Tuesday, July 29, 2014

International Religious Freedom Report

Secretary Kerry (July 28): "The release of this report here today is a demonstration of the abiding commitment of the American people and the entire U.S. Government to the advancement of freedom of religion worldwide." Full Text» Briefing» Fact Sheet»

"Take heed that no man deceive you"

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows

Matthew 24:4-8
King James Version (KJV)

The Rise of the Protestant Reformation

The term “Protestant” was used in reference to those who protested some of the unbiblical beliefs and practices that had been embraced by the Roman Catholic religion—the religion for much of the world for more than one thousand years.

What was it about the Roman Catholic religion that people felt compelled to protest? You will find many reasons as you read about Martin Luther and the princes that stood with him in the early sixteenth century. However, the Protestant Reformation began at least two hundred years earlier:

In the fourteenth century arose in England the “morning star of the Reformation.” John Wycliffe [1328-1384] was the herald of reform, not for England alone, but for all Christendom. The great protest against Rome which it was permitted him to utter was never to be silenced. That protest opened the struggle which was to result in the emancipation of individuals, of churches, and of nations. . . .
When Wycliffe’s attention was directed to the Scriptures, he entered upon their investigation with the same thoroughness which had enabled him to master the learning of the schools. Heretofore he had felt a great want, which neither his scholastic studies nor the teaching of the church could satisfy. In the word of God he found that which he had before sought in vain. Here he saw the plan of salvation revealed and Christ set forth as the only advocate for man. He gave himself to the service of Christ and determined to proclaim the truths he had discovered.
Like after Reformers, Wycliffe did not, at the opening of his work, foresee whither it would lead him.  He did not set himself deliberately in opposition to Rome. But devotion to truth could not but bring him in conflict with falsehood. The more clearly he discerned the errors of the papacy, the more earnestly he presented the teaching of the Bible. He saw that Rome had forsaken the word of God for human tradition; he fearlessly accused the priesthood of having banished the Scriptures, and demanded that the Bible be restored to the people and that its authority be again established in the church.  He was an able and earnest teacher and an eloquent preacher, and his daily life was a demonstration of the truths he preached. His knowledge of the Scriptures, the force of his reasoning, the purity of his life, and his unbending courage and integrity won for him general esteem and confidence. Many of the people had become dissatisfied with their former faith as they saw the iniquity that prevailed in the Roman Church, and they hailed with unconcealed joy the truths brought to view by Wycliffe; but the papal leaders were filled with rage when they perceived that this Reformer was gaining an influence greater than their own.
The Great Controversy, pp. 80-81


Monday, July 28, 2014

For Obama and the Church Hierarchy, It’s All Going According to Plan

By Donald A Collins | 22 July 2014

Father Fabian Arias, (2nd R) an advocate with the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, an immigration advocacy group, speaks with illegal immigrants following their immigration hearings at the U.S. Federal Building in New York, in this July 10, 2014 file photo.

Both Barack Obama and the Roman Catholic Church seem to regard the “Children’s Crusade” from Central America not as an emergency, but as an opportunity. It is now clear that Obama was actually warned about the developing crisis well before it happened. However, the Washington Post article that revealed Obama’s guile seems more outraged that the federal government hasn’t provided more resources for the illegal than it has at the President’s deception.

“As soon as those children were placed in temporary shelters, more arrived. An average of 66 were apprehended each day on the border and more than 24,000 cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013. In a 41-page report to the Department of Homeland Security, the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse.”

[Obama Aides Were Warned of Brewing Border Crisis, by David Nakamura, Jerry Markon, and Manuel Roig-Franzia,Washington Post, July 19, 2014]

The article seems to say to me, “Hey, you knew these kids were coming! Why didn’t you build facilities for them?”

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fontana, California, is accepting busloads of illegal immigrants every 72 hours through at least the end of July in an agreement with the federal government. (Source: WND)

Obviously, these “children” could not have arrived without significant help from both our own government and Central American governments. What’s incredible is not that there has been protests—what’s incredible is that there are not more. Don’t we care about our own kids? Don’t we believe in the Rule of Law? Don’t we feel compassion for our unemployed citizens—like the 18,000 employees Microsoft just laid off?

The Obama Administration certainly doesn’t. Instead, they are preparing for more illegals.

“Cecilia Muñoz, Obama’s domestic policy adviser, said the administration and key agencies had made adjustments over time to deal with the influx of children but then responded with urgency once federal officials realized in May that the numbers would far exceed internal projections of 60,000 minors crossing the border in 2014.

Revised Border Patrol estimates now suggest the number could reach 90,000 by the end of September.

The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church is also seemingly gleeful about the influx and doing its best to make sure that these “refugees” remain American dependents indefinitely. Pope Francis has already called for America to accept “migrants”—though oddly enough, Vatican City remains immigrant free.

The Church is stepping up efforts to address this crisis and is calling on volunteers, charities and the community to meet the needs of those coming to the border.

“They don’t have much money or clothes … the basic necessities,” said Bishop Gerald Kicanas, whose Tucson Diocese has been coordinating a major effort with city and county officials, other charities, faith-based groups and members of the community to provide relief to the women and children who come through the Arizona border.

Families with children, Bishop Kicanas explained, are first processed through the Border Patrol, and then they are allowed to place a call to a relative or other verifiable sponsor in the United States. They are released once they have a bus ticket to a “sponsor” family and a scheduled court date with an immigration judge to determine their future.

[Catholic Dioceses on Front Line of Migrant Humanitarian Crisis, by Peter Jesserer Smith, National Catholic Register, July 8, 2014]

Needless to say, with administrative amnesty a reality, “immigration judges” can hardly be relied upon to enforce the law. But what’s of more concern is the push by Church officials to actually become a quasi-legal part of the federal government for the purpose of facilitating more Central American immigration.

Bishop Kicanas said the diocese is negotiating with FEMA to get proper clearances for priests to come and say Mass and to even get ministers and counselors in to “allow more spiritual and emotional care for the children.”

The bishop said he would like to see the Church develop some organized programs, even if only a few days long, that can provide some support to the children held by FEMA.

Back in Texas, Sister Norma said she is working on getting the proper clearances and procedures to get the children spiritual support, counseling and a more humane environment.

But she expressed concern that the federal government did not seem as willing to collaborate with churches and charities as they did in the late 1980s, during the last border crisis of migrants fleeing Central America.

Said Sister Norma, “I don’t have the solution, but if it worked then, why can’t it today?”

There are some things that “worked then,” which the federal government should be doing today—namely setting up systems to swiftly deport those who break our laws. But this isn’t what “Sister Norma” has in mind. She wants the federal government to partner with the Catholic Church as a welfare agency to ensure that this influx never ends.

Why not? We might as well make de jure what is already occurring de facto. Both the Catholic hierarchy and the Obama Administration see what is happening not as policy failure, but as successful policy in action. And those who are hurt by it—both Americans and migrants—are simply collateral damage in their pursuit of abolishing the historic American nation and electing a new one.


