Daily Archives: February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Feb. 2, 2016


Senator Ted Cruz of Texas won Monday’s Iowa Republican caucuses in an upset over billionaire Donald Trump, while Democrat Hillary Clinton eked out the narrowest of wins over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Republican staff on the House Financial Services Committee accused the Obama administration of misleading the public about contingency plans during recent debt-ceiling showdowns and obstructing a subsequent congressional probe into the matter. Treasury officials including Secretary Jacob J. Lew told Congress the department couldn’t prioritize debt payments to keep the government from violating its borrowing limit, even as officials at the Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank of New York were working on scenarios to prioritize expenses, according to a report

The Pentagon will seek a 35 percent increase in funding for the fight against Islamic State in its next budget, bringing the request for U.S. military efforts against the terrorist group to $7.5 billion, according to a defense official.

Euro-area unemployment decreased to a four-year low in December, an unexpected bit of good news as the European Central Bank considers increasing monetary stimulus next month to stave off deflationary threats.

Margin debt in China’s stock market shrank to the lowest level since December 2014, a sign of waning investor confidence after the Shanghai Composite Index’s biggest monthly tumble since 2008.

Pregnant women are advised not to travel to Brazil during the 2016 Olympic Games to avoid potential birth defects related to an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, President Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff, Jaques Wagner, said.

Google parent Alphabet Inc. is poised to become the world’s most valuable company, taking the crown away from Silicon Valley rival Apple Inc. after reporting higher profit and sales fueled by a booming advertising business that’s supporting ambitious new projects.

Paul Ryan is set to attend his first formal meeting as House speaker with President Barack Obama on Tuesday morning. A few hours later, Ryan’s House will seek to override Obama’s veto of a bill gutting much of the president’s signature health-insurance law.

AP Top Stories

How close were the Democratic Iowa caucuses? In at least two precincts, coin flips were apparently needed to decide which candidate – Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders – got the available delegates.

Four Oklahoma high school wrestlers were charged on Monday with raping two boys aged 12 and 16 after a wrestling tournament in January, police said.

The US state of Georgia is set to execute its oldest death-row prisoner Tuesday, just days before his 73rd birthday, in a case critics say is emblematic of capital punishment’s excesses.

Doctors in Switzerland have successfully separated eight-day-old twin girls who were joined at the liver and chest. The sisters, Lydia and Maya, are believed to be the youngest ever to survive the surgery.

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey have solved a 50-year natural science mystery: the undersea source of tsunami waves that devastated a remote Alaska village following the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake. Underwater landslides at depths of 820 to 1,150 feet – much deeper than caused tsunamis affecting other communities – sent killing waves toward the Prince William Sound community of Chenega, where 23 of 75 residents died at all but two buildings were destroyed.

A new study based on following thousands of young adults into middle age finds that long-term marijuana use is linked to poorer performance on verbal memory tests, but other areas of brain function do not appear to be affected.

Exxon Mobil on Tuesday reported its smallest quarterly profit in more than a decade and said it will cut 2015 spending by one-quarter and suspend share repurchases as it copes with a prolonged downturn in crude prices.


Indigenous tribes, timber firms and environmental groups in western Canada have welcomed a deal to protect one of the world’s largest remaining tracts of temperate rainforest.

King Abdullah of Jordan said his country is at “boiling point” because of an influx of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

There is no chance that the Rio Olympics will be cancelled because of a Zika virus outbreak, Brazil has said. The authorities said there was no risk to athletes and spectators – except pregnant women – at the August event.

North Korea has announced plans to launch a satellite later this month, reports said. The International Maritime Organization is said to have been notified of Pyongyang’s plans to launch a satellite between 8 and 25 February.

US air strikes in eastern Afghanistan have destroyed a radio station used by the Islamic State militant group, US and Afghan officials said.


President Obama ignored evidence from law enforcement warning him that the Baltimore mosque he plans to visit as a gesture of religious tolerance has a long history of ties to terrorism, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Germany’s first shelter for gay and lesbian refugees opened Monday in Nuremberg following increasing reports of abuse amid the country’s record-setting immigration.

Five commanders with Iran’s naval Islamic Revolution Guards Corps were given medals for capturing and keeping 10 U.S. sailors hostage for several hours.

Iran said Monday it now has access to more than $100 billion worth of frozen overseas assets following the implementation of a landmark nuclear deal with world powers.

Top News – 2/2/2016

“To God be the Glory”, Says Ted Cruz After Sweeping Trump in Iowa Caucus
The surprising results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses are in, and Senator Ted Cruz is the clear Republican winner, upsetting Donald Trump’s frontrunner status in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. “To God be the glory!” Cruz cried to a crowd of his supporters after winning 27.7 percent of the vote. “Tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives across Iowa and all across this great nation.”

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake shakes northeastern Taiwan
An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale occurred off the coast of northeastern Taiwan at 10:19 p.m. Tuesday, the Central Weather Bureau reported shortly after the temblor. The quake’s epicenter was located at sea about 185.4 kilometers east of Keelung City Hall in northern Taiwan at a depth of 212.7 km, the bureau said.

Macroscopic quantum entanglement achieved at room temperature
In quantum physics, the creation of a state of entanglement in particles any larger and more complex than photons usually requires temperatures close to absolute zero and the application of enormously powerful magnetic fields to achieve. Now scientists working at the University of Chicago (UChicago) and the Argonne National Laboratory claim to have created this entangled state at room temperature on a semiconductor chip, using atomic nuclei and the application of relatively small magnetic fields.

Violent weekend pushes Chicago to most homicidal January in 16 years
The start to the new year has been a particularly deadly one in the Windy City, where authorities say more homicides were committed this January than any other since 2000 — owing partly to the month’s violent final weekend. Chicago police say 51 homicides were committed in January — an increase of 22 over January 2015 (29) and more than double the number recorded in 2014 (20).

Hillary Says She’s Not In ‘Anyone’s Pocket’ After Taking $6 Million From George Soros
In the last 6 months, the Hillary 2016 super-PAC raised $25.3 million, meaning that Soros’s contribution accounted for almost a quarter of its fundraising haul.

BP reports biggest ever annual loss
BP (BP.L) slumped to its biggest annual loss last year and announced thousands more job cuts on Tuesday, showing that even one of the nimblest oil producers is struggling in the worst market downturn in over a decade.

Hillary Clinton supporters endorse 19th century socialist Karl Marx as her vice president
Some Americans seem to be disconnected with historical reality, as a number of Hillary Clinton supporters signed a mock petition to approve 19th century socialist philosopher Karl Marx as “her choice” for vice president if she’s elected president.

WHO declares global emergency over Zika virus
The World Health Organization declared a global emergency over the explosive spread of the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in the Americas, calling it an “extraordinary event” that poses a public health threat to other parts of the world.

Australia reports two cases of Zika virus, detects mosquitoes at Sydney airport
Two Australians were diagnosed with the Zika virus after returning home from travels in the Caribbean, a state health service said on Tuesday, confirming the first cases of the mosquito-borne virus in the country this year.

Undersea earthquake felt in NZ
An earthquake registering 6.6 on the Richter scale has been felt throughout the North Island. The 366km deep undersea earthquake was centred 850km north of Whakatane at 8am. The earthquake was felt in Tauranga and as far away as Wellington says GeoNet duty seismologist Caroline Holden.

M5.7 quake strikes Japan’s northeast, no tsunami warning issued
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 shook northeastern Japan on the afternoon of February 2, 2016, although no tsunami warning was issued.

