Thursday, July 31, 2008

Politics, Politics ...

“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.” —Benjamin Franklin

Obama has benefited from a week of good images. But substantively, optimism without reality isn’t eloquence. It’s just Disney.”


—New York Times columnist David Brooks

The Observer

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Forgetting True Friends 2 - Who Is Served When America Neglects Her Friends In A Misguided Effort Not To 'Offend' Her Rivals?

Look, 'Ma', No Arms

The Weekly Standard Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Early in 2001, President Bush approved the export of arms to democratic Taiwan. At the time, Bush said the United States would do "whatever it takes" to defend its tiny, besieged Pacific ally. That was yesterday. Today, it's looking more like Bush was just kidding.

How else to explain the administration's recent decision to freeze $16 billion worth of the arms deals? Bush approved the sale of Patriot missiles, Apache helicopters, and submarines to Taiwan more than seven years ago. Since then Taiwan has also requested 66 F-16 fighter jets to replace its aging planes. The Taiwanese legislature has appropriated the money with which to buy the weapons. In some cases it has already even put down payments. In return, America has given Taiwan a whole lot of nothing.

On July 16, the head of Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy Keating, told an audience at the Heritage Foundation that the administration has concluded "there is no pressing, compelling need for, at this moment, arms sales to Taiwan of the systems that we're talking about." This must have been news to the Taiwanese government, which says the weapons are needed to defend Taiwan. And it certainly must have been a surprise to the authors of the Pentagon's annual report on Chinese military power, who have for the past several years noted the dangerous shift in the military balance of power between Taiwan and China.

Taiwan president Ma Ying-Jeou took office last May, pledging to improve relations between Taiwan and China while protecting his democracy's sovereignty. To that end, in recent months the two countries have resumed cross-strait talks, allowed direct flights between the mainland and Taipei, and pursued further economic integration.

Yet Ma also understands that he must negotiate from a position of strength. For the United States to renege on its commitments would weaken Ma's hand at a critical time. After all, his government is only a few months old and Beijing is no doubt searching for weaknesses. American self-doubt and lack of follow through--in effect, a lack of American resolve and confidence in Ma's government--may lead Chinese policymakers to think that they can act provocatively.

Beijing has already gotten away with a lot. China is a rising autocratic power that has suffered no consequences for its gross human rights violations and support for rogue regimes. The military buildup on the Chinese side of the Taiwan Strait continues uninterrupted. There are now more than a thousand Chinese missiles pointed at Taiwan. In the last decade the Chinese have deployed more than 300 advanced aircraft across the Strait. China has five ongoing submarine programs. A massive, underground nuclear submarine base was recently detected on Hainan Island.

China has reasons for its buildup. It is meant, among other things, to deter unilateral declarations of Taiwanese independence. The authors of the Defense Department's 2008 report on Chinese military power wrote, the "ongoing deployment of short-range ballistic missiles, enhanced amphibious warfare capabilities, and modern, long-range anti-air systems opposite Taiwan are reminders of Beijing's unwillingness to renounce the use of force." The greater the military imbalance between China and Taiwan, the more likely China is to use military force in a cross-strait dispute. This is another reason the deal is necessary. Taiwan requires arms to serve as a deterrent against the mainland.

Why the delay? The administration has provided only a series of excuses. First the deal was held up because Washington was displeased with Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian's pro-independence rhetoric. Now Chen is gone, replaced by Ma's quietist diplomacy. The new excuse is that fulfilling our end of the bargain would upset China on the verge of next week's Beijing Olympics. Even if this were the case, and it probably is not, the administration has to shoulder much of the blame. Its foot-dragging in years past helped produce this impasse (though Taiwan's then-opposition Kuomintang party was also a problem). And once the Olympics are over, and the weapons still have not been exported, expect the administration to say that it cannot fulfill its commitments to Taiwan because to do so may jeopardize China's participation in the North Korean denuclearization talks.

All of these excuses point to the actual reason for the delay: America's current Taiwan policy is motivated by fear. We are afraid of upsetting China and afraid, in turn, of what an upset China might do in response. And the consequence of this fear is a weakened position for the United States and its East Asian allies.

... Apparently, the Dhimmi-In-Chief has decided, now, that he will only sell arms to members of the Dar-Al-Islam (Territory of Islam) to be used against the rest of us in the Dar-Al-Harb (Territory of War). This must be part of the Chief Dhimmi's djizya (tribute payment for protection). - Tiger

The Observer

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Losing Sight In Western Skys ... Forgetting True Friends ...


"Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” It’s certainly true today. The biggest threat to the peace and security of Israel, and the peace and security of the West, is not Iran’s Ahmadinejad or Hamas or Osama bin Laden but rather our own complacence and inaction. What happens in the battle against Islamo-fascism ultimately depends on us, our resolve and courage to do what it takes to defend our way of life."

... Both Democrat and Republican Parties and their respective Leadership represents this inaction and complacency, as does most Western leadership. American "Libertarians" simply want to withdraw into their drug-ridden wombs. The Bush Administration, the Supreme Court, the Pentagon - all live by a mistaken dogma that; one can win over pure evil by working with it and not against it. Unfortunately, most western peoples accept this pagan belief.

If this idea were true, their would be no "Satan" - GOD would have "won him over" long ago. Some argue exactly that; there is no "Satan" and we should be "beyond this violence" by now and should live our lives in some Nietzscheian fashion where good and evil don't exist. See if you can manage to gurgle this concept through your lips as an MS13 gangster slits your throat or a Radical Islamist cuts off your head.

They all forget so easily; if this idea of "live and let live" were true, evil would not be a part of our existence. I've got news for ya folks - it's still here! - [Tiger]

This week’s third annual Christians United For Israel Summit in Washington, D.C., commenced amid predictable media chatter over the political implications of the burgeoning Christian-Jewish alliance.

But the summit’s true purpose -- to foster greater respect and understanding between Christians and Jews -- was rooted in a much deeper insight into the relationship between these two faiths: that the future of Western Civilization may well depend on it.

Mid-way through the conference, I was approached by a young Israeli Jew who grabbed me by the shoulder and thanked me for my work on behalf of Israel. He also told me that he was “astonished” by the level of support for Israel by Americans and particularly by conservative Christians. At first, he told me, he had been skeptical of Christians’ intentions for supporting Israel, believing that there must be some sort of “hidden agenda” in our concern for the beleaguered state. Only recently had he come to realize that Christian support for Israel is sincere.

And it’s true. Most American Christians have long recognized an obligation to support Israel. A poll conducted this month by the Washington-based Joshua Fund, an evangelical organization, found 82 percent of American Christians felt they have a “moral and spiritual obligation” to support Jews and Israel.

Christians support Israel because the Bible commands us to pray and act for the peace of Jerusalem and to speak out for Israel’s sake. But Christian support for Israel is important also because Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East, America’s only reliable ally there and the only nation in that region rooted in the Judeo-Christian values that have allowed Western Civilization to thrive. American Christians, and all Americans of goodwill, must recognize that Israel and America’s futures are inextricably linked.

The media, United Nations and European elites often trumpet the notion that Israel is the primary impediment to peace in the Middle East. They claim that if only Israel would agree to a few concessions -- to divide Jerusalem, abandon Judea and Samaria, give up on the Golan Heights and accept unlimited refugees -- peace could be established. But it is becoming clear that the intention of Israel’s enemies is not to argue about the details of peace agreements but rather to debate a much more fundamental issue: whether Israel has the right even to exist.

The enmity that fuels that debate is inculcated early. Israeli children are taught to reject bigotry and racism and to be tolerant of other faiths. But in many Muslim countries, children are taught to hate Jews and Christians. A recent report by the Hudson Institute revealed that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education teaches literal hatred of “unbelievers.” Even Palestinian television programs aimed at young children showcase Islamic radicalism and teach that nothing is more glorious than to become a suicide bomber for Islam.

But the lack of reciprocity goes further. While Israel’s judicial system relentlessly protects the rights of Israel’s Muslim citizens, a culture of hatred of the “infidel” is endemic in much of the Muslim world. A new report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center found that Gaza’s 3,500 Christians are increasingly at risk of violence, that Christian schools have become targets of terrorist attacks and that the tiny Christian minority living in Gaza lives in daily fear and intimidation and often tones down Christian holidays and observances in order not to provoke the extremists. In much of the Islamic world, Christianity is illegal and Christians who worship openly are imprisoned or worse.

At the end of my conversation with the young Israeli Jew at the CUFI Summit, he told me that he already fully appreciated the threat of Islamic terrorism. “What I want is hope,” he said as he recounted how he had spent four years in the Israeli Defense Forces and attended the funerals of at least 10 friends killed by terrorists before he was 21 years old. He also told me that he had a 17-month-old child whose name means hope in Hebrew. This young man wanted reassurance from me that there was hope that his child would grow up in a peaceful Israel.

There is hope. Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” It’s certainly true today. The biggest threat to the peace and security of Israel, and the peace and security of the West, is not Iran’s Ahmadinejad or Hamas or Osama bin Laden but rather our own complacence and inaction. What happens in the battle against Islamo-fascism ultimately depends on us, our resolve and courage to do what it takes to defend our way of life.

