Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"You won’t hear those words coming from us"

Robert Gibbs - White House Press Secretary

Q The President clearly believes that meeting a timeline for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq is an achievement, and that’s obviously why he’s planning a speech in Texas tomorrow. But how is he going to avoid this being looked at as a “mission accomplished” moment?

MR. GIBBS: Well, look, first and foremost, you won’t hear those words coming from us. Obviously tomorrow marks a change in our mission. It marks a milestone that we have achieved in removing our combat troops. That is not to say that violence is going to end tomorrow. We understand that those that would foment violence will still continue to try to do so.

I do think it is important to remember, as you said, this is a commitment that the President made and a commitment that he intends and will keep. What it means also is that this redoubles the efforts of the Iraqis. They will write the next chapter in Iraqi history, and they will be principally responsible for it. We will be their ally, but the responsibility of charting the future of Iraq, first and foremost, belongs to the Iraqis.


Let me take the liberty to read between the lines, and consider some obvious omissions.

Well, let's look at few things "they" won't say:

We never doubted that the U.S. efforts would transform Iraq.

We were for it, before we were against it.

We always knew it was the right thing to do.

Now let's look at a few words "they" will say:

We are so proud of the U.S. Armed Forces that served in Iraq.

We have achieved so much in only 19 months; But, the Previous administration really messed up.

We have improved the economy that the Bush Administration destroyed.

We have made the world safer for all people, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, financial status, young, old, employed or jobless, etc...

We need more cooperation from the party of "No", so that we can continue to "move forward".

While we are on the subject of change, hope, and yes we can:

WE have brought you a "jobless" recovery!

WE have brought you the "summer of recovery", now WE can look forward to the Fall.

WE have to get those greedy people who make more than $250,000 a year.

WE have improved the economy with the stimulus, cash for clunkers, etc. Now, WE have to stop those Bush tax cuts; WE can't let those selfish bourgeoisie get away with not paying their taxes.

Enjoy your Labor Day, In spite of all the improved conditions;
WE will be on yet another vacation (we are not doing it at the citizen's expense, no way) in Martha's Vineyard, or maybe, Mississippi, or perhaps Majorca... You know, one of those touristy places.

Keep up the Good work. We appreciate all you do for US.

While you celebrate your Labor Day: Ponder on this -

Aren't you better off now, than you were in December 2008?

Jobs, JObs, JOBS!

The Future of Protestantism

Chestnut Street Methodist Church.
—Greater Portland Landmarks.

Did you know that Ellen White predicted the future of Protestantism? You may be surprised to learn what her predictions were—and that they are already beginning to be fulfilled. Here we will share with you some of the highlights of Mrs. White’s statements regarding the history and future of Protestantism. Could it be possible that one of the greatest Christian movements has been hijacked? Read and see for yourself.

Please note: Because Mrs. White wrote so much on this topic, we have emphasized with bold text some of the main issues as they surfaced during the Reformation. All text in this document that appears in this alternate font is directly quoted from Ellen White.

Before Protestantism

Mrs. White stated in her theme regarding the war between Jesus and Satan that the devil has been constantly striving to obscure the truth.

In order for Satan to maintain his sway over men, . . . he must keep them in ignorance of the Scriptures. The Bible would exalt God and place finite men in their true position; therefore its sacred truths must be concealed and suppressed. This logic was adopted by the Roman Church. For hundreds of years the circulation of the Bible was prohibited. The people were forbidden to read it or to have it in their houses, and unprincipled priests and prelates interpreted its teachings to sustain their pretensions. . . .

The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to “intend to change times and law.” Daniel 7:25. This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols, and thus to promote their nominal acceptance of Christianity, the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship. The decree of a general council finally established this system of idolatry. To complete the sacrilegious work, Rome presumed to expunge from the law of God the second commandment, forbidding image worship, and to divide the tenth commandment, in order to preserve the number.

The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven’s authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as “the venerable day of the sun.” This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.

The Great Controversy, pp. 51-52

Great changes came about as the Scriptures were suppressed. Not only did idolatry become a part of “Christian” worship, and the day of worship was changed from Saturday to Sunday (See "The Lord’s Day Controversy"), but the confidence of the people was redirected from God and His Word to fallible man:

The accession of the Roman Church to power marked the beginning of the Dark Ages. As her power increased, the darkness deepened. Faith was transferred from Christ, the true foundation, to the pope of Rome. Instead of trusting in the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation, the people looked to the pope, and to the priests and prelates to whom he delegated authority. They were taught that the pope was their earthly mediator and that none could approach God except through him; and, further, that he stood in the place of God to them and was therefore to be implicitly obeyed. A deviation from his requirements was sufficient cause for the severest punishment to be visited upon the bodies and souls of the offenders. Thus the minds of the people were turned away from God to fallible, erring, and cruel men, nay, more, to the prince of darkness himself, who exercised his power through them. . . .

The gospel was lost sight of, but the forms of religion were multiplied, and the people were burdened with rigorous exactions. . . . They were taught not only to look to the pope as their mediator, but to trust to works of their own to atone for sin. . . .

The Great Controversy, p. 55

Many who professed conversion still clung to the tenets of their pagan philosophy, and not only continued its study themselves, but urged it upon others as a means of extending their influence among the heathen. Serious errors were thus introduced into the Christian faith. Prominent among these was the belief in man’s natural immortality and his consciousness in death. This doctrine laid the foundation upon which Rome established the invocation of saints and the adoration of the Virgin Mary. From this sprang also the heresy of eternal torment for the finally impenitent, which was early incorporated into the papal faith. . . .

Still another fabrication was needed to enable Rome to profit by the fears and the vices of her adherents. This was supplied by the doctrine of indulgences. Full remission of sins, past, present, and future, and release from all the pains and penalties incurred, were promised to all who would enlist in the pontiff’s wars to extend his temporal dominion, to punish his enemies, or to exterminate those who dared deny his spiritual supremacy. The people were also taught that by the payment of money to the church they might free themselves from sin, and also release the souls of their deceased friends who were confined in the tormenting flames.

The Great Controversy, pp. 58-59

These were just some of the beliefs and practices that existed for centuries before the rise of the Protestant Reformation.
READ MORE: http://www.ellenwhite.info/future-of-protestantism-1.htm


The Doom Of Sodom -

The Doom Of Sodom -
A Warning For The Last Days

SODOM was situated in a beautiful and fertile plain, and reveled in an abundance of everything that nature and art could bestow. The inhabitants of Sodom seemed to be strangers to want and to work. A poor man was not permitted to become an inhabitant of the city. He was driven out by abuse, or if not driven out, was the victim of an iniquitous plan that compassed his ruin. The people of this wicked city took no thought for the future life. Idleness and wealth and love of excitement carried them into every excess of pleasure and indulgence. The sensual, animal nature was cultivated, and as, like the world before the flood, the imagination of their hearts was evil, and evil continually, they set their minds to work to find out new, unnatural ways whereby they might gratify their abominable, corrupt passions.

