Friday, November 30, 2012

Angus T. Jones Testimony

"Half-Man" Speaks at Voice of Prophecy 
Also Interviewed for New Telecast

Listen now 

Watch now ----------------- Watch here

Does the name Angus T. Jones mean anything to you? Unless you're a fan of the TV sitcom Two-and-a-Half Men, you may not recognize the name, but for the past 10 years Angus has been the "half-man" (that is boy) on the hit show alongside Charlie Sheen (now Ashton Kutcher) and John Cryer. So members of one Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Los Angeles area were surprised a few months ago when Angus began attending.

VOP Bible School worker Denise Johnson is a member there, and she and her husband have been helping Angus get to know Jesus better through Bible study and witnessing classes. At Denise's invitation Angus came to the Adventist Media Center and shared his testimony on October 8 (which, coincidentally, was his 19th birthday).Click here to listen to Angus speak at the Voice of Prophecy worship. 

 If you've seen the TV show he's a part of, you know that – in Angus' own words – the show doesn't want anything to do with God. But this young man hasn't followed the all-too-familiar downhill route of many Hollywood child stars. Instead he's looking up, and he sees his association with the show as an opportunity to share his faith with people who otherwise might never hear the name of Jesus used except in a negative way.

After speaking to our Media Center group, Angus joined VOP Associate Speaker Connie in the TV studio to tape a 30-minute interview as part of the new "Turning Point" telecast for Hope Channel that Connie is producing. The program will air early next year. You can view it now online.


Ann Coulter vs. the Jesuits at Fordham: A college invite is rescinded

9:11 am November 10, 2012, by Maureen Downey

Pundit Ann Coulter

I have written this blog now for several years, and only mentioned acidic pundit Ann Coulter once. Three weeks later, I am bringing her up again because this incident demonstrates a sensible way to handle controversies over college speakers.

Coulter was invited to Fordham University in New York to speak on Nov. 29 by the College Republicans.

The planned appearance triggered protests and a student petition  A group of students argued that tuition should not be used to underwrite speakers at the private college who are “not compatible with the values the Fordham community professes – particularly the Jesuit tenet of ‘Men and Women for and With Others’.”

See what you think of Fordham President Joseph M. McShane’s response and of the decision Friday night by the Fordham College Republicans to cancel Coulter’s appearance.

First, Father McShane’s statement:

The College Republicans, a student club at Fordham University, has invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus on November 29. The event is funded through student activity fees and is not open to the public nor the media. Student groups are allowed, and encouraged, to invite speakers who represent diverse, and sometimes unpopular, points of view, in keeping with the canons of academic freedom. Accordingly, the University will not block the College Republicans from hosting their speaker of choice on campus.

To say that I am disappointed with the judgment and maturity of the College Republicans, however, would be a tremendous understatement. There are many people who can speak to the conservative point of view with integrity and conviction, but Ms. Coulter is not among them. Her rhetoric is often hateful and needlessly provocative — more heat than light — and her message is aimed squarely at the darker side of our nature.

As members of a Jesuit institution, we are called upon to deal with one another with civility and compassion, not to sling mud and impugn the motives of those with whom we disagree or to engage in racial or social stereotyping. In the wake of several bias incidents last spring, I told the University community that I hold out great contempt for anyone who would intentionally inflict pain on another human being because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or creed.

“Disgust” was the word I used to sum up my feelings about those incidents. Hate speech, name-calling, and incivility are completely at odds with the Jesuit ideals that have always guided and animated Fordham.

Still, to prohibit Ms. Coulter from speaking at Fordham would be to do greater violence to the academy, and to the Jesuit tradition of fearless and robust engagement. Preventing Ms. Coulter from speaking would counter one wrong with another. The old saw goes that the answer to bad speech is more speech. This is especially true at a university, and I fully expect our students, faculty, alumni, parents, and staff to voice their opposition, civilly and respectfully, and forcefully.

The College Republicans have unwittingly provided Fordham with a test of its character: do we abandon our ideals in the face of repugnant speech and seek to stifle Ms. Coulter’s (and the student organizers’) opinions, or do we use her appearance as an opportunity to prove that our ideas are better and our faith in the academy — and one another — stronger? We have chosen the latter course, confident in our community and in the power of decency and reason to overcome hatred and prejudice.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President

From the College Republicans late Friday:

The College Republicans regret the controversy surrounding our planned lecture featuring Ann Coulter. The size and severity of opposition to this event have caught us by surprise and caused us to question our decision to welcome her to Rose Hill. Looking at the concerns raised about Ms. Coulter, many of them reasonable, we have determined that some of her comments do not represent the ideals of the College Republicans and are inconsistent with both our organization’s mission and the University’s. We regret that we failed to thoroughly research her before announcing; that is our error and we do not excuse ourselves for it. Consistent with our strong disagreement with certain comments by Ms. Coulter, we have chosen to cancel the event and rescind Ms. Coulter’s invitation to speak at Fordham.

We made this choice freely before Father McShane’s email was sent out and we became aware of his feelings – had the President simply reached out to us before releasing his statement, he would have learned that the event was being cancelled. We hope the University community will forgive the College Republicans for our error and continue to allow us to serve as its main voice of the sensible, compassionate, and conservative political movement that we strive to be. We fell short of that standard this time, and we offer our sincere apologies.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog


December Fear

  1. Fiscal Cliff (just listen to the media).
  2. Debt Limit (very little is spoken about it, though it's a major issue).
  3. December 21 - The End of the MAYAN CALENDAR (The End of the Worldso the 'experts' say). 


