Monday, April 30, 2007


3 Atlanta Police Officers Charged in Drug Raid
Death of 92-Year-Old Woman 2 Plead Guilty

Harry R. Weber, Associated Press

April 26, 2007

San Diego Union-Tribune

ATLANTA — Two police officers pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman during a botched drug raid last fall. A third officer still faces charges.
Officer J.R. Smith told a state judge Thursday that he regretted what had happened.
"I'm sorry," the 35-year-old said, his voice barely audible. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation, making false statements and perjury, which was based on claims in a warrant.
Former Officer Gregg Junnier, 40, who retired from the Atlanta police in January, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation and making false statements. Both men are expected to face more than 10 years in prison.
In a hearing later in federal court, both pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to violate a person's civil rights, resulting in death. Their state and federal sentences would run concurrently.
The charges followed a Nov. 21 "no-knock" drug raid on the home of Kathryn Johnston, 92. An informant had described buying drugs from a dealer there, police said. When the officers burst in without warning, Johnston fired at them, and they fired back, killing her.
Fulton County prosecutor Peter Johnson said that the officers involved in Johnston's death fired 39 shots, striking her five or six times, including a fatal blow to the chest.
He said Johnston fired only once through her door and didn't hit any of the officers. That means the officers who were wounded likely were hit by their own colleagues, he said.
Junnier and Smith, who is on administrative leave, had been charged in an indictment unsealed earlier Thursday with felony murder, violation of oath by a public officer, criminal solicitation, burglary, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and making false statements.
The third officer, Arthur Tesler, also on administrative leave, was charged with violation of oath by a public officer, making false statements and false imprisonment under color of legal process. His attorney, William McKenney, said Tesler expects to go to trial.
Tesler, 40, is "very relieved" not to face murder charges, McKenney said, "but we're concerned about the three charges."
Both men could have faced up to life in prison had they been convicted of murder. Instead, Junnier will face 10 years and one month and Smith 12 years and seven months. No sentencing date was immediately set, and the sentences are contingent on the men cooperating with the government.
The deadly drug raid had been set up after narcotics officers said an informant had claimed there was cocaine in the home.
When the plainclothes officers burst in without notice, police said, Johnston fired at them, and they fired back.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Yonette Sam-Buchanan said Thursday that although the officers found no drugs in Johnston's home, Smith planted three bags of marijuana in the home as part of a cover story.
The case raised serious questions about no-knock warrants and whether the officers followed proper procedures.
Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington asked the FBI to lead a multi-agency probe. He also announced policy changes to require the department to drug-test its nearly 1,800 officers and require top supervisors to sign off on narcotics operations and no-knock warrants.
To get the warrant, officers told a magistrate judge that an undercover informant had told them Johnston's home had surveillance cameras monitored carefully by a drug dealer named Sam.
After the shooting, a man claiming to be the informant told a television station that he had never purchased drugs there, leading Pennington to admit he was uncertain whether the suspected drug dealer actually existed.
The Rev. Markel Hutchins, a civil rights activist who serves as a spokesman for Johnston's family, said the family was satisfied with Thursday's developments.
"They have never sought vengeance. They have only sought justice," he said.
Hutchins said the family is considering civil action against the police department.
"I think what happened today makes it very clear that Ms. Johnston was violated, that her civil rights were violated," he said.
Associated Press writer Jason Bronis in Atlanta contributed to this report.



Bush predicts change is near for Cuba

Sat Apr 28, 2007 6:06pm ET

MIAMI (Reuters) - President Bush took fresh aim on Saturday at Cuba's communist government, calling it a "cruel dictatorship" and predicting that democratic change was near.The U.S. president's comments came amid signs that Cuban leader Fidel Castro was recovering from an intestinal ailment that has kept him out of the public eye for the past nine months and may soon resume some government duties.Bush, who has tightened economic sanctions on Havana and boosted aid to dissidents with a goal of hastening the end of Castro's grip on power, said in a commencement speech at Miami Dade College that many Cubans were dreaming of a better life. "Unfortunately, those dreams are stifled by a cruel dictatorship that denies all freedom in the name of a dark and discredited ideology," Bush said, noting that many people at the graduation had roots in Cuba, which is just 90 miles (140 km) from Florida."Some of you still have loved ones who live in Cuba and wait for the day when the light of liberty will shine upon them again," Bush said. "That day is nearing."Since Fidel Castro, 80, handed over power temporarily to his brother in July, he has since been seen only in videotaped footage and in photographs.A few months ago, U.S. intelligence agencies appeared to be expecting Castro's demise. In fact, former U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte said in a December interview he was near deathHowever, recent photographs of Castro's meeting with a senior Chinese Communist Party official showed he has regained some weight. And U.S. officials have since acknowledged he may be improving.Many Cuba watchers say Raul Castro, 75, is likely to remain in control but there is still some speculation that Fidel Castro will assume a role as elder statesman or return to help set and even dictate policy.In Bolivia, President Evo Morales said he was sure Castro would resume power during May Day celebrations in Havana, a Bolivian television station reported on Saturday."I'm sure, my Cuban brothers, that on May 1 comrade Fidel will return to governing Cuba and Latin America," Morales said, according to the private Unitel network.After Castro's illness was announced last year, Bush reiterated a desire to see democratic change in Cuba but he has said little about the situation in Havana since then.Bush did not mention either of the Castro brothers by name in his speech.Among those at the commencement were some of the most vocal anti-Castro politicians in the U.S. Congress: Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. All three are Republicans from Florida.Bush also made a push for Congress to take up his proposal for broad immigration reform that would include steps to tighten the border along with a guest worker program."Our current immigration system is in need of reform. We need a system where our laws are respected," Bush said. "We need a system that meets the legitimate needs of our economy. And we need a system that treats people with dignity and helps newcomers assimilate into our society."Bush said in his weekly radio address he saw signs that some in Congress who had been hesitant to move forward on immigration last year now seem "open to supporting it."


Sunday, April 29, 2007


ALERT - April 26 - 11:30 AM

As many of you know, there is a large forest fire burning near Waycross Ga., the site for THE NEXT STEP. As of this writing, the fire is approx 4 miles from Laura Walker State Park. All campers have been evacuated and the camp has been closed for the time being. We have tried to find another camp to hold the seminars at, but with the shortness of time, this has not worked out. So, unfortunately, we have come to the difficult decision of cancelling THE NEXT STEP.
More info below
If you have already registered, we will be trying to notify you ASAP. Please email us to let us know you are aware of the cancellation, as otherwise we will be trying to contact you and this would save us much time as we are travelling to upcoming meetings in Orlando this weekend. Your registration fee will be refunded. We sincerely apologize for any inconveniences this may cause with plane tickets, etc. Unfortunately, there is nothing anyone can do about a situation like this. We felt that it would be unwise to try and continue with this under the current situation.
We would like to take this opportunity to announce that we have reserved Bear Paw Camp, near Newport, Washington, to hold another THE NEXT STEP Country Living Seminars & Workshops on Oct. 24-28, 2007. While the topics may not be identical, they should be similar in nature to these meetings that were to take place. We will try to post more info and launch the online registration for the October meetings in the next month or two. We hope to see you there.
If there are any questions you may have regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact us. Also, we would very much appreciate your help in notifying anyone you might know of who was planning on coming of the cancellation.
Many thanks for your understanding and prayers,
The MMM Staff


Sunday, April 22, 2007


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Saturday, April 22, 2000, 5:00 AM


April 23, 2007
The Bush-Cheney Stupid Iraq War
by Rodrigue Tremblay

"We know where [the weapons of mass destruction] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
Donald Rumsfeld, (March 30, 2003)

"The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy [to invade Iraq]."
Downing Street Memo (July 2002)

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
Mark Twain. The Mysterious Stranger 1916

Now Karl Rove, Bush's political brain, says that the Iraq War was "Osama bin Laden’s Idea." —This is crazy.