Inspiration gives a testimony concerning the corrupt condition of the world before the flood. The Bible says: "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." Before the flood they employed all their powers for the gratification of base passions, and cast contempt upon the law of God, and as it was in the days of the flood, so it was in the time of Sodom. They would not admit for a moment that their devotion to sensual pleasure brought upon them guilt and danger. They knew not that the cloud of divine wrath, which their sin had for years been loading, was about to break forth in vengeance upon them.

Before the time of Sodom's overthrow, two angels visited Abraham and were courteously entertained. As they were passing on their way to Sodom, Abraham accompanied them, and they revealed to the patriarch the errand for which they had come,--to destroy Sodom. They told Abraham that because of the grievous wickedness of the inhabitants, the city was to be destroyed. Abraham knew that Lot was in this place, and although he had been taught of God, he could not believe that the inhabitants of Sodom were so utterly corrupt. He began to plead that the righteous should not perish with the wicked, that if a certain number of the godly were there, the city might be spared. Pleading for the city, he decreased the number of righteous that would be likely to be found in the city, until he reached the number of ten. But although God would have spared the city if ten righteous persons could have been found there, that number could not be made up to redeem the city.

As the evening draws on, the men of Sodom see the two messengers approaching, but as they have concealed their heavenly character, they appear as common men coming in from the country to visit Sodom. If the veil could be removed from our eyes we should often see in the form of men, the powerful messengers of mercy or of wrath among us. They warn, they caution, they reprove, they protect from a thousand dangers, and yet we know not that the angel's blessing has come to us.

As the angels draw nigh unto Sodom, only one man manifests an interest in the strangers. Lot welcomed them in, invited them to his house. He was ignorant in regard to the character of these men, and knew not the terrible errand upon which they had come; but the courtesy which he manifested was in harmony with his character, and he was saved from the general ruin. Had he appeared indifferent to these strangers, he would not have secured to himself such help as only the angels can give. Many a house has been closed to strangers who were God's messengers of hope, and blessing, and peace. In neglecting the commonest duties of life, withholding kindness and courtesy and hospitality, we miss the richest blessings heaven has to bestow.

When the men of Sodom saw that Lot opened his doors to these strangers, that he did not treat them with derision and contempt, they were stirred with passion. As Lot in Eastern fashion bows in deference, and invites them to share his home, they taunt and jeer. Lot was a man of great wealth, but in showing respect to these travelers he did not meet the mind of these ease-loving Sodomites. They crowded about the house of Lot, and as the crowd increased, vile speeches were made which revealed the state of corruption that existed among the people, and the worst suggestions were received and acted upon. The crowd became more clamorous in their cries to have Lot bring forth the strangers to them; for they had become so base through the indulgence of evil passions, that every good thought had been uprooted, and reason was so clouded that they would even do violence to the angels of heaven.

The angels had come to see if there were any in the city who were not corrupted, and could be persuaded to flee from the impending doom that threatened Sodom. That night the evil doers added the last drop to their cup of iniquity, and the wrath of God could no longer be delayed. The night of the destruction of Sodom the inhabitants of the city were doing that which they had been doing through all their past life. They were no more base and dissolute and corrupt than on other nights when strangers had entered their city; but there is a point beyond which there is no reprieve, and that night the inhabitants of Sodom passed the mystic boundary that decided their destiny. Lot expostulated with them at his door, and refused to permit them to do violence to the strangers who were in his house. But the evil doers had no idea of being restrained from accomplishing their purpose, but thought to beat Lot to the ground, and get access to the strangers. Before this was done, the angels drew Lot into the house, and smote the men with blindness, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

The angels then told Lot what was their errand, and made known to him that God would bring destruction upon the wicked city. Lot believed the word of the angels, but his family was reluctant to receive their message, for they had so long lived in sight and sound of wickedness that their senses were blunted to the grievous character of sin. Lot had afflicted his soul for the debasing sins that the Sodomites were continually committing, and yet even he had not thought their sin was of the debasing character it was, nor deemed that it was so firmly seated as to yield to no remedy. He begs permission of the angels to go forth and warn his daughters and sons-in-law who live in the city. He made his way through the rabble, who were prevented from injuring him by the power of the angels, and gave his message to his children. With grief and terror he begs them to leave the doomed city, and flee with him ere its destruction shall be accomplished, but they look upon him as upon one who is mad, coming to them with such a message at the midnight hour. They laugh at his fears, and think some horrible nightmare has crazed his brain. They will not trouble themselves about the matter, but treat it as a joke, and these who will not receive the message, sleep on, heedless of the last warning of their lives.

Anxious and disappointed, Lot returns to his home through the rabble, and finds the angels still waiting, urging that Lot and his family leave the city before the sun is fully risen. As they go out they see no visible token of God's displeasure. Everything seems to say peace and safety. The sun is illuminating the eastern hills with golden beams, and everything in nature seems to say peace. But the words of the angels ring in the ears of Lot, saying, "The Lord will destroy this city." Unbelief did not prevent the destruction of Sodom. Trifling and gayety did not secure its inhabitants against the doom that overtook the wicked city. They flattered themselves that long days of indulgence in sin were yet to be theirs, but in such an hour as they thought not of, ruin encompassed them.

How hard it was for Lot to leave Sodom! Part of his family had to be left behind, and all the wealth he had accumulated had to be sacrificed. He must go out from Sodom a poor man. The labor of years has to be counted in vain. He does not feel the terrible necessity for God's judgment to fall upon the wicked city, and he still lingers. The angels urge his immediate departure; but Lot, stupefied with sorrow for the loss of his children and property, still hesitates. The angels lay hold of his hands, and the hands of his wife and children, and with merciful violence hasten them out of the city. When they reach the city limits, a word of command is given with startling vehemence: "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest ye be consumed." A few moments' delay now, a few moments of hesitancy, a few moments' disregard of the warning, will cost the fugitives their lives. They are not even to turn their eyes back to see if their beautiful home has survived the general ruin, or the storm will burst upon them. God has delayed his retributive judgment only that they may escape. What care, what tenderness, to these four who flee from the doomed city!

Lot is confused, terrified, and distracted. He begs to be allowed to rest at a little settlement on this side the mountains. Unbelief sprang up in his heart, and he said: "Oh, not so, my Lord; behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die; behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one; oh, let me escape thither (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar."

But why should Lot not have trusted the mercy of the angels in directing him to escape to the mountains, since he ascribed to them the saving of his life? Lot's stay in Sodom had not tended to increase his faith in God, nor had his intercourse with those who knew not God tended to convert them from the error of their way. He had pleaded that the angels permit him to take up his abode in the city of Zoar, saying, "Is it not a little one? and my soul shall live," as though the God who had directed his escape from Sodom did not understand how to preserve the life he had saved. But what mercy and condescension are manifested by the God of heaven! His request is heard, and his plea granted; yet how much better would it have been to heed the angel's voice, and go to the mountains, as far as possible from the wicked city. The angel bids him to hasten, because the fiery storm would be widespread and terrible.

One of the four fugitives ventures to cast a lingering look behind, to see the coming storm, and the number is less by one; for she stands as a memento of God's wrath, turned into a pillar of salt. Had Lot earnestly and firmly fled to the mountains, as the angels had directed, without pleading for a new plan, his wife would not have transgressed the commandment of the angels, and would have been at his side.