For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,

Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Isaiah 8:11-13

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address

Franklin D. Roosevelt had campaigned against Herbert Hoover in the 1932 presidential election by saying as little as possible about what he might do if elected. Through even the closest working relationships, none of the president-elect’s most intimate associates felt they knew him well, with the exception perhaps of his wife, Eleanor. The affable, witty Roosevelt used his great personal charm to keep most people at a distance. In campaign speeches, he favored a buoyant, optimistic, gently paternal tone spiced with humor. But his first inaugural address took on an unusually solemn, religious quality. And for good reason—by 1933 the depression had reached its depth. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address outlined in broad terms how he hoped to govern and reminded Americans that the nation’s “common difficulties” concerned “only material things.”

Please note that the audio is an excerpt from the full address.
Listen to Audio: (Youtube: )

I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.

More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.

Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.

Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.

Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.

Hand in hand with this we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.

Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people’s money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.

There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.

Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.

The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States—a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.

In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor—the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others—the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.

If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.

With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.

Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors. Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern world has produced. It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife, of world relations.

It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.

I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.

But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.

For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.

We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.

We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.

In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.

Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, as published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random House, 1938), 11–16.

Note: This segment is not covered on Youtube video/audio link provided above.

Will not be accepted as worthy

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:37

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Catholic Bishops of the European Union call for Unity

COMECE Autumn Plenary Assembly

‘We have united for the better’. This sentence from the Berlin Declaration of March 2007 was recalled by Cardinal Marx, COMECE President, on the occasion of the opening event of the Autumn Plenary Assembly of the COMECE bishops, which took place from 21 to 23 November in Brussels.

In his Speech dedicated to the ‘Current Challenges for the EU and the Contribution of Christians’, Cardinal Marx called for the reinvention of the European project: ‘We Europeans are united in peace, to pursue happiness and prosperity for ourselves and for the whole world. It is necessary, not only to assert this but to win over the people of Europe to it and to venture and seek a new start.’

In the current crisis, the COMECE bishops are aware that the reforms that have been undertaken in many Eurozone States should be considered as a way for Europe to maintain its role in the 21st century. Sacrifices imposed by governments on the population must not however go against social justice. The bishops also call on all citizens to stay united and in solidarity in facing the current crisis.

In order to make their mark, the COMECE bishops wish to send a strong signal of European solidarity, especially towards men and women of the countries who are particularly hit by the current economic crisis. They have therefore decided to reflect in the coming months, in partnership with Caritas Europe, on reinforcing the intra-European aid provided by the Church.

Furthermore, in order mark these bonds of solidarity at the spiritual level, the Austrian delegate Mgr Egon Kapellari has been asked by his COMECE peers to develop an initiative on Prayer for Europe which could be introduced Europe wide by involving Christians from all countries as well as the religious communities.

In order to overcome the many national und cultural divergences and in working towards greater unity in their own work as well, the COMECE delegates of the Bishops’ Conferences from the EU Member States are committed to promote - by means of their exchanges and collaboration - the conscience of belonging to one Church in Europe : the Ecclesia in Europa to which Pope John-Paul II referred. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation of the same name, COMECE will organise a series of events in Brussels next year.

This Plenary Assembly was also concerned with reforming the internal functioning of COMECE. Through renewed and more efficient working methods, COMECE will become better equipped to address the new challenges which emerge from a Europe in crisis, and will also be better able to be a partner - adding its socio ethical reflections - in the process of European integration.

Finally, the COMECE bishops during their Plenary Assembly nominated a new General Secretary for a 3-year mandate. Fr Patrick H. Daly, 61, a priest from the diocese of Birmingham (UK) who will take up his new post in January 2013. On this occasion, a reception[1] will be organised to honour both the outgoing and the new General Secretaries. In this way, the Bishops wish to thank Fr Piotr Mazurkiewicz for the work he has accomplished during his 4 years. The Austrian Deacon, Dr Michael Kuhn is tasked with heading the Secretariat in the interim period.

[1] A press conference will be organised on this occasion, in january 2013, to present the new COMECE General Secretary


Shadow Banking

NOVEMBER 28, 2012

How Wall Street "Privatized" Money Creation


Regulators are worried about the explosive growth of shadow banking, and they should be. Shadow banks were at the heart of the last financial crisis and they’ll be at the heart of the next financial crisis as well. There’s no doubt about it. It’s simply impossible to maintain a system where unregulated, non-bank financial institutions are able to create their own money (credit) without oversight or supervision. The money they create–via off-balance sheets operations, securitization, repo or other unmonitored mega-leveraging activities–feeds into the economy, creates artificial demand, lowers unemployment, and fuels growth. But when the cycle slams into reverse (and debts are no longer serviced on time), then thinly-capitalised shadow banks begin to default one-by-one, creating a daisy-chain of counterparty bankruptcies that push stocks into a nosedive while the economy slips into a long-term slump.

Sound familiar?

