Monday, September 30, 2013

Federal government appears headed for shutdown unless divided lawmakers can reach last-minute deal

The Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to table the House bill that links keeping the government running to delaying Obamacare for one year. If lawmakers don’t cobble together a short-term resolution before midnight, the federal government will shut down for the first time since 1996. 

By Dan Friedman AND Adam Edelman / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Published: Monday, September 30, 2013, 12:31 PM
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013, 4:58 PM

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Congress remained gridlocked Monday over legislation to continue funding the federal government. If both chambers fail to pass a resolution before midnight, the federal government will shut down.

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With no negotiations or compromise in sight, the countdown to the first shutdown of the federal government in 17 years has begun.

Just hours after the Senate defeated a House bill that would have delayed "Obamacare" for a year as a condition for keeping the government running, Republican leaders came back with yet another proposal that Senate Democrats have promised to reject.

House Speaker John Boehner announced on Monday afternoon two new provisions the GOP wants attached to the stopgap funding bill - a one-year delay to the individual mandate to purchase health insurance and a measure that denies members of Congress health care benefits worth more than coverage available to the most basic plans available under the new law.

The new demands, the GOP’s third attempt in the past week to slip Obamacare-related amendments into the continuing resolution, appeared likely to fail as swiftly as the party’s prior attempt did.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has vowed that the upper chamber will reject any resolution to keep the government funded that includes changes to the President’s signature health care law.

“We’re not going to negotiate on this. We have done everything we can to be fair and reasonable,” Reid said Monday, shortly after the Senate voted on straight party lines to remove the House-passed amendments delaying Obamacare and repealing a medical device tax from a bill extending government funding.

That vote, shortly after 2 p.m., sent the “clean” bill, along with the onus for averting a shutdown, back to House Republicans, who have repeatedly pushed to link the bill with delaying the President's signature health care law.

"The fact that nobody knows what the rules are, employers are scared to death to hire new employees, cutting the hours many of their current employees, and for what reason?" House Majority Leader John Boehner said Monday. "This law is not ready for prime time."

Democrats, however, remained hopeful that the GOP's bravado would fade as the day wore on.

"Do we have to sacrifice the economy and help for millions of middle-class people?" New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"It's real people with real lives at stake, and just to sacrifice them to the right-wing gods, for the sake of a day or two of showing 'Oh yes, we're serious,' is a very cynical operation," he added.

As lawmakers squabbled, President Obama urged them instead to “act responsibly and do what’s right for the American people.”

Even some Republicans began criticizing their party's leadership as a shutdown became more likely.

"I disagree with the strategy of linking Obamacare with the continuing functioning of government — a strategy that cannot possibly work," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Monday.

Americans, for the most part, appeared to agree.

A CNN poll released Monday morning showed that 46% of U.S. residents would blame Republicans for a federal government shutdown, whereas only 36% would blame Obama.

Another 13% said they would blame both Republicans and Obama, the poll showed.

If lawmakers do fail to achieve a resolution by midnight, large sections of the government would close, hundreds of thousands of workers would be furloughed without pay, and millions more would be asked to work for no pay, which would create new risks for the fragile economy.

U.S. markets appeared to react accordingly Monday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 150 points in the first minutes of trading.

The benchmark index ultimately closed down 128 points, or 0.8%.

With News Wire Services


Win McNamee/Getty Images
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) arrives at the Capitol Monday. The Senate voted Monday to defeat a House bill that links keeping the government funded to delaying 'Obamacare' for one year.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), seen arriving with his security detail at the Capitol on Monday, remained adamant that "Obamacare" be delayed. "This law is not ready for prime time," he said.

Read more:

In aftermath of Kenya mall siege, shop owners suspect security troops in widespread thefts

By Jason Straziuso And Rukmini CallimacHi, The Associated Press
September 30, 2013 4:30 PM

Sonali Shah, right, fiance of 24 year old Rajan Lalitkumar Solanki, is consoled during a prayer ceremony at Arya Samaj Temple in Nairobi, Kenya, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013. Solanki was killed in the Westgate Mall attack. Solanki was killed in the Westgate Mall attack. The masked gunmen who infiltrated Nairobi's Westgate mall arrived with a set of religious trivia questions: As terrified civilians hid, the assailants began a high-stakes game of 20 Questions to separate Muslims from those they consider infidels. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

NAIROBI, Kenya - Jewelry cases smashed. Mobile phones ripped from displays. Cash registers emptied. Alcohol stocks plundered.

For the second time in two months, poorly paid Kenyan security forces that moved in to control an emergency are being accused of robbing the very property they were supposed to protect. First the troops were accused of looting during a huge fire in August at Nairobi's main airport.

Now shop owners at Westgate Mall are returning to their stores after last week's devastating terrorist attack to find displays ransacked and valuables stolen.

One witness told The Associated Press that he saw a Kenyan soldier take cigarettes out of a dead man's pocket.

Shopkeepers spent Monday carting merchandise and other valuables out of their stores and restaurants to prevent any more thefts. No one can say for sure who is responsible, but Kenya's security forces are strongly suspected.

Soon after the attack began on Sept. 21, Kenyan officials put a cordon around the mall, allowing only security forces and a few government personnel to pass through.

Since then, alcohol stocks from the restaurants have been depleted. One business owner at the mall said money and mobile phones were taken from bags and purses left behind in the mayhem. The owner insisted on anonymity to avoid retribution from Kenya's government.

Employees of a book shop on the mall's second floor returned to find registers yanked open and cash gone. The store's laptops were also stolen. All the shop's books remained in place, said owner Paku Tsavani.

Perhaps reluctant to blame Kenyan security forces, Tsavani said he doesn't know who took his goods.

"Obviously the terrorists wouldn't steal those things, so we just don't know," Tsavani said.

Sandeep Vidyarthi went into the mall Sunday to help a relative retrieve equipment from his dental practice. Inside he said he passed shop after shop that had been looted, including the Rado store that sells high-end Swiss watches.

As he was leaving the mall, Vidyarthi passed a jewelry shop near the front entrance. The owner, he said, was presenting security officials with a long list of missing precious stones and high-end necklaces.

"The jeweler had written down this very long list," he said.

It is ironic, said the management team of one Westgate business, that store owners must now make reports of stolen goods to the same security forces suspected of doing the thieving.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku confirmed the reports of theft Sunday in a news conference. The majority of the responders to the terrorist attack came from Kenya's military. A military spokesman did not answer repeated calls for comment.

"Those responsible for looting will be prosecuted," Lenku said.

The mall attack also saw good Samaritans. Paresh Shah, a volunteer who helped evacuate the injured and recover the dead during the first day, said he carried out the body of Aleem Jamal.

Shah frowned at the memory and said he saw a Kenyan soldier take Jamal's cigarettes while in the ambulance.

"I could never do that, take a dead man's cigarettes," Shah said.

Jamal's family retrieved the body at the morgue, where his wife, Taz Jamal, said her husband's wallet was missing.