A strong earthquake measuring 6.7 magnitude has hit northeast India
The strong earth tremor is reported to have cracked walls while a recently completed six-storey building in Imphal collapsed. Many other buildings werte also damaged Other buildings were also reported to have been damaged. In Manipur atleast six people have been killed with more than 30 injured, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Aetna CEO Has `Serious Concerns’ About Obamacare Sustainability
The head of the third-biggest U.S. health insurer said he has “serious concerns” about whether or not Obamacare’s new markets are sustainable, echoing criticism from other top for-profit insurers. “We continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges,” Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini said on a call Monday while discussing the company’s fourth-quarter results.

Mystery surrounds Muslim cleric in US mountain compound
The influential Muslim cleric lives quietly on a gated 26-acre compound in the Pocono Mountains, where he prays, works, meets admirers and watches from afar as terrorism accusations that have landed him on Turkey’s most-wanted list unfold in court. Rarely seen in public, Fethullah Gulen has long been one of Turkey’s most important scholars, with multitudes of followers in his native country and around the world.

Russia deploys frontline fighter jets to Syria amid Turkish tension
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Monday that Su-35 fighters have been deployed to Hemeimeem air base in Syria. The Su-35 is Russia’s most advanced fighter that is fielded in significant numbers… “Starting from last week, super-maneuverable Su-35S fighter jets started performing combat missions at Khmeimim airbase,” Maj. Gen. Konashenkov told the Russian state news agency, TASS.

Outbreak of female, vampire-like attackers in New Zealand
A number of people have been injured during a series of vampire-like biting attacks on New Zealand’s North Island. Over the past two days, a woman was accused of biting a man’s neck so hard, her teeth cut through an artery, while another woman was arrested after allegedly chomping on a woman’s ear.

America’s Economic Freedom Has Rapidly Declined Under Obama
Millions of people around the world are emerging from poverty thanks to rising economic freedom. But by sharp contrast, America’s economic freedom has been on a declining path over the past decade. According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom…America’s economic freedom has tumbled. With losses of economic freedom in eight of the past nine years, the U.S. has tied its worst score ever, wiping out a decade of progress.

As Feds Plan to Cut Border Monitoring, Texas Officials Ask Why
Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, pressed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Monday to explain why the agency plans to reduce its aerial surveillance on the Texas-Mexico border. In a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the lawmakers said the cut to a requested 3,850 hours of aerial detection and monitoring in 2016 amounts to 50 percent less coverage than recent years.

Syria conflict: Jordanians ‘at boiling point’ over refugees
King Abdullah of Jordan says his country is at “boiling point” because of an influx of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Ahead of a donor conference on Syria, the king told the BBC that there was enormous pressure on Jordan’s social services, infrastructure and economy. “Sooner or later, I think, the dam is going to burst,” he warned.

China snow strands ‘nearly 100,000’ at Guangzhou station
Heavy snow has disrupted public transport in southern China, stranding tens of thousands of people outside a rail station, police say. The crowd outside Guangzhou station swelled to nearly 100,000 at its peak on Monday night, police said. Central China has experienced some of its coldest weather in years.

Jordanian BDS campaign launched against renewed negotiations for Israeli gas imports
The Jordanian BDS movement launched a social media campaign against gas imports from Israel following reports of renewed negotiations between Jordan and the American gas company, Noble Energy, over the gas deal. An official Noble Energy delegation arrived in Jordan’s capital, Amman, on Monday, to discuss the Israeli-Jordanian gas deal with senior government officials, the Jordanian newspaper al-Ghad reported on Monday.

Legal US pot sales soar to $5.4B in 2015: Report
Legal U.S. pot sales soared to $5.4 billion for 2015, up 17.4 percent from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to data released Monday by the ArcView Group, which tracks the cannabis markets.

Six cases of Zika virus diagnosed in California, officials say
Six people in California have been diagnosed with the Zika virus in the past three years, state public health officials said Monday. All of the cases were contracted abroad.

Nations gather in Rome to discuss anti-Islamic State push, Libya
Nearly two dozen nations gather on Tuesday to plot their fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq and how to choke off its rise in Libya.

Putin is fanning Syrian civil war, Britain’s Hammond says
Russian President Vladimir Putin is undermining international efforts to end the Syrian civil war by bombing opponents of Islamic State in an attempt to bolster Bashar al-Assad, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Monday.

John Cleese: Political Correctness Will Lead To An Orwellian Nightmare
John Cleese says political correctness has gone too far, especially on America’s college campuses, where he will no longer go to perform. As BigThink reports, the very essence of his trade — comedy — is criticism and that not infrequently means hurt feelings. But protecting everyone from negative emotion all the time is not only impractical (one can’t control the feelings of another), but also improper in a free society.

National debt hits $19 trillion
The national debt hit $19 trillion for the first time ever on Friday, and came in at $19.012 trillion. It took a little more than 13 months for the debt to climb by $1 trillion. The national debt hit $18 trillion on Dec. 15, 2014.

Top Headlines – 2/2/2016

Iran: $100 billion in assets ‘fully released’ under nuclear deal

‘Israel will never leave Golan Heights, no matter what’

IDF searching for Hamas tunnels along Gaza border

‘Kill 500 Israelis,’ mourners demand at funeral of PA gunman

Israel prepares to demolish home of Palestinian police officer who shot soldiers

Airbnb slammed for offering rooms with a view in Jewish settlements

DEA uncovers major drug trafficking by Hezbollah to fund global terrorism

Gov’t approves mixed prayer area at Western Wall

Grand Mufti condemns new Jewish egalitarian prayer section at Western Wall

Israel hopes for EU leverage with East Mediterranean push

Israel, Turkey Sign $1.3 Billion Gas Deal Despite Public Protest

Jordanian BDS campaign launched against renewed negotiations for Israeli gas imports

Syria conflict: Jordanians ‘at boiling point’ over refugees

King Abdullah: Jordan needs international help over refugee crisis

German Jews fear rising anti-Semitism during Mideast refugee influx

Poll: Most Frenchmen believe Jews responsible for rise in anti-Semitism

Russia tells Israel it is not transferring arms to Hezbollah

Russia deploys frontline fighter jets to Syria amid Turkish tension

Putin is fanning Syrian civil war, Britain’s Hammond says

Putin is strengthening Isis in Syria, says UK foreign secretary

Russia accused of creating ‘new Hitler’ in Syria

More than 3,500 Syrians flee to Turkey in four days as pro-Assad forces advance

Finland to test drones on Russian border as migrant flow grows

EU agency says about 10,000 young migrants unaccounted for

Nations gather in Rome to discuss anti-Islamic State push, Libya

Kerry calls for more financial contributions for fight against the Islamic State

John Kerry Urges Coalition to Address Growing ISIS Threat in Libya

Official: Starvation in South Sudan as Peace Process Stalls

Attack on Kabul police headquarters kills 20; Taliban claim responsibility

Belgians, French Meet to Improve Counterterrorism Efforts

Ten Queensland schools evacuated following bomb threats

Passengers evacuated after bomb threat on local Portugal flight

Cuba: ‘Unprecedented’ crackdown on churches as religious persecution spikes

As Feds Plan to Cut Border Monitoring, Texas Officials Ask Why

18 Emails Exchanged Between Obama and Hillary Clinton, Obama Claimed He Learned of Private Server From Media

Official: Withheld Clinton emails contain ‘operational’ intel, put lives at risk

Sanders rally chant: ‘She’s a liar!’

George Soros Gives $6 Million to Hillary Super PAC

Coin toss breaks ‘virtual tie’ between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in multiple Iowa precincts

Clinton Edges Sanders In Iowa Democratic Caucuses; Cruz Wins On GOP Side

Carson: Cruz campaign sabotaged us with ‘dirty tricks’

We’re All Ruth Bader Ginsburg Now – Is Ted Cruz a “natural born citizen”?