The reason the global economy is still in a shambles a full 5 years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, is because this deeply-flawed system –which had previously generated 40 percent of the credit in the US economy–was still in rebuilding-mode. But now, according to a new report by the Financial Stability Board, shadow banking has made a comeback and is bigger than ever. The FSB found that assets held by shadow banks have swollen to $67 trillion, a sum that’s nearly as large as global GDP ($69.97 trillion) and greater than the $62 trillion that was in the system prior to the Crash of ’08. The more shadow banking grows, the greater the probability of another financial crisis.

So what is shadow banking and how does it work?

Here’s how Investopedia defines the term:

“The financial intermediaries involved in facilitating the creation of credit across the global financial system, but whose members are not subject to regulatory oversight. The shadow banking system also refers to unregulated activities by regulated institutions.

Examples of intermediaries not subject to regulation include hedge funds, unlisted derivatives and other unlisted instruments. Examples of unregulated activities by regulated institutions include credit default swaps.

The shadow banking system has escaped regulation primarily because it did not accept traditional bank deposits. As a result, many of the institutions and instruments were able to employ higher market, credit and liquidity risks, and did not have capital requirements commensurate with those risks. Subsequent to the subprime meltdown in 2008, the activities of the shadow banking system came under increasing scrutiny and regulations.” (Investopedia)

Shadow banking may have “come under increasing scrutiny”, but not a damn thing has been done to fix the problems. The banks and their lobbyists have beaten back all the sensible reforms that would have made the system safer. Instead, we’re back at Square 1, where credit is expanding in leaps and bounds by–what Pimco’s Paul McCulley called–”a whole alphabet soup of levered up non-bank investment conduits, vehicles and structures”. What we are seeing, in essence, is the privatizing of money creation. Privately-owned financial institutions of every stripe are increasing the amount of credit in the system even though the underlying collateral they’re using may be dodgy and even though they may not have sufficient capital to honor claims if there’s a run on the system.

Let’s explain: When a bank issues a mortgage, it is required to hold a certain amount of capital against the loan in case of default. But if the bank securitizes the mortgage, that is, it chops the mortgage up into tranches, pools it with other mortgages, and sells it as a bond (mortgage backed security), then the bank is no longer required to hold capital against the asset. In other words, the bank has created money (credit) out of thin air. This is the ultimate goal of banking, to maximize profits off zilch capital.

So how is this different than counterfeiting?

There’s no difference at all. The banks are creating “near money” or what Marx called “fictitious capital” without sufficient resources, without supervision, and without any regard for the damage they may inflict on the real economy when their ponzi-scam blows up. What matters is profits, everything else is secondary.

We live in an economy where the Central Bank no longer controls the money supply. Interest rates only play small part in this new paradigm where risk-oriented speculators can boost broad money by many orders of magnitude by merely increasing their debt levels. This new phenom has intensified systemic instability and caused incalculable harm to the real economy. Keep in mind, that ground zero in the financial crisis was a shadow bank called The Reserve Primary Fund. That’s where the trouble really began.

In 2008, the Reserve Primary Fund (which had lent Lehman $785 million and received short-term notes called commercial paper) was unable to keep up with the withdrawals of clients who were concerned about the fund’s financial health. The sudden erosion of trust triggered a run on the money markets which sent equities plunging. Here’s how Bloomberg sums it up:

“On Tuesday, Sept. 16, the run on Reserve Primary continued. Between the time of Lehman’s Chapter 11 announcement and 3 p.m. on Tuesday, investors asked for $39.9 billion, more than half of the fund’s assets, according to Crane Data.

“Reserve’s trustees instructed employees to sell the Lehman debt, according to the SEC.

“They couldn’t find a buyer.

“At 4 p.m., the trustees determined that the $785 million investment was worth nothing. With all the withdrawals from the fund, the value of a single share dipped to 97 cents.

“Legg Mason, Janus Capital Group Inc., Northern Trust Corp., Evergreen and Bank of America Corp.’s Columbia Management investment unit were all able to inject cash into their funds to shore up losses or buy assets from them. Putnam closed its Prime Money Market Fund on Sept. 18 and later sold its assets to Pittsburgh-based Federated Investors.

“At least 20 money fund managers were forced to seek financial support or sell holdings to maintain their $1 net asset value, according to documents on the SEC Web Site.” (“Sleep-At-Night-Money Lost in Lehman Lesson Missing $63 Billion”, Bloomberg)

The news that Primary Reserve had “broken the buck” sparked a panic that quickly spread to markets across the world sending stocks into freefall. Primary Reserve was the proximate cause of the financial crisis and the global crash, not subprime mortgages and not Lehman Brothers. This fact is obfuscated by the media to conceal the inherent dangers of the shadow system, a system that is just as rickety and crisis-prone today as it was in September 2008.

Although there are ways to make shadow banking safer, the banks and their lobbyists have resisted any change to the current system. Recently, the banks delivered a stunning defeat to Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Schapiro who had been pushing for minor changes to money market accounts that would have made this critical area of the shadow system safer and less susceptible to bank runs. Schapiro’s drubbing at the hands of an all-powerful financial services industry sent shockwaves through Washington where even diehard friends of Wall Street –like Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner–sat up and took notice. They have since joined the fight to implement modest regulations on an out-of-control money market system which threatens to crash the financial system for the second time in less than a decade.

