Aug. 4, 2015
A senior United Nations official says Islamic State is circulating a slave price list for captured women and children, and that the group’s ongoing appeal and barbarity pose an unprecedented challenge. “One girl can be sold and bought by five or six different men. Sometimes these fighters sell the girls back to their families for thousands of dollars of ransom.” For Islamic State fighters, the prices in Iraqi dinars for boys and girls aged 1 to 9 are equal to about $165. Prices for adolescent girls are $124 and it’s less for women over 20.
Brent crude tumbled below $50 on Monday for the first time since January. Gasoline fell the most in almost three years.
Puerto Rico’s debt crisis escalated as it suspended deposits into a fund that pays its general-obligation bonds and one of its agencies defaulted for the first time, jeopardizing the cash-strapped government’s ability to raise money.
Russia is pushing for a broad coalition to fight Islamic State, including Iraqi and Syrian government forces, rejecting continuing pressure from the U.S. and its allies for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Big-game trophies will no longer be carried on the three biggest U.S. airlines, expanding the number of global carriers to adopt such bans amid growing anger over the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.
AP Top Stories
A Huntington Park council member appointed two undocumented immigrants to be community leaders for city commissions Monday.
Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate captured at least five more US-trained rebel fighters in overnight raids on a village in northwestern Syria, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.
Japan said on Tuesday it was suspending construction of a contentious U.S. air base on the island of Okinawa for a month to give time for talks between the central government and island authorities opposed to the facility.
BASIS, an Arizona-based national charter school chain that was founded in an abandoned Tucson shopping mall, has announced it will open a campus on Sept. 1 in Shenzhen, a burgeoning financial hub with more than 10 million people on China’s southeastern edge. Some analysts predict that if BASIS has success overseas in the Chinese market, other charters could follow, meeting an apparently high demand for American-style education.
Nigeria’s military said Monday it had “besieged” Boko Haram positions in the Islamist militant group’s northeastern heartland after setting free 178 hostages, mainly women and children.
Picky eating among children may not be just a passing phase but could flag potential concerns such as depression and anxiety, a study released Monday found.
Three North Carolina men fearing a government takeover and martial law stockpiled weapons, ammunition and tactical gear while attempting to rig home-made explosives, according to charges announced by the Justice Department on Monday.
Police have opened an investigation into online threats against Israel’s president following his condemnation of “Jewish terrorism” after a firebombing killed a Palestinian child, a presidential spokesman said on Monday.
Nearly a quarter of prospective students surveyed said they were unsure whether they’d receive financial aid, even though nearly nine out of 10 said the cost of college or availability of aid were important factors in deciding which school to attend.
A new study from TD Ameritrade finds that 22% of Americans are giving financial support to an aging parent or an adult child, and sometimes to both. On average, the cost is $12,000 per year, and that’s on top of all the other costs of running a household.
President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, 2010, and open enrollment for all Americans began on October 1, 2013. While the ultimate outcome of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, remains to be seen, the number of people with health insurance increased in every state since the law was enacted.
In a world first, the US Food and Drug Administration has given the go-ahead for a 3D-printed pill to be produced. The FDA has previously approved medical devices – including prosthetics – that have been 3D printed. The new drug, dubbed Spritam, was developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals to control seizures brought on by epilepsy. The company said that it planned to develop other medications using its 3D platform.
Pro-government forces in Yemen have retaken the country’s largest airbase in a battle with Houthi rebels, government officials said.
Security forces in Mexico have discovered an underground tunnel aimed at crossing into the United States.
The Myanmar government has appealed for international aid amid floods which have killed at least 46 people and affected more than 210,000.
Parliament in Kosovo has amended the constitution to allow the creation of a special court to investigate alleged war crimes committed by ethnic Albanian fighters during the war in the 1990s.
Baltimore police are having such a tough time fighting violent crime in the city they’ve called in the feds to help, and 10 agents from the FBI, the DEA, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and the ATF will soon be joining the local force for a period of two months. Fox News reported two special agents each from will assist local police with crime investigations for the next 60 days.
More than two dozen Iraqi Chaldean Christians forced from their homes by ISIS have been detained at an ICE detention center in California for 6 months after crossing the Mexican border.
Top News – 8/4/2015
Ebola vaccine shown to be 100 percent effective in field trials
Ebola is one of the most frightening viruses of modern times and the recent outbreak in West Africa sparked a worldwide effort to contain it. Though it is far from under control in much of the region, there is a glimmer of hope as the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that in trials, a vaccine called VSV-EBOV has proven to be 100 percent effective in protecting individuals.
Ingathering of Exiles to Israel Heralds End of Days
The ingathering of the exiles is yet another part of the process of redemption, as promised in Deuteronomy, and in many places in the Prophets (Jeremiah 29:14; Ezekiel 11:17; Isaiah 56:8; Psalms 106:47).
Russia makes renewed bid for contentious Arctic regions
Russia has renewed its efforts to get the United Nations to recognise 1.2 million sq km (463,000 sq miles) of the Arctic shelf that it lays claim to. It made a similar move for the resource-rich territory in 2001, but that was rejected by a UN commission because of insufficient evidence. Russia’s foreign ministry said the fresh bid is backed by scientific data.
Australian researchers predicted Nepal quake
A week after the initial quake, a research team at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) School of Surveying and Geospatial Engineering received and analysed the first valid post-quake satellite image and came to a contentious conclusion: that another major earthquake was soon on its way for Nepal. The finding was derived from a method called differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (DInSAR), in which satellite imagery revealed a far lower than expected amount of ground displacement.