When the first beams of the morning dawn, the inhabitants of Sodom are not aware of the departure of Lot and the angels. They were determined to abuse the strangers, but as they come to the house of Lot, it is found vacant, and the hour of doom comes upon them. And the Lord rains fire and brimstone upon the city, and the beautiful plain that looked like Paradise when the angels passed over it, now looks like a parched and blackened desert. The smoke of the burning goes up like the smoke of a great furnace, and the whole heaven is illuminated with the flames of the great conflagration. Sodom has become a place of desolation and ruin.

The sin of the people rose up to heaven, and because of the iniquity of the people, the Lord poured out the vials of his wrath. The fearful doom of Sodom stands forth as a warning for all time, and especially for those who live in the last days. The destruction of Sodom was a symbol of the destruction that will come upon the finally impenitent, when tempests of fire come from above, and fountains of flame break forth from the crust of the earth. The fate of this ancient city should be a warning to all who live for self, and who corrupt their ways before God. The sin of Sodom is the sin of many cities now in existence, that have not been destroyed as was Sodom. Ezekiel says, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me; therefore I took them away as I saw good."

The warning that was given to Lot comes down to us who live in this degenerate age,--"Escape for thy life." The voice of the tempter is crying peace and safety. The evil one would have you feel that you have nothing to fear, and bids you eat, drink, and be merry. Which voice will you heed, the voice of heaven, or the voice that lures you to destruction? The Redeemer of the world, the compassionate Friend of man, discloses to our eyes the fact that there is a sin greater than the sin of Sodom. It is that of sinning against greater light. To those who have heard and have not heeded the gospel invitation to repent and have faith in Christ, the sin is greater than was the sin of Sodom. To those who have professed the name of Jesus, who have professed to know God, and to keep his commandments, and yet who have misrepresented Christ in their daily life and character, who have been warned and entreated, and still dishonor their Redeemer by their unconsecrated lives, the sin is greater than that of Sodom.

Jesus said: "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained unto this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."

The warning of Christ sounds down along the lines to our day. He would arouse the people for whom he gave his life, and attract their attention to himself, the source of all wisdom, righteousness, strength, and hope, and peace. He would have his people let their light shine forth to the world in good works. The sins of Sodom are repeated in our day, and the earth is destroyed and corrupted under the inhabitants thereof; but the worst feature of the iniquity of this day is a form of godliness without the power thereof. Those who profess to have great light are found among the careless and indifferent, and the cause of Christ is wounded in the house of its professed friends. Let those who would be saved, arouse from their lethargy, and give the trumpet a certain sound; for the end of all things is at hand.

The Signs of the Times - October 9 & 16, 1893

Source: http://www.preparingforeternity.com/sodom.htm

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace...

Jesus Himself never purchased peace by compromise. His heart overflowed with love for the whole human race, but He was never indulgent to their sins. He was too much their friend to remain silent while they were pursuing a course that would ruin their souls,--the souls He had purchased with His own blood. He labored that man should be true to himself, true to his higher and eternal interest. The servants of Christ are called to the same work, and they should beware lest, in seeking to prevent discord, they surrender the truth. They are to "follow after the things which make for peace" (Rom. 14:19); but real peace can never be secured by compromising principle. And no man can be true to principle without exciting opposition. A Christianity that is spiritual will be opposed by the children of disobedience. But Jesus bade His disciples, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul." Those who are true to God need not fear the power of men nor the enmity of Satan. In Christ their eternal life is secure. Their only fear should be lest they surrender the truth, and thus betray the trust with which God has honored them.

The Desire of Ages, Page 356.

The Luther Tour

Martin Luther

We are running two tours in 2010, Luther Tour and Oberammergau Tour

The Luther Tour
11-17 September 2010

This Tour is intended to give each participant a complete overview of the life, work, and importance of Martin Luther. We will visit the important places where Luther lived and initiated the events that led to the Reformation and the new world order in which we live today. Lectures will be given throughout, as well as using local guides where necessary. We believe Luther is the most important man of the last five hundred years, and it would benefit all to learn about his work and influence. No previous knowledge of Luther is presupposed.

This is the third year we have arranged this tour. Please see feedback for the response of people who have attended previous years. This year the itinerary has been increased to include the historic town of Quedlinburg. The tour includes four Unesco World Heritage sites. Germany is not normally on the Tourist Trail, but we believe you will be surprised at what you find!

2010 Prices for the Luther Tour
The cost is £725 per person for double room occupancy (single room supplement £80). A non-refundable deposit of £120 is required when confirming your booking. The price includes flight, all travel and entrance to sites with guided tours, breakfast and evening meal. There may of necessity be small changes to the itinerary.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Recall Frenzy

Last week there was an egg recall.

Today, it's a beef recall:

What's next?

Got milk?

Vice President Joe Biden makes surprise visit to Iraq

August 30, 2010 8:35 am

Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Iraq on Monday as part of the formal end of the United States' combat role in Iraq, the White House announced.

Biden will also hold talks with Iraqi officials, who have been struggling to form a new government.

This is Biden's sixth trip to Iraq since January 2009, when the Obama administration took office.

[Updated at 8:53 a.m.: Biden was greeted by Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, Gen. Ray Odierno, the current American commander, and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. The temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit.]

There are currently less than 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, down from the high of 160,000 under former President George W. Bush. Combat troops completed their withdrawal last week. The remaining U.S. troops will assist and train Iraqi troops.

President Obama is scheduled to address the nation on Tuesday on Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the White House, Biden will meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Vice President Tariq Hashimi, Vice President Adil Abd Mahdi and Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

-- Michael Muskal
Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dcnow/2010/08/biden-in-surprise-visit-to-iraq.html


Xavier University of Louisiana - President of The United States Barack Obama Visits for the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Creditline: Photo by Irving Johnson III
OBAMA: Hello, everybody. It is good to be back. It is good to be back.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's good to have you back!

OBAMA: I'm glad. And due to popular demand, I decided to bring the first lady down here.

We have just an extraordinary number of dedicated public servants who are here. If you will be patient with me, I want to make sure that all of them are acknowledged.

First of all, you've got the governor of the great state of Louisiana - Bobby Jindal is here. We have the outstanding mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu. We have the better-looking and younger senator from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu. I believe that Senator David Vitter is here. David - right here. We have - hold on a second now - we've got Congressman Joe Cao is here. Congressman Charlie Melancon is here. Congressman Steve Scalise is here.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who has been working tirelessly down here in Louisiana, Shaun Donovan. We've got our EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson here — homegirl. Administrator of FEMA Craig Fugate is here. The person who's heading up our community service efforts all across the country — Patrick Corvington is here. Louisiana's own Regina Benjamin, the surgeon general — a Xavier grad, I might add. We are very proud to have all of these terrific public servants here.

It is wonderful to be back in New Orleans, and it is a great honor ...

OBAMA: It is a great honor to be back at Xavier University. And I - it's just inspiring to spend time with people who've demonstrated what it means to persevere in the face of tragedy; to rebuild in the face of ruin.