A team of terrorists entered Westgate Mall shortly after noon on a busy Saturday, firing guns and throwing grenades. The attackers — the Somali extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility — held off Kenya's military and controlled at least parts of the mall for four days.

The attack killed at least 67 people. The mall now has a gaping three-story hole in it from the siege.

Almost a week after the attack ended, more than three dozen people remain unaccounted for, the head of the Kenyan Red Cross said Monday.

The government contends there are no remaining missing people.

"The only way to verify this is when the government declares the Westgate Mall 100 per cent cleared. Then we can resolve it," Red Cross head Abbas Gullet said.

A morgue worker told AP on Monday that six body parts have been found in the rubble. The worker, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about information not yet released, said it was not clear if the parts came from one or multiple bodies.

Five terrorists are believed to be under the rubble but no dead hostages, Interior Minister Lenku said Sunday. Government officials have said 10 to 15 terrorists attacked the mall. Lenku said some attackers might have escaped.

"We do not rule out the possibility that when we were evacuating people in the first stages of the operation, it is possible some could have slipped out," he said.

FBI agents, along with investigators from Britain, Canada and Germany, are participating in the investigation into the attack and are aiding Kenyan forensic experts. Results are not expected until later this week at the earliest.

Kenyan authorities have used anti-terrorism laws to detain a total of 12 people in connection with the attack, including one on Sunday. Three have been set free, including a British man with a bruised face who was reportedly arrested last week as he tried to board a flight from Nairobi to Turkey while acting suspiciously, the British Foreign Office confirmed Monday.

Ndung'u Githinji, chairman of parliament's foreign relations committee, said officials will "rethink" Kenya's hospitality in supporting refugee camps, a reference to Dadaab, a refugee camp near Somalia filled with more than 400,000 Somalis. Security officials say some elements in the camp support and facilitate terror attacks.


Associated Press writers Tom Odula and David Rising contributed to this report.


Bankruptcy of Church and State: When Clergy Is Blind and Justice Isn’t

1:00PM EDT 5/30/2013 | Dan Cummins
Originally published at Charisma News

Dan Cummins is the pastor of Bridlewood Church in
Bullard, Texas.

America’s political and religious establishments are broken. Washington fails to provide the answers needed to solve the economic and political crises facing us at home and abroad. The church fails to exhibit the moral guidance necessary to hold a collapsing culture together. The nation is rapidly losing faith in both institutions, evidenced by declining approval ratings.

The political process in Washington is overheating in partisan gridlock while our churches are becoming increasingly ineffective and indifferently cold to the ongoing culture wars. Both institutions are insolvent to the fiscal and spiritual indebtedness they have incurred upon the nation. Neither can produce the economic capital or spiritual stimulus to jumpstart the economy or usher in revival.

Legislative issues are taking on greater moral ramifications. What were once considered moral issues discussed from the pulpit are now being politicized and aggressively commandeered by special interest groups with their radical social agendas. Civil rights are being sacrificed in the name of social justice upon the altar of special rights. Justice may be blind, but social justice has 20/20 vision. Equality before the law is becoming persecution under the law. The new persecution of the church will be in the form of prosecution of the church.

All the while, there seems to be little pushback from the clergy to preserve their institution’s voice as the spiritual leaders and moral guides for the nation. Complicity and compromise, on the other hand, seem to have replaced the spiritual backbone of America’s preachers. The clergy in America are, in most part, blind to the prophetic times in which we live and clueless to the spiritual solutions that will solve the troubles confronting a despondent nation. America’s sheep are being scattered due to the incompetence of hirelings who run at the first sign of political or cultural confrontation.

When government attempts to legislate morality apart from a spiritual relationship with God, moral rebellion will be the law of the land. When the church pontificates truth without exemplifying reality, her institutions will be rejected as charlatans. They both will soon be tossed aside, leaving the nation ripe for rebellion and anarchy. When the church loses its vision, where is the light to penetrate the moral and political abyss? When complicity robes the clergy, political leaders line their pockets in greed as the nation drifts aimlessly in a vacuum of ethical relativism.

This lesson is oft repeated but seldom learned. Unchecked principles by nature tend to run their own course. Thus history repeats itself. The first 11 chapters of 1 Samuel are but one of many such instances. Four hundred years out of Egyptian bondage, the nation of Israel faced a fundamental transformation in its government—from a godly theocracy overseen by holy priests to a humanistic monarchy dictated by a self-serving king, Saul.

Israel experienced redistribution of its wealth; there was a cry for globalism to become like all the other nations. A morally bankrupt but politically correct clergy produced a climate of judicial legislation. As the menorah slowly flickered out in the tabernacle, the Ark of God’s presence was whisked from the nation. The Ark of the Covenant that preceded the nation into the Promised Land—on the shoulders of holy anointed priests—was now suddenly snatched from her midst by the hands of uncircumcised Philistines. It was Israel’s darkest hour.

Inside the Ark were the Ten Commandments—the spiritual, civil and economic foundations of the nation. The Ten Commandments were no longer found in her schools, in her courthouses, in the town square or in her churches.

Sound familiar? How could the glory of God have departed the nation in this manner?

The glory of the Lord departed the nation because the priesthood was compromised. Eli, the high priest, became fat, lazy and blind. As he lost his vision, so went his usefulness to the nation. His uncircumcised (not in covenant) sons, Hophni (strong) and Phineas (mouth of a serpent), stole from the tabernacle offerings and committed adultery with the women who assembled at the outer gate. A complicit clergy cannot reproduce covenanted sons.

America has weak spiritual sons who cannot lead another awakening as our founding spiritual fathers once did because we’ve had a generation of complicity by the clergy with governmental intrusion into the church. Four hundred years ago, America’s forefathers left the political slavery and religious oppression of Europe for a new promised land—400 years ago! Now America, like Israel, has followed the same principled path to the same self-destructive destination. Will we make the same self-centered mistakes as they did or choose repentance over rebellion?

The Bankruptcy of America Begins

In July 1954, the spiritual bankruptcy of America’s clergy set in as the U.S. Senate passed an unconstitutional amendment to a tax overhaul bill. It was the Johnson Amendment, introduced by then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson who was angry at two wealthy Texas businessmen who used their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization to campaign against him.

Without a minute of senatorial debate regarding its constitutionality, a simple amendment that stated, “501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,” opened the floodgates of hell upon an unsuspecting church whose organizations were delineated under the 501(c)(3) category by the IRS. Johnson’s legal aide later admitted the amendment was only intended to silence two wealthy businessmen not churches, but the damage was done.

The IRS soon picked up on it and began a 50-year Gestapo-style reign of intimidation and fear upon America’s churches and clergy. In exchange for their political silence in the pulpits, America’s clergy were sold a bill of goods labeled “tax emption” by the IRS—something already granted the church constitutionally.

