Friday, October 31, 2008

Boat runs aground off Miami Beach; 3 killed

Oct 31 12:56 PM US/Eastern

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - At least three people are dead and 19 others had to be rescued after a boat carrying migrants ran aground off Miami Beach.
The Coast Guard says the boat ran into trouble early Friday morning.

Twelve people are being questioned on a Coast Guard cutter. Another three were taken to the hospital for evaluation, and four were in custody with border patrol.

It wasn't immediately clear where the boat was coming from, but authorities say they believe at least some of the passengers are migrants. Immigration officials believe there were 20-30 people on the vessel. Search and rescue crews are combing the waters to make sure no one was missed.

Dominicans Mull Shooting Drug Boats, Planes

Thursday, October 30, 2008 7:30 PM

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Legislators are debating a proposal that would let Dominican authorities shoot at drug-laden planes and boats that refuse to land or dock when ordered, despite threats from the U.S. to suspend anti-drug efforts if the law is approved.

The proposal received preliminary approval late last year and senators are expected to debate it by year's end. Congress leader Julio Cesar Valentin urged lawmakers to approve the law and accused the United States _ whose forces fire on suspected drug boats and flights — of "meddling" when it sent letters warning them of the consequences.

"Legislators should not cower under those threats, since the assistance that the Dominican Republic receives from the U.S. government to fight drug trafficking is minimal," he said.

The U.S. has provided Dominican authorities with equipment and training, and helped carry out drug operations in recent years, according to a State Department report, which did not provide a monetary value.

The Caribbean country is among the top 20 nations that the State Department considers major producers of, or transit sites for, illegal drugs. Last year, Dominican authorities seized about 5 tons of cocaine, 227 pounds of heroin and made nearly 13,000 drug-related arrests.

In a visit to the Dominican Republic earlier this year, U.S. drug czar John Walters urged legislators to drop the proposal because it could endanger the lives of innocent people.

"We have been very clear in our recommendation that such force should not be used," the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said.

However, the U.S. has authorized such force in the past and continues to do so.

In 2001, the U.S. pulled out of interdiction program flights in Peru and Colombia after a CIA-operated surveillance plane misidentified a possible drug flight. A 35-year-old woman from Michigan and her 7-month-old daughter were killed when a Peruvian warplane shot down their aircraft.

The U.S. resumed interdiction program flights in 2004 in Colombia.

More recently, the U.S. Coast Guard fired at the engines of a suspected drug smuggling boat near Colombia over the weekend, injuring one man.

It is the fifth time since the late 1990s that shrapnel injuries have been reported following 63 interdiction cases in which a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter fired to damage a boats' engines.

Authorities said they would review the case to ensure all safety procedures were followed.

"The U.S. Coast Guard and its counter drug partners take extraordinary steps to avoid injuring smuggling suspects," the statement said.

© 2008 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

China's contaminated food scandal widens

By David Barboza

Friday, October 31, 2008

SHANGHAI: Chinese regulators said Friday that they were widening their investigation into contaminated food amid growing signs that an industrial chemical called melamine has leached into the nation's animal feed supplies, posing health risks to consumers.

The announcement came after food safety tests this week found that eggs produced in three provinces in China were contaminated with melamine, which is blamed for causing kidney stones and renal failure in infants. The tests have led to recalls of eggs and consumer warnings.

The reports are another serious blow to China's agriculture industry, which is already struggling to cope with its worst food safety scandal in decades after melamine-tainted milk supplies sickened more than 50,000 children, caused at least four deaths and led to global recalls of goods produced with Chinese dairy products this autumn.

Companies all over the world that import from China are now beginning to test for melamine. If animal feed supplies are tainted, an even wider array of foods could come under scrutiny for contamination, everything from pork and chicken supplies to bread, cookies, eggs, cakes and seafood.

While China is not a major exporter of dairy products, it has one of the world's fastest-growing dairy industries and it is also one of the world's largest exporters of food and food ingredients, including meats, seafood, beverages and vitamins.

Government investigators have attributed the dairy scandal to a group of rogue milk and melamine dealers whom they accuse of intentionally adding melamine, which is commonly used to produce plastic and fertilizer, to milk supplies as cheap filler in order to save money.

High-ranking government officials, including the head of the nation's quality watchdog, have been fired in the wake of the recalls and Beijing has acknowledged that "lax regulation" contributed to the scandal.

But interviews Friday, and during the past year, with several chemical dealers who sell melamine suggest that melamine scrap, the substantially cheaper waste left after producing melamine, has been added to animal and fish feed in China for years.

"I heard some melamine dealers still sell to animal feed producers," said Qin Huaizhen, manager of Gaocheng Kaishun Chemical in the city of Shijiazhuang, though he insisted he has never sold melamine to animal feed producers. "In Shandong Province many animal feed manufacturers buy melamine scrap."

Two other melamine dealers in east and south China said that only after the recent dairy scandal did government regulators crack down on the sale of melamine to animal feed producers, even though it was banned as an animal feed additive in July 2007..

Concerned that the food safety crisis could escalate, Shanghai and other cities are now testing a wide variety of food products for melamine, including fish and livestock feed.

Hong Kong food safety officials were the first to announce that eggs imported from China were also contaminated with high levels of melamine.

Now, state-run newspapers are publishing editorials in China calling for a full investigation into the use of melamine in food and feed.

Food safety experts, though, are perplexed as to how melamine was allowed to seep into China's food supplies after melamine-tainted animal feed exports from China were blamed last year for sickening dogs and cats in the United States, touching off an international trade and food safety disputes.

The pet food case led to a massive recall around the world and sparked a lengthy food safety crackdown in China, as regulators closed thousands of illegal or substandard food factories and slaughterhouses.

Still, the Chinese government never made it clear last year or even this year how extensively it had tested its own food supply for melamine, even though some melamine dealers acknowledged last year that it was commonly sold into the food and feed market. Regulators in Beijing largely blamed the pet food case on a pair of small exporters, who regulators said shipped feed contaminated with melamine in order to save money.