The only way we lose this battle is if we decide it’s not important enough to us to win. If good people do nothing, the enemy will win. But the good news is that we ultimately have control over this battle’s result. There is reason to hope, then, and that hope was palpable at this week’s CUFI summit. Hope for a peaceful future begins with Christians, Jews and all people of goodwill deciding that the values of Western Civilization are values worth defending.

The Observer

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gingrich: I'm deeply worried

Wow! Newt Finally Starts Talking Like Tiger! It's a little late, Newt, but welcome anyway!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama: 9-11 Attacks Happened Because Al-Qaida Lacks 'Empathy'! - Ha!, Duh!

By Aaron Klein©
2008 WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM – The 9-11 attacks were carried out because of a lack of "empathy" for others' suffering on the part of al-Qaida, whose terrorist ideology "grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair," Sen. Barack Obama explained in largely unreported comments eight days after the mega-terror attacks that rocked the nation.

Obama went on to imply the September 11th attacks were in part a result of U.S. policy, lecturing the American military to minimize civilian casualties in the Middle East and urging action opposing "bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle-Eastern descent."

"Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we, as a nation, draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy," Obama wrote in a piece about 9-11 published on Sept. 19, 2001, in Chicago's Hyde Park Herald.

... this is typical LIBERAL illogical BS. The reality is that Islam has been struggling to "find itself" for generations. The idea that a successful civilization is somehow responsible for the problems of an unsuccessful one is historical, typical, MARXIST CRAP! It's like one family complaining their child has not done as well as the neighbor's child. The "American" way is to get your ASS in gear and do better, not blame someone else. Obama is proving more and more; he's just a "Black Theology" Radical, essentially a Marxist. - Tiger

The senator continued: "Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must re-examine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks and we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction," wrote Obama.

"We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity or suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, it may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics.

"Most often, though, it grows out a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

"We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle-Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe – children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and within our own shores."

Obama's piece gained little notice outside the Hyde Park Herald, which covered Obama's district as a Chicago state senator. The Hyde Park area is heavily influenced by the Nation of Islam.

Obama's remarks gained more traction on Internet blogs the past few days after the statements were republished last week by the New Yorker magazine in a piece that caused a campaign storm when the magazine printed a cover image depicting Obama in Muslim garb and wife Michelle sporting an afro and carrying a machine gun in the Oval Office. A picture of Osama bin Laden hangs over the fire place in which an American flag is being burned.

The New Yorker explained its image was meant to be a satirical depiction of the distorted way some Americans view Obama.

Regarding Obama's remark that al-Qaida is unable to imagine the suffering of others, Michele Malkin responded in a National Review Online piece, "Is this man for real? Osama bin Laden’s murderous legions are plenty able to 'imagine' the 'suffering of others.' Go watch an al-Qaeda beheading snuff video. Just Google it or surf YouTube. Imagining the suffering of infidels is covered amply in basic Jihadi Training 101."

Robert Spencer, director of the Jihad Watch website, noted, "Barack Obama, back in late September 2001, completely ignored Islam itself. He found the roots for Muslim terrorism not in Islam but in 'a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.'

"What Obama could not, and apparently cannot, allow himself to do is to investigate the nature of Islam, to find out what it teaches about Believers and Infidels. I can help out a bit. I can tell him, right now, right here, that Islam is based on a clear division of the universe between Believers and Infidels."

In an opinion piece in Commentary Magazine, writer Abe Greenwald, responding to Obama's belief terrorists act out of despair, commented, "'[P]overty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.' Strange, considering our attackers were wealthy and educated, connected and ecstatic. You know, if Obama is going to keep ex-terrorists around, he should at least utilize them. He could have asked Bill Ayers, 'Bill, did your 'failure of empathy' stem from your impoverished upbringing as the son of the CEO of Commonwealth Edison?"

Indeed Obama's notion terrorists act out of desperation and poor living conditions was directly contradicted in a WND interview last year with a recruited Palestinian suicide bomber.

The recruited bomber said he is driven to carry out a suicide operation to "satisfy Allah and his instructions. No money interests, nothing. No brainwash, no pressure; it is my decision."
"[My idea of suicide martyrdom] became stronger when I understood what status I will have in heaven if I scarify myself for Allah."

Asked about media reports portraying Palestinian suicide attackers as acting in response to occupation or poor living conditions, the recruited bomber called those media claims "lies" and "Israeli propaganda."
The Observer

Friday, July 18, 2008

The U.S. State Department Promotes Islam!

YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK

State Dept. promotes 'Mosques in America' - 'Publishes ' - 09 calendar featuring worship sites for only 1 religion - ISLAM!


This now available from the U.S. State Department: "2009 Mosques of America Wall Calendar: Limited Edition for Ramadan."

"Yep, you read that correctly. It's 'perfect for Muslim outreach efforts," according to a commentary at the Gates of Vienna blog. "Where's the ACLU on this one?"



The product was being advertised by "Global Publishing Solutions," a division of the U.S. State Department, until bloggers started talking about the product.

Officials then apparently hid the page behind the security of a password-protected wall. However, a number of sources said the "offering" still was available in a Google cache of the website.

According to the Gates of Vienna, the government advertised:

"In celebration of Ramadan, Global Publishing Solutions (GPS) is offering a limited edition of the 2009 Mosques in America Wall Calendar. This 12-month calendar is perfect for Muslim outreach efforts, as well as office and event giveaways.

"The wall calendar features a vibrant photograph or photomontage for each month, displaying the beauty of mosques in America. The upper half of the hanging calendar depicts mosque facades or interiors, and the lower half displays a monthly calendar grid. The 28-page calendar is saddle-stitched and measures 23 x 30 1/2 cm (9 x 12 inches).

"This item is on sale until August 1st, 2008 in shrink-wrapped packs of 20 pieces."

"Remember," said the Internet commentator, "This was on an official State Department (state.gov) web page. GPS describes itself this way: 'The Global Publishing Solutions, manages this site as a gateway to information and transactions for their U.S. State Department clients."

On the site, Armance recommended, "My suggestion for the U.S. State Department is to adorn the calendar with equally vibrant Quranic verses and hadiths, samples of what is preached in those mosques. For example: January: Kill the infidels wherever you find them. February: Allah's Apostle said: I've been made victorious with terror – and so on and so forth."
At JihadWatch.org, the sudden disappearance was noted.

"Brian notes that the page has been pulled since he put his notice up at Snapped Shot yesterday. I still had it open and was able to capture the mosque image, but sure enough, it's gone now. As Brian remarks, it seems that the wise 'public servants' at State 'get all nervous when We, The People actually notice' what they're doing," the site said.

JihadWatch also made available captured screen shots of the top half as well as bottom half of the page.

"'The wall calendar features a vibrant photograph or photomontage for each month, displaying the beauty of mosques in America,'" wrote ImNoDhimmi on the website. "Now if that isn't enough to make you lose your breakfast, I don't know what is. There is nothing beautiful about mosques in America – or anywhere else in the West, for that matter."

"Since Islam is not really a religion, but a political ideology, the government's sale of an Islamocentric calendar evidently doesn't violate the separation of church and state. It's like selling photos of local Democratic Party Headquarters," added the Gates of Vienna.

"In fact, in certain precincts of Hamtramck and Brooklyn, those two types of institution may well be found at the same street address."

The cached page reveals the prices are $44 per pack if you order from 6-10 packs of 20.

... this is your "conservative" Bush administration doing this! Are you Republicans listening at all? And where are you Democrats? Why aren't you crying about state-sponsored religion? Both parties are absolute hypocrites! - Tiger

The Observer

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Invented The Internet (Episode 1: The Audacity)

For All You ObamaMamas, Osama-Obama, ObamaYoMomma; uh .... hic!

Our Continuing, Continuing, Continuing Failure To FIGHT The GWOT!

Israeli Critics Question Lopsided Prisoner Swap With Hezbollah

NAQOURA, Lebanon — Critics of Israel's lopsided prisoner exchange with Lebanese guerrillas said Wednesday that such deals only encourage more hostage-taking — a fear underscored by Gaza militants who said the swap proves that kidnapping is the only language Israel understands.

The deal, in which a notorious Lebanese attacker, four other militants and the bodies of 199 Arab fighters were traded for two dead Israeli soldiers, closed a painful chapter from Israel's 2006 war in Lebanon.

But it also raised questions about whether Israel should reconsider its policy of bringing back every soldier from the battlefield at just about any cost.

Israel has been carrying out unequal prisoner swaps for decades, including handing over 4,600 Palestinian and Lebanese captives in 1983 in exchange for six captured Israeli soldiers. In the past it's even traded live prisoners for bodies, as it did Wednesday.
The rationale for such trades was a wartime ethic seen as essential in Israel's early days to instilling loyalty and commitment from its troops.