Rand Paul Says Ted Cruz’s Presidential Eligibility Will be Challenged By Democrats and Decided By Supreme Court

Phil Robertson at Ted Cruz Iowa Rally: America’s Moral Core Is Collapsing

America’s Economic Freedom Has Rapidly Declined Under Obama

National Debt Surpasses $19 Trillion for First Time in U.S. History

Top US financial groups hold secret summits on long-termism

Dow futures down triple digits as oil and earnings weigh

Oil slips toward $33 as hopes for production cut fade

The Oil Crash Is Kicking Off One of the Largest Wealth Transfers in Human History

BP to cut another 3,000 jobs after $5.2 bln loss

EU Publishes Draft Deal to Keep U.K. in Bloc as Referendum Looms

Merkel presses Putin to ensure Ukraine ceasefire holds

U.S. adds five Russian officials to human rights sanctions list

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Miyako, Japan

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 16,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Copahu volcano in Argentina erupts to 11,000ft

Winds topping 115 mph hit Southern California; 1 killed when tree falls on car

Poll: 91% Of Americans Aren’t Worried About Global Warming

Parts of Flint still dealing with extremely high levels of lead in water

Zika-linked condition: WHO declares global emergency

Honduras Declares Emergency to Fight Zika Virus

Brazil says Zika virus outbreak worse than believed

Brazil authorizes forced entry to private property to fight Zika

In face of Zika virus, women ponder abortion, childlessness

Aetna CEO Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About Obamacare Sustainability

Company Developing ‘Tech Tattoos’ So People Can Track Their Medical, Financial Info

This Biotech Startup Promises Lab-Grown Pork Within Five Years

‘Genetic discrimination’: School ousted child based on DNA, lawsuit states

We Need a New Government Agency to Oversee the Search for Immortality

Pope Francis Said to Bless Human-Animal Chimeras

British researchers get green light to genetically modify human embryos

Should Planned Parenthood outcome chill journalists?

Gay Porn Kingpin Takes on LGBT Boycott Israel Movement

India’s Supreme Court will review law criminalizing gay sex

15,000 Protest Norwegian Govt’s Removal of Children From Christian Parents Over ‘Spankings’

Maryland Couple Sues Public School Claiming It Promoted Islamic Indoctrination

Egyptian Christian students stand trial for insulting Islam

Pastor of China’s Largest Megachurch Jailed for Protesting Demolition of Church Crosses

Outbreak of female, vampire-like attackers in New Zealand

Chicago records 51 homicides in January, highest toll since 2000

Public school kisses Valentine’s Day goodbye to be more inclusive of their ethnically diverse student population

John Cleese: Political Correctness Will Lead To An Orwellian Nightmare


Luck be (for) a lady last night!: Hillary Clinton Has The Most Statistically Improbable Coin-Toss Luck Ever

6 coin flips in a row to win Iowa huh? That’s pretty incredible. Very incredible.

Read More

Americans are increasingly aware of crony capitalism, and it is changing politics as we know it

Crony capitalism is a concept with which the typical informed American voter is now familiar. We are very proud of our contribution to this awakening and it is gratifying to see candidates of all stripes having to defend their current crony arrangements with donors, past crony deals, or alternatively to see them go on the attack against cronyism. That Cruz won the Iowa Caucuses despite an explicitly anti-ethanol subsidy stance is no small feat.

Read More

Frontrunning: February 02

  • Punxsutawney Phil Does Not see shadow, signifying an early spring (Read More)
  • Front-Runners Give Ground as Rivals Make Mark in Iowa (Read More)
  • Republican Cruz bests Trump in Iowa race, Clinton edges out Sanders (Read More)
  • Iowa Narrows the Field (Read More)
  • Global stocks snap winning streak as oil pressure returns (Read More)
  • ‘Dark Pool’ Settlements Bring Tangled Relationships to Light (Read More)
  • BP Shares Plunge on Steep Loss Amid Oil Price Slide (Read More)
  • UBS Shares Tank on Wealth-Management Performance (Read More)
  • Oil slips toward $33 as hopes for production cut fade (Read More)
  • Oil-Price Poker: Why the Saudis Won’t Fold ‘Em (Read More)
  • Collapse in crude brings North Sea fields near end of production (Read More)
  • Who could have seen this coming: For Once, Low Oil Prices May Be a Problem for World’s Economy (Read More)
  • EU Publishes Proposals to Address U.K. Demands (Read More)
  • Flood of Oil Asset Writedowns Seen Across Asia on Crude Rout (Read More)
  • Spin-off or sale? Yahoo turnaround plan in focus as earnings awaited (Read More)
  • Euro-Area Labor Market Slowly Improves as Jobless Rate Falls (Read More)
  • Chinese football clubs go on global shopping spree (Read More)
  • House Republicans to push Puerto Rico bill by end of March (Read More)
  • BP CEO Says Debt Can Rise to Sustain Dividend During Oil Slump (Read More)
  • U.S. budget plan includes over $13 billion for new submarine (Read More)

The Briefing 

1) Iowa Caucus resets political equation as candidates and their worldviews face real voters

Iowa Caucus Results, New York Times

Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination, New York Times (Editorial Board)

Bernie Sanders for President, The Nation (Editorial Board)

2) As India seeks to halt sex-selective abortions, USA still offers legal abortion-on-demand

India Targets Illicit Sex-Selective Abortions, Wall Street Journal (Suryatapa Bhattacharya)

3) Britain legalizes genetic modification of human embryos for research, sidelines ethics

British researchers get green light to genetically modify human embryos, The Guardian (Haroon Siddique)
In other news…

Daily Digest

February 2, 2016


“It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.” —George Washington, 1789


The ‘Stupid People of Iowa’?


“How stupid are the people of Iowa?” Donald Trump asked at a rally in November, though for all we know he’s asking that same question after his second-place finish in Monday’s Iowa caucus. He asked it while marveling that Ben Carson was surging in the polls two (long) months ago. It wasn’t Carson who knocked Trump off his pedestal Monday, though; it was Ted Cruz. And Marco Rubio came very close to doing likewise (Trump and Rubio won the same number of delegates). Cruz’s victory is clearly the headline of the night — not least because the one guy unequivocally opposed to ethanol subsidies won the most caucus votes ever in the state that most benefits from those subsidies. But Rubio’s late surge and likely momentum going forward may be the more interesting story. His path seems much clearer now than 10 days ago. That said, Trump remains formidable and certainly has the ability to win the nomination.

Another key story is how wrong the polls were. Cruz won with 28%, Trump got 24% and Rubio finished with 23%. The Real Clear Politics average: Trump (28%), Cruz (24%) and Rubio (17%). Oops. Once again, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.

One factor in Trump’s loss might have been his increasingly vitriolic attacks on Cruz, accusing the Texas senator of lying (by using Trump’s own words, by the way) and insisting that everybody hates Cruz. Evangelicals also proved decisive for Cruz and perhaps grew increasingly wary of Trump.

Some final notes on the GOP side: Mike Huckabee, who won Iowa in 2008, ended his campaign Monday night. Rick Santorum, the 2012 Iowa winner, can’t be far behind. And what did $155 million in campaign cash buy Jeb Bush? A sixth place finish with less than 3% of the vote.

Now for the Democrats. Hillary Clinton managed to pull near-defeat from the jaws of victory, and a narrow loss for Bernie Sanders is still a “win” for him. As we go to press, Clinton leads by less than a percentage point. After her machine spent a year building a get-out-the-vote operation and a 12 point lead as recently as two weeks ago, she collapsed, surely leaving many to wonder if this isn’t a repeat of 2008. Her bitter tone in her speech clearly reflected her wounded sense of entitlement.

By the way, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley dropped out of the race. Yes, until last night he was still in it.

Notable quotes:

Cruz: “Tonight is a victory for the grassroots. Tonight is a victory for courageous conservative across Iowa — and all across this great nation. … Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media; will not be chosen by the Washington establishment; will not be chosen by the lobbyists. But will be chosen by the most incredible powerful force where all sovereignty resides in our nation by ‘We the People’ — the American people.”