Several farmers and melamine scrap dealers said in interviews last year that melamine had been used for years in animal feed, particularly fish feed, and many producers believed melamine scrap was not toxic and would not be harmful to humans.

Melamine dealers say the government crackdown on the sale to feed producers only occurred this year, after the Sanlu Group dairy company announced that its infant milk formula was tainted with melamine. That announcement in September triggered a nationwide recall and government announcements that other major dairy brands were also selling melamine-contaminated milk.

"Before the Sanlu scandal, we were not banned from selling melamine to anyone. I had heard melamine dealers sell melamine to animal feed companies and food companies; it was common before the Sanlu scandal," Niu Qinglin, manager of Hebei Jinglong Fengli Chemical, said in a telephone interview Friday.

Niu, however, said he never sold melamine or melamine scrap to food or feed producers. And he noted that regulators had moved in on the trade. "Now, the government regulates that melamine cannot be sold to any animal feed manufacturers or food processing companies," he said.

Chen Yang contributed research in Shanghai.

'It's gonna get nasty' in final days before election

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is expanding its advertising efforts to Arizona.

From Ed Hornick

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With just days to go before Election Day, Sen. Barack Obama is warning his supporters that things are going to get unpleasant fast -- and that the race will come down to every last vote.

"Don't believe for a second this election is over. Don't think for a minute that power concedes anything. It's gonna get nasty, I'm sure, in the next four days," Obama told a crowd in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night.

"They will throw everything at us like they've been doing, and we're gonna have to work like our future depends on it in this last week. You know what? Because it does, and every single young person here tonight -- I've gotta have every single one of you voting, and you've gotta grab five more, all of you, have gotta vote," he said.

The warning comes after the Illinois senator said in an interview Thursday night that his campaign was winning -- some of the most confident language from Obama since he won the Democratic nomination.

"I think we're winning right now," he told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "Maybe I'm doing something right."

And that confidence from Obama may be expanding, despite assurances that the race is going to narrow. Watch more on the state of the race »

On Friday, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters in a conference call that the campaign is encouraged by results of massive get-out-the-vote efforts in early voting states.

Don't Miss
Election Center 2008
McCain looks to turn Obama's Ohio advantage
GOP targets conservative Democrats

Plouffe said the campaign is pleased that a large part of the early vote so far is coming from sporadic and new voters

"The dye is being cast even as we speak," he said. Watch more on a possible early voting earthquake »

Early voting in Colorado, Nevada and Texas ends Friday. North Carolina's early voting ends Saturday, and Florida's ends Sunday. Early voting in Ohio and Indiana -- states where polls show a neck-and-neck race -- ends Monday.

The Obama campaign is also looking to expand its electoral map strategy. On Friday, the campaign announced that it was going on the air in Sen. John McCain's home state of Arizona for the first time this cycle.

The news comes as a new CNN poll of polls, released Friday morning, finds the Republican nominee leading Obama there by just 4 percentage points, 49 to 45 percent. Six percent of the state's voters said they were unsure about their presidential pick. Watch more on Obama's efforts in GOP-leaning states »

Plouffe told reporters that the Obama campaign's positive spot, "Something," will hit the airwaves in Arizona. He also said the campaign was going back on the airwaves in Georgia and North Dakota with its negative spot, "Rearview Mirror," which ties McCain to President Bush.

Obama plans to campaign this weekend in Colorado, Nevada and Missouri. His running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, plans rallies in Indiana and Ohio.

Earlier this week, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee launched negative robo-calls in Arizona telling voters that Obama was unready to handle an international crisis.

On Thursday, announced that it was targeting McCain with ad buys in each of the state's major media markets. The Obama campaign also issued a call for volunteers there, citing tightening polls in the state.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds dismissed the new Obama push Friday morning, calling it a "waste of his resources."

McCain, meanwhile, continues to hammer his opponent for exuding confidence in the final days of the campaign. He has been repeating a standard campaign line recently, saying Obama is "measuring the drapes" for the White House.

At a campaign rally Friday morning, McCain expressed confidence that the tide was turning in his favor.

"I want to tell you the enthusiasm and the momentum that I feel here in Ohio is going to carry us to victory here in Ohio and throughout this country," McCain told supporters in Hanoverton, Ohio. Watch McCain fight for the battleground state of Ohio »

A CNN poll of polls in Ohio calculated Wednesday indicates that Obama has an 8-point lead in the state, with the Illinois senator ahead of McCain 50 percent to 42 percent, with 8 percent unsure.

No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.

And the Republican ticket is wasting no time in reaching out to other battleground state voters.

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin plans on holding five rallies Saturday in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia -- states where the two campaigns are locked in a close race.

On Sunday the Alaska governor will campaign in Ohio, then travel to Iowa.

McCain will hold rallies this weekend in Virginia and Pennsylvania -- both states where Obama is leading, according to several recent polls.

And just two weeks after his running mate made an appearance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," a McCain campaign aide tells CNN that the Republican presidential nominee will appear on the the late-night comedy show Saturday.

McCain has appeared on the show several times over the years.

His most memorable appearance on the long-running show was in October 2002, when he hosted the program for a night. In a spoof commercial hawking an album called "McCain Sings Streisand," he sang several of Democratic loyalist Barbra Streisand's songs.

The Voting Doldrums

Lately, voting has become quite a task.

It now has become harder to vote in some regions, that it is to open a can of beans.

Now people may stand in lines for several hours before they cast their ballots.

In spite of numerous arrangements such as "early voting", and "absentee ballots" for those who aren't absent, but present: Voting has become a daunting task.

Is this what the founding founders and the framers of our Constitution had in mind?

Something has gone terribly wrong with the American Experiment!

We took a turn for the worse when we decided to vote in "alternate ways".

Gone are the good old days when a person would proceed to his voting precinct, line up, and

cast his or her paper ballot..., just vote.

Optical scans, electronic voting.......

Now, there are so many hurdles to jump, hoops to leap through.


No halloween Zone

Is this house, which is called by my name...?

1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

2Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.

3Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.

4Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.

5For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;

6If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:

7Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.

8Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

9Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;

10And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?

11Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.

12But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

13And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;

14Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.

15And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.

16Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.

17Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

18The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

19Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?

20Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

21Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.

22For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

23But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

24But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

25Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:

26Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.

27Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.

28But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.

29Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.

30For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.

31And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

32Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.

33And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.

34Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
Jeremiah 7


There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.


In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.


To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.


San­ford F. Ben­nett, 1868.
Jo­seph P. Web­ster (MI­DI, score



Em Português

Eu avisto um Lar Mui Feliz,
Pela fé vou poder comprovar;
Morar lá sempre foi o que eu quis,
E pra lá Jesus vai me levar.


Há um Lar, Vou Provar;
Que Jesus foi pra nós preparar…
Há um Lar, Vou Provar;
Que Jesus foi pra nós preparar.

Vou cantar nessa Terra Feliz,
Belos hinos de amor a Jesus;
E ali vou viver bem feliz;
Sem desgosto ou tristeza, só Luz.


E com Deus e Jesus estarei,
Um presente do Meu Salvador,
E mais bênçãos ali eu terei,
Nessa Terra Celeste de amor.


San­ford F. Ben­nett, 1868;
tra­du­ção do in­glês pa­ra o por­tu­guês por
Dan­i­el Bor­ges, 2004.
Jo­seph P. Web­ster (MI­DI, par­ti­tu­ra).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vatican issues screening guidelines for priests

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican issued new psychological screening guidelines for seminarians Thursday - the latest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to be more selective about its priesthood candidates following a series of sex abuse scandals.

The church said it issued the new guidelines to help church leaders weed out candidates with "psychopathic disturbances." The scandals have rocked the church in recent years, triggering lawsuits that have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.

"(The guidelines) became ever more urgent because of the sexual scandals," Monsignor Jean-Louis Brugues told reporters. He stressed, however, that psychological testing was used in some seminaries as far back as the 1960s - or at least a decade before the sexual abuse scandals exploded in public.

"In all too many cases, psychological defects, sometimes of a pathological kind, reveal themselves only after ordination to the priesthood," the guidelines said. "Detecting defects earlier would help avoid many tragic experiences."

The guidelines said problems like "confused or not yet well-defined" sexual identities need to be addressed.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said the Vatican needs to go beyond screening seminarians to end what the group calls the church's "virtually unchanged culture of secrecy and unchecked power in the hierarchy" that left dangerous priests in parishes.

"Every barrel will always have some bad apples," the Survivors Network said. "Real change requires effectively reforming the barrel and those who oversee it."

Vatican officials conducted an evaluation of U.S. Roman Catholic seminaries in response to the abuse crisis to look for anything that contributed to the scandal. The evaluation was completed in July of 2006, but the results have not been made public.

The bishops and seminary staff who conducted the onsite reviews gave special attention to what seminarians are taught about chastity and celibacy. The Vatican also directed the evaluators to look for "evidence of homosexuality" in the schools.

Studies commissioned by the bishops' conference have found that the majority of known victims of abuse by priests in the last 50 years were adolescent boys. In response, some Catholics have blamed gay clergy for the scandal; experts on sex offenders contend homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to molest children.

A 2005 Vatican document said men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies shouldn't be ordained, but that those with a "transitory problem" could become priests if they had overcome them for three years. The Vatican considers homosexual activity sinful.

The new guidelines reflect the earlier teaching, stressing that if a future priest shows "deep-seated homosexual tendencies," his seminary training "would have to be interrupted."

The guideline say priests must have a "positive and stable sense of one's masculine identity" and the capacity to "integrate his sexuality in accordance" with the obligation of celibacy.

The church is struggling to provide enough priests for parishes in many parts of the West because of waning vocations. But Pope Benedict XVI has said it is more important to have good priests than a greater number of priests.


Associated Press Religion Writer Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report


Upcoming East Coast Trip

Wanting to learn about practical "nuts and bolts" info on how to prepare for the days ahead wisely and in the way that God has instructed?

Come and learn this valuable info and more at one of our upcoming Country Living Seminars!

Oct. 25 & 26 - Sulphur, OK - Sulphur SDA Church
Oct. 27 & 28 - Bentonville, AR - Bentonville High School Library
Oct. 29 & 30 - Evansville, IN - Evansville West Side SDA Church
Nov. 1 & 2 - Nashville, TN - Nashville First SDA Church
Nov. 5 & 6 - Portsmouth, OH - Portsmouth SDA Church
Nov. 8 & 11 - Kennesaw, GA(Atlanta) - Mt. Pisgah SDA Church
Nov. 15 & 16 - Piedmont, AL - Piedmont SDA Church
Nov. 22 - Georgetown, TN - Cedar Ridge SDA Church
Nov. 23 - Collegedale, TN - McDonald Road SDA Church
Nov. 29 & 30 - Palmetto, FL - Palmetto SDA Church
Dec. 6 & 7 - Bryans Road, MD (DC area) - Pisgah SDA Church
Dec. 15 & 16 - Brooklyn, NY - Ebenezer SDA Church

We still have a few dates open, so please contact us ASAP if you would like us to present these seminars at your church.

NEW - Urban Danger Preview Released

We are very excited to announce the release of a 13 minute preliminary preview for the upcoming documentary film Urban Danger! Even though only a portion of the filming is completed and there is much more to do this summer, we felt it necessary to release some of the important information that has come to light so far. In order to do this ASAP, we have released this preliminary preview.
Please continue to remember this project in prayer.
To download and share or watch online, visit



When Confession Takes Place Online

By Harriet Barovick Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008
Shannon Taggart for TIME

We all know confession is good for the soul. In the Internet age, it turns out, it is also good for Web traffic. In the past few years, a growing number of websites have popped up offering visitors a chance to anonymously post, read and, in some cases, comment on people's deepest and darkest secrets. Originally secular, the sites, with names like and, have even inspired some pastors to adopt the online confessional to engage congregants.