Keep in mind, that the changes Geithner, Bernanke and Schapiro seek are meager by any standard. They would involve “a floating net asset value, or share price, instead of their current fixed price,” or more capital to back up the investments in the money market fund (just 3 percent) in case there’s a panic and investors want to withdraw their money quickly. That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Even so, the banks have rejected any change at all. They believe they have the right to decieve investors about the risks involved in keeping their money in uninsured money market accounts. They don’t think they should have to keep enough capital on hand to cover withdrawals in the event of a bank run. They’ve decided that profits outweigh social responsibility or systemic stability.

So far, Wall Street has fended off all attempts at regulatory reform. The banks and their allies in Congress have made mincemeat of Dodd Frank, the reform bill that was supposed to prevent another financial crisis. Here’s how Matt Taibbi summed it up in a recent article in Rolling Stone:

“At 2,300 pages, the new law ostensibly rewrote the rules for Wall Street. It was going to put an end to predatory lending in the mortgage markets, crack down on hidden fees and penalties in credit contracts, and create a powerful new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to safeguard ordinary consumers. Big banks would be banned from gambling with taxpayer money, and a new set of rules would limit speculators from making the kind of crazy-ass bets that cause wild spikes in the price of food and energy. There would be no more AIGs, and the world would never again face a financial apocalypse when a bank like Lehman Brothers went bankrupt.

Most importantly, even if any of that fiendish crap ever did happen again, Dodd-Frank guaranteed we wouldn’t be expected to pay for it. “The American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes,” Obama promised. “There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts. Period.”

Two years later, Dodd-Frank is groaning on its deathbed. The giant reform bill turned out to be like the fish reeled in by Hemingway’s Old Man – no sooner caught than set upon by sharks that strip it to nothing long before it ever reaches the shore.” (“How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform”, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone)

Congress, the White House and the SEC are all responsible for fragile state of the financial system and for the fact that shadow banking has not been brought under regulatory oversight. This mess should have been cleaned up a long time ago, instead, shadow banking is experiencing a growth-spurt, adding trillions to money supply and pushing the system closer to disaster. It’s shocking.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at


U.S. Forces Japan Commander on Misconduct

Another General in the headlines. Somehow I'm not surprised. 

Here's the story:


The U.S. faces an uphill battle in assuring defense ally Japan that it's cracking down on criminal acts and other misconduct by American troops stationed there, Lt. Gen. Salvatore "Sam" Angelella, head of U.S. Forces Japan, says in an interview with the WSJ's Chester Dawson. Photo: Getty Images.

11/29/2012 6:27:15 AM1:31


Affliction and Distress: The time of Jacob's trouble

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

As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God's forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation's iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return. The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress which prophets have described as the time of Jacob's trouble. The cries of the faithful, persecuted ones ascend to heaven. And as the blood of Abel cried from the ground, there are voices also crying to God from martyrs' graves, from the sepulchers of the sea, from mountain caverns, from convent vaults: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" 

Testimonies for the Church, Vol. V, p. 451

Catholic numbers in Congress increase

Washington D.C., Nov 24, 2012 / 07:02 pm (EWTN News)

The U.S. Capitol Building seen from the Newseum. Credit: David Jones via (CC BY 2.0)

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The 2012 elections increased the number of Catholics in Congress, with 161 now holding seats in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

There are 27 Catholic senators and 134 Catholic U.S. representatives in Congress. About 36 percent of Democrats in Congress are Catholic, compared to 25 percent of Republicans, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life says.

“While Congress remains majority Protestant, the institution is far less so today than it was 50 years ago, when nearly three-quarters of the members belonged to Protestant denominations,” the Pew Forum said Nov. 16.

The number of Catholics is an increase of five from the 2010 elections. Catholics now make up over 30 percent of Congress, while Protestants make up 56 percent.

Catholics make up about 22 percent of the U.S. population and are somewhat overrepresented in Congress. However, party divisions, dissent from Catholic teaching and other disagreements mean that Catholics are unlikely to vote as a bloc on controversial issues.

Baptists and Methodists are the two largest Protestant sub-groups, with 74 and 47 members each, followed by Presbyterians and Episcopalians, who have 43 and 38 members of Congress, respectively. There are 22 Lutherans in Congress.

There are now 32 Jewish members of Congress, a decline from 39 in 2010. There are 15 Mormons in the newly elected Congress.

Catholics, Protestants and Jews are overrepresented in Congress compared to the general population.

Americans without a religious affiliation make up about 20 percent of the population, but only one member of Congress, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) had no religious affiliation.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is the first Hindu elected to Congress, while Sen. Mazie K. Hirono is the first Buddhist elected to the Senate.

The Pew Forum said the 113th Congress continues a “gradual increase in religious diversity that mirrors trends in the country as a whole.”


The Abomination that makes Desolate

The mark of the beast is the abomination that will bring about the desolation of apostate Mystery Babylon:

Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Rev 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

Isa 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance [H2706 - choq = set time, Job 14:13], broken the everlasting[H5769 - 'owlam] covenant.
Isa 24:6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

Jer 44:22 So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.
Jer 44:23 Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes [H2708 - chuqqah = appointed], nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.

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What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Question: "What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?"