Fortunately, under the leadership of Alan Sears, founder of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in Scottsdale, Ariz., last year over 1650 pastors in all 50 states continued a five-year national campaign, called Pulpit Freedom Sunday, to overturn the Johnson Amendment, challenging its constitutionality by recording a politically motivated sermon and sending it to the IRS. So far, not one pastor has been audited. Thank God for these courageous pastors and the 2,200 allied attorneys of ADF.

With the clergy’s complicity and silence secured in 1954, Satan’s propaganda machine began running wide open and unchecked. In 1963, prayer and Bible reading were taken out of public schools. The pulpits remained silent—it was a political issue. In 1973, the Supreme Court decided that unborn Americans had no civil rights and upheld a woman’s special right to have an abortion. The pulpit remained silent—it was a political issue. Fifty-five million abortions later, in June the Supreme Court will decide if God knew what He was doing when He created the institution of marriage to be exclusively between one man and one woman. So far, the pulpit has remained silent—it’s a political issue. We will need more than 1650 pastors out of 300,000 churches in America if we are going to turn the tide and see revival.

What is America’s solution? The same as it was for Israel in Eli’s day: There was one barren woman who knew how to pray a prayer of desperation. Her name was Hannah—which means the grace of God. Not only did Hannah grab the horns of the altar, she touched the heart of God. Her prayer—one woman’s prayer—saved the nation and brought the greatest revival in Israel’s history. In the midst of all the political and spiritual unrest of Israel, God answered one woman’s prayer. He gave her a son, a man child, named Samuel who would later anoint David as king. As his first act as king of Israel, David restored the Ark to its rightful place and brought the greatest spiritual awakening in their history—the tabernacle of David.

Second Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people,” not “if my preachers,” or “if my politicians”! It says, “If my people … will humble themselves and pray.” The answer to America’s problems is the same answer it has always been throughout history: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

I believe the greatest opportunity for America to experience another Great Awakening is here. But we must meet the four requirements for revival: humble ourselves, pray, seek the face of God and repent of our wicked ways.

Posted 11th August by America the Battlefield


The King of the North Embracing World Religions - Walter Veith

278 The King of the North Embracing World Religions


Published on Jul 24, 2013

Learn about the greatest apostasy in the history of Christianity. A gospel of brass can be easily molded to the requirements of interreligious dialogue. Sacrificing principle and even the very essence of salvation enables people to embrace all religions irrespective as to whether the religions themselves acknowledge or negate the supremacy of Christ. The deity of Christ in particular has to be sacrificed on the altar of expediency in order to embrace the non-Christian religions and bring them into the fold of the anti-typical Babylon. In this lecture, we look at the statements and pictorial evidence of the greatest apostasy in the history of Christianity. Moreover, we lay the foundation for a study of the inroads of the king of the north into the very heart of antitypical Jerusalem.


Internet Rumors Spark Fear of Mid-Atlantic Disaster

Reported by: Brandon Stover

Web Producer: Brandon Stover
Reported: Sep. 27, 2013 9:24 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 27, 2013 10:45 PM EDT

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Some people are preparing for a major disaster in the mid-Atlantic. doing after rumors started circulating that a big event was coming. But is there any truth to those fears?

One of the websites,, that has caused some concern lately for West Virginians. It suggests that a major disaster of some sort may occur in FEMA Region 3, which includes West Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states. But is it true?

According to a retired state senator, Sheldon R. Songstad of South Dakota, who claims he followed the bread crumb trail of FEMA orders, it is.

However, FEMA issued the following statement, and said nothing was unusual:

FEMA is aware of the speculations surrounding procurement of materials throughout the United States, particularly in the mid-Atlantic region. There is no specific threat, catalyst or alert within FEMA to purchase additional supplies, throughout the year, FEMA routinely purchases material and stockpiles warehouses throughout the country in anticipation of disasters and to have supplies pre-positioned throughout the United States. No unusual or inordinate purchases are being made.

This certainly does not scream concern and, in a world of texting and the Internet, rumors can turn into monsters overnight.

Local residents offered their thoughts on the matter.

"A lot of things you hear on the internet are not true, but some things are," Ernest Chapman, of Montgomery said.

"You can't believe anything on the Internet anyway, so I would take that as a ‘no,’" Whitney Kidd, of Charleston, said.

Regardless of when the next disaster occurs, it's always better to be safe than sorry.


Syria: Why Did God Step In?

Speak to the mountain: Have you ever tried speaking to a mountain? It’s not easy, is it, but that’s precisely what Je-sus commands – if we want results!

“Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

Matthew 21:21, 22.

Didn’t David practice this as he ran toward Goliath? Didn’t he speak to the mountain? And didn’t he get results?

“This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”

I Samuel 17:46.

What you’re about to read are this author’s efforts at speaking to the mountain. In saying things as if they already are, we honor God. We exercise faith – especially when the things spoken are outwardly impossible. “Them that honour me,” the Lord declares, “I will honour.” 1 Samuel 2:30. So let’s get to it. Let’s speak to the mountain.

The Sounds of War. Why did God hold back the winds of strife in Syria last week? Many reasons, no doubt, not the least of which is to save and preserve life. In the midst of these, however, is this (I’m speaking to the mountain now): what’s at stake in the entire Middle East is the greatest sea change in religious thinking in the history of our planet. Though they don’t know it, Moslems by the millions are about to make decisions for Christ. And Israel? After almost 2,000 years of denial, she’s finally about to acknowledge her Messiah.

“ For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

Romans 11:25 – 26.


Sermons for the Dome. What could possibly bring this sea change about? What could possibly bring millions of Moslems and Jews to see Jesus as Messiah at the same time? There’s only one power on the face of the earth that can: i.e. the word of the living God!

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

Hebrews 4:12 – 13.

It was Luther who wrote:

“I put forward God’s word; I preached and wrote—this was all I did. And yet while I was asleep ... the word that I had preached overthrew popery, so that neither prince nor emperor has done it so much harm. And yet I did nothing; the word alone did all.”

The (New, Illustrated) Great Controversy, page 190.
David had faith – plus five stones!
Luther had faith – plus one poster!
We’ve got faith – plus stones and poster.

That poster, our sling, is set to let fly seven living stones, launched first from New York City’s subways. Before these the gates of hell will come tumbling down – I’m sure of it. Evoking the legacy of the angel Gabriel, whom the Moslems call Jibril, the first two challenge. These, in combination with the remaining five (which likewise revolve around prophecy) will bring about that sea change. But we’re not content with them, as though there can be no improvement here. God can easily give you some thought, some gem that can help make them better. If you’ve got the time, please read them. We’d appreciate any comments or insights you might have.

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 10:4, 5.


David Mould.


Navy Yard Shooter- Mind Control False Flag or Plain Insanity?


Published on Sep 25, 2013

(September 26, 2013) The Navy Yard shooter thought he was being controlled by low-frequency radio waves. Does this have any credibility or just fall into the realm of conspiracy theories.