Is It OK to Pray for Your 401(k)?
Finding God on YouTube
The Unrepentant.
More Related
Social Networks Target Pets
Finding Ways to Snoop Online
The War For China’s Soul

Some churches' sites, like that of Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City, Fla., receive regular traffic year-round. Others, like the one from Impact Community Church in Elk Grove, Calif., draw visitors with specific sermon topics. Barry Smith, senior pastor at Impact, started an online confession board last spring to enhance his four-week sermon series on the theme of secrets. The idea, says Smith, "was not so much theological as psychological"--a way to aid people carrying the shame of long-held secrets. For at least two of his congregants, the effort was transformative. A former prison guard--let's call him Jack--had been unfaithful to his wife and says he was feeling "crushed" by guilt. A few days after Jack posted the site's first confession, he broke down at a church service and admitted the truth to his wife, only to discover that she too had strayed. The act of unveiling the secret online had what Jack calls a snowball effect, easing the way for a meaningful conversation. "The heaviness I had carried was almost physical," he says. And now? "It's like we're dating again."

Adherents say that despite the inevitable voyeurs, exhibitionists and fabricators drawn to the sites, online confessions have a fundamental appeal because they assure people that they are not alone in their misery or quirkiness, and for the confessor, the anonymous unburdening can be a first step toward facing up to a painful event. Frank Warren started the original online confessional, the distinctly secular draws 5 million viewers a month--as an art installation in Washington. He handed out self-addressed postcards to strangers and asked them to write and decorate a secret that a) was true and b) had not yet been told to anyone. He ended up receiving hundreds of cards more than he had given out. Warren--who is currently on a speaking tour of colleges across the country and in 2009 will publish his fifth book of secrets since starting the project in 2004--posts 20 secrets culled from the 1,000 he still receives each week, choosing those with a "universal pull." He says he has been stunned by the power of the submissions, which are short and often elaborately illustrated ("I haven't spoken to my dad in 10 years, and it kills me every day"; "When I eat, I feel like a failure"; "I had gay sex at church camp, three times"). Three weeks into the project, Warren says, he posted his own "humiliating childhood event," which he later shared with his wife and kids. "There was something about seeing others have the courage to share their secrets that allowed me to post my own," he says.

To be sure, PostSecret's emulators, religious and secular, do not claim to replace the act of confession to God or sharing secrets with someone you know. In the case of the Catholic Church, which has seen dwindling numbers of members visiting confessionals over the past few decades, leaders have specifically rejected online confession, stressing that the rite, one of seven Catholic sacraments, demands a priest as an avenue to God and to absolution. Still, the sites flourish. In August, after Jack had worked things out with his wife, she was worried about her ill grandfather and took a trip out of state, something she had done numerous times in the past. "Before it was like, yeah, I missed her, but it was also nice to have a guys' week," Jack says. "This time, it was drastically different. It hurt. It was really bad." Which, he knows, is really good.

Angels & Demons Teaser Trailer

Published October 30, 2008 in Movie Trailers
By Ryan Parsons Image property of Columbia Pictures, TrailerAddict

The marketing by Columbia Pictures for Angels & Demons has been out of the ordinary. The studio gave no indication of an upcoming teaser poster, and that arrived to the internet so sneakily that some (including us) considered it fanmade. With a film as big as this the studio would at least make an announcement over the film's highly-anticipated teaser trailer, right? Nope!The teaser trailer for Angels & Demons has arrived!

Angels & Demons Teaser TrailerAngels & Demons, published in 2000, introduced the Langdon character. In Angels, Langdon's character is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization - the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together thy embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals and the most secretive vault on earth.... the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.The good people at TrailerAddict have posted this teaser trailer for Angels & Demons:

"Click on link above to see the video trailer"

Who's your daddy?

You've spoken about being raised by common Kansas folks with traditional values.

You've spoken about your mother dying of cancer.

You've spoken about your grand-father having been a WW II veteran.

You recently went to Hawaii to visit your elderly grand-mother who was ill.

But, one thing you don't discuss is the man who named you Barack Hussein Obama.

Where's his information?
If you assume to be the next president, we deserve to know.

Tell us Barack; Who's your daddy?

Venezuela's first satellite launched from China

A rocket carrying a Venezuelan satellite blasts off early Thursday from southwestern China's Sichuan province.

Story Highlights
Telecommunications satellite will let rural areas access educational, medical info
Chinese rocket carrying satellite lifts off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Satellite reportedly designed to last 15 years
Venezuela spent $241 million in five years to develop the Simon Bolivar Satellite
Next Article in Technology »

The telecommunications satellite will let rural communities in Venezuela access educational and medical information that has been difficult for them to come by as a result of their relative isolation, said Rodolfo Navaro, technical manager for the Bolivarian Space Activity Agency.
"It is not focused on commercial ends, but on providing a service to the communities which have never enjoyed a modern communication system," he said, according to the Bolivarian News Agency.

"Aboriginal communities, for instance, would receive long-distance education, or maybe they would request medicines, air or river ambulance service, medical checkups, among other options."
A Chinese rocket carrying the satellite lifted off early Thursday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China's Sichuan province, according to an account in China's state-run news agency, Xinhua.

The satellite is designed to last 15 years, the agency said.
President Hugo Chavez announced after taking office that Venezuela would send crafts into space, and the country spent $241 million in five years to develop the Simon Bolivar Satellite, named for the general whose military victories led to independence from Spain for several South American nations in the early 1800s.

Chavez referred to the satellite's launch as a key step toward greater scientific and technological independence for Venezuela, the Bolivarian News Agency reported.
The satellite will have the ability to cover the Caribbean, Central America and parts of South America, the agency said.


In a book that has been described as "devastating," "magnificent" and "superbly documented" by readers on three continents, Des Griffin zeros in on the International Bankers and presents, in carefully documented detail, the story of their involvement in the Illuminati plot to create a totalitarian One-World government.

No punches are pulled by the author as he presents startling documentation and brings his readers face-to-face with the raw realities of power politics. Here, at last, is the full, true story of the power-crazed Internationalists and the methods they employ in steering all nations towards total social and financial ruin in preparation for their ultimate absorption into the planned worldwide dictatorship. The inside story of World War II is truly eye-opening!

Updated in 1994, chapter 17 covers Bill Clinton, Al Gore and the New World Order.

Des Griffin lays bare the hideous tragedy that lies ahead for the United States unless our people shake off the shackles of the conspirators and return to individual responsibility and fiscal sanity.