Answer: The biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah is recorded in Genesis chapters 18-19. Genesis chapter 18 records the Lord and two angels coming to speak with Abraham. The Lord informed Abraham that "the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous." Verses 22-33 record Abraham pleading with the Lord to have mercy on Sodom and Gomorrah because Abraham's nephew, Lot, and his family lived in Sodom.

Genesis chapter 19 records the two angels, disguised as human men, visiting Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot met the angels in the city square and urged them to stay at his house. The angels agreed. The Bible then informs us, "Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom — both young and old — surrounded the house. They called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.'" The angels then proceed to blind all the men of Sodom and Gomorrah and urge Lot and his family to flee from the cities to escape the wrath that God was about to deliver. Lot and his family flee the city, and then "the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities..."

In light of the passage, the most common response to the question "What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?" is that it was homosexuality. That is how the term "sodomy" came to be used to refer to anal sex between two men, whether consensual or forced. Clearly, homosexuality was part of why God destroyed the two cities. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted to perform homosexual gang rape on the two angels (who were disguised as men). At the same time, it is not biblical to say that homosexuality was the exclusive reason why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were definitely not exclusive in terms of the sins in which they indulged.

Ezekiel 16:49-50 declares, "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me..." The Hebrew word translated "detestable" refers to something that is morally disgusting and is the exact same word used in Leviticus 18:22 that refers to homosexuality as an "abomination." Similarly, Jude 7declares, "...Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up tosexual immorality and perversion." So, again, while homosexuality was not the only sin in which the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah indulged, it does appear to be the primary reason for the destruction of the cities.

Those who attempt to explain away the biblical condemnations of homosexuality claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah were certainly being inhospitable. There is probably nothing more inhospitable than homosexual gang rape. But to say God completely destroyed two cities and all their inhabitants for being inhospitable clearly misses the point. While Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many other horrendous sins, homosexuality was the reason God poured fiery sulfur on the cities, completely destroying them and all of their inhabitants. To this day, the area where Sodom and Gomorrah were located remains a desolate wasteland. Sodom and Gomorrah serve as a powerful example of how God feels about sin in general, and homosexuality specifically.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"A response to a hateful and offensive video"...

Published on Sep 16, 2012 by uneditedpolitics

This video was uploaded from an Android phone.


Who Are the Small-Business Owners Obama Hosted?

White House lines up stalwart supporters to counter anti-business image.

By Sophie Quinton and Lara Seligman
Updated: November 28, 2012 | 12:48 p.m.
November 27, 2012 | 10:21 p.m.

President Obama sits in front of Christmas decorations at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012.

CORRECTION: The original version of this report gave an incorrect name for the co-founder of Vintage Vinyl. He is Lew Prince. The report also misstated the date of President Obama's last meeting with CEOs at the White House. It was two weeks ago.

President Obama’s anti-Wall Street rhetoric has strained his relationship with the business community, and Republicans spent the summer pounding his clumsily worded comments discussing the role of government in building infrastructure critical to businesses. But the president still has some small-business owners behind him, as the White House demonstrated on Tuesday by rounding up 15 such supporters for a meeting.

“If you look at the people going into the White House today—none of us are asking for a tax break for ourselves or for our company, or anything personal. We’re here because we’re patriots,” said participant Lew Prince, co-founder of Vintage Vinyl, a store in St. Louis.

Obama insists that his policies have been pro-business, but many in the business community are wary of his regulatory policies and his signature health care reform law. Negotiations to avert end-of-year tax hikes and spending cuts have provided the president with a golden opportunity to patch up frayed relations—or at least to show the public and skeptical lawmakers that he’s trying.

(RELATED: Business Groups Seek Reconciliation With Obama)

Tuesday’s meeting, however, didn’t involve much reconciliation. Most of the participants were stalwart Obama backers. Several attendees had previously signed a petition calling on Congress to act on the president’s proposal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and to invest in infrastructure and other public services.

“We don’t want to be the only generation since World War II to hand the next generation worse infrastructure, and worse schools, and worse communications systems,” Prince said. “Basically, the people who are defending the tax cuts for the rich are saying that it’s more important that they take home 70 percent of their profits than that they take home 60 percent of their profits to help the country.”

Republicans charge that raising tax rates on top earners will impose burdens on small-business owners, hampering a crucial component of our economy. But those invited to the White House on Tuesday said that a higher tax rate would not impede their ability to do business.

“As a small-business owner, my business decisions are not driven by my tax rate,” said Lisa Goodbee, CEO of Goodbee and Associates. As someone who earns more than $250,000 a year, she would be subject to higher taxes under Obama’s plan.

“The tax rate doesn’t really determine whether we are hiring or firing people,” Goodbee contended. Infrastructure cuts would be more worrying, she said. Her Colorado civil-engineering business specializes in utility coordination for transportation projects.

A silver-haired Chamber of Commerce delegation this was not. A California mushroom-grower, a New York-based accessories retailer, and a Wisconsin microbrewery were among the businesses invited to the White House. Women-owned and minority-owned businesses and young entrepreneurs were well represented. In assembling the group, the admi9nistration reached out to friendly organizations, such as the American Sustainable Business Council.

After the meeting, participants said they were fully supportive of Obama’s plan. “I think everybody was very behind the president,” said Chris Yura, the founder of SustainU, a West Virginia-based purveyor of recycled clothing.