How Government Security Clearances Are Granted



Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 10:06 a.m.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

After the shooting spree at Washington's Navy Yard, President Barack Obama ordered a review of security clearance policies across the government. Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reiterated the president's directive for a broad review. Hagel said in hindsight there were red flags in the background of Aaron Alexis, the man who killed 12 people at the Navy Yard. Critics say the tragedy might have been prevented if more stringent security clearance procedures had been in place. Others argue the procedures are sound, but not always followed as closely as they should be. Diane and her guests discuss new concerns about background checks and security clearances.


Michael Greenberger
founder and director at the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security and professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

John Fitzpatrick
director, the Information Security Oversight Office at the National Archives Records Administration; from 2006-2011 he was the intelligence community's leader in the Bush and Obama administrations' efforts to transform security clearance processes across the U.S. government.

Carol Leonnig
national staff writer, The Washington Post.

Sheldon Cohen
security clearance attorney.


French stores rebel against Sunday trading ban in bitter row

Agence France-Presse

September 29, 2013 14:22

Braving a court ban, 14 home improvement stores in France opened to the public Sunday in an increasingly bitter tug of war with the government over a law prohibiting trading on the traditional day of rest.

The move comes amid intense debate over France's labour practices. The government is seeking to continue a long tradition ruling out Sunday and late-night work, but at a time of record high unemployment, many employees regard the ban as antiquated.

Last week, both Leroy Merlin and Castorama, two home improvement chains, were ordered by a court to stop opening their stores in the Paris area on Sundays or face a fine of 120,000 euros ($162,000) per shop and per day.

But on Sunday, they opened anyway amid anger among employees and customers.

"I'm outraged by the court decision: All of a sudden, I risk ending up without a salary, which threatens my studies," said Eleanor Leloup, a 24-year-old chiropractic student who works every weekend at one of the affected Leroy Merlin stores in Ivry-sur-Seine, next to Paris.

Smahene, another employee at the store, wore a T-shirt blazoned with the words "Yes week-end", in a nudge to the "Yes we can" slogan used by US President Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign.

Spokespeople for both chains denounced a confusing ban that allows some stores to open in certain cases.

Under French law, retailers can only open on a Sunday under very specific conditions -- if they are located in a tourist area, for instance. Any shop selling food, such as a butcher, can also trade until 1 pm.

"Some stores can open on Sundays without a problem and others must ask for special dispensations. It would be good if everyone received equal treatment," a Castorama spokeswoman told AFP.

Leroy Merlin, meanwhile, blasted a "staggering imbroglio" when it came to permits given to some stores to open, and not to others.

Some ministers have acknowledged that changes need to be made, and early Sunday evening, the government announced a special meeting would take place on Monday morning "to make things evolve".

Marisol Touraine, the minister for social affairs and health, said that Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault would meet the ministers concerned.

"The prime minister will meet the ministers tomorrow to see how things may evolve," she told French television. "Clearly the status quo is not tenable."

The French government spokeswoman, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, said the PM would meet a "number of ministers that can engage in a discussion on this issue but keep in mind the interest of employees is to preserve the right to Sunday rest".

Expected to be among those at the meeting are the labour and employment minister Michel Sapin, Pierre Moscovici, the finance minister, and Sylvia Pinel, minister for commerce and the crafts industry.

In an interview with Sunday's Journal du Dimanche newspaper, Pinel acknowledged that there was "a complexity in the law" that demanded clarification.

And Bruno Le Roux, head of the ruling Socialists' lower house National Assembly faction, said on Radio J that retailers should be given the "possibility" of working Sundays.

But other politicians have rebuked the two home improvement chains.

Benoit Hamon, Consumer Affairs Minister, said Saturday it was "unacceptable that a brand does not implement a judicial decision".

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, meanwhile, said rules must be respected as "we are a state ruled by law".

'People are not being allowed to work'

By-and-large, customers who visited the DIY stores on Sunday said they supported the decision to remain open.

"I'm ashamed, I think it's outrageous that in this country, people are not being allowed to work. And then people are surprised that there is unemployment," said Elisabeth Armani, a Parisian DIY lover shopping at the Ivry Leroy Merlin store.

"Where's the petition? I came here on purpose to encourage these young people who want to work Sundays, we support you," Philippe Dafit, another customer, told employees who were distributing leaflets at the entrance to the store.

The Sunday controversy comes on top of another similar debate that emerged last week in France -- this time over a law banning late-night work.

A court ruled Monday that cosmetics retailer Sephora must close its flagship Paris store by 9 pm after it had been keeping it open until midnight on weekdays and up to 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays, to capitalise on demand for late-night shopping.

Employees of the store have since blasted the unions that brought the case for preventing them from opting to work longer hours for extra pay, at a time when unemployment stands at a record 10.9 percent.

The retailer has said it will appeal the court order.


Senate Rejects House Budget Offer With Shutdown Near


Monday, September 30, 2013 2:32 PM EDT

The Senate on Monday quickly rejected a House proposal to fund the government only if Democrats agreed to delay or undo parts of the 2010 health law as House Republicans gathered in the Capitol to plot their response in the escalating budget fight.
Within minutes of convening just after 2 p.m., the Senate on a 54 to 46 vote followed through on Democratic threats to strip the health care provisions from a measure passed by the House early Sunday morning and send it back to the House.
But House Republicans showed no sign of backing down, signaling a readiness to shut down the federal government over the health law.



Friday, September 27, 2013

COMECE organises a Conference on the Common good

Tuesday, 1 October, 19:00 @ Chapel for Europe

A fundamental aim of the European project has been the pursuit of and protection of the common good. Nation states have willingly and knowingly sacrificed some of their sovereignty with a view to attaining the greater good of the whole European family.

The discussion as to what constitutes the common good remains at the heart of the European political discourse. Father Patrick Riordan will explore for us Catholic thinking on this concept, as relevant today as it was seventy years ago.

Read more and register



3 days from shutdown, Senate pushes ahead on spending bill

Susan Davis, USA TODAY 12:18 p.m. EDT September 27, 2013

The question is what House Republicans will do.

(Photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images)

Story Highlights
The Senate is set to approve Friday a stopgap spending bill through Nov. 15
The House opposes it because it does not defund Obamacare
The government will shutdown on Oct. 1 without a funding measure

WASHINGTON — The Senate was on track to approve Friday a stopgap spending bill through mid-November to head off a government shutdown in three days, but the legislation has inflamed House Republicans because it stripped out a provision to defund President Obama's health care law.

Senate conservatives pledged to keep up their efforts to dismantle the law. "This vote is not the end. It's not even the beginning of the end," said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, will not accept a "clean" funding bill and intends to amend it and send it back to the Senate by Monday. However, House Republicans are unsure how, exactly, to respond.

The House adjourned Friday but is scheduled to be in session over the weekend.

There is "uncertainty in their own caucus," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday, "I don't think we know what we'll be voting on from what minute to the next, because I don't think they know what we'll be voting on from one moment to the next."

