Feb. 16, 2016
Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death — and Senate Republicans’ refusal to confirm a successor while President Obama is in office — threatens to ignite a year-long battle over the court’s future.
North Korea will gain the capability to deploy nuclear missiles if the world doesn’t force Kim Jong Un to realize his atomic ambitions will lead to the eventual collapse of his regime, South Korean President Park Geun Hye told parliament.
For more than a year, oil diplomats have been busy behind the scenes trying to forge a deal between OPEC and nations outside the cartel to revive prices by curbing output. The maneuvering, led first by Algeria and now Qatar, started to bear fruit Tuesday, when Russia and Saudi Arabia, at odds over the war in Syria, agreed to freeze production at January levels.
China is stepping up support for the economy by ramping up spending and considering new measures to boost bank lending. The nation’s chief planning agency is making more money available to local governments to fund new infrastructure projects.
Warren Buffett’s annual meeting for shareholders of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will be webcast for the first time in his half-century running the company. The live stream of the gathering in Omaha, Nebraska, will appear on the finance page of Yahoo! Inc. on Saturday, April 30.
Gulfstream Aerospace says it’s unable to keep up with demand from the rich. Pay $65 million for the G650 or G650ER personal jets, and your wait to board them could be as long as two years.
Desperate to avoid more costly run-ins with regulators, investment banks are hiring former intelligence professionals to scrutinize virtually all aspects of their employees’ working lives, from how long they take for cigarette breaks to which websites they frequent. The goal: to deter the next market manipulator or rogue trader.
Goldman Sachs says it’s time to bet against gold as bullion’s rally to the highest in a year isn’t justified, backing the bearish call with a comment from a former U.S. leader in a report that was issued, appropriately enough, on Presidents’ Day.
MH370 is weeks away from becoming aviation’s biggest unsolved mystery since Amelia Earhart disappeared in 1937. Of the 3 million components in the jet, only one has turned up — a barnacle-encrusted wing flap — on Reunion Island, thousands of miles from the search. There have been no traces of the 239 people on board, their luggage or even the life jackets that were supposed to float. Without fresh clues, the hunt should end about June.
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders dropped in February to a nine-month low as potential buyers stayed away, interrupting the steady progress residential real estate had built over the course of 2015.
AP Top Stories
Turkey is asking allies including the United States to take part in a joint ground operation in Syria, as a Moscow-backed government advance nears its borders, raising the possibility of direct confrontation between the NATO member and Russia.
CA – Testimony is expected to begin Tuesday in the trial of a man charged with raping and abducting his girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter, but he says the teen ran away with him willingly and eventually married him and bore his child.
President Obama has promised to uphold his “constitutional responsibility” to nominate a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative stalwart who died over the weekend. Now, he just needs to decide whether to try to soften Republican senators with the pick or make it a full-throated, election-year political statement.
China will move nearly 10,000 people to make way for the world’s largest radio telescope which promises to help humanity search for alien life, state media reported on Tuesday.
The United Nations Security Council will on Tuesday discuss Turkey’s shelling of targets in Syria at the request of Russia, which has voiced concern about Turkish military attacks on Russian-backed Kurdish militia fighters.
Hundreds of stone-throwing Palestinian youths clashed with Israeli soldiers who raided a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Monday, leaving 28 with gunshot injuries.
Ransomware is a growing menace for computer users – but when a hospital is targeted, it makes the disruption far more serious. Computer systems at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center have been offline for more than a week following a ransomware attack.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has backed trials of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes that could be used in the fight against the Zika virus.
Sources at the global chemical watchdog say sulphur mustard was used last year in an attack on Kurdish forces in Iraq blamed on Islamic State (IS) militants.
A radical new weapon that can fire a shell at seven times the speed of sound could be used by the Navy as soon as 2018. Described as ‘Star Wars technology’ by researchers, the rail gun can fire a shell weighing 10kg at up to 5,400mph over 100 miles. It does this with such force and accuracy it penetrates three concrete walls or six half-inch thick steel plates.
An Islamic State executioner’s head exploded during a class on beheading after a well-aimed shot by a British Special Air Service sniper.
Military sources told the Express that a recent mission into northern Syria involved killing an ISIS recruiter with a Dan.338 rifle as the terrorist was instructing 21 new recruits. “One minute he was standing there and the next his head had exploded. The commander remained standing upright for a couple of seconds before collapsing and that’s when panic set in. We later heard most of the recruits deserted. We got rid of 21 terrorists with one bullet.”
Officials at a Pennsylvania high school are on the defensive after two students took pictures of themselves proudly desecrating the American flag in class. Johnstown parents want to know how it was possible for students at Richland Township High School to stand on the American flag during school hours, brag about it by raising a middle finger to the camera, and then share it on social-media platforms.
Top News – 2/16/2016
Top secret CIA poison dart gun ‘gives targets deadly HEART ATTACKS and leaves no trace’
A WHISTLEBLOWER has claimed the CIA developed a “heart attack gun” laced with deadly poison to carry out assassinations. …the toxin would not appear in an autopsy – so there would be “no way of perceiving that the target was hit”.
Hawaii declares state of emergency over Zika virus, dengue fever outbreak
Hawaii Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency to fight mosquito borne illnesses including dengue fever and the Zika virus. The state has been in the midst of a dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii’s Big Island, where there were more than 250 confirmed cases. There have been no locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus in Hawaii, Ige said in a news conference Friday.
Michael Savage: ‘Was Scalia murdered?’
With confirmation that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday morning with a pillow over his head and his clothes unwrinkled, nationally syndicated talk-radio host Michael Savage called for an investigation on the level of the presidentially appointed probe into President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
France presents Israel, Palestinians with peace plan
Israeli and Palestinian officials say France has presented the two sides with a proposal for an international peace conference.
‘Christians are under pressure in many developed countries’ – Russian Patriarch Kirill
In an exclusive interview to RT’s Ed Schultz Patriarch Kirill stressed the importance of his meeting with Pope Francis in Cuba, which he said came “at the right time.”
US Ambassador to UN: “UN is Part of the Problem”
US Ambassador Samantha Power vigorously criticized the UN’s bias against Israel in her speech at the Israel Middle East Model UN Conference at the American International School in Even Yehuda.
Obama Reluctantly Signs BDS Bill Recognizing Territories as Part of Israel
A trade bill which passed a senate vote Thursday is set to be signed into law by US President Barack Obama, despite his objections to its pro-Israel portions.