Trump: “They said don’t [go to Iowa]. I said I have to do it, and we finished second. And I want to tell you something: I’m just honored.”

Rubio: “For months, for months they told us we had no chance. For months they told us because we offer too much optimism in a time of anger, we had no chance. … This is a time we need a president that will preserve, protect the Constitution of the United States, not one that undermines, attacks and ignores the Constitution of the United States.”

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Islamophile Obama to Visit Radical Mosque

Can somebody say “Blinding Islamophilia“? On Wednesday, Barack Obama is scheduled to visit a Baltimore mosque to show his support for the Islamic community. A White House staffer emailed The Washington Post saying Obama is going “to celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life. … As the President has said, Muslim Americans are our friends, and neighbors; our co-workers, and sports heroes — and our men and women in uniform defending our country.” The Muslim Public Affairs Council told the Post that it helped the White House to pick which mosque to visit, and that the Islamic Society of Baltimore was an “average Joe mosque.”

But the mosque isn’t exactly filled with the “moderate Muslims” Obama and the rest of the Left like to say make up the majority of adherents to the Religion of Peace™ in the United States. As Investor’s Business Daily reports, the mosque is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America, a group the Justice Department named in 2007 as an unindicted coconspirator for giving $12 million to Hamas. Furthermore, the mosque’s former imam of 15 years, Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh, left to replace Anwar Awlaki — the al-Qaida leader who was influential for the Fort Hood jihadi, and later killed by an Obama drone strike — at a Virginia mosque where some of the 9/11 hijackers attended. El-Sheikh also founded a Muslim organization that U.S. prosecutors say is the U.S. franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood. If this mosque is what the Obama administration says represents moderate Muslims, will Muslim leaders condemn this visit?

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Electric Vehicle Expectations Short Circuit

With the per-barrel cost of crude oil hovering below $35 and showing no signs of spiking, gasoline prices continue to drop. Today, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel is a remarkably low $1.79. The steady decline throughout 2015 no doubt propelled the auto market on its way to setting a new benchmark. Last month, the Associated Press reported that “U.S. auto sales hit a record high of 17.47 million in 2015, topping the old record of 17.35 million set in 2000.” The report added, “Analysts expect sales could go even higher this year as unemployment continues to decline and more young buyers enter the market.”

However, the outlook for the electric vehicle market is far less sublime. Recall this prediction from Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address: “With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.” But with 2015 in the history books, the report card is rustier than a decades-old junk car. According to statistics provided by hybridcars.com, a total of 411,120 plug-in electrified vehicles (PEV) have been purchased in the United States since 2008. Obama’s prediction would be right if he was talking globally — about 1.2 million PEVs have been sold worldwide — but he wasn’t, which means he only reached about 41% of his goal. In other words, good enough to earn an “F.” But who said anything about graded tests? This is government, after all.

The ironic thing is that both cheap gasoline and the struggling electric vehicle market are the result of failed policies. Instead of depending less on gasoline-powered vehicles, millions of Americans are buying them in droves despite Obama taking undeserved credit. And hybridcars.com notes, “Last year the U.S. purchased 2.8 percent fewer PEVs than it did in 2014.” No wonder Tesla CEO Elon Musk says “the industry as a whole, I think, will definitely suffer from lower oil prices.” The trends are completely opposite what Obama said they would be. But he’ll gladly take credit for them anyway. Only in government is missing your goal by 59% considered a success.

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Economic Reality vs. Obama’s Economic Fantasy

By Paul Albaugh


With the first month of the year 2016 behind us, expectations of economic growth remain one of the top concerns for voters in this year’s election cycle. Most presidential candidates have laid out their proposals for addressing the nation’s economic woes. Granted, the president of the United States doesn’t run the economy, but the ability to influence economic policy is a key characteristic of the presidency, and more often than not, a president’s success or failure is attributed to his ability to lead the nation in economic growth.

Economic growth has been scarce during the last seven years. Barack Obama may boast otherwise, but claims that aren’t backed up by evidence are completely meaningless. For starters, the advance report for U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — the value of everything a nation produces — shows that the economy expanded at a paltry 0.7% for the last quarter (Q4) of 2015. That is a significant drop from the 2% growth in the fall and 3.9% last spring.

Overall, the U.S. economy grew only 2.4% for 2015, which matches economic growth from 2014. Many factors contribute to the sluggish growth. In Q4 for instance, consumers spent less, mainly on higher ticket items such as cars; exports fell 2.5%; and businesses spent less on new equipment.

Yet some economists contend that the economy is healthy and well on its way to fully recovering. Consumers actually spent more money in 2015 than in the previous decade, but this is likely attributed to the decline in oil prices and lower energy costs due to more favorable weather conditions overall.

However, the overall picture of the economy is abysmal when compared with economic growth in the decades following World War II. According to James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute, we have essentially suffered “a lost decade” — at least by American standards. From WWII until 2005, the U.S. economy grew at an average rate of 3.5%. That was the norm, but not in Obama’s America.

Growth over the last decade has yet to reach 3%, with the highest GDP growth being in 2006 at 2.7%. Recall that GDP growth for 2015 was just 2.4% overall. Forecasters from the Congressional Budget Office now claim that a 2% growth figure is now permanent.

Pethokoukis puts that in perspective: “It may not seem like such a big difference but it is. It’s the difference between having a $21 trillion economy in 2026 or a $23 trillion economy. (That $2 trillion difference, by the way, is the size of the entire Italian economy.) And that gap grows larger year after year, decade after decade. And with that growth gap come fewer jobs, lower incomes, and less opportunity.”

This is the economic reality we face. In addition to poor growth, there are additional indicators that the economy has not fully recovered and that we have a long way to go. Recall that back in December, the Federal Reserve raised interests rates for the first time in nine years under pressure that it was the time to do so because the economy had recovered. By all indications, that was a mistake.

The stock market — a barometer of economic confidence — has taken a hard hit, likely at least in part because of the rate hike. Yet there is talk that the Federal Reserve may raise rates again in the coming months. As noted by Investor’s Business Daily, “The Fed has been spectacularly wrong in recent years about its policy moves. Maybe it’s time it started listening to markets instead of dictating to them.”

Despite all of the evidence that our economy is weaker, not stronger, that our growth has remained stagnant, not expanded, and that there is enormous economic uncertainty among the American people, Obama refuses to acknowledge that his policies are largely to blame.

Instead, during his weekly address, he bragged, “I’ve never been more confident about our future.”

The Heritage Foundation notes in its 2016 Index of Economic Freedom that America’s economic freedom has declined rapidly during Obama’s tenure. When Obama took office, the U.S. ranked 6th in economic freedom in the world; now in 2016, we are ranked 11th.

The list below highlights several of the reasons. Since early 2009:

  • Government spending has exploded, amounting to $29,867 per household in 2015.
  • The national debt has risen to $125,000 for every tax-filing household in America — a total that just topped $19 trillion.
  • The government takeover of health care is raising prices and disrupting markets.
  • Bailouts and new government regulations have increased uncertainty, stifling investment and job creation.

The U.S also has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, which has resulted in companies moving overseas, fewer American jobs and lower wages. Further, the overall annual cost of meeting the regulatory requirements imposed on businesses by the Obama administration has risen astronomically since 2009.

As the 2016 presidential primaries are now underway, every voter needs to consider asking the following questions. Do we want to continue down Obama’s path of socialist policies that have resulted in economic ruin for America? If the answer is yes, then the choice is clear; Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Or do we want to halt the socialist policies of Obama and prevent the destruction of America’s economy? If that answer is yes, then the choice is equally clear; vote for the candidate that has the best understanding of our God-given rights, free-market principles and limited government, and who has a track record of lowering taxes and reducing regulations.