Pelosi said Democrats will vote in support of the Senate funding bill, but Boehner is under pressure from House conservatives to again try to use the spending bill to rein in the health care law.

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., said lawmakers were debating a number of alternatives to the Senate funding bill but said as of Friday, the next steps were murky. "To be honest with you, I don't know," he said. "We haven't coalesced around a consensus yet."

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., who is charged with drafting the spending bill, said he was awaiting a decision from GOP leaders. "I'd be open to whatever leadership thinks we should do," he said.

House Republicans are also working to put together a legislative package tied to an impending vote to raise the debt ceiling, the nation's borrowing limit, that will hit Oct. 17, according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. The bill would suspend the debt ceiling through the 2014 elections in exchange for a one-year delay of implementation of the health care law and instructions on how to overhaul the federal tax code without raising additional revenue.

The package also includes a grab-bag of perennially popular GOP legislation that is unpalatable to Democrats, such as construction of a new oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, and increasing means testing for Medicaid recipients.

President Obama has maintained that he will veto any legislation that seeks to delay or defund his signature domestic achievement, and Democrats have vowed not to negotiate over the debt ceiling.


God and the Fascists: The Vatican Alliance with Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, and Pavelic

Excerpt from GOD AND THE FASCISTS; The Vatican Alliance with Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, and Pavelic, by Karlheinz Deschner (Prometheus Books, 2014). Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

This is the prologue to the book:

Why, after almost fifty years, should there be a reprint of Karlheinz Deschner's work God and the Fascists ( Mit Gott und den Faschisten )? Because it is very topical. Because it is, fully unfairly, in danger of being forgotten. Because it disrupts a process of suppression, or better, indeed the deliberate policy of disinformation, pursued by the Vatican. It reminds us of the Vatican's collaboration not only with Hitler, the greatest criminal of all time, but also with Mussolini, Franco, and the little-known Pavelić, the Fascist leader in Croatia who, along with Cardinal Stepinac, was responsible for the concentration and death camp of Jasenovac, of whose existence only few people know today.

Because the web of lies spun by the Vatican is exposed. It has been trying to position itself as an anti-Hitler resistance organization for decades, although according to Cardinal Faulhaber, Pius XII was "the best friend, indeed, the only friend of the new Reich at the beginning," especially in the unstable initial phase of National Socialism, when history could have taken a completely different course! Because it is not a fashionable book that caters for a trendy opinion for reasons of accommodation but presents and summarizes historical facts precisely and in great detail and draws conclusions that are comprehensible to everyone. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen clearly considers it unnecessary to quote Deschner at all in his book A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust , despite Deschner being able to provide much more information using much less ink nearly forty years earlier. And because it is also exciting to read, like a novel but where every line is the truth and every reader is considerably more intelligent and enlightened after reading it than he or she was before and may also be shocked to see the extent of the collaboration between the Nazis, all the Fascists, and the Vatican! In short, because it exposes a historical lie. The lie of the Catholic resistance.

Let us not forget that it was the French Revolution that showed the Catholic Church where its boundaries were and thereby put an end to its feudal power--albeit, unfortunately, only half-heartedly. But still, the Spanish Inquisition did not sentence the last heretic--the schoolteacher Caetano Ripol--to death at the gallows, followed by a "symbolic burning," until July 26, 1826, almost half a century after the Bastille was stormed! After the revolution, Napoleon's troops occupied the Papal States at the end of the eighteenth century--which had arisen from bloody wars and been legitimized by a forged document, the so called Donation of Constantine--arrested Pius VI, and took him to Valence as a prisoner. The Congress of Vienna restored the Vatican rState again in 1815 with a reduced territory, but in 1870, after the occupation by Italian troops, it finally disappeared in the new Italian state. Those responsible were then excommunicated. . . and could not have cared less.

The increasing power of the bourgeoisie, the development of the European national states, the emancipation movement, the natural sciences and progress through technological developments increasingly forced Catholicism onto the back foot in the second half of the nineteenth century--it tried desperately, and in vain, to take up the fight against "modern rationalism" with the first Vatican Council and restore the beleaguered papal authority by means of the dogma of infallibility. But time was against Catholicism. Under Bismarck, nearly two thousand Catholic clergy were imprisoned or given hefty fines in the Kulturkampf ("battle of the cultures") for interfering in state affairs; the United States broke off diplomatic relations with the Vatican on February 28, 1867 (and did not restore them until 1984 under Ronald Reagan). The "Roman Question" had arisen: How could the Holy See be saved from ultimate, and at that time foreseeable, downfall? How, and with whose aid, could its former power be restored? This problem was exacerbated by the growth of the decidedly anticlerical workers' movement after the debacle of the First World War, which was committed to enlightenment and the principle of equality.

This is the starting point of Karlheinz Deschner's book God and the Fascists . The aim of this new edition, published by Prometheus Books, is to ensure it is not forgotten. With richness of detail, historically founded, and by mining a vast number of sources, it proves that after the First World War, the chance was seized to turn the wheel of history back together with the rising Fascist movements. For fear of a victory of the workers' movement across Europe--according to the Soviet model--the Vatican, together with the reactionary property-owning classes and their henchmen--the Fascists--entered an alliance that was intended to secure the existence of both. This unholy Catholic alliance with the supposedly lesser--Fascist--evil led to the greatest catastrophe in human history: the Second World War and the Holocaust.

After the Catholic party "Partito Popolare" was dissolved by Pius XI, the curia paved the way for Benito Mussolini and Italian Fascism. As a reward, they received--by means of the Lateran Pacts--the Vatican State back, a sovereign, stately construct, albeit reduced in size, and the monstrous sum of one billion lire in state bonds and 750 million lire in cash. These assets formed the basis of the Vatican Bank, which is under strict observation from the American supervisory authorities today because of its machinations, suspicion of money laundering, and proximity to the Mafia.

And the Vatican helped the Nazis to power according to exactly the same pattern and under the same premises. The Catholic Centre Party--the oldest party in Europe led by Prelate Kaas, a close friend of Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli, the Pope's second-in-command--concurring with the Enabling Act of March 24, 1933, and then dissolving itself cleared the way for Hitler. The subsequent dictatorship set the catastrophe in motion. The historical lie that nobody at the time knew who they were dealing with is clearly disproved by Karlheinz Deschner. Because the first concentration camps had been built before the Enabling Act--not for the Jews at this point, but for political opposition--basic citizens' rights were suspended and the boycott of Jewish businesses, doctors, and lawyers was called for. Hitler's Mein Kampf could not have been unknown to Eugenio Pacelli: the same Eugenio Pacelli who had been the papal nuncio in Berlin until 1929 ("the best-informed diplomat in Germany") and then made a career in the Vatican, first as cardinal secretary of state, then as pope. Pope Pius XII. He, who had the reputation of being an outstanding connoisseur and friend of Germany, harvested the fruits of that collaboration on July 20, 1933, in the form of the concordat with Nazi Germany. This treaty under international law still has constitutional status in the Federal Republic of Germany to this day (Article 123.2 of the German Basic Law). It regulates the friendly relations between the Holy See and the German Reich; state religious education was introduced under it, with a status equal to that of the other subjects taught, the payment of salaries from religious-education teachers to bishops by the state from public tax revenue is guaranteed and church tax collected by the state--to this day, let it be noted--a new phenomenon that was to have far-reaching consequences. Workers must publicly declare their religious confession, losing their previously constitutional right to keep this silent, and employers are obliged to take part in the collection of the ecclesiastical obolus. A church state was born! The Hitler concordat meant that the clergy's robes were afforded the same protection as military uniforms, priests were exempted in advance from military service--they knew what was coming--the dissolution of the Centre Party was retrospectively justified and a great deal more.