In today's world of asymmetric warfare — with militant groups increasingly focused on kidnapping as a way to pressure Israel and with the fight against terrorism now a worldwide challenge — the lopsided swaps could have graver consequences than in the past.

"What we've done now has made kidnapping soldiers the most profitable game in town," said Israeli security expert Martin Sherman.

"There is absolutely no reason why Hezbollah should not invest huge resources now, along with Hamas, in the next kidnapping."

The issue is of immediate concern because the government is deeply involved in indirect negotiations to free its other captive soldier, Gilad Schalit, held by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Unlike Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the two soldiers whose bodies were returned Wednesday, Schalit is believed to be alive.

Following this week's Cabinet vote that cleared the way for the Hezbollah deal, Construction Minister Zeev Boim, one of only three ministers to vote against it, said he was afraid the swap would make it harder for Israel to win the release of Schalit.

"No one should be surprised if Hamas will now raise the price for freeing him," he said.
Hamas made it clear Wednesday that it intended to do just that.

"As there was an honorable exchange today, we are determined to have an honorable exchange for our own prisoners" held in Israeli jails, Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said. "Let them answer our demands." Israel holds about 10,000 Palestinians in prison.

Haniyeh's spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri went further, saying the swap "shows that the only successful way to free the prisoners is by kidnapping soldiers."

Explaining his opposition, Boim, the construction minister, said Wednesday: "We needed, in my opinion, to take this opportunity to change the rules we were dragged into many years ago, which have led to many lopsided deals."

But the Israeli military said the deal drove home the Jewish state's deep commitment to its soldiers.

"This painful process exemplifies Israel's moral commitment to secure the return of all of their soldiers sent out on operational missions," said a statement Wednesday from the Israeli Defense Forces. "It demonstrates a compelling moral strength which stems from Judaism, Israeli societal values and from the spirit of the IDF."

Wednesday's exchange involved freeing a Lebanese militant convicted of what many consider to be among the most gruesome crimes inflicted on Israelis in their history.

Samir Kantar was sentenced to three life terms for killing an Israeli man in front of his 4-year-old daughter, then killing the little girl by smashing her skull with his rifle butt.

During the grisly attack, the girl's 2-year-old sister was accidentally smothered by her mother during a desperate attempt to silence the child's cries as the two hid in a crawl space.

For Israelis, the 1979 attack was a nightmare scenario feared by many in a nation living in a constant state of war: a terrorist breaking into their home in the middle of the night and kidnapping and killing a family.

Because of the visceral reaction, successive governments held off on including Kantar in any previous swap. Kantar was 16 years old at the time of the attack and he has consistently denied killing the girl, saying she died in crossfire.

That Israel paid such a high price for dead bodies could provide an incentive for militants to kill future hostages, said Yuval Steinitz, a lawmaker from the opposition Likud Party.

"This is a very dangerous precedent," he said. "We are telling them that they don't have to do their utmost to keep captive soldiers alive, to save them if captured."

Nor was the high price of the swap lost on ordinary Palestinians.

"Nobody would have expected that Israel would give up the likes of Samir Kantar. Hezbollah has shown that they are mighty people, and Israel is afraid of them and had to meet their demands," said Samar Mohammed, a 23-year-old architect in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Despite the criticism in Israel, the swap could provide a badly needed boost for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose grip on power is gravely threatened by a burgeoning corruption probe.

Olmert launched a monthlong war against Hezbollah in June 2006 in response to the servicemen's capture. His handling of the war was widely criticized, and he has been under considerable pressure to resolve the issue of the soldiers' fate.

Wednesday's swap closed a painful chapter from the war, and Israelis reacted to confirmation of the young men's death with a mixture of anguish and anger.

One of the soldiers' aunts sank to the ground in despair, and other mourners demanded revenge, chanting "Nasrallah, you will pay" — referring to Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.
Olmert recently announced the soldiers were believed dead, but there was no proof until their remains were delivered to Israel in two black coffins Wednesday. During the past two years, securing Regev's and Goldwasser's release had become a national crusade involving bumper stickers, billboards, radio and TV spots and public prayers.

Family and friends outside the homes of the fallen soldiers burst into tears at the first television images of the black coffins.

"It was horrible to see it. I didn't want to, I asked them to turn off the TV," said Regev's father, Zvi, choking back tears. "We were always hoping that Udi (Ehud) and Eldad were alive and that they would come home and we would hug them."

Gerald Steinberg, chairman of the political science department at Bar Ilan University outside Tel Aviv, disagreed with the notion that Hezbollah came out ahead in both the war and the prisoner swap.