The White House has said that some of the small-business owners whom Republicans are worried about burdening with higher taxes are hedge-fund managers and law firm partners—not the owners of the corner store. Needless to say, Tuesday’s meeting didn’t include any hedge-fund managers.

Obama may have a heavier lift ahead of him on Wednesday, when he meets with CEOs and other top executives, including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Obama met with executives of some of the nation’s biggest companies two weeks ago, and Wednesday's meeting is something of a follow-up. Obama often voices his support for small businesses, but he’s less quick to praise big business: He has criticized “fat-cat bankers,” and his reelection campaign attacked the private-equity industry and outsourcing.

Less friendly members of the business community were already making their voices heard on Tuesday. “We strongly urge Congress to pursue comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates on all forms of business income while enacting significant entitlement reforms,” read a letter to congressional leaders, which was signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, and other groups.

“Uncertainty over tax rates is keeping small businesses from expanding and hiring new workers,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement highlighting the letter. Small businesses, McCarthy said, are “the engine of job growth in this country.”

As a left-leaning businessman, Prince said, there’s something special about meeting with Republicans. “Because I am a small businessman, they have officially appointed me a job-creating genius,” he said—and so they listen to him. As Obama engages with business people, his challenge is convincing them that he’s listening—and that he’ll listen to those who disagree with him, too.


The U.N.'s Internet Sneak Attack


No longer covert: Once unable to get security clearance, LGBT employees embraced by the CIA


It wasn’t long ago that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women couldn’t get security clearance from the CIA. Now the national spy agency is actively recruiting them.

The CIA and Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday night will sponsor a community-wide networking event at the LGBT Visitor Center in South Beach.

“This is the first one ever,” said Michael Barber, the CIA’s LGBT Community Outreach and Liaison program manager. “This is the first of what I hope will be similarly networking events with LGBT chambers across the nation.”

Barber — “a straight ally” — along with gay CIA employees Engineering Development Chief Bill French and Technical Information Officer Tracey Ballard, will speak to prospective employees about the benefits of joining the agency.

“I look at my job as informing and educating about the CIA’s mission. And in the LGBT community, debunking those myths,” Barber said, referring to the widely held assumption that gay people are unwelcome.

In 1989, a federal appeals court found evidence that the CIA routinely denied security clearances to gay people.

“There was a history of discrimination against LGBT persons in the federal government,” Ballard said. “The process was extremely difficult for LGBT people to get security clearance prior to 1995."

That year President Bill Clinton signed an executive order stating “the United States Government does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability of sexual orientation in granting access to classified information.”

Clinton’s order opened the door to gay employees coming out at the CIA, said Ballard, who in 1996 founded ANGLE (Agency Network of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Employees and Allies), an agency-sanctioned employee group.

ANGLE, which Ballard still co-chairs, has more than 230 “known members,” she said.

“There were a number of LGBT people at the agency prior to 1996,” Ballard said. “We’ve always been there. But at that point of time, a small handful of us began finding each other and talking. We did informal networking among ourselves.”

The presidential order “allowed our LGBT officers to be more comfortable in the workplace and to be themselves,” she said. “It allowed conversations among our peers. True conversations. We didn't’ have to hide anymore. That's a cultural shift, to allow our peers to be seen as equal, based upon the work they do.”

More than 50 people have signed up for the free networker. Many are bringing resumes “and seriously thinking of the CIA for employment,” chamber President Steve Adkins said.

The CIA proposed the networker. “They obviously had a lot of LGBT employees,” Adkins said. “They want to make sure we know their stories and, in addition, make people aware that they’re an open and inclusive employer. Who knew?”

The CIA and Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce will present ‘LGBT CIA Stories’ 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the LGBT Visitor Center, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Call 305-673-4440 or RSVP Free with complimentary food and beverages.

Posted by Steve Rothaus at 12:00 PM


Is a National Sunday Law Coming Soon? The Eternal Gospel Church Weighs in on the Ever-growing Controversy

Today, a National Sunday Law is being agitated under the guise of “saving the family” and the “economy.” Does this mean that a religious test will soon be required by law? The Eternal Gospel Church, a ministry founded in 1992 by Seventh-day Adventist Believers, has recently published a full-page ad in the USA Today, New York Times, LA Times, and the Tampa Tribune on the controversial and complex issue surrounding Sunday Laws.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pray together at a Catholic charity event on October 18

" In matters of conscience the majority has no power."

West Palm Beach, FL (PRWEB) November 27, 2012

“The re-institution of a National Sunday Law would help save the workers, the family, and the economy. This is what the churches, the governments, the secular media, and the labor unions are lobbying for today," says Pastor Raphael Perez of the Eternal Gospel Church. He says his church, which is a member of the General Assembly of Free Seventh-day Adventists, has been on a nation wide newspaper campaign to raise awareness to what he calls "a revival of religious/political ideas of medieval times that are a threat to civil and religious liberties."