She is silently growing into power

God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.

The Great Controversy, p. 581

Papal first: Francis visits Pentecostal church

July 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Associated Press

Vatican City — Pope Francis has become the first pope to visit a Pentecostal church, pressing his outreach to evangelicals who represent Catholicism’s greatest competition for Christian souls around the globe.

Francis flew by helicopter Monday to visit the under-construction Evangelical Church of Reconciliation in the southern city of Caserta. He met privately with Pentecostal preacher Giovanni Traettino, an old friend.

Speaking to some 350 Pentecostal faithful in the church, Francis apologized for Catholic persecution of Pentecostals during Italy’s fascist regime, when the practice of their faith was forbidden, and stressed that there was unity in diversity within Christianity.

“Among those who persecuted and denounced Pentecostals, almost as if they were crazy people trying to ruin the race, there were also Catholics,” he said. “I am the pastor of Catholics, and I ask your forgiveness for those Catholic brothers and sisters who didn’t know and were tempted by the devil.”

He acknowledged the remarkable nature of his visit, saying: “Someone will be surprised: ‘The pope went to visit the evangelicals?’ But he went to see his brothers.”

Catholics have often compared Pentecostal groups to cults and accused them of overly aggressive, unethical proselytizing. The popular, charismatic movements have drained parishioners from the Catholic Church, particularly in Francis’ own Latin America.

But Francis has met unofficially with several Pentecostal and evangelical preachers recently, including the Texas televangelists James Robinson and Kenneth Copeland. He recorded an iPhone video for a Pentecostal conference hosted by Copeland, whose prosperity gospel ministry — stressing that God will reward the faithful with health and wealth — clashes with Francis’ own embrace of the value of a “poor church.”

Not all evangelicals or Catholics have welcomed the pope’s outreach: Some traditionalist Catholics have sought to minimize the pope’s initiative, stressing that Traettino and others represent only their individual churches.

In a statement earlier this month on the eve of the Caserta meeting, several Italian evangelical groups met in the same city and stressed the “incompatibility” of their beliefs with that of the Catholic Church and its pope.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140728/RELIGION/307280093#ixzz38muMtkdb


A New Disorder

AUG 4, 2014, VOL. 19, NO. 44 • BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

Moments of clarity often come when you least expect them. In a speech to contributors last week in Seattle, Barack Obama made the case that his presidency has made America better. In most respects, it was precisely the kind of political pablum you’d expect from a president who seems more concerned with legacy-polishing than governing. He ticked off his accomplishments, a list that was equal parts premature celebration (deficit reduction), hyperbole (Obamacare), and borrowed glory (rising college attendance, a strong stock market, increased energy production).

Even if few in this fawning crowd were going to question him, circumstances required the president to acknowledge the growing tumult around the world. Despite all of this success, he conceded, there are some “big challenges overseas” that have some people anxious.

What are these big challenges and why are we facing them? It’s worth quoting the entire passage:

I am very proud that we have ended one war, and by the end of this year we will have ended both wars that I inherited before I came into office. (Applause.) But whether people see what’s happening in Ukraine, and Russia’s aggression towards its neighbors in the manner in which it’s financing and arming separatists; to what’s happened in Syria​—​the devastation that Assad has wrought on his own people; to the failure in Iraq for Sunni and Shia and Kurd to compromise​—​although we’re trying to see if we can put together a government that actually can function; to ongoing terrorist threats; to what’s happening in Israel and Gaza. Part of people’s concern is just the sense that around the world the old order isn’t holding and we’re not quite yet to where we need to be in terms of a new order that’s based on a different set of principles, that’s based on a sense of common humanity, that’s based on economies that work for all people.

These are remarkable words from an American president. They suggest that Obama either doesn’t appreciate the causal relationship between his policies and the current crises​—​or doesn’t care. He is proud that he has brought about the “end” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he seems not to understand that the unrest he goes on to describe is their direct result: How those wars ended shapes how others perceive the United States and its role in the world.

In Iraq, the president was willing to sacrifice the hard-won gains of U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in the pursuit of his overriding objective​—​getting out. The United States hadn’t created a stable and peaceful Iraq when the president was sworn in on January 20, 2009. But we had largely defeated our enemies there, and even opponents of the war acknowledged the very real prospect of a relatively secure, democratic Iraq. We lost Iraq by choice.

Afghanistan might be worse. In the early days of the administration, the president and his team described the outcome of that war as crucial to U.S. national security. The goals of U.S. military and diplomatic efforts there​—​eliminating safe haven for al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and reversing the momentum of the Taliban​—​were essential to keeping Americans safe here at home. But Obama long ago made clear that he was more interested in ending the war than in winning it. In his December 1, 2009, speech at West Point, the president announced the troop surge and the withdrawal in the same breath. Today, U.S. troops are coming home, U.S. objectives remain unfulfilled, and President Obama dismissively refers to Afghanistan as just one of the wars he “inherited.”

It’s not just the wars. With remarkable consistency, Obama has demonstrated that he is unwilling to accept the responsibilities that come with being the world’s only superpower. We said little as the Iranian regime put down a democratic revolution in 2009, for fear of accusations of “meddling.” We watched as Assad began to kill his citizens by the thousand, calling plaintively for restraint. When the Russian military rolled into Crimea in an audacious land-grab, we announced our disapproval and pushed for sanctions that we knew​—​that everyone knew​—​would have little effect beyond allowing us to say we pushed for sanctions.

In Obama’s telling, the chaos Americans see on their television screens every night​—​more than 150,000 slaughtered in Syria, a terrorist army taking over major cities in Iraq, dozens of rockets daily targeting citizens of Israel, nearly 300 innocent travelers dead after a surface-to-air missile downs a passenger plane, and continued Russian aggression​—​is just part of a natural evolution. In the old world order, the United States played a dominant role. In the new one, we will not. With a rhetorical shrug of his shoulders, Obama says that these things may be unpleasant, but better days are ahead​—​a new order based on a “different set of principles” with “economies that work for all people” and a “sense of common humanity.”

These views are a radical departure from decades of bipartisan U.S. national security and foreign policy, and they can’t be dismissed as just the careless ramblings of a president who has checked out. He’s said much the same thing before. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2009, Obama declared: “In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.”

This is naïve and dangerous. There are serious consequences to the United States relinquishing power and influence. We’re living them​—​and so are people in the rest of the world.


Carlos Slim's telecom, 9 more stocks to watch

7/25/2014 3:30 AM ET

America Movil, the Mexican billionaire's massive phone empire, appears on StockScouter's latest list of 10 recommended stocks.