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For more, visit Patriot Headline Report


Michael Barone: “It’s undeniable that both Rubio and Cruz have changed their positions [on immigration] since 2013. For immigration restrictionists, such as best-selling author Ann Coulter and maverick Democratic blogger Mickey Kaus, that’s disqualifying. Once past the election, they argue, these guys will flip back and with the cooperation of House Speaker Paul Ryan will shove through a path to legalization that will incentivize further illegal immigration. Presumably, they believe that Donald Trump, who also supported forms of legalization, wouldn’t because he has become so identified with the issue. But the effective reality, as National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru has argued, is that immigration has become a Republican litmus test issue. Rubio’s and Cruz’s deft maneuvering off their previous positions proves that. And Rubio is persuasive in arguing that a bill with legalization can’t be passed until the American people — i.e., Republican voters — are convinced that enforcement has been made effective. My sense is that a President Rubio or President Cruz would be as bound by their current positions as a President Trump. … Paul Ryan is not likely to spend the huge amount of political capital required to pass a bill supported mainly by Democrats and opposed by a large majority of House Republicans. Donald Trump’s candidacy, however it turns out, has changed the immigration calculus for Republican politicians. … The opening for ‘comprehensive’ immigration legislation seems to have closed.”

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Insight: “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” —Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

Noteworthy: “Rubio won 44 percent among those who cared about winning in November (21 percent of voters). Trump crushed among voters who want someone who tells it like it is (14 percent of voters). Meanwhile, Cruz dominated among voters who want someone who shares their values (42 percent), and held his own, losing narrowly to Trump, among those who want a candidate who can bring needed change (21).” —Rich Lowry

For the record: “Trump is right about one thing. The public is sick of traditional politicians who make promises but don’t deliver, while driving up the debt and lining their pockets. But whose fault is that? Ultimately it’s the voters’ fault, because they are the ones who put them in office, demanding more from government than it can, or should, deliver and demanding too little of themselves.” —Cal Thomas

Alpha Jackass: “[Ted Cruz] had a better ground game [in Iowa] than El Chapo might have had, you know.” —Bob Schieffer

Belly laugh of the week: “The past two to three weeks, Hillary Clinton has blossomed into the kind of candidate that you dream about.” —Van Jones (Sure, if you’re a Republican!)

Braying Jenny: “Most [climate change skeptics] are not that ill-informed. They just have to do what the Koch brothers tell them. They say, ‘Don’t believe your lying eyes — listen to us.'” —Hillary Clinton

Non Compos Mentis: “I think the extraordinary request that Secretary Clinton put forward to actually release her emails is something that I’m not sure has a precedent, at least for federal officeholders.” —Josh Earnest

And last… “Whether you like Ted Cruz or not, you gotta be pleased that the anti-ethanol candidate beat the Branstad ethanol-fueled engine.” —Washington Post’s Charles Lane

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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.

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Evangelicals propel Cruz to victory in Iowa

Evangelicals propel Cruz to victory in Iowa

Posted on February 2, 2016 by World Magazine

CAMPAIGN 2016 | Tight contest shows Cruz, Trump, and Rubio in a three-man race, while Clinton-Sanders still too close to call

Read Full Article »

Where did Cruz, Trump & Rubio do best in Iowa? Three graphs of Christian Right counties

Where did Cruz, Trump & Rubio do best in Iowa? Three graphs of Christian Right counties

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Religion News

Here’s how Cruz, Trump, and Rubio did in the parts of Iowa historically dominated by conservative Christian voters.

Read Full Article »

Give Us a King!: Leadership Theory for Election Season

Give Us a King!: Leadership Theory for Election Season

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Christianity Today

Historic trends bring context to Trump’s confounding popularity.

Read Full Article »

British Evangelicals Worried about Sunday School, Youth Group Raids

British Evangelicals Worried about Sunday School, Youth Group Raids

Posted on February 1, 2016 by Christianity Today

Plans to regulate extremist Muslim madrassas would also affect youth ministry, warns EAUK.

Read Full Article »

Pastor of China's Largest Church Jailed for Protesting Removal of 1,500 Crosses

Pastor of China’s Largest Church Jailed for Protesting Removal of 1,500 Crosses

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Christianity Today

Christian unity growing as government-approved churches no longer immune from persecution.

Read Full Article »

3 Truths to Get You through the Worst Days of Your Life

3 Truths to Get You through the Worst Days of Your Life

Posted on February 1, 2016 by Crosswalk

We were fresh off a plane from a six-week holiday backpacking round South East Asia when we heard words that would change the course of our lives. The surgeon who just a few days before had biopsied a node under Xylon’s arm sat across from us and…

Read Full Article »

Evil Revisited

So it kind of makes sense that chaos is reigning now throughout the world, doesn’t it? And with all the recent trouble with migrant refugees from the Middle East, the mingling of two hate-filled ideologies (Radicalized Islam and Nazism) only spells trouble for Europe and the world. But just as evil was conquered at the Cross, the One Who Will Judge The World will crush the head of Leviathan and restore His peace upon the earth. No amount of revisited hate and rebellion by the princes of hell can usurp the reign of our King.

View Article

Presidential priorities: Mosque over synagogue? – Jan Markell

Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, tells OneNewsNow she is racking her brain to try to come up with anything positive that American Muslims have contributed.

Markell, Jan (Olive Tree Ministries)”Going all the way back to our Founding Fathers, they were battling Muslim pirates on the seas of Tripoli,” she points out. “I’m sure there are some patriotic Muslims, but I simply do not know what they’ve actually contributed in a significant way to our country.”

View Article

Chief Justice Barack Obama?

As a Supreme Court justice, Obama would have the power he has always craved as president to “fundamentally transform” America by issuing proclamations about the meaning and scope of the Constitution, all without pesky voters or members of Congress interfering with his plans.
Hillary Clinton has already stated that she believes the Supreme Court was “wrong” to declare that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.

View Article

“To God be the Glory”, Says Ted Cruz After Sweeping Trump in Iowa Caucus

“To God be the glory!” Cruz cried to a crowd of his supporters after winning 27.7 percent of the vote. “Tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives across Iowa and all across this great nation.”

Business magnate Donald Trump, whose brash style and plain talking had until now given him a lead on his Republican rivals, came in a far second with 24 percent of the vote, even though he is thought to be popular among evangelical voters, of which Iowa has many.

View Article

Paving The Way For The Antichrist – The Consolidation Of Power

Today, consolidation of power throughout society is increasing at a rapid pace. From the television shows we watch, to the news sites we visit, to the music we listen to and our financial institutions, the amount of control has passed from the many to the few.

View Article

Retail Apocalypse: 2016 Brings Empty Shelves And Store Closings All Across America

Major retailers in the United States are shutting down hundreds of stores, and shoppers are reporting alarmingly bare shelves in many retail locations that are still open all over the country. It appears that the retail apocalypse that made so many headlines in 2015 has gone to an entirely new level as we enter 2016.

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Wanted: A moral, ethical leader who truly fears God

Put another way, does the fact that we’re electing a president, not a pastor (or priest or Pope) mean that the president doesn’t need to have a solid moral base? That he doesn’t need integrity? That he can mistreat and abuse others? That he can be petulant, self-centered, and nasty? That ethics don’t matter since he’s our political leader not our spiritual leader?

What kind of thinking is that?

View Article

Trampling Christ, Christians, and Country: LGBT Troops Steamroll Religious Freedom

By David Fiorazo

It is undeniable the LGBT movement has grown in acceptance, public opinion, influence, and more recently – in boldness throughout the West. Almost simultaneously, just over fifty years ago Christians in America became less active, visible, and vocal in public while LGBT proponents gladly stepped in. As our passion for truth and biblical morality faded, those fighting against God and Christian values have become more committed and emboldened.

