Jul 13 2014

World Population Day – Management vs. Manipulation

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 6:31 pm

From KHouse.Org

In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 per day.

— Jacques Yves Cousteau

On Earth Day, lovers of the environment focus on celebrating the beauty of the planet and protecting its resources. On World Population Day, however, there is no rejoicing over the abundance of beautiful people on the globe; instead, there is a focus on slowing, and even reversing, the growth of the human family.

In 1965, the global population had just passed 3.5 billion. Half a century later, the number of humans on the planet has more than doubled to about 7.2 billion, according to the U.S. Census population clock. In the interest of putting the brakes on the tendency we have to make more people, this year’s World Population Day (July 11) will be celebrated by focusing on the children we already have (and raising awareness to the importance of not having any more). This year’s theme is “Investing in Young People” by making sure they have access to reproductive health information and services. As John Seager at Population Connection wrote in 2012, “Our population is growing rapidly. Our Earth is not. Something has to give.”

Pamela Barnes, president of EngenderHealth, claims that more than 220 million women on Earth do not have access to the contraception they desire. She wrote recently in The Huffington Post, “If women and girls can access contraception, they are more likely to finish school, they will have fewer children by choice, and they are more likely to prosper.” Barnes may be truly interested in bettering the lives of millions of women, but what about those women who are proud to have babies, who long to have little ones in their arms? World Population Day isn’t celebrated with those women in mind.

A conference on “Investing in Young People” was held in Abuja, Nigeria on July 7 to focus on making the world a better place for the next generation. Nigeria is the most populous African country and the 7th most populated country in the world. It deals with the many challenges of feeding and hydrating, housing and clothing, teaching and providing plumbing for 175 million people. By improving literacy and by increasing education on contraception and family planning, the conference leaders hope to improve the health and economic situations of young men and women in Nigeria and around the world.

Seager wrote, “Adding 80 million people a year to the Earth’s population puts extraordinary strain on our natural resources. Experts project that in less than 50 years, we might add another 2 billion to 4 billion people to our planet. All of those people need food, water, clean air and space — necessities that are already running in short supply in many areas.”

It is easy to worry about the population of the planet when managing public sanitation in New Delhi or providing water for the explosion of humanity in Phoenix. It’s easy to feel angry when children die from malnutrition and contaminated water. According to the World Health Population, children in developed countries are 16 times more likely to survive past the age of five than children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Yet, is population control really as important as some think it is? Driving from St. Louis, Missouri to Seattle or from Magadan, Russia to Moscow, it is clear that there is still a vast amount of open space on this little blue planet.

Education, Not Manipulation

At a 2012 family planning conference in London, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda called for people to be cautious about blaming poverty on population growth. Museveni pointed out that middle class women already tend to have fewer children, and he blamed poverty on socio-economic problems and a lack of development in poor countries. He encouraged promoting the spacing of children, but he also called for care to properly inform poor women and not push contraception onto them.

“Those administering family planning services to the uneducated should explain to them carefully what they entail so that they can seek out these services out of informed choices and not manipulation,” Museveni said.

The best thing African nations like Nigeria can do is improve infrastructure and keep young men employed and out of terrorist groups like Boko Haram. Promoting stability will go a long way to ensuring that all Nigerian children have food and clean water.

Wasted Food

There’s plenty of food and water on this planet, but we don’t make the best use of it. The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that one-third of all the food produced for humans is wasted every year. According to the BBC, Europeans throw away 100 million tons of food each year, and only about 40% of the food we Americans produce ever gets eaten. We don’t have a population problem as much as a management problem.

Charities like City Harvest have jumped into the gap to take “imperfect” produce out of the hands of farmers and stores and get it into local food banks and shelter soup pots. Onion farmer Chris Pawelski can only sell a portion of his onions to grocery chains, because consumers want pretty-looking onions that have a certain size and shape. He’s started to donate the rest of his perfectly good but less physically appealing onions to City Harvest so they don’t go to waste. In 2014, City Harvest will rescue an estimated 46 million pounds of food.

Large Families

It can even be said that large families are good for the world. Children from large families are often forced to manage their resources with serious efficiency. They learn to make the most of what they do have, taking every meal, every set of clothes, every bike and vehicle as far as they can make it go. There is little waste. There is little room for complaining about food they don’t like. Resourcefulness becomes an important, life-long skill. The world’s water problems, sanitation problems, food production problems may very well be put in order by the minds of people who came from large families.

Ultimately, the issue of population control comes down to a question of God’s wisdom and foresight. If we believe we are on our own, the product of millions of years of evolution, then we have a responsibility to make sure humans don’t overgraze themselves to death. On the other hand, if we believe in a God who values human life, a God who was able to look through time and see the vast number of people who would be born, we can trust He made the planet big enough to hold us all. Our job is to take care of one another and do our utmost to make sure that every child born is treated with the value we all have in Christ.