Compiled from StockScouter ratings by Verus Analytics

Throughout 2013 and the first half of this year, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim watched his company’s stock – and with it, much of his personal fortune – languish in a state of uncertainty. Slim’s America Movil (AMX +0.55%, news) -- the largest telecom in the Americas, with 272 mobile subscribers – was a target of new antitrust regulations brewing in Mexico, where the company controls 70 percent of the mobile market and 80 percent of landlines. Investors feared harsh new restrictions would crush the company’s profitability.

Earlier this month, the saga came to a head as Mexico passed new telecom antitrust legislation punishing companies with over 50 percent market share. But rather than endure the penalties, Slim made an unexpected move: He announced plans to break up his company’s Mexican operations, spinning off several parts of the business and its wireless towers, to comply with the new rules.

Even more surprising, shares have leapt 14 percent since his decision to shrink the company. Some investors expect Slim to use the cash generated in such a sale – potentially around $4 billion -- to fund expansion into faster-growing markets such as Brazil, or to reward shareholders through dividends and share buybacks.

The recent rally in America Movil shares has helped Slim reclaim the title of world’s richest person, according to Forbes. 

Also on MSN Money: Billionaire Carlos Slim pushes for 3-day workweek

America Movil gets a '9' from the StockScouter rating system on MSN Money, where 10 is the highest score possible. Based on StockScouter’s analysis, shares of AMX are expected to significantly outperform the market over the next six months with less than average risk.

Read the full Scouter reports on America Movil here.


Evangelicals, Catholics Seek to Aid Children at the Border

by John Sexton 22 Jul 2014

Catholic Leaders Respond To Gov. Perry's Immigration Proposal

Faith leaders of various denominations are interceding on behalf of Central American children now arriving at the U.S. border. This week both evangelicals and Catholics put out calls to help in various ways.

A group of evangelical organizations will send a letter to Congress today asking lawmakers not to change a 2008 law which makes it more difficult to deport minors arriving from Central America. Politico reports the letter was put together by a coalition called the Evangelical Immigration Table which is composed of "the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief, Bread for the World, Christian Community Development Association, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, World Vision U.S. and Sojourners."

The letter reads in part, "As our nation responds to this humanitarian crisis, we are thankful for laws that protect children and provide for their needs. While our systems are currently stretched, our laws uphold basic child protection principles."

The law in question was intended to prevent trafficked children from being returned to a dangerous situations. It prevents the U.S. border patrol from quickly deporting kids arriving from Central America (as opposed to those arriving from Mexico). Instead, the law requires that Border Patrol turn kids over to HHS while they await a chance to see a judge.

In relation to that aspect of the law, yesterday a pair of Catholic bishops called on lawyers to help them assist the children who are facing deportation. Bishop Kevin Farrell told the Dallas Morning News, "Our purpose is to help and provide volunteer attorneys to represent them in the one chance they have." Catholic charities have been representing immigrant children in court for the last four years.

The ongoing crisis has been a source of division even between pastors working in the same city. Pastors Robert Jeffress and Frederick Haynes both lead mega-churches in Dallas. Jeffress, who appears on Fox News, argued the U.S. should build a fence on the border. Haynes gave a sermon calling the comments "fear mongering."

Many of the faith groups involved in caring for the children appear to be to the left of the White House and Hillary Clinton both of whom have said the majority of the children will need to be deported.


Saints and Social Justice, A Guide to Changing the World by Brandon Vogt

Written by 4virtu Team on July 21, 2014

Brandon Vogt is sounding a call for readers to become Saints and take real action to change the world. In his book, Saints and Social Justice, A Guide to Changing the World, Vogt gives real world examples of people practicing Catholic Social Teaching. He also demonstrates how the lives of the Saints can be lived in our daily lives.

For each of the Church’s teachings on social justice, Vogt chose two saints whose lives highlighted a particular principle.
The most important of the Church’s social teachings is belief in the dignity of the human person, which Vogt called “the first and most fundamental principle.”
“We believe that, for instance, it’s wrong to kill an unborn child, or an elderly person constrained to a wheelchair, because every person has inviolable dignity that was a result of them being created in the image and likeness of God,” he said.
“It’s that principle that drives everything that Catholics do to help the world whereas non-believers really don’t have a basis in the same way that religious people do, especially Catholics.”

Vogt chose Saints such as Mother Teresa and St. Peter Claver to highlight the principles. He is also donating all of the proceeds to the book to Catholic Charities.

Read the interview with Brandon Vogt at Catholic News Agency

More on BrandonVogt.com


Arrested Development: The Criminalization of America’s Schoolchildren

By John W. Whitehead
May 07, 2012

“[P]ublic school reform is now justified in the dehumanizing language of national security, which increasingly legitimates the transformation of schools into adjuncts of the surveillance and police state… students are increasingly subjected to disciplinary apparatuses which limit their capacity for critical thinking, mold them into consumers, test them into submission, strip them of any sense of social responsibility and convince large numbers of poor minority students that they are better off under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system than by being valued members of the public schools.”—Professor Henry Giroux

For those hoping to better understand how and why we arrived at this dismal point in our nation’s history, where individual freedoms, privacy and human dignity have been sacrificed to the gods of security, expediency and corpocracy, look no farther than America’s public schools.

Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens of the police state. In fact, as director Cevin Soling documents in his insightful, award-winning documentary The War on Kids, which recently aired on the Documentary Channel, the moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on. Between metal detectors at the entrances, drug-sniffing dogs in the hallways and surveillance cameras in the classrooms and elsewhere, many of America’s schools look more like prisons than learning facilities.

Add to this the epidemic of arresting schoolchildren and treating them as if they are dangerous criminals, and you have the makings of a perfect citizenry for the Orwellian society—one that can be easily cowed, controlled, and directed. Indeed, what once was looked upon as classically childish behavior such as getting into food fights, playing tag, doodling, hugging, kicking and throwing temper tantrums is now being criminalized.

Whereas in the past minor behavioral infractions at school such as shooting spitwads may have warranted a trip to the principal’s office, in-school detention or a phone call to one’s parents, today, they are elevated to the level of criminal behavior with all that implies. Consequently, young people are now being forcibly removed by police officers from the classroom, arrested, handcuffed, transported in the back of police squad cars, and placed in police holding cells until their frantic parents can get them out. For those unlucky enough to be targeted for such punishment, the experience will stay with them long after they are allowed back at school. In fact, it will stay with them for the rest of their lives in the form of a criminal record.

For example, in November 2011, a 14-year-old student in Brevard County, Florida, was suspended for hugging a female friend, an act which even the principal acknowledged as innocent. A 9-year-old in Charlotte, North Carolina, was suspended for sexual harassment after a substitute teacher overheard the child tell another student that the teacher was “cute.” A 6-year-old in Georgia was arrested, handcuffed and suspended for the remainder of the school year after throwing a temper tantrum in class. A 6-year-old boy in San Francisco was accused of sexual assault following a game of tag on the playground. A 6-year-old in Indiana was arrested, handcuffed and charged with battery after kicking a school principal.

