Aug 31 2011

WOE TO those who devise iniquity and work out evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they perform and practice it because it is in their power; They covet fields and seize them, and houses and take them away; they oppress and crush a man and his house, a man and his inheritance; Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, against this family I am planning a disaster from which you cannot remove your necks, nor will you be able to walk erect; for it will be an evil time; I will surely collect the remnant of Israel; The [a]Breaker [the Messiah] will go up before them; Note, Over and over again the prophets unveiled the full dimensions of God’s judgment and salvation. God must punish His rebellious people but will afterward redeem them. Israel will be carried into captivity, yet a remnant will return. The Messiah, the One who breaks open the way, will lead them back home, and will restore the kingdom of David.

Tag: Israel PropheticSage @ 7:48 pm

Micah 2:1-13 [show/hide]Micah 2 Woe to the Oppressors [2:1]Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. [2]They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. [3]Therefore thus says the LORD: behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be a time of disaster. [4]In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you and moan bitterly, and say, "We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! To an apostate he allots our fields." [5]Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the LORD. [6]"Do not preach"--thus they preach-- "one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us." [7]Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Has the LORD grown impatient? Are these his deeds? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly? [8]But lately my people have risen up as an enemy; you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war. [9]The women of my people you drive out from their delightful houses; from their young children you take away my splendor forever. [10]Arise and go, for this is no place to rest, because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction. [11]If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, "I will preach to you of wine and strong drink," he would be the preacher for this people! [12]I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men. [13]He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king passes on before them, the LORD at their head.
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

1WOE TO those who devise iniquity and work out evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they perform and practice it because it is in their power.

2They covet fields and seize them, and houses and take them away; they oppress and crush a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.

3Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, against this family I am planning a disaster from which you cannot remove your necks, nor will you be able to walk erect; for it will be an evil time.

4In that day shall they take up a [taunting] parable against you and wail with a doleful and bitter lamentation and say, We are utterly ruined and laid waste! [God] changes the portion of my people. How He removes it from me! He divides our fields [to the rebellious, our captors].

5Therefore you shall have no one to cast a line by lot upon a plot [of ground] in the assembly of the Lord.

6Do not preach, say the prophesying false prophets; one should not babble and harp on such things; disgrace will not overtake us [the reviling has no end].

7O house of Jacob, shall it be said, Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted, impatient, and shortened? Or are these [prophesied plagues] His doings? Do not My words do good to him who walks uprightly?

8But lately (yesterday) My people have stood up as an enemy [and have made Me their antagonist]. Off from the garment you strip the cloak of those who pass by in secure confidence of safety and are averse to war.

9The women of My people you cast out from their pleasant houses; from their young children you take away My glory forever.

10Arise and depart, for this is not the rest [which was promised to the righteous in Canaan], because of uncleanness that works destruction, even a sharp and grievous destruction.

11If a man walking in a spirit [of vanity] and in falsehood should lie and say, I will prophesy to you of wine and strong drink, O Israel, he would even be the acceptable prophet of this people!

12I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely collect the remnant of Israel. I will bring them [Israel] together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture. They [the fold and the pasture] shall swarm with men and hum with much noise.

13The [a]Breaker [the Messiah] will go up before them. They will break through, pass in through the gate and go out through it, and their King will pass on before them, the Lord at their head.– Amplified Bible

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 2:13 [show/hide]Micah 2:13 [13]He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king passes on before them, the LORD at their head.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    Over and over again the prophets unveiled the full dimensions of God’s judgment and salvation. God must punish His rebellious people but will afterward redeem them. Israel will be carried into captivity, yet a remnant will return. The Messiah, the One who breaks open the way, will lead them back home, and will restore the kingdom of David.
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Aug 31 2011

THE WORD of the Lord that came to Micah, Hear, all you people; listen closely, O earth and all that is in it, and let the Lord God be witness among you and against you, the Lord from His holy temple; For behold, the Lord comes forth out of His place and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth; And the mountains shall melt under Him and the valleys shall be cleft like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place; All this is because of the transgression of Jacob and the sins of the house of Israel; Therefore I [the Lord] will make Samaria a [a]heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards; and I will pour down into the ravine her stones and lay bare her foundations; Note, In his book Syria and Palestine, written in the nineteenth century, Van de Velde, after visiting Sebaste or Samaria, wrote: “Samaria, a heap of stones! Her foundations discovered, her streets plowed up and covered with corn fields and olive gardens! Samaria has been destroyed; her rubbish has been thrown down into the valley; her foundation stones lie scattered about on the slope of the hill.” Through the inspiration of the omniscient and omnipotent God, Micah was able to foretell all this more than 2,000 years before.