Notes

  • World Population Day: Nigeria’s Teenage Population Hits 60m – NPC Boss
    — Leadership Newspaper -Addressing a World of Inequities on World Population Day
    — The Huffington Post
  • World Population Day
    — Time and Date
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    Jul 13 2014

    The Holy Land: Bombs and the Fast of Tammuz

    Tag: Israel TodaySage @ 6:22 pm

    From KHouse.Org

    This year, the Fast of Tammuz will begin at sundown on July 14th, but the recent events in Israel have opened the door for early grief.

    The Fast of Tammuz begins the Three Weeks of Mourning leading up to Tisha B’Av (9th of Av), which will start at sundown on August 5th. The recent slaying of three kidnapped Israel teens led to the vindictive death of a Palestinian teen. Since Monday night alone, more than 130 rockets have showered Israel from Gaza, and Israel has responded by strategic strikes on Gaza sites. The Israeli Cabinet has authorized the calling up of 40,000 troops, and a temporary invasion of Gaza seems imminent. The Holy Land is primed for mourning even before the Three Weeks have started.

    Thirteen people have been killed so far in Gaza strikes, including seven people involved in a human shield on the roof of the home of Hamas militant members. Palestinian sources say two of those used as a human shield were children. Palestinian men often use women and children as human shields to discourage Israeli attacks. Israel has confirmed that militant Hamas leader Mohammad Sha’aban, considered “a senior Hamas terrorist,” was killed.

    In the meanwhile, targets in Gaza are called by telephone and informed by leaflet that their houses are destined for bombing because terrorists are making use of them. The leaflets urge civilians to not allow their homes to be used for digging tunnels or smuggling weapons. “Don’t stand idle as the terrorist elements use you,” some leaflets have said.

    Israel has arrested suspects in the killing of the Arab teen, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the kidnapping of the three Jewish teens who were murdered. All involved worry that the emotionally charged situation will cause the region to tumble into instability and lead to another intifada.

    Muslims have been fasting since the beginning of the month of Ramadan on June 28th. The Jews’ time of fasting is on its way, and both religious groups will be fasting together, like it or not.

    The 9th of Av is a familiar date for Jewish grief. On both occasions when foreigners destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, they did it on the 9th of Av. Many other tragedies befell Israel on this date throughout history. The 9th of Av is not alone, however. The 17th of Tammuz has also been filled with suffering for the Jewish people. Beginning on July 14th, many observant Jews fasted to commemorate five tragedies that befell Israel on 17 Tammuz throughout history.

    On 17 Tammuz:

    • Moses broke the tablets of the Law after seeing the people dancing around the golden calf they had made while he was on Mt. Sinai. (Exodus 32:19 [show/hide]Exodus 32:19 [19]And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. (ESV)
      This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
      ). The LORD later replaced the tablets (Exodus 34 [show/hide]Exodus 34 Moses Makes New Tablets [34:1]The LORD said to Moses, "Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. [2]Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. [3]No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain." [4]So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. [5]The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. [6]The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, [7]keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." [8]And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. [9]And he said, "If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance." The Covenant Renewed [10]And he said, "Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you. [11]"Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. [12]Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. [13]You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim [14](for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), [15]lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, [16]and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods. [17]"You shall not make for yourself any gods of cast metal. [18]"You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. [19]All that open the womb are mine, all your male livestock, the firstborn of cow and sheep. [20]The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty-handed. [21]"Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. [22]You shall observe the Feast of Weeks, the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end. [23]Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel. [24]For I will cast out nations before you and enlarge your borders; no one shall covet your land, when you go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year. [25]"You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover remain until the morning. [26]The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk." [27]And the LORD said to Moses, "Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." [28]So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. The Shining Face of Moses [29]When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. [30]Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. [31]But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. [32]Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. [33]And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. [34]Whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, [35]the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him. (ESV)
      This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
      );
    • The daily sacrifice ended during Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem for lack of sheep and other sacrificial animals;
    • The Romans broke through the walls of Jerusalem shortly before the 2nd Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70;
    • Years prior to the Great Revolt, the Roman general Apostumus burned a scroll of the Torah;
    • An idol was erected in the Temple.

    The three week period between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av is called Bein Hametzarim — “between the troubles.” On the Sabbath during the Three Weeks, passages on the Temple’s destruction and the exile of the Jewish people are read from Isaiah and Jeremiah. During this period of time, Orthodox and other observant Jews refrain from the following:

    • wearing new clothes
    • listening to music
    • bathing for pleasure
    • shaving or hair cutting
    • weddings
    • drinking wine or eating meat
    • long journeys

    While the Fasts of Tammuz and Av (the 4th and 5th months) are a time of mourning, many Jews believe that after the future redemption of Israel, these days of mourning will be turned into days of feasts and rejoicing. As the LORD told the prophet Zechariah:

    The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.”

    Zechariah 8:19 [show/hide]Zechariah 8:19 [19]"Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

    As rockets shoot toward Israel and bombs fall on Gaza, peace seems a distant dream. We know it will come, though, when the Messiah takes His throne in Jerusalem and the Prince of Peace Himself ushers in His Kingdom.