Twelve-year-old Alexa Gonzalez was arrested and handcuffed for doodling on a desk. Another student was expelled for speaking on a cell phone with his mother, to whom he hadn’t spoken in a month because she was in Iraq on a military deployment. Four high school students in Detroit were arrested and handcuffed for participating in a food fight and charged with a misdemeanor with the potential for a 90-day jail sentence and a $500 fine. A high school student in Indiana was expelled after sending a profanity-laced tweet through his Twitter account after school hours. The school had been conducting their own surveillance by tracking the tweeting habits of all students.

These are not isolated incidents. In 2010, some 300,000 Texas schoolchildren received misdemeanor tickets from police officials. One 12-year-old Texas girl had the police called on her after she sprayed perfume on herself during class. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, over 90,000 kids were entered into the criminal justice system during the 2009-2010 school year, and over 500 of those were arrested at school.

It is hard to believe that such things—children being handcuffed and carted off to jail for minor incidents—could take place in a so-called “free” country. However, since the introduction of police, high-tech surveillance systems and zero tolerance policies into the schools, this is the reality with which nearly 50 million students in America’s elementary and secondary public schools must contend. Many of these “say no to drugs/say no to violence”–type policies gained favor after the Columbine school shootings in 1999 and have continued to be adopted by school districts across the country, even in the wake of research indicating that zero tolerance neither makes schools safer nor discourages violence. “Ironically, the [Columbine] tragedy occurred as rates of school violence in general and shootings in particular were declining,” writes author Annette Fuentes in Lockdown High.

Zero tolerance policies, the driving force behind the criminalization of schoolchildren, punish all offenses severely—no matter how minor. Disproportionately levied against minority students and students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, these one-size-fits-all disciplinary procedures mandate suspension or expulsion for students who violate the rules, regardless of the student’s intent or the nature of the violation. School systems began adopting these tough codes after Congress passed the 1994 Gun-Free Schools Act, which required a one-year expulsion for any child bringing a firearm or bomb to school.

Zero tolerance rules in many states also cover fighting, drug or alcohol use and gang activity, as well as relatively minor offenses such as possessing over-the-counter medications and disrespect of authority. Nearly all American public schools have zero tolerance policies for firearms or other “weapons,” and most have such policies for drugs and alcohol. In the wake of the Columbine school shootings, legislators and school boards further tightened their zero tolerance policies, creating what some critics call a national intolerance for childish behavior. As a result, these policies are now interpreted so broadly as to crack down on spit wads, Tweetie Bird key chains and Certs breath mints—all of which constitute contraband of one kind or another. In some jurisdictions, carrying cough drops, wearing black lipstick or dying your hair blue are expellable offenses.

Unfortunately, while expulsion and suspension used to be the worst punishment to be rendered against a child who had run afoul of the system, school officials upped the ante by bringing the police into the picture. As Judith Browne, co-director of the Advancement Project, notes, “Media hysteria really created this groundswell of support for zero tolerance and folks being scared that it could happen at their school. Now, we have police officers in every school. He’s not there to be law enforcement. He’s there to lock up kids.”

To return to what I was saying about schools being breeding grounds for compliant citizens, if Americans have come to view freedom as expedient and expendable, it is only because that’s what they’ve been taught in the schools, by government leaders and by the corporations who run the show. More and more Americans are finding themselves institutionalized from cradle to grave, from government-run daycares and public schools to nursing homes. In between, they are fed a constant, mind-numbing diet of pablum consisting of entertainment news, mediocre leadership, and technological gadgetry, which keeps them sated and distracted and unwilling to challenge the status quo. All the while, in the name of the greater good and in exchange for the phantom promise of security, the government strips away our rights one by one—monitoring our conversations, chilling our expression, searching our bodies and our possessions, doing away with our due process rights, reversing the burden of proof and rendering us suspects in a surveillance state, and on and on.

Whether or not the powers-that-be, by their actions, are consciously attempting to create a compliant citizenry, the result is the same nevertheless for young and old alike. As journalist Hunter S. Thompson observed in Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century:

Coming of age in a fascist police state will not be a barrel of fun for anybody, much less for people like me, who are not inclined to suffer Nazis gladly and feel only contempt for the cowardly flag-suckers who would gladly give up their outdated freedom to live for the mess of pottage they have been conned into believing will be freedom from fear. Ho ho ho. Let’s not get carried away here. Freedom was yesterday in this country. Its value has been discounted. The only freedom we truly crave today is freedom from Dumbness. Nothing else matters.



The World Against God’s People

July 28

The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12:17
Our people have been regarded as too insignificant to be worthy of notice, but a change will come. The Christian world is now making movements which will necessarily bring commandment-keeping people into

The whole world is to be stirred with enmity against Seventh-day Adventists, because they will not yield homage to the papacy, by honoring Sunday, the institution of this antichristian power. It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth, in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed.

Every position of truth taken by our people will bear the criticism of the greatest minds; the highest of the world's great men will be brought in contact with truth, and therefore every position we take should be critically examined and tested by the Scriptures. Now we seem to be unnoticed, but this will not always be. Movements are at work to bring us to the front, and if our theories of truth can be picked to pieces by historians or the world's greatest men, it will be done.

We must individually know for ourselves what is truth, and be prepared to give a reason of the hope that we have with meekness and fear, not in a proud, boasting, self-sufficiency, but with the spirit of Christ. We are
nearing the time when we shall stand individually alone to answer for our belief.

We shall be attacked on every point; we shall be tried to the utmost. We do not want to hold our faith simply because it was handed down to us by our fathers. Such a faith will not stand the terrible test that is before us.
We want to know why we are Seventh-day Adventists, what real reason we have for coming out from the world as a separate and distinct people....

The powers of darkness will open their batteries upon us; and all who are indifferent and careless, who have set their affections on their earthly treasure, and who have not cared to understand God’s dealings with His
people, will be ready victims. No power but a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, will ever make us steadfast; but with this, one may chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.

Maranatha, p. 218

The saints then will be an obscure people

I saw the nominal church and nominal Adventists, like Judas, would betray us to the Catholics to obtain their influence to come against the truth. The saints then will be an obscure people, little known to the Catholics; but the churches and nominal Adventists who know of our faith and customs (for they hated us on account of the Sabbath, for they could not refute it) will betray the saints and report them to the Catholics as those who disregard the institutions of the people; that is, that they keep the Sabbath and disregard Sunday.

Spalding and Magan Collection, p.1


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Under Spain's 'Google fee' law, news aggregators must pay publishers

July 28, 2014 - 12:20PM

Mariana Marcaletti

The new Spanish law has been nicknamed the "Google Fee". Photo: Reuters

Spain was where the "right to be forgotten" began, with the European Commission recently ruling that individuals can demand Google remove unfavourable links about them from search results. Now a new copyright law is stirring controversy in the country.