View Article

British researchers get green light to genetically modify human embryos

According to The Guardian:

Britain’s first genetically modified human embryos could be created within months, after scientists were granted permission by the fertility regulator to carry out the procedure.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) regulator approved a licence application by Kathy Niakan, a stem cell scientist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, to perform so-called genome editing on human embryos.

The decision permits Niakan to study the embryos for 14 days for research purposes only. It does not permit them to be implanted into women. Niakan’s research is aimed at finding the genes at play in the early days of human fertilisation.

Read more

The Daily Discovery (February 2, 2016)

(Click title to go to full article)

Trumped Up? Is the Donald’s Support Really Driven by Racist Xenophobia? – “I have written… as someone who is resolutely opposed to Donald Trump. I believe that various of his policy positions on issues such as immigration are appalling and profoundly objectionable (besides being quite unworkable). I find the sort of politics that Trump represents are not just deeply distasteful but harbour terrifying danger. If you worry about ‘American exceptionalism’, just wait until you have the ‘presidential exceptionalism’ of the politics of personality, the ruling clown who makes up the rules as he goes along because he is being ‘authentic’.”

The Strong Man Temptation – “There are good reasons for Christians to be nervous about their place in the United States. The culture is in a period of rapid change of the sort not seen since perhaps 1967–77. That was the height of the Cold War, in which the Soviet Union and the United States threatened ‘mutually assured destruction’ of each other via nuclear weapons. The very hot Vietnam War (1955–75) saw 50,000 American military dead, POWs that lingered behind, and roiled the nation with massive protests against it. The modern civil rights movement was at its apex and Dr King was assassinated (leading to ‘race riots’ the destroyed portions of cities, portions that were never rebuilt). Not long after Bobby Kennedy was also assassinated.”

**Updated** The Heresy of False Teacher and Pastor John Pavlovitz (a response to “10 Things This Christian Doesn’t Believe About the Bible”) – “Pavlovitz came back and added an 11th thing he doesn’t believe about the Bible, making an excuse for why he doesn’t quote any Bible verses in his piece. He basically thinks it’s rude to quote Bible verses.”

Rachel Held Evans Then and Now – “Remember kids, Christians and politics is bad and makes Jesus cry when conservative, evangelical Bible-believing Christians are involved. But enlightened, faith-building when leftist, pseudo-Christian bloggers are involved.”

The Truth About Proverbs 29:18 – “Next time someone, especially a pastor says, ‘where there is no vision the people perish’, send them this link and tell them to watch the video.”


Jason Vaughn – A Right View of Man


The Westboro Baptist Chipmunks

Free will and Reasoning

“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The McAlvany Intel Memo

These are extraordinary times for the precious metals markets, and not just because of the headline price action. Underlying developments in the supply-and-demand fundamentals for physical gold and silver are extraordinary in their own right. If recent trends could be summed up in one word, it would be bifurcation (divided in two). On one hand, the paper market (i.e., futures contracts) continues to be heavily pressured in a bearish direction by massive levels of orchestrated institutional short selling. On the other hand, the physical market is heating up with robust investor buying and increasingly bullish long-term supply/demand considerations.

It’s been extremely difficult for some investors to keep their conviction and hold on to real value while manipulated paper markets have relentlessly driven prices down. But a growing number of metals investors (globally) recognize the extraordinary buying opportunity at hand. That’s evidenced by the fact they are rushing to buy, not sell, gold and silver bullion products at discounted prices.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, September 2015)

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WVW-TV Presents: ROME’S COUNTER REFORMATION (PART ONE) with host Mike Gendron 

In this program you will learn how the Church of Rome is still working to carry out a counter reformation in order to turn the world’s religions toward Rome and thus accomplish their ultimate goal of being the dominate world religion.

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WVW-TV Presents: The Moderate Muslim is a Radical if They Follow The Koran with Host Usama Dakdok

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WVW-TV Presents: Understanding The Book of Romans Verse by Verse (Program #2) with Mike Abendroth


WVW-TV Presents: In Defense of the Trinity

Worldview Radio: Evangelical leaders & Pastors Look Worse Than a Carnival Barker for a Side Show Like the Yak Woman When They Become Shills for Politicians

Topic: We expect politicians to act like politicians, but we should not expect evangelical leaders and pastors to act like they are so desperate for power, access, and popularity that they act like a carnival barker for a side show like the Yak woman. Topic: Does a successful political campaign equal a spiritual awakening or revival? I guess according to the candidate of David Barton and Glenn Beck it does. Hear the audio of Ted Cruz begging people to pray to God and keep the spiritual awakening and revival going. What is he talking about? Are we seeing any sign of Biblical repentance, pastors rejecting false teaching, and false teachers and true believers rejecting Christian happy talk and cotton candy Christianity and ecumenicalism? The answer is no! Cruz is not the only one saying troubling things. Jerry Falwell, Jr. says Donald Trump is revealing the fruit Jesus talked about in Matthew 7:16 because he creates jobs. So now doctrinal fruit is creating jobs? What a joke evangelicals are becoming while they confuse people as to what the gospel and mission of the church is.

Topic: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council admits to giving 2 Corinthians 3:17 to Trump to use in a speech. The verse declares that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Can someone please tell the very theologically ignorant Perkins, that likes to be involved in spiritual enterprises with false teachers, that 2 Corinthians 3:17 is not talking about political or economic liberty? Topic: Pastor Greg Laurie declares Marco Rubio a Christian because in the last presidential debate he said there was only one savior and it was not him but Jesus Christ. Laurie wanted to know when was the last time you heard a politician say something like this. Hey Laurie, have you forgotten about George W. Bush that said while running for president the first time that Jesus was the greatest philosopher of all time? Yet, hear the real worldview of George W. at the end of his presidency in which he declared Allah and the God of the Bible are the same. Note to Greg Laurie, politicians talk religion all the time, but most Christians are smart enough to see past it. So whether it is Cruz, Trump, or Rubio, the evangelical world is revealing their ignorance and lack of Biblical maturity. Topic: We take your calls. Click here to listen now:


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Undercover Video Exposes Common Core


St Paul and the SEALs: An Alternative to HALO Evangelism

An Open Letter to Women Considering Abortion


Tor and the Trinity



Craig on the same God controversy

And here’s a post that helpfully classifies a number of pertinent distinctions:

Check Out


The Secret to a Happy Life  | R.C. Sproul Ligonier Ministries Blog
“Christians know moments of happiness, when we are alone in the presence of God, in fellowship with Him, and it is enough to know our sins have been forgiven. But soon we forget and we’re worrying about the bills. Suddenly, we say, ‘If I just had a little bit more money, if I just had a better car, if I just had a nicer house, I’d finally be happy.’”

The One Ingredient Essential to Biblical Manhood | Thabiti Anyabwile, The Gospel Coalition
“Self-control (or its absence) lies at the root of so many other things we recognize as problems in the thoughts, feelings, and decisions of men.”

7 Ways to Fight Distraction in Prayer | Gavin Ortlund, The Gospel Coalition
Seven strategies for fighting  distraction to deepen and direct our prayers.

Help! I’m Too Busy for My Free Time! | Dr. Anne Bradley, The Institute of Faith, Work, and Economics
“Having a block of free time isn’t reason enough to fill it up. What is God asking us to do? Maybe we’ll hear him tell us we need to be still and run around less. Admittedly, this is also difficult.”

How To Be A Great Teacher, From 12 Great Teachers | Anya Kamenetz, NPR Ed
“Great teachers have two things in common: an exceptional level of devotion to their students, and the drive to inspire each one to learn and succeed.”

Why kids today are out of shape, disrespectful – and in charge | Leann Italie, The Sacramento Bee
An interview with Dr. Leonard Sax, author of the book The Collapse of Parenting.