    Notes

  • Israel Warns Gaza Targets by Phone and Leaflet
    — The New York Times
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    Jul 13 2014

    Islamic Hatred: The Foundation of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

    Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 6:04 pm

    From KHouse.Org

    The beauty, more aptly stated, the ugly in writing about the Middle East is nothing really changes. You could do a piece today or a decade ago about a homicide bomber, or “peace talks” being broken off for some reason or other, or violence escalating. The dictates fueling this contention remain the same.

    Arafat Turns Down Peace

    The following is a summation according to Dennis Ross, the senior adviser to President Clinton at the Taba negotiations in 2000:

    1. Yasser Arafat presented no ideas at Camp David.
    2. The Taba talks would have happened in late September if not for the outbreak of violence. Arafat knew the US was ready to make a proposal and thus promised to control the violence, but didn’t. (I think he was hoping that he could leverage the violence into political gain.)
    3. All of Gaza and a net of 97% of the West Bank were offered at Taba.
    4. The West Bank area offered was contiguous, not “cantons.”
    5. The Jordan valley would be under Israeli patrol for only 6 years.
    6. The Palestinians were offered a capital in eastern Jerusalem.
    7. There would be a “Right of Return” to the nascent Palestinian state.
    8. A $30 Billion fund to compensate refugees would be set up.
    9. Taba was rushed due to Clinton’s, not Barak’s, end of term.
    10. Members of the PA delegation thought Taba was the best they could hope to get and encouraged Arafat to accept it.
    11. Arafat accepted everything he was given at Taba, but rejected everything he was supposed to give.

    Arafat scuttled the Camp David offer. Arafat scuttled the Taba offer. Arafat scuttled the Mitchell plan. Arafat scuttled the Tenet plan. Arafat scuttled the Zinni plan.

    Most looking for a “just” solution to this age-old conflict would agree with Ross on this one. But equally the old adage, “the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” also came into play 8 years later.

    Abbas Turns Down Peace

    On September 16, 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert presented Mahoud Abbas with a similar plan for a two-state solution: He offered to make Jerusalem the capital of two states—Israel in the western part and a Palestinian capital in the east. The Old City of Jerusalem would be administered by a committee made up of so-called wise people including Palestinians, Jordanians, Saudis, Americans and Israelis. Surprising to some but not to others, Abbas likewise turned it down.

    Short of total Israeli capitulation on all topics of concern, it’s evident these issues—including statehood itself—are not what’s driving this conflict. If it was, a compromise could have been reached 66 years ago when the Arab world turned down the creation of a free, democratic, Palestinian state to live peacefully alongside its nascent sibling, the Jewish state of Israel.

    Foreshadowing the future, the night before the U.N. was to vote on Partition, September 16, 1947, Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha, as would his successors in years to come, rejected compromise and statehood opting instead for war. What was his motivation? Why would Arafat and Abbas later follow suit?

    For anyone not named Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or George W. Bush for that matter, it’s not difficult to ascertain. This is not and never was a secular dispute.

    Islamic Hatred of Jews

    The underlining issue here is indoctrinate enmity of Jews taught to generations of Palestinians, past, present and most likely future.

    As moms and dads get ready to send their kids off to summer camp to participate in boating, camping, and sports, Palestinian parents are sending nearly 10,000 boys at a time to another type of camp in the Gaza Strip.

    At this camp some of the crafts taught are how to kidnap an Israeli soldier. Children between the ages of 6–16 are enriched by learning the fine art of crawling under barbed wire. The final activity for the day is a game of jumping over burning tires and ducking for cover behind sandbags as counselors fire live rounds over their heads.

    The detestation of Jews, not just Israelis, is intrinsic in the Islamic world. No Pollyanna, political spin can deny this. To be certain, the hatred is populist, it’s ubiquitous amongst the Palestinian people, the vast majority of which are adamantly opposed to any rapprochement with Israel.

    What animus can be greater than a mother happily sending her children to commit suicide for the sake of a cause?

    At the funeral of Izz Al-Din Al-Masr, the infamous homicide killer that blew up the Sbarro restaurant killing 15 people in 2001, his mother had this to say:

    By Allah, today is the best day of my life. I feel that our Lord is pleased with me, because I am offering something [my son] for Him. I wish to sacrifice more [sons] for Allah’s forgiveness, and for the flag of Islam.

    Juxtapose this admonition with that of Naphtali Fraenkel’s mother, one of the kidnapped [and murdered] Israeli teenagers: “We just want to embrace our children.” It’s unmistakable, the Palestinian mindset indicates a theological clash of civilizations, not a secular dispute.

    Such rancor is beyond the limits most rational people can fathom. Yet it’s the reality of the Middle East conflict. As they’ve pressured and cajoled Israel into unrequited tangible concessions, it’s perplexing that the Obama Administration doesn’t distinguish or doesn’t care to recognize that from the Palestinian standpoint, this is a holy war. Palestinian mothers aren’t sending their kids off to meet Allah because some guy extended his porch in a Jewish settlement.