The fact is that the world was ready to accept a case for destroying and eradicating the terrorist-training camps located in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, after 9/11. That is the reason the United Nations Security Council passed two resolutions to that effect in the fall of 2001 and in early 2002. These were Resolution 1373, adopted on September 28, 2001, and Resolution 1390, passed on January 16, 2002.

But the case for going to war against Iraq is entirely different: It was a fabrication from day one. That is the reason the United Nations Security Council refused to pass a resolution authorizing it, in January 2003. The Bush-Cheney regime nevertheless went ahead with this illegal war and will carry the historical opprobrium for having done so. It took the low moral road, thus reducing the moral stance of western civilization in the world and doing irreparable damage to international law and order. It has also brought discredit on the very institution of representative government and on democracy in general. This is a scandal of high proportions, above and beyond all the crimes being carried out on the ground in Iraq.

The British ambassador to Australia and former British cabinet minister Helen Liddell recently rendered a service to many when she stated the obvious, i.e. that the Bush-Cheney war of aggression against Iraq had little to do with a war against terrorism. The Bush-Cheney regime is marketing any imperialistic and colonialist adventure around the world as an "anti-terrorist" mission and a push for democracy. —This is a lie. It is a propaganda trick to silence critics and chloroform the American public. All these wars of aggression are illegal attempts by the United States and its willing co-conspirators to dominate militarily the strategic oil-rich Middle East and Caspian region in order to displace Russia, China and even Western Europe from this region of the world. It has nothing to do with fighting Islamist terrorism. In fact, it feeds and exacerbates terrorism. Iraq has become a "university of terror".

Therefore, the historical reality remains that the Bush-Cheney regime disregarded truth and international law in order to justify taking military control of oil-rich Iraq, without provocation, even though it knew perfectly well that this country had no ties to the 9/11 attacks nor to bin Laden's terrorist organization, and that it had no weapons of mass destruction. In the process, however, this Karl Rove-inspired Republican regime took partisan advantage of the anger present in America after 9/11 to run two elections, in 2002 and in 2004, on the theme of national security and on a platform of war hysteria, thus profiting immensely politically from this propaganda scam.

Now that hundreds of people die daily in occupied Iraq, that they have triggered a religious and sectarian civil war, and that a majority of Americans have seen through their lies and machinations, the architects of this disaster are trying to shift blame and find new excuses. But to no avail. The truth is now too powerful to be extinguished by crude propaganda tricks and by lies.
For a while, however, the campaign of disinformation and propaganda worked remarkably well. For example, immediately after the events of 9/11, only three percent (3%) of Americans made a link between the terrorist attacks and Iraq; by February 2003, weeks before the March 20, 2003 onset of the Iraq War, a whopping seventy-two percent (72%) of Americans had been persuaded by the Bush-Cheney regime and their sycophants in the media that the president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, had been personally involved in the 9/11 attacks. Political analysts will study this propaganda coup for decades to come.

Even the Democrats in Congress—goaded by the pro-Israel Lobby—were suicidally content to go along with the Bush-Cheney's scam until the 2006 elections. They now adopt the majority view that there is no military solution in Iraq, that to believe so will only lead to bad policies and make matters worse, and that a promise to withdraw all American troops from this country is a prerequisite to reintroduce some stability in this ravaged country.

But how many thousands more deaths must occur before sanity prevails?

Rodrigue Tremblay lives in Montreal and can be reached at
Visit his blog site at:
Author's Website:
Check Dr. Tremblay's coming book "The Code for Global Ethics" at:
Posted, April 23, 2007, at 5:30 am

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Thursday, April 19, 2007


Virginia Tech students pay their respects in front of a makeshift memorial after a candlelight vigil for the 33 people who died the day before in two shooting incidents on campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, April 17, 2007. The shooting is the deadliest on a school campus in U.S. history. (UPI Photo/Saul Loeb)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Another Jesus

TO HEAR A 2 MIN. JUST THE FACTS AUDIO SEGMENT RELATING TO THIS SUBJECT: CLICK HERE for RealAudioDownload Times: Streaming RealAudio File 12 seconds

Scriptures warn us to beware of those preaching "another Jesus""...if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."

Sol Invictus / Mithra

What would be considered "another Jesus"? The Greek word used in this scripture verse is"allos" meaning different. So what we are considering is a different Jesus; not the Jesus of the Bible, not the only begotten Son of God, but another Jesus -- an impostor.
Today there are worldly wise, philosophers "vain in their imaginations" who using the example of Jesus teach men to disobey Gods commandments. They are preaching "Another Jesus". Many pagan practices that have absolutely no scriptural basis have been accepted, by many believers as the worship of Christ. These practices have not only been accepted but have become commonplace in the organized church. Those who refuse to participate in these practices are considered strange. These practices, introduced gradually by false teachers, have been accepted through tradition and have absolutely no scriptural basis. We have no excuse for ignorance. We have been fairly warned:
"there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies."
We must search the scriptures to find out the truth. The truth that the ways of the LORD prescribed for His people have not changed, nor will they change. Activities unacceptable to the Lord 6000 years ago are still unacceptable today.
Christ said: "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
The prophesies of the Bible have come true: The time has come when sound doctrine is not endured. People receive teachers who tell them what they want to hear. Things that are wrong are justified, explained away: disregarding the warning, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
Fables and the traditions of men are substituted for the truth: "After their own lusts they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they turn away their ears from the truth, and are turned unto fables."
"Christianized" pagan activities, traditional inventions of men, are not in honor of the Biblical Jesus.
What Jesus do they honor? "another Jesus".
TO HEAR A 2 MIN. JUST THE FACTS AUDIO SEGMENT RELATING TO THIS SUBJECT: CLICK HERE for RealAudioDownload Times: Streaming RealAudio File 12 seconds


Today, intolerance of compromise is considered lack of love for one another. It is just the opposite. If one really cares about someone, he should tell them the truth, whether it makes him popular or not.
We are told that: "Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."
Those who are willing to stand for the truth must remember: "He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
It is very difficult to proclaim error in a way that is pleasing to those who, through the traditions of men, participate in activities never prescribed nor authorized by God. Many teachers, who have studied the Bible and secular history, are well aware of the origin of the quote "Christianized" pagan practices which we have discussed - yet they proclaim them to be acceptable to the Biblical Jesus: These are Teachers "Whose mouths must be stopped."
Those concealing the truth in order to uphold the traditions of men should not be told in a pleasing way: Pagan tradition was never authorized by the Jesus of the Bible - you are preaching "another Jesus".
Do we really love the truth? Those that do will not be satisfied to remain like those, who, "willingly are ignorant". They will study in order to search out the truth and then respond to it.
The truth must be proclaimed: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" .......The Biblical Jesus
In accordance with Biblical instructions we must hold fast the faithful word of sound doctrine. The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.and sin is the transgression of that law.
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:.....John 10:27
This segment is excerpted from the book, "Too Long in the Sun". Please click the ORDER button to secure a copy for yourself and learn even more on this topic!