Tracking a mysterious group of asteroid outcasts
“The Euphrosynes have a gentle resonance with the orbit of Saturn that slowly moves these objects, eventually turning some of them into NEOs,” said Joseph Masiero, JPL’s lead scientist on the Euphrosynes study. “This particular gravitational resonance tends to push some of the larger fragments of the Euphrosyne family into near-Earth space.”
Liberals Silent As It’s Shown The #1 Killer Of Blacks In America Is Planned Parenthood
Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project” is alive and well, with over 76% of all Planned Parenthood facilities located in the poorest, inner-city neighborhoods where there is a large black population.
What The Bible Has To Say About Homosexuality And The LGBT Lifestyle
We live in a day and age where God’s opinion no longer matters, and where man’s opinion and human relativism is the standard of the day. Sin is no longer sin, it’s a “disease”, and rehab has replaced true biblical repentance.
Obama detains 27 Christian asylum seekers
More than two dozen Iraqi Chaldean Christians forced from their homes by ISIS have been detained at an ICE detention center in California for six months after crossing the border from Mexico.
Baltimore calls in federal agents to help homicide cops deal with spike in violence
The homicide rate in Baltimore began to skyrocket in May, when the city saw 42 homicides in a single month. There was a brief dip in June, with 29 killings, however the number shot up to 45 in July, breaking a record set in 1972. The uptick comes after rioting in the spring over the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who was critically injured while in police custody.
CO-ROTATING INTERACTION REGION
NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Aug. 6th when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. CIRs are transition zones between fast- and slow-moving solar wind streams.
Soudelor targets Japan, China as most powerful storm of 2015
Super Typhoon Soudelor developed into the world’s most powerful storm of the year Tuesday as it took aim at Japan, Taiwan and China after trashing the Northern Marianas. The storm was roaring across the western Pacific Ocean packing wind gusts up to 220 miles per hour (354 kph) according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center which rated it a maximum category five.
Planned Parenthood, a Spanish Town, and a Deadly Schizophrenia
Would that human babies in and/or emerging from their mothers’ wombs in America’s Planned Parenthood abortuaries — described by George Will as “federally subsidized meat markets” — had such status, including protection against “mutilation or death. “Treating animals as humans and humans as animals reveals the ethical schizophrenia of many in contemporary Western culture.
Respite for commodities as dollar wilts, China bounces
Oil prices steadied at $50 a barrel after a 5 percent drop and badly bruised commodity and Chinese markets were calmer generally on Tuesday, as investors attempted to shake off the recent turbulence.
All This for .01 Degrees Celsius?
As the president reveals his plan to reduce greenhouse gases to save us from an apocalyptic atmosphere, I wish to remind people of three things: 1.) The true hockey stick of the fossil fuel era: Global progress in total population, personal wealth and life expectancy. …2.) The geological time scale of temperatures versus CO2…
Birds of Prey Circling Over Syria
The country is on its deathbed, and an entire flock of predator birds has already begun gouging whatever bits of flesh it can, all the while fighting over the better parts of the carcass – in this case, the country’s various regions.
Archaeologists Uncover Entrance Gate to Goliath’s City
An archaeological expedition has discovered the fortifications and entrance gate of the biblical city of Gath of the Philistines, home of Goliath and the largest city in the land during the 10th-9th century BCE, about the time of the “United Kingdom” of Israel and King Ahab of Israel.
Wildfires rage in Northern, Central California
Crews are battling 14 wildfires in Northern and Central California this morning, including one which prompted the evacuation of a long-term care hospital.
Defund Planned Parenthood Bill Defeated in Senate
Despite the grisly revelations of the past few weeks, which caught Planned Parenthood employees negotiating the sale of fetal body parts as if they were goods and services, the Senate today voted to keep Planned Parenthood funding “intact”.
California fires: Evacuation orders given to 13,000
Evacuation orders have been given to 13,000 people in California as firefighters struggle to contain some 20 wildfires. Some 9,000 firefighters worked throughout Monday in steep terrain and rugged conditions, officials said. The biggest blaze – the so-called Rocky fire north of San Francisco – has already consumed more than 90 square miles (233 sq km) of land.
5.3-magnitude quake rocks Khuzdar
A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck south-western Balochistan province on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, but local officials said there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
Sources: Hamas focusing on terror attacks from West Bank after high casualties in Gaza war
Hamas will not return to open war with Israel until it obtains anti-aircraft missiles to prevent IAF attacks on its positions… According to the sources, Hamas learned during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge that the cost of engaging in direct confrontation with the IDF was not worth it, and that it will instead focus on carrying out terror attacks originating in the West Bank.
Obama detains 27 Christian asylum seekers
More than two dozen Iraqi Chaldean Christians forced from their homes by ISIS have been detained at an ICE detention center in California for six months after crossing the border from Mexico.
Misery deepens for those in Puerto Rico who can’t leave
Most tables are empty at Walter Martin’s coffee shop in San Juan’s colonial district. His brow is furrowed with concern and glistens with sweat in the sweltering Caribbean morning.
Super Typhoon slams into Saipan causing widespread damage
Super Typhoon Soudelor with sustained winds around 160 kph and gusts up to 190 kph has slammed into Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands in the northwest Pacific, causing widespread damage.
Democrats Block Vote On Planned Parenthood Defunding
Senate Democrats blocked a vote on a bill Monday that would have stripped federal funds from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest family planning provider.
Iran: U.S. Banned from Knowing Details of Iran Nuclear Inspection Agreement
Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the nuclear inspection organization is barred from revealing to the United States any details of deals it has inked with Tehran to inspect its contested nuclear program going forward, according to regional reports.
