supreme Court’s verdict on same-sex marriage, Franklin Graham is doing more than waiting and watching—he’s praying. The evangelist has been offering assessments of various justices stances and how to pray for each of them as they deliberate. “Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was born to a family of immigrants and grew up in public housing in the Bronx. She is a great example of someone who reached the American Dream through hard work and determination. Unfortunately, she is also an example of someone who seems to be very misguided on the issue of same-sex marriage,” Graham says.
“She voted to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2014, and homosexual advocates consider her an ally in their fight to make same-sex marriage the law of the land. Let’s pray for Justice Sotomayor to have the wisdom to know that as a society we cannot survive if we turn our back on God’s standards and His definition of marriage.” Graham also points to Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Last year, she officiated at a same-sex wedding for her former law clerk. In 2013, Kagan—who was appointed in 2010 by President Obama—also voted to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which stated that marriage is between one man and one woman. FULL REPORT
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|‘Father’ to marry ‘son,’ with court’s blessing!
Posted: 21 May 2015 11:39 AM PDT
The Pandora’s box of same-sex marriage has just released a new pairing unimaginable a few short years ago. Norman MacArthur and Bill Novak, father and son, though not biologically, will soon be husband and … whatever, reports the Patch of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The pair, both in their 70s, have been together for 50 years and registered in New York City as domestic partners in 1994. But when they moved to Pennsylvania, they discovered their domestic partnership wasn’t recognized, and legalized same-sex marriage was nowhere on the horizon.
Needing to take care of estate-planning issues, the pair pursued a novel legal approach. Novak adopted MacArthur in 2000. The fact their parents were deceased removed any legal objection. “It was the only legal method we could use in Pennsylvania to give underpinning to our relationship,” MacArthur said. When the United States District Court declared unconstitutional Pennsylvania’s marriage laws prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional in 2014, Novak and MacArthur wanted to tie the knot in marriage, but their earlier legal gambit now became an obstacle. Pennsylvania law doesn’t permit marriage between parents and children. FULL REPORT
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|ISIS Approaches Israel
Posted: 21 May 2015 11:35 AM PDT
Islamic State loyalists in Syria have made attempts in recent weeks to expand the extremist group’s territory near the border with Israel, but have been twice thwarted by Syrian rebels along the Golan Heights. Israel has not yet responded to the incidents, even as mortar shells from the battles with ISIS fighters landed across the border into Israeli territory, Israeli news site Ynetnews said. In the past, Israel has increased its forces in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border when shells fired by the Syrian army spilled over into Israeli territory, the Jerusalem Post said. However, Israel has remained quiet during the past two weeks as rebel fighters from Syria repelled militants loyal to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
The ISIS-loyalists have so far failed to gain foothold on the Golan Heights border, which would allow the Islamic State to set up a base for operations against Israel, Ynetnews said. Their attacks have been thwarted by the Free Syrian Army, which reportedly receives Israeli humanitarian aid, in cooperation with the Nusra Front, a Sunni Muslim branch of al Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon. Israel views al Qaeda-affiliated groups as enemies but is far more hostile with Iran and its allies. Earlier this year, Israel opened its borders with Syria to provide medical treatment to the Nusra Front and al Qaeda fighters wounded along the Golan Heights, the Wall Street Journal said. FULL REPORT
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All over the globe, people are recording extremely loud sounds coming from the sky. In many instances, these ominous noises sound like someone is blowing a trumpet. So what are we supposed to make of these “apocalyptic” sounds? Should we be concerned? Well, what we do know is that this is truly a global phenomenon. In addition to being heard at locations all over the United States and Canada, these sounds have also been recorded in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, England, Costa Rica, Ukraine and France. If you go to YouTube and type in “strange sounds”, you will literally get hundreds of results from all over the planet. Of course there are many scientists that insist that there must be a “rational explanation” for these strange sounds. Some theories have suggested fracking, “rock bursts”, venting of high-pressure gas, atmospheric pressure or the natural “background noise” of our planet as the causes of these sounds, but so far none of those theories have been proven. But two things seem certain – these noises sure are creepy, and they just keep on happening. (Read More…)
Did you know that if you took every single penny away from everyone in the United States that it still would not be enough to pay off the national debt? Today, the debt of the federal government exceeds $145,000 per household, and it is getting worse with each passing year. Many believe that if we paid it off a little bit at a time that we could eventually pay it all off, but as you will see below that isn’t going to work either. It has been projected that “mandatory” federal spending on programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare plus interest on the national debt will exceed total federal revenue by the year 2025. That is before a single dollar is spent on the U.S. military, homeland security, paying federal workers or building any roads and bridges. So no, we aren’t going to be “paying down” our debt any time in the foreseeable future. And of course it isn’t just our 18 trillion dollar national debt that we need to be concerned about. Overall, Americans are a total of 58 trillion dollars in debt. 35 years ago, that number was sitting at just 4.3 trillion dollars. There is no way in the world that all of that debt can ever be repaid. The only thing that we can hope for now is for this debt bubble to last for as long as possible before it finally explodes. (Read More….)
Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, May 22, 2015
Castro Regime Heightens Christian Persecution in Eastern Cuba
Franklin Graham’s Facebook Prayers Target Supreme Court Justices on Gay Marriage
One Year after Meriam Ibrahim’s Release, Two Christians Face Possible Death Penalty in Sudan
Woman Sues New Jersey for Rejecting ‘8THEIST’ License Plate but Accepting ‘BAPTIST’
ISIS Controlling 50 Percent of Syria after Palmyra Takeover
Mother Teresa to be Canonized as Early as Next Year
Ireland’s Gay Marriage Referendum a Sign of Roman Catholic Decline
South Carolina Judge Partially Upholds Christian Prayers at School Graduation
PCUSA Loses Membership after Embracing Gay Marriage
Boehner Rips VA for Firing Almost Nobody, Year after Shinseki Resignation
David Letterman and the Death of the Talk Show
5 Myths About Christian Persecution
Should Christians Prepare for a ‘Dark Age’ in the Church?
Good News in Las Vegas, Iraq and Waco
Philosophers Accuse Intact Families of Unfair Advantage
Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?
“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime
9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.
The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?
Remember the thief.
It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.
Our Time is Short
Ready to start your new life with God?
Who do you think that I am?
With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.
Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more
Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!
30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.
New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
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