"Hezbollah paid a high price," he said. "After the soldiers were kidnapped, Israel went to war and inflicted a very high cost on Hezbollah. It would be irrational for Hezbollah to return to a similar tactic."

The Observer

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tiger Comes To The Rescue - Of The Catholic Church!

Major U.S. city officially condemns Catholic Church
Instructs members to defy 'Holy Office of Inquisition'


A San Francisco city and county board resolution that officially labeled the Catholic church's moral teachings on homosexuality as "insulting to all San Franciscans," "hateful," "defamatory," "insensitive" and "ignorant" will be challenged tomorrow in court for violating the Constitution's prohibition of government hostility toward religion.

Resolution 168-08, passed unanimously by the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors two years ago, also accused the Vatican of being a "foreign country" meddling with and attempting to "negatively influence (San Francisco's) existing and established customs."

It said of the church's teaching on homosexuality, "Such hateful and discriminatory rhetoric is both insulting and callous, and shows a level of insensitivity and ignorance which has seldom been encountered by this Board of Supervisors."

As WND reported, Resolution 168-08 was an official response to the Catholic Church's ban on adoption placements into homosexual couple households, issued by Cardinal William Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican.

The board's resolution urged the city's local archbishop and the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to defy the Vatican's instructions, concluding with a spiteful reminder that the church authority that issued the ban was known 100 years ago as "The Holy Office of the Inquisition."

The resolution also took a shot at Levada, the former archbishop of San Francisco, saying, "Cardinal Levada is a decidedly unqualified representative of his former home city, and of the people of San Francisco and the values they hold dear."

... so; what the San Fran City and County are really saying is that the Bible (you know, The Word of GOD) is wrong; correct!?! - because the Catholic Church is simply following the teachings of the Bible!?!

... first a primer:

Romans 1:27

In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.Romans 1:26-28 (in Context) Romans 1 (Whole Chapter)

Jude 1:7

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.Jude 1:6-8 (in Context) Jude 1 (Whole Chapter)

... the biggies; in the Old Testament":

Leviticus 18
Laws of Sexual Morality


1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. 3 According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. 4 You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD....

... 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. 24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 ‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.’”

... want more, here's more!

The anti-Catholic diatribe had been challenged in U.S. District Court on similar grounds, but District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled in favor of the city, saying, in essence, the church started it.

She wrote in her decision, "The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith provoked this debate, indeed may have invited entanglement" for instructing Catholic politicians on how to vote. This court does not find that our case law requires political bodies to remain silent in the face of provocation."

She ruled that the city's proclamation was not entangling the government in church affairs, since the resolution was a non-binding, non-regulatory announcement.

Since no law was enacted, she ruled, city officials – even in their official capacity as representatives of the government – can say what they want.

"It is merely the exercise of free speech rights by duly elected office holders," she wrote.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which is appealing the District Court decision on behalf of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and two Catholic residents of San Francisco, disagrees with Patel's decision.

"Sadly, the ruling itself clearly exhibited hostility toward the Catholic Church," he said in a statement. "The judge in her written decision held that the Church 'provoked the debate' by publicly expressing its moral teaching, and that by passing the resolution the City responded 'responsibly' to all of the 'terrible' things the Church was saying."

Thomas More attorney Robert Muise will present oral arguments in the case tomorrow morning in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Our Constitution plainly forbids hostility toward any religion, including the Catholic faith," he said.

"In total disregard for the Constitution, homosexual activists in positions of authority in San Francisco have abused their authority as government officials and misused the instruments of the government to attack the Catholic Church. Their egregious abuse of power has now the backing of a lower federal court. … Unfortunately, all too often we see a double standard being applied in Establishment Clause cases," Muise said.

Thomas More attorneys argued in the District Court case that the "anti-Catholic resolution sends a clear message" that Catholics are "outsiders, not full members of the political community."

The cultural, and now political, straight-arm to adherents of the Christian faith in San Francisco has been increasingly public in the last two years. Just one week after the anti-Catholic resolution was passed, the San Francisco Board issued a similar resolution against a mostly evangelical group.

Following a gathering of 25,000 teens at San Francisco's AT&T Park as part of Ron Luce's Teen Mania "Battle Cry for a Generation" rally against the sexualization of America's youth culture by advertisers and media, the board spoke out formally again.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution condemning the "act of provocation" by what it termed an "anti-gay," "anti-choice" organization that aimed to "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."

Openly homosexual California Assemblyman Mark Leno told protesters of the teen rally that though such religious people may be few, "they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco."

The Chronicle also reported a San Francisco protester against the evangelical youth rally carried a sign that may sum up the sentiment: "I moved here to get away from people like you."