    More likely they are responding to the invocations of a moderator at a Fatah event in 2012 who proclaimed: “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of religion and faith. Long Live Fatah!” At least he’s honest. Lauding the “moderate” faction of the new “unity” government, the speaker was just echoing Article 7 of the Hamas Charter of 1988:

    “Hamas has been looking forward to implementing Allah’s promise, whatever time it might take. The prophet [Muhammad] said: ‘The time (of Resurrection) will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 0 Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!’”

    — Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985

    This quote and countless others come from scriptures in the Koran and the words of the Prophet Muhammad found in the Hadith.

    The crux of this conflict goes even beyond dar-al Islam, the Islamic concept which doesn’t allow for a non-Muslim country to exist on land claimed by Islam. The expressed aims of Hamas, Hezbollah, and their offshoots isn’t just to banish Israelis from Israel, or even to return them to submissive dhimitude, it’s to kill Jews—plain and simple. Political correctness aside, that’s the bottom line that even the Left in Israel is grudgingly beginning to acknowledge.

    As stated earlier, when speaking of the Middle East conflict, nothing ever changes except employing modern tools, and resurgent Islam is once again on the move. For those willing to remove blinders from their eyes it’s not difficult to ascertain that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is just one battle in a religious war being fought by Muslim zealots throughout the world. In defeating Islam at the battle of Tours in 732, Charles Martel recognized this. Hopefully, before it’s too late Western leaders will see it as well today.


    Jerry Sobel is a writer specializing in the Middle East conflict. For the past 40 years his essays have appeared in hard copy and cyber publications throughout the world. The Israeli Advocate goes out to 26,000 people, once a month.

    Notes

  • “Kill Jews for Allah”
    — Palwatch
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    Jul 13 2014

    Important News Headlines - 8th July 2014

    Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 5:56 pm

    From KHouse.Org

    Important News Headlines

    Rockets hit north of Tel Aviv as Hamas dramatically ups range - July 08, 2014

    Israel launched a major operation against Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza in the early hours of Tuesday morning, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, following heavy Hamas rocket fire over the preceding days. The fast-escalating situation in the south comes in the shadow of spiking Jewish-Arab tensions in Israel over the brutal killings of four teenagers — three Jews and one Arab — by extremists.

    The Times of Israel

    Forgotten vials of smallpox found near D.C. - July 08, 2014

    Scientists last week discovered several vials of smallpox — one of the deadliest diseases known to man — in an unused storage room at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials say there’s no health risk from the vials — either to NIH employees or the public. The vials of smallpox, which apparently date to the 1950s, were “immediately secured” in a CDC containment lab, according to a CDC statement. NIH officials alerted the CDC about the smallpox July 1.

    USA Today

    Obama holds off on deportation changes, seeks $3.7B to address border crisis - July 08, 2014

    President Obama is holding off on seeking legal changes to speed up the deportation process for illegal immigrant children, but is seeking more money than initially expected from Congress to deal with the crisis on the U.S.–Mexico border. The president sent a massive $3.7 billion request seeking funds for everything from transportation costs to border enforcement to surveillance to health services.

    FOX News

    Scientists Withdraw Claim About Making Stem Cells - July 02, 2014

    Scientists who reported that they’d found a startlingly simple way to make stem cells withdrew that claim Wednesday, admitting to “extensive” errors in the research. In two papers published in January in the journal Nature, the researchers said that they’d been able to transform ordinary mouse cells into versatile stem cells by exposing them to a mildly acidic environment. Scientists hope to harness stem cells to grow replacement tissue for treating a variety of diseases.

    NBC News

    Medical staff warned: Keep your mouths shut about illegal immigrants or face arrest - July 02, 2014

    A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, sources say.“There were several of us who wanted to talk about the camps, but the agents made it clear we would be arrested,” a psychiatric counselor told me. “We were under orders not to say anything.”

    FOX News

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    Jul 13 2014

    Hacking the Think Tanks

    Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 5:48 pm

    From American Thinker.Com

    Shifting its focus from spying on the countries on its periphery, cyber experts say China has moved to interests farther afield. Specifically, China’s leaders have apparently been trying to figure out what the United States is going to do about the emerging chaos in Iraq after ISIS seized over a third of Iraqi territory. In an operation called “Deep Panda,” Chinese cyber spies targeted the top strategic think tanks and policy organizations in Washington for answers.

    It has long been the case that China’s “official” hackers targeted U.S. government organizations and institutions. But focusing on think tanks is something that is, apparently, new.

    One presumes that the Chinese wanted to read the private e-mails as well as texts and opinion pieces of American-based experts to try toget an inside handle on America’s strategic posture toward Iraq. While we don’t know which organizations were targeted, it is likely the Chinese chose the ones they felt are most closely aligned with the current administration because their experts would have close ties to Obama’s National Security Council, Pentagon, CIA, State Department and, possibly, to other “insiders” who use think tanks as sounding boards.

    It has been said that one can eat out every day in Washington by visiting different policy organizations for the ubiquitous “luncheon panel and discussion.” Foreign governments with representation in Washington, who generally devote a lot of effort to gleaning policy information, often find it easier to learn the nuances of American government thinking and talk to those who talk to administration sources than it is to get appointments with the sources themselves. China, like Russia, and all the friendlier countries (UK, Japan, Israel, and many others) make the rounds, collect information, and send it home.

