Friday, March 30, 2007


41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
42Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
43For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
44And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
45And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;
46Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.
47And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,
48And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

Luke 19:41-48.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


March 27, 2007 FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary hearings in Washington, DC. Mueller defended the silencing of an FBI agent who had told a newspaper that firing attorney Carol Lam would have hurt the agency's ongoing investigations, and had speculated that politics were involved. (Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post

FBI Agent Told to Keep Quiet Over Attorney Firings
By Thomas Ferraro
Tuesday 27 March 2007
An FBI agent was warned to keep quiet about the dismissal of a U.S. attorney after he told a newspaper her firing would hurt the agency's ongoing investigations and speculated politics was involved, a U.S. Senate panel heard on Tuesday.
FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the handling of the incident, saying: "I do not believe it's appropriate for our special agents in charge to comment to the media on personnel decisions that are made by the Department of Justice."
"I profoundly disagree," replied Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, who told the panel of the warning to the agent. "He (the agent) was simply saying that it would affect cases that were ongoing. And I think he's entitled to his opinion."
The exchange came as Mueller's testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is ramping up its investigation into the firing last year of eight of the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys.
The Bush administration contends the firings were justified. The mostly Democratic critics of the dismissals question whether the prosecutors were fired for political motives.
The furor has prompted calls for President George W. Bush to fire Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who heads the Justice Department. Bush has rejected such calls, saying he retains confidence in the chief U.S. law enforcement officer.
At a wide-ranging hearing on the FBI, Mueller said he was unaware that any ongoing investigation had been damaged by the dismissals. FBI agents help investigate cases brought by federal prosecutors.
"Politics Involved?"
Carol Lam, who helped win the 2005 political corruption conviction of then-U.S. Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California, was among seven prosecutors fired on December 7.
On January 13, the San Diego Union-Tribune quoted Dan Dzwilewski, head of FBI's San Diego office, as saying Lam was crucial to ongoing investigations. "I guarantee politics is involved," he was quoted saying.
Feinstein said her chief counsel had called the FBI's San Diego office to verify the accuracy of the story. She said the office confirmed it was true "but they also said they'd been warned to say no more."
Mueller said he had heard about the article and followed up.
"Well, my understanding is that our chief out there believes he was misquoted (and) ... that our investigations were continuing, without any diminishment," he said.
Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), a New York Democrat, noted that among the shifting reasons given for firing prosecutors was failure to energetically pursue voter-fraud investigations.
Schumer asked Mueller if he was aware of any FBI voter-fraud probe that should have resulted in an indictment but did not.
"Not to my knowledge," the FBI director replied.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Sean Penn

Information Clearing House

March 25, 2007 02:37 EDT
Four and a half years ago, I addressed the issue of war in an open letter to our President. Today I would like to again speak to him and his, directly. Mr. President, Mr. Cheney, Ms. Rice et al: Indeed America has a rich history of greatness -indeed, America is still today a devastating military.
And because, in the absence of a competent or brave Congress, of a mobilized citizenry, that level of power lies in your hands, it is you who have misused it to become our country's and our constitution's most devastating enemy. You have broken our country and our hearts. The needless blood on your hands, and therefore, on our own, is drowning the freedom, the security, and the dream that America might have been, once healed of and awakened by, the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
But now, we are encouraged to self-censor any words that might be perceived as inflammatory - if our belief is that this war should stop today. We cower as you point fingers telling us to "support our troops." Well, you and the smarmy pundits in your pocket, those who bathe in the moisture of your soiled and bloodstained underwear, can take that noise and shove it. We will be snowed no more. Let's make this crystal clear. We do support our troops in our stand, while you exploit them and their families. The verdict is in. You lied, connived, and exploited your own countrymen and most of all, our troops.
You Misters Bush and Cheney; you Ms. Rice are villainously and criminally obscene people, obscene human beings, incompetent even to fulfill your own self-serving agenda, while tragically neglectful and destructive of ours and our country's. And I got a question for your daughters Mr. Bush. They're not children anymore. Do they support your policy in Iraq? If they do, how dare they not be in uniform, while the children of the poor; black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and all the other American working men and women are slaughtered, maimed and flown back into this country under cover of darkness.
Now, because I've been on the streets of Baghdad during this occupational war, outside the Green Zone, without security, and you haven't; I've met children there. In that country of 25 million, these children have now suffered minimally, a rainstorm of civilian death around and among them totaling the equivalent of two hundred September 11ths in just four years of war. Two hundred 9/11s. Two hundred 9/11s.
You want to rattle sabers toward Iran now? Let me tell you something about Iran, because I've been there and you haven't. Iran is a great country. A great country. Does it have its haters? You bet. Just like the United States has its haters. Does it have a corrupt regime? You bet. Just like the United States has a corrupt regime. Does it want a nuclear weapon? Maybe. Do we have one? You bet. But the people of Iran are great people. And if we give that corrupt leadership, (by attacking Iran militarily) the opportunity to unify that great country in hatred against us, we'll have been giving up one of our most promising future allies in decades. If you really know anything about Iran, you know exactly what I'm referring to. Of course your administration belittles diplomatic potential there, as those options rely on a credibility and geopolitical influence that you have aggressively squandered worldwide.
Speaking of squandering, how about the billion and a half dollars a day our Iraq-focused military is spending, where three weeks of that kind of spending, would pay the tab on a visionary levy-building project in New Orleans and relieve the entire continent of Africa from starvation and the spread of disease. Not to mention the continued funds now necessary, to not only rebuild our education and healthcare systems, but also, to give care and aid to the veterans of this war, both American and our Iraqi allies and friends who have lost everything.
You say we've kept the war on terror off our shores by responding to a criminal act of terror through state sponsored unilateral aggression in a country that took no part in that initial crime. That this war would be fought in Iraq or fought here. They are not our toilet. They are a country of human beings whose lives, while once oppressed by Saddam, are now lived in Dante's inferno.
My 15-year-old daughter was working on a comparative essay this week (you can ask Condi what a comparative essay is, as academic exercises fit the limits of her political expertise.) My daughter's essay, which understood substance over theory, discusses the strengths of the Nuremberg trial justice beside the alternate strategy of truth and reconciliation in South Africa, and I quote: "When we observe distinctions between one power and another, one justice and another, we consider the divide between retribution and reconciliation, of closure and disclosure." I can't do her essay justice in this forum, but at its core, it asks how, when, and why we compromise toward peace, punish for war, or balance both for something more.
This may focus another soft spot in the rhetoric of both sides. We're told not to engage in the "politics of attack." To "keep away from the negative"...Well, Mr. Bush, when speaking of your administration, that would leave us silent, and impotent indeed.
So, in conclusion, I address my remaining remarks to the choir: We all played nice recently at the sad passing of former President Ford. Pundits and players on all sides re-visited his pardoning of Richard Nixon with praise, stating that a divided nation found unity. But what of that precedent on deterrence now? Where is justice now? Let's unite, not only in stopping this war, but holding this administration accountable as well. Without impeachment, justice cannot prevail. In our time, or our children's. And let's make it clear to democrats and republicans alike that we are not willing to wait on '08 to hear them say again: "If I'd known then, what I know now."
Even in a so-called victory, what we saw yesterday was a House of Representatives that couldn't bring itself to represent either conscience or constituents. It's a tragedy that the Democratic Party's leadership in Congress refuses to allow the House to vote on Barbara Lee's amendment for a fully funded, orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of this year. Elites circled the war wagons against this proposal, and postponed the day of reckoning that must come as soon as possible - a complete pullout of U.S. military forces from Iraq.
There are presidential candidates who understand this. We do have candidates of conscience. As things stand today, I will be voting for Dennis Kucinich, who has fought this war from the beginning. You might say Kucinich can't win. Well, we have an opportunity to re-establish the credibility of democracy as viewed by the world at large.
We can fire our current president. We can choose the next president. You and me, the farmer in Wisconsin, the boys at Google, and Bill Gates.
It's up to us to choose. Why don't we choose?!