Sunday, April 15, 2007


Origin of Sunday Observance

The festival of Sunday is much more ancient than the Christian religion. Baal worship is the same as sun worship. This practice can be traced to remote times - to the Canaanites, the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and other ancient nations.
Even the Israelites at times went so far as to do the same as the heathens (II Kings 23:4, 5; Ezekiel 8:13-16). In Rome, also, the sun was being worshiped by many people. Constantine the emperor being one of them in the fourth century.
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary defines Sunday: "Sunday: so called because this day was anciently dedicated to the sun or to its worship. The first day of the week; the Christian Sabbath; a day consecrated to rest from secular employment, and to religious worship; the Lord's day."
"Sunday (Dies Solis of the Roman Calendar, the day of the sun; because dedicated to the sun), the first day of the week, was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship. The 'Sun' of Latin adoration, they interpreted as the Sun of Righteousness" (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia, old edition).
The Persian Mithras was one of the gods which were brought to Rome. Mithraism contested with Christianity for the religious hegemony of the Roman world. The Church Fathers were astounded at the resemblances. It is said that Roman roads were dotted with Mithraic sanctuaries, attested by inscriptions like Soli invicto Mithroe, "to the sun, invincible Mithra."
H.G. Wells says of this theocrasia: "It would seem the Christians adopted Sun-day as their chief day of worship instead of the Jewish Sabbath from the Mithraic cult" ( The Outline of History, p. 543).
"Opposition to Judaism introduced the particular festival of Sunday very early indeed in place of the Sabbath. . . . The festival like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance and it was far from the intention of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday. Perhaps by the end of the second century, a false application of this kind had begun to take place, for men appear by that time to have considered labouring on Sunday sin" (Neander's Church History, p. 168, old edition, translated by Rose).
Constantine's Sunday Legislation
Soon after Constantine became a Roman Emperor (A.D. 306-337), he made the Christian "cross" his battle standard. He had been led to adopt this emblem when once he prayed to his sun-god about an impending battle, and there appeared a cross over the setting sun with this inscription above it: In hoc signo vinces, "In this sign conquer." Obedient to this celestial vision, Constantine and his soldiers marched to victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.
This constituted a turning point in the history of the Roman Empire, as well as that of the church. Up until then a non-military spirit had characterised the followers of the lowly Nazarene, but all this was then changed (See Myer's Ancient History, 1904, pp. 524-527). Among the various edicts Constantine issued was that concerning Sunday, in A.D. 321, as follows:
"Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades, rest on the venerable day of the sun; but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty, attend to the business of agriculture because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted them by heaven" (Corpus Juries Civilis Cod. Liv. 3, Tit. 12:30).
In the article "Sunday," The Encyclopaedia Britannica, seventh edition, 1842, says: "It was Constantine who first made a law of the proper observance of Sunday; and who, according to Eusebius, appointed that it should be regularly celebrated throughout the Roman Empire."
This imperial law designated the day as a heathen festival, which it really was, but within four years after its enactment, Constantine (at the Council of Nicaea) had become not merely a professed Christian, but in many respects the practical head of the church, as the course of the proceedings at the council showed.
This pagan Sunday law was henceforth enforced in behalf of the day as a Christian festival. This law gave to the Sunday celebration a Sabbatic character for the first time. Eusebius, biographer and admirer of Constantine, in his Commentary on The Psalms, as quoted in Cox's Sabbath Literature, Volume 1, p. 361, indicates that from the time of Constantine's Sunday edict, the sanctity of the Sabbath was transferred to the first day of the week: "And all things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord's Day, as more appropriately belong to it, because it has a precedence and is first in rank, and more honourable than the Jewish Sabbath."
Since, admittedly, all the Church of God kept the seventh-day Sabbath in apostolic days and until about A.D. 140, when we perceive for the first time that some began to observe the first day of the week, the question naturally arises: Why was this changeover accomplished? We have previously noted that some of the reasons given were because pagan converts, which included some of the early Church Fathers, brought some of their pagan beliefs and practice along, among which was Sunday observance. Other reasons given were that the Messiah was supposed to have been raised from the dead on the first day of the week, and the so-called "eighth day" played a role with some; another that we may note here is that of which Doctor Neander treats, as previously noted: "Opposition to Judaism introduced the particular festival of Sunday, very early indeed, into the place of the Sabbath."
Another historian presented a similar reason for the change: "The best time for the Easter festival would have been the ancient day of the Jewish Passover. It was opposed merely by a whim of Constantine, because, as a Roman, he hated the nation which his country had long detested and persecuted, that is, the Jews." He then quotes from a letter of Constantine to the bishops of the world who could not attend the Council of Nicaea. It was declared improper to follow the customs of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival.
"Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. . . . Therefore this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have anything in common with the parricides and murderers of our Lord" (Dean Dudley, in History of the Council of Nice, with a "Life of Constantine," pp. 4, 5, 112).
The Catholic Church, too, subsequently made laws and regulations in the matter of Sunday observance. The following is a quotation from the Council of Laodicea, A.D. 364: "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be Judaizing, let him be anathema from Christ" (as quoted in A History of the Church Councils, by Charles J. Hefele, Volume 11, p. 316).
Catholic Priest T. Enright, one-time president of Redemptorist Father's College (Kansas City), in one of his lectures, as published in the Industrial American, Harlan, Iowa, referred to this decision made at the Council of Laodicea in the following excerpt:
"My brethren, look about the various wrangling sects and denominations. Show me one that claims or possesses the power to make laws binding on the conscience. There is but one on the face of the earth -the Catholic Church -that has the power to make laws binding upon the conscience, binding before God, binding under the pain of hellfire. Take, for instance, the day we celebrate - Sunday. What right have the Protestant churches to observe that day? None whatever. You say it is to obey the commandment, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' But Sunday is not the Sabbath according to the Bible and the record of time.
"Everyone knows that Sunday is the first day of the week, while Saturday is the seventh day, and the Sabbath, the day consecrated as a day of rest. It is so recognised in all civilised nations. I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who will furnish proof from the Bible that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. If any person in this town will show any Scripture for it, I will tomorrow evening publicly acknowledge it and thank him for it. It was the Holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, the first day of the week. And it not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the Council of Laodicea, A.D. 364, anathematised those who kept the Sabbath and urged all persons to labour on the seventh day under penalty of anathema.
"Which church does the whole civilised world obey? Protestants call us every horrible name they can think of - anti-Christ, the scarlet-coloured beast, Babylon, etc., and at the same time profess great reverence for the Bible, and yet by their solemn act of keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the power of the Catholic Church" (December 19, 1889).
We have previously noticed the relationship between the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Roman Catholic Church. A second great autocrat who also contributed the shaping upon the Catholic church a distinctly authoritative character, was Theodosius the Great, who ruled from A.D. 379 to 395.
"But near the Aquila on 6 September, 394, once more the Christian Laborum triumphed over the banner of the ancient gods; Theodosius entered Rome sole Master of the now finally Christian empire. Further laws enforced the keeping of Sunday and the disabilities of Pagans, Jews, and heretics" (The Catholic Encyclopaedia, Volume XIV, p. 479).
Chrysostom, Post-Nicene Church Father, Patriarch of Constantinople, who died about 402 A.D., in his commentary on Galatians 2:17, says:
"For though few are now circumcised, yet by fasting and observing the Sabbath of the Jew, they equally exclude themselves from grace.... Wherefore dost thou keep the Sabbath, and fast with the Jews? ... A fear to omit the Sabbath plainly shows that you fear the law as still in force" (Library of the Fathers, Volume 6, p. 42, Oxford, 1840).
Thus we see that in the fifth century there were still Sabbathkeepers, but Chrysostom, Augustine, and others contended for the abolition of the Sabbath, and for the observance of the "Lord's Day," as Sunday was often called, incorrectly, of course. (The true Lord's Day of scriptural authority is the seventh day, our Saturday, Sabbath. See Isaiah 58:13, Mark 2:28.)