    But this time, China opted to collect information by hacking, not meeting. Why?

    By relying on a secret operation to steal information, China’s leaders probably thought they could find out more than think tank specialists would be willing to tell them in public discussions. For one thing, China is not in good odor today, even with the liberal think tanks that support the Obama Administration. That is in part because China is a growing power and increasingly a threat to American interests. But the bigger reason is that China’s increasingly poor track record on human rights and freedom is offensive both to liberal and conservative thinkers in Washington. A Chinese official, even one who ostensibly presents him/herself as an independent academic seeking information, is likely to be accosted with complaints about China’s behavior toward dissidents and minorities. From China’s perspective, this results in low productivity garnering needed information. Thus there is reason to believe that China needs to steal information because it cannot get it through “normal” channels.

    China maintains a sophisticated hacking capability with all the latest technology and almost certainly has been following the relationships among think tank experts and administration officials — this administration and prior ones — for years. The incorrigible sloppiness of Americans toward their own security is certainly well known to the Chinese, and it goes without saying that they exploit it. The blabbermouths on cellphones, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and everywhere else not only provide timely information on specific policy subjects, but the Chinese can easily connect the dots and figure out who is connected to whom and which relationships are the most productive. A think tank leader, therefore, will be known to the Chinese not only for what he or she says, but also by his best connections, his reliability as a source, and his influence in decision-making circles. The rapid shift of operational hacking resources to find out about Iraq was easy for the Chinese. They had already mapped the network and only needed to probe more deeply and urgently to get answers to their specific questions.

    Why was Iraq so important?

    China is a relatively big industrial player in Iraq. Iraq is China’s fifth-largest overseas oil supplier behind top producer Saudi Arabia, and China as an imported oil consumer is larger than the United States. Unlike the United States, however, China has no military capability of any significance in the Middle East and cannot either ensure the stability of oil-supplying regimes or protect the sea lines of communication (SLOC) that bring the oil to China’s refineries. Ironically, while China is in the midst of a significant military buildup challenging U.S. interests in Asia, China is depending entirely on the U.S. for protection of its vital oil supplies. While Americans don’t generally recognize it, a substantial part of our defense budget directly benefits China in this way while, at the same time, China is assiduously stealing American defense secrets in an unparalleled, brazen manner.

    While China could live without Iraq’s oil, and can afford even to lose the $3 billion or so it has invested in Iraqi oil projects, the main Chinese interest is the risk that an out of control Iraq will lead to a general political collapse even beyond Iraq’s borders. A blow-up in Saudi Arabia, for example, could create chaos in China itself.

    This is the same threat that, naturally, concerns the U.S. and its European allies. But, if the Chinese have been listening carefully, as they have, they won’t be very happy with what they are hearing through their hacking channels. Right now an effective military response by the United States to the increasing chaos in Iraq seems unlikely, and the U.S. position is further complicated by the administration’s foolish attempt to find common ground with the Iranians and Syrians (along with Hizb’allah). This moronic move will do nothing more than further frighten Saudi Arabia and push the Sunni Kingdom into ISIS’s outstretched and wicked arms.

    In short, China’s leaders have good reason to be depressed. All their hacking is likely to tell them is that America is not coming to rescue their economic or energy position in Iraq.

    Stephen Bryen is Chairman, Ziklag Systems, a mobile security company. Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center and Editor, InFOCUS Magazine.

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    Jul 13 2014

    Many Egyptians openly hope that Hamas is destroyed

    Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 5:35 pm

    From American Thinker.Com

    There are a few good things coming out if the current turmoil in the Middle East. One of them is that at last sensible voices are being heard, here and there, in reaction to the crazies and haters that doomed Arabs for so many decades, distracting them from the urgent task of improving their own lives with the obsession over Jews occupying a small sliver of land in the territory they conquered centuries ago, taking it away from the Jews and Christians who had preceded them.

    Egypt, which tasted and rejected Moslem Brotherhood rule, lives very close to the margin of starvation, sustained only by vast financial aid from Saudi Arabia. In Egypt, ruled by an anti-MB military regime under General Sisi, we are seeing prominent voices supporting the destruction of Hamas, uncluding the deputy editor of Al Ahram, the influential daily newspaper. Via The Elder of Ziyon:

    There was a big stir in Arabic media over this Facebook post by Azza Sami, deputy editor of Egypt’s’Al Ahram newspaper. It translates to:

    Bless you Netanyahu, may Allah make a lot of people like you to destroy Hamas,the base of corruption, treachery and being an agent for the (Muslim) Brotherhood. By Allah, whoever tells me “forbidden (to say this)”, I don’t know what I’ll do.

    She later responded to critics:

    I’d like to make my position clear. I did indeed make fun of Netanyahu that he threatened to finish Hamas off despite the fact that for years he hasn’t been able to deal with it, and he even had to run to Mursi in order to have a ceasefire with (Hamas). The US administration praised Mursi for his success in this. As for Hamas and my accusation of it that it is treasonous: I believe I haven’t said anything new. I made my position clear for the Palestinian people, that I didn’t mean to call for striking Gaza. I haven’t mentioned Gaza with even one word. My (Facebook) page is private and it doesn’t express the newspaper’s opinion.