I'm grateful to Jade for her introduction, and congratulate you on being crowned Miss Xavier. I hope everybody heard during the introduction she was a junior at Ben Franklin High School five years ago when the storm came. And after Katrina, Ben Franklin High was terribly damaged by wind and water. Millions of dollars were needed to rebuild the school. Many feared it would take years to reopen - if it could be reopened at all.

But something remarkable happened. Parents, teachers, students, volunteers, they all got to work making repairs. And donations came in from across New Orleans and around the world. And soon, those silent and darkened corridors, they were bright and they were filled with the sounds of young men and women, including Jade, who were going back to class. And then Jade committed to Xavier, a university that likewise refused to succumb to despair. So Jade, like so many students here at this university, embody hope. That sense of hope in difficult times, that's what I came to talk about today.

It's been five years since Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. There's no need to dwell on what you experienced and what the world witnessed. We all remember it keenly: water pouring through broken levees; mothers holding their children above the waterline; people stranded on rooftops begging for help; bodies lying in the streets of a great American city. It was a natural disaster but also a manmade catastrophe — a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men, and women, and children abandoned and alone.

And shortly after the storm, I came down to Houston to spend time with some of the folks who had taken shelter there. And I'll never forget what one woman told me. She said, "We had nothing before the hurricane. And now we've got less than nothing."

In the years that followed, New Orleans could have remained a symbol of destruction and decay; of a storm that came and the inadequate response that followed. It was not hard to imagine a day when we'd tell our children that a once vibrant and wonderful city had been laid low by indifference and neglect. But that's not what happened. It's not what happened at Ben Franklin. It's not what happened here at Xavier. It's not what happened across New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast. Instead this city has become a symbol of resilience and of community and of the fundamental responsibility that we have to one another.

And we see that here at Xavier. Less than a month after the storm struck, amidst debris and flood-damaged buildings, President Francis promised that this university would reopen in a matter of months. Some said he was crazy. Some said it couldn't happen. But they didn't count on what happens when one force of nature meets another. And by January — four months later — class was in session. Less than a year after the storm, I had the privilege of delivering a commencement address to the largest graduating class in Xavier's history. That is a symbol of what New Orleans is all about.

We see New Orleans in the efforts of Joycelyn Heintz, who's here today. Katrina left her house 14 feet underwater. But after volunteers helped her rebuild, she joined AmeriCorps to serve the community herself — part of a wave of AmeriCorps members who've been critical to the rebirth of this city and the rebuilding of this region. So today, she manages a local center for mental health and wellness.

We see the symbol that this city has become in the St. Bernard Project, whose founder Liz McCartney is with us. This endeavor has drawn volunteers from across the country to rebuild hundreds of homes throughout St. Bernard Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward.

I've seen the sense of purpose people felt after the storm when I visited Musicians' Village in the Ninth Ward back in 2006. Volunteers were not only constructing houses; they were coming together to preserve the culture of music and art that’s part of the soul of this city — and the soul of this country. And today, more than 70 homes are complete, and construction is underway on the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music.

We see the dedication to the community in the efforts of Xavier grad Dr. Regina Benjamin, who mortgaged her home, maxed out her credit cards so she could reopen her Bayou la Batre clinic to care for victims of the storm — and who is now our nation's Surgeon General.
And we see resilience and hope exemplified by students at Carver High School, who have helped to raise more than a million dollars to build a new community track and football field — their "Field of Dreams" — for the 9th Ward.

So because of all of you — all the advocates, all the organizers who are here today, folks standing behind me who've worked so hard, who never gave up hope — you are all leading the way toward a better future for this city with innovative approaches to fight poverty and improve health care, reduce crime, and create opportunities for young people. Because of you, New Orleans is coming back.

And I just came from Parkway Bakery and Tavern. Five years ago, the storm nearly destroyed that neighborhood institution. I saw the pictures. Now they're open, business is booming, and that's some good eats. I had the shrimp po-boy and some of the gumbo. But I skipped the bread pudding because I thought I might fall asleep while I was speaking. But I've got it saved for later.
Five years ago, many questioned whether people could ever return to this city. Today, New Orleans is one of the fastest growing cities in America, with a big new surge in small businesses. Five years ago, the Saints had to play every game on the road because of the damage to the Superdome. Two weeks ago, we welcomed the Saints to the White House as Super Bowl champions. There was also food associated with that. We marked the occasion with a 30-foot po-boy made with shrimp and oysters from the Gulf. And you'll be pleased to know there were no leftovers.

Now, I don't have to tell you that there are still too many vacant and overgrown lots. There are still too many students attending classes in trailers. There are still too many people unable to find work. And there are still too many New Orleanians, folks who haven't been able to come home. So while an incredible amount of progress has been made, on this fifth anniversary, I wanted to come here and tell the people of this city directly: My administration is going to stand with you — and fight alongside you — until the job is done. Until New Orleans is all the way back, all the way.

When I took office, I directed my Cabinet to redouble our efforts, to put an end to the turf wars between agencies, to cut the red tape and cut the bureaucracy. I wanted to make sure that the federal government was a partner — not an obstacle — to recovery here in the Gulf Coast. And members of my Cabinet — including EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, who grew up in Pontchartrain Park — they have come down here dozens of times. Shaun Donovan has come down here dozens of times. This is not just to make appearances. It's not just to get photo ops. They came down here to listen and to learn and make real the changes that were necessary so that government was actually working for you.

So for example, efforts to rebuild schools and hospitals, to repair damaged roads and bridges, to get people back to their homes — they were tied up for years in a tangle of disagreements and byzantine rules. So when I took office, working with your outstanding delegation, particularly Senator Mary Landrieu, we put in place a new way of resolving disputes. We put in place a new way of resolving disputes so that funds set aside for rebuilding efforts actually went toward rebuilding efforts. And as a result, more than 170 projects are getting underway — work on firehouses, and police stations, and roads, and sewer systems, and health clinics, and libraries, and universities.

We're tackling the corruption and inefficiency that has long plagued the New Orleans Housing Authority. We're helping homeowners rebuild and making it easier for renters to find affordable options. And we're helping people to move out of temporary homes. You know, when I took office, more than three years after the storm, tens of thousands of families were still stuck in disaster housing — many still living in small trailers that had been provided by FEMA. We were spending huge sums of money on temporary shelters when we knew it would be better for families, and less costly for taxpayers, to help people get into affordable, stable, and more permanent housing. So we've helped make it possible for people to find those homes, and we've dramatically reduced the number of families in emergency housing.

On the health care front, as a candidate for President, I pledged to make sure we were helping New Orleans recruit doctors and nurses, and rebuild medical facilities — including a new veterans hospital. Well, we have resolved a long-standing dispute — one that had tied up hundreds of millions of dollars — to fund the replacement for Charity Hospital. And in June, Veterans Secretary Ric Shinseki came to New Orleans for the groundbreaking of that new VA hospital.

In education, we've made strides as well. As you know, schools in New Orleans were falling behind long before Katrina. But in the years since the storm, a lot of public schools opened themselves up to innovation and to reform. And as a result, we're actually seeing rising achievement, and New Orleans is becoming a model of innovation for the nation. This is yet another sign that you're not just rebuilding — you're rebuilding stronger than before. Just this Friday, my administration announced a final agreement on $1.8 billion dollars for Orleans Parish schools. This is money that had been locked up for years, but now it's freed up so folks here can determine best how to restore the school system.