Church And State Mingle,
Archbishop Says At Washington Red Mass

Church & State,
Nov 2006

.Religion has been the guiding force of American life and must be nurtured in society and government, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C., told four Supreme Court justices and other attendees at the annual "Red Mass" Oct. 1.
Asserted Wuerl, "What is religion's place in public life? As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, tells us in his first encyclical letter, Deus Caritas Est, 'For her part, the church, as the social expression of Christian faith, has a proper independence and is structured on the basis of her faith as a community which the state must recognize. The two spheres are distinct, yet always interrelated.' Politics and faith may mingle because believers are also citizens. Church and state are home for the very same people."
Wuerl told attendees that "a secular vision" that draws its strength from sources other than religion can never answer questions such as how are people to live and what is the meaning of life.

"The assertion by some that the secular voice alone should speak to these questions and the ordering of society and its public policy, that it alone can speak to the needs of the human condition, is increasingly being challenged," Wuerl said before a packed church that included many government officials.
"Faith convictions, moral values and defining religious experiences of life sustain the vitality of the whole society," Wuerl said. "We never stand alone, disconnected, uprooted, at least not for long."
The event at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in downtown Washington, D.C., was attended by Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Cabinet members attending included Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Health and Human Services secretary Michael Leavitt and Housing and Urban Development secretary Alphonso Jackson. Additionally, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is also the state's Republican candidate for Senate, were in attendance.
Wuerl called religious faith the "cornerstone in the American experience" and asserted that all areas of life must be linked to it.
"Science linked to religiously grounded ethics, art expressive of spirituality, technology reflective of human values, positive civil law rooted in a natural moral order are all branches connected to a living vine," Wuerl said.
The archbishop's homily came a day before the Supreme Court's new term. During the session, the high court will deliberate the constitutionality of a federal law that bans so-called "partial-birth" abortions. (Two federal appeals courts have invalidated the law.) Wuerl never directly mentioned abortion, but did state that church opposition to "threats to the dignity of life" - church code language for its anti-abortion lobbying - is not an effort "to force values upon society."
Copyright Americans United for Separation of Church and State Nov 2006Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

See also: Political Sermons Cause Ginsburg To Skip Annual 'Red Mass'

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Study looks at reasons church members switch congregations

Allie Martin

April 5, 2007

Researchers from LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention are looking at reasons why people switch churches. The latest study by LifeWay Research follows a study last year that focused on the formerly churched, examining some of the reasons adults stop going to church.Hear This Report

In the recent study, LifeWay Research asked 415 adults why they switched churches. According to the poll results, 28 percent of those surveyed said they switched churches because their former church was not helping them grow spiritually. Another 20 percent said they left because they did not feel involved in meaningful church work. And still others responding to the survey indicated that they switched churches because they did not feel connected at their old places of worship
Brad Waggoner, LifeWay's vice president of research, says the study also found that many people who switched churches felt more challenged by their new pastors. "How much we can read into that, I don't know," he says, "but it's possible, we can see, that they feel challenged to change the way they live."
What the researchers hope that means, Waggoner says, is that those who responded this way switched to another church because they found "there was substance to the preaching" at their new church and not just because they found another pastor who was "a better communicator."
The LifeWay Research official feels the study on why people switch churches points to the importance of solid church doctrine. Also, he says churches "shouldn't disguise or hide or minimize who [they are] as a church" but should present very openly such things as "these are our core values, this is our doctrinal foundation."
The survey by the research division of the Southern Baptist Convention suggests that people want to have a clear understanding of what their church believes and what it stands for, Waggoner points out. This study "ought to encourage leaders to be more clear in communicating that," he says.
Sixteen percent of those answering the LifeWay Research survey said they switched churches because there were too many changes taking place at their old church. Also, 15 percent said they switched churches because church members were judgmental of others.

All Original Content Copyright 2006-2007 American Family News Network - All Rights Reserved



Smiling Joel Osteen was in Boston recently for a book signing and a grueling two hour worship “show.” The subject of same sex marriage was brought up, and while it temporarily wiped the smile off of his face, Osteen did manage to keep his composure long enough to answer in his customary vagaries. But at this late hour Ingrid Schlueter, host of the Crosstalk radio program, is so right when she says:
The church doesn’t need men in skirts like Joel Osteen, effeminized compromisers who are self-serving, craven cowards. These men betray the Lord Jesus Christ who not only spoke the truth out of love for His creation, but Who willing suffered crucifixion on our behalf. Lord, give us men who reject the world and its accolades and point fearlessly to the narrow path that leads to the Celestial City.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. (1 John 4:4-5)