    The Gatestone Institute also reports on voices rising in Egypt against Hamas:

    Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Sisi and urged him to intervene to achieve an “immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. Abbas later admitted that his appeal to Sisi and (other Arab leaders) had fallen on deaf ears.

    Sisi’s decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt.

    Some Egyptians are even openly expressing hope that Israel will completely destroy Hamas, which they regard as the “armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.”

    Sisi’s Egypt has not forgiven Hamas for its alliance with Muslim Brotherhood and its involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptian civilians and soldiers over the past year.

    The Egyptians today understand that Hamas and other radical Islamist groups pose a serious threat to their national security. That is why the Egyptian authorities have, over the past year, been taking tough security measures not only against Hamas, but also the entire population of the Gaza Strip. (snip)

    The reaction of some Egyptians to the Israeli military operation has shocked Hamas and other Palestinians. As one Hamas spokesman noted: “It’s disgraceful to see that some Egyptians are publicly supporting the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip while Westerners are expressing solidarity with the Palestinians and condemning Israel.”

    Addressing the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian actor Amr Mustafa said that they should not expect any help from the Egyptians. “You must get rid of Hamas and we will help you,” he said. He also called on Hamas to stop meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries. “Pull your men out of Egypt, Syria and Libya,” Mustafa demanded. “In Egypt, we are today fighting poverty that was caused by wars. We have enough of our own problems. Don’t expect the Egyptians to give more than what they have already given. We’ve had enough of what you did to our country.”

    In response to Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi’s decision to dispatch 500 tons of food and medical aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian newspaper El-Bashayer remarked: “The standard of living for a Gazan citizen is much higher than that of an Egyptian citizen. The poor in Egypt are more in need than the poor in the Gaza Strip. Let Qatar spend as much as it wants on the Gaza Strip. We should not send anything that Egyptians are in need of.”

    Famous Egyptian TV presenter and journalist Amr Adeeb has been told by many Egyptians to “shut up” after his criticism of Sisi’s “silence” toward the war in the Gaza Strip.

    One Egyptian reminded Adeeb that “Hamas is responsible for the killing of Egyptian soldiers.”

    Egyptian ex-general Hamdi Bakhit was quoted as expressing hope that Israel would re-occupy the Gaza Strip. “This would be better than the Hamas rule,” he said.

    Egyptian TV presenter Amany al-Khayat launched a scathing attack on Hamas.

    She pointed out that Hamas agreed to the reconciliation pact with Fatah only in order to get salaries for its employees in the Gaza Strip.

    Al-Khayat said that Hamas was seeking to depict itself as a victim of an Israeli attack only in order to get the Egyptian authorities to reopen the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip. “They just want us to open the Rafah border crossing,” she said on her show. “Hamas is prepared to make all the residents of the Gaza Strip pay a heavy price in order to rid itself of its crisis. We must not forget that Hamas is the armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist movement.”

    Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

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    Jul 13 2014

    Jihad Watch: News Index - 13th July 2014

    Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 4:35 pm

    From Jihad Watch.Org

    Former OIC top dog, now Turkish presidential candidate: Islamic State is terrorist gang with no links to Islam

    Jul 12, 2014 07:17 pm | Robert Spencer

    As head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), İhsanoğlu spearheaded a years-long campaign to intimidate the West into adopting Sharia blasphemy laws and criminalizing criticism of Islam. There is no reason to think that İhsanoğlu doesn’t want a caliphate, as he is clearly a Sharia supremacist; he just doesn’t want a caliphate in Baghdad. […]

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    BBC promotes lie that Israel is targeting civilians in Gaza

    Jul 12, 2014 02:06 pm | Robert Spencer

    The best friend of the “Palestinian” jihad is the international mainstream media, which eagerly promotes its jihadist propaganda as “news,” working hard to marshal world opinion against Israel. It has been marvelously effective now for decades. “BBC Promotes Lie that Israel is Targeting Civilians in Gaza (VIDEO),” by Hadar Sela, Algemeiner, July 11, 2014 (thanks […]

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    Australian Muslim who called on Muslims to wage jihad in Iraq and Syria arrested in Philippines

    Jul 12, 2014 01:02 pm | Robert Spencer

    Cerantonio said back in 2012 that “reestablishing the Islamic state is eventually going to be a military matter, and it is a matter that concerns a large part of the Islamic nation.” He enthusiastically endorsed the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and called on Muslims to join the jihad there. How did this convert […]

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    UN calls for Israeli- “Palestinian” cease-fire

    Jul 12, 2014 12:51 pm | Robert Spencer

    This was predictable. The UN is controlled by the 57-government Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is why it constantly condemns Israel while ignoring genuine human rights abusers around the world, and the enemies of Israel want to stop the Israelis from doing significant damage to Hamas. “UN calls for Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire,” Associated Press, July […]