This is one book you can't afford to miss!


A carefully documented and detailed story of the International Bankers and their involvement in the Illuminati plot to create a totalitarian One World Government.



In the years following independence, a close business relationship had developed between the cotton growing aristocracy in the South and the cotton manufacturers in England. The European Bankers had decided that this business connection was America's Achilles Heel, the door through which the young American Republic could be successfully attacked and overcome.

The 'Illustrated University History', 1878, p. 504, tells us that the southern states swarmed with British agents. These conspired with local politicians to work against the best interests of the United States. Their carefully sown and nurtured propaganda developed into open rebellion and resulted in the secession of South Carolina on December 29, 1860. Within weeks another six states jointed the conspiracy against the union, and broke away to form the Confederate States of America, with Jefferson Davis as President.


As the situation continued to deteriorate, the Illuminati/international banker cabal was making careful preparations for its final assault on the nation which had, in the past, proved to be a fly in the ointment as far as its plans for world conquest were concerned.

In New York, Leon Trotsky, who had arrived in the United States on January 13 by a circuitous route to avoid detection by European authorities, applied himself with fiendish diligence to assembling what Winston Churchill later described as a 'band of extraordinary personalities.' These formed the nucleus around which the political leadership of the planned revolution was built.

Although he had no visible means of support, Trotsky lived in a fashionable apartment and rode around in a chauffer-driven limousine. He was frequently seen entering the palatial residence of Jacob Schiff, the Rothschild agent who, some forty years earlier, had taken over control of Kuhn, Loeb and Company, the international banking house, on behalf of his European masters.


'In American scholarship, one figure towers above all the others: Des Griffin. Reading Descent into Slavery - I quickly became fascinated not only by Mr. Griffin's results but by the method of research by which he reached these results....

'I subjected Mr. Griffin's method of research and published results to the most meticulous academic scrutiny, testing their validity from every conceivable angle: his assumptions, deductions, and conclusions. Here, I concluded, is a man with a precise, well-honed narrative and a broad perspective, a man with deep insight into military governmental strategy, who can gather and assess evidence, discriminating unerringly between what is valid and what has been manufactured to manipulate the patriot or electorate; a man full of compassion for his subject - humanity - caught ... between the ever recurring patterns of history and what has been carefully plotted for the future. It is for these reasons that I recommend Mr. Griffin's work' - Professor Robert O'Driscoll, University of Toronto, 13 September 1992.


American Express to cut 10% of work force

Reductions amount to about 7,000 jobs

By Greg Morcroft, MarketWatch

Last update: 1:09 p.m. EDT Oct. 30, 2008

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - American Express on Thursday became the latest iconic American firm to announce major layoffs triggered by the worst economic crisis in seven decades, unveiling plans to slash 7,000 employees.
Highlighting that even some of the most creditworthy and wealthiest Americans are having trouble paying their bills, American Express said that it is cutting 10% of its staff, suspending management salary increases and instituting a hiring freeze. See related MarketWatch First Take commentary.
American Express, a component in the Dow Jones Industrial average, is following moves by other major firms like Hewlett Packard, Goldman Sachs, Whirlpool, and Yahoo, which have all recently announced layoffs of 5% to 10% of their staff.
So far this month, Goldman has said it would cut 3,200 jobs, Whirlpool dropped the axe on 5,000 staff, Yahoo cut 1,000 positions, and Hewlett unveiled a stunning 24,000 job losses.
And, while full details are unclear, analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods said earlier this week that probably about half of Lehman Brothers worldwide staff of about 26,000 employees, 10,000 of whom are inside the U.S., would lose their jobs after the company went bankrupt earlier this year. Barclays has acquired Lehman's U.S. brokerage business, and Nomura acquired parts of Lehman's Europe and Asia operations.
AmEx taking charge
American Express (AXP:
News, chart, profile, more
Last: Delayed quote data
Add to portfolioAnalyst Create alert
Sponsored by:
, , ) said it would take a pre-tax restructuring charge of up to $440 million against fourth-quarter results to cover job-cut expenses.
Shares of American Express traded 2% higher in morning action.

The job cuts will be made across the company's business units, American Express said.
The move comes amid what CEO Ken Chenault called "one of the most challenging economic environments we've seen in many decades."
The credit crunch has made it harder for financial-services companies to package up and sell on, or securitize, the loans they make. That's an important source of funding for American Express, which isn't connected to a large bank, like rival Bank of America (BAC:
News, chart, profile, more
Last: Delayed quote data
Add to portfolioAnalyst Create alert
Sponsored by:
, , ) .
Earlier this month, American Express said third-quarter net income fell 24% as the company set aside more money to cover bad loans. See full story.
The company began allowing more customers to carry a balance on their credit cards in recent years. That was a big change for the company, which traditionally offered cards to well-off customers, the balances of which needed to be paid off every month.
At that time, Chenault cautioned that events in the third quarter and since then have "reinforced our view that consumer and business sentiment is likely to deteriorate further, translating into weaker economies around the globe well into 2009." And he concluded that "cardmember spending is likely to remain soft."
Analysts are growing more and more convinced that the credit-card industry will suffer huge losses as the credit crisis plays out.
According to a report last month from investment research firm Innovest StrategicValue Advisors, banks will charge off $18.6 billion in delinquent credit-card accounts in the first quarter of 2009 and $96 billion in all of 2009 -- more than double the research firm's forecast for all of this year. See full story.


Investigative Journal : Bush @ Vatican

Investigative Journal

Radio Program on Liberty Radio Live

(Mp3 Audio Archive)


Greg Szymanski

click on links below for the recorded program

originally aired on 6/13/22008.

P.S. At the beginning of the program listen to an Email I sent in!

Do not err, my beloved brethren

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

9Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

10But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

11For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

16Do not err, my beloved brethren.