Tag: Israel PropheticSage @ 6:25 pm

Micah 1:1-16 [show/hide]Micah 1 [1:1]The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. The Coming Destruction [2]Hear, you peoples, all of you; pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. [3]For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. [4]And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place. [5]All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem? [6]Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards, and I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations. [7]All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, all her wages shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste, for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return. [8]For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches. [9]For her wound is incurable, and it has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem. [10]Tell it not in Gath; weep not at all; in Beth-le-aphrah roll yourselves in the dust. [11]Pass on your way, inhabitants of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame; the inhabitants of Zaanan do not come out; the lamentation of Beth-ezel shall take away from you its standing place. [12]For the inhabitants of Maroth wait anxiously for good, because disaster has come down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem. [13]Harness the steeds to the chariots, inhabitants of Lachish; it was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, for in you were found the transgressions of Israel. [14]Therefore you shall give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath; the houses of Achzib shall be a deceitful thing to the kings of Israel. [15]I will again bring a conqueror to you, inhabitants of Mareshah; the glory of Israel shall come to Adullam. [16]Make yourselves bald and cut off your hair, for the children of your delight; make yourselves as bald as the eagle, for they shall go from you into exile.
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

1THE WORD of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw [through divine revelation] concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

2Hear, all you people; listen closely, O earth and all that is in it, and let the Lord God be witness among you and against you, the Lord from His holy temple.

3For behold, the Lord comes forth out of His place and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.

4And the mountains shall melt under Him and the valleys shall be cleft like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.

5All this is because of the transgression of Jacob and the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not [the idol worship of] Samaria? And what are the high places [of idolatry] in Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?

6Therefore I [the Lord] will make Samaria a [a]heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards; and I will pour down into the ravine her stones and lay bare her foundations.

7And all her carved images shall be broken in pieces, and all her hires [all that man would gain from desertion of God] shall be burned with fire, and all her idols will be laid waste; for from the hire of [one] harlot she gathered them, and to the hire of [another] harlot they shall return.

8Therefore I [Micah] will lament and wail; I will go stripped and [virtually] naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals and a lamentation like the ostriches.

9For [Samaria's] wounds are incurable and they come even to Judah; He [the Lord] has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem.

10In Gath [a city in Philistia] announce it not; in [b]Acco weep not at all, [betraying your grief to foreigners; but among your own people] in Beth-le-aphrah [house of dust] roll yourself in the dust.

11Pass on your way [into exile], dwellers of Shaphir, in shameful nakedness. The dwellers of Zaanan dare not come forth; the wailing of Beth-ezel takes away from you the place on which it stands.

12For the inhabitant of Maroth [bitterness] writhes in pain [at its losses] and waits anxiously for good, because evil comes down from the Lord to the gate of Jerusalem.

13Bind the chariot to the swift steed, O lady inhabitant of Lachish; you were the beginning of sin to the Daughter of Zion, for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.

14Therefore you must give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath [Micah's home town]; the houses of Achzib [place of deceit] shall be a deception to the kings of Israel.

15Yet will I bring a conqueror upon you, O lady inhabitant of Mareshah, who shall possess you; the glory and nobility of Israel shall come to Adullam [to hide in the caves, as did David].

16Make yourself bald in mourning and cut off your hair for the children of your delight; enlarge your baldness as the eagle, for [your children] shall be carried from you into exile. — Amplified Bible

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 1:6 [show/hide]Micah 1:6 [6]Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards, and I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    Samaria was captured by the king of Assyria around 722 B.C. (II Kings 17:6 [show/hide]2 Kings 17:6 The Fall of Israel [6]In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ), and was besieged and demolished by John Hyrcanus around 128 B.C. In his book Syria and Palestine, written in the nineteenth century, Van de Velde, after visiting Sebaste or Samaria, wrote: “Samaria, a heap of stones! Her foundations discovered, her streets plowed up and covered with corn fields and olive gardens! Samaria has been destroyed; her rubbish has been thrown down into the valley; her foundation stones lie scattered about on the slope of the hill.” Through the inspiration of the omniscient and omnipotent God, Micah was able to foretell all this more than 2,000 years before.
  2. Micah 1:10 [show/hide]Micah 1:10 [10]Tell it not in Gath; weep not at all; in Beth-le-aphrah roll yourselves in the dust.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) suggests this rendering: “in Acco weep not at all.” Acco was a coastal city about 25 miles south of Tyre.
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Aug 31 2011

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon - 31st August 2011

Tag: Verse of the DaySage @ 4:56 pm

August 31

Morning

“On mine arm shall they trust.”
Isaiah 51:5

In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on his God alone. When his vessel is on its beam-ends, and no human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God. Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone! There is no getting at our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends; but when a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn, he flies into his Father’s arms, and is blessedly clasped therein! When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then than at any other time. Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives thee to thy Father! Now that thou hast only thy God to trust to, see that thou puttest thy full confidence in him. Dishonour not thy Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears; but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee. Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Now is the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as he built the heavens and the earth, glorify himself in thy weakness, and magnify his might in the midst of thy distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye. May the Holy Spirit give you to rest in Jesus this closing day of the month.