Report cites ‘Latinization of U.S.,’ warns of ‘backlash’ against whites
A study of the growing Hispanic immigrant population declares that the country is on the verge of the “Latinization of the United States,” a “browning of America” that by 2050 will be 29 percent Latino — and politically influential.
Kim Jong Un Will Receive A Peace Prize Once Awarded To Gandhi
A peace and humanitarian prize that was previously awarded to Mahatma Gandhi and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi will soon be given to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Top Headlines – 8/4/2015
Senior American official: If Iran attacks Israel, US will protect it
Kerry seeks to ease Arab concerns about Iran deal
Israel ex-security chiefs urge Netanyahu to accept Iran deal
Obama to speak to Jewish leaders in first post-Iran deal meeting
Key Democrats in US House, Senate eye late declarations on Iran deal
Qatar says Gulf Arabs confident region safer with Iran deal
Iran’s Ahmadinejad seeks political comeback
Russian FM meets Hamas leader, offers help toward statehood
Former security officials call on Netanyahu to begin diplomatic initiative
Two mortars land in Golan Heights
With tensions high, IDF concerned about terror attacks
US Jewish groups call on Israel to rein in its Jewish extremists
Air France wipes Israel off of the map…literally
Palestinians break taboo, seek Israeli citizenship
Archaeologists Uncover Entrance Gate to Goliath’s City
Syria approaching de facto partition amid Assad military setbacks
Erdogan says Putin may ‘give up’ on Assad
Russia critical of US plan to give rebels air cover in Syria
Ukrainians Facing Worst Crisis Since World War II; Starving Elderly ‘Throwing Themselves From Windows and Bridges,’ Warns Catholic Bishop
China Sees Red: Christian Protest Puts Hundreds of Crosses Back in Public
Germany hits new immigration record amid rising tensions
Venezuelan President Blames US for Supermarket Riot That Left One Dead
Pilots On ‘High Alert’ Following Third Drone Sighting In As Many Days At NYC’s JFK Airport
Feds charge 3 men accused of stockpiling guns, explosives in preparation for martial law
Navy official: Not ruling out charging service member who fired on Chattanooga shooter
Allen West Posts Epic Sign That Slams Obama for Trusting Iran With Nukes, but Not Our Marines With Guns
Big city police chiefs discuss solutions to crime surge
Pentagon Can’t Account for Nearly $1 Billion It Spent
Puerto Rico just defaulted for the first time
Greek stocks plunge, banks hammered, after five-week crisis shut down
Oil dives 5 percent to six-month low under $50 on China worry
5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga
5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands
5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Khuzdar, Pakistan
5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea
5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Namie, Japan
5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft
Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft
Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft
T.S. Guillermo to Skirt Hawaii While a Monstrous Typhoon Aims for China
Typhoon Slams Into Saipan Causing Widespread Damage
Floods, landslides kill 75, displace thousands in eastern India
Searing 164-degree temps in Iran as ‘heat dome’ traps Middle East
Heat Wave Causes Millions in Damage to Israeli Crops
California wildfires torch 134,000 acres — and counting
Obama’s Climate Push Sets Up Battle Reminiscent of Obamacare
The FDA has approved the first drug made by a 3D printer
Death Toll From Bronx Legionnaires’ Outbreak Rises To 7
Senate halts plan to defund Planned Parenthood
Judge extends hold on recordings made by anti-abortion group
This is Your Nuremberg, Planned Parenthood
India orders clampdown on Internet porn, sparks censorship debate
Right Wing MK: Jerusalem Pride Parade Is an Abomination’
Website for marital cheats edges closer to advertising on Israeli TV, radio
Five Consequences of America’s Moral Collapse
50 Facts That Show How Far America Has Fallen In This Generation
William Murray – Iran Fleeced Obama, But Not how You Think
Hillsong NYC Church Has Openly Gay Couple Leading Worship
Reformed Pastor, Francis Chan, to speak at IHOP cult – again!
Gay leader: Jerusalem Gay Pride Attacker acted alone but had backing of rabbis, MKs
Chaldean Christians from Iraq Detained at US – Mexico Border
Canadian Pastor Captured in North Korea Confesses to ‘Crimes Against the State’…
China detains seven Christians opposed to cross demolition
Nigerian Troops Free 178 Captives, Mostly Children Held by Boko Haram
Planned Parenthood defunding bill dies in U.S. Senate
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Cancels State Contract with Planned Parenthood
A New Law Could Allow Norwegian Children to Legally Change Their Gender
August 3, 2015
— Donald Trump is conservative Un-cola. Nonetheless, he has from early on sought to promote himself as the new Ronald Reagan. Not long ago, I published a column (“Sorry folks, Demagogue Donald is no Ronald Reagan”) relevant to this ploy. It’s a patently false comparison. Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 election cycle was the culmination of an authentic grassroots conservative movement for which he had been a focal point for at least 20 years… (more)
August 3, 2015
— House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) had been planning to call up on the House floor last week a measure from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) that would have removed him as Speaker of the House if it succeeded… (more)
August 2, 2015
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
— The Audacity of Facts: that is what Mark Levin believes can save America. Facts can animate the rising generation that has the most to lose by the impending collapse of our constitutional republic…. (more)
August 2, 2015
— Donald Trump has gotten popular, in part, by challenging the media. But he has praised journalists on occasion. His 2011 book, Time to Get Tough, said David Gregory was “doing a fine job filling some awfully big shoes over at Meet the Press.” It was a reference to legendary and highly respected host Tim Russert, who had passed away…. (more)
August 2, 2015
— Hillary Clinton is not going to be the Democratic nominee for president. Yes, the conventional wisdom is that she is still the prohibitive favorite, armed with big money, big connections, and the Big Dog, Bill…. (more)
August 2, 2015
— President Obama’s hopes for a globalist pact integrating economies on four continents ran aground in Hawaii on Friday. Trade negotiators from 12 nations announced Friday they failed to reach a deal on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP…. (more)
August 1, 2015
THE DAILY BEAST
— Seventeen unclassified Iran deal items have been locked in ultra-secure facilities ordinarily used for top secret info. Why is the Obama administration trying to bury this material? Scattered around the U.S. Capitol complex are a series of Sensitive… (more)
August 1, 2015
— A federal judge late Friday blocked the release of any recordings made at meetings of the National Abortion Federation by the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-abortion group that has exposed Planned Parenthood’s sale of organs harvested from aborted babies…. (more)