Last week, Spain passed a law requiring news aggregators such as Google News to pay publishers a fee if they link to their content. Supporters of the law, nicknamed the ''Google Fee'', say it will prevent copyright infringements. But opponents argue that it limits freedom of expression.

Aggregators that don't compensate publishers for using their content could be fined €30,000 to €300,000 euros ($43,000 to $430,000). Spanish websites risk being blocked if they do not comply with the law, even if they are hosted in other countries.

In their blog, the local news aggregation site Meneame said that although it makes money by linking to news stories published by others, it's not enough to cover the fees required under the law. The publishers, meanwhile, make much more from their relationship, the site said. ''Every unique visit derived from Meneame drives revenue for the linked news site that is almost 20 times more than the revenue perceived by Meneame,'' it says.

It is unclear whether the law applies only to news aggregators such as Google News, or whether social networks such as Facebook and Twitter could also be affected. Spain's culture, education and sports ministry said in a statement that social networks won't be affected by this law, as it targets commercial companies such as Google.

But lawyer and blogger Carlos Sanchez Almeyda argues that the law could affect social networks. The biggest in Spain are Facebook and Tuenti, where users spend an average of more than four hours a day, Comscore Spain reported. Mr Almeyda also said that blogs, forums and Wikipedia might also be charged for uploading or linking to copyrighted content.

Bloggers and social media fans protested online with the hashtags #EnlaceLibre (Free links) and #Todoscontraelcanon (Everybody against the fee). Many of them warned that this is may be ''the end'' of the free internet and that social media may disappear in Spain if users are no longer allowed to share stories produced by somebody else.

Some reporters also joined the debate, arguing that media outlets won't benefit from link removals as news sites are likely to see less traffic referred from aggregators.

''The fact that an aggregator links to our stories, whether they are charged or not for doing so, always benefits us," freelance journalist Carlos Otto said.

In its official blog, Google Spain said that publishers can choose not to appear on Google News.

''In spite of this, it is worth mentioning that we received much more requests [from publishers] to be included in Google News instead of to be excluded, because many publishers can tell the advantage of having their content discovered by new readers or members of the audience.''

The company also noted that Google News is ad-free.

Supporters of the Spanish law, including government and large publishers, say that the law only targets major corporations that make a profit from linking to content. Most of the revenue from online advertising goes to Google, rather than to publishers that create the content, they say.

''This [law] won't affect the end user or the blogger, but big search engines that make a commercial use,'' said the Association of Spain's Newspapers.

Without this law, aggregators could deprive citizens of ''free, high-quality information online'', said Jose Maria Bergareche, president of the association, which brings together Spain's largest publishers.

Over the past few years, European countries, including France, Germany and Belgium, have also been debating copyright regulations, the Global Cybersecurity website reported, with varying results. In Germany, aggregators can link to news stories for free but must pay a fee for displaying a significant amount of the content. In France, publishers last year reached an agreement with Google: The tech giant created a €60 million fund to help news companies expand their digital units. Belgium was more drastic: Google was forbidden to distribute written stories and photographs created by media companies.

Washington Post


Need a US visa, passport? Prepare for misery: Database crash strands thousands

'It's going to take a little while'

By Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 2014 

Titsup UK Border IT causes CHAOS at air and seaports in BlightySystems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone agePassport PIN tech could have SAVED MH370 ID fraudstersNAO: UK border bods not up to scratch, despite billion-pound facial recog techAirports' passport controls SHUT DOWN by 'malware' - report

An unspecified glitch in a global database used by the US government to issue passports and travel visas has left countless people around the world unable to travel for the last few days, according to State Department officials.

"The Bureau of Consular Affairs has been experiencing technical problems with our passport and visa system," Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, said in a press briefing on Thursday. "The issue is worldwide, not specific to any particular country."

The database in question, known as the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), is said to be one of the largest Oracle-based data warehouses in the world. It holds over 100 million records of visa cases and 75 million photographs, and it currently processes around 35,000 new visa cases every day.

The system reportedly crashed following scheduled maintenance earlier this week and was out of operation for as much as a few days. Service has since been restored but only in a "limited capacity," and the downtime has resulted in a backlog of visa and passport processing that will take some time to work through.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Oracle or the State Department's IT staff was to blame for the outage, but Harf did say that the crash wasn't the result of any outside attack.

"We do not believe there was any malicious action or anything untoward here," Harf said. "This was a technical issue, and again, we are working to correct it and should be fully operational again soon."

In the meantime, it's not known just how many people have been left stranded while waiting for their US visas and other travel documents, but two US officials told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity that as many as 50,000 applicants had been affected in one unnamed country alone.

Harf could not say how long it would take to clear the visa backlog or when the database would be restored to fully operational status. "It's going to take a little while, so we ask people to be patient," she said.

As of Friday morning, the State Department had yet to respond to The Reg's request for an update. ®


Examining the Terrorist Threat from America's Southern Border

THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014 - 03:01


By Scott Stewart

On July 21, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he was deploying 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to the Mexican border to help strengthen border security. The move is the latest in a chain of events involving the emigration of Central Americans that has become heavily publicized -- and politicized.

Clearly, illegal immigration flows are shifting from Arizona and California to Texas. In fiscal year 2013 (all Border Patrol data is recorded by fiscal year), the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector surpassed Tucson as the leading sector for the number of apprehensions (154,453 in Rio Grande Valley versus 120,939 for Tucson). Also, between fiscal years 2011 and 2013, the number of Border Patrol determined "other than Mexicans" -- mostly Central Americans -- apprehended by the Rio Grande Valley sector increased by more than 360 percent, from 20,890 to 96,829. (By comparison, the Tucson sector apprehended 19,847 "other than Mexicans" in 2013.) Significantly, minors constituted a large percentage of the "other than Mexicans" apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley in 2013: 21,553 (compared to 9,070 in Tucson sector). However, the majority (84 percent) of those labeled Unaccompanied Alien Children by the Border Patrol are teenage minors and not younger children.

Lost in all the media hype over this "border crisis" is the fact that in 2013 overall immigration was down significantly from historical levels. According to U.S. Border Patrol apprehension statistics, there were only 420,789 apprehensions in 2013 compared to 1,160,395 in 2004. In fact, from fiscal 1976 to 2010, apprehensions never dropped below 500,000. During that same period, the Border Patrol averaged 1,083,495 apprehensions per year compared to just 420,789 last year.

Of course, apprehension statistics are not an accurate count of total immigration and do not account for those who cross without being caught, and the statistics are also slightly skewed by the fact that Unaccompanied Alien Minors are far more likely to surrender to authorities rather than attempt to avoid them. In 2011, the Border Patrol apprehended 4,059 unaccompanied children; by 2013 that number had reached 38,759. Year to date, the Border Patrol has apprehended more than 46,000 unaccompanied children and estimates it will apprehend around 60,000 total in 2014. Still, overall, the Border Patrol will apprehend and process hundreds of thousands fewer people this year than it did each fiscal year from 1976 until 2010.