Evening

“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light.”
1 John 1:7

As he is in the light! Can we ever attain to this? Shall we ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as he is whom we call “Our Father,” of whom it is written, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all?” Certainly, this is the model which is set before us, for the Saviour himself said, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect;” and although we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, yet we are to seek after it, and never to be satisfied until we attain to it. The youthful artist, as he grasps his early pencil, can hardly hope to equal Raphael or Michael Angelo, but still, if he did not have a noble beau ideal before his mind, he would only attain to something very mean and ordinary. But what is meant by the expression that the Christian is to walk in light as God is in the light? We conceive it to import likeness, but not degree. We are as truly in the light, we are as heartily in the light, we are as sincerely in the light, as honestly in the light, though we cannot be there in the same measure. I cannot dwell in the sun, it is too bright a place for my residence, but I can walk in the light of the sun; and so, though I cannot attain to that perfection of purity and truth which belongs to the Lord of hosts by nature as the infinitely good, yet I can set the Lord always before me, and strive, by the help of the indwelling Spirit, after conformity to his image. That famous old commentator, John Trapp, says, “We may be in the light as God is in the light for quality, but not for equality.” We are to have the same light, and are as truly to have it and walk in it as God does, though, as for equality with God in his holiness and purity, that must be left until we cross the Jordan and enter into the perfection of the Most High. Mark that the blessings of sacred fellowship and perfect cleansing are bound up with walking in the light.

- From Bible Gateway.Com

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Aug 31 2011

Church Sues Former Pastor For ‘Stealing’ Members?

Tag: State of the ChurchSage @ 4:51 pm

From Christian Post.Com

Paula White’s Without Walls International has filed a lawsuit against a former pastor from one of its sister churches for allegedly luring members from the congregation to his own place of worship.

In the lawsuit filed last week, Without Walls International Church (WWIC) accuses Randy L. Coggins of making “derogatory statements and allegations” about WWIC while serving as executive pastor at Without Walls Central church (WWC).

He is also accused of using church property and assets for his own personal use, as well as luring away congregants from WWC to his own ministry, Bridge of Hope Church in Lakeland, Fla.

White serves as pastor of both WWIC, which is located in Tampa, and its Lakeland branch WWC.

Coggins, who founded Bridge of Hope Church with wife Sandy Coggins, said he was surprised by the lawsuit, in which the plaintiff requests more than $15,000 in damages.

“I just pray this will be able to be resolved in a godly and Christian manner. These are churches we’re talking about, and churches are not supposed to engage in this arena,” Coggins told The Ledger.

Coggins, who uses the title “bishop,” refused to tell The Ledger the size of his congregation.

On Friday morning, the Facebook page for Bridge of Hope Church had 87 “likes.”

White and ex-husband Randy White founded WWIC in 1991, when it was named the South Tampa Christian Center. The couple divorced in 2007 and White took over as senior pastor of WWIC in 2009.

In April, White publicly discussed her decision to divorce her husband, which she has described as amicable.

In the summer of 2010, the WWIC pastor was accused of having an affair with televangelist Benny Hinn. White denied those allegations.

- Prophecy News Watch

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Aug 31 2011

Jerusalem: Capital of ‘Palestine’?

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 4:27 pm

From Front Page Mag.Com

Throughout all of history, Jerusalem has been the capital of only one nation: Israel. From the time of Kings David and Solomon, late 11th – 10th centuries BCE, to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE, almost 1,100 years, Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish nation.

From the onset of Islamic rule in 638 CE to its end 1917, except for Crusader rule from 1099 to 1187, Jerusalem was never the capital of any Muslim state, nor even a provincial capital, until late Ottoman times (19th c. CE) when it became a special provincial religious site (vilayet) separate from its larger provincial area.

Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Qur’an. “The Night Journey,” in chapter 17:1, recounts Mohammed’s magical flight on the back of the winged horse, el-Buraq, and his landing in “al-Aqsa” (literally, the faraway mosque), which is interpreted by later Muslim scholars to be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; but Jerusalem is not mentioned in the text. The Temple Mount, however, is acknowledged in Muslim tradition to date back to Solomonic times. In A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif, published by the Supreme Moslem Council in Jerusalem in 1925, Muslim scholars expounded upon the antiquity and sanctity of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, stating that it dates to earliest times, certainly to the time of the Israelite kingdom, and is identified beyond dispute with the site of Solomon’s Temple.

In a description of the Temple Mount area known as “Solomon’s Stables,” which Islamic Waqf officials in Jerusalem converted into a mosque in 1996, the guide states: “…little is known for certain about the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon’s Temple… According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D.”