And in a city that's known too much violence, that's seen too many young people lost to drugs and criminal activity, we've got a Justice Department that's committed to working with New Orleans to fight the scourge of violent crime, and to weed out corruption in the police force, and to ensure the criminal justice system works for everyone in this city. And I want everybody to hear — to know and to hear me thank Mitch Landrieu, your new mayor, for his commitment to that partnership.

Now, even as we continue our recovery efforts, we're also focusing on preparing for future threats so that there is never another disaster like Katrina. The largest civil works project in American history is underway to build a fortified levee system. And as I — just as I pledged as a candidate, we're going to finish this system by next year so that this city is protected against a 100-year storm. We should not be playing Russian roulette every hurricane season. And we're also working to restore protective wetlands and natural barriers that were not only damaged by Katrina — were not just damaged by Katrina but had been rapidly disappearing for decades.

In Washington, we are restoring competence and accountability. I am proud that my FEMA Director, Craig Fugate, has 25 years of experience in disaster management in Florida. He came from Florida, a state that has known its share of hurricanes. We've put together a group led by Secretary Donovan and Secretary Napolitano to look at disaster recovery across the country. We're improving coordination on the ground, and modernizing emergency communications, helping families plan for a crisis. And we're putting in place reforms so that never again in America is somebody left behind in a disaster because they're living with a disability or because they're elderly or because they're infirm. That will not happen again.

Finally, even as you've been buffeted by Katrina and Rita, even as you've been impacted by the broader recession that has devastated communities across the country, in recent months the Gulf Coast has seen new hardship as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. And just as we've sought to ensure that we are doing what it takes to recover from Katrina, my administration has worked hard to match our efforts on the spill to what you need on the ground. And we've been in close consultation with your governor, your mayors, your parish presidents, your local government officials.

And from the start, I promised you two things. One is that we would see to it that the leak was stopped. And it has been. The second promise I made was that we would stick with our efforts, and stay on BP, until the damage to the Gulf and to the lives of the people in this region was reversed. And this, too, is a promise that we will keep. We are not going to forget. We're going to stay on it until this area is fully recovered.

That's why we rapidly launched the largest response to an environmental disaster in American history — 47,000 people on the ground, 5,700 vessels on the water — to contain and clean up the oil. When BP was not moving fast enough on claims, we told BP to set aside $20 billion in a fund — managed by an independent third party — to help all those whose lives have been turned upside down by the spill.

And we will continue to rely on sound science, carefully monitoring waters and coastlines as well as the health of the people along the Gulf, to deal with any long-term effects of the oil spill. We are going to stand with you until the oil is cleaned up, until the environment is restored, until polluters are held accountable, until communities are made whole, and until this region is all the way back on its feet.

So that's how we're helping this city, and this state, and this region to recover from the worst natural disaster in our nation's history. We're cutting through the red tape that has impeded rebuilding efforts for years. We're making government work better and smarter, in coordination with one of the most expansive nonprofit efforts in American history. We're helping state and local leaders to address serious problems that had been neglected for decades — problems that existed before the storm came, and have continued after the waters receded — from the levee system to the justice system, from the health care system to the education system.

And together, we are helping to make New Orleans a place that stands for what we can do in America — not just for what we can't do. Ultimately, that must be the legacy of Katrina: not one of neglect, but of action; not one of indifference, but of empathy; not of abandonment, but of a community working together to meet shared challenges.

The truth is, there are some wounds that have not yet healed. And there are some losses that can't be repaid. And for many who lived through those harrowing days five years ago, there's searing memories that time may not erase. But even amid so much tragedy, we saw stirrings of a brighter day. Five years ago we saw men and women risking their own safety to save strangers. We saw nurses staying behind to care for the sick and the injured. We saw families coming home to clean up and rebuild — not just their own homes, but their neighbors' homes, as well. And we saw music and Mardi Gras and the vibrancy, the fun of this town undiminished. And we've seen many return to their beloved city with a newfound sense of appreciation and obligation to this community.

And when I came here four years ago, one thing I found striking was all the greenery that had begun to come back. And I was reminded of a passage from the book of Job: "There is hope for a tree if it be cut down that it will sprout again, and that its tender branch will not cease." The work ahead will not be easy, and there will be setbacks. There will be challenges along the way. But thanks to you, thanks to the great people of this great city, New Orleans is blossoming again.

Thank you, everybody. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Source: http://www.xula.edu/mediarelations/obama_katrinavisit_script.php
All the honored guests that President Obama acknowledged in his first paragraph are all Roman Catholics. Go figure! What a lovely convenient arrangement?

BTW: Have you ever wondered why Louisiana is the only state in the union that divides its territory politically into Parishes, instead of Counties like the rest of the country?

All Catholics:

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu
senator from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu
Senator (LA) David Vitter
Congressman Charlie Melancon
Congressman Steve Scalise
And of course -
Congressman (LA) Joe Cao [Joseph] - as in Ordo ab Cao):

Cao almost became a Roman Catholic priest. He graduated from Jersey Village High School in Houston. He then earned a bachelor's degree in physics at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He was a Jesuit seminarian for six years, but abandoned it, realizing it was not his vocation.[15] He earned his master's degree in philosophy from Fordham University and, in 2000, his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans. While in law school, he also taught undergraduate courses in philosophy at Loyola.[16] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Cao

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Francis Xavier

Saint Francis Xavier was one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.

Saint Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta (7 April 1506, Javier, Navarre – 3 December 1552, Shangchuan Island, China) was a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary born in the Kingdom of Navarre (Spain) and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a student of Saint Ignatius Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who dedicated themselves to the service of God at Montmartre in 1534.[1] He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Asian Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India, but also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Moluccas, and other areas which had thus far not been visited by Christian missionaries. In these areas, being a pioneer and struggling to learn the local language of the indigenous people in the face of opposition, he had less success.
Note: Highlights added...

The Wrap-up At Xavier: The other side of the pool

It's been a rambunctious few days; and to close the week out with a 21 gun salute the community organizer in chief - Obama will give a Katrina 5th Anniversary (Another One?) speech at a historic black, Catholic institution, named Xavier University in New Orleans. The Prez could have used the other Catholic - Jesuit school, Loyola (Lie-ola) University;
But that would have been a dead give away (of who his handlers are) ...
So, he opted for the traditional African-America Catholic college instead. Perhaps, he wants to show his "kinship" to the students of that institution? Yet, he's not an African-American by it's precise definition. So, why not give a speech at the uptown public-owned UNO (University of New Orleans) by the lake? Didn't the Bayou St. John neighborhood also flood during Katrina? Or, Obama could have given a speech at Tulane University, the famous private school in town. No, he had to play to "his" audience! This president doesn't care about the impressions that he gives; He is blatant, and has only one thing in mind his agenda: Divide and Confuse.
When it isn't giving White House bashes for Gays and Lesbians, it's giving state dinners for obscure dignitaries from third world nations, or entertaining Muslims.

Obama pulls no punches, he aims to upset!