The Most Popular Preacher In The Country

Jessica Heslam, Boston Herald Media Reporter, tells us”
He’s the most popular preacher in the country right now - a best-selling author and the “most watched minister” in America.
But when asked yesterday about gay marriage during a trip to the bluest state in the land of the free - and the only one where same-sex nuptuals are legal - the Rev. Joel Osteen suddenly got sheepish.
“I don’t think it’s God’s best,” the handsome Holy Roller said of homosexuality. “I never feel like homosexuality is God’s best.”
“If you read the last line from this article on Osteen from the Boston Herald,” said Ingrid Schlueter of Slice of Laodicea:
it pretty much sums up Joel Osteen and the depth of his “ministry”. It also sums up the level of expectation most American evangelicals have for their spiritual leaders. “He has pretty teeth.”
God has given American evangelicals the kind of pastors they deserve. Here we have a so-called pastor who can't even give a clear cut answer on something as basic as gay marriage.
Smiling Much And Saying Nothing
Spiritually malignant milquetoast men like Joel Osteen are simply the deliquent descendants of Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale, Satan’s Twin Towers of Sappy Sentimentality, and would rather please the world than tell it the Truth. Sin was long ago redefined by these counterfeits ministers as merely “mistakes,” as in not “God’s best.” But for those who wish to follow in the timid footsteps of these putrid purveyors of the foolish philosophy of befriending the world they would be wise to remember the following Words from God the Holy Spirit:
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? (James 4:4-5, NASB)
And yet Heslem tells us that when this man supposedly sent by Christ is asked for an answer concerning what the Lord says about homosexuality Joel Osteen simply whimpers, “I don’t feel like that’s my thrust…you know, some of the issues that divide us, and I’m here to let people know that God is for them and he’s on their side.” O no wonder Osteen, is known for his smiling Schulleresque “positive preaching” and that:
the 43-year-old Osteen heads the biggest church in the country and has garnered rock star fame in the world of television evangelism… His weekly TV broadcast is the “No. 1 inspirational program nationally,” his Web site boasts.
In Boston yesterday, more than 400 fans - most of them fawning females - lined up to meet Osteen at a book signing at the Prudential Center’s Barnes & Noble. Only a visit by former President Bill Clinton drew a bigger crowd, book store employees said. (emphasis mine)

This Is What God Says

In Romans chapter one we are informed that our Creator, the LORD God Almighty’s patience will (and possibly now has) run out with those who pervert His creation. In verse 26 we read - Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. It should be obvious enough we are being told here that what we will read next would be considered shameful lusts by the Creator.
And notice this has nothing to do whatsoever with a particular culture, but with what God Himself judges universally to be shameful lusts. The b part of verse 26 - Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
The logical question that arises is: "What are these natural relations women exchange here for unnatural ones." God the Holy Spirit anticipates this question and provides our answer in Verse 27 - In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. We see then - In the same way as the women the men also abandoned - or exchanged - national relations with women for unnatural ones.
So now we can understand that according to the created order, the LORD God Almighty-the Creator Himself, has defined “natural” sexual relations to be that which occurs between one man with one woman after marriage.
As a result therefore, Scripture then defines sexual activity between members of the same sex as being “unnatural.” And this is reinforced in the b part of verse 27 - Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Now we can put this all together and come to the realization that according to the Bible God refers to sexual relations between members of the same sex as shameful lusts.
Homosexuality is also said to be abandoning natural relations and being inflamed with lust (a sin in itself) for a member of one's own sex. Verse 27 lists this among indecent acts and clearly refers to homosexuality as perversion.
There is just no way around what these texts are saying because this passage of the Bible concerns proper sexual conduct for men and women period, and as such this would be regardless of cultural mores of any generation. So Joel Osteen the question is: What’s so difficult?

The Allure Of Worldly Riches

Could it be that by informing your “fawning female fans” of what God has said about the abomination of homosexuality then you’d no longer sell out places like “the TD Banknorth Garden...with [a] two-hour worship service, which fetche[s] $10 a ticket. And you’d no longer have those “[g]ushing fans of all ages snapp[ing] pictures and br[inging] their $19.99 copy of [your] best-selling book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential.
Wait a minute I think I understand Joel. If you were to fulfill the vows you made as a minister of the Gospel to preach the Word whether it’s convenient or inconvenient you would no longer have “the big bucks com[ing] from [your] books.” Yes, there would be quite a cost as Heslem points “Osteen reportedly got an unprecedented $13 million advance for his next book, which is due out next year.”
So now I can see that the allure of worldly riches would be much too difficult to resist for a professing minister of the Gospel who doesn’t truly love the Lord Jesus Christ.

Posted by Ken Silva, pastor-teacher at September 2, 2006 02:56 PM

Copyright © 2007 by Ken Silva. All rights reserved.



Kenneth Copeland: "God Is Both Male & Female"

by Joseph Chambers

One of the most sinister of doctrines that is promoted by New Agers and theological liberals is the attack on God’s masculinity. They like to call God "Mother God", as well as, or instead of, "Father God." Probably nothing in Biblical Theology is more dangerous than this kind of thinking. God is clearly our "Father God" and any idea of a feminine side is diabolical.
Our Father created man in His own image and then created woman out of man to be his helpmeet. Women and the feminine nature was a special creation of God to complete the need of man. This creation is a reflection of man’s need, not God’s nature. To try to reduce God to a kind of twin personality is a clever trick of Lucifer in his fight against God’s lofty and superior personhood.
The Word of God describes woman’s creation with clear language. "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." (Genesis 2:18, 21-25).
It is a beautiful thing to see the togetherness and perfection of man and woman united as one. The angels were created before man and did not need a helpmeet to make them complete. Therefore, they reflect singularly the masculinity of God after His image.
Everything of depth about the Sovereignty of God and His almightiness is up for attack. Satan is preparing for his final assault against the true God during the coming seven years of the Great Tribulation. Listen to Kenneth Copeland as he describes his false concept about his New Age god.
"People have even argued about whether God is male or female. But the Bible itself tells us that He’s both! That’s right. In the Hebrew language, all words have gender. They’re either male or female. But the Hebrew word ‘Jehovah’ is both masculine and feminine. He’s as much female as He is male and as much male as He is female.
"Originally, mankind was that way too. When God first made ‘man,’ he was as much female as he was male. Then God separated the female part out and made ‘wo-man’ or, ‘the man with the womb.’ After that, man and woman had to come together to be perfectly whole." ("Viva la Difference," From Faith To Faith, by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Published by Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1982, June 28.)
The church must return to the God of the Holy Bible. He is omnipotent in every aspect of His personage. The Bible is a perfect revelation. "Great is our God and greatly to be praised."


Titus 2:11-15 (King James Version)

11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Friday, April 13, 2007


1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
7Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
8Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
9He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
10He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
11But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
12I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
13I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
14I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
18Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
24Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
25And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
26These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
27But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
28And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
29If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

1JOHN 2.

Bolds and Highlights added***

Thursday, April 12, 2007


3 families face fines, frozen accounts
Homeschooling parents plead for prayer for 'difficulties'

Posted: April 12, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2007

  • Gudrun Busekros, Melissa's mother, with some of the supportive letters the family has gotten from around the world.
  • Three families have released a letter pleading with Christians worldwide for prayer because of their "difficulties" – fines equal to thousands of dollars, frozen bank accounts and even the threat of the sale of the family home – because they homeschool their children.