This type of hype and politicization of the U.S.-Mexico border is not new. It is something that has surfaced at irregular intervals for years now, along with scaremongering using the boogeyman of terrorism, and it appears to be happening again.

I've recently done a number of media interviews regarding immigration, and during several of these interviews, reporters have asked me the question: "Does the crisis on the border give terrorists an opportunity to sneak into the country?" While other border security analysts have told reporters that they believe terrorists would take advantage of the border crisis and that the cartels would be willing to work with terrorists for the right price, I disagree. I believe that an analysis of the history of plots directed against the U.S. homeland from overseas and an examination of the changes in the dynamics of transnational terrorism show such claims to be unfounded.
No Link to the U.S.-Mexico Border

As chaos has wracked Mexican towns just south of the U.S. border such as Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Juarez and Tijuana, there has been repeated speculation that al Qaeda could partner with some street gang or Mexican cartel to smuggle terrorist operatives or weapons into the United States to conduct a spectacular terrorist attack.

For example, in 2005, rumors were frequently published on a popular web media outlet claiming that al Qaeda had smuggled several tactical nuclear devices into the United States with the help of the Salvadoran Mara Salvatrucha street gang. According to the rumors, al Qaeda was planning to launch a horrific surprise nuclear attack against several U.S. cities in what was termed "American Hiroshima." Clearly this never happened.

But American fearmongers are not the only ones who can cause a panic. In a 2009 speech, radical Kuwaiti university professor Abdullah al-Nafisi talked about the possibility that jihadists could smuggle anthrax in a suitcase through a drug tunnel on the U.S.-Mexico border, a claim that sparked considerable concern because it came on the heels of other hyped-up anthrax threats.

However, an examination of all jihadist plots since the first such attack in the United States -- the November 1990 assassination of the radical founder of the Jewish Defense League, Meir Kahane -- shows that none had any U.S.-Mexico border link. Indeed, as we've noted elsewhere, there have been more plots against the U.S. homeland that have involved the U.S.-Canada border, including the 1997 plot to bomb the New York Subway and the Millennium Bomb Plot. But by and large, most terrorists, including those behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 9/11 attacks, have entered the United States by flying directly to the country. There is not one jihadist attack or thwarted plot in which Mexican criminal organizations smuggled the operative into the United States.

There was one bumbling plot by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in which Manssor Arbabsiar, a U.S. citizen born in Iran and residing in Texas, traveled to Mexico in an attempt to contract a team of Mexican cartel hit men to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Instead of Los Zetas, he encountered a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration informant and was set up for a sting. There is no evidence that an actual Mexican cartel leader would have accepted the money Arbabsiar offered for the assassination.

Mexican criminal leaders have witnessed U.S. government operations against al Qaeda and the pressure that the U.S. government can put on an organization that has been involved in an attack on the U.S. homeland. Mexican organized crime bosses are businessmen, and even if they were morally willing to work with terrorists -- a questionable assumption -- working with a terrorist group would be bad for business. It is quite doubtful that Mexican crime bosses would risk their multibillion-dollar smuggling empires for a one-time payment from a terrorist group. It is also doubtful that an ideologically driven militant group like a jihadist organization would trust a Mexican criminal organization with its weapons and personnel.
Changes in Terrorist Dynamics

Another factor to consider is the changes in the way militant groups have operated against the United States since 9/11. Because of increased counterterrorism operations and changes in immigration policies intended to help combat terrorist travel, it has become increasingly difficult for terrorist groups to get trained operatives into the United States.

Even jihadist groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have been forced to undertake remote operations involving bombs placed aboard aircraft overseas rather than placing operatives in the country. This indicates that the group does not have the ability or the network to support such operatives. In addition to remote operations launched from its base in Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has also undertaken efforts to radicalize grassroots operatives residing in the United States, equipping them with easy-to-follow instructions for attack through its English-language magazine, Inspire.

This focus on radicalizing and equipping grassroots operatives is also reflected in the fact that the majority of the attacks and failed plots inside the United States since 2001 have involved such grassroots operatives rather than trained terrorists. These operatives are either U.S. citizens, such as Nidal Hasan, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Faisal Shahzad, or resident aliens such as Najibullah Zazi. Failed shoe bomber Richard Reid was traveling on a British passport (no U.S. visa required) and the would-be underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had obtained a valid U.S. visa. The operatives had the ability to legally reside in the United States or to enter the country legally without having to sneak across the border from Mexico.

Could a terrorist operative take advantage of the U.S.-Mexico border? Possibly. Is one likely to attempt such a crossing when so much publicity and extra enforcement has been directed to that border? Probably not.


Putin and BRICS form Seed Crystal of a New International Monetary Pole


The Creation of an historic alternative to an Anglo-American monetary & financial system

Future historians will mark the July 16-17 heads of state meeting of the five BRICS nations in Fortaleza Brazil as one of the major turning points in world history since the 1815 defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and the rise of the British and then the American imperial domination of the world. Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking what is clearly the leading role in the creation of an historic alternative to an Anglo-American monetary and financial system through BRICS. The next months will be decisive in this history.

By far the most significant agreement of the meeting was an agreement to create what has been named the New Development Bank, with initial capital of $50 billion that could later reach $100 billion. As well BRICS agreed to a new $100 billion reserve pooling arrangement that will make a repeat of the 1997 Wall Street US financial attacks on Asian “Tiger” countries very difficult and costly.

The development bank would provide financing to BRICS and other emerging market and developing countries for infrastructure, industrialization and productive development. The reserve pool would allow BRICS and other nations to draw on pooled reserves in the event of balance of payments crises or threats to their currencies.[1]

The $100 billion crisis lending fund, called the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), was established. China, with the world’s largest currency reserves, will contribute the lion’s share, about $41 billion, Russia, Brazil and India will chip in $18 billion, and South Africa, the newest member of the economic bloc, will contribute $5 billion.[2]

In a shrewd move to defuse the idea that China or any one BRICS state garner too much power, the new bank will be based in Shanghai, China, and India will preside over its operations for the first six years, followed by five-year terms for Brazil and then Russia. That is a dramatic change from the iron rules of the US-dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF), where Washington has de facto held a controlling veto minority vote since 1944 despite the relative decline of the economic weight of the USA since. Through the veto Washington has until now managed to sabotage any efforts by developing nations to make the IMF and its sister the World Bank more representative of the needs of the rest of the world.

Ironically, BRICS was originally a created acronym by a Wall Street investment banker, Jim O’Niell, who wanted to encourage investors to invest in the fastest-growing large emerging economies. Despite that peculiar beginning, today BRICS includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It is significant geo-graphically as it encompasses the vast potential of Eurasia while including two crucial economies from Africa and South America. Thus it sets a frame to incorporate other suitable nations in the future as it develops.