5.7M earthquake adds shaking to gales on Tongatapu
A short tremor was felt in Tongatapu tonight at around 4:03 am. The earthquake rattled houses and woke people, who stayed indoors sheltering from the gale force winds and heavy rains brought to Tonga overnight by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Thousands of Blacktip Sharks Clog the Coastline of Florida in Palm Beach County
People aren’t the only ones heading to Florida for warmer weather. Over 10,000 sharks have situated themselves just off the Palm Beach County coastline for the winter, although further north than usual. The blacktip sharks are only several hundred feet away from the shore, according to Stephen Kajiura, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University whose research interests include the sensory biology of fish.
Negative central bank interest rates now herald new danger for the world
The world’s tentative experiment with negative interest rates got off to an unremarkable start. Sweden’s Riksbank – the world’s oldest central bank – became the first major monetary authority to cross the rubicon and take its main policy rate into the red exactly a year ago to the month (see map above).
Doctors 3D-print ‘living’ body parts
Custom-made, living body parts have been 3D-printed in a significant advance for regenerative medicine, say scientists. The sections of bone, muscle and cartilage all functioned normally when implanted into animals. The breakthrough, published in Nature Biotechnology, raises the hope of using living tissues to repair the body.
Antonin Scalia death: Obama to act after Senate returns next week
A new US Supreme Court judge to replace justice Antonin Scalia will be nominated by the president after next week, the White House has said. There will be no announcement before the Senate returns on 22 February, said deputy press secretary Eric Schultz. Republicans have demanded President Barack Obama – a Democrat – leave the nomination to his successor next year.
Earthquakes hit Greece just MILES from popular holiday hotspot
THREE earthquakes have struck the Greek city of Patras, just miles from holiday hotspot Zakynthos. The initial quake, which measured 5.3 on the richter scale, struck the area just before 9pm local time. Two more aftershocks, each measuring around 3 on the scale then followed.
Four oil producing nations agree to freeze output
Oil ministers from three Opec countries, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela, as well as Russia, have agreed to freeze oil output at January levels, as long as others follow suit. The announcement came after the four ministers met in Doha on Tuesday. The move is designed to support the oil price, which has dropped sharply in recent months.
Russia rejects Syria war crimes claim over hospital attacks
Russia says it “categorically rejects” accusations of war crimes over the bombing of hospitals in Syria. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “those who make such statements are not capable of backing them up with proof”. Up to 50 people were killed in missile attacks on at least four hospitals and a school in rebel-held areas of northern Syria on Monday.
Senior Palestinian official calls on Jews to ‘return to country of origin’
Palestinian Authority envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ibrahim Khreisheh, said that all Jews living in Israel “should all return to their country of origin,”… In an interview with Palestinian Authority TV earlier this month, Khreisheh posited that Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel, and their presence today is a product of years-long colonization.
First Chinese train arrives in Tehran to revive Silk Road
Iran’s state TV says the first Chinese commercial train has arrived in Tehran to revive the Silk Road — an ancient network of trade routes running through Asia.
Britain wants to ban boycotts on Israeli goods
The British government intends to ban public institutions in the country from themselves banning the purchase of goods from Israel. It will unveil rules later this week that will make it harder for local town halls and public universities to enact boycotts on Israeli products, spurred by growing popular anger around the collapse of the Middle East peace process.
EU future not what it once was with 2 big crises at summit
After decades of often unbridled expansion and increasing prosperity, the once-robust European Union is this week looking at its biggest challenge — crumbling from within, says EU President Donald Tusk.
White House says expects China will support new sanctions on North Korea
President Barack Obama’s top national security adviser Susan Rice said on Monday that she expects China will support new international sanctions on North Korea for its recent rocket launches.
Missiles in Syria kill 50 as schools, hospitals hit; Turkey accuses Russia
Turkey on Monday accused Russia of an “obvious war crime” after missile attacks in northern Syria killed scores of people, and warned Kurdish militia fighters there they would face the “harshest reaction” if they tried to capture a town near the Turkish border.
Germany expects 500,000 refugees this year: newspaper
The German government expects 500,000 refugees to come to Germany this year, German newspaper Rheinische Post cited sources from the Federal Labor Office as saying.
‘Severe’ 6.0 magnitude earthquake hits New Zealand’s south coast – just two days after another massive tremor rocked Christchurch
A ‘severe’ 6.0 magnitude earthquake has hit off the south coast of New Zealand just two days after Christchurch was rocked by a powerful quake. The 10km-deep earthquake struck 160km south-west of Snares Islands at 8.28am on Tuesday, with shaking felt near Roxburgh, Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch.
Top Headlines – 2/16/2016
Arab, Islamic Nations Prepare for “Northern Thunder” Assault
Soldiers from 20 countries started arriving in the Saudi Arabia ahead of the largest military exercises in the region, labeled ‘Northern Thunder’.
Pakistan joins Saudi Arabia’s operation ‘Northern Thunder’
Pakistan is one of the countries now involved in Saudi Arabia’s operation “Northern Thunder”, according to Gulf News.
Economist Jim Rogers: Central Banks Completely Incompetent
Famed investor Jim Rogers is warning that financial Armageddon is just around the corner, and it’s being fueled by moronic central bankers.
If the global economy is in fine shape, then why does all of the hard data tell us that global trade is absolutely collapsing? The Baltic Dry Index has fallen below 300 for the first time ever, and export numbers are way down for almost every major exporting nation on the entire planet. As you will see below, this includes China. The Chinese account for more global trade than anyone else, and so the fact that their imports and their exports are both collapsing precipitously is a huge red flag. When less stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the world, that tells us that the “real economy” is contracting. Tremendous efforts are being made to try to prop up financial markets all over the globe right now, but in the end those efforts are going to prove to be rather futile. The global economy is clearly plunging into recession, and at this point it is becoming exceedingly difficult for even the most optimistic economic analysts to deny this reality. (Read More…)
Did you know that there are more than 1.8 trillion dollars worth of junk bonds outstanding in the United States alone? With interest rates at record lows all over the world in recent years, investors that were starving for a decent return poured hundreds of billions of dollars into high yield debt (also known as junk bonds). This created a giant bubble, but at first everything seemed to be going fine. Defaults were very low and most investors were seeing a nice return. But then the price of oil started crashing and the global economy began to slow down significantly. Energy company debt makes up somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of the junk bond market, and the credit rating downgrades for that sector are coming fast and furious. But it isn’t just the energy industry that is seeing a massive wave of defaults, debt restructurings and bankruptcy filings. Just like with subprime mortgages in 2008, investors are starting to wake up and realize that the paper that they are holding is not worth a whole lot. So now investors are rushing for the exits and we are starting to see panic on a level that we have not witnessed since the last financial crisis. (Read More…)
As you read this article, Turkish forces are massing along the border with Syria, and the largest “military exercises” in the history of the Middle East are being held in northern Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are publicly warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “will be removed by force” if a political solution cannot be found, and Turkey is claiming that it may have to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria “for humanitarian purposes”. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies have poured massive amounts of money and arms into the conflict in Syria, and now that their Sunni insurgents are on the verge of total defeat, they are trying to come up with a way to justify going in there and doing the job themselves. (Read More….)