And the above is consistent with Muslim tradition. Islamic post-Qur’anic texts recount that originally Muhammed prayed toward Jerusalem (and not Mecca), making Jerusalem Islam’s first Qibla (direction toward which Muslims should pray). This tradition is based upon the account on the Qur’an’s chapter 2, verses 144 &149-150, where we read that Mohammed changed the direction of prayer to Mecca. The Qur’an does not state where the first Qibla was, and Jerusalem is not mentioned in the text; but later tradition preserved in biographies of Mohammed and in some Hadith collections (especially Sahih al-Bukhari) indicates that the original direction was toward Jerusalem. However, today there is some rather acrimonious debate among Muslim scholars of Islamic history about when and why the change came about, and if it came about at all; but what is important for this study is that the change, if it did happen, effectively nullified any religious significance that Jerusalem might have had for Islam. If it did not happen, then Jerusalem had no religious significance for Islam, ever.

For centuries thereafter, Jerusalem played little or no role in the religious affairs and development of Islam. In the 13th century, Ibn-Taymiyya, a major Muslim cleric and ideological godfather to later Saudi Wahhabism, wrote extensively about Jerusalem, demonstrating from Muslim sources that there were only two holy cities in Islam – Mecca and Medina. Ibn Taymiyya​ went to great lengths to explain that the veneration of Jerusalem was nothing more than the “Judaization” of Islam.

So how did Jerusalem become Islam’s third most sacred place? — By subterfuge.

In the late 680’s, just 50 years after Mohammed’s death, a civil war erupted among the Muslims. The Umayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik, who at that time ruled from Damascus, wanted to put down a revolt by his Muslim enemies who controlled Mecca, the place of pilgrimage. In order to weaken them, he created a counter-pilgrimage site in Jerusalem in 691, to compete with Mecca and to which to redirect pilgrims who might have decided, once in Mecca, to take up the rebels’ cause. He therefore built a mosque, the “dome of the rock,” on the site where Solomon’s Temple had been build in Jerusalem, and declared Jerusalem “al-Quds” (the sacred place). So Jerusalem’s sanctity to Muslims originates with a political and propagandistic ploy.

Under centuries of Muslim and Crusader rule, Jews were prohibited from, or limited in their access to, the city’s holy sites. Even the sacred precinct of the Temple Mount fell in to neglect and disrepair and disuse, due to the Muslim world’s lack of interest in Jerusalem.

With Zionist immigration to Israel in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Jerusalem again blossomed; and with the growth of the Jewish population in the city, the non-Jewish population grew too. Under British control (British Mandatory Palestine, 1917-1948), the city expanded even more, growing to a population of almost 300,000, more than half of whom were Jews.

The UN Partition Plan, UNGAR #181, Nov. 29, 1947, declared Jerusalem to be an international city under a special mandate. Israel accepted the plan, but the Arab world rejected it and declared a genocidal war against Israel. Against all odds, the Jews won, but Jerusalem was divided by the 1949 UN Armistice lines. West Jerusalem, in Israel, flourished, and became again, for the first time in almost 2,000 years, the capital of the Jewish state. East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, under an uncaring and illegal Jordanian sovereignty, languished, impoverished and neglected, much as it had during the centuries of Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid and Ottoman rule.

After the 6-day war (June 5-10, 1967), Jerusalem was re-united, under legal Israeli sovereignty, and East Jerusalem was annexed to the State of Israel. The West Bank was not annexed, as the Israeli government had offered, at the UN, to cede back to Jordan all of the West Bank except for Jerusalem. Jordan spurned the offer.

But Arafat recognized the PR value of al-Haram ash-Sharif in Jewish hands, and he milked it for all it was worth. “The Dome of the Rock turned up in pictures everywhere, from Yasir Arafat​’s office to the corner grocery. Slogans about Jerusalem proliferated and the city quickly became the single most emotional issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict.” The PLO began to specifically mention Jerusalem in its 1968 constitution as “the seat of the Palestine Liberation Organization.”

Other Muslim leaders followed Arafat, and the importance of Jerusalem for Islam spread suddenly throughout the Muslim world. “….the Islamic Republic of Iran has made Jerusalem a central issue, following the dictate of its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini​, who remarked that Jerusalem is the property of Muslims and must return to them.”

So today there can be no “Palestine” without Jerusalem, thanks in large part to Arafat’s adroit machinations.

It is obvious from the above that the importance of Jerusalem to the Muslim world is a function solely of political circumstances. The high religious sanctity for Muslims of the Holy City and the Temple Mount, and the claim that Jerusalem is Islam’s third holiest site, are all convenient political ploys.

Today Muslim scholars and political leaders deny the Jewish heritage of Jerusalem, and claim Muslim veneration for the city and for al-Haram ash-Sharif from the days of Adam for one reason only: Jerusalem is now under Jewish sovereignty.

-Prophecy News Watch

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Aug 31 2011

Pajamas Media: News Index - 31st August 2011

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 11:45 am

From Pajamas Media.Com

Wednesday August 31, 2011

Gunwalker Cover-Up Accelerates: Ken Melson Reassigned

by Patrick Richardson

ATF whistleblower Vince Cefalu tells PJMedia: “It’s no secret that they’re cleaning house.”