August 1, 2015
— Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards has visited the White House 39 times since 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, according to White House records…. (more)
August 1, 2015
— The gruesome hits keep coming for the baby butchers of Planned Parenthood. President Obama and his top health officials have one last-ditch response left: Quick, hide behind the imaginary mammogram machine!… (more)
August 1, 2015
— Baltimore reached a grim milestone on Friday, three months after riots erupted in response to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody: With 45 homicides in July, the city has seen more bloodshed in a single month than it has in 43 years. Police reported three deaths – – two men shot Thursday and one on Friday. The men died at local hospitals…. (more)
August 1, 2015
— In a televised moment that could haunt the Democratic Party for years to come, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee awkwardly struggled to answer and then ducked a question from MSNBC about the difference between a socialist and a Democrat…. (more)
August 1, 2015
— After backing down amid concerns she wanted to regulate political speech, and even new sites like the Drudge Report, the chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission has renewed talk about targeting campaign and political activities on the internet…. (more)
August 1, 2015
NY DAILY NEWS
— The scientists were right – – your cell phone can give you cancer. There have long been whispers of a cancer connection from your cell – – and a new study backs up the claims. “These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health,” study author Igor Yakymenko said…. (more)
July 31, 2015
WASHINGTON FREE BEACON
— Senior Iranian officials are accusing the Obama administration of lying about the details of the recent nuclear accord in order to soothe fears among U.S. lawmakers and Americans about the implications of the deal, which will release billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic while temporarily freezing its nuclear program, according to reports from Iran’s state-controlled media…. (more)
July 31, 2015
— Iran will not allow American or Canadian inspectors working for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to visit its nuclear facilities, an official said in remarks broadcast by state TV on Thursday…. (more)
July 31, 2015
— Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is no fan of the Iran nuclear deal being proposed by the Obama administration, but he thinks Texas Sen. Ted Cruz went too far when he said it amounts to the United States financing terrorists…. (more)
July 31, 2015
— The latest video released today shows Dr. Savita Ginde of Planned Parenthood talking to buyers from a fictitious company about how to avoid the appearance of violating federal law against selling fetal body parts that are the result of abortion. Ginde talks specifically about how to avoid getting caught…. (more)
July 31, 2015
— A pro-life website slammed Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Thursday for his years as head of philanthropy for the Bloomberg Family Foundation, which grants millions of dollars to support abortion efforts worldwide…. (more)
July 31, 2015
— The White House expressed its firm belief Thursday that recently-released videos attacking Planned Parenthood are “fraudulent.” Their source: Planned Parenthood…. (more)
July 31, 2015
— For many Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and tea-party activists, political frustration is not so much with Barack Obama. They understand Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do seven years ago when he was first elected. He’s fundamentally transforming America. He’s keeping his campaign promises to his constituents. Meadows… (more)
July 31, 2015
— MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to explain the difference between a Democrat and a socialist. She didn’t…. (more)
July 31, 2015
— Who holds the trump card in the Democratic race for president in 2016? Hint: It is somebody that nobody is talking about today…. (more)
July 31, 2015
— It’s the most far-reaching scandal in Washington that no one wants to talk about: Tens of millions of federal employees had their personal information hacked as a result of Obama administration incompetence and political favoritism…. (more)
Have you noticed that there is a tremendous amount of Internet buzz about the month of September 2015? Never before have I seen so much speculation about what would happen in one particular month. Some people believe that we will see an economic collapse next month, others believe that there will be some sort of historic natural disaster, and others are convinced that the judgment of God is coming. So right now, large numbers of Americans are stocking up on emergency food and supplies like crazy. Personally, I have never been more concerned about any period of time as I am about the last six months of 2015. Several weeks ago, I expressed my belief that chaos will begin once the summer ends. These are the last days of “normal life” in America, and just about everything that we currently take for granted is about to be shaken. (Read More…)
America is not a great nation, and it hasn’t been for a very long time. Any government that gives hundreds of millions of dollars each year to an organization that systematically murders babies, harvests their internal organs and ships them off to laboratories where they are used in experiments can hardly be called “great”. Back in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as “the evil empire”, but today it is the Russians that are calling us “evil” and “godless”. And you know what? When Vladimir Putin called us “godless” he was 100 percent correct. Someday when history judges us, we will fully deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China and Hitler’s Germany. Our consciences have been so seared that we have absolutely no sense of perspective anymore. We get all bent out of shape over the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, but the trafficking of the body parts and internal organs of millions of our own babies hardly elicits any reaction at all. (Read More…)
Are you ready for what is coming in August? All over America, economic, political and social tensions are building, and the next 30 days could turn out to be pivotal. In July, we saw things start to turn. As you will read about below, a major six year trendline for the S&P 500 was finally broken this month, Chinese stocks crashed, commodities crashed, and debt problems started erupting all over the planet. I fully expect that this next month (August) will be a month of transition as we enter an extremely chaotic time in the fall and winter. Things are unfolding in textbook fashion for another major global financial crisis in the months ahead, and yet most people refuse to see what is happening. In their blind optimism, they want to believe that things will somehow be different this time. Well, the coming months will definitely reveal who was right and who was wrong. The following are 11 red flag events that just happened as we enter the pivotal month of August 2015… (Read More….)