The Thomas More Law Center hopes the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will decide in the case of Resolution 1680-08 that even if a large portion of the community is at odds with a religion's views on homosexuality, the government cannot be used as a weapon to condemn religious faith.

Currently, as WND has reported, Colorado and Michigan are tackling the question of whether the Bible itself can be vilified as "hate speech" for it's condemnation of homosexuality, and Canada has developed human rights commissions, which have decided people cannot express opposition to homosexuality without fear of government reprisal.

... so, San Fran leaders appear to not believe in Amendment 1 of the Constitution, or the Bible; and they want all of us who do to be punished for it! This battle is brewing in Canada already, and at an accelerated pace. You can be imprisoned there for expressing your religious belief. This battle will eventually come to a head here. (no pun intended) - Tiger

The Observer

Georgia-Pacific Says; "Wipe Your Butt With The Constitution!"

Wipeout: Toilet paper giant flushes gun-freedom law

Plant defies Florida statute, bans employees from keeping firearms in vehicles

A popular American pulp and paper company has banned employees at its toilet paper plant from storing concealed weapons in their cars while on company property – a move that defies Florida gun law.

Georgia-Pacific cited a Homeland Security exemption from a statute authorizing workers with concealed-weapons permits to have guns locked in their cars because it says the plant handles large amounts of explosive fuel, the Miami Herald reported.

The Palatka, Fla., toilet paper mill's choice to ban concealed weapons has infuriated representatives of the National Rifle Association and highlighted the state legislature's troubles with creating unambiguous laws during its 60-day session.

The business lobby claims the gun-right law infringes on private property owners' rights. Ambiguous wording declares employers exempt from the law if carrying a concealed weapon is "prohibited pursuant to any federal law.''

The Georgia-Pacific plant, located south of Jacksonville, Fla., claims it is off the hook because U.S. Coast Guard's Maritime Security regulations mandate that the company must have a permit and a safety plan. Company spokesman Jeremy Alexander said the plant's rules ban firearms on the property because it ships about 700 gallons of fuel each day to operate.

''This is based on our Homeland Security requirements," he said. "It's not because of the products we make.''

According to the Herald, Georgia-Pacific would not provide copies of its documents for confidentiality reasons.

Chief NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer called the company policy "ridiculous."

''The Legislature never intended to exempt toilet paper," she said. "Georgia-Pacific is putting toilet paper ahead of the lives of its hardworking men and women. I'd guess 80 percent of its employees are hunters who go hunting after work.''

When the newspaper asked her if she believes lawmakers could have drafted a more transparent law, she replied, "They never have."

Hammer also criticized Disney World's latest claims that it's excused from abiding by the law's terms because it holds a federal explosives permit for its fireworks show.

Republican Rep. Greg Evers of Milton, a sponsor of the law, called the situation a ''Tallahassee compromise."

"For the business community, there have to be certain exemptions,'' he said, noting that such stipulations are meant to shield school children and prevent firearms from coming into contact with explosives.

Evers said he plans to see how the courts rule before the state legislature acts. While a decision is in a federal case involving the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation will be made soon, the Herald reports the Tallahassee judge said the legislature's description of employers is "stupid."

Democrat Rep. Jack Seiler of Fort Lauderdale said the law has many flaws, and he blamed Republicans for hastily passing it.

''The NRA has become a victim of its own success and it's looking for battles," Seiler said. "This was a solution in search of a problem. And the Legislature created a mess.''

Hat Tip: The Tigress

The Observer

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Demise of Islam

FrontPageMagazine.com Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Abul Kasem, an ex-Muslim who is the author of hundreds of articles and several books on Islam including, Women in Islam. He was a contributor to the book Leaving Islam – Apostates Speak Out as well as to Beyond Jihad: Critical Views From Inside Islam. He writes from Sydney, Australia and can be reached at nirribilli@gmail.com.

... an excellent interview from David Horowitz's internet mag about the inevitable demise of Islam! - Tiger
The Observer

Garner - Washington Times



The Observer

Monday, July 14, 2008

Or, Is It Slouching Towards Oligarchy? Either Way, We Are No Longer Running As A Republic!


Did You Ever Wonder Why Your Senator and Congressman Ignore Your Concerns?
It's Because They Don't Work For You Anymore. They Work For International Money Concerns!

Oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family, military powers or spiritual hegemony). The word oligarchy is translated into "rule by few." Compare with autocracy (rule by one person) and democracy (rule by the people).