READ bullet

Postscript on Dominique Strauss-Kahn and His Accuser

by Jack Dunphy

DSK may not be a criminal, but he’s no gentleman, either.

READ bullet

Two Major Examples of Why We Can’t Trust the Mainstream Media

by Ron Radosh

The left revives the “threat of theocracy” from the right.

READ bullet

Green vs. Tea, Round 1: Party Battle Napa

by Zombie

The Tea Party Express trekked into Napa, deep in the blue heart of California, where they were met by Green Party and union protesters.

READ bullet

Debates Will Separate the Contenders from the Also-Rans

by Ryan Mauro

Five GOP presidential debates in the next six weeks will tell the tale of the race.

READ bullet

An American Prisoner in Cuba

by Jaime Daremblum

The Castro government should not receive any concessions until USAID worker Alan Gross is released.

READ bullet

An Arrest in Politkovskaya Murder Case

by Kim Zigfeld

A high ranking Moscow security official has been charged in the crusading journalist’s gangland-style killing.

READ bullet

Iran’s Two-Front War

by Michael Ledeen

The Azeris are now demonstrating, upset over the regime’s purposeful neglect of Lake Orumiyeh.

READ bullet

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Aug 31 2011

Obama Ignores Israel’s Daily Hurricanes

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 11:30 am

From American Thinker.Com

August 31, 2011

By Lauri B. Regan

The day before Hurricane Irene swept through New York, I received a concerned email from a cousin in Israel asking if we were properly prepared to weather the storm.  I responded that I was not too concerned and thought the media and politicians were a bit over the top with the evacuations, warnings, and coverage.  The next night, as Americans up and down the east coast remained hunkered down in the safety of their homes, a Palestinian terrorist stole a taxi, ran over two individuals, and then stabbed a number of others outside of a Tel Aviv night club.  I emailed my cousin and explained that this is the exact reason that I cannot get excited over a storm — an act of God.  My cousin agreed, saying, “Yes, these are our day to day hurricanes here…”

Israel’s day-to-day hurricanes are not caused by acts of God.  They are caused by acts of man — hostile, dangerous, and irrational men (and women).  And while humans cannot control the weather, they can erect structures that can withstand wind and rain, hurricanes and tornados; they can build satellites that predict and track weather patterns, providing warning systems to escape the upcoming danger; and they can prevent loss of life.

On the other hand, there is not much that Israel can do to protect herself from the unpredictable acts of crazed lunatics who wish her and her people complete annihilation.  And the few steps that she has taken have been attacked by the international community which treats Israel and her citizens as terrorists should be in a sane world.  From the barrier erected to protect Israeli citizens from suicide bombers (which has been quite successful) to retaliatory strikes aimed at terrorists rather than full Arab civilian populations (despite the fact that terrorists hide both themselves and their weapons among their populations), Israel is continually demonized at the United Nations, in the international press, and on streets and college campuses across the globe.

Not surprisingly, the Obama administration has turned a blind and biased eye to the storms that Israel confronts daily.  The New York Times recently reported on the White House guidelines issued to government officials across the world instructing them how to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  One of the themes in the document is not only to recognize that the attacks are not “just about us,” but also that “Americans must be prepared for another attack — and must, in response, be resilient in recovering from the loss.”

As we commemorate the citizens of over 90 countries who perished in the 9/11 attacks, we honor all victims of terrorism, in every nation around the world[.] … We honor and celebrate the resilience of individuals, families, and communities on every continent, whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London.

Conspicuously absent from this official White House policy statement is our ally, Israel.  This is appalling.  While all of these other countries have faced terrorism, Israel is the one country in the world that faces it daily from all sides — including its border with its former friend Egypt thanks to the Mideast policies of the Obama administration.  It is the one country that is threatened with annihilation on a regular basis.  It is the one country that this administration has bullied and threatened over and over again since Obama entered the White House.  And to issue guidelines recognizing the resilience of individuals from a litany of countries that specifically excludes Israel is simply a disgrace.

As the United States’ most important strategic ally, Israel has provided our country’s military with invaluable knowledge in the asymmetrical warfare that our troops abroad regularly face in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Israelis have obtained this knowledge not only from the multiple wars of aggression against her since her founding but because of the resilience that the Jewish people have acquired from millennia of attacks.  It is the Jewish people in general, and Israelis in particular in the latter part of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century, who have taught the world what resilience is and how to survive the never-ending perfect storms of violence and aggression.  To ignore this reality is not only to ignore the lessons of history, but it is cause for real concern over just how out of touch the Obama administration is.

Barack Obama has proven to be an abomination at leading this country.  Conservatives and liberals alike agree that the failure of leadership from the White House is leading America down the road to demise.  Were it not so sad, it would be amusing that Obama chose to use an act of God for his first attempt at real leadership.  But taking the helm at the FEMA offices prior to Hurricane Irene is not leadership — it was a simple covering-his-butt political stunt.