Pastor Raphael Perez cites several recent newspaper articles in which he sees society trying to reestablish Sunday as a national day of worship and rest. For example, Perez says that the USA Today newspaperrecently endorsed Sunday observance by law in an article written by Gladys Edmunds on Oct. 24, 2007 entitled: “Better Take a Break, Or You’ll Break Down.” In this article, the columnist reminisced about a “time when almost all retail establishments recognized Sunday as a day of Sabbath and rest from work. They honored and respected that day by closing.” She concluded the article by giving one possible solution: “Shut yourself down for a day of rest.” And if not one would suffer the consequences of resting by “force.”

A similar article appeared in the Wall Street Journal by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway entitled: “The decline of the Sabbath in America: Less praying, more working and playing.” This article published June 15, 20017 and was circulated nation-wide promoting Sunday-keeping and Sunday closing laws as necessary for saving our culture.

A World-wide Phenomena

The Eternal Gospel Church claims that there is a world-wide call to restore Sunday as the day of rest through civil legislation. They claim that laws are being agitated that would compel people to observe Sunday by refraining from work; and, that the media is complicit in this because they only give one side to this issue. Look at a few of these headlines:

“National Back to Church Sunday Set for Sept. 18 Across America,”, Sept. 14, 2011
“Sunday Shopping banned in Croatia,” Associated Press, July 15, 2007
“Louisiana Barber Ticketed for Working on Sunday,”, May 27, 2008
“Sunday Shopping? France Says No,” Time Magazine, Dec. 17, 2008
“New Sunday Shopping Rules Make No Sense,” Winnipeg Sun [Canada], May 23, 2012
“Do we really need more Sunday shopping hours?” Express & Starr [England], March 29, 2012.
“Trade Unionists Campaign Against Sunday Trading” PolskieRadio, [Poland, March 5, 2012
“North Dakota Catholic Conference Says Sunday Law Benefits All People” EWTN News, July 15, 2011
“Sunday Shopping Linked With Less Happiness,” New York Times, Sept. 3, 2010
“Guarantee that Sundays will be Work-free, EU Leaders Urged,” The Sofia Echo [Europe], March 24, 2010
“German Court Enforces Day of Rest,” ABC News, Dec. 3, 2009

Preparing the World for a Universal Sunday Law?

The Vatican, head of the world’s largest Christian denomination, has also weighed in on the Sunday Law question: “The pope said traditional family values and Sunday rest were key to escaping the ills of modern society… Particularly in a period of economic crisis and social unease, families should celebrate Sunday as the day of man and his values.” - Pope Says Family Values are Key to Escaping Modern Ills, AFP News, June, 3, 2012.

Surprisingly, the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled in two separate cases [McGowan v. Maryland, 1961, and Braunfeld v. Brown, 1961] that Sunday laws are not a violation of the First Amendment – which separates church from state – but rather, Sunday Laws are “secular” and are designed to improve “health, safety, recreation, and general well-being” of its citizens.

A Lesson from History

Pastor Raphael Perez says that we should learn from history and not make the same mistakes of the past. He says that on the surface all these Sunday Laws sound quite refreshing. However, he claims that we cannot ignore that in Colonial America, Sunday Laws, or Blue Laws, were established as early as 1655 by the Puritan Christians in an effort to try to compel the people to attend their religious services - by law! Failure to do so would result in fines, imprisonment, and even death.

"Also in Europe, during the Middle Ages, at the Council of Laodicea 363-364 A.D., Canon 29, church and state united to persecute those who didn’t follow the Sunday Law" says Pastor Perez, a former Roman Catholic seminary student now turned Seventh-day Adventist.

Voice of Dissent

Not everyone is convinced that Sunday Laws are good for society. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas gave a dissenting opinion against the establishment of Sunday by law in MCGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420 (1961): “The Court picks and chooses language from various decisions to bolster its conclusion that these Sunday laws are in the modern setting are civil regulations. No matter how much is written, no matter what is said, the parentage of these laws is the Fourth Commandment; and they serve and satisfy the religious predispositions of our Christian communities.”

Also Charles Spurgeon, the famous 19th Century Baptist preacher, sums up his dissent against Sunday Laws when he said: “I am ashamed of some Christians because they have so much dependence on Parliament (government) and the law of the land. As to getting the law of the land to touch religion, we earnestly cry, ‘Hands off! Leave us alone!’ Your Sunday bills (Laws) and all other forms of act-of-Parliament religion seem to me to be all wrong.” American State Papers, Bearing on Sunday Legislation, p. 737.

"Remember that religious legislation, regardless of how innocent or beneficial it may appear, always seems to bring persecution to minority groups," explains Pastor Raphael Perez. Perez feels that he is in the minority group because His church keeps the Seventh-day, or Saturday, as the Sabbath instead of Sunday. He concludes by reiterating a call to religious liberty and calls for toleration, "America became great because if its free institutions. Our U.S. Constitution forbids the establishment of a state church and forbids the church from using the state to punish the voice of dissent. These principles established by the Founding Fathers made this nation a bastion of liberty, freedom, and justice for all.

About The Eternal Gospel Church: Eternal Gospel Church was founded in 1992 by Seventh-day Adventist Believers, and has been engaged in a world-wide newspaper campaign for over 20 years with the goal of teaching people about the sensitive nature, complexities, and history of Sunday Laws. Their most recent full-page ads were published in the USA Today, the New York Times, the LA Times, and the Tampa Tribune. Their mission is to protect the spirit of liberty and encourage religious and civil liberty. The Eternal Gospel Church works in collaboration with the General Assembly of Free Seventh-day Adventists.