1) Christians should not be deterred from praying for anyone, even Richard Dawkins
2) Loneliness alarmingly cited as reason for expansion of physician-assisted suicide
Assisted Suicide Study Questions Its Use for Mentally Ill, New York Times (Benedict Carey)
3) Culture of death in Canada demands physician-assisted suicide for future dementia patients
4) UAE creates Minister for Happiness; begs the question, what makes us happy?
UAE creates ministers for happiness and tolerance, BBC
In other news…
South Carolina Church Bridges Racial Gap, but Not Political Divide, New York Times (Richard Fausset)
‘So Help Me God’ and the Presidential Oath, Time (David B. Parker)
Justice Antonin Scalia, Known For Biting Dissents, Dies At 79, National Public Radio (Nina Totenberg)
How to Save Marriage in America, Atlantic (Richard V. Reeves)
Ask Amy: Couple wonders if gender selection is ethical, Washington Post (Amy Dickinson)
Kanye West claims to be $53m in debt, and asks Mark Zuckerberg for help The Guardian (Guardian Music)
Behind Our Lack Of Personal Responsibility Is A Refusal To Confess Sins The Federalist (Maureen Mullarkey)
In messaging apps for teens, talk of danger and dollars Washington Post (Michael S. Rosenwald)
Why So Many Millennials Are Socialists The Federalist (Emily Ekins and Joy Pullmann)
Frontrunning: February 16
- Oil eases off highs after output freeze agreement (Read More)
- Saudis and Russia agree to oil output freeze, Iran still an obstacle (Read More)
- China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line (Read More)
- Obama starts work to pick Supreme Court justice amid political ‘bluster’ (Read More)
- The Never-Ending Story: Europe’s Banks Face a Frightening Future (Read More)
- Apollo Global to buy security services company ADT for $7 billion (Read More)
- Anglo Hastens Retreat From Coal, Iron Ore as Losses Double (Read More)
- Markets Putting Faith in QE4 (Read More)
- Technology stocks selloff may turn IPO chill into IPO freeze (Read More)
- Goldman Channels FDR’s `Nothing to Fear’ With Sell Gold Call (Read More)
- Not in my backyard? Mainstream Scandinavia warily eyes record immigration (Read More)
- Japan’s Banks Brace for Bleeding in Core Business as Negative Rates Kick In (Read More)
- Wait Two Years for That $65 Million Gulfstream Personal Jet (Read More)
- Gordon and Bud Did It. Did You? Insider Trading Gets a Rethink (Read More)
- Hedge funder’s attack on renminbi draws scrutiny and doubt (Read More)
- Fallen Giants Block Path to S&P Bull Market as Amazon Slumps (Read More)
- New York police probe assault claim against Eliot Spitzer; lawyer disputes (Read More)
WORLDNETDAILY — Since Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead in his resort hotel room at Cibolo Creek Creek Ranch on Saturday, questions have been flying about the immediate declaration of “natural causes” as the means of death…. (more)
ERICK ERICKSON — That was one of the most amazing parts of the CBS Debate and Cruz at his finest. In a feisty exchange related to core principles, Cruz pointed out that Donald Trump had said the federal government should fund Planned Parenthood. Not only did Trump agree that the federal government should fund Planned Parenthood, but Trump praised all the good work Planned Parenthood does…. (more)
JOSEPH FARAH — Antonin Scalia, a stalwart of constitutionalism on a Supreme Court too often marked by a majority who believed they were the law of the land, is gone. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who loved him most – – his family and close friends…. (more)
WASHINGTON TIMES — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, an important conservative voice on the high court, has died. Justice Scalia died in his sleep during a hunting trip in Texas, after telling friends Friday night that he didn’t feel well…. (more)
MCCLATCHY DC — Inside the Sunshine Coin Laundry near the Piggly Wiggly supermarket, Lagretta Ellington removed her family’s clothes from one of the large dryers and began to neatly fold them on a nearby table. The air was moist and smelled of detergent. The floor was concrete. Her views of the presidential race were anything but. She was unsettled, and distrustful. The candidates just seemed like entertainers…. (more)
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz claimed Florida Sen Marco Rubio has betrayed his constituents and Donald Trump has hidden his record. Cruz responded to criticism from rival GOP presidential candidates in remarks to reporters in South Carolina…. (more)
WASHINGTON POST — Ted Cruz didn’t do well in New Hampshire on Tuesday, finishing in third place behind Donald Trump and John Kasich. But it’s hard to say he has lost any real momentum; New Hampshire just wasn’t a good state for a candidate like him…. (more)
NEWSMAX — Donald Trump’s salty language may play well in other parts of the country, but is seen as “crass” in the heavily evangelical South, according to members of a Mark Halperin focus group…. (more)
February 16, 2016
“To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity would be to calculate on the weaker springs of human character.” —Alexander Hamilton, 1788
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
During Saturday’s GOP debate, Marco Rubio made the point that “Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him.” Naturally, Hillary Clinton took issue with that factual assertion. “Yes, there was an effort to kill him,” she conceded. “Based on the intelligence that was available, missiles struck what was thought to be a training camp. So it wasn’t like there wasn’t an effort.” Then she added, “I see somebody like Senator Rubio just twisting himself into pretzels, trying to appeal to the base of his party — to try to say things that have no common sense or merit to them.”
She is, of course, dead wrong. As Mark Alexander wrote in 2006, “The fact is, during his eight years in office, Clinton had numerous opportunities to capture or kill Osama, but refused. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Patterson, who carried the ‘nuclear football’ codes for the Clinton administration, notes, ‘[W]e could have prevented the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, we could have prevented 9/11 and we could have prevented the bombings of the embassies in Africa if President Clinton had taken one of these opportunities. … We had eight chances at least to either nab bin Laden or to kill him.’ Michael Scheuer, former CIA chief of the team responsible for hunting bin Laden, confirmed that prior to 9/11 SpecOps had two opportunities when Osama was literally in their sights, but Clinton pulled the plug on both operations.
“Additionally, after 9/11, Clinton admitted he turned down an opportunity to take custody of bin Laden: ‘He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan, and we’d been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again. They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America, so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.’
“Perhaps Mr. Clinton forgot that bin Laden had in 1995 been named a conspirator in the first WTC attack. Later, in his testimony before the 9/11 Commission, Clinton dismissed his own statement as ‘inappropriate’ — which is to say, ‘truthful.'”
Hillary can yammer all she wants about pretzels and lobbing a few cruise missiles, but, if anything, Rubio didn’t go far enough in detailing Clinton’s failure.