From remarks of Congresswoman Barbara Lee's March 24, Town Hall Meeting on the 4th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq.



By Pastor Chuck Baldwin
February 7, 2006

Without a doubt, comparisons to Hitler have been overdone. It seems that when a writer disagrees with the policies of a sitting president, be he Republican or Democrat, there exists a ubiquitous temptation to compare him with the ignoble German leader. Some will no doubt charge this author with having succumbed to this temptation. Perhaps I have.
However, as a student of both the Bible and history, I believe we in America are living in times that are eerily reminiscent of the days leading up to the rise of the Third Reich. If after reviewing this thesis, the reader wants to dismiss its conclusions as insipid and irrelevant, he or she is certainly free to do so.
On the other hand, it would do the reader good to heed the words of George Santayana who said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." If America is truly flirting with any semblance of the fallacious and fallen Reich (which I believe it is), it is incumbent upon each and every true American (especially Christians) to renounce, reject, and repudiate such flirtations as early and as vociferously as possible!
There are many facets and aspects of the Third Reich which could and should be analyzed. For the purpose of this column, however, I want to focus on the attitude and actions of the ministers and churches of Germany at the time of Hitler's rise.
My focus upon the German church is predicated upon the fact that as a Christian pastor (I have been the pastor of an Independent Baptist Church for more than 30 years), it is my studied opinion that any western nation will rise or fall according to the attitudes and actions of its Christian leaders and churches. Scripture says, "Judgment must begin at the house of God." Therefore, while any nation might survive corrupt politicians, greedy merchants, and sinful citizens, it cannot survive cowardly, compromising churches! As the churches go, so goes the country!
In the case of Nazi Germany, it was the German churches first and foremost that failed their country. It was the churches that provided Hitler with moral and spiritual cover. It was the ministers and churches that allowed Hitler to seduce the nation. Some ministers were no doubt deceived themselves. Many others, like Adam, partook of the forbidden fruit with their eyes wide open. Either way, without the help and assistance of Germany's churches, the Nazi Party could never have become such a horrible leviathan. Therefore, let's examine the attitudes and actions of Germany's ministers and churches and compare them to America's ministers and churches today to see if there is any similarity.
As we delve into this material, I want to strongly recommend that the reader purchase and devour a book to which I will repeatedly refer. The book is entitled, "Hitler's Cross." It is written by Erwin Lutzer and published by Moody Press. The book is absolutely phenomenal! If you do not read any other book this year (beside the Bible), read "Hitler's Cross."
Now, let's examine the evidence.
It is a fact that when Adolph Hitler began his ascent to power, many, if not most, of Germany's Christians believed he was an answer to their prayers. Lutzer says many Christians replaced pictures of Christ in their homes with pictures of Hitler. They truly believed Hitler was "God's man" for Germany. They believed that to resist Hitler was to resist God. And why not?
After all, Hitler revived Germany's collapsed economy. He eradicated the shame of Germany's defeat in WWI by reclaiming the Rhineland. He gave generous vacations to the German people. He created numerous trade schools that trained and equipped Germany's workers. Thus, almost overnight, Germany's vast unskilled labor force was replaced with highly skilled workers. In fact, under Hitler, Germany had virtually no unemployment. Furthermore, Hitler brought crime under control. He built freeways and highways that were the envy of Europe. He literally brought the German people out of poverty and despair and made them a great and proud people once again. As a result, the German people, including German Christians, loved him!
Unfortunately, as Hitler was building Germany's economy and strengthening its military, he was also taking away the rights and liberties of the German people. Remember, Germany was a republic before Hitler came along. The principles of individual freedom and constitutional government were at one time precious to Germans. However, most German people were willing to gladly trade their liberty and freedoms for Hitler's promise of security and strength. It was a bad trade then. It is a bad trade now!
Lutzer documents the fact that at the time of Hitler's rise, there were some 14,000 evangelical churches in Germany. To win the support of these churches, Hitler literally wrapped himself and the Nazi Party in the Cross of Jesus Christ. Even today, one can view photos from Nazi parades showing the Cross of Christ highlighted in the heart of the Nazi Swastika.
In short order, Germany's pastors and churches were convinced that the Nazi Party was God's party and Hitler was God's man. By the time Hitler consolidated power and became Germany's Fuhrer, the Nazi Swastika was displayed proudly on the walls and halls of Germany's churches, both Catholic and Protestant.
Germany's pastors often preached sermons supporting Hitler and the Nazi Party. They told their congregants that to support any other party or any other potential leader was to "fight against God." Very soon, congregants who refused to swear loyalty to Hitler were denied last rites and Holy Communion by Catholic priests, while Protestant pastors excommunicated such members. Romans chapter 13 was often quoted from Germany's pulpits as scriptural justification for demanding loyalty to Hitler.
Even the famous Canadian pastor, Oswald J. Smith (Pastor of the People's Church in Toronto), was taken with Hitler. In 1936 Smith wrote, "What, you ask is the real attitude of the German people toward Hitler? There is but one answer. They love him. Yes, from the highest to the lowest, children and parents, old and young alike, they love their new leader. They trust him to a man.
"What about your elections? I asked. 'We don't want another party. We are satisfied with Hitler.' And that feeling exists everywhere. Every true Christian is for Hitler. I know, for it was from the Christians I got most of my information, and right or wrong, they endorse Adolph Hitler." (Source: "Hitler's Cross" by Erwin Lutzer, pp. 109, 110)
One German pastor, Julius Leutherser gushed, "Christ has come to us through Hitler. [T]hrough his honesty, his faith and his idealism, the Redeemer found us." (Source "Hitler's Cross" by Lutzer, p. 101)
Lutzer writes on page 102 of his book, "[I]n Hitler's day being a good Christian involved being a good German nationalist. God and country were practically one and the same."
Germany's Christians forgot that Christ's kingdom "is not of this world." Their desire to restore Germany's greatness and their patriotism somehow dwarfed their commitment to Christ and their fidelity to republican principles. Accordingly, their trust in God was supplanted with trust in Hitler, and their allegiance to principles of freedom was replaced with allegiance to the Nazi Party.
Of course, Hitler knew exactly what he was doing. He knew he needed the support of Germany's churches and pastors and he played the role of Christian leader magnificently. Privately, however, he despised Germany's clergymen. He said, "The parsons will dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes." How right he was!
Out of 14,000 German ministers, all but 800 gave Hitler their unequivocal and unflinching loyalty. Among the 800 was the great Christian patriot Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was later assassinated by Hitler's henchmen. Virtually all of the 800 courageous pastors who refused to support Hitler were sent to concentration camps.
What would have happened had 10,000 ministers in Germany resisted Hitler? What would have happened if 10,000 ministers would have refused to compromise their loyalty to Jesus Christ, their commitment to republican principles, and their devotion to sacred duty? What would have happened if 10,000 Christian ministers had not allowed the National Socialist Party to supplant their loyalty to God's Word?
It seems clear to me that the attitudes and actions of Nazi Germany's ministers and churches are being repeated in the United States today. To a large degree, Evangelicals have wrapped the Cross of Christ in the banner of the Republican Party. They quote Romans chapter 13 to justify their unflinching, yes, even blind support for President Bush. They are willing to surrender their freedoms and liberties so that President Bush might protect them. Pictures of the president almost universally line the halls and walls of our churches, Christian schools, and pastors' offices. They castigate and denigrate in the most caustic terms anyone who dares to challenge or even question President Bush. They are willing to let the president lead them into multiple wars, even wars of aggression, based solely on Bush's word. They refuse to hold the president accountable to the principles of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It seems to me that President Bush has taken on the aura of an American Fuhrer in the minds of many Evangelicals.