Leadership is what we see every time that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu speaks both here in the US and abroad.  He does not need two giant teleprompters for a three-minute speech announcing his selection for a new member of his administration.  Netanyahu understands storms and the need for his citizens to be resilient because he and all Israelis live in the path of a hurricane daily and it is his responsibility to ensure that his people survive each and every storm.

Leadership is also what House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen exhibited when she unveiled her U.N. reform bill on Tuesday.  In the lead up to the Palestinian bid at the UN for a unilateral declaration of independence, Ros-Lehtinen has introduced a bill to cut off U.S. funding of any U.N. agency that recognizes a Palestinian state prior to resolution of the Mideast peace process (the bill also would cut off U.S. funds to UNRWA and the U.N. Human Rights Council).  It is no surprise that the White House has reflexively come out in opposition to this bill.  As Jonathan Tobin recognized:

Obama’s “don’t worry, be happy” approach to the UN has done nothing to convince its members to stop trying to kill the peace process by voting to recognize an independent Palestinian state without first requiring it to make peace with Israel. Nor has the administration used its supposedly weighty influence at Turtle Bay to transform UNRWA or the Human Rights Council, both of which exist primarily in order to perpetuate the Arab war against Israel.

September is hurricane season here in the U.S.  For Israel, every day is hurricane season; however, September may present her with another perfect storm.  In response to intelligence indicating that there is another viable terror threat on her border with Egypt, the Israeli navy has moved two warships to that border.  At the same time, Iran has just announced that it is moving a fleet of ships to the area. The ceasefire with Gaza will last only until one of Hamas’ crazed lunatics decides to once again begin firing rockets into Israel.  And these same people will turn to the U.N. in the hopes that its member-states will approve a unilateral declaration of statehood for the Palestinian people.

Israelis have built effective defensive weapons systems but they cannot build a bomb-proof bubble over their entire country.  They have built satellites and drones that can detect and shoot down some of the missiles aimed at their country and citizens but they cannot destroy every fanatic firing at them from his local mosque or schoolyard.  They can attempt to prevent loss of life but without leadership from allies and the civilized world, when a hurricane approaches, Israelis can only pray that an act of God will save them.

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Aug 31 2011

Chilling Free Speech in the Great White North

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 11:19 am

From American Thinker.Com

August 31, 2011

By Terry Heinrichs

Americans aware of journalists Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn are likely also aware that these two were hauled before Canadian “Human Rights Commissions” for supposed speech-crimes.  Levant was pursued because he published the Mohammed cartoons, and Steyn, for, well, casting some Muslims in a bad light.  Both men had their cases dropped, probably because they were articulate, famous, and had relatively deep pockets. Others who have been charged have not been so lucky.  While such commissions stand as a serious threat to an open public discourse, they are not the only menace “controversial” speech faces in Canada.

Speech in the U.S. is subject to many types of restrictions, but there is no law that criminalizes “hate speech” as such.  Canada has such a law.  It punishes citizens for up to two years in the slammer for “communicating statements, other than in private conversation” that “willfully promote hatred against an identifiable group.”  This law, passed in 1970, has not been widely used.  It has been deployed about 15 times since 1993, all but twice against impecunious white Canadians.

However, the Canadian government is currently considering a bill which would amend the hate speech section of the Criminal Code in ways that expand the reach of the Act and give the government greater power over the content of what Canadians may say.  One amendment would add “national origin” to the list of “identifiable groups” which would then read: “any section of the public distinguished by color, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.”  Another proposal would change the wording of “communicating” from “communicating by telephone, broadcasting or other audible or visible means” to “communicating by any means and includes making available [the objectionable speech].”

The “national origin” amendment simply adds another basis for grievance to an already expansive collection.  For example, referring to Germans or Poles as “Krauts” or “Polaks,” or saying that “the French are “surrender monkeys,” could earn the person who utters such words a visit from the police.  And don’t think that because everyone has a race, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin, if not a religion, that the act will apply across the board.  Not a chance.  The Canadian Supreme Court has narrowed the application of an “identifiable group” to cover only those who could be considered “disadvantaged.”  For the Jews and Yanks among us, this means Palestinians and Pakistanis, not Israelis or Americans.

The “communicating” amendment is even more expansive and potentially much more dangerous.  “Communicating by telephone, broadcasting, or other audible or visible means” is already expansive enough; adding the phrase “making available” renders the term almost boundless.  According to the Parliament’s Legislative Summary of the bill, the term “making available” specifically includes “creating a hyperlink that directs web surfers to a website where hate material is posted.”

Readers of this publication are surely aware of hyperlinks.  In fact, I just produced one above.  It shows up blue and sends the interested reader to an internet website for any number of reasons — in this case to verify the claim just made.  But hyperlinks are used for many purposes, sometimes to direct readers to sites of which the sender approves, other times to sites of which he disapproves, and other times to different sites for different reasons which you are left free to imagine.