Putin’s vision

In an extensive interview with Itar-Tass news service, President Putin laid out major aspects of what is developing strategy for the big five BRICS: “The modern world is indeed multipolar, complex, and dynamic – this is objective reality. Any attempts to create a model of international relations where all decisions are made within a single ‘pole’ are ineffective, malfunction regularly, and are ultimately set to fail,” the Russian leader declared.

Putin went on to indicate that the then-forthcoming BRICS meeting would take major steps, as it in fact did: “I believe it is time to raise the BRICS’ role to a new level and to make our association an unalienable part of the global management system for sustainable development.” [3]

Political alternative

In his remarks, Putin, who is clearly the driving force behind the enhanced international role of the BRICS, stated that the five nations, who together comprise two UN Security Council veto members and a combined population of almost 3 billion people, would move to speak with a single voice on principled issues of international affairs and of the UN Charter, a document that people in Washington and Brussels today seem to have forgotten even exists.

Putin called for BRICS to, “develop cooperation in the UN in every possible way, persistently counteract individual states’ attempts to impose on the international community the policy of displacing unwanted regimes and promoting unilateral solutions to crisis situations. We propose to create a mechanism of regular high level consultations between our foreign ministries on different regional conflicts to agree, where possible, on common positions and joint efforts to ensure their political and diplomatic settlement.” [4]

For anyone needing it, he was referring, diplomatically, to Washington and the EU.

The “Rio Consensus”

But the heart of the major expansion of the role of the five nation BRICS will be in the area of global monetary coordination and creation of an infrastructure development bank to finance major projects in the BRICS and even beyond. These are projects that the World Bank and IMF refuse to finance because they do not serve the agenda of US or EU multinationals like ExxonMobil or Monsanto.

Although he did not say so explicitly, Putin’s entire remarks were an assault on the de facto neo-colonial role of the IMF and World Bank with their “Washington Consensus” of imposing austerity, selloff of state companies and currency devaluation—policies which, conveniently, uniquely favor the financial and industrial interests of the advanced countries.

De facto, by creating a new BRICS’ New Development Bank with $50 billion capital, with its own control, its own rules, completely independent of IMF dictates, BRICS have done, for the first time in the postwar era, a revolution against the dollar system, a system that exercises until now a lock-grip on world development and directs it in a lopsided way to the benefit of the so-called rich nations. The unwritten rule there was that the head of the IMF is always a European and the World Bank chief is to be an American with both based in Washington D.C.

Every one of the BRICS countries with the sole exception of China has been the recipient of IMF conditionalities and brutal demands and, more importantly, bitterly opposes them. After the US-fostered breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 Washington forced all economic investment into Russia to be conditional on IMF approval. The US Treasury controlled the IMF. That enabled US multinationals and Wall Street to loot the wealth of Russia during the Yeltsin era. Similarly during the Third World debt crisis of the 1980’s Brazil and later South Africa were under the bloody thumb of the IMF dictates.

Now with these two new institutions as the “seed crystal” of a new just world economic system, the BRICS have the chance to formulate a “peoples’ consensus” or as some are already calling it, the “Rio Consensus” that would value rational national economic development, raising of the living standards of all, reduction of the power of corrupt oligarchs. All indications are that the Rio Consensus is already in draft preparation.

The New Development Bank will decide to fund infrastructure projects where members show a consensus, opposite IMF rules.

At its core is a commitment to financial stability and productive development in a manner that is inclusive, honors human rights and is environmentally sustainable. Organizations carrying out such a mission should also have a more equitable organizational structure with open and transparent rules. This crucially includes the mechanism for picking leaders and a more equal voting system for existing and new members. [5]

As Asia Times respected analyst, Pepe Escobar, himself a person with deep roots in the BRICS world, described the developments,

[T]he key member of Putin’s traveling party is Elvira Nabiulin, president of Russia’s Central Bank; she is pressing in South America the concept that all negotiations with the BRICS should bypass the US dollar.

Putin’s extremely powerful, symbolic meeting with Fidel Castro in Havana, as well as writing off $36 billion in Cuban debt could not have had a more meaningful impact all across Latin America. Compare it with the perennial embargo imposed by a vengeful Empire of Chaos.

In South America, Putin is meeting not only with Uruguay’s President Pepe Mujica – discussing, among other items, the construction of a deepwater port – but also with Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Bolivia’s Evo Morales.

Xi Jinping is also on tour, visiting, apart from Brazil, Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela. What Beijing is saying (and doing) complements Moscow; Latin America is viewed as highly strategic. That should translate into more Chinese investment and increased South-South integration. [6]

Though Vladimir Putin indicated that admission of new members to BRICS must wait the consolidation of these new institutions, already Indonesia, Turkey and a number of other fast-growing developing countries are lining up at the BRICS door to be considered. That in turn is building a major counter-weight to Washington’s Sole Superpower world.

BRICS Energy Association

Russia is also pushing for creation of a BRICS energy association. The idea would be to create a fuel reserve, as well as an Institute for Energy Policy, according to Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov.

“Russia will propose a number of specific issues for consideration, including establishing a BRICS energy association aimed at ensuring the energy security of its member states, and to conduct integrated research and analysis of global hydrocarbon markets. It is suggested that a fuel reserve and an energy policy institute for the BRICS will be created within this association,” Ushakov told journalists in Brazil.

In addition, Russia suggested a network to link the leading universities of Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa that will specialize in economics and technology, TASS reports. [7]


Putin and leading Russians have often said all Russia seeks is to be accepted as a member of the family of leading nations, with a place at the table of leading nations. The problem with that particular family, as Putin and much of the world are learning, is that the parents are genuine psychopaths.

Now, Russia with Brazil, India, China with South Africa are forming a new family, one where reason and at least a modicum of feeling or empathy for the plight of others exists. BRICS states are not responsible for the fact that the leading circles in the US and G7 are psychopaths. The G7 is today a Club of Failed Economies—USA, Britain, Italy, France, Canada, Japan. The only member with a halfway functioning economy is Germany. It makes sense for Putin and the BRICS to look for a better family, their own.

Vladimir Putin and his BRICS colleagues now can move to create an alternative that will benefit the entire world family. Such is my personal hope and dream since decades.

# # # #

F. William Engdahl, BFP contributing Author & Analyst
William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics in the New World Order. He is a contributing author at BFP and may be contacted through his website at www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net where this article was originally published.


EXCLUSIVE: HHS Bankrolled Catholic and Baptist Church from 2010 to 2013 to Prepare for Obama’s 2014 Invasion!

By Eric Odom278
11:16 pm July 10, 2014

A month or two ago news broke that Obama’s HHS was calling for private contractors to help transport illegal aliens throughout the interior United States. What made this already big news even bigger is the fact that the original call for proposals came out in January, long before the bulk of the illegal alien surge began.

The breaking news you’re about to read is ten times bigger, because the following proves the Obama administration was bankrolling America’s churches back in 2010. And the tens of millions were flowing in to prepare for the invasion currently underway.