So much for the speech for the Xavier students and staff. Yesterday turned out to be a humdinger; On the Washington Mall it was rallies in stereo. As you well knew Glenn Beck and his 8/28 Rally were in town in front of the Lincoln Memorial, with Sarah Palin, and many Tea Party activists Taking America Back. Well, an impromptu rally was organized by Al Sharpton to pay homage to Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Message", and the demonstrations that took place 47 years ago here in D.C., on August 28, 1963. I didn't know about the latter rally until this morning when I heard the radio news, when they said that Al Sharpton -- the Liberal Preacher organized a last minute manifestation to coincide with Glen (Beek) Beck's rally. Then I thought to my self: Now what is Al Sharpton doing organizing anything to commemorate the late great Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King? I really don't know what Al Sharpton's occupation is? But, every time he makes headlines is to shake somebody down. The brother with the perm loves drawing attention to himself. I remember the first time he made the front page on the New York Post in 1988-89; it was with the Tawana Brawley (brawl) scandal. Speaking of egg recalls; Sharpton was caught with egg on his face when it was revealed that Tawana had lied when she made up the story about being raped and held hostage by certain fellows in Wappinger Falls, New York. Speaking of The Audacity of Hope: How can Sharpton look into a camera after all the huffing and puffing he did 20 years ago. The man is shameless! I wonder what his congregation thinks about him?

I believe that is enough to talk about the reverend...

President Carter stole a bit of glory during the last week too! Well, Jimmy flew to North Korea to free an American that was being held for straying into North Korea. Another person who strolls into Kim Yong Ill's country? Now I believe they are doing this for publicity! Didn't Slick Willie, free two young women (Asian-Americans) just a few months ago? Lisa Ling, or Lisa Lou's sister? Last year it was hikers getting lost and winding up in Iran; Go figure! Well, Carter is still working on his legacy, as if Habitat for Humanity, and overseeing elections in underdeveloped nations wasn't enough? The CFR, Trilateral Commission member just happened to miss The Dictator that was in China on a state visit. But, he did secure the release of prisoner Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a "Christian" Cape Verdean-American teacher from Boston, Massachusetts who gives English classes in South Korea; who wound up walking into trouble. Chalk up another victory for Jimmy Carter of Americus, Georgia: He couldn't rectify all the blunders he committed while president, so now he is constantly looking for "big" opportunities like this one...

What a fantastic few days it's been. Carter's jail rescue story, then Bernake in Jackson Whole, Wyoming with a wink and a nod Rothschild commercial. Then, yesterday it was the battle of the most patriotic: Glen Beck who now wants to hijack the Tea Party Movement, versus flim-Flam artist, Al Sharpton, trying to look Civil Righti-ish. And these both wound up serendipitously on the Washington Mall; No, not shopping at Aeropostale or JC Penney's; But rather filling the newspapers with noose (not news worthy noise) that can make a regular person snooze. The greatest fact about this event is they were all in plain sight of one of the culprits of many of the problems that affect this great country: The Federal Reserve. It's accross the street from the Lincoln Monument. So, while all the distraction and agitation goes on outside, the folks that have the country in hock sit in their ivory tower, nonchalant.

Meanwhile, President Obama conducts his oratorio from the mother ship: The Jesuit lair that is New Orleans with the latest Rubik's Cube of a speech. See if you can make heads or tails of it? What ever he says, it's meant to further distract from the real deal. But, just remember it's meant to confuse.

The real deal this week-end was the Bernake yawn, and the commotion accross from the Federal Reserve HQ.

For nearly a century, Lincoln’s statue at the Lincoln Memorial has gazed out pensively across the reflecting pool at the Federal Reserve building, as if pondering what the bankers had wrought since his death and how to remedy it. http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/path-to-a-new-economy/revive-lincoln2019s-monetary-policy-an-open-letter-to-president-obama

What audacity!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Taking America Back?

Taking America Back is a concept that really confuses me.

Today, Glenn Beck is heading a rally in Washington D.C. that some point out coincides with Martin Luther King's famous civil rights demonstration:
On Aug. 28, 1963, 200,000 people participated in a peaceful civil rights rally in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. ttp://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0828.html#article

What perplexes me is not this coincidence, but rather a buzz word that many conservative talk show hosts are using: Taking Back America! I wonder what America it is that these very articulate patriotic souls are pretending to take this country back to?

Could it be the go-go Nineties America of Bill Clinton, that they want to go back to? Or, could it be the Sexual Revolution and Hippie Love-in (love the one you're with) days that they want to retrun to? Or, perhaps it's the baby boom - Eisenhower "Beware of the Military Industrial Complex" days, they long for? Or, even still the World War II era - Rosie the Riveter
(women had to do all the industrial jobs cause' men were away at war in Europe and in the Pacific) days, they miss? Might they be nostalgic for the days of Prohibition? Or, maybe want to go back to the Roaring Twenties, and the (Jazz Age) Flappers? Or, could they want to return to the days of Buffalo Bill and his travelling Rodeo? Or, could they instead miss the post Civil War Jim Crow times?

It really baffles me to hear Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Jerry Doyle, Neal Boortz, Mark Levin, and the rest of the remember when crowd, reminiscing about a gone by era that never was. It reminds me of walking by Brighton Beach on the boardwalk, and listening to "our crowd" singing "Those were the Days"...my friend we thought they'd never end...for we were young and sure to have our way.....Ta ra ra ra da da...

It sure sounded interesting. However, hindsight is 20-20. Could-a, should-a, would-a, etc.

You only live once!

Now, how can you take America back? Can you turn back the hands of time? Will you legislate people into an ideal behavior model more agreeable to the new guys in charge? I believe this whole taking America back lingo is a bunch of hokum. I think it's intended to fool people into thinking that these folks talking really have a plan to solve all the social and economic ills that our country is experiencing. It's really just politics as usual. However, I do see a grain of truth in what these folks are clamoring for; With all the corruption and decadence -- and in the face of all the confusion that abounds, the immorality that pervades every corner of society, the gradual economic collapse of the American standard of living there is a tyrannical extremely dictatorial government prophesied to appear in our midst before the Lord's return; And all the symptoms are ripe for such a thing to occur any day now. Changes are coming, but, they won't take America back.

Can you put the toothpaste back in the tube once you squeeze it out?

The changes that will take place when they try to take America back will surprise almost everyone since there hasn't ever been a totalitarian state on these shores. Not in the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

The current tilt to the radical left is a harbinger of hard times, my friend...
Heaven help us all to prepare for what lies ahead!


New Principal Appointed at Newbold College

Campus News Jane Sabes Keith Mattingly

By Newbold-TED News

The new president will be the 29th principal in Newbold’s 107-year history, the twelfth American, and second woman.

Jane Sabes On May 11, the Newbold Board of Governors appointed an American professor of political science as Newbold College's next principal. Since she earned her doctorate in 1999, Jane Sabes has been teaching on the campus of Newbold’s sister institution, Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where she has researched and taught out of her particular interests in the relationship between religion, politics, and human rights. She recently received the 2008 Spiritual Life award in recognition of her “ever-strong spiritual influence on students and colleagues alike.” In 2005, she was voted Teacher of the Year.