    The letter comes from Alexander and Helene Schneider, Johann and Katharina Harder and Heiko and Anna Krautter and was released through the International Human Rights Group, which already has been working on the case of German homeschooler Melissa Busekros.

    Busekros was taken from her parents on a court order and put into a mental institution because she was being homeschooled. Authorities later moved her to a foster home, but she still is not being allowed to see her parents or return home.

    As WND reported, she also released a letter through the IHRG pleading to be allowed to returned home.

    IHRG President Joel Thornton told WND the situations are becoming more dire and parents more fearful about losing custody of their children because of the advancing stages of the Busekros case.

    A letter to Christians seeking prayer for three families being fined for homeschooling their children in an atmosphere that protects them from state-required sex classes.

    "We are turning to all believing gospel Christians and Baptists in the CIS, Europe and America," the three sets of parents wrote. "We are three families of the church in Bischofswerda, and we homeschool our children. For that reason, we had to deal with numerous difficulties with the authorities."
    The families cited fines of about $4,000 for the Harder and Krautter families and about $2,500 for the Schneider family – so far.
    "Measures such as freezing our bank accounts, compulsory mortgages, insolvency of our self-employment are making our lives difficult," the letter said. "Even the custody of our children was to be taken from us, but GOD prevented it."
    Now more fines are being imposed, and "even our homes are to be sold for that," the letter said.
    "We ask that you pray for us and that you make your voice heard before the secular powers," said the letter.
    Thornton said he and several others working on the government's attacks on homeschoolers traveled to Bischofswerda to meet with the families.
    "The German government is taking these actions simply because these parents homeschool their children," he said. "With a very strong Christian faith and a conviction that they should be allowed to raise their children in a Christian educational environment, these families are taking a stand, particularly regarding their right to oversee the sex education of their children as well as protect them from occult influences.
    He also said he was able to meet with members of the Brause family, about whom WND has reported. The German courts already have granted custody of the family's five children to social workers, although they had not yet moved them out of the family home.
    "The youth welfare office has asked the parents to come in for a meeting on the week of 16 April. Often, this is how the youth welfare office begins taking charge of the children," Thornton said.
    He said the organization continues to work on Melissa's case as well and met with her parents, Hubert and Gudrun Busekros, recently.
    "They are encouraged by your prayers and letters of support as they continue to stand strong in spite of the fact that Melissa is still being held in state custody; this nightmare has gone on for over two months now," Thornton said.
    "In fact, we are optimistic that Melissa will be returned to her family in the next few weeks – even though she was not permitted to come home and spend the Easter weekend with them," he said.
    "Unfortunately, the family was not allowed to see Melissa at all this past week because her father, Hubert, was forcibly removed from the clearing house during a visit. His crime? Using his laptop computer to show Melissa a television interview that included a youth welfare worker stating that Melissa had never asked to go home," Thornton said.
    "Melissa and her family are encouraged because they have received over 200 letters from around the world. Please continue to write and support them," Thornton said. Their home address is: Schallershoefer Strasse 72A, D-91056 Erlangen, Germany.
    A separate website,, also has been launched by some homeschool supporters in the U.S. to provide addresses of people to contact to protest the situation in Germany.
    Thornton told WND the problems for the homeschool families have developed simultaneously, but the fear of court intervention in their custody has been raised for parents suddenly because of Melissa's case.
    The 15-year-old was taken by police from her parents to a psychiatric ward after a social worker and judge determined she had a "school phobia" and was being homeschooled, which is illegal in Germany.
    The IHRG said it continues working on several fronts to try to help Melissa and her family, with several German lawyers evaluating their options for an appeal, all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, if needed.
    Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, has commented on the issue on a blog, noting the government "has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views and in integrating minorities into the population as a whole."
    Melissa had fallen behind in math and Latin and was being tutored at home. When school officials in Germany, where homeschooling was banned during Adolf Hitler's reign of power, found out, she was expelled. School officials then took her to court, obtaining a court order requiring she be committed to a psychiatric ward because of her "school phobia."
    Drautz said homeschool students' test results may be as good as for those in school, but "school teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct, encourages dialogue among people of different beliefs and cultures, and helps students to become responsible citizens."
    The German government's defense of its "social" teachings and mandatory public school attendance was clarified during an earlier dispute on which WND reported, when a German family wrote to officials objecting to police officers picking their child up at home and delivering him to a public school.
    "The minister of education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling," said a government letter in response. "... You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers. ... In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement."
    In Melissa's case, the local Youth Welfare Office arrived at the family home with about 15 uniformed police officers to take her into custody. They had in hand a court order allowing them to take her into custody, "if necessary by force."
    The Home School Legal Defense Association, the largest homeschool organization in the U.S. with more than 80,000 member families, said the case is an "outrage."

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007


    Interamerican Ethanol Commission (IEC) and the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB

    ~ IDB President Moreno; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; and Roberto Rodrigues, former Brazilian Minister of Agriculture co-chairmen of the Interamerican Ethanol Commission (IEC), led a briefing session on biofuels, the emerging Caribbean and Latin American market, and implications of the U.S.-Brazil ethanol agreement ~
    April 2, 2007 (Washington, DC) – At a briefing event today at the Interamerican Development Bank Headquarters, His Excellency Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IDB; the Honorable Jeb Bush, former Governor of the State of Florida; and His Excellency Roberto Rodrigues, President of the Superior Council of Agribusiness of FIESP and former Minister of Agriculture of Brazil; announced how the IEC will work with the private sector to expand and strengthen our Hemispheric Biofuels Market. The briefing also included a first-look presentation of a comprehensive study of biofuels markets through 2020 commissioned by the IDB and carried out by Garten Rothkopf, an independent consultancy that focuses on emerging markets. Bush, Rodrigues and Moreno serve as co-chairs of the IEC, which has as its mission to promote the usage of ethanol in the gasoline pools of the Americas. The three co-chairs and David Rothkopf were joined by a distinguished audience that included Cliff Sobel, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil; Linneu Carlos da Costa Lima, Brazilian Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Production and Agroenergy; Joseph Lambert, Senate President of Haiti; Brian C. Dean, Acting Executive Director of the IEC; the co-chairs of the Ethanol Advocacy Committee: Jorge L. Arrizurieta, Chair, Intl. Policy Group, Akerman Senterfitt; Dominique Virchaux, Managing Partner, Virchaux & Partners; and Mario Fernandez, President, COFE Properties, LLC; and several key officials from the IDB, including senior staff of the bank’s section for Alternative Sources of Energy. Additional attendees included corporate leaders, scientific experts, scholars, and other government leaders.Moreno, Bush, and Rodrigues highlighted the main objectives of the commission, which include: promoting increased ethanol blended fuel use throughout the region; promoting the integration of technical and scientific research efforts across the hemisphere related to the production and distribution of ethanol; determining investment needs in both agriculture and infrastructure to enable a hemispheric wide market for ethanol blended fuel; determining the economic and environmental implications of carbon credits produced by the project; encouraging the development of environmentally sound ethanol operations; and recommending a set of actions in order to create an international market for ethanol.In addition, the Commission is organizing a New, Strategic Ethanol Information Campaign. Recognizing that lack of information and misinformation are among the principal obstacles hindering expansion of the ethanol market, the commission views education as key to the success of increased ethanol production and consumption and aims to serve as a clearinghouse for up to date, accurate, and objective information on ethanol. This information will be shared with the general public, policy makers and shapers, industries, and investors. President Moreno discussed the particular challenges facing smaller Latin American countries that are launching biofuels industries stating, “We must recognize ethanol potential as a catalyst for development in low income areas of Latin America and the Caribbean…Biofuels could bring investment, development and jobs to rural areas with high levels of poverty, while reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels” in several IDB member countries.” He also mentioned the Bank’s renewable energy strategy and its work plan in member countries with strong biofuels potential and reviewed the IDB’s role in the implementation of the historic biofuels cooperation agreement between Brazil and the U.S. Moreno noted that the “IDB’s Private Sector Department is structuring senior debt financing for three Brazilian ethanol production projects that will have a total cost of $570 million.”Former Governor Bush offered an analysis of the political and commercial barriers to free trade in biofuels and described how renewable fuel targets in the U.S. could impact the hemispheric biofuels industry. He pointed out that “with the growing demand for ethanol, there is room for everyone at the table, from different feedstock in the U.S. and abroad.” He also stated, “To achieve the strategic vision outlined by the President, we need to dramatically increase importation of ethanol from our neighbors and allies in the Western Hemisphere. Eliminating the 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol is the quickest, least expensive way for America to significantly increase our supply of ethanol.” In addition, Bush detailed his vision for how the U.S. can strengthen its energy matrix through closer cooperation with Latin American biofuels producers and highlighted some of the U.S. ethanol market deadlocks saying, “Removing trade barriers to imported ethanol would go a long way to addressing the limited infrastructure in many parts of the nation.”Former Minister Rodrigues spoke of Brazil’s role as a global leader in ethanol technology, production and distribution. He stated, “Brazil’s ethanol capacities and technology position the nation to provide leadership throughout the hemisphere,” and emphasized that “Agroenergy is going to change trade relations and the economic geography of the world.” Brazil is the world’s leader in ethanol exports with more than 300 million liters exported in 2006.David Rothkopf presented "A Blueprint for Green Energy in the Americas", an analysis of the region's global competitive position in biofuels prepared for the IDB by Garten Rothkopf. Some key findings highlighted were: $200+ billion in new investment is necessary for biofuels to provide 5% of transport energy in 2020; blend mandates have been enacted in 27 of the 50 countries surveyed and 40 have some form of biofuels promotion legislation; a number of countries in the region, led by Brazil, have the potential to develop sustainable, competitive biofuels industries; there is a need for common global standards for ethanol or biodiesel, international futures contracts, and a reduction in tariff barriers to facilitate the development of global trade. Rothkopf concluded by saying "Latin America and the Caribbean have the potential to be the Persian Gulf of biofuels without the instability."Moreover, Moreno, Bush and Rodrigues agreed that cooperation on renewable energy has the potential to serve as a uniting force in the Americas, contributing toward economic growth and a cleaner environment. All three alluded to the significant opportunities expanded ethanol production holds for sustainable development and job creation throughout the Western Hemisphere.
    The Interamerican Ethanol Commission promotes the usage of ethanol in the gasoline pools of the Western Hemisphere and is co-chaired by Jeb Bush, former Governor of the State of Florida; Roberto Rodrigues, President of the Superior Council of Agribusiness of FIESP and former Brazilian Minister of Agriculture; and Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank. The commission will serve to foster awareness of the benefits of renewable fuels in economies throughout the Americas and contribute toward a framework for a rationalized and viable regional marketplace in ethanol, promoting the policy guidance necessary to spur both foreign and domestic investment in renewable fuel production and infrastructure. .
    Back to Press Releases


    “History gives us the chance, the opportunity, to work together in the construction of a new civilization – much more harmonious, much fairer, much more equal and balanced – through agroenergy.”~ Roberto Rodrigues, President, Superior Council of Agribusiness of FIESP

    Who We Are

    MissionPromote the usage of ethanol in the gasoline pools of the Western HemisphereMain ObjectivesThe commission will serve to foster awareness of the benefits of renewable fuels to economies throughout the Americas. The commission will also contribute toward a framework for a rationalized and viable regional marketplace in ethanol, promoting the policy guidance necessary to spur both foreign and domestic investment in environmentally sound renewable fuel production and infrastructure.


    The commission is co-chaired by:
    Governor Jeb Bush, State of Florida
    Roberto Rodrigues, President of the Superior Council of Agribusiness of Brazil &
    Former Brazilian Minister of Agriculture
    Ambassador Luis Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank
    The launch ceremony is co-chaired by:
    Glenda Hood, former Florida Secretary of State
    Donna Hrinak, Director of Corporate & Government Affairs, KRAFT Latin America and former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil (invited)
    Current Stakeholders include:
    Florida FTAA, Inc. – Ambassador Chuck Cobb, Chairman; J. Antonio Villamil, Vice Chair; Brian C. Dean, Executive Director; Jorge L. Arrizurieta, Dominique Virchaux, and Mario Fernandez, Co-chairs, Ethanol Committee
    Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agrícola (EMBRAPA)
    Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP)
    Pólo Nacional de Biocombustíveis / São Paulo University (USP)

    The Interamerican Ethanol Commission - Conference Center of the Americas,
    1200 Anastasia Ave, Ste 500, Coral Gables, FL 33134 Phone: 305-476-0155 Fax: 305-476-5452



    Huge influx of migrants 'could make Catholicism main religion in Britain'

    Cardinal Murphy O'Connell
    Last updated at 10:49am
    on 16th February 2007

    Comments (34)