Just how far are Evangelicals willing to allow Bush to go? They already support unbridled spying on American citizens. They have gladly surrendered their Fourth Amendment rights. Would they be willing to support the imprisonment of fellow Christians who don't support Bush if the Department of Homeland Security ordered it? I believe many would. And if so, how is that different from the attitudes of Christians in Nazi Germany?

Again, readers may dismiss my observations as inane if they want to. However, please notice that the focus of this column was not so much on Hitler but on the attitudes and actions of Germany's ministers and churches.
If the reader can honestly and objectively look at the history of Germany's ministers and churches and see no similarity to the attitudes and actions of America's ministers and churches today, so be it. To me, however, the similarities are striking!
© 2006 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved



Operation Bite - April 6 Sneak Attack By US Forces On Iran Planned

- Russian Military Sources Warn
General Ivashov Calls For Emergency Session Of UN

Security Council To Ward Off Looming US Aggression

By Webster G. Tarpley3-25-7

WASHINGTON DC -- The long awaited US military attack on Iran is now on track for the first week of April, specifically for 4 AM on April 6, the Good Friday opening of Easter weekend, writes the well-known Russian journalist Andrei Uglanov in the Moscow weekly "Argumenty Nedeli." Uglanov cites Russian military experts close to the Russian General Staff for his account.
The attack is slated to last for twelve hours, according to Uglanov, lasting from 4 AM until 4 PM local time. Friday is a holiday in Iran. In the course of the attack, code named Operation Bite, about 20 targets are marked for bombing; the list includes uranium enrichment facilities, research centers, and laboratories.
The first reactor at the Bushehr nuclear plant, where Russian engineers are working, is supposed to be spared from destruction. The US attack plan reportedly calls for the Iranian air defense system to be degraded, for numerous Iranian warships to be sunk in the Persian Gulf, and the for the most important headquarters of the Iranian armed forces to be wiped out.
The attacks will be mounted from a number of bases, including the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Diego Garcia is currently home to B-52 bombers equipped with standoff missiles. Also participating in the air strikes will be US naval aviation from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, as well as from those of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Additional cruise missiles will be fired from submarines in the Indian Ocean and off the coast of the Arabian peninsula. The goal is allegedly to set back Iran's nuclear program by several years, writes Uglanov, whose article was re-issued by RIA-Novosti in various languages, but apparently not English, several days ago. The story is the top item on numerous Italian and German blogs, but so far appears to have been ignored by US websites.
Observers comment that this dispatch represents a high-level orchestrated leak from the Kremlin, in effect a war warning, which draws on the formidable resources of the Russian intelligence services, and which deserves to be taken with the utmost seriousness by pro-peace forces around the world.
Asked by RIA-Novosti to comment on the Uglanov report, retired Colonel General Leonid Ivashov confirmed its essential features in a March 21 interview: "I have no doubt that there will be an operation, or more precisely a violent action against Iran." Ivashov, who has reportedly served at various times as an informal advisor to Putin, is currently the Vice President of the Moscow Academy for Geopolitical Sciences.
Ivashov attributed decisive importance to the decision of the Democratic leadership of the US House of Representatives to remove language from the just-passed Iraq supplemental military appropriations bill which would have demanded that Bush come to Congress before launching an attack on Iran. Ivashov pointed out that the language was eliminated under pressure from AIPAC, the lobbing group representing the Israeli extreme right, and of Israeli Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni.
"We have drawn the unmistakable conclusion that this operation will take place," said Ivashov. In his opinion, the US planning does not include a land operation: " Most probably there will be no ground attack, but rather massive air attacks with the goal of annihilating Iran's capacity for military resistance, the centers of administration, the key economic assets, and quite possibly the Iranian political leadership, or at least part of it," he continued.
Ivashov noted that it was not to be excluded that the Pentagon would use smaller tactical nuclear weapons against targets of the Iranian nuclear industry. These attacks could paralyze everyday life, create panic in the population, and generally produce an atmosphere of chaos and uncertainty all over Iran, Ivashov told RIA-Novosti. "This will unleash a struggle for power inside Iran, and then there will be a peace delegation sent in to install a pro-American government in Teheran," Ivashov continued. One of the US goals was, in his estimation, to burnish the image of the current Republican administration, who would now be able to boast that they had wiped out the Iranian nuclear program.
Among the other outcomes, General Ivashov pointed to a partition of Iran along the same lines as Iraq, and a subsequent carving up of the Near and Middle East into smaller regions. "This concept worked well for them in the Balkans and will now be applied to the greater Middle East," he commented.
"Moscow must expert Russia's influence by demanding an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council to deal with the current preparations for an illegal use of force against Iran and the destruction of the basis of the United Nations Charter," said General Ivashov. "In this context Russia could cooperate with China, France and the non-permanent members of the Security Council. We need this kind of preventive action to ward off the use of force," he concluded.