New Book

Christological Anthropology in Historical Perspective by Marc Cortez, ($22.07 paperback, $14.99 Kindle).

Kindle Deals

Rediscovering Holiness: Know the Fullness of Life with God By J. I. Packer ($1.99)

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup ($1.99)

Beginning at Moses: A Guide to Finding Christ in the Old Testament by Michael P. V. Barrett ($0.99)
Finishing Well to the Glory of God: Strategies from a Christian Physician by John Dunlop ($2.99). I’ve heard great reports about this book.


Admitting I Was Wrong: 2016 Presidential Campaign Version | Cheryl Magness, The Federalist
Remember the lady who was filmed saying that President Obama would pay off her mortgage, give her a free phone, etc. Here she is eight years later.

John MacArthur’s Top 5 Books On a Deserted Island

Stephen Nichols, President of Reformation Bible College, Interviewed John MacArthur on his 5 minutes in church history podcast, and asked him if he were to be stranded on an island which five books would he bring with him?

Here is the transcript of the interview.

Stephen Nichols: Today, we are returning to our deserted island, and we have a very special guest with us. Our guest today is Dr. John MacArthur. Dr. MacArthur, welcome.

John MacArthur: Thank you so much. It’s great to be here.

SN: This is an interesting deserted island. It’s a very theologically rich deserted island. Someone has left it stocked with Augustine and the works of Jonathan Edwards, as well as the works of the Reformers John Calvin and Martin Luther. So you’re going to have quite a library for your stay on the deserted island. But in addition to those books, what five books would you take with you for your stay on the deserted island?

JM: It’s always hard to narrow them down to five, but I think the first book—and I say this because it had such a profound impact on me—would be Steven Charnock’s The Existence and Attributes of God. I didn’t grow up in a Reformed environment. When I discovered Reformed theology, it was in Charnock. I didn’t know it was possible to have that many thoughts about God.

SN: That book will keep you busy.

JM: It is inexhaustible. And at the same time, I was anchored down by B.B. Warfield’s The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible. Those are influential books that I would want to go back to. I think I would want to have Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology. Is that OK? Does that pass muster?

SN: I think it’d be great to have the original Princetonian there. If you’ve got Warfield, we need Hodge too.

JM: That’s exactly right. I’m assuming there is a Bible.

SN: There is a Bible.

JM: OK, good. I just want to make sure.

SN: I think there’s actually a MacArthur Study Bible.

JM: On the island?

SN: Imagine that.

JM: Well, we’re home free. We can forget the rest of the books. Pinning me down on other books is hard because I’ve been so widely influenced. I think a couple of missionary biographies. I have been profoundly affected by studying William Carey. I think it is good for us to compare ourselves against those who really made monumental sacrifices.

SN: And Carey’s perseverance is just remarkable, the hardship he endured throughout his life.

JM: Years and years of work and it all burned up. Unbelievable. I need that kind of modeling and that kind of example. Those are some the books that I would want.

SN: You’ve written a number of books yourself. When we have authors visit our island, we always ask if they wouldn’t mind leaving a book behind for the next guy who gets stuck there. So, which of your many books do you think you’d like to leave behind?

JM: It would probably be The Gospel According to Jesus.

SN: I was hoping you would say that.

JM: When I came out of seminary, I knew I would be fighting battles on issues such as inerrancy and inspiration, the authority of Scripture, and sanctification. But I never really believed that I would spend so much of my ministry trying to defend the gospel inside the church. From the very beginning of my ministry, I was aware that churches were full of people who didn’t even understand the gospel.

SN: That book was a big part of the controversy that came to be known as the Lordship Salvation Controversy. And we’ll talk about that another time. Thank you for being with us, Dr. MacArthur.

Posted by permission from the 5 minutes in church history podcast. You can listen to the interview here.

Nine Ways Churches Waste Money – Rainer on Leadership #195

On today’s episode, we discuss nine specific ways churches might be wasting money. As tight as finances are in many churches, these nine points of evaluation might be helpful for many churches to free up more funds for ministry.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Churches often waste money by doing things the way they’ve always done them.
  • We often staff our churches the way it’s always been instead of what’s best for the church.
  • Staffing is one of the biggest expenses you have, and if you don’t constantly evaluate it, you will spend money you don’t have to.
  • I see any staff departure as an opportunity to evaluate if that position is needed for the future.
  • Facebook ads are one of the better uses of advertising dollars for churches—instead of media ads or billboards.
  • The arbitrary payments made to many instrumentalists often confuses pastors and church members.
  • Having policies in place for benevolence giving and accountability is a must for churches.
  • Do not expect people in the pew to be good stewards of their money if the church leaders are not stewarding church funds well.

The nine ways churches most commonly waste money are:

  1. Don’t evaluate staff needs
  2. Ineffective paid publicity
  3. Arbitrary paid instrumentalists.
  4. Paid child care
  5. Unevaluated mission giving
  6. Benevolence with no accountability
  7. Underwriting trips
  8. Church vehicle
  9. Ineffective programs and ministries


If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here at ThomRainer.com. If we use your question, you’ll receive a free copy of I Will.


The post Nine Ways Churches Waste Money – Rainer on Leadership #195 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.

A La Carte (February 2)

Today’s Kindle deals include Walking As He Walked by Joel Beeke ($0.99); Night of Weeping and Morning of Joy by Horatius Bonar ($2.99); Faithful to the End by Terry Wilder ($2.99). The whole Exalting Jesus commentary set is for sale at $2.99 each; these are reader-friendly commentaries suitable to anyone.

The 2016 Reading Challenge is well underway and it has been fun to see people doing their own roundups. Here are a few: Nate Claiborne, Eric Dodson, Julie Thompson. There are way more at Goodreads.

Facing a Task Unfinished

This is a great idea: “Getty Music is inviting thousands of churches around the globe to sing the new hymn Facing a Task Unfinished together on Sunday, February 21st, 2016! We will provide you with the sheet music and demonstration, all you need to do is register!”

The Popularity of Donald Trump

This is a fantastic article about why Donald Trump is seeing such success and popularity. (If time is short, breeze down to the conclusion where the author nicely summarizes it all.)

Why Christian Women Need to Talk about Sex

Christianity Today: “Amid all this cultural baggage, being able to open up about sex with close female friends can be wonderfully freeing, encouraging, and healthy. Women can assure their friends that they are not the only ones. They can validate each other’s feelings and offer advice. These conversations about sex are valuable for us personally, our marriages, our friendships, and our communities.”

Understanding Toronto

Darryl explains Toronto, a unique and amazing city that is in need of more churches. “I want you care about Toronto. The reason? There’s a great need. It’s one of the largest cities in North America, and it’s one of the least churched.”

This Day in 1738. 278 years ago today, a “young George Whitefield departs for Georgia, intending to become a permanent missionary to the American colony.” *

John MacArthur’s Top 5 Books On a Deserted Island

Here’s John MacArthur answering everyone’s favorite question.

Confessions of a Former Date-Night Legalist

I’m not eager to stir up this controversy again, but I did enjoy Courtney Reissig’s article on date nights. (And remember, all I said was that you don’t need a date night.)

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord

Justin Taylor asks whether C.S. Lewis’ infamous Liar, Lunatic, or Lord argument is sound or unsound.


The nearer men are to being sinless, the less they talk about it. —D.L. Moody

75% of world’s fish have been wiped out by mankind … Collapse of marine ecosystems now imminent

Posted: 02 Feb 2016 07:20 AM PST

Many people point their fingers at climate change, underwater weapons testing, ocean quakes and biodiversity, as reasons behind the collapse of the marine ecosystem. While there’s something to be said for these issues as contributing factors in the decline of marine life, the fact remains that the ongoing after-effects of Fukushima’s radiation plays a significant role too. Consider this: in 2006 – years before the nuclear disaster in Japan – a paper was published in the journal Science, which warned of the fate of marine life. Lead author Boris Worm, assistant professor of marine conservation biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, noted that “… all fish and seafood species are projected to collapse within my lifetime — by 2048.”