17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

19Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

21Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James 1

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

FDA Unleashes Mass Irradiation of Spinach, Lettuce and Other Vegetables

by Mike Adams (see all articles by this author) (NaturalNews)

The FDA has announced that beginning today, spinach and lettuce sold across the United States may now be secretly irradiated before it reaches grocery store shelves. What's "secret" about it? The FDA previously decided that irradiation warning stickers would not be required on any food items because it would be "too confusing to consumers." (The word IRRADIATION apparently has too many letters to be understood to food buyers.) Thus, irradiated foods will not be labeled as such, and consumers are going to be left in the dark about all this (except for those who actually eat the irradiated food, in which case they will glow in the dark).The FDA, of course, insists that the levels of irradiation used to kill e.coli will have no effect whatsoever on the nutritional value of the food. This astonishing statement comes from an agency that doesn't believe food has any nutritional value in the first place, so lowering the value to zero by destroying all the phytonutrients does not, in the opinion of the FDA, alter its nutritional value at all. Thus, destroying all the anti-cancer nutrients in a head of broccoli merely brings that broccoli into "compliance" as a non-functional food, according to the FDA.Radiation, of course, destroys delicate phytochemicals in plants -- the very phytochemicals protecting consumers against cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, inflammation and other diseases. Microwaving broccoli, for example, destroys up to 98% of its anti-cancer nutrients. (The FDA has not yet acknowledged this scientific fact, either.) In a similar way, irradiating food destroys much of its nutritional content, including vitamins, carotenoids, anthocyanins and other delicate protective nutrients that are right now providing the last, desperate nutritional defense against the American diet of meat, milk, fried foods and processed junk.Irradiating fresh produce will leave the U.S. population is a state of extreme deficiency in protective plant-based nutrients.
Does the FDA plan to destroy the health of the U.S. population?Many people suspect that's what the FDA really wants. A nutritionally-deficient, disease-ridden population would mean a windfall of profits for the FDA's buddies in Big Pharma -- the folks who sell patented medications at monopoly prices. With the food supply destroyed by radiation, ordinary people would have virtually no remaining sources of protective phytonutrients!In promoting this food radiation policy, the FDA has accomplished what all the terrorists in the world could not: The mass irradiation of the U.S. food supply -- much like setting off a dirty bomb over the nation's farms (but with less radiation). This destruction of the nutritional value of the food supply is a far greater threat to the health of the U.S. population than any terrorist event, including 9/11. And yet it is being done by our own people, TO our own people, by a lawless agency that answers to no one. FDA officials are not voted into office by the People; they are appointed by politicians. They answer to no one, they refuse to follow federal law, and they operate as tyrants over a quarter of the U.S. economy.And now they have taken it upon themselves to destroy the national food supply.We should be more than just alarmed -- we should be outraged! The FDA has committed an act of war against the People. With this decision, the FDA has firmly positioned itself as an enemy of the People, and a bringer of death and disease to the nation. Why are our elected representatives in Washington allowing this madness?Think about this: If the FDA has its way:• All your food will be irradiated, pasteurized or killed• All your children will be vaccinated• All your medicine will be based on pharmaceuticals• All your free speech about health will be suppressed• All informative labeling on food and supplements will be outlawed• Growing and selling non-irradiated garden vegetables will become a crime!
Today it's spinach and lettuce; tomorrow it's all fresh produceDon't think the FDA will stop with spinach and lettuce, either. They're already talking about irradiating tomatoes, peppers and onions. Before long, radiation could become mandatory for ALL fresh produce, and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are supposed to contain health-protecting nutrients will be transformed into sterile, inert plant mass with no health benefits at all. (Brilliant scam, huh?)This is by design. I believe the FDA wants the American public to be sickened and diseased. Why else would they ban Free Speech about healing foods like cherries, broccoli and garlic? Why would they outlaw the selling of herbs and nutritional supplements that claim to treat and prevent disease? The FDA wants you to be sick, enslaved and medicated, and irradiating the food supply is the quickest way to accomplish that.He who controls the food controls the People.He who destroys the food can profit from the People's sickness.
The FDA's crimes against humanityIn pushing this radiation agenda, the FDA is committing a crime against humanity -- a nutritional atrocity that violates fundamental human rights. And yet the FDA's top decision makers continue to operate with zero oversight and zero accountability. They make decisions in a corporate-sponsored vacuum, absent any input from reasonable, health-conscious consumers or scientists. And because they have been granted tyrannical powers by Congress, the FDA operates above the law.It is not subject to any laws whatsoever; not even the U.S. Constitution which is supposed to protect the People's right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (as stated in the Declaration of Independence).The mass irradiation of the food supply is a violation of the "Life" part of that phrase, wouldn't you agree? If we can no longer buy nourishing foods with their nutrients intact, then we are all doomed to degenerative disease and death... but not before paying out our life savings to doctors, drug companies and hospitals. That's the evil genius of the food irradiation plot: It kills you slowly, at just the right pace to drain your bank account before you expire from malnutrition.I truly believe this irradiation of the food supply is the beginning of the end of America. No nation can survive the destruction of its food supply. The FDA is dooming America to a slow, painful, medicated death. In a generation, this nation will be lost, destroyed from within by short-sighted tyrants who violated nature and left the People to rot.

What you can do right now to fight this latest transgression by the FDA

For starters, you can:1) Grow your own food. A little gardening is good. Grow whatever you can, even if it's just a few kitchen herbs.2) Buy your food at farmer's markets, coops and CSAs. See Ask your grocery store if they are buying irradiated spinach. If they don't know, demand they find out!4) Raise hell with your Senators and Congresspeople, demanding they pass new laws protecting consumers from the FDA and its plot to destroy the nutritional value of the food supply.Also, listen to two podcasts I've posted on this topic. The first was recorded several months ago, where I publicly predicted the FDA would do exactly what we're seeing right now. Listen to that podcast here: second podcast was just posted today. I recorded it right before writing this article. It goes into much greater detail about the FDA's plot to destroy the health of the U.S. population. You can listen to that here:, don't stand for this food supply madness! Raise your voice. Write your local paper, call your representatives in Washington and tell them you strongly oppose the irradiation of the food supply. Teach people about phytonutrients. And stay tuned to NaturalNews as we continue to cover this important story.The FDA has gone mad. Criminally mad. It is an agency that will literally kill you if given the chance, and it is up to all of us to stop this madness before we lose our health, our children and our very nation.