Karlheinz Deschner describes how the collaboration of the German episcopate with the Nazis--which could only happen with the approval of the curia--lasted until the end of the Second World War, how vicars, priests, and bishops prayed for Hitler's Reich every Sunday all across the land, which was also regulated in the concordat (Article 30), and agitated in favor of the war, how churches and cathedrals were decorated with swastikas on Hitler's birthday, and the papal nuncio personally congratulated the Führer, full of pride, on his fiftieth birthday in 1939--half a year after the Kristallnacht! In the so-called church struggle, which is supposed to have been the expression of church resistance, the church stood up only for its own interests, never against Hitler, never against the war, and never for the Jewish population. And even after the military defeat of Nazi Germany, the Vatican helped high-ranking Nazi functionaries to flee to South

America with the help of the ratline, with which Mengele, Eichmann, and many other criminals escaped the Allies' justice.

What did Benedict XV, Pius XI, and Pius XII dream of ? They dreamt of a Catholic continental Europe in a united military battle against the godless Soviet Union, as degenerated as it may already have been by Stalin's influence (read Arno Lustigers Stalin and the Jews: The Red Book ). They dreamt of the end of Orthodoxy, the end of communism, and the Catholicization of Russia. And of a neutral, Anglican Great Britain and a neutral United States. Because a military conflict within the western camp made the outcome of the war unpredictable. After the military defeat of France, this dream seemed to be well within reach, and in 1940 the whole world was convinced that Hitler would win the war. The realization of the curia's dream had, with Hitler's help, come within their grasp.

We learn from Karlheinz Deschner how the invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, was openly welcomed, not only by the German episcopate, and how unlimited their enthusiasm for Hitler and agitations against Russia were. And Pius XII--who allegedly did too little against Hitler and said too little--spoke in a radio address one week later of "rays of light that raise the heart to great, holy expectations: great bravery and courage in defending the foundations of Christian culture and optimistic hope for their triumph," by which he intended to express, according to embassy counselor Menshausen, the hope that the great sacrifices demanded by this war would not be in vain and would, should Providence so wish, lead to victory over Bolshevism. In this "war between worldviews," which had been so longed for by the Catholics and which Hitler also called it, the Holocaust was viewed as a kind of collateral damage.There may even have been a secret feeling of satisfaction in light of the two thousand years of Christian anti-Judaism. Had Hitler not, in April 1933, already coquetted before high Catholic functionaries--as Deschner reports--and much to their delight, that his "treatment of the Jewish Question" was merely a continuation of medieval Catholic tradition?! In any case, the pope never condemned the Nazi pogroms against the Jews, not even when the Jews were rounded up before his eyes, so to speak, and taken away. Today's propagated idea of a Judeo-Christian West is based on a syncretism swindle.

The Vatican was even more deeply involved in Fascist crimes in Croatia, where the Franciscans played a leading role in the atrocities perpetrated there, which were so brutal that even the Germans complained. Ante Pavelic, the leader of the Croatian Fascists, called the Ustashi, coined the slogan that a third of the Orthodox population of Yugoslavia should be forcibly converted, a third expelled, and the other third murdered. Seven hundred fifty thousand Serbs fell victim to this regime with clerical help, and often after brutal torture, as did 80 percent of the Jews in Yugoslavia. The Primate of the Croatian Catholics, Archbishop Dr. Stepinac, collaborated with Pavelić from the first minute to the last. After his conviction as a war criminal, the Ustaša leader managed to escape, initially to South America, with the help of the ratline. He was accompanied by the former contact man between the Croatian archbishop Stepinac and the Vatican, the priest Krunoslav Draganović, who was, among other things, responsible for the deportation of Jews and Serbs during the war as a "resettlement officer" and was later one of the key figures in the organization of the ratline. He later fled to Franco's Spain, where he found refuge in a Franciscan monastery in Madrid. This war criminal died on December 26, 1959, and received the blessing of the Holy Father on his deathbed. Stepinac was the only high cleric who was at least partly brought to justice for his deeds. The sentence: sixteen years' imprisonment with forced labor. After six years of imprisonment, he was released early. Today's theologians may claim that this verdict was based on a "misunderstanding." But it is no misunderstanding that Yad Vashem rejected the obscenity of an application to grant him the title and honor of a "Righteous among the Nations" twice, in 1970 and 1994. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998.

In his resume at the end of the book, Karlheinz Deschner says, in 1965, "If one considers the attitude of Eugenio Pacelli to the politics of Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, and Pavelic, it hardly seems an exaggeration to say: Pius XII is probably more incriminated than any other pope has been for centuries. He is so obviously involved in the most hideous atrocities of the Fascist era, and therefore of history itself, both directly and indirectly, that it would not be surprising, given the tactics of the Roman Church, if he were to be canonized."

And now the beatification is already under way, less than fifty years later! If Hitler had won the war, one may wish to add, then he would presumably have long since attained the same Catholic honors.

And Franco's support from the Vatican in the Spanish Civil War--and before--is also a theme of this rewarding book, this irreplaceable source of information.

Let us now return to the present, to the constitutional knock-on effects of the church's collaboration with Fascism in Germany. One has to only compare this close interrelationship between church and state, this still-surviving German church state--which, under the Weimar Constitution and the federal constitution of Germany, should never have been permitted--with the constitutions of France and the United States, in which the separation of church and state is clearly stipulated. It then becomes clear how far Germany is today from being a modern democracy. It is a country in which the churches, on the basis of regional concordats, have places in all radio and television broadcasting councils, in nearly all newspaper editorial offices, in countless other influential institutions, and--some quite openly, others well hidden--at the levers of power. It then becomes clear what massive favors Hitler and Mussolini did the Vatican with this special answer to the Roman Question, with the restoration of its statehood, its assets, and its public influence, which were in a state of dissolution in the second half of the nineteenth century. And at what cost to the rest of the world!

General News 9/26/2013 at 13:31:44

Headlined to H2 9/26/13

Karlheinz Deschner's book is an important contribution to enlightenment, a jewel for anyone who seeks historical truth; it is an antidote to the historical lie of Catholic resistance to Adolf Hitler and provides a fundamental contribution to the current debate on the rehabilitation of the Pius Brotherhood (fronted by Richard Williamson, who denied the Holocaust), the planned beatification of Pius XII, the scandal surrounding the Vatican Bank, the reintroduction of the Good Friday Intercession, and the role of the Vatican in the world in general.