In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday, CIA Director John Brennan warned the Islamic State (ISIS) will eventually try to strike the American homeland. “I’m expecting them to try to put in place the operatives, the material or whatever else that they need to do, or to incite people to carry out these attacks,” Brennan said. “So I believe that their attempts are inevitable. I don’t think their successes necessarily are. … Paris was a failure of intelligence. All but one of the eight terrorists were French citizens, trained by ISIS in Syria. They returned, unnoticed, and attacked six locations killing 130 people.”
Brennan’s is similar to the threat assessment given by James Clapper, director for National Intelligence, when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that the Islamic State would attack within the U.S. He added, “In my 50-plus years in the intelligence business, I cannot recall a more diverse array of challenges and crises that we confront as we do today.” Of course, Brennan is anticipating a scenario where the Americans who traveled to fight with the Islamic State attempt to return to our shores. “We’ve contained them,” Barack Obama once said of the Islamic State — just as the attacks in Paris were underway. But that assessment doesn’t take into account homegrown terrorism, the kind already seen in Chattanooga, San Bernardino and Fort Hood.
Donald Trump took aim at the Republican National Committee this week, saying the results of the last debate prove that the party is in violation of the loyalty pledge Trump signed in September. Trump performed poorly during Saturday’s debate. While Trump rose in popularity due to his rhetoric on immigration, the recent debate revolved around the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — and the issue only served to highlight the real estate mogul’s poor record on the judiciary. When Trump tried to attack Jeb Bush for his brother’s handling of 9/11 and the war in Iraq, the audience booed him. To Trump, it meant that the RNC conspired to stack the audience against him, filling seats with “Jeb’s special interests and lobbyists,” never thinking that there might be some voters who realize he’s no friend to the conservative cause and gave him the appropriate response for his foolish comments.
But in Trump-land, that’s not fair, which should absolve him from his pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee, whoever that may be. “I signed a pledge but it’s a double-edge pledge, and as far as I’m concerned they’re in default of the pledge,” Trump said at one of his South Carolina rallies. Commentator Allahpundit believes Trump’s whining is political bluster aimed at drumming up anti-establishment fervor. But if Trump decides to damage the GOP, he could announce a third-party run — something he threatened in the past. Mark Alexander wrote, “This sounds like a set up — ‘I’m being treated unfairly, thus I will run third-party to insure a Democrat victory in 2016!'”
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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Louis DeBroux
“The Constitution is not a living organism. … It’s a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say.” —Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
News of Antonin Scalia’s death was like a kick to the gut for conservatives. Scalia long has been the anchor of the conservative wing of the court. He was a champion of “originalism” — the philosophy of interpreting the Constitution according to the intentions of the men who wrote it. His jurisprudential brilliance and his sharp wit were legendary, and even though he spent most of his career on the Court in the minority, he had more influence in the minority than his lesser colleagues had in the majority. Such was the high quality of his legal reasoning.
His loss is devastating and cannot be overstated.
His passing also throws a huge curve ball into the political circus that is the presidential election year. Constitutionally, Barack Obama is well within his powers to nominate another justice to replace Scalia, even if that nominee will inevitably be a far left-wing radical with barely disguised contempt for the Constitution as originally written. After all, it should not be surprising for a radical leftist president to nominate a radical leftist judge who shares his view that the Constitution “reflected the fundamental flaw of this country.”
At Saturday night’s GOP debate, pretty much every Republican frowned on the idea of Obama, with less than a year left in office, nominating another justice, and most said the Senate should block any Obama nominee. Predictably, Democrats are outraged at the thought of Obama not getting his choice confirmed.
What short memories they have.
First, let’s stipulate that Obama does have the power, even the duty some might argue, to nominate a replacement to the Supreme Court. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, states, “He shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the supreme Court.”
But maybe angry liberals, furious at expected GOP “obstruction,” should recall the words of a newly elected Barack Obama on Jan. 23, 2009, when at the beginning of a meeting to discuss the “stimulus” bill he arrogantly chided GOP Minority Leader Eric Cantor, “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.” Considering that Republicans made historic gains in the U.S. House, Senate, and state governorships and legislatures during the 2010 and 2014 midterms, it would seem that Republicans are well within their rights to demand a Supreme Court nominee that is acceptable to them.
Democrats might also do well to note that Senator Barack Obama voted against George W. Bush nominee and now Chief Justice John Roberts — the same man who saved ObamaCare not once but twice — and filibustered Samuel Alito. In doing so, Obama declared it incumbent upon the Senate to make “an examination of a judge’s philosophy, ideology and record.” It’s worth noting that of the 16 presidents who served in the Senate, Obama is the only one who filibustered a Supreme Court nomination. What goes around comes around.
Furthermore, it was none other than soon-to-be top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who, in 2007, a full 18 months before Bush left office, gave a speech to the liberal American Constitution Society in which he said, “We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances. … They must prove by actions, not words, that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not.”
And then there’s the sordid history of Democrat senators like Chuck Schumer, Ted Kennedy and Obama’s own vice president, Joe Biden, engaging in vicious character assassination of conservative judicial nominees like Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
Democrats are currently pleading that they confirmed Anthony Kennedy in 1988 — also an election year. But they conveniently neglect to mention why that was necessary. Bork, Ronald Reagan’s first choice for the seat, was so thoroughly pilloried and slandered that a new term — “borked” — was coined to describe the attack. Bork was defeated, leaving Reagan to choose Kennedy instead.
And Thomas referred to his confirmation process, which he narrowly passed after Democrats portrayed him as a sexual deviant, as a “high-tech lynching.”
Several 4-4 decisions now loom, leaving bad results in place for Little Sisters of the Poor, Obama’s immigration actions and forced union dues supporting political causes that workers oppose. And with a series of 5-4 opinions from the High Court in recent years deciding the scope of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, our First Amendment rights as pertains to political speech, the legal definition of marriage (and in the process putting our freedoms of religion, speech and assembly at risk), it is absolutely imperative that Republicans hold out for a strict constructionist in the mold of Scalia.
Scalia was a legal giant and, though portrayed as just short of the devil by leftists, a good man who quietly lived by his principles, even when he thought no one was looking, which may be why he was able to be “best buddies” with an ideological opposite like Ruth Bader-Ginsberg. Republicans owe it to his memory, and more importantly, to the never-ending battle for the security and sanctity of the Constitution which Scalia spent nearly half a century honoring and defending, to make sure that the next Supreme Court justice shares his respect and reverence for Rule of Law.
MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE
- ANALYSIS: Trump’s Social Security ‘Fix’
- ANALYSIS: Hillary Seeks to Lock up the Black Vote
- Senator Obama’s Supreme Court Philosophy
- The Rush to Pounce on Scalia’s Death
- More Clinton Email Released, More Redacted Secrets
- EPA Did Nothing When Informed of Flint Water Crisis
- Ohio to Strip Planned Parenthood of State Funds
- A (Gun) Tale of Two Cities
- 10,000 Deaths if Assisted Suicide Legalized Nationwide
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Cal Thomas: Not the America I Knew
- Caleb Verbois: Scalia and the Constitution
- Thomas Sowell: Tragedy and Choices
For more, visit Right Opinion.
- Is Loretta Lynch Most Likely to Replace Scalia?
- Arab Nuclear Arms Race Gets Underway
- Saudi, Qatar, Russia, Venezuela Agree to Freeze Oil Production
For more, visit Patriot Headline Report
OPINION IN BRIEF
Cal Thomas: “In his victory speech following his New Hampshire primary win, Sanders said America was founded on the principle of fairness. No it wasn’t. You don’t find the word ‘fairness’ in the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution. The word you do find is ‘liberty.’ The Founders wanted Americans to be liberated from oppressive, intrusive, dictatorial government and to be free to pursue happiness, according to their definition of the word. Sanders and Clinton aren’t channeling the Founders, they’re channeling Robin Hood. They want to take from people who have sacrificed, invested, risked and worked hard and give the fruits of their labors to others who have not embraced those noble practices. Listening to some of the younger people who are enthralled by Sanders’ philosophy suggests that they have been brainwashed by their public school teachers and college professors. Maybe we should increase the voting age to 30 when they might be expected to have achieved some modicum of success and will resent having their paychecks gutted by dysfunctional government.”
Insight: “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” —William Pitt (1708-1778)
Upright: “Strangely, the percentage of people who said they had ‘never heard of’ Antonin Scalia increased from 29 percent in 2001 to 39 percent in 2005. … This is a free country, and you’re free to not care, and free to not pay any attention to, say, one-third and arguably our most powerful branch of government. … But if you choose to pay no attention to these things, and refuse to read anything about them, watch anything about them, or learn anything about them … then I’d rather you left the voting to those of us who do care.” —Jim Geraghty
Braying Jenny: “Right now, the fundamental principle of ‘one person, one vote’ is at stake in a case before the Supreme Court.” —Hillary Clinton, who’s currently benefiting from one person, 10,000 votes via the Democrats’ system of “superdelegates”
Non Compos Mentis: “I have news for Republicans who would put politics over the Constitution: Refusing to do your duty isn’t righteous, it’s disgraceful.” —Hillary Clinton (Ambassador Chris Stevens was unavailable for comment.)
Speaking of which… “With respect to the Supreme Court at least, I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances. … I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining [John] Roberts and [Samuel] Alito on the court.” —Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2007
Flip-flop: “[The Bush administration] lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq]. There were none. And they knew there were none.” —Donald Trump at Saturday’s GOP debate (“Six years of tough talk and U.S. fireworks in Baghdad have done little to slow Iraq’s crash program to become a nuclear power. They’ve got missiles capable of flying nine hundred kilometers — more than enough to reach Tel Aviv. They’ve got enriched uranium. … [I]f we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion.” —Trump in 2000)
It’s all the Bushes fault: “We do know that one [of the 9/11 terrorists] was here on an expired visa. We also know that they trained in Florida under Jeb Bush’s watch to take down those towers.” —Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson
Alpha Jackass: “I think Ted’s a very unstable guy. … I have never, ever met a person that lies more than Ted Cruz. I have never ever seen anything like it. … And he goes around saying he’s a Christian? I don’t know, you’re going to have to really study that.” —Donald Trump
And last… “This could not be simpler: absolutely do not confirm an Obama SCOTUS nominee. Don’t discuss it; just ignore him, as he does the law.” —actor James Wood
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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Antonin Scalia, RIP
By Bill Muehlenberg US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away yesterday at age 79. The conservative and intellectual heavyweight was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and served faithfully there for 29 years. He was the first Italian-American justice to serve on the court. The conservative justice was known as an originalist, preferring […]
Gladiator-style Takedown of Demonic Forces, Part 1
By Marsha West A large number of Christians throughout the world consider themselves to be spiritual warfare prayer warriors. What they do is known as “intercessory prayer.” Most likely these prayer warriors are connected to a deliverance ministry. Deliverance ministers use “strategic level prayer” to “bind” the “territorial spirits” to remove demons who are in control […]
The post Gladiator-style Takedown of Demonic Forces, Part 1 appeared first on Berean Research.
Death, the prosperity gospel and me
Kate Bowler is 35 years old, a wife, mother of a toddler, an assistant professor of the history of Christianity in North America at Duke University, and the author of “Blessed: The History of the American Prosperity Gospel.” Kate recently found out she has stage 4 cancer. In a piece she wrote for the New […]
The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem
Christianity is in crisis. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, reveals that fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels…12 percent of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife…professing Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples…60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of […]
The post The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem appeared first on Berean Research.
When Anointings Compete – Rafael Cruz Gets Some Pub From Kenneth Copeland
This piece over at Pulpit & Pen includes a video showing Arch Heretic Kenneth Copeland laying hands on GOP candidate Ted Cruz’s father. Many supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz are unaware that dear ol’ dad is ensconced in the unbiblical New Apostolic Reformation movement (NAR). Copeland says he believes with all his heart that Ted Cruz “is […]
The post When Anointings Compete – Rafael Cruz Gets Some Pub From Kenneth Copeland appeared first on Berean Research.
Preach the Word!
Recently I watched a video (posted below) that was so disturbing that I decided to look for something to read to counter the revulsion I felt as “pastor” Troy Gramling promoted his “brand new series.” Hint: PG-13. Parents Strongly Cautioned. I found what I was looking for over at Do Not Be Surprised…. Because of […]
Open Doors USA David Curry: Christians killed for faith up 40%
CEO and President of Christian outreach group Open Doors USA, Dr. David Curry, said 7100 Christians were killed for their faith in 2015, up 40% from 2014.
What the F-Word actually means… and why it should bother us
We hear the f-word so often that it often washes over us. We shouldn’t let it, says Martin Saunders.
African countries clamp down on churches tied to ‘miracle cures’
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Led by charismatic preachers and self-proclaimed prophets, African churches are swelling with promises of miracle healings, signs and wonders. But in recent…
Progressive Christians – Remaking God In Our Own Image
The purpose of the Bible is to reveal God. But for a growing number of progressive Christians, the God they want can’t be found in the pages of Scripture. So they look for Him elsewhere in personal experience, through relationships with other people, and through private interpretations of when they say God “speaks into” their life.
ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)
Are We Called to Literally Eat Christ’s Flesh and Drink His Blood? – “All over the world, on any given day of the week, Jesus Christ’s body is repeatedly sacrificed. According to the Roman Catholic Church, that’s what happens every time they celebrate the Mass—their version of Communion, or the Lord’s Table. In The Faith of Millions—a book certified by the Roman Catholic Church to be ‘free of doctrinal and moral error’—Catholic priest John O’Brien explains what happens during the Mass…”
From Prodigal to Pastor—God’s Not Done With You Yet – “Southern California corporate executive for the fastest-growing fitness company in the world in the mid-1990s, I had the opportunity to experience the devastating effects of life in the fast lane without rules or boundaries. As a result, I often went with the flow of society and focused on everything that the world had to offer. Throughout my 20s, I continued to run from God, searching for identity and truth in everything but His Word. By age 28, I had climbed the corporate ladder. Money and success became my gods and ultimately controlled my life. I was driven but for the wrong reasons. I felt a sense of purpose, but it often left me empty. I was passionate but for the wrong things.”
Does Inerrancy stunt Christians relationship with God through the Holy Spirit? – “Last month I wrote two posts in which I evaluated some arguments that a woman presented for the rejection of Inerrancy. My first post was titled ‘Does 2 Timothy 4:13 undermine the Doctrine of Inerrancy?’ followed by a second that was titled ‘You’re Putting God in A Box:’ The Irony of this argument against Biblical Inerrancy.’ Today’s post I want to look at another criticism offered against inerrancy…”
The Cure for Friendship Evangelism – “It has been said many times by a dear brother in Christ, “Friendship Evangelism as it is most commonly practiced is neither friendship nor evangelism.” This could not be truer even after many years of teachings by several different ministries and church leaders.”
Daughters, Wives, and Mothers in the Military? – “The early chapters of Genesis answer the historical question, ‘Where did wars come from?’ First, Satan led Adam and Eve into sin, which brought about God’s judgment of death (Genesis 2:17 with 3:1–7, 19). Then, Cain murdered Abel (Genesis 4:1–8, cf John 8:44 and 1 John 3:8–12). Lamech later killed (Genesis 4:23). Thereafter, human wickedness became great on earth (Genesis 6:5) and the world was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11, 13). Following the Genesis Flood kings went to war, being first mentioned in the Old Testament at Genesis 14:2–9. Sin in the life of every human being since then has frequently fomented violence and war which will continue until Christ conquers all in the final battle on earth (Revelation 20:8–10).”
Nate Pickowicz – The Judgment of Christ (John 19:12-16)
Muhammad: The White Prophet with Black Slaves
Baptist Pastor vs. Homosexual “Pastor”
“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus. It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur
Do you believe in love at first sight? Charles Wesley did.
Wesley, the prolific hymn writer and itinerant evangelist, met the love of his life on August 28, 1747. Sarah “Sally” Gwynne, was the twenty-one-year-old daughter of his good friend, Marmaduke Gwynne. Wesley later admitted to Sally in a letter that “at first sight of you, my soul seemed pleased to take acquaintance with thee. And never have I found such nearness to any fellow-creature as to you.” After a two-year courtship, Charles and Sally married on April 8, 1749.
All the riches of heaven are ours, given freely because Jesus shares his inheritance with us.
According to biographer John Tyson, Wesley viewed “all of life as an area of God’s activity,” and therefore his “hymns reflected the emotional challenges of real life.” For example, Wesley wrote more than 50 hymns about his courtship and marriage. The dominant theme in these hymns is his concern that his love for Sally and later, for their children, would somehow diminish his commitment to his Savior.
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” was published in 1747, perhaps shortly after Wesley met Sally. The familiar hymn begins this way:
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All Thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.
It’s significant that the first line reads “all loves excelling.” Wesley recognized that his love for Sally filled his thoughts and governed his actions. Yet, as intense as his love for Sally was, Jesus’ love for him exceeded it in both degree and longevity. In that way, his relationship with Sally gave Wesley a greater appreciation for Jesus’ “pure, unbounded love.” Consequently, even as his love for Sally increased, the principle desire of Wesley’s heart was still to glory in Jesus’ perfect love:
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.
Three Aspects of Jesus’ Excelling Love
In what ways does Jesus’ perfect love excel all other loves?
1. He laid down his life for us.
First, as he said himself,
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, NIV)
Sometimes, though, we focus so intently on his work of redemption—his physical death—that we ignore the other sacrifices he made on our behalf.
He left heaven to live on earth for 33 years. Would we be willing to leave the glories of heaven for someone? Jesus also laid aside his position as Sovereign of the universe to walk the dusty roads of Palestine—to feel hunger, pain, and sorrow. Are we willing to lay aside whatever independence and control we possess for someone else? And what if that person, for whom we sacrificed so much, spurned our love and mocked our sacrifice? Would we continue to love them, to pursue them, and to shower them with blessings?
That’s excelling love.
2. He made us co-heirs in the family of God.
Consider also what the apostle John wrote in his first letter:
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are. (1 John 3:1, NIV)
Redemption is an amazing gift. But we have also been adopted into the family of God. “Co-heirs with Christ” Paul wrote in Romans 8:17. Have you thought about that lately? All the riches of heaven are ours—mercy, grace, peace, joy—given freely to us because Jesus is willing to share his inheritance with us. Would we give someone else full access to our inheritance?
That’s excelling love.
3. He imparts his very life to us.
Third, as John writes in the chapter 4 of that same letter,
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. (1 John 4:9, NIV)
Jesus imparts his life to us so may become “like him” (1 John 3:2), or as Paul put it, “conformed” to his “likeness” (Romans 8:29).
The Message explains “conformed” so beautifully:
[God] decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son . . . . We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him” (Romans 8:29).
And Jesus, our High Priest, intercedes for us daily in heaven so that through his life in us, we may indeed become all that he intends us to be (Hebrews 7:25).
That’s excelling love.
Lost in Wonder, Love, and Praise
When we meditate on these three facets of Jesus’ perfect love for us, we may be as overwhelmed with wonder as Wesley was:
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
In the same letter to Sally mentioned at the beginning of this post, Wesley also wrote,
O that [our love] may bring us nearer and nearer to God, till we are both swallowed up in the immensity of His love!
May that be our prayer too. May we see every human relationship—spouse, child, or friend—as an opportunity to understand the love Jesus has for us on a deeper level. On the other hand, may we never allow any earthly relationship to draw us away from him. Neither should we attempt to find in human relationships what only he can provide—the “pure abounded love,” the all-excelling love, that makes it possible for us to even begin to love others as he has loved us.
How else does Jesus’ perfect love excel all other loves?
 Assist Me to Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley. John R. Tyson. Eerdmans, 2007. (Wesley’s letter quoted on pp. 154-156; Tyson quotation from p. viii.)  THE MESSAGE. Copyright by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
- Seven Distinguishing Marks of Genuine Love
- Called to Be Object Lessons for Christ
- Brought Near by the Blood of Jesus
Is forgiving forgetting? What should you do when you remember the pain of a hurt? This article by guest writer Lee Lewis appeared first here on the Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is used with permission.