Sabes brings the experience of an international curriculum vitae to the job. She has served as director of health services for the Seward Peninsula in Alaska, and has international work experience in China, Libya, and Indonesia. In the 1990s, Sabes worked as director of the Wyoming Department of Health, having a staff of 2,000 and managing a biennial budget of $600 million.

She has broad experience of teaching and educational administration, and has worked in educational administration and curriculum planning at both Kettering Medical Centre, Kettering, Ohio, and Clinical Faculty at Wright State University, School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio.

Sabes received her Bachelor of Science from Columbia Union College, in Takoma Park, Maryland, her master's in Public Health from Loma Linda University, California, and a master's in Public Administration from the University of Wyoming. In 1999, she earned her doctorate in political science with emphasis in international public policy and public administration.

Sabes succeeds David Penner, who resigned last February after six years as principal. She is expected to visit the campus in June and, subject to visa arrangements proceeding smoothly, will take up her duties at the college in August. She will be the 29th principal in Newbold’s 107-year history, the twelfth American, and second woman.

Keith Mattingly, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Andrews University, describes Jane Sabes as an energetic woman of many talents who combines tenderness of spirit with a clear calling to accountability. “She is,” he says, “one of those who looks at challenges and creates new and creative ways of doing things.”

On her appointment, Jane Sabes said: “I have long known of the excellent educational experiences afforded students at Newbold College. And, I assume that my response in working with this group of dedicated individuals will be similar to that of the Queen of Sheba upon meeting King Solomon—that “not the half was told me.” In short, I consider this invitation to assume leadership duties at Newbold to be the richest of blessings, both personally and professionally.”

Bertil Wiklander, chair of the Board of Governors said: “Jane Sabes brings to her new leadership role a rare combination of gifts which we believe will serve Newbold well. She combines an open outlook on the world with a deep involvement in the life and witness of the Church. We wish her and the Newbold staff well as they begin this new and critical phase of the College’s history.”

The great "Ground Zero mosque" hoax

Representative, Seventh-day Adventist Church

James Standish

Represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church to the United Nations. Deputy secretary general of the International Religious Liberty Association


Anyone paying attention the last couple of weeks has heard multiple reports about plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero. It's been labeled a "victory mosque", described as towering over the memorial to the victims of 9/11, and as being the pet project of a terrorist-sympathizing, Muslim imam. All of this would be cause for Americans to get upset, and no surprise, polls show we are.

But what if what we're being told are gross distortions mixed with bold faced lies?

Three simple fact checks help put the flap in context:

1) There is no "Ground Zero" mosque

If you take a minute to Google map the address of the supposed "ground zero" mosque, 45-47 Park Place, you'll find the proposed site is on a small city street buried in the middle of the block. It is separated by two full city blocks of towering buildings from the World Trade Center site. While the entire lower Manhattan might be considered "Ground Zero", the site of the mosque is separated visually and physically from the World Trade Center site. No one visiting the World Trade Center site will see it - unless they take a wrong turn on the way.

2) There is no "Victory" Mosque

The stated goal behind building the Muslim center in lower Manhattan is to recapture the spirit of mutual respect between Judaism, Christianity and Islam that existed in Cordoba, Spain, from 700 - 1200 AD. While Europe was trapped in the Dark Ages, marked by bloody religious repression, Cordoba thrived as a commercial and cultural center with what was, for the time, a high level of religious freedom. For example, in the 10th Century, Cordoba became the intellectual capital for Jews worldwide. The stated point of the project is creating a world where Jews, Christians and Muslims connect again in a way that builds mutual understanding and respect. This is precisely the opposite goal of the 9/11 terrorists.

3) There is no Terror-Loving Imam Behind the Mosque

The Imam behind the mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is reported to have good relations with the Jewish community and has strongly condemned terrorism. He is precisely the kind of Imam that violent Islamic radicals despise the most. He has been lambasted in some quarters in the US for stating that American support of corrupt and coercive regimes in the Middle-east motivated the 9/11 terrorists. While the precise motivation of the terrorists may be subject for debate, his analysis can only dismissed blithely by those unfamiliar with the deplorable practices of American "allies" in Middle-east ranging from the Saudi regime to Egyptian government. But this misses the point; we don't have to agree with his analysis or the way he expressed himself to agree that in a free society, unless someone is engaged in criminal activity, they have the same rights as anyone else to build and operate a house of worship.

Target the Saudi Government - Not Americans

Not only are the "facts" that have been widely reported gross distortions, but the arguments for banning the mosque are fatally flawed. Some have argued that America should not allow the mosque to be built until Saudi Arabia permits the building of churches. As someone on the forefront of pressing for full religious freedom in all nations - including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan - for almost a decade, I strongly support the view that Saudi Arabia must abide by its international commitment and permit people not only to build the houses of worship they choose, but to speak freely about their religious convictions and to change their faith should they so choose. But this misses a key point. If we want this to happen, we should target the Saudi regime, not Americans like Imam Rauf.

Specifically, the politicians currently railing against Imam Rauf, should rather use their influence and power to place conditions on the vast economic and security cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia. The conditions should require the Saudis to end their egregious human rights violations - and most specifically, their abuse of religious minorities including Christians and Shia Muslims.

Don't Give the Government Power to Ban our Houses of Worship

But there is a second disconnect. Americans have the right to build our houses of worship wherever we choose, as long as we lawfully purchase the land and build to code. Indeed, in 1998 the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act was passed to ensure this right is robustly protected. Do we really want to give the government the right to pick and choose which religions get to build where? Do we want Evangelicals banned from building new churches in neighborhoods where they are an unpopular minority? Do they want the majority to be able to decide where Mormon churches can be built, or Synagogues or Adventist Churches, or Catholic? We are all minorities somewhere in this country. Do we want the majority to be able to squelch our plans to build a house of worship?

Where is the fear of intrusive government when we need it? Where is the dedication to the First Freedom found in our Constitution when it really matters?

Stop Damaging American Security

The so called "Ground Zero" controversy has no doubt effectively raised the profile and filled the coffers of the politicians and advocacy organizations misleading the public. Scapegoating unpopular minorities is generally an effective way to gain power and influence. But it comes at a price. In this case, the price is not only the integrity and credibility of the individuals and organizations that raced to jump on this bandwagon. It is deeper and it is broader. This controversy has done much to stoke hatred against American Muslims at home and in the process, has made peaceful Muslims around the world doubt our commitment to equality and liberty. In so doing, these attacks on American Muslims gives fuel to violent Islamic radicals.
The politicians and NGOs that have stoked the "ground zero" mosque hoax should be seen for what they are - security charlatans. Their intolerance weakens our society and our allies, while strengthening our enemies.


Even if we are willing to abandon our constitutional right to freedom of religion, even if we are willing empower the government to pick and choose between religions, even if our conscience doesn't bother us when inflammatory remarks are made about a vulnerable minority, even if all this is true, it is indisputable that America's self interest at home and abroad lays in supporting peaceful voices in the Muslim community, not employing distortions to whip up the fires of prejudice against them.