What has drawn the ire of those who worry about the threat to free expression contained by the phrase “creating a hyperlink” is that one may be investigated, charged, and even fined and imprisoned for simply linking to (i.e., “making available” to others) a site considered by the authorities to be hate-promoting.  Nor is this provision easily cabined.  It would apply to “any means” of communication.  This would include words (written or spoken) in any manner — including all print, oral, and internet “social media” (cell phones, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Facebook, Twitter, blogs) and whatever other media are either currently available or about to be introduced.  The fear of some critics is that one could accidentally run afoul of the law by innocently linking to a suspect site.  Other opponents of the legislation argue that the state has no business at all checking into one’s linking history.  All of the bill’s critics are aghast at the range of the types of media that are included in the legislation.

To what extent are these concerns real?  On balance, the criticisms are certainly justified; however, there are narrowing elements of the law that some critics tend to overlook.  For example, no one can be prosecuted without the permission of the attorney general of the province in question.  This provision is meant to prevent overzealous officers or prosecutors from launching criminal proceedings whenever passion moves them.  Moreover, no one can be convicted if their communication was part of a private conversation.  The rub is to what extent, if any, cell phone, iPad, etc. conversations are considered by the courts to be “private.”  At this point in time, the matter is not clear — so there is good reason to be concerned.

No one can be convicted unless the promotion of hatred was “willful” — that is, intended.  This last proviso is the kicker.  The person charged must specifically intend to promote hatred.  Though the Court has weakened the proviso in recent years by holding that the test is met by a lesser standard of “willful blindness.”

Moreover, for the accused, there are certain defenses available that might offer him an out.  Truth is a defense; however, the defendant has the burden of persuasion.  Also, a person can be exonerated if he can show he’s arguing “an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text.”  (The “Koran made me do it” defense.)  In addition, an accused may go free if his statements “were made in good faith, relevant to any subject of public interest,” believed to be true on “reasonable” grounds, and intended for “the public benefit.”  Finally, someone can walk if he can convince the court that, “in good faith,” his intention was to lessen the degree of hatred — not promote it.  (The “I’m just showing how awful these people are” defense.)

What these provisos suggest is that the situation might not be as grave as some critics argue.  Still, not everyone is articulate, connected, and fortunate enough to be able to contest such broad grounds for accusations of hate speech.  For most Canadians simply to have the police snooping around and investigating their private communications is frightening enough.  Since these amendments would expand the reach of the Act to increase the number of grievers and cover a greater variety of media, if passed, the new law will increase the likelihood that conversations about national groupings will be chilled still further.  People will steer away from controversial statements about nationality issues for fear that they will come under investigation for hate promotion.

All forms of communication would be targeted.  With no clear standard of what is private and what isn’t, one’s comments about “fags,” “gypsies,” “Japs,” Jews, or Muslims on Twitter, or wherever, however discreet, might stir the interest of the police.  In any case, if the state does not intervene, it won’t be because of anything a citizen can control.

Because the proposal targets “hatred,” a vague and subjective concept at best, Canada’s hate speech law is by that fact alone a serious threat to freedom of expression.  In Canada, saying something remotely hostile to the interests or self-image of an “identifiable group” is already imprudent; to broaden the law’s reach, as the proposed amendments surely will, promises to freeze such discussion altogether.

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Aug 31 2011

A Violent Racist Game Claims More Victims

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 11:12 am

From American Thinker.Com

August 31, 2011

By John T. Bennett

One man was stomped to death and another man nearly killed in a racist amusement called the “knock-out game,” currently being played by black teenagers.  The victims were both white, and that fact needs to be raised in our national conversation about race.

PC disclaimer: only a tiny fraction of blacks play this game, and the vast majority of blacks do not condone violence of any kind.  With that established, consider the facts:

Half-brothers Elliott T. Murphy, 18, and Deonta “Fuss” Johnson, 16, were recently convicted of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the heinous stomping death of 61-year-old Jerry Newingham and the stomping attack of 46-year-old Kevin S. Wilson.  The two convicted were part of a group of 9 blacks.  Their two victims were white.  The brutal murder took place in Decatur, IL, a place commonly known as “a classic Midwest USA small city.”  They group was playing the “knock-out game.”

The game is as cruel and ignorant as it sounds.  The only rule is to pick a victim and try to knock them out.  The group of black teens in Decatur discussed playing the game, before going out and finding a random victim for their unprovoked attack.  They called it the “point ‘em out, knock ‘em out” game.

After being let out of school, the teens began their fun.  They “randomly” selected a white person to play along.  The teens punched, kicked, and then jumped on and stomped their first victim, Mr. Newingham.  He never regained consciousness after being mauled by the feral teens.