I have been in and around church my entire life. As I have gotten older, there are certain “church sayings” that I have had to check for their truthfulness. One such phrase is “forgive and forget.”
Since pain is so pervasive, it doesn’t take long to see the ripple effects years beyond its origin in your life. If a person has hurt you so that forgiveness is necessitated, then what are you to do when you remember the pain? Is it as simple as forgiving and forgetting? Is that what God’s Word calls you to do? How would God call me to process a remembered pain?
Is the Saying ‘Forgive and Forget’ Biblical?
The phrase “forgive and forget” is not found in Scripture. However, Scripture does say that love keeps no record of wrongs and that love conquers a multitude of sins. But does this mean you simply forget the sin committed against you? “Forgive and forget” most likely comes from passages like Psalm 103:12 and Micah 7:19.
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)
Because of Christ’s atoning work on the cross, God will never again allow the knowledge of these sins to play a part in relating to you. Christ reconciles you to God the Father, who then sees you as washed us white as snow (Isaiah 1:18) through Christ’s shed blood.
Humans are not able to do this perfectly like God does, and this is why regular reminders of the gospel are so important.
Christ’s atoning work on the cross perfectly covers all of your past, current, and future sins. So any pain you have dealt with in the past, are dealing with in the present, or will deal with in the future is perfectly cared for by Jesus.
The gospel frees you up! You have been forgiven so you are able to forgive (Col. 3:13, 2 Cor. 5:18-19).
So to answer the above question, “Is the saying forgive and forget biblical”? No, it is not. But God perfectly models what forgiveness entails through Christ. You are called to walk in the power that is extended to you through his mercy. To let the pain from a past hurt or offense keep you from walking in healing is to misunderstand the all-encompassing work of the gospel to save, sanctify, and glorify us.
How Do You Process Remembered Pain in Light of Forgiveness?
This question assumes that a person has forgiven an offense or is humble and open with the process of forgiveness. Where there is no evidence of either of these scenarios, then forgetting is used as a form of self-protection or a form of avoidance that’s unwilling to press into painful situations. Neither leads to life and joy in Christ.
There are those times when God takes memories of heartache and pain away. So it isn’t that forgetting isn’t possible. Scripture simply does not couple forgiving and forgetting.
In 2 Corinthians 7:10 Paul comments on the pain and sorrow. He writes, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
First, there is a worldly grief that is horizontal in focus. This is a remembering of pain and sorrow that is shallow, consumed by bitterness, and filled with self-pity. With worldly grief, the filter for processing the remembered pain is not the gospel. Instead of the pain and suffering being brought under Christ’s sufferings (1 Peter 4:13) through the power of the gospel, any filtering of past sufferings that have endured is done the way the rest of the world might do it.
Second, there is a godly grief expressed in earnestness, eagerness, longing, and concern (2 Corinthians 7:11). This leads to salvation! Earlier I mentioned Christ’s atoning work covering past, present and future sins. This is where you see this part of the gospel erupt on your behalf.
When memories of pain and sorrow caused by others come up, you have this promise at hand: Through Christ you are freed up to remember the pain endured and not to be determined by the memory. Second Corinthians 5:17 says it best: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
How Do You Turn Remembered Pain and Sorrow into a Godly Sorrow?
- Look vertically first. There are so many things that can quickly provoke a memory. Not too long ago I was thumbing through a book I was given before I went to college. Immediately my mind went back to several painful memories associated with that period. I found myself critiquing my current living in light of the disappointment and pain I had experienced all those years ago. In God’s grace, however, I quickly realized how I was sinking. God reminded me of His faithfulness during that season of my life. The painful memory quickly became a point of praise and gratitude to the Lord.
- Bring your sorrow underneath Christ’s sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). When old sorrows come beckoning, the tendency is to remember the hurt as if you were alone. If you go to your island of pain, then you miss the triumph that comes in sharing in Christ’s sufferings. In bringing memories of pain under Christ you acknowledge that you have not been left alone. Your story of pain becomes His story of redemption. It is laid down for His glory!
- Be teachable before the Lord. Honestly and humbly ask the Lord to reveal anything He might want to teach you in light of the memories. In my own life the Lord has taught me about His faithfulness and my deep need for him over and over again. I have also seen many times over the years how God has used remembered pain and sorrow in people’s lives to reveal bitterness they had in their hearts. As we look to the Lord’s forgiveness of our sins, the glorious gospel propels us into the world as agents of grace.
- Worship God! As he disarms your heart and gently pours Truth over the memories, you should allow the gratitude and worship to flow towards Christ.
Join the conversation
What do you think hinders people the most in moving beyond past hurts? What ways have you used to help people grasp the significance of forgiveness in such cases?
Today’s Kindle deals include Truth Endures by John MacArthur ($2.99); A Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick ($2.99); God’s Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace ($2.99); Uncensored by Brian Cosby ($1.99); Relativism by Greg Koukl ($1.99). The volumes in the Perspectives series are also $0.99 or $2.99: Perspectives on the Sabbath; Perspectives on the Ending of Mark; Perspectives on Your Child’s Education; Perspectives on Family Ministry; Perspectives on the Doctrine of God; Perspectives on Election; Perspectives on Church Government; Perspectives on Children’s Spiritual Formation; Perspectives on Spirit Baptism; Perspectives on Tithing; Perspectives on Christian Worship; Perspectives on the Extend of the Atonement; Perspectives on Our Struggle With Sin.
Logos has several of the excellent ZECNT commentaries on sale for just $9.99 each: Matthew, Luke, Acts, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, James. At that price you’ll want to add these to your library!
There is truth to this. “One aspect of gospel-centrality remains under-emphasized among us: interpersonal reconciliation.”
Smithsonian: After an ambitious monument went bust, big dreams—and big heads—remain.
Jen Wilkin has a word for dads.
“Does the God of the Old Testament need anger management? I have no easy answer. But I do know that we must take the text as it actually presents itself. If we let it stand on its own terms, we begin to find clues.”
Jess Sheely reflects on what God has been teaching her as she’s engaged in one-to-one Bible reading evangelism.
This Day in 1497. 519 years ago today, Lutheran reformer and theologian Philip Melanchthon was born. *
Here are some stunning winter photos.
David Murray has collected a big list of resources for biblical exegesis.
Fasting does not change God’s hearing so much as it changes our praying. —Don Whitney
Posted: 16 Feb 2016 06:37 AM PST
Professor Peter Bofinger, a special advisor to the Berlin-based government, said Italy and Spain could potentially be forced out of the euro and back to their own currencies under new plans. Under the proposed scheme, investors who hold Eurozone government-issued debts through bonds would have to accept write-offs on the value of their investment before the group steps in to offer bailout cash.