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    Gaza mosque containing weapons cache struck by Israeli military

    Jul 12, 2014 12:35 pm | Robert Spencer

    A mosque containing weapons? The mainstream media and Western government officials will almost certainly discount this as Israeli propaganda, since they all know that Islam is a religion of peace. But in reality, there is nothing unbelievable about it. We have seen mosques used to stockpile weapons in other countries in the past, and Hamas […]

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    US Muslim pleads guilty to providing material support to Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front and Al-Shebab jihadists

    Jul 12, 2014 12:10 pm | Robert Spencer

    “A naturalized US citizen from India pleaded guilty Friday to providing material support to al Qaeda, its Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front and Shebab militants in Somalia after an FBI sting operation.” How did Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed come to misunderstand Islam in such a way? When he immigrated from India, did U.S. officials make any […]

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    Genocidal Hamas military song calls on “Palestinian” Muslims to “exterminate” the Jews

    Jul 12, 2014 11:50 am | Robert Spencer

    “Wipe out all the Zionists…burn soldiers and their bases.” “Exterminate the cockroach nest, expel all the Zionists.” “They are startled by death and hide behind walls and protection.” “Rain upon them many rockets. Make their world into a horror.” And the supporters of these genocidal jihadists still have the audacity to claim the moral high […]

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    Egyptian Muslim cleric endorses genocidal hadiths: “Not a single Jew will remain on the face of the earth”

    Jul 12, 2014 11:33 am | Robert Spencer

    “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the […]

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    New York: “Palestinian” rally features genocidal, anti-Semitic jihad chant

    Jul 12, 2014 11:15 am | Robert Spencer

    Last Wednesday I attended a pro-Israel rally in front of Israeli Consulate in New York City. Across the street raged an ugly, hate-filled pro-”Palestinian” rally, at which — as you can hear in the above video — demonstrators chanted, “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahoud, jaish Muhammad saufa yaoud.” That’s “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of […]

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    UK: Muslim arrested at Luton airport on suspicion of jihad terrorism

    Jul 12, 2014 10:58 am | Robert Spencer

    Just another day in the UK. This man’s jihad terror aspirations are the fruit of the labors of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Jack Straw, Jacqui Smith, and Theresa May, among others: the architects of the demise of a once-great nation. “Man held at Luton airport on suspicion of terrorism,” the Guardian, July 11, […]

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    New York: Muslim who beat his wife to death for not serving him goat dinner says he had right to “discipline” her

    Jul 12, 2014 10:44 am | Robert Spencer

    “He maintained she ‘disrespected’ him by swearing and believed he was entitled to ‘discipline’ his wife of 21 years.” And he was: “Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are […]

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    Hamas to Israel: If you invade Gaza, we will kidnap your soldiers

    Jul 12, 2014 09:20 am | Robert Spencer

    The jihadis have seen how effective kidnapping can be: they can exchange one kidnapped soldier for hundreds of jihad murderers, as in the Gilad Shalit deal. Thus it is an increasingly popular jihadi tactic. “We will kidnap soldiers if you invade, Hamas warns Israel,” by Robert Tait, The Telegraph, July 11, 2014: GAZA CITY — […]

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    Jul 13 2014

    Love By Serving

    Tag: Marriage/CouplesSage @ 4:29 pm

    “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14 [show/hide]John 13:14 [14]If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

    Husband, we’re speaking especially to you tonight. Just as selfishness is a sure marriage killer, an attitude of service and sacrifice—the “I’m Third”

    philosophy—is an indisputable marriage builder. We urge you to study your wife. What is it that speaks to her heart?

    Are you providing that for her? Would she appreciate help with the dishes, vacuuming, or changing the baby’s diaper? Should you be more romantic? Could you put off that weekend auto show so she can visit her sister? Maybe you’d rather go fishing on Saturday, but should you watch the kids instead so your wife can have a needed day out?

    Jesus gave us a classic example of service when He washed His disciples’ feet and told them to do the same for one another. Is it time for some symbolic “foot washing” in your marriage? Women are romantic creatures. God made them that way. Have you tried to understand that tender nature and sought to meet the needs it expresses?

    Here’s the personal payoff: If you as a husband will address this romantic longing, your wife, being a responder, will be drawn closer to you. You’ll get the kind of attention and admiration you hope for. Try it!

    Just between us…

    ================

    (husband) When have I done a good job of “foot washing” in our marriage?

    (husband) Do you feel I understand your romantic nature? Why or why not?

    (husband) Have I met your needs during the past week?

    (husband) Dear Lord, I want to become an expert at meeting my wife’s needs.

    Teach me to “wash her feet” and serve my way to a great marriage. Amen.