Anyone who is looking for the historical Ariadne's thread in the labyrinth of church heteronomy will go nowhere without Karlheinz Deschner's book God and the Fascists . I would, at this juncture, recommend to anyone who wishes to find out more, many historical layers deeper, for example, about the historical origins of Christianity, Hyam Maccoby's superb, central work The Mythmaker:

Paul and the Invention of Christianity (1986), in which he proves that Christianity is not founded on the Jewish Jesus but the Greek Paul, who composed a highly virulent mythical mix of gnosis, mystery cults, and the story of Jesus and, therefore, started off two thousand years of Christian anti-Judaism, which culminated in the Holocaust.

The other Ariadne's thread from the religious labyrinth--the subjective, "psychological" one--can be found by anyone looking for it in Sigmund Freud (e.g., Totem and Taboo , The Future of an Illusion , Moses and Monotheism ), and more especially in the pioneering study of religion by Fritz Erik Hoevels, ""Bhagwan' Rajneesh and the Dilemma of any Humane Religion" in Mass Neurosis Religion , published by Ahriman International, which is now also to be credited with the republishing of Deschner's masterpiece God and the Fascists . Both authors make it clear how small the eye of the needle is through which human society must pass if the aims of enlightenment, reason, freedom, the principle of equality, and maximum happiness for the maximum number of people are to become reality, how many archaic and yet real power structures must be broken in order to achieve this.

May the interested reader convince himself or herself of the topicality of this book nearly fifty years after God and the Fascists was first published. It is thrillingly written and a literary achievement of the first rank.

Peter Gorenflos

Berlin, Germany



Order of Malta's interfaith aid to refugees

Charity & Solidarity 

2013-09-23 12:50:32

(Vatican Radio) As refugees continue to flee from Syria into Lebanon and other neighbouring countries, aid agencies and organisations on the ground are working hard to deliver medical assistance and humanitarian support.

The Sovereign Order of Malta is among the organisations working in Lebanon, where it runs medical centres open both to local residents and to refugees. It works closely with the Imam al Sadr Foundation in Lebanon, to provide humanitarian aid through interreligious collaboration. It also works closely with the International Blue Crescent Foundation in Syria, to deliver emergency aid in Damascus and Aleppo.

Giulia Cirillo spoke to Marianna Balfour, Press Officer of the Sovereign Order of Malta, about her recent visit to the Khaldieh medical centre, on the border between Lebanon and Syria.

Listen to Giulia Cirillo’s interview with Marianna Balfour:

“The humanitarian emergency has increased immensely over the last few months, in particular because there are some new epidemies, due to the terrible hygienic conditions in which the refugees live. […] The Khaldieh centre is in northern Lebanon, it’s approximately 30/40kms away from the border with Syria. The kind of assistance it offers ranges from cardiology to gynecology, endocrinology, and so forth. […] It’s a very remote area, it’s a very rural area with very few services. The Sovereign Order of Malta with this Khaldieh centre carries out a very important task because it also carries out, for example, vaccination campaigns. […] It distributes sanitary kits, so shampoo, detergents, nappies for children, obviously water for powder milk – a lot of women have very small children, and because they’re undernourished they can’t feed them personally, so they have to give them processed milk.”


"That they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind."

John 9
King James Version (KJV)

as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?

11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.

14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.

16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.

17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.

19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?

20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:

21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.

22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.

24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.

25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?

27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?

28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.

29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.

31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.

33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?

36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?

37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.

38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Obama redefines the US as a Constitutional Democracy


Published on Sep 13, 2013

Mr. Obama does not see us as a Republic which could be why he ignores Congress and much of the Constitution.


A Constitutional Republic, Not a Democracy

By: Daniel Horowitz (Diary) | November 7th, 2012 at 01:58 AM

In case anyone needed a lesson in understanding the difference between democracy and a Constitutional Republic a.k.a. Europe and America, tonight’s results should serve as a clear message. This is democracy in full force.

Why did we need a constitution? Why are popular elections not a sufficient means of preserving liberty?

A pure unbridled democracy is a political system in which the majority enjoys absolute power by means of democratic elections. In an unvarnished democracy, unrestrained by a constitution, the majority can vote to impose tyranny on themselves and the minority opposition. They can vote to elect those who will infringe upon our inalienable God-given rights. Thomas Jefferson referred to this as elected despotism in Notes on the State of Virginia (also cited in Federalist 48 by Madison):

An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.

Thus, a constitution that limited and divided the power of government was necessary to preclude elected officials from imposing tyranny on the people. This is why they adopted a constitution with limited enumerated power, divided and checked across several branches and levels.

In other words, tonight’s narrow majority victory for Obama and the Democrats should not be so consequential. Pursuant to the society we are supposed to be, elections are not the end all; the Constitution is the end all. Elections should not be so consequential. Forty-eight percent of us should not be forced into the tyranny of a government-takeover of much of our lives just because 50% vote for insidious characters who want to grow government for their own sake.

Yet, we no longer live in a Constitutional Republic. We live in a pure democracy – one that is similar to Europe, in which the majority can pretty much vote for people who will vitiate the Constitution and implement any form of tyranny it pleases. Screw the minority. Yes, so much for minority rights, progressives. As founder John Witherspoon noted, “pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

Yet, there is still one element of our Constitutional Republic that has been preserved; the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches and the separation of the individual states from the federal government. We have held onto the House with roughly the same strong majority, plus we have added a number of new conservatives. Additionally, we have picked up some state legislative chambers, increasing our majority control over a record number of state governments.

It is in the House and in the states that we must make our stand for God, Country, and Constitution; for liberty, freedom, and the American way of live.

If you’ve noticed over the past two elections, it is in the lower offices – the House and state legislatures – that we have made the biggest gains.

On a personal level, I am committed to growing a conservative majority in the House and the states, while holding the existing members accountable on all policy issues. Through the Madison Project, Red State, and other venues, I and my colleagues will not rest until we grow a strong bench of viable conservative leaders who will, someday, run for higher office.

Onward, soldiers!

Cross-posted from The Madison Project



Published on Jan 20, 2013

Scripture clearly reveals the pivotal role the USA will play in the final events of this world's history.

The Certainty of the Sanctuary Message by Colin Standish


Published on May 11, 2013



For neither did his brethren believe in him

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
Now the Jew's feast of tabernacles was at hand.
His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
For neither did his brethren believe in him.
Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.
The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.
When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

John 7:1-13

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Reporter Had To Decide If Snowden Leaks Were 'The Real Thing'

September 11, 2013 3:11 PM

47 min 18 sec

According to Barton Gellman, Edward Snowden (above) specifically asked journalists not to make all the documents he leaked available to the public. Getty Images

Since the beginning of June, Barton Gellman has been reporting on classified intelligence documents given to him by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor. As a result of the Snowden leaks, Gellman and reporter Laura Poitras of the PRISM program, which mines data from nine U.S. Internet companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and Facebook.