The following is a small taste of what’s out there in grant records. This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.

Between Dec 2010 and Nov 2013, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Galveston received $15,549,078 in federal grants from Health & Human Services for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Project” with a program description of “Refugee and Entry Assistance.”

Last year, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth received $350,000 from Department of Homeland Security for “citizenship and education training” with a program description of “citizenship and immigration services.”

Between September 2010 and September 2013, the Catholic Charities of Dallas received $823,658 from the Department of Homeland Security for “Citizenship Education Training” for “refugee and entrant assistance.”

From Dec 2012 to January 2014, Baptist Child & Family Services received $62,111,126 in federal grants from Health & Human Services for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Program.”

Any questions?

Document about Unaccompanied Alien Children Project located here.

H/T Terri Harris Hill for the tip and initial research.


Who Said It? Some Amazing Flip Flops on Same-Sex 'Marriage'

9:21AM EDT 7/27/2014 MICHAEL BROWN

You may be shocked at how far and how fast some major names in politics have strayed from their commitment to traditional marriage.

Are you ready to take a little test? I'm going to ask a series of short, informational questions

followed by one philosophical question, so the test is in two parts.

Part One: Informational

Who said this and when did he or she say it?

Quote: "I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or reconsidered."

Answer: That was former President Bill Clinton in an interview with the flagship gay publication The Advocate in 1996.

Quote: "I think that the vast majority of Americans find [same-sex marriage] to be something they can't agree with. But I think most Americans are fair. And if they believe that people in committed relationships want to share their lives and, not only that, have the same rights that I do in my marriage, to decide who I want to inherit my property or visit me in a hospital, I think that most Americans would think that that's fair and that should be done."

Answer: That was former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a CBS News interview in 2003.

Quote: (Responding to the question, "Do you support gay marriage?") "No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it."

Answer: That was Vice President (then Senator) Joe Biden, responding to a question in a 2008 presidential debate.

Quote: "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."

Answer: That was President (then Senator) Barack Obama in a 2008 interview with MTV.

In 2004 he said, "My religious faith dictates marriage is between a man and a woman, gay marriage is not a civil right." In 2008, in an interchange hosted by Rick Warren, he said, "I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman. As a Christian it's also a sacred union." (For the question of his earlier position from 1996, see here.)

Part Two: Philosophical

Note the dates of these positions quoted (all of them are from within the last 8 years); note some of the venues, which include gay publications (The Advocate) and gay friendly venues (MTV); and then note how clearly these opinions were expressed in opposition to redefining marriage, especially by the three men cited.

Here's the question: What caused these politicians to change their views so radically in such a short period of time that today they strongly oppose and even vilify those who hold to the positions they themselves claimed to embrace just a few short years ago?

I'll let you answer that question.

Michael Brown is author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.


The Threefold Union of Religion

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.   Rev. 16:13, 14.

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation [the United States] will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. ..

Papists, Protestants, and worldling will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.

When our nation [the United States] shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.

Maranatha, p.191

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 Kinship Kampmeeting

23 July 2014 | HERB MONTGOMERY

Kinship Kampmeeting was held in Atlanta, GA this year from July 15-19. Their mission is to "Provide a safe spiritual and social community to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex current and former Seventh-day Adventists around the world."
“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”—Jesus (Matthew 12.7)

Someone once said, “The truth as it is in Jesus can be experienced, but never explained.” How do you describe in words what someone experiences at a Kinship Kampmeeting?

This summer, I was privileged and humbled to be a part of 2014’s lineup of Kampmeeting speakers. Besides me were Wendy Gritter (author of Generous Spaciousness), Todd Leonard (pastor of the Glendale City Seventh-day Adventist Church) and Eliel Cruz (president of Intercollegiate Adventist Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition).

When I was first invited to be a speaker at the Kinship Kampmeeting, I must confess, I was bit naive. I envisioned that I would, within my four presentations, share a Girardian retelling of the Jesus narrative that would offer hope for those who are being scapegoated religiously, politically, economically and socially as a result of their orientation. What I didn’t realize is that I was about to have my world turned upside down as I encountered something I had never experienced. For two decades now, I have been traveling from place to place within Adventism, and never before have I witnessed an environment that involved such healing authenticity, such love for Jesus (as well as one another) and such wrestling with Jesus as I experienced being among this group of Christian brothers and sisters who identify also as LGBTIQ (or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer; “alphabet people.”)

I came face to face with countless stories of those who had been forced into deep introspection as they wrestled, sometimes alone, with the collision of their own sexuality and the hetero-normative faith many had been raised in. To be honest, some had navigated the journey beautifully, others had become casualties, and others were still on that journey. But what I found breathtakingly beautiful was that I was encountering for the first time within Adventism a safe place for all, regardless of where on this journey they found themselves today.

On Friday night, as we came together around a shared table upon which were the emblems of our Jesus who was broken and spilled out as He stood in solidarity with the oppressed in every generation, something inside of me changed forever. I had gone there thinking I would share with them, but what I discovered was a group that had recaptured what Jesus called the Kingdom, as well as a group of people who are particularly gifted because of their experiences to teach the rest of the Church what the Kingdom really looks like.

I had so many beautiful experiences, and space here does not permit me to recount them all…but I will share just one. At the end of my week, a dear, dear sister, whom I would later discover had been an agnostic for most of the last fifty years as a result of hetero-hierarchical faith, walked up to my daughter, who was standing beside me. She pointed at my daughter sternly and said, “You be careful hanging around that man right there,” then pointed at me.

My daughter innocently asked, “Why?”

“He’s dangerous!” she said.

My daughter was puzzled. “Dangerous?”

My new friend hung her head and said quietly, “Yes, dangerous. He can make even an old agnostic begin to have the courage to believe once again.”

I walked away from this experience deeply and profoundly affected. On the long journey home, I came to the inescapable conclusion that if Jesus were speaking at a Kinship Kampmeeting this past summer, he would have preached, “Blessed are those who are gay, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn as result of how they are treated for identifying as lesbian, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the “erased” bisexuals, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who identify as transgender, who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled. Blessed are those who identify as intersex, yet show mercy to their oppressors, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, regardless of whether they are mostly straight or mostly queer, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, wherever they land on the spectrum, for they will be called children of God. And lastly, blessed are those, regardless of their sex/gender/orientation, who are persecuted because of their call for justice, equality and mercy, for theirs is the Kingdom.”

May we all have the courage to listen to our LGBTIQ brothers and sisters in Jesus. We all have so much still to learn…till the only world that remains is a world where Christ’s love reigns.

(The four presentations I gave at this event will be on Renewed Heart Ministries’ website shortly.)

Herb Montgomery is an Adventist author of Finding the Father, speaker, and the director of Renewed Heart Ministries. He currently resides in West Virginia with his wife Crystal and their three children, Alexis, Emarya, and Christian.