    - Bible Gateway.Com

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    Jul 13 2014

    Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon - 13th July

    Tag: Verse of the DaySage @ 12:01 pm

    Morning

    =======

    “God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry?” / Jonah 4:9 [show/hide]Jonah 4:9 [9]But God said to Jonah, "Do you do well to be angry for the plant?" And he said, "Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die." (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

    Anger is not always or necessarily sinful, but it has such a tendency to run wild that whenever it displays itself, we should be quick to question its character, with this enquiry, “Doest thou well to be angry?” It may be that we can answer, “YES.” Very frequently anger is the madman’s firebrand, but sometimes it is Elijah’s fire from heaven. We do well when we are angry with sin, because of the wrong which it commits against our good and gracious God; or with ourselves because we remain so foolish after so much divine instruction; or with others when the sole cause of anger is the evil which they do. He who is not angry at transgression becomes a partaker in it. Sin is a loathsome and hateful thing, and no renewed heart can patiently endure it.

    God himself is angry with the wicked every day, and it is written in His Word, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.” Far more frequently it is to be feared that our anger is not commendable or even justifiable, and then we must answer, “NO.” Why should we be fretful with children, passionate with servants, and wrathful with companions? Is such anger honourable to our Christian profession, or glorifying to God? Is it not the old evil heart seeking to gain dominion, and should we not resist it with all the might of our newborn nature? Many professors give way to temper as though it were useless to attempt resistance; but let the believer remember that he must be a conqueror in every point, or else he cannot be crowned. If we cannot control our tempers, what has grace done for us? Some one told Mr. Jay that grace was often grafted on a crab-stump. “Yes,” said he, “but the fruit will not be crabs.” We must not make natural infirmity an excuse for sin, but we must fly to the cross and pray the Lord to crucify our tempers, and renew us in gentleness and meekness after His own image.

    Evening

    =======

    “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.” / Psalm 56:9 [show/hide]Psalm 56:9 [9]Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

    It is impossible for any human speech to express the full meaning of this delightful phrase, “God is for me.” He was “for us” before the worlds were made; he was “for us,” or he would not have given his well-beloved son; he was “for us” when he smote the Only-begotten, and laid the full weight of his wrath upon him–he was “for us,” though he was against him; he was “for us,”

    when we were ruined in the fall–he loved us notwithstanding all; he was “for us,” when we were rebels against him, and with a high hand were bidding him defiance; he was “for us,” or he would not have brought us humbly to seek his face. He has been “for us” in many struggles; we have been summoned to encounter hosts of dangers; we have been assailed by temptations from without and within–how could we have remained unharmed to this hour if he had not been “for us”? He is “for us,” with all the infinity of his being; with all the omnipotence of his love; with all the infallibility of his wisdom; arrayed in all his divine attributes, he is “for us,”–eternally and immutably “for us”; “for us” when yon blue skies shall be rolled up like a worn out vesture; “for us” throughout eternity. And because he is “for us,” the voice of prayer will always ensure his help. “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies be turned back.” This is no uncertain hope, but a well grounded assurance–”this I know.” I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up for the answer, assured that it will come, and that mine enemies shall be defeated, “for God is for me.” O believer, how happy art thou with the King of kings on thy side!

    How safe with such a Protector! How sure thy cause pleaded by such an Advocate! If God be for thee, who can be against thee?

    - Bible Gateway.Com

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    Jul 13 2014

    Faith and repentance inseparable

    Tag: Sermons - Charles SpurgeonSage @ 11:51 am

    ‘Repent ye, and believe the gospel.’ Mark 1:15 [show/hide]Mark 1:15 [15]and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

    Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 12:1 [show/hide]Hebrews 12:1 Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith [12:1]Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    –4

    ‘Repent ye, and believe the gospel,’ is advice to the young beginner, and it is advice to the old grey-headed Christian, for this is our life all the way through—‘Repent ye, and believe the gospel.’ St Anselm, who was a saint—and that is more than many of them who were called so—St Anselm once cried out ‘Oh! sinner that I have been, I will spend all the rest of my life in repenting of my whole life!’ And Rowland Hill, whom I think I might call St Rowland, when he was near death, said he had one regret, and that was that a dear friend who had lived with him for sixty years would have to leave him at the gate of heaven. ‘That dear friend,’ said he, ‘is repentance; repentance has been with me all my life, and I think I shall drop a tear,’ said the good man, ‘as I go through the gates, to think that I can repent no more.’

    Repentance is the daily and hourly duty of a man who believes in Christ; and as we walk by faith from the wicket gate to the celestial city, so our right-hand companion all the journey through must be repentance. Why, dear friends, the Christian man, after he is saved, repents more than ever he did before, for now he repents, not merely of overt deeds, but even of imaginations. He will take himself to task at night, and chide himself because he has tolerated one foul thought; because he has looked on vanity, though perhaps the heart has gone no further than the look of lust; because the thought of evil has flitted through his mind—for all this he will vex himself before God; and were it not that he still continues to believe the gospel, one foul imagination would be such a plague and sting to him, that he would have no peace and no rest.

    For meditation: We tend to regard repentance as a step to be taken to begin the Christian life and become a member of Christ’s church, but repentance is a command which he himself has issued to established Christian churches and individuals in them (Revelation 2:5,16,21 [show/hide]Revelation 2:5 [5]Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    –22; 3:3,19). Repentance is started, not finished, at conversion.

    Sermon no. 460 / 13 July (1862) —   Charles Spurgeon

    - Bible Gateway.Com

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