We Are More And More Living In A Capitalist Oligarchy
Anheuser Busch approves $50bn sale to InBev - So Much For The King of Beers! The Last Major U.S. Based Beer Company Sold - Sold To Foreigners!

Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch agreed on Sunday night to be taken over by Belgian rival InBev for $70 a share, marking an amicable end to a month-long takeover battle that had recently grown hostile.

Shares of InBev opened 2.25 per cent higher on Monday at €45.50.

Anheuser’s board held a meeting on Sunday afternoon to approve the $50bn (£25bn) deal, which will create a global brewing giant with ownership of some of the world’s best-known brands. InBev produces Stella Artois, Bass and Hoegaarden.

The new company’s board is set to include two representatives from Anheuser, one of whom was expected to be current Anheuser’s chief August Busch IV, a member of the company’s founding family. The new company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev.

A meeting in New York on Friday between Mr Busch and Carlos Brito, InBev’s chief, was “gracious and positive”, according to one insider.

In a statement, the companies said InBev’s chief executive officer Carlos Brito would become the CEO of the combined company. August Busch IV, the head of Anheuser-Busch, and one other current or former director from the US brewer will join the board.
A few issues, however, remained unclear.

Grupo Modelo, the Mexican brewer in which Anheuser owns a non-controlling half stake, has been agitating over the potential change of control, and the three parties have been working to reach a settlement.

Modelo, which brews Corona beer, has a right to first refusal if Anheuser tries to sell its ownership stake, but is widely believed not have the legal right to veto a broader takeover of Anheuser.

Modelo is arguing that it has a right under Mexican law to approve the deal, and is lobbying for favourable financial terms and operating independence.
The Mexico brewer on Monday announced that it had advised both Inbev and Anheuser-Busch that it is reserving its consent right.

“Our agreement with Anheuser-Busch was carefully constructed to ensure we have a definitive say in who our partner is. We are confident that our agreement, which is governed by Mexican law, gives us the right to decide whether or not to consent to the potential acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by InBev. We have a great deal of respect for InBev and look forward to continuing our discussions with them and hope to find a resolution that meets the needs of both companies and their stakeholders.”

InBev and Anheuser had also been negotiating on Sunday over the break-up fees they would attach to their deal. Both sides said they would push the other to agree to substantial break-up penalties. One insider said InBev was asking Anheuser to agree to a fee in the range of 2.5 per cent of the deal’s value.

InBev has committed to other promises it made when it first launched its formal offer. Aside from the deal’s price, which InBev agreed last week to boost from $65 per share, InBev’s willingness to maintain Anheuser’s heritage and general form proved key to Anheuser’s board as it weighed the offer.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

The Observer

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Update! Slouching Towards Communism

IndyMac Seized by U.S. Regulators Amid Cash Crunch

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- IndyMac Bancorp Inc. became the second-biggest federally insured financial company to be seized by U.S. regulators after a run by depositors left the California mortgage lender short on cash.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will run a successor institution, IndyMac Federal Bank, starting next week, the Office of Thrift Supervision said in an e-mailed statement today. Customers will have access to funds this weekend via automated teller machines. Regulators intend to eventually sell the company.

The Pasadena, California-based lender specialized in so- called Alt-A mortgages, which didn't require borrowers to provide documentation on their incomes. IndyMac's home state, where Countrywide Financial Corp. was also located before it was bought last week, has been among the hardest hit by foreclosures.

"Given their focus on Alt-A and a heavy concentration in California, they would have suffered meaningful losses in almost any scenario,'' Brian Horey, president of Aurelian Management LLC in New York, said before the seizure was announced. Aurelian is short-selling IndyMac shares to gain from declines.

Had IndyMac "applied some common sense and changed their approach to underwriting as the housing market peaked, they might have lived to see the next cycle,'' Horey said.

IndyMac came under fire last month from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who said lax lending standards and deposits purchased from third parties left it on the brink of failure. In the 11 business days after Schumer explained his concerns in a June 26 letter, depositors withdrew more than $1.3 billion, the OTS said.

... whether it's fair or not, the Bush Administration will be blamed for this - Tiger

The Observer

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hey George! Your Pals Have A Message For Ya!

OPEC warns against military conflict with Iran

VIENNA: The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries warned Thursday that oil prices would see an "unlimited" increase in the case of a military conflict involving Iran, because the group's members would be unable to make up the lost production."We really cannot replace Iran's production - it's not feasible to replace it," Abdalla Salem El-Badri, the OPEC secretary general, said during an interview.
Iran, the second-largest producing country in OPEC, after Saudi Arabia, produces about 4 million barrels of oil a day out of the daily worldwide production of close to 87 million