An Unruly Woman

A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

To call passengers who go right on their ways:

Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Proverbs 9:12-18.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life" 10th anniversary

Rick Warren is a pastor, philanthropist, global strategist, and best-selling author of "The Purpose Driven Life." He spoke to Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell about morality, politics and tolerance.

Never on Sunday

This past week (as has become the routine) just one day after Thanksgiving was the beginning of the Christmas shopping season;  It started out with Black Friday, when people line up outside major Chain Stores to gain access to the latest gadgets in demand.  Then, came the American Express invented Small Business Saturday, when folks are encouraged to shop 'locally' and patronize their mom and pop stores. On Saturday President Obama and his girls - Malia and Sasha, jumped on the photo op to promote the event by shopping for books at a small bookstore...
Yesterday was Cyber Monday, a day geared towards generating sales on the Internet with rock-bottom pricing and spectacular deals on goods bought via the Web.

It went Friday, Saturday, ----, Monday.

Why was Sunday skipped?
Well, why was Sunday a SALELESS Day?

Shop until you drop; but not on Sunday?


Google Mountain View Headquarters Walking Tour

Uploaded by jsfnnyc on Jan 8, 2011

Chris DiBona guides you through the Google Mountain View headquarters complex (a.k.a., the Googleplex) in preparation for the 2007 Science Foo Camp conference, held in August 2007.


All Eyes and Ears

And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.

Isaiah 32:3

But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 13:16

The Messengers

The Lord has often given me a view of the situation and wants of the scattered jewels who have not yet come to the light of the present truth, and has shown that the messengers should speed their way to them as fast as possible, to give them the light. Many all around us only need to have their prejudices removed and the evidences of our present position spread out before them from the Word, and they will joyfully receive the present truth. The messengers should watch for souls as they that must give account. Theirs must be a life of toil and anguish of spirit, while the weight of the precious but often-wounded cause of Christ rests upon them. They will have to lay aside worldly interests and comforts and make it their first object to do all in their power to advance the cause of present truth and save perishing souls.
They will also have a rich reward. In their crowns of rejoicing those who are rescued by them and finally saved will shine as stars forever and ever. And to all eternity they will enjoy the satisfaction of having done what they could in presenting the truth in its purity and beauty, so that souls fell in love with it, were sanctified through it, and availed themselves of the inestimable privilege of being made rich, and being washed in the blood of the Lamb and redeemed unto God.
I saw that the shepherds should consult those in whom they have reason to have confidence, those who have been in all the messages, and are firm in all the present truth, before they advocate new points of importance, which they may think the Bible sustains. Then the shepherds will be perfectly united and the union of the shepherds will be felt by the church. Such a course I saw would prevent unhappy divisions, and then there would be no danger of the precious flock being divided and the sheep scattered without a shepherd.
I also saw that God had messengers that He would use in His cause, but they were not ready. They were too light and trifling to exert a good influence over the flock and did not feel the weight of the cause and the worth of souls as God’s messengers must feel in order to effect good. Said the angel, “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” They can accomplish but little good unless they are wholly given up to God and feel the importance and solemnity of the last message of mercy that is now being given to the scattered flock. Some who are not called of God are very willing to go with the message. But if they felt the weight of the cause and the responsibilities of such a station, they would feel to shrink back and say with the apostle, “Who is sufficient for these things?” One reason why they are so willing to go is that God has not laid upon them the weight of the cause. Not all who proclaimed the first and the second angel’s message are to give the third, even after they fully embrace it, for some have been in so many errors and delusions that they can but just save their own souls, and if they undertake to guide others, they will be the means of overthrowing them. But I saw that some who have formerly run deep into fanaticism would be the first now to run before God sends them, before they are purified from their past errors; having error mixed with the truth, they would feed the flock of God with it, and if they were suffered to go on, the flock would become sickly, and distraction and death would follow. I saw that they would have to be sifted and sifted, until they were freed from all their errors, or they could never enter the kingdom. The messengers could not have that confidence in the judgment and discernment of those who have been in errors and fanaticism that they could have in those who have been in the truth and not in extravagant errors. Many, also, are too apt to urge out into the field some who have but just professed the present truth, who have much to learn and much to do before they can be right in the sight of God themselves, much less point out the way to others.
I saw the necessity of the messengers, especially, watching and checking all fanaticism wherever they might see it rise. Satan is pressing in on every side, and unless we watch for him, and have our eyes open to his devices and snares, and have on the whole armor of God, the fiery darts of the wicked will hit us. There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is “present truth” that the flock needs now. I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause.
But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.

If the chosen messengers of the Lord should wait for every obstacle to be moved out of their way, many never would go to search for the scattered sheep. Satan will present many objections in order to keep them from duty. But they will have to go out by faith, trusting in Him who has called them to His work, and He will open the way before them, as far as it will be for their good and His glory. Jesus, the great teacher and pattern, had not where to lay His head. His life was one of toil, sorrow, and suffering; He then gave Himself for us. Those who, in Christ’s stead, beseech souls to be reconciled to God, and who hope to reign with Christ in glory, must expect to be partakers of His sufferings here. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5, 6.

Early Writings, pp. 60-63.