Comment Jim Kirwan

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Ecumenists call for religious and political unity in EU

The Roman Catholic 'Council of European Bishops' Conferences' and the non Roman Catholic 'Conference of European Churches' have sent out a joint letter from Wittenberg to all the Christians of Europe to join in a "Pilgrimage of Light".
The letter was released at the end of the ecumenical encounter in Wittenberg, 15 18 February. "We look for the light of Christ which shines in the darkness", says the letter. "This light invites us to recognise our darkness of mistrust, suspicion and enmity and to be reconciled in the sacred presence of Christ's cross."
"One hundred and fifty delegates from 44 countries and almost all Christian churches in Europe gathered in Luther's city to reflect on issues such as the challenge of secularisation, the churches' vision for Europe and their contribution to the European integration;" (our emphasis) according to the official release.
Delegates had previously been told by German President Horst Koehler that churches risked squandering opportunities by letting differences and disputes drown out the message of their faith. But the engine of ecumenism seems to have stuttered," said Koehler, a Protestant.
The encounter in Wittenberg was a stage in the process leading to the Third European Ecumenical Assembly (EEA3), which will be held in September in Sibiu, Romania, on the theme, The light of Christ shines upon all Hope for renewal and unity in Europe
German. Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised to revive the "core" of the European Constitution, including the creation of an EU foreign Minister and the scrapping of national vetoes on justice and home affairs, despite its rejection by France and Holland in 2005, according to the Fellowship of European Broadcasters.
Britain. According to The Daily Mail, Mr Blair seems to be pushing for a five year, full time EU President, also for an EU Defence Minister and Foreign Minister, and that without consulting his cabinet. First steps will be taken at a summit on March 25 with a Declaration on the Future of Europe.
Segolene Royal, the Socialist Candidate for the French Presidency, has said she is in favour of holding a new referendum on a revised EU Constitution in 2009.

British Church Newspaper 2 March 2007


They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (Jesus Christ)
JOHN 16:2,3.


Berlin declaration signed to mark EU's 50th birthday

From left to right: German finance minister Peer Steinbrück, Commission president José Manuel Barroso, German federal chancellor Angela MerBerlin declaration signed to mark EU's 50th birthdaykel and the president of the EU parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering at the informal meeting in Berlin.


"The union is turning shared ideals into reality for its citizens", claims the Berlin declaration, signed by leaders gathered in Berlin for the 50th anniversary of the treaty of Rome. It is a vision for the EU, reasserting shared values and outlining ambitions for the future.

The shared values of respect for the individual, tolerance, solidarity and equal opportunities are re-affirmed in the Berlin declaration adopted on 25 March. The role of the common market and the euro are also acknowledged for enabling the union to forge economic links and keeping it competitive in the face of globalisation.
The European model combines economic success and social responsibility, states the declaration, contrasting the war and division before the EU with the stability and economic growth its citizens now enjoy.
Commission president Barroso praised what the EU has achieved in the last 50 years: "Peace, liberty and prosperity beyond the dreams of even the most optimistic founding father of Europe."
But there is no room for complacency – the union needs to evolve with the times, with constant renewal of Europe's political shape. "To stand still is to fall back", said German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Concerning the thorny issue of a constitution for Europe, the declaration is cautious: "we are united in our aim of placing the European Union on a renewed common basis before the European Parliament elections in 2009."
"It is when we are able to unite our forces that we Europeans have every prospect of overcoming major new challenges and looking with confidence to future anniversaries", said Angela Merkel.

Read the declaration [78 KB]
Watch the press conference
Video extracts (04:35) from the declaration

Monday, March 26, 2007




Coddling pedophiles and child killers

Posted: March 26, 20071:00 a.m. Eastern

How many more laws will be named for kidnapped, tortured, and/or sexually abused children in America before we as a society say, ''no more?'' Will it take more Megans, Jessicas and Ambers before the legal system addresses this virulent cancer amongst us?
Child sexual abuse is running rampant in our society. Every night it seems another child is abducted, raped and murdered. Too often we find out the killer is a repeat offender who has been set free by some liberal judge to harm again.

(Take the all too familiar case of Jessica Lunsford and the animal John Couey who kidnapped, raped and buried her alive. Couey was a known offender, and while we can debate until we are blue in the face Couey's legal rights, what about Jessica? Why was Couey allowed to live amongst a civilized society? Maybe it has to do with the liberal nut jobs in the media who believe the likes of Couey deserve to live.
Listen to what Frank Bruni of the New York Times wrote in 1997: ''The victim helped the abusive relationship and allowed it to continue over time, apparently taking some comfort or pleasure in it.'' Is he kidding me? The victim ''allowed the abuse to continue?'' ''Taking comfort or pleasure in it?'' This guy is sick.
I normally cite all kinds of statistics to back up what I say in this column, but not this week. After reviewing the data which is available to anyone who wants to see it, I have come to several conclusions.
Child sexual predators are NOT treatable. The rate of repeat offenders is astronomical. In many cases the predator repeats until someone dies. If by chance the victim is allowed to live, they are scarred for life and can in fact become an abuser themselves. I have yet to see a shred of evidence that would give me any hope a rapist or a murderer of a small child can be rehabilitated.
Child sexual predators have forfeited any right they had to coexist with other human beings. The acts they have committed should buy them life in prison or the death penalty. The only exception should be for an abuser who was a victim themselves. There is no reason to take the chance of another victim or family going through the pain and devastation caused by these obviously sick and perverted animals.
We as a society must demand change from our elected representatives to stop the rape and killing. The law must be swift and severe. If those on the left want to talk about how punishment will not stop the violence, then stop the ability of the offender to be violent.
There are 400,000 registered sexual offenders in the United States ... that's 400,000! It is estimated that 80 to 100,000 of them can't be located. The law demands they be registered, but they are not. The only way they are found, as in the case of Couey, is when they surface from their holes to rape and kill again. The unregistered offenders disobey the law until they are caught and then demand the law preserve their rights. That, my friend, is insane.
Today one in five of all violent offenders serving time in a state prison reports having victimized a child, according to a BJS survey of state prisons. Two-thirds of all prisoners convicted of sexual assault had committed their crime against a child. Ninety-six percent of offenders are male. The numbers are overwhelming and the blight is clear. This must stop in our society.
I wrote this column for one reason. I appreciate the work folks like Bill O'Reilly have done in passing the Jessica Lunsford Act. Yet there are many states that have refused to adopt the law and in some states, like New York, it is openly opposed. The Jessica Lunsford Act is great, but in my opinion it is not enough.
Anyone who rapes and/or murders a child should be separated from our midst. PERIOD. If you want to give them life in prison, so be it. The death penalty, no problem. But one thing is for sure. They should not be afforded the opportunity to strike again. The stakes are too high. Children are the most precious asset we have as a nation. Our nation must protect them. Is it fair to expose anyone to the likes of John Couey?
There should be zero tolerance for anyone who hurts a child. Debate it all you want. Call me all the names and criticize me. But God forbid it happens to your child. You just might end up standing right next to me screaming, ''Hang 'em.''
Craig R. Smith is an author, commentator and popular media guest because he instantly engages audiences with his common-sense analyses of local, national and global trends. Serving as CEO of Swiss America for nearly 25 years, Craig understands that Americans want solid answers to the tough questions and that real leadership begins with servanthood. Craig's most recent book is "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil," which he co-authored with WND columnist Jerome R. Corsi. For media interviews please call Holly at 800-950-2428.


Sunday, March 25, 2007


Blair warns Iran on 15 seized sailors
By TARIQ PANJA and JENNIFER QUINN, Associated Press Writers 8 minutes ago
LONDON - British Prime Minister

Tony Blair warned Iran on Sunday that the fate of 15 British sailors and marines seized off the Iraqi coast was a "fundamental" issue for his government, as Iran suggested the group may be put on trial for violating its waters.