Gellman, who has been writing for The Washington Post, also that the NSA has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress expanded the agency's powers in 2008. He that the U.S. has conducted cyber-operations against computer networks in foreign countries — including Iran, Russia, China and North Korea — and on the "black budget" used to fund secret programs in America's 16 spy agencies.

Gellman is in the process of writing a book on the expansion of government surveillance since the Sept. 11 attacks 12 years ago. He shared a Pulitzer Prize with the rest of The Washington Post's staff in 2002 for reporting after Sept. 11, and won another Pulitzer with Jo Becker in 2008 for their series of articles on Vice President Dick Cheney. That series became the basis of Gellman's best-selling book, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency. Gellman is also a senior fellow at the Century Foundation.

He joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to discuss working with Edward Snowden and the effectiveness of post-Sept. 11 surveillance systems.

Interview Highlights

On how he began corresponding with and trusting Snowden

"The combination of knowing [investigative filmmaker Laura Poitras], of having a background on surveillance issues and of knowing how to communicate securely, all of those were required. She had been approached by Snowden late last year, and honestly lots of journalists get approached by lots of people who purport to know a lot about secret worlds and to have important secrets to disclose. And quite often they can be dismissed quickly as cranks. This one couldn't.

"Laura did not know who she was talking to. He was only willing to talk through the use of these very secret, very secure channels, and she came to me one day and said, 'Can I talk to you in confidence?' And she showed me some of her notes of these conversations. She said, 'Does this look like it's for real to you?' I said, 'So far, it does. But you're going to need a lot more verification, a lot more back-and-forth.'

Barton Gellman is also a contributing editor at large for Time. David Burnett/Contact Press Images

"I started suggesting questions to ask this mystery correspondent. She started showing me answers. ... And finally I opened a direct channel to Snowden and, working alongside Laura, we finally convinced ourselves that if and when he revealed his identity and if and when he actually transferred a document ... we were convinced it was going to be the real thing."

On Snowden's intentions

"[Snowden] gave these documents, ultimately, to only three journalists. What he said he wanted was for us to use our own judgment and to make sure that his bias was kept out of it so that we could make our own judgment about what was newsworthy and important for the public to know. And he said we should also consider how to avoid harm.

"Now, in case anyone doubts his intentions, let's consider what he could've done. If Chelsea [aka Bradley] Manning was able to exfiltrate and send to WikiLeaks and publish in whole half a million U.S. government documents, Edward Snowden — who is far, far more capable [and] had far greater access, certainly knows how to transmit documents — he could've sent them to WikiLeaks. He could've set up and mirrored around the Internet in a way that could not have been taken down. All of the documents could be public right now and they're not. ... He told us not to do it."

On revealing the names of private companies that cooperated with the PRISM program

"There's a long history of private-company cooperation with the NSA that dates back to at least the 1970s. The old telecommunication systems — like AT&T and Verizon and their predecessors — did this sort of routinely and without legal compulsion and out of some combination of patriotism and business-as-usual and fairly lucrative contracts.

"The new Silicon Valley-based Internet companies did not have the same traditions, but to one degree or another they went along and they were under legal compulsion to do so. ... But it was very important to them and to the government to keep their identities a secret. ...

"The thing the intelligence community most wanted to protect in that first story [we wrote] — the most they asked us to hold back was the names of the companies. And we cooperated to a considerable degree with security requests, but my argument back to them was if the damage that you're worried about consists of the companies being less willing to cooperate or suffering a blow to their businesses because the public or their customers don't like what they're doing or don't approve of the program, that's exactly why we have to publish it. That's the core duty we have in terms of accountability reporting."

On whether we're living in a Big Brother society

"Big Brother is a very imperfect analogy. On the one hand ... I see no evidence that the government is assembling these tools in order to spy on political opponents or corruptly to serve some private interest, or things that you worry about with the Big Brother analogy.

"On the other hand, it has accumulated powers that were beyond all imagination of George Orwell — that dwarfed the surveillance capabilities of Orwell — and as it has done so — as it has made the whole world and the U.S. population more and more transparent — it has become more and more opaque about what it's doing. So, increasingly we are living behind one-way mirrors in which the government knows more and more about us and we know less and less about what the government is doing."

On the effectiveness of post-Sept. 11 surveillance

"I have no doubt from reading through some of these files that the surveillance has achieved very important goals, has found very important facts that have served American security. It's not all ... in the field of counterterrorism, but we care a lot about the spread of nuclear weapons; we care a lot about certain activities that are undertaken by foreign governments. So I am absolutely not making the claim that this stuff does not serve American security.

"But you know, in the preamble to the Constitution there are six major purposes that are set out for the design of our government. One of them ... is to secure the national defense. It's not the only interest we have and there has to be a balance, and the balance has not been debated by an informed public because there was an absolute dearth of information. And what we're seeing now, what a lot of Americans say they appreciate, is enough transparency to enable Congress and the American public to decide where they want to draw the lines."


Obama on Syria and the Red Line ...

Barack Obama Full Statement - 31 August 2013 


Published on Aug 31, 2013

August 08.31.2013
Breaking News

Chemical Weapon Syria Crisis
America blames Assad for attack.

President Barack Obama said that the United States "should take military action against Syrian targets" in a Rose Garden address Saturday. However, he said he would seek congressional authorization when federal lawmakers return from recess.
The president appealed for congressional leaders to consider their responsibilities and values in debating U.S. military action in Syria over its alleged chemical weapons use."Some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment," he said. "Today I'm asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are united as one nation."

Flashback to 2012

Obama Warns Syria's Assad Chemical Weapons A 'RED Line'


Published on Aug 21, 2012

President Obama made a surprise appearance during Jay Carney's White House briefing. Speaking to a packed press room, he raised a smile as he traded banter with them before launching into the serious issue of Syria and chemical weapons. He confirmed that the US has said Assad needs to step down. Obama then tackled the issue of humanitarian aid to Syrians, and those who are fleeing the country to escape the Assad regime ,severely straining the resources of nearby host countries. And the President ended the briefing on a serious note, by saying that should the US and United Nations be aware of any chemical weapons then they would react accordingly to the threat. On the same day that Obama made this statement in the US, the Russian Minister and Syrian ally, SERGEI LAVROV speaking at a news conference in Helsinki, said Moscow would not approve any political transition that was forced on Syria. Stating that only the United Nations Security Council alone, can authorise the use of force against Syria, and not just the US.

Written and presented by Ann Salter

Oh, no he didn't?

Obama: I Didn't Set A Red Line On Syria

Kimberly Junction

Published on Sep 4, 2013

Obama: I Didn't Set A Red Line On Syria (September 4, 2013)