Is Barack Obama trying to kill the economy on purpose? On Sunday, we learned that Obama is imposing a nationwide 32 percent carbon dioxide emission reduction from 2005 levels by the year 2030. When it was first proposed last year, Obama’s plan called for a 30 percent reduction, but the final version is even more dramatic. The Obama administration admits that this is going to cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars a year and that electricity rates for many Americans are going to rise substantially. And what Obama is not telling us is that this plan is going to kill what is left of our coal industry and will destroy countless numbers of American jobs. The Republicans in Congress hate this plan, state governments across the country hate this plan, and thousands of business owners hate this plan. But since Barack Obama has decided that this is a good idea, he is imposing it on all of us anyway. (Read More….)
The month of August sure has started off with a bang. Tech stocks are crashing, oil is crashing, industrial commodities are crashing, Greek stocks crashed the moment that the Greek stock market reopened for trading, and Chinese stocks continue to crash. At this point we have not seen a broad crash of U.S. stocks yet, but it is important to note that the Dow is already down more than 700 points from the peak in May. If it continues to slide like it has in recent days, it won’t be too long before we will officially reach “correction” territory. Just a few days ago, I described August as a “pivotal month“, and so far that is indeed turning out to be the case. (Read More….)
Five Consequences Of America’s Moral Collapse
Americans have become so “non-judgmental” that many people can no longer tell the difference between good and evil. We congratulate ourselves for being “nicer,” more sensitive and less prejudiced than past generations of Americans, but we don’t stop to consider how much more there is to morality than that. An America that isn’t full of good people won’t remain a good nation, nor will it remain strong and free over the long haul. Our country’s lack of morality has real consequences that are capable of eventually sinking us as a nation………… Click here for full story
1) Opposition to Planned Parenthood presented as emotional sensitivity as Senate vote fails
Senate blocks Planned Parenthood defunding measure, Reuters (Susan Cornwell and Alex Wilts)
Debate Planned Parenthood honestly, USA Today (Editorial Board)
A New Abortion Furor, New York Times
Reprehensible, Weekly Standard (John McCormack)
Medical Research on Fetal Tissue Prompts Ethical and Funding Debates, NPR (John Hockenberry)
2) Boy Scouts allow gay troop leaders, signalling persistent pressure from culture
How the Boy Scouts changed their stance on gay leaders, Los Angeles Times (Jena McGregor)
Why the Boy Scouts’ New Policy on Gays Sets a Dangerous Precedent, Huffington Post (Michelangelo Signorile)
Were Boy Scouts right to lift ban on gays?, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel (Gary Stein)
3) R-rated comedies persist despite box office woes, exposing values of Hollywood
R-Rated Comedies, ‘Vacation’ Among Them, Continue to Struggle, New York Times (Brooks Barnes)
In other news…
August 4, 2015
“The instrument by which [the government] must act are either the AUTHORITY of the laws or FORCE. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government there is an end to liberty!” —Alexander Hamilton, Tully, No. 3, 1794
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
The Senate’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood seemed to be more about political optics than actually casting votes for the right thing. A bill that would have halted $500 million in annual federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood died when a procedural vote that required 60 votes fell short by seven. This raises questions: How serious are the Senate Republicans in protecting the lives of the unborn? Some GOP senators see this vote as testing the waters, possibly for a political cage fight come fall if the GOP gets enough backbone to attach a PP defunding measure to a spending bill and risk another government shutdown. Commentators like Leon H. Wolf see this vote as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cowing to the slightest political pressure. By allowing the bill cosponsored by 45 Republicans to die on a procedure vote, McConnell allowed the status quo to remain and a handful of lawmakers were able to vote in a way that would please their constituencies. Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal canceled the contract between Planned Parenthood and Louisiana. Yes, changing the nation’s policy takes time — and the Center for Medical Progress has many more videos to prompt debate — but when the time comes for political courage, will McConnell’s Senate rise to the occasion?
CORRECTION: In Monday’s Digest we inadvertently posted unedited notes in a Hook, rather than the finished analysis. The corrected content is here: Allen West: Navy to Prosecute White.
At the beginning of July, the Obama administration started its Priority Enforcement Program, a new approach to how the administration enforces the immigration laws, but it’s soured by DHS’s past immigration enforcement track record. It’s a failure in leadership: Local law enforcement and even groups that would have supported Obama’s immigration policies don’t trust his new enforcement effort. The supervising attorney for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Angie Junck, told The Washington Post, “We see this as DHS kind of rebranding to rebuild the trust they lost with a lot of local law enforcement agencies. We are very concerned that it will repeat the mistakes of the past.” Does anybody gladly work with Obama on anything any more? He’s lost so much trust. No wonder so many cities decided to go it alone and declare themselves sanctuary cities. Home rule is better than rule from a capricious federal government that is rewriting immigration law on the fly by “prioritizing” certain types of deportations. The Obama administration has exacerbated the problems with immigration by destroying the cooperation and trust between levels of government.