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett spoke by telephone with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki late Sunday, and reiterated her country's stance that the British sailors and marines were operating in Iraqi waters as they searched for smugglers at sea.
She asked that British diplomats be allowed to meet with the service members and demanded their safe return, the Foreign Office said. In Jerusalem, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also called for their release.
At a European summit in Berlin, Blair said Iran's claim that the sailors had crossed into Iranian territorial waters "is simply not true."
"I want to get (the situation) resolved in as easy and diplomatic a way as possible," Blair said, but added he hoped the Iranians "understood how fundamental an issue this is for the British government."
On a visit to the Middle East, Rice said the sailors and marines should be released immediately and said "we all fully trust the British" that they were not in Iranian waters when they were seized Friday.
But the Iranians also stuck by their view that the British had violated Iranian territory.
In New York, Mottaki said his government was considering charges against the British sailors and marines.
"The Iranian authorities intercepted these sailors and marines in Iranian waters. and detained them in Iranian waters. This has happened in the past, as well," Mottaki said in Persian through a translator.
"The charge against them is illegal entrance into Iranian waters," Mottaki said. "In terms of legal issues, it's under investigation."
Mottaki declined to provide the exact coordinates of where the Britons were seized, saying this "very detailed information has been submitted to the representatives of the United Kingdom."
A spokesman for Britain's defense ministry said they were not releasing the coordinates.
Britain and the United States have said the sailors and marines had just completed a search of a civilian vessel in the Iraqi part of the Shatt al-Arab waterway when they were intercepted by the Iranian navy.
Iranian state news agency IRNA said British Ambassador Geoffrey Adams had spoken in Tehran with Ibrahim Rahimpour, the foreign ministry official in charge of western Europe, and asked about the condition of the British sailors and marines.
He was told by Rahimpour that they were "well and sound" and that "legal proceedings" were under way. No other details were provided.
In his conversation with Beckett, Mottaki gave no firm commitment on allowing British diplomats to meet with the servicemen, a British government spokesman said.
According to IRNA's English-language Web site, Adams said during the meeting that the British service members had been deployed in Iraq to establish security, and had no hostile intention toward Iran.
"Tehran has always exercised self-restraint in the face of border violations by the British troops," Rahimpour was quoted as saying. But after the "contradictory statements" in the seizure of the British, the case "required an inquiry into such suspicious events."
Lord Triesman, a Foreign Office undersecretary who had held talks with Iran's ambassador on Saturday, told Sky News there was good evidence the men were in Iraqi waters, but that the issue of whether the sailors had strayed into Iranian waters was only a technical one.
"I've been very clear throughout that the British forces do not ever intentionally enter into Iranian waters," he said. "There's no reason for them to do so, we don't intend to do so and I think people should accept there's good faith in those assertions."
Iran's top military official, Gen. Ali Reza Afshar, said on Saturday the seized Britons were taken to Tehran for questioning and had confessed to what he called an "aggression into the Islamic Republic of Iran's waters." He did not say what would happen to them but said all were being treated well and were in good health., a Persian Web site of supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, quoted a senior diplomat as saying the Britons were still being held by Iranian armed forces and would not be released until they promised "not do similar things in future."
The capture and detention of the British service personnel risks escalating an already fraught relationship between Iran and the West.
The U.N. Security Council of Saturday agreed to moderately tougher sanctions against Iran for its refusal to meet U.N. demands that it halt uranium enrichment. Many in the West fear the country's nuclear program is not for power generation but for arms making, a claim Iran denies.
The approved sanctions included ban on Iranian arms exports and freezing the assets of 28 additional people and organizations involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs. About a third of those are linked to the Revolutionary Guard, an elite corps whose navy had seized the British sailors and marines.
British, Israeli and Saudi media reports on Sunday suggested that Iran was hoping to trade the captured Britons for Iranian officials it claims have been abducted by the West in recent months.
Ali Askari, former head of an elite unit of the Revolutionary Guard, disappeared in Turkey six weeks ago; several months earlier, six Iranian officials were captured by U.S. forces an Iranian liaison office in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish self-ruled region of Iraq. One was later released.
Iran said it was a government liaison office. The U.S. military said those detained were connected to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard faction that funds and arms insurgents in Iraq.
Sobh-e-Sadegh, the official publication of the Revolutionary Guards, said in a January article that it would be easy to kidnap Americans and transfer them to "any location of choice" in retaliation for any attack.
Ahmad Bakhshaysh, a political analyst and professor in politics in Tehran's Allameh University, said a prisoner swap was not what Iran wanted.
"Iran is not after retaliation regarding abduction of its diplomats. ... However, Iran will use this opportunity to show to the world public opinion that Britons were (the) invader and Iran was victim of the Westerners bullying policy," he said.
The capture of the British sailors and marines was not the first time Iranians have taken Western forces by surprise in the border area.
American troops working with Iraqi border guards inside the frontier were attacked by a much larger Iranian military unit in September east of the Diyala province town of Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad, a U.S. Army spokesman said.
No Americans were hurt, but four Iraqi soldiers, an interpreter, and an Iraqi border policeman remain missing.
There is a lot of open terrain," military spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Donnelly said in an e-mail. "Visual sighting and happenstance encounters from a distance occur routinely."
Associated Press Writers Paul Ames in Berlin, Robert Reid in Amman, Nasser Karimi in Tehran and Justin Bergman in New York contributed to this report.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Exclusive Intelligence Examiner Report

Texe Marrs

"And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him..."
—Genesis 16:12
"Let the Rider from the Secret Place come forth..."
—The Great Invocation, The Lucis Trust
Does a tiny logo, printed on the cover of each issue of the authoritative journal, Foreign Affairs, hold the key to the future of America and, indeed, of the entire world? Moreover, could this same mark, or symbol, reveal to the wise the mysterious power that energizes and motivates the deadly global cult that the Holy Bible refers to as the last days Synagogue of Satan?
Revelation 6 paints for us an ominous, grim picture of the last days. It describes four horses and riders, popularly known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, to arrive on the world scene. First comes the Rider of the White Horse. He has a bow in his hand, the means to make war; he is given a crown and he goes forth to conquer and to subjugate all the world. The conquering hero on the white horse is swiftly followed by the frightening riders of the Red, the Black, and the Pale Horses. Each, in turn, brings in its wake bloodshed, famine, disaster, disease and death on a massive scale. By these catastrophes the whole earth is ravaged, and few survive.

And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer....Revelation 6:2

The man who sits astride the white horse is an impressive figure. The people honor him as a leader and warrior. While he is capable of making war, he comes initially as a man of peace. Thus, he rides a white horse, the symbol of peace. He will, the world's population concludes, usher in an unprecedented era of global harmony and tranquility.
But this conclusion is wrong. Instead, his arrival on the world stage presages the most devastating period in the annals of human history. Death, the Destroyer, is the companion of the white horse rider, and a cloud of misery soon envelops all humanity.
From Caesar to Lenin-Heroes are Acclaimed
For centuries, men have eagerly awaited the emergence of this heroic figure atop the white horse. Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, Lenin, and many others were once acclaimed as world heroes. Each attained only a partial measure of glory before the fire of their achievements flickered out and was extinguished.
Today, once again, nations and people everywhere hungrily long for and await the coming of a Great One, a figurative hero riding a white horse, to set things right. They believe that he and he alone will be able to bring peace to a war-torn, troubled world.