ABC only major TV network not airing Obama infomercial

It initially balked at the requested time slot but relented too late. The commercial will run on CBS, NBC, Fox and Univision tonight.

By Meg James

October 29, 2008
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's half-hour campaign commercial is scheduled to run tonight on all of the major television networks -- except ABC.

The senator from Illinois this month arranged to buy tonight's 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. slot on CBS, NBC and Spanish-language network Univision. Fox Broadcasting joined the field after Major League Baseball agreed to delay the start time of tonight's World Series game.

Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC, however, initially balked at selling its 8 p.m. slot, saying it didn't want to bump its regularly scheduled series, "Pushing Daisies," even though the whimsical show has been struggling in the ratings.

ABC executives said the earlier decision not to accept the Obama infomercial was due to the problem of filling the second half-hour of the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. time period -- and not for political reasons.

(Scheduling conflicts did not stop NBC from quickly clearing its hour to make room for the commercial. NBC preempted its hourlong series "Knight Rider" and expanded the game show "Deal or No Deal" from 60 to 90 minutes to fill the extra time.)

CBS pushed "The New Adventures of Old Christine" to 8:30 p.m. and dumped an episode of its new series "Gary Unmarried." Fox persuaded Major League Baseball to delay by about 15 minutes the start time of tonight's game so the network could air the Obama ad at 8 p.m. in the Eastern and Central time zones. In California, the campaign commercial will follow the game.

Then, about 10 days ago, ABC changed its mind. It told the campaign the 8 p.m. slot would be available. "We ultimately offered them the time slot that they had requested," a network spokesman said Tuesday.

ABC had planned to charge slightly more than $1 million for the half hour, a higher rate than what Fox, CBS and NBC charged the Democrat for their time.

But it was too late.

"We had already committed our resources by the time they offered us the time," an Obama campaign spokesman said.

That explanation struck some as odd, however, given that the Obama money-raising machine generated $150 million in donations in September alone. "The Obama campaign has the resources," said Peter Sealey, adjunct marketing professor at the Peter Drucker Graduate Management School at Claremont Graduate University.

Sealey said that if the Obama campaign had bought the time on ABC it would have accomplished the rare feat of what's called a roadblock. Channel flippers would have had a hard time avoiding the ad because it was seemingly everywhere.

"It's amazing that they got everyone -- but not ABC, one of the top-rated television networks," Sealey said. "Maybe the campaign decided that they didn't need the extra ratings points."

James is a Times staff writer.


Out-FOX-ed by the World Series and Obama Campaign

Monday night's game between The Philadelphia Phillies, and The Tampa Bay (previously "Devil") Rays was finally suspended when Tampa, tied the game at 2 runs a piece. Then, supposedly because of the rain, the game was re-scheduled for Tuesday night 10/28/08. However, it wasn't the case. The game will instead take place tonight (Wednesday, 10/29/08) @ 8:37 PM, miraculously right after Barack Obama finishes his 30 minutes info-mercial which begins at 8:00 PM on FOX, NBC, and who knows what other convenient network.

What a coincidence?

Obama's Infor-mercial followed by the cliff hanger of the season, the hotly contested, half-way through, fifth game between Tampa and Philly.

  • Here's another coinki-dinky for you to ponder: The Phillies are the RED team; and Tampa are the BLUE team. Can you spell Battleground State?

  • Blue against the Red?

So, enjoy your info-mercial a la Obama @ 8:00 PM, then follow it up with the World Series @ 8:37 PM.

I'm not making this up; It defies logic! They couldn't have planned a better scenario.

Things that make you say Hmhhhhh?


Clerk charged with unlawful search of Joe the Plumber

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 4:34 p.m.

Toledo Police have confirmed that a TPD records clerk is accused of performing an illegal search of information related to 'Joe the Plumber.'

Julie McConnell, has been charged with Gross Misconduct for allegedly making an improper inquiry into a state database in search of information pertaining to Samuel Wurzelbacher on Oct. 16.

Wurzelbacher came under the spotlight after being spoken about during the final presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.

The inquiry into Wurzelbacher's record is a violation of department and state policy governing the use of the Law Enforcement Automated Data System. The clerk is under fire for making the inquiry for a non-law enforcement purpose.

McConnell was hired by the Toledo Police Department in April 1995 and assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau.

A discplinary hearing will be scheduled within the next ten days.

Market motion sickness to continue

By Paul R. La Monica, editor at large
Last Updated: October 29, 2008: 3:58 PM ET
About the author

Fed cuts rates and gives grim view
Investors losing faith in Citigroup
Entrepreneurs to Congress: Help our failing businesses
Governors disagree on bailout
Stocks succumb to bleak Fed outlook
Anticipating a rate cut

Should banks be required to make more loans with money from the $700 billion bailout?
The Dow has suffered big drops and enjoyed large gains in what's been a rocky October.

NEW YORK ( -- Don't get too excited: The Dow may have surged nearly 11% on Tuesday, but we've been here before...just two weeks ago.

On Oct. 13, the Dow jumped 936 points, and then went on to shed more than 1,200 points, or 13%, in the days before yesterday's big move.

The plain fact is, massive selling will lead to occasional massive pops.

Peter Sorrentino, senior portfolio manager with Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, said that many mutual funds and hedge funds have been forced to sell stocks because they face looming redemptions, i.e. investors demanding their money.

Talkback: How much longer will the market volatility last?
But at the same time, whenever there is even a whiff of a rally, other investors that have piles of cash waiting to invest may need to jump in and buy due to fear of missing a big move upwards.

"The hedge funds are still out there. Many are forced sellers and they have no choice. But there are also people that have gone to cash who are left at the dock and are afraid that the boat is going to set sail," Sorrentino said.

With that in mind, it's hard to make sense of where the market is headed in the near-term as long as it remains this tumultuous. And so far this month, just about every day has seen either a big gain or a huge loss.

The Dow has experienced a move of at least 100 points in 18 of the 20 trading days in October, as well as in each of the past 11 sessions.

It's going to be tough to declare that the market has finally bottomed out until stocks finally stop shooting up and down so violently.