A Seattle CEO is learning firsthand the predictable outcomes that accompany minimum wage hikes. Dan Price, who heads Gravity Payments, a credit card processing firm, became an instant celebrity when he announced earlier this year that none of his 120 employees would earn less than $70,000 a year. In fact, he slashed his own salary of $1 million down to $70,000 to level the playing field. It was a kindhearted move, to be sure, but the ensuing months demonstrated the reality that such a minimum wage has far-reaching repercussions. According to former Gravity Financial Manager Maisey McMaster, Price “gave raises to people who have the least skills and are the least equipped to do the job, and the ones who were taking on the most didn’t get much of a bump.” The result? Two prominent-turned-disgruntled employees, including McMaster, called it quits. The other one, Grant Moran, intoned a similar frustration: “Now the people who were just clocking in and out were making the same as me. It shackles high performers to less motivated team members.” On top of that, The New York Times reports, “[A] few customers, dismayed by what they viewed as a political statement, withdrew their business. Others, anticipating a fee increase — despite repeated assurances to the contrary — also left.” And while Gravity Payments won the hearts of other business owners, “those accounts will not start paying off for at least another year,” the Times added. “To handle the flood, [Price] has already had to hire a dozen additional employees — now at a significantly higher cost — and is struggling to figure out whether more are needed without knowing for certain how long the bonanza will last.”
But the drama doesn’t end there. Gravity Payments co-founder Lucas Price, the brother of Dan, is suing the company, which is adding substantial legal costs. Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw put it best: “I’m sure Mr. Price is a very nice man and he clearly cares about people in general. But his move to push his generous nature into his business model is returning precisely the sort of results which the free market predicts.” The lesson here? Good intentions don’t always make for good policy.
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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Paul Albaugh
On Monday, Barack Obama announced new rules for his long-dreaded Clean Power Plan. This past spring, we warned that Obama’s agenda to combat global warming would be finalized during the hottest days of summer. As with almost every other agenda under Obama, it’s even worse than expected — and all to prevent warming of 0.01 degrees Celsius.
Winston Churchill once said, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” And make no mistake: Obama’s plan has little or nothing to do with climate and everything to do with his social justice worldview, in which he wants to handicap the U.S. ostensibly to the benefit of the rest of the world.
Obama was originally set to unveil his new rules outside of the White House. However, due to the sweltering heat, he chose to move the announcement inside. Naturally, Leftmedia talkingheads couldn’t pass on the opportunity to blubber that “Mother Nature … was making his point for him.” But newsflash: It’s always hot in August. Clearly, the central planners were aiming for a bit of theatrics.
As for the details, according to The Wall Street Journal, the new rule “would require a 32% cut in power-plant carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels, an increase from the 30% target proposed last year.” According to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the estimated annual cost by 2030 will be $8.4 billion. But keep in mind that government estimates are always low.
The new regulations will require states to create a plan to reduce power-plant emissions in order to reach the nationwide carbon reduction target. The state compliance plans are supposed to be completed by 2018, and states should reach their first targets for reduction by 2022. If a state doesn’t comply, then it will be forced by the EPA to adopt a federal plan.
The Journal further notes, “The final rule calls for the nation to get 28% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030, versus roughly 13% last year. Industry experts say cutting carbon emissions 32% by 2030 will require billions of dollars in investments for new transmission lines that accommodate more solar and wind power and new pipelines to feed natural-gas-fired power plants, as coal becomes less important as a fuel.”
However, new pipelines for natural gas won’t be necessary. Obama has called natural gas a “bridge fuel” and has hailed its use as a way for the nation to move away from coal in the quest toward renewable energy. But the final version of Obama’s plan does not increase the use of natural gas; it maintains current levels. So he’s slamming the door shut on coal, and, while he’s at it, stopping the expansion of the use of natural gas. Obama’s leaving no room for more jobs to be created in the private sector.
But hey, since there will be new regulations to enforce, the EPA will need more manpower. Indeed, Obama’s EPA announced that it will hire an additional 800 new regulators. Obviously, 15,000 EPA workers aren’t enough to enforce the proposed regulations. It just shows how much Obama cares about creating jobs, right? Washington jobs, that is, which by the way will assist in putting private sector companies out of business for not complying with EPA demands. This is not quite what we would call the American Dream.
Neither is the cost of complying with the EPA’s proposal. Obama once admitted that, under his plan, energy prices would necessarily skyrocket. A study by the Energy Information Administration confirms that’s exactly what’s happening. If Obama’s plan is implemented, electricity prices will rise on average 4%, though some higher estimates predict increases of 12%-17%. Regardless, Americans will pay more, which doesn’t bode well for those struggling to make ends meet.
Yet the issue of climate change is more important to Obama than those struggling today. He wants it to be part of his legacy of fundamentally transforming America. Ahead of the climate change summit in Paris later this year, he wants to be seen as leading the way on combating emissions. He wants to be seen as the leader who saved the planet from capitalism. In addition, as with all issues, he wants environmental stewardship to be a divisive political game.
Why is it that liberal elites in the Democratic Party are portrayed as the authorities on all things environment? Why is it that conservatives and members of the Republican Party are portrayed as anti-science deniers, as haters of the environment, as if we delight in destroying the planet?
The short answer is that it gives an additional platform for Democrats. It provides an agenda for more control over how we live our lives. It becomes a wedge issue to drive votes in elections. And it pits state sovereignty against federal authority.