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, world leaders from 120 nations assembled for the first Earth Summit. Fearing a looming environmental disaster such as global warming, they began their global conclave with a prayer. That prayer, The Great Invocation, was furnished the attendees by the Lucis Trust, a New York and Geneva-based occult organization with close ties to the United Nations. The Great Invocation literally invokes, or invites, the heroic Rider of the White Horse to come forth to take the reins of world government, to unite the nations and lead the New World Order. In unison, world leaders from the United States, Germany, Russia, Britain, France, China, and scores of other nations solemnly stood and cried out, "Let the Rider from the Secret Place come forth..."

The Council on Foreign Relations and its Logo
This brings us back once again to that curious logo, or mark, on the cover of Foreign Affairs journal, which is the official publication of the powerful elitist cult group, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR truly is the inner circle of the Illuminati conspiracy. Mostly Jewish, its 3,300 members are the crème de la crème of American politics, corporations, banking and finance. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, and the CEOs of virtually the entire Fortune 500—they're all here, each serving as an obedient vassal to the Jewish elite who sit as the CFR's governing council.

This Jewish elite that rules the CFR agenda can, with certainty, be identified as the prophesied Synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9), a sinister group covertly led by devils from the pit of hell which everywhere opposes and seeks the destruction of Christians and the end of liberty and freedom.

The official logo of the Council on Foreign Relations pictures a wild, naked man on a white horse flashing the 6-6-6 occult salute of the sixth degree of Freemasonry.

The logo of any group, organization, or corporation typifies and encapsulates the aims and goals of that group. This can easily be seen in the logo of the CFR, which consists of a blackened circle, and inside the circle, a naked man riding a white horse. The man's nakedness gives evidence he is a "Wild Man," a rebel; yet, by his demeanor and attitude, the Rider of the White Horse clearly is a determined warrior confident of his mission.

The white horse rider pictured on the CFR's official logo does not as yet have the crown that is to be given to him. But since 1921, the CFR has labored to manipulate and deceive the world and has now contrived conditions in the Mid-East for a climactic World War III that will accomplish this. Meanwhile, the United States, in its Great Seal, has the mighty eagle clutching the arrows in its talon, or claw, that are already being employed as armaments of a global war. The emergent leader of the Synagogue of Satan, this naked man on a white horse, possesses, then, the awesome military might of the world's only remaining superpower, the U.S.A. Everything is at the ready for a final, bloody struggle.

The Great Seal of the United States, printed on the one dollar bill, depicts an eagle clutching in its talon arrows with which to make war. Above the Eagle’s head are stars mysteriously arranged to form a six-pointed Jewish Star of David—sign of the prophesied Synagogue of Satan.
You Cannot Escape the Naked Man
On the CFR logo, below the naked rider on the white horse, is a motto, an inscription in Latin, Ubique. It's meaning is "Everywhere," or "We are everywhere." Implicit in this Latin word is the connotation of "Big Brother is watching you!" His all-seeing eye is pervasive. He reigns over all. He sees, he governs, and you cannot escape his global dominion.

In this famous painting set in Egypt, the conqueror Napoleon, a Freemason and Illuminist, gives the Sign of Admiration of the sixth degree of the Masonic Lodge.

The naked wild man holds forth his right arm and hand in an erect position, a salute toward the sky, the fingers cast in the recognizable Masonic gesture demonstrated by initiates of the 6th degree of Freemasonry. In the ceremony and ritual for the 6th degree, the initiate displays hand and body signs which compute to 6-6-6, the prophesied number of the beast (Revelation 13). This is well-explained in my exposé book, Codex Magica.

The hand/arm salute of the CFR's naked man atop the white horse, in Masonic textbooks, is called the "Sign of Admiration." Its explanation is bound up in the ancient pagan temple rituals of Israel's apostate King Solomon. In reality, this sign is the occult salute of those who are of the Synagogue of Satan. The salute is made in honor of their leader and king, Lucifer, whom the Scriptures call, the "Prince of the Power of the Air."

Seething with Luciferian Energies
The late Manly P. Hall, 33°, officially declared by international Freemasonry as the Scottish Rite's greatest "Scholar of the 20th Century," revealed to his Masonic brethren the true, hidden meaning of the One who rides the White Horse. According to Hall, the works of the Mason, if exemplary and exceptional, may well earn him the status of godhood. Such men are rewarded by the Great Architect of the Universe (Lucifer) with superhuman wisdom and powers. Thus endowed, the exalted, divine Mason seethes with "Luciferian energy;" Hall says he is a "dynamo" of action, a "Warrior on the block."
The dynamic leader endowed (possessed?) with this powerful Luciferian energy answers only to the one whom the prophet Daniel identified as the "God of Forces." He is, indeed, a wild man, a warrior, and the Bible's prophecies describe him as such (Genesis 16:1-12; Genesis 21:1-21; Galatians 4:29). He is, moreover, a soldier, a centurion of sorts, in the Legion of Satan. His religion, meanwhile, is Apostate Judaism, the religion practiced by all who comprise the Synagogue of Satan. It is these "wild men" of the Synagogue of Satan who dare to make war with the saints, to cast some into prison and to kill others.

Jesus—King of Kings and Lord of Lords
But in the end, a Greater One shall come, and Him they cannot withstand. This Greater One's name is Jesus. He, too, symbolically rides a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16), and he has a name written, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." He also has an Army, an Army that cannot be defeated. It is made up of the Overcomers. And with Him, with their King and Lord on the throne, they shall reign forever. The Kingdom which their leader establishes shall never fall. It is everlasting.

But as for the enemy, the unrighteous and damnable naked man on the white horse, he and his followers shall be forever humbled. Defeated, they shall be cast down into the lake of fire which is everlasting. This is the second death, and it is beyond our imagination in its horror.

The elite membership of the CFR includes the top movers and shakers of American politics and money including (from left to right) Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve System; Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury; Condi Rice, Secretary of State; David Rockefeller, New York City banker; and Bill Clinton, former President of the United States.

Day of Decision
The warrior-lord, the Satan-led naked man on the white horse, is at your doorstep. He demands you serve him, his CFR elite and the Synagogue of Satan. He lies and offers you treasures and rewards here on earth if you will pledge to serve him and help him build his earthly kingdom.

The true and honorable King from heaven also implores you, "Take up your cross, follow me. I am the Light of the World, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; yet, I live forevermore."
Choose this day, dear friend, whom you will serve. But choose carefully. Your immortal life depends on it.