"It's encouraging to see that we don't plunge day after day but it's still disconcerting that volatility remains this high," said Sorrentino. "Investors can't believe in the rally until the volatility goes away."

We are undeniably in a bear market and, it seems apparent that we are in a recession - even though the National Bureau of Economic Research has yet to declare it as such.

But as I've written consistently in the past few months, I do think that there are signs of hope that a recovery will soon be in the cards. This may be a longer and more painful recession than most but it's still a recession, not a depression.

The government's controversial bank bailout plan has slowly started to loosen up the gummed-up credit markets. That's a good thing.

Investments in stronger banks by the Treasury Department may also encourage consolidation. Weeding out the weak banks is also a good thing.

And the Fed cut rates again this afternoon, which should also eventually help get the credit markets back on track.

Still, any reasonable investor should realize that it may take months for the bailout, as well as all the Fed's previous rate cuts, to truly work their magic and stimulate the borrowing and lending activity that is crucial to a growing economy.

But just because they aren't working overnight doesn't mean that they are a failure.

"There is starting to be a sense that it will take time for all this to work out. There have been ounces of medicine and the market is digesting a pound of cure," said Matthew Lloyd, chief investment strategist of Advisors Asset Management, an institutional investment firm based in Monument, Colo.

Lloyd added that even though it would be premature to declare that yesterday's stock surge is a sign that the worst is over, it is still a good sign that some investors appear to be out there bargain hunting since many stocks are trading at attractive valuations.

"At least there's money out there that's willing to come in and buy at certain levels. It gives us some consolation that the bottom may be near," he said.

Bill Stone, chief investment strategist for PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia, agreed. He pointed out that stocks rallied yesterday despite more evidence that housing prices are continuing to fall and a report showing that consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in history.

"You can't really spin a big up day into that much of a worrisome sign. One thing's for sure. We were so oversold that the spring was coiled for a rally," Stone said.

"Eventually, all the bad news will be priced in and the selling will have exhausted itself. It's impossible to know when but the market likely will move before economic data gets better," he added.

What that means is that is probably a great time to buy stocks for the long-term. You just have to resist the urge to check on how your portfolio is doing every 10 minutes.

A lot of traders will make impulsive moves. Investors, however, should recognize that stocks are probably going to keep spinning wildly, like those cups in Disney World's Mad Tea Party ride.

"When you get in periods like this where people are trying to figure out where the bottom is, emotions start to drive things," said Jason Tyler, senior vice president and director of research operations with Ariel Capital Management, an institutional investment firm in Chicago.

"We have to get used to a prolonged period of volatility for the next several months."

First Published: October 29, 2008: 11:49 AM ET

Pakistan quake kills 170, leaves thousands homeless

20 hours ago

WAM, Pakistan (AFP) — Thousands of people in mountainous southwest Pakistan on Wednesday bedded down for a freezing night in the open, after a powerful earthquake destroyed their homes and killed at least 170.

The 6.4-magnitude pre-dawn quake flattened mud houses and triggered landslides in the impoverished province of Baluchistan, killing or injuring their occupants as they slept.

Survivors were sent screaming into the streets in panic, eyewitnesses said.

At least eight villages were badly hit by the massive tremors, local police and officials said, voicing fears that some 46,000 people living in the wider region could now be in need of shelter and other assistance.

An AFP correspondent in one of the worst-affected villages, Wam, said emergency tents had not yet arrived and exhausted villagers had hunkered down in the ruined shells of their homes as temperatures plunged below zero.

They spent the day in a desperate search for loved ones or burying the dead in mass graves, as aftershocks nearly as big as the initial quake pounded the landscape, sending rocks spewing from nearby peaks and sparking fresh panic.

"The local graveyard has been devastated and we have no alternative. We have to bury them in mass graves," said local teacher Malik Abdul Hamid, 35. He said he had lost 15 family members.

"We have so far buried 140 bodies in two mass graves. The dead were mostly women and children."

Dilawar Kakar, mayor of the historic hill town of Ziarat, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the provincial capital Quetta, told AFP the death toll stood at 170, while about 400 people in the area were injured.

Virtually all houses were reduced to rubble either in the initial quake or by aftershocks. Schools and hospitals were also damaged, he added.

Earlier Khushal Khan, spokesman for the provincial revenue minister Zamarak Khan, said local people had told him about 6,000 people have been made homeless and in one case, 29 members of the same family died.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani both expressed their condolences to relatives of those killed and injured, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it would send enough medical aid and supplies for 50,000 people for three months in the wake of the disaster, while the United States offered an unspecified humanitarian relief package.

"We are currently working with the Pakistani government, the UN (United Nations) and other potential donors to assess the damage," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

"Once we are able to make that assessment and also talk to the Pakistani government about what their needs might be, we will stand ready to provide an assistance package," McCormack said.

Neighbour and rival India quickly offered any help that might be required, along with Turkey's Red Crescent.

Two teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross have already arrived in the area and are assessing the situation and the needs of the survivors, the humanitarian body said from Geneva.

The first official government figures from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) put the death toll at 115 so far, with nearly 300 injured, its chairman, retired Lieutenant General Farooq Ahmed, told a news conference.

Most of the victims were from outlying villages, but buildings collapsed in Ziarat and communications were cut while the main road to Quetta was also hit, with wide cracks and boulders blocking the way, an AFP reporter said.

Soldiers, helicopters, tents, blankets, food and medical help have been sent from Quetta to Ziarat and an aerial assessment of the damage has begun, the Pakistani military said.

"We have asked the government to send at least 10,000 tents as the temperature in the mountainous town is sub-zero and people need shelter during the night," said Kakar, Ziarat's mayor.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or structural damage in neighbouring Afghanistan, which borders the province, police there said.

Ziarat is a historic hill resort famed for its juniper forests. It receives visitors from all over Pakistan in summer who come to see the holiday home of the country's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northwest Pakistan and Kashmir killed 74,000 people and displaced 3.5 million in October 2005.

In 1935 a massive quake killed around 30,000 people in Quetta, which at the time was part of British-ruled India.