Fortunately, at least for now, many state governments have resisted the EPA power plan and Obama’s climate change agenda. Many state governments have insisted they will not comply, as it will ruin their economies. The issue will likely make it to the courts, and we hope the Supreme Court will rebuke the EPA once again, as it did in Michigan v. EPA. Liberty depends on reigning in the EPA, not emissions.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Thomas Sowell: “Many Republican voters are so disgusted with their party, especially over its repeated betrayals of them, and of the country, especially when it comes to immigration, that they are immediately attracted to anyone who voices the outrage they feel. Donald Trump has turned this opening phase of the 2016 primaries into The Donald Trump Show. All of this might be very entertaining, if this were not a crucial juncture in the history of the country and of the world. But, while all this political theater is going on, the world’s leading promoter of international terrorism — Iran — has gotten a ‘deal’ that all but guarantees that they will have nuclear bombs and, not just incidentally, intercontinental missiles to deliver them. … We can only hope that, somewhere among the many Republican candidates, there is someone who can, as president, make the hard decisions and take the hard steps required to undo the utter disaster that looms ahead, as a result of Barack Obama’s feckless foreign policies. If ever there was a time to carefully sift through all the aspiring Republican candidates, in hopes of finding just one who might be up to the superhuman task ahead, in order to head off a nuclear catastrophe, this is surely the time to look for a solid, wise and steadfast leader. A shoot-from-the-hip, bombastic show-off is the last thing we need or can afford.”
Insight: “Our practical choice is not between a tax-cut deficit and a budgetary surplus. It is between two kinds of deficits: a chronic deficit of inertia, as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy; or a temporary deficit of transition, resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, increase tax revenues, and achieve … a budget surplus.” —John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
Upright: “[A] deep-rooted culture of incompetence and corruption has made it virtually impossible for government to function fairly and efficiently. And because most government employees are shielded by layers of protection, they couldn’t care less. Never before in the history of this nation has there been a greater divide between a self-serving federal leviathan and millions of Americans… ‘Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,’ Ronald Reagan reminded us during his inaugural address in 1981. Nothing’s changed since then, with one exception: It’s gotten far worse.” —Arnold Ahlert
Demo-gogues: “We only get one home. We only get one planet. There is no plan B. I don’t want my grandkids to not be able to swim in Hawaii, or not to be able to climb a mountain and see a glacier, because we didn’t do something about it.” —Barack Obama
Non Compos Mentis: “The Koran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says, retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breaths of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government will not intercede in [the] affairs [of black Americans], then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling.” —Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan
The BIG lie: “This was a three-year effort by this fake group [Center for Medical Progress] to try to entrap doctors, and then splice and edit videos to make it look like they were doing something wrong, which they were not. … I think it’s really important to understand that [Congress’ effort to defund Planned Parenthood] is about denying women access to health care in this country.” —Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards (Leave it to Ms. Richards to accuse CMP of splicing…)
And last… “Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer provoked world outrage for luring the popular Cecil the Lion off his African game preserve with a dead animal and then shooting him dead and beheading him. The entire world was horrified. It’s got ISIS seriously re-thinking their decision to take on white people.” —Argus Hamilton
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Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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Thunderstorms leave over 42,000 Long Island residents without power
Posted: 04 Aug 2015 07:46 AM PDT
A total of 42,500 people are currently without power on Long Island following intense thunderstorms, according to PSEG Long Island. All of the power outages are in Suffolk County, and most of them are in Brookhaven. A map of the outages can be found here. The severe storms hit the area on Tuesday morning, downing trees and leading to the partial suspension of the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) Port Jefferson branch.
An estimated restoration time has not been given, and commuters are being advised to use alternate LIRR branches. The weather has also resulted in 45-minute delays at LaGuardia airport, though other airports in the area are functioning as usual. MORE
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California college will now ask students to pick from 6 genders
Posted: 04 Aug 2015 05:08 AM PDT
Students at a California college weighed in on a change in the application process, and a decision has been made. Beginning this fall, students at UC Irvine will have the option to self-identify about their sexual orientation on all university admissions forms, reports CBS Los Angeles. The new form will ask students to pick one gender from six different choices. Prospective students will be asked to choose between male, female, trans male, trans female, gender queer/gender non-conforming and different identity.
CBS Los Angeles spoke to students at UC Irvine about the change. “I feel like this is just a way of including everyone,” said Augustine Pimentel “I don’t mind; everybody do what they want. I don’t want to judge people,” says Nizar Hakim. “I feel like people should have their freedom to be called what they want to be called,” said Donna Taqawi. Beyond the political or social reasons, some saw the financial reasons too. “A lot of those questions when you’re applying to graduate school or any sort of school are important for financial aid opportunities you can have,” said Joanna Laird to CBS Los Angeles. MORE
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|Planned Parenthood Survives Abortion in Senate
Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:55 AM PDT
Planned Parenthood survived a procedural vote Monday in the U.S. Senate on a bill to defund the organization, after a series of undercover videos emerged to suggest that the organization may have been willing to sell fetal organs from late-term abortions to tissue companies. The vote for cloture was 53-46, meaning that it fell well shy of the 60 votes needed to end debate and proceed to a vote. The vote was largely along partisan lines, with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)28%
crossing over to vote with Democrats, and Sens. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)7% and Joe Manchin (D-WV) voting with the GOP. House Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)52% voted against the measure to preserve the option of a re-vote. The bill was proposed by first-term Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) 60% The White House opposed it strongly, with press secretary Josh Earnest telling CNN on Monday that while he had not personally seen the “shocking” videos, he believed that the videos had been “selectively edited.” MORE
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Houston Gov’t Subpoenaed Pastors’ Sermons. Now, They’re Fighting Back.
Posted: 03 Aug 2015 08:53 PM PDT
Just days after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a contentious equal rights ordinance in Houston, Texas, must either be repealed by August 24, or placed on the November ballot, a group of four pastors and a preachers’ council at the center of the dispute are reportedly set to file a lawsuit against Mayor Annise Parker.