Pope: Europe Losing Faith in Its Future

Mar 24 02:58 PM US/EasternBy FRANCES D'EMILIOAssociated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Europe appears to be losing faith in its own future, Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday, warning against "dangerous individualism" on a continent where many people are having fewer children.
"One must unfortunately note that Europe seems to be going down a road which could lead it to take its leave from history," the pontiff told bishops in Rome for ceremonies to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, a major step toward the creation of today's European Union.
Benedict said he was concerned about Europe's "demographic profile"—though he did not describe the trends that have alarmed the continent for decades.
In countries like Italy, where many married couples have one or no children, the population is expected to shrink dramatically in a generation or two unless fertility rates quickly increase.
Benedict expressed concern that Europe's population trends, "besides putting economic growth at risk, can also cause enormous difficulties for social cohesion, and, above all, favor dangerous individualism, careless about the consequences for the future."
"You could almost think that the European continent is in fact losing faith in its own future," Benedict said.
A recent Eurostat survey showed Poland's fertility rate to be the lowest in the EU, at 1.23 children per woman.
Sociologists and economists blame the economy, particularly the unemployment rate—at 14.9 percent the highest in the EU. Worried about losing their jobs, many women in Poland put off having children, often until it is too late.
Earlier this month, Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski proposed a new program of tax exemptions and support for working mothers in the hope of encouraging births and ensuring that Poles "continue as a nation."
Italy's fertility rate steadily plunged to a low of 1.25 children per women of childbearing age in 2001, with the last few years seeing a small turnaround, mainly due to births to immigrants.
Italian experts cite Italian's desire for an easier lifestyle, but they also blame shortages of day care centers, expensive housing and a sluggish job market which sees many Italians living at home until well into their 30s as reasons for the country's relatively few children.
Antonio Golini, an Italian demographer, told The Associated Press recently that unless the retirement age is raised, Italy will have more people drawing pensions than it will have workers in 2050.
Spain also has a low fertility rate, while France, with family friendly policies such as cheap day care and generous parental leave, has experienced a baby boom.
France had more babies in 2006 than in any year in the last quarter- century, capping a decade of rising fertility that has bucked Europe's graying trend. Its fertility rate in 2006 was 2.0 children per woman.
A rate of 2.1 children per woman is considered the minimum necessary to keep a population from shrinking.
Associated Press reporter Vanessa Gera in Warsaw contributed to this report.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Note: Bolds and emphasis added.



1And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
2And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
8And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
9And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Revelation 14

Wednesday, March 21, 2007



Real ID Act Will Make America a Police State

I rise in strong opposition to HR 418, the REAL ID Act. This bill purports to make us safer from terrorists who may sneak into the United States, and from other illegal immigrants. While I agree that these issues are of vital importance, this bill will do very little to make us more secure. It will not address our real vulnerabilities. It will, however, make us much less free. In reality, this bill is a Trojan horse. It pretends to offer desperately needed border control in order to stampede Americans into sacrificing what is uniquely American: our constitutionally protected liberty.What is wrong with this bill?The REAL ID Act establishes a national ID card by mandating that states include certain minimum identification standards on driver´s licenses. It contains no limits on the government´s power to impose additional standards. Indeed, it gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to unilaterally add requirements as he sees fit.


Anne Broache


Wed, 21 Mar 2007 13:17 EDT

A senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security official on Wednesday said he finds privacy concerns prompted by the proposed Real ID regime puzzling.
Stewart Baker, the department's assistant secretary for policy, said a forthcoming system of uniform national identification cards will not put more personal information into the hands of motor vehicle administrators or result in a massive centralized database that's more susceptible to hackers.
In fact, Baker said, the controversial law will improve Americans' privacy. "You can never foresee the future, but every indication is that Real ID is actually going to make it less easy for people to engage in identity theft," Baker told the Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee at its quarterly public meeting.
Real ID has been a target of criticism since Congress enacted it three years ago as part of an "emergency" Iraq spending bill. Although Homeland Security has tried to defuse criticism by extending deadlines, the law still requires states to reconfigure their drivers licenses and share data. If they don't agree to comply by this October, their citizens won't be able to use their driver's licenses to board planes or enter federal buildings starting on May 11, 2008.
Baker said the process is privacy-protective because it will require Americans to produce legal documents like birth certificates, whose authenticity will be verified, before they can receive a card that meets Real ID protocol. That approach would allow, for instance, airport officials to be more confident in the identity of travelers when it comes time to check them against government watch lists, Baker said.
Some states, including Maine, have rejected Real ID on cost grounds, however, and privacy advocates worry about what will happen to data on the IDs' mandatory bar code when it is scanned by banks, bars and other businesses. DHS ruled earlier this month that the data will not be encrypted because of "operational" concerns, such as police being able to easily scan the data from the backs of licenses during traffic stops.
Baker said Wednesday that the department would consider requiring encryption as it writes the final rules, but added: "If you impose encryption requirements that make that exchange of information difficult, you're undermining, not improving, security associated with driver's licenses, we don't want to do that."
Several members of the committee, composed of security companies, academia and nonprofit groups who make policy recommendations to Homeland Security privacy officials, raised concerns about the new system at Wednesday's meeting.
"With what happens now in airports, it doesn't look like it would matter how hard the document was to fake because no one looks at it closely enough to even think about that question," said committee Chairman J. Howard Beales, a George Washington University professor and former Federal Trade Commission official. "Is there a more elaborate process that's envisioned here?"
Baker said Homeland Security was considering taking over the identification check process and putting in stricter controls. Right now, people who check IDs in airport security lines are not generally government employees, he said.
Earlier in the meeting, Jonathan Frenkel, a senior policy adviser with Homeland Security, complained about what he called a rash of "misinformation" about draft national standards for ID cards.
For one thing, he said it's "utter nonsense" that the U.S. government is planning a "Big Brother kind of system" to track American citizens' every move through the cards, as one Missouri state legislator suggested this week.
Frenkel said that if the government really wanted to track cardholders, it would force all citizens to carry the cards. "Since no one is ever required to carry a Real makes no sense that the government would track something that (a person) doesn't have to carry," he said. (Many nations do require their citizens to carry such documents, and some Real ID critics view the law as the first step toward such a system.)
It also isn't true that only a Real ID card will allow a person to board an airplane or enter a federal building, Frenkel said. A U.S. passport issued by the State Department--new ones have RFID tracking chips embedded--would also qualify.
Privacy groups took issue with the agency's assertions. "It is not ridiculous to say that Real ID will create a national identification system that will allow people to be tracked," said Melissa Ngo, director of the Identification and Surveillance Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "Real ID is ostensibly voluntary, but that just isn't true."
Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Technology and Liberty Program, said the practical effect of the rules will be a "uniform" card with a machine-readable zone whose information can readily be harvested by outsiders.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

by Jack Random

For the fourth time, on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War, I walked the streets of protest in San Francisco. Beneath the pounding drums, the booming oration and chants of solidarity, the mood was solemn and sober. After four years of protest and a pivotal election victory, the war is not ending; it is escalating.
We have arrived at a critical conclusion: The war will not end with a Democratic congress. The war will not end with the election of the next president. The dominant parties have seemingly struck a deal to continue the war indefinitely.
The leaders of the antiwar movement challenge us to believe that the war can be ended only on the streets of protest. We look around and we see a great gathering of the most progressive element of society. We see a festival, a common ground, but we do not see an end to the war. Many of us are old enough to remember the last war, the war on Southeast Asia, and the uneasy, awkward feeling in 1975 when Richard Nixon pronounced its end. We know that history is full of ironies, that times change and reality often turns on a dime. We can hope that the war will end on the streets of protest, we can dream, but we cannot hope that protest alone will close this gruesome chapter. We can hope that a mainstream candidate – perhaps not yet announced – will run on a concrete pledge to end the war but we cannot rest our hopes on this alone. We can hope that independent candidates will rise up on the backs of the electorate to replace Blue Dog Democrats and war leading Republicans with antiwar progressives and libertarians. We can and should hope that a convergence of many forces will ride the waves of solemn truth into a new America. We should understand that reality is pliable. It answers to the call of truth. It yields to the overwhelming voice of the people. So let us return to the streets of protest united and strong. Let us speak out until all the people understand that nothing of substance can be done to ease human suffering around the globe, to shelter the homeless, to heal the sick, to be rebuild broken dreams, to answer the demands of natural disasters, to alter the decree of global climate change or to restore America’s standing in the world until this war is ended. Let us find and support viable candidates among college professors and social philanthropists willing to take a stand against the war. Let us find the face of the antiwar movement from among those rare individuals with wide appeal and uncompromised character. (Ralph Nader is right: Bill Moyers should run.) However remote, let us also leave the door ajar for the possibility of a mainstream candidate with a pledge to end the war. History teaches us that only a convergence of powerful forces and events can affect the profound changes that America in the 21st century must undergo. If we are prepared on all fronts, our time will come. Let each individual answer the call in her or his own way. The one thing certain is that a change is in the air. There is a fundamental understanding beyond words and symbolism that the nation has wandered astray. Only a lunatic would continue to wander. Only a people gone mad would allow it. Jazz.


Monday, March 19, 2007


Blackwater USA

Mercenary firm founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL and fundamentalist Christian Erik Prince. Received no-bid contracts from the Bush administration in Iraq, Afghanistan, and post-Katrina New Orleans.

Official Website:

Corporate headquarters:
Moyock, NC


----Name------------Occupation------Birth--- Death -----Known for
Erik Prince-----------Business---------1970-------Blackwater USA mercenary firm
Joseph E. Schmitz--- Government----- c. 1956---- Pentagon Inspector General, 2002-05


----Name---- Occupation---- Birth----- Death---- Known for
Cofer Black--Government----c. 1950--------Coordinator for Counterterrorism

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September 29, 2005 -- Blackwater USA represents a return to "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition." According to a knowledgeable political insider in Washington, the private military contractor Blackwater USA has close ties to the Christian Right. The Prince Group, the McLean, Virginia-based parent company of Blackwater, recently hired Joseph E. Schmitz as its Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. Previously, Schmitz was the Inspector General of the Department of Defense. Schmitz was a Special Assistant to-Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who is an official of the dominionist Christian Fellowship Foundation and a Heritage Foundation Fellow who recently authored a blueprint for rebuilding New Orleans and Louisiana. Perhaps not coincidentally, Blackwater USA and its sister company Presidential Airways, have been providing security for petrochemical industry and other installations damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater's Raven Development Group (RDG) advertises the following services, which should alarm current landowners in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mississippi: General Contracting, Construction Management, Design Build Services, Site Selection Assistance, and Municipal Interfaces for Site Plan Approvals -- Economic Incentives and Permitting.

Blackwater USA: "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition"
Joseph Schmitz is active in the Washington Lawyers' Chapter of the right-wing Federalist Society, the same group with which the new Chief Justice John G. Roberts was affiliated. Schmitz is also a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Schmitz was accused of covering up several investigations into fraud, waste and abuse within the Rumsfeld Pentagon. Schmitz is the son of the late GOP far right congressman and segregationist American Independent Party presidential candidate John G. Schmitz. Schmitz's sister is former Washington State school teacher Mary Kay Letorneau who was jailed for child rape after having sex with her 12-year old sixth grade student. After Letorneau was released from prison in 2004 and after she had two children with the student, she and the boy, Vili Fualaau, married. Their sexual relationship began in 1996 when Letorneau was 34.
John G. Schmitz was discovered to have had an affair out of wedlock with one of his Santa Ana College political science students. In 1982, a 13-month old infant boy, who was the product of Schmitz's relationship with German national Carla Stuckle, was rushed to an Orange County, California hospital with a hair so tightly tied in a square knot around the boy's penis, it was almost severed. Child abuse charges were later dropped against the German college student and the infant was restored to her custody.
Joseph Schmitz is not the only connection between Blackwater and right-wing GOP politicians. Blackwater's CEO and co-founder is Michigan-based Erik D. Prince, an ex-US Navy SEAL, an heir to an automobile parts corporate fortune, a former intern for President George H. W. Bush, and a contributor to such right wing Republicans as recently indicted Tom DeLay. Prince also has strong political links to Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, one-time GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer, a political action committee called "Restoring the American Dream," (whose board of directors included Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Robert Bork, former Rep. Steve Largent, Domino's Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, North Carolina Rep. Sue Myrick [appointed to the Joint Congressional "Review" panel for Hurricane Katrina relief], and former Rep. J. C. Watts) and, more interestingly, current House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) chairman Peter Hoekstra, who has been pressuring the CIA to accept more intelligence from HPSCI sources. The close connection between Hoekstra and Blackwater, a company that advertises its own intelligence gathering services: "Our mission is to provide the client with veteran military, intelligence and law enforcement professionals with demonstrated field operations performance tempered with mature experience in both foreign and domestic requirements," should be of concern to non-politicized and career U.S. intelligence professionals.
Erik Prince's sister Betsy, who is chairman of the Michigan GOP, is married to Dick DeVos, the son of Amway founder Richard DeVos, a member of the board of the conservative and Christian Dominionist Council for National Policy (CNP), an umbrella organization where he rubs shoulders with such leading right wingers as Jack Abramoff, Howard Ahmanson, the Leadership Institute's Morton Blackwell, Focus on the Family's James Dobson, Coral Ridge's Dr. D. James Kennedy, Edwin Meese III, Pat Robertson, Richard Viguerie, and Paul Weyrich. The DeVos family has used a corporate entities such as the Windquest Group, DP Fox Ventures, and Alticor, Inc. to funnel thousands of dollars to conservative GOP politicians and their PACs, including Restoring the American Dream board member Sue Myrick, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, and Louisiana Rep. Bobby Jindal. Erik Prince, through a Virginia entity called Prince Household LLC, as well as the Prince Group, has contributed to Tom DeLay, Peter Hoekstra, George W. Bush, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, and Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn.
Blackwater maintains the largest private military training facility in the United States. Located on an abandoned U.S. military base at Moyock, North Carolina on the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp near the North Carolina-Virginia border, Blackwater's Security Consulting subsidiary attracts military and paramilitary trainees from around the country and the world. Former Chilean and Honduran military personnel have been trained at Moyock prior to deployment to Iraq. What is even more attractive for the Bush administration and Blackwater is the fact that, as a private company, Blackwater is far removed from oversight by government inspectors general, Freedom of Information Act requests, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and snooping reporters.
Iraqi insurgents killed and mutilated the bodies of four Blackwater mercenaries near Fallujah, Iraq in April 2004, an act that triggered a massive U.S. military response that laid waste to the "city of mosques." Recently, Blackwater mercenaries have been patrolling the streets of New Orleans along with other mercenaries from the United States and Israel.