Professor Bofinger believes the move could cause a “bond crisis” where investors dump debts in countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal, for fears that they could have to accept the write downs, sending the cost of borrowing sky-high. He told the Telegraph: “It is the fastest way to break up the eurozone. “A speculative attack could come very fast. If I were a politician in Italy and I was confronted by this sort of insolvency risk I would want to go back to my own currency as fast as possible, because that is the only way to avoid going bankrupt.” READ MORE
The post Euro on the brink of Disaster: Germany’s debt plans could send currency into Meltdown appeared first on End Time Headlines.
Posted: 16 Feb 2016 06:26 AM PST
The French government is planning an international peace conference to reach a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) – and it appears that France is placing the burden of reaching a settlement on Israel. On Tuesday French officials met with representatives of both Israel and the PA to present the basic framework of the peace conference. According to an AP report, the conference is being planned for this summer.
France’s proposed peace conference would include not only Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but the US, European powers, and other Arab states. Should the effort fail to produce a negotiated final status agreement, France says it will act unilaterally to recognize a Palestinian state; a thinly veiled ultimatum to Israel. The announcement of the planned peace conference comes on the heels of opposing statements on Monday by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin encouraging a return to direct bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki rejecting any direct negotiations with Israel. READ MORE
The post French Ultimatum to Israel: Accept PA demands or else appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Palestinian Authority Says “No more negotiations with Israel”, Ever
Posted: 16 Feb 2016 06:23 AM PST
In an unprecedented statement Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki explicitly rejected the possibility of renewed direct negotiations with Israel – ever. While visiting Japan on Monday, Malki pledged to never again engage with Israel in direct negotiations towards a final settlement. “We will never go back and sit again in direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”
In what may have been a response to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s statements on Monday to US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power calling for a resumption of direct talks with the PA, Malki both rejected the idea of an invitation to return to the negotiating table and suggested that Islamic State (ISIS) may be poised to take over Judea and Samaria. “If Daesh [ISIS] take advantage of lack of any brokers…then of course, they might come and try to fill it,” explained Malki. “This is very dangerous.” Malki referenced the recent spike in Arab terrorism, expressing sympathy with young terrorists and the cause they represent. READ MORE
The post Palestinian Authority Says “No more negotiations with Israel”, Ever appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Cashless Crisis: “With Digital Payments, Civilization Comes To An End Until Power is Restored”
Posted: 16 Feb 2016 06:18 AM PST
The coming brave new world may also be a fragile one. As most of the Western world is pushed into abandoning cash and embracing a fully digital cashless grid, it is apparent how vulnerable populations will become in times of crisis. If the power grid were to go down in a storm or an attack, it is readily apparent that the system of commerce would go down with it; payments would stop and desperate people would line up for help. Those with their own supplies, barter items and physical commodities will remain the most comfortable, but the very fabric of society could come unglued.
Will they really ban cash when so much could go wrong? Paul-Martin Foss writes for the Carl Menger Center: Cash is being displaced by credit and debit cards, which are themselves beginning to be displaced by new digital currencies and payment systems … But despite all the advances brought about by the digital revolution, there are still quite a few drawbacks. The most obvious is that it is reliant on electricity. One major hurricane knocking out power, a mid-summer brownout, or a hacker attack on the power grid could bring commerce to a halt. With cash, transactions are still possible. With digital payments, civilization comes to an end until power is restored. Unless you have food stored or goods with which to barter, you’re out of luck. Just imagine a city like New York with no power and no way to buy or sell anything. It won’t be pretty. READ MORE
The post Cashless Crisis: “With Digital Payments, Civilization Comes To An End Until Power is Restored” appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|World War III Approaches: Saudi Arabia And Turkey Drop Hints That An Invasion Of Syria Is Imminent
Posted: 16 Feb 2016 06:15 AM PST
(Michael Snyder) As you read this article, Turkish forces are massing along the border with Syria, and the largest “military exercises” in the history of the Middle East are being held in northern Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are publicly warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “will be removed by force” if a political solution cannot be found, and Turkey is claiming that it may have to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria “for humanitarian purposes”. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies have poured massive amounts of money and arms into the conflict in Syria, and now that their Sunni insurgents are on the verge of total defeat, they are trying to come up with a way to justify going in there and doing the job themselves.
For the Saudis, their focus is on trying to convince everyone that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an extremely dangerous dictator that must be removed at all costs. The following comes from the London Independent… Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be removed by force if the peace process fails, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister has said. “Bashar al-Assad will leave – have no doubt about it,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN. “He will either leave by a political process or he will be removed by force.” READ MORE
The post World War III Approaches: Saudi Arabia And Turkey Drop Hints That An Invasion Of Syria Is Imminent appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|China Warns That North Korea will ‘pay a price’ for its recent behaviour
Posted: 16 Feb 2016 05:10 AM PST
China’s foreign ministry on Monday urged the United States and North Korea to sit down with each other face-to-face and resolve their problems, as tension continues to climb on the Korean peninsula after North Korea’s latest rocket test. While China was angered by the launch, it has also expressed concern at plans by Washington and Seoul to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system, saying it would impact upon China’s own security.
“The focus of the nuclear issue on the peninsula is between the United States and North Korea,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing. “We urge the United States and North Korea to sit down and have communications ...READ MORE
The post China Warns That North Korea will ‘pay a price’ for its recent behaviour appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Turkey and Russia to spark new Cold War: Now Putin accuses Turks of Helping ISIS in Syria
Posted: 15 Feb 2016 06:45 PM PST
In one of the deadliest days of the five-year conflict, rocket attacks destroyed two separate hospitals in rebel-held areas where medical help is desperately needed. In the first, a health facility backed by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was completely destroyed during an attack on Maaret al Numan, about 170 miles north of the capital Damascus. In a second attack, at least 14 civilians were killed when missiles hit a children’s hospital, a school and other locations in the rebel-held Syrian town of Azaz, near the Turkish border.
Turkey immediately blamed Russian jets for the bombing, which left at least 14 people dead and 30 wounded. A resident said a refugee shelter south of the town was also hit by bombs dropped by jets believed to be Russian. But the Kremlin quickly responded to the allegations, accusing Ankara of assisting “fresh jihadi groups and armed mercenaries” to penetrate Syria illegally to replenish battle-battered Islamic State fighters. READ MORE
The post Turkey and Russia to spark new Cold War: Now Putin accuses Turks of Helping ISIS in Syria appeared first on End Time Headlines.
Our Time is Short
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.
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 In A Nutshell
Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.
Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl
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
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.
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John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.
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