The pastors, whose sermons were initially subpoenaed last year in the midst of intense debate over the ordinance, will claim in the complaint — set to be filed on Monday — that their religious freedoms were “trampled” in the process, KTRK-TV reported. The lawsuit, which includes the Houston Pastors’ Council, seeks damages that plaintiffs say will go toward paying their legal fees, pending they win; the complaint will also take aim at the claim that local voters were denied the opportunity to vote on the controversial ordinance, which treats gays and lesbians as a protected class. MORE
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TV Sports Analyst Who Opposes Homosexuality Claims Network Fired Him Over His Bible-Based Views — and Now He’s SuingPosted: 03 Aug 2015 08:46 PM PDT
An ex-NFL player and college football analyst is suing Fox Sports over the claim that he was unfairly targeted and fired from an on-air position due to his Christian viewpoints on homosexuality.Craig James, who played for the New England Patriots in the 1980s and who went on to become a successful sportscaster, charges that he was fired in September 2013 from a TV analyst position with Fox Sports over past comments that he had made in opposition to same-sex relations.
James filed a lawsuit in Dallas County Court on Monday against his former employer over the claim that he was terminated “for one reason only – his religious beliefs about marriage,” according to a press release from the Liberty Institute, the conservative legal firm that represents him. MORE
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UPDATE: 7 Dead, 81 Cases, 64 Hospitalized With Legionnaires’ Disease In NYC…Posted: 03 Aug 2015 08:26 PM PDT
The South Bronx Legionnaires’ disease outbreak has now taken the lives of seven people, officials said Monday. The total number of deaths was up from four reported as of late last week. The additional deaths were reported on Sunday to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. All of those who died were older adults with underlying medical problems, the department said.
The total number of people infected by Legionnaires’ in the South Bronx has risen to 81, and the number hospitalized has risen to 64. A total of 28 of those 64 patients have been discharged.Most of the cases have been reported in Highbridge, Morrisania, Hunts Point and Mott Haven, officials said. City health officials said of the 22 buildings tested in the outbreak area, cooling towers at five buildings tested positive for the bacteria Legionella: Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, the Concourse Plaza Mall, the Opera House Hotel, a Verizon office building, and the Streamline Plastic Co. MORE
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City To Appoint 2 Illegal Immigrants As CommissionersPosted: 03 Aug 2015 08:15 PM PDT
Huntington Park may become the first city in California to appoint two undocumented immigrants as commissioners on city advisory boards, a lawmaker confirms. City Councilman Jhonny Pineda has picked Francisco Medina to join the health and education commission and Julian Zatarain for the parks and recreation commission. The 32-year-old lawmaker told CBSLA online producer Deborah Meron that he promised voters while running for office that he would create more opportunities for undocumented residents.
“Huntington Park is a city of opportunity and a city of hope for all individuals regardless of socioeconomic status, race, creed, or in this case, citizenship,” the councilman said in a statement. “Both these gentlemen have accomplished a great deal for the city. For that, on behalf of the city council, mayor, and our city, I want to say thank you to them both and I am confident they will do an excellent job on their commission posts.” MORE
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1000 billboards to defend biblical marriagePosted: 03 Aug 2015 06:56 PM PDT
Dick and Betty Odgaard, the Grimes, Iowa, couple who used to run a wedding venue – until a lawsuit from a “gay” couple forced them to shutter their business – have now embarked on a new endeavor to get out their Christian views of marriage: a billboard campaign that promotes godly unions as one man to one woman. And they’re planning to put the message on 1,000 billboards across the nation. So far, only one billboard has come to fruition due to the Odgaards’ efforts – in Durant, Oklahoma.
But their website, God’s Original Design Ministry, is promising more are on the way. In a Facebook post dated July 28, the couple wrote: “Billboard #1 went up July 24., 2015!! It’s a 14′x48′ lighted beauty located on US 69/75 greeting north bound traffic 5 miles south of Durant, OK. This billboard is funded 100% by … your generous donations. One down and 999 to go for 1,000 points of light. Thank you and God bless!” MORE
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Feds charge men accused of prepping for martial lawPosted: 03 Aug 2015 06:47 PM PDT
Three North Carolina men fearing a government takeover and martial law stockpiled weapons, ammunition and tactical gear while attempting to rig home-made explosives, according to charges announced by the Justice Department on Monday. The men from Gaston County, near Charlotte, were arrested by federal authorities on Saturday after more than a month’s investigation.
Walter Eugene Litteral, 50, Christopher James Barker, 41, and Christopher Todd Campbell, 30, are accused of stockpiling guns and ammunition, as well as attempting to manufacture pipe bombs and live grenades from military surplus “dummy” grenades, according unsealed criminal complaints released Monday. MORE
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Earth’s most powerful storm of the year roars across PacificPosted: 03 Aug 2015 06:37 PM PDT
The Earth’s most powerful storm of 2015 — Super Typhoon Soudelor — is now roaring through the western Pacific Ocean with winds of 178 mph, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said Monday. The storm already ripped into Saipan, one of the Northern Mariana Islands, a 48,000-population U.S. commonwealth in the Western Pacific. Acting Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres declared “a state of disaster and significant emergency” there on Monday.
Soudelor (SOW-de-lore) is the strongest storm anywhere on the planet so far this year. Typhoons are the Western Pacific’s version of hurricanes. The typhoon is taking aim at Taiwan and China by Friday and Saturday, though it is expected to weaken to a Category 3 or 4 storm by then, the typhoon warning center said. MORE
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Only Two Religions!
I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.
You might say I’m nuts. There are hundreds if not thousands!
But there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.
You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.
The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.
Of course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”
And that’s where the only other religion comes in.
The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.
You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human. It must be God Himself.
Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?
The Greatest Story Ever Told
God’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).
What is The Gospel?
“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?
There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
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Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)
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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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