By James Standish August 13, 2010; 12:14 PM ET
Source: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/james_standish/2010/08/the_great_ground_zero_mosque_hoax.html

James D. Standish's Bio:

James was born in Australia, grew up in South-east Asia (Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore), went to college in England, and moved to the United States for graduate school. He earned his bachelors degree from Newbold College where he first edited the school newspaper and then served as President of the student association, his MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business where he was news editor of the Darden News, and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Georgetown University where he was a staff editor of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy and President of the church-state law forum.


Religious leaders speak out for freedom of expression in Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 27, 2010 / 09:54 pm (CNA).- This week numerous religious denominations in Mexico banded together to publish the “Interdenominational Manifesto of Mexico,” reaffirming that no religious minister should be silenced under any circumstance.
The manifesto states that religious leaders must not be silenced because “it is our duty and obligation to guide the consciences of the members of our communities.”

“The secular state cannot and must not persecute religious ministers because of their opinions or attempt to silence their public statements,” because these things are necessary to “sustain the relationship between the being and God the Creator,” the manifesto continues.

“In any revision or analysis of laws that relates to human life, morality or bioethics, the opinions of various religious leaders must be heard,” it adds, noting that this was not the case with the recent laws passed on same-sex “marriage” and adoption.

The manifesto says the secular state must not overreach its authority and engage in militant secularism or persecution. The natural law must be respected above every human law, it continues, urging leaders to revoke anti-life anti-family laws and to cease all efforts to silence religious leaders.

The manifest was signed by the Methodist Church of Mexico, the Lutheran Church, the Maronite Church, the Anglican Church, the Greek-Melkite Church and the Hare Krishna Movement.
Source: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/religious-leaders-speak-out-for-freedom-of-expression-in-mexico/ .

Friday, August 27, 2010

New World Order – Jesuit Priests – Illuminati – Clip

According to a most eye-opening and incredibly compelling book Codeword Barbelon http://www.luxverbi.org.uk/arch/Codeword_Barb%C3%AAl%C3%B4n_Foreword_ISBN_0-954359666_and_ISBN_9780954359669.htm , by author P.D. Stuart, Obama is under the control of the Jesuits and has been for many years.

We also discovered that even the Pope Benedict XVI gave Obama his blessings after his election victory in November. As far as I am aware this is the first time a Pope has blessed the Presidency so openly. See the attached pdf news report on p. 16A from the National Post titled: “Pope Blesses Obama”!!

But first, here is a little Obama history.
Many years ago, Obama’s wife to be, Michelle Robinson, a promising associate at the same Chicago Loop law firm, Sidley Austin, became a good friend and mentor to a young paralegal looking for career advice, Mike Strautmanis; as did her future husband, Barack H. Obama.
Strautmanis, who is now 39 and a senior legal counsel to Obama presidential team, attended a very special school: the Jesuit-run St. Ignatius College Prep, one of Chicago’s influential Catholic schools.
You may think this is a mere coincidence, but Strautmanis is not Mr. Obama’s only or even his most important Jesuit confidant!

It’s around that time [while Obama was working as an organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) in Chicago] that Mr. Obama developed long-lasting ties with the Catholic Church and her most wily agents–the Jesuits.

So much so that Obama can’t seem to avoid apointing Jesuits to his inner circle of advisers and managers. These Jesuits are all men of amphibologia [i.e. double sensed words] and the most wonderful obstinacy whose sole objective, according to one of their former pupils, is to secure “to the highest office of state men who they have poisoned with their maxims.” (See, Jean Lacouture, Jesuits: A Multibiography, p. 340. Note: Jean Lacouture is himself an ancien élève of the Jesuits—i.e. a former pupil).

No wonder Edmund Burke wrote that the Jesuits are “an infectious ‘plague’ requiring ‘the precautions of the most severe quarantine.’ “
Even Pope Gregory IX had to admit: “The Jesuit foxes have various faces, but they all hang together by their tails.”

Enough of that.. Lets see what the author of Codeword Barbelon
http://www.luxverbi.org.uk/arch/Codeword_Barb%C3%AAl%C3%B4n_Foreword_ISBN_0-954359666_and_ISBN_9780954359669.htm reveals about Obama’s Jesuit foxes:

“Obama’s Chicago mentor” is “Gregory Galluzzo – a ‘former’ Jesuit priest….” [Jesuit Temporal Coadjutor and featured writer for the Pope's American neo-fascist Executive Intelligence Review, Webster Tarpley, mentions Galluzzo in his book, Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography.]

“Obama’s Chief Speechwriter, Jon Favreau, was Jesuit-trained.”
“Obama’s Senior Military and Foreign Policy Advisor, Maj. Gen. J. Scott
Gration, was Jesuit-trained.”
“Obama’s Deputy Communications Director, Dan Pfeiffer, was Jesuit-trained.”
How many other Jesuit agents Mr. Obama has on his team we may never know, for as American historian J. Wayne Laurens writes: “They [the Jesuits] are not merely priests, or of one religious creed; they are merchants [Wall Street Bankers] … and editors, and men of any profession, having no outward badge by which to be recognized…. “
[J. Wayne Laurens, The Crisis in America : or the Enemies of America Unmasked (Philadelphia: G. D. Miller, 1855), p. 265; cited in Codeword Barbelon].

Note too, that Obama’s Global Poverty Act, passed in 2007, was launched at a conference in San Francisco to lobby for the bill. The conference was held at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit Catholic Institution [seventy miles south of the Order's Bohemian Grove] with a “global perspective,” under the auspices of the Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought.
In all of the above we have clues as to his agenda and who backed him: he was trained and mentored by Jesuits [no doubt, connectted to the Order through the Ford Foundation for which his atheist, White mother worked; the Ford Foundation oversaw the faith-mixing, race-mixing, culture-mixing Gamaliel Foundation for which Barry Davis Obama worked alongside co-founder Jesuit priest Greg Galluzo now an "ex-Jesuit" and the Foundation's Executive Director], he worked for the Catholic Church for most of his life, and he has even chosen a Jesuit-controlled Roman Catholic, Joe Biden, as his vice-president. What does that tell you? Do you think all this Catholic connection is mere coincidence and stands for nothing? One can draw the conclusion that Obama’s relationship with the Jesuits is much more important to his success in this election and even more extensive than many think. Incidentally, Joe Biden lectures at the Jesuit University in Scranton [a major recruiting station for the Black Pope's Central Intelligence Agency] and his son, according to an official Federal finance document, was paid over $80,000.00 last year by the Jesuits to lobby for them in the White House!!
Joe Biden’s son was Jesuit-trained at Georgetown University and is paid to lobby for the Jesuit University of Scranton. Joe Biden was also given an honorary degree from the Jesuit University of Scranton (1979) and from the Jesuit Order’s St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia (1981).
Here is an except of a quote from the Introduction to Codeword Barbêlôn
http://www.luxverbi.org.uk/arch/Codeword_Barb%C3%AAl%C3%B4n_Foreword_ISBN_0-954359666_and_ISBN_9780954359669.htm as found in a recent press release and on the publisher’s website: http://www.arcticbeacon.com/greg/?p=197
Rerum Novarum – The REAL N.W.O. Must see 10 min Video…