An abstract of that paper, entitled, Impact of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services, states that, “We conclude that marine biodiversity loss is increasingly impairing the ocean’s capacity to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from perturbations.” Now, let’s take this shocking 2048 end-of-fish-and-seafood-species statement and add to it something that hadn’t yet occurred when the paper was published in 2006: Fukushima. With upwards of about 800 tonnes of Cesium-134 said to have leaked into the Pacific ocean on a daily basis ever since the 2011 disaster, it’s only logical to conclude that yet another factor – radiation – can be tossed into this biodiversity/sea quakes/climate change mix when attempting to explain the tragic loss of marine life species. FULL REPORT


The post 75% of world’s fish have been wiped out by mankind … Collapse of marine ecosystems now imminent appeared first on End Time Headlines.

BREAKING NEWS: Powerful Blast reported at secondary school in Karlstad, Sweden

Posted: 02 Feb 2016 06:54 AM PST

A ‘powerful’ explosion has been reported at a school building in the Swedish town of Karlstad, local media say. Emergency services are at the scene. Fire broke out at the site following the explosion, Expressen newspaper reported. There have been no reports of casualties so far.

“We are on site now and are trying to ascertain what has exploded,” Ola Akesson of Karlstad’s emergency services told the Expressen newspaper. The “bang” from the explosion could be heard in other parts of the city, she added. “It was a powerful explosion,” NWT cited Akesson as saying. Big plumes of smoke could also be seen rising from the site. FULL REPORT

The post BREAKING NEWS: Powerful Blast reported at secondary school in Karlstad, Sweden appeared first on End Time Headlines.

New Technology Allows the Average Person to Build a Level 4 Bio-Weapon in the Basement

Posted: 02 Feb 2016 06:48 AM PST

(Jim White) If you thought that the madness we encounter each day had just about reached its zenith, allow me to assure you that we are not quite there yet. I recently made a recording with Mike Adams for our weekly news show, Health Revolt. During the recording, Mike made some stunning assertions about a new procedure called CRISPR, a scientific methodology that could change the way war is waged and could change the way we live our lives.

There is one thing for certain that has emerged as a result of the many, many wars that we have started and waged all over the world; and that is the many, many enemies that we have created all over the world, as a result. Truly, as much as we are the most beloved nation in the world, we are also the most hated. And, our enemies will use whatever means available to kill and maim us; even manufacturing and using biological weapons. FULL REPORT

The post New Technology Allows the Average Person to Build a Level 4 Bio-Weapon in the Basement appeared first on End Time Headlines.

In Biggest Ever Chinese Corporate Takeover, ChemChina Set To Buy Swiss Syngenta For $43 Billion

Posted: 02 Feb 2016 06:39 AM PST

The ink was not yet dry on the seemingly endless Monsanto-Syngenta on again/off again takeover drama, when moments ago in a shocking development the newswires were lit up with news that a new, and very much unexpected, bidder has emerged for the Swiss pesticides giant Syngenta: China National Chemical Corp, or ChemChina as it is known, which according to WSJ and BBG is set to pay $43.7 billion to acquire a piece of Swiss corporate history.

According to Bloomberg, China National Chemical Corp. is nearing an agreement to buy Syngenta for CHF 43.7 billion as the state-backed company extends its buying spree with what would be the biggest-ever acquisition by a Chinese firm, said people familiar with the matter.

More details: ChemChina, as the closely-held company is known, offered about 470 francs a share in cash to acquire Syngenta and a deal could be announced as early as Wednesday when the Swiss company reports earnings, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. That’s 24 percent higher than Syngenta’s last close of 378.40 francs on Feb. 1. Its shares rose 7.1 percent to 405.1 francs as of 1:26 p.m. in Zurich.

The deal would help Chairman Ren Jianxin transform ChemChina into the world’s biggest supplier of pesticides and agrochemicals, while snatching an asset coveted by St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. It also underscores the importance China attaches to owning seed and cropcare technology that can boost agricultural output and help feed the world’s biggest population. FULL REPORT

The post In Biggest Ever Chinese Corporate Takeover, ChemChina Set To Buy Swiss Syngenta For $43 Billion appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Yahoo to announce 1500 Job Cuts, 15 Percent of Workforce

Posted: 02 Feb 2016 06:34 AM PST

Embattled Internet pioneer Yahoo will announce job cuts when it releases its quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will lay out a cost-cutting plan that includes chopping 15 percent of the work force, an estimate 1,600 positions, the Journal said citing unnamed people close to the matter. The cuts would come as a key investor in Yahoo pressures the board of directors for a management change.

Activist hedge fund Starboard Value last month said investors appear to “have lost all confidence in management and the board” after the company, led by Silicon Valley star Mayer, has failed to turn around Yahoo’s core Internet business. In a letter to the board, Starboard said Yahoo needs to sell off the core business to other investors, but that so far the company has ignored expressions of interest from buyers. FULL REPORT

The post Yahoo to announce 1500 Job Cuts, 15 Percent of Workforce appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Los Angeles Police Urge Residents ‘To Protect Themselves’ As Violent Crime Skyrockets

Posted: 02 Feb 2016 06:17 AM PST

(Michael Snyder) All over America, rates of violent crime are absolutely soaring. As you will see below, violent crime overall shot up by 20 percent in Los Angeles last year, and the police are telling people that “they need to be able to protect themselves” because the police may not be able to get there in time when they call. Thanks to deep budget cuts, police departments across the nation are already severely undermanned, and our major cities are now seeing crime rates increase at a pace that we have not seen in ages. In a previous article, I encouraged my readers to focus on the five basics of preparation – food, water, shelter, energy and self-defense.

Of those five, it is often self-defense that is the most neglected. When bad people break into your house in the middle of the night intending to do bad things, what are you going to do? Many of us have not had to think about that for a long time, but now conditions are rapidly changing in America. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you will believe the head of the union for the LAPD. According to him, people living in L.A. “need to be able to protect themselves” because the police “can’t guarantee we’re going to get there in time to help you”…FULL REPORT

The post Los Angeles Police Urge Residents ‘To Protect Themselves’ As Violent Crime Skyrockets appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Debunking The ‘Separation of Church and State’ Myth

Posted: 02 Feb 2016 06:12 AM PST

(Matt Barber) The American church has a problem. It’s one part fear, one part confusion and one part apathy. Pastors, priests and rabbis have long swallowed the false notion that all things religious and all things political are somehow mutually exclusive—that never the twain shall meet. Leading up to Ronald Reagan’s landslide presidential victory in 1980, Rev. Jerry Falwell, the founder of Liberty University, captured the crux of the church’s apathy problem. “I’m being accused of being controversial and political,” he said. “I’m not political. But moral issues that become political, I still fight. It isn’t my fault that they’ve made these moral issues political. But because they have doesn’t stop the preachers of the gospel from addressing them. …”

“What then is wrong?” he continued. “I say the problem, first of all, is in the pulpits of America. We preachers must take the blame. For too long we have fearfully stood back and failed to address the issues that are corrupting the republic. I repeat Proverbs 14:34: ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation.’ Not military might, though that’s important. Not financial resources, though that has been the enjoyment of this nation above all nations in the last 200 years. But spiritual power is the backbone, the strength, of a nation.” FULL REPORT

The post Debunking The ‘Separation of Church and State’ Myth appeared first on End Time Headlines.

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Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)

What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.

What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.

The Gospel on 5 Fingers

If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?

Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.

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

Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

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 Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed

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Victory in Christ

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“ For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
WE were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all…

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