Seventy minutes later, the group beat up Kevin Wilson, who also just happened to be white.  One witness said he saw Murphy jump on Wilson’s head — jumping with both feet.  That witness said that Wilson was not even moving during and after the attack.  Another witness, a 14-year-old girl, told a detective, “They were jumping on him like he was a trampoline, basically.”

This is not the first time the game has been played. Such attacks have been reported in Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New Jersey.  It was played on a large scale in Wisconsin, with as many as 18 suspects arrested for involvement.  Students in Chicago have produced a community service movie speaking out against the game.

The “game” is not always lethal, but sometimes it is.

In St. Louis earlier this year, a 72-year-old man named Hoang Nguyen was walking with his wife, Yen, when four “young people” approached them.  One first grabbed Hoang and moved his face to the side to make a “clear target for his fist,” recalled his wife.  Nguyen was punched so hard that he fell to the ground and struck his head.  Then the attacker turned on Nguyen’s 59-year-old wife, punching her so hard that she suffered a broken eye socket.  She could only watch as her husband was then kicked repeatedly by another one of the misunderstood youth.  Hoang succumbed to his injuries later that day.  A young black male, 18 years old, is charged with first-degree murder in that attack.

In general, the knockout game involves “unprovoked attacks on innocent bystanders,” according to police who have had to deal with it.  A retired police officer explains, “Normally it was a group of black males, one of which would strike [the victim] as hard as he could in the face, attempting to knock him out with one punch.”  The victims are typically not robbed, but simply punched with no provocation.  One would be hard-pressed to find an example of whites playing this “game.”  Given the racial make-up of victims and attackers in this trend of crime, it makes sense to ask whether there is a racial motive involved.

Between the flash mobs and the knock-out game, we have very good reasons to change the way we think about racism in America.

Why is the racial make-up of these crimes the way it is?  Is it because non-blacks are more attractive as victims?  If so, then it would be accurate to say that non-blacks are being targeted.  Maybe they’re not being targeted out of racial animosity, but surely any form of racial selection is by definition a racial problem.

Are the victims non-black because non-blacks will have more to steal?  That explanation makes sense when there is a robbery, but many times there is not.  One thing is certain: if the races were switched, this game — combined with the flash mobs — would be considered a national crisis.  There would be a chorus of wailing and gnashing anguish the likes of which hasn’t been seen in over fifty years.  We would all be made to confess that racism has reemerged.  The attacks would be treated as a reflection of a massive, looming problem.  We would be talking about our nation’s rotten, racist soul if whites were playing this game.

Instead, the races are reversed, and there is resolute silence about the racial aspect of these attacks.

Of course, not all interracial crimes are necessarily racial, and not all racial crimes are hate crimes.  When a 68-year-old white woman named Sally Katona-King was pushed down a flight of steps and killed at a Chicago train station by a black teen named Prince Watson, that was not necessarily a racial crime.  Watson had just robbed a woman at the train stop.  As he was running away, he tried to jump over the 68-year-old woman, but instead knocked her down.  There is nothing clearly racial about that, in terms of motive or intent to target the victim because of her race.

In contrast, a group of young whites decided that they wanted to “go f**k with some n*****s,” then later killed a black man named James Craig Anderson.  That will almost certainly be found a hate crime, and rightly so.  But that attack earned a special on CNN, while violence against non-blacks is not treated with the same level of attention, demonstrating a racial double standard that is quite frankly sinister.  That double standard is seen most clearly in the scant coverage of the Wichita Massacre, and the Christian-Newsome killings.  Few people even know the horror committed by blacks against whites in those killings.

Of course, not every group has a habit of framing everything that happens in life in racial terms.  Not every group sees its interests in racial terms, and perhaps we should be grateful for that.  But if we’re going to talk about the level of racism in America, we must make note of the disproportionate racial violence occurring.  Department of Justice statistics show that 33% of white murder victims are killed by a non-white, while only 8% of black murder victims are killed by a non-black.  Greater disparities exist in violent crimes and robbery (1).  Considering the population distribution, those disparities should trouble all of us, regardless of race.

While schools, politicians, and activists produce a steady drumbeat of criticism about white racism or “hate,” there is much happening right in front of us that cancels out that narrative.

When 85-year-old Yoko Cullen of Belleville, IL, was burned alive in the trunk of her car by three black carjackers, race probably was a factor.  Those charged in her murder first abducted and carjacked her.  But why did they choose her, of all people?  Police say that she was probably an “easy target.”  Funny — that’s exactly what a black teen in Wisconsin said when he was asked why he and hundreds of other blacks randomly beat whites at the state fair this month.

John Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, MAPSS ‘07) is a veteran, writer, and law student at Emory University living in Atlanta, GA.


1. Violent State Prisoners and Their Victims, Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics 5, July 1990 quoted in James B. Jacobs and Kimberly Potter, Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics 17 (1998).

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Aug 31 2011

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Tag: Verse of the Day/WeekSage @ 11:06 am

From KHouse.Org

**MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK**


Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:5-8 KJV

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