    Roman Catholics are on course to overtake Anglicans as the country's most active churchgoers due to a sharp upsurge of immigrants from Eastern Europe.
    In a fresh blow to the Church of England, a study suggests that there are higher attendances on Sundays at Catholic services than in Anglican churches.
    Also see• Opinion: Switch from being Catholic to CofE? It'd be like swopping my old gaspers for Silk Cut mildIrish bishops urge churchgoers to give up Guinness for LentSigns of the times - how Polish drivers are kept on track in Cheshire
    The report described the influx of parishioners, many of them from Poland, as either the Catholic Church's 'greatest threat' in England or 'greatest opportunity'.
    The revelation comes as the Church of England braces itself for a split between liberals and conservatives over the role of gay clergy.
    The prospect of Catholicism becoming the dominant religion in England will embarrass the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Roman Williams, who faces declining congregations and questions about his authority.
    The report by the Von Hugel Institute at Cambridge University on the effect immigrants are having on the Catholic Church found priests are under intense pressure.
    Many of the new arrivals are turning to the church as a source of advice and welfare, demands it is struggling to meet.
    Pictures of Polish worshippers kneeling on the pavement of overflowing churches in London have underscored the phenomenon.
    Around 230,000 Poles registered for work in the UK from May 2004 to March 2006, official figures show.
    However, the actual number of Poles in the UK is thought to be much higher. Some estimates say the community is 600,000-strong.
    Immigrants from the strongly Catholic country, where up to 95 per cent of the population is religiously active, have brought with them their enthusiasm for their faith and their commitment to attending Mass, the study explains.
    It confirms that the country's five million Catholics 'constitute the most active worshipping faith community in England and Wales'.
    The report warns: 'These changes have been variously described as the Catholic community's "greatest opportunity" and "its greatest threat".
    For many immigrants from Africa, the Catholic Church is their first port of call. They are often seeking refuge and protection from terrifying lives, which leave them in 'grave fear', the report says.
    The church has responded instinctively and positively in many cases, the study said.
    In others, it has been overwhelmed by the scale of the new challenge.
    Recent estimates suggest around one million Catholics attends Mass regularly, roughly the same as the number of regular Anglican churchgoers.
    But the upsurge in new parishioners in the last year has left church experts certain that the Catholic church now has the biggest share of regular church-goers.
    Priests report that the numbers began soaring last year and the influx has yet to be fully reflected in official figures.
    The country's five million Catholics are outnumbered by 25 million baptised Anglicans. There are around 2.1 million Muslims.
    In a statement issued yesterday, the Archbishop of Southwark, Kevin McDonald, and Bishop of Brentwood, Thomas McMahon, both Roman Catholics, said they would be reflecting on the findings of the report.
    They added: 'Amongst other findings, the report shows that Catholic migrants regard the church as a refuge, a harbour of hope and worship where the Eucharistic feast is grounded in lived community.
    'Migrants are very much the present reality of the Catholic Church in London and one of several sources of hope for the Catholic Church of the future too.
    'In our view they are also a source of hope for the future of the nation.'
    A spokesman for Lambeth Palace said: "I don't think you can talk in terms of decline in the Church of England.
    "It is fairly clear that with small fluctuations the worshipping population of the CoE is 1.7 million a month. That is a stable figure."



    April 28-29, 2007

    Kissimmee Civic Center
    201 E. Dakin Ave.
    Kissimmee, FL 34741
    Phone: 407.935.1412
    Fax: 407.935.1437

    Kissimmee Civic Center

    Kissimmee, Florida

    The Featured Topics are ...
    The prophetic sign to leave the cities
    Preparing your children for eternity
    Evangelizing the cities - ministry ideas forfamilies living in the country
    Growing your own food
    Locating country property
    Financial support for rural living
    Please bring a picnic lunch for you and your family.Schedule of Events:

    9:30 - Sabbath School: "Getting the City Out of You" - Elder Hector Torres
    11:00 A.M. - Worship Service: "Out of the Cities" - Elder Dave Westbrook
    1:30 P.M. - "Gardening" - Brad Neeley
    2:45 P.M. - "City Evangelism" - Laura Westbrook
    4:00 P.M. - Christian Berdahl
    5:15 P.M. - "Current Events" - Craig Meissner
    6:30 P.M. - "Six Essential Steps" - Elder Dave Westbrook
    7:30 P.M. - Concert - Christian Berdahl

    Did You Know …
    … That The Prophetic Sign to Leave the Cities Has Come
    … There are Four More Reasons to Leave the Cities Now
    … The Six Steps to Take to Get Out
    … How to Support Your Family When You Leave

    Dear Friend,
    When Laura and I left the city for a new life in the country we had no idea how it would change our lives. Without a doubt, it is one of the most important things we've ever done. Having spent more than ten years in the ministry, we now have a burden to share this message with fellow Seventh-day Adventists in the major cities of America. God has a plan for you and it will be the best change of your life. At an "Out of the Cities" rally, you'll learn important principles from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy which are vital for Seventh-day Adventists to understand at this critical time in history. This could well be the most important meeting you'll attend in the near future. Hope to see you at our upcoming rallys! Please keep these projects in your prayers.
    Elder Dave and Laura Westbrook


    Tuesday, April 10, 2007


    An example of the creation of new money in the USA

    The following steps describe one way that new money can be created in the USA.
    The government issues a Treasury security. This is simply an IOU, a promise to pay the holder a specified sum of money on a particular date. In this example, let's say the government issues $1,000,000 worth of bonds.
    The Federal Reserve prints a check, in the amount of $1,000,000 and makes it payable to the government. This check is the proceeds from the sale of the bonds.
    The $1,000,000 of bonds is recorded as an asset by the Fed. (money owed to the central bank is called an "asset" by the bank) It is assumed the government, with its power to tax, will make good on its debt (this is why the people buying the bonds from the fed consider it a risk-free investment). The Fed can sell these bonds which are a liability of the government. Individual investors, pension funds, mutual funds, insurance agencies, banks, foreign government central banks, can all buy the bonds, effectively loaning money to the treasury. They do this to invest their money and receive interest in return.
    The government deposits the check in its own account. The government hires employees and buys things with the $1,000,000, and it does so by writing government checks. These government checks are then deposited in commercial banks. For the sake of simplicity, assume it all goes into one commercial bank, which has a zero balance to begin with.
    The commercial bank now claims $1,000,000 in new liabilities (the amount on deposit in a bank is called a "liability" by the bank, because the bank has to pay interest to it, amongst other things). In the US, the law allows the bank to makes loans so long as it retains a 10% cash reserve. This lending of money that it has on deposit is the precise point at which new money is created, because the depositor still has his money, and the person getting the loan now has money too. If the $1,000,000 is held by the bank as notes then it can lend $900,000 to borrowers.
    $900,000 is loaned for various purposes eg. to buy a house. These loans are in the form of money transfer. The bank transfers the money to the buyer's attorney who transfers it to the seller, who deposits it right back into the bank. Note however, in real life that money would only come from the bank temporarily, which then would issue its own bonds or use a company like Fannie Mae to issue its own bonds, so that again investors can actually lend the money while the bank is simply a middleman, called a "servicer".
    The commercial bank now claims $900,000 in new liabilities. This money is put into reserves, and 90% of that, or $810,000 is lent out. As soon as the $810,000 is deposited back into the bank, the cycle repeats and repeats until there are no more borrowers.
    The total amount lent out to borrowers is $900,000. Add that to the $100,000 that it still has on deposit and the total is $1,000,000. Commercial banks make profit by charging fees for transactions, and by charging a higher interest rate to those they lend to, than what they pay for the funds. If the commercial bank charges 6% interest on the $900,000 it will earn $54,000 per year. If the bank making the loan pays 1% interest to the person who put the money on deposit in the first place it will cost them $10,000 per year. With 90% of that money lent out, if the original depositor wants their money back, the bank has to borrow that money from another bank (or maybe from another source), at rate of interest set by the government (the overnight rate, or the federal funds rate in the US). This is called "asset-liability bouncing", and is a delicate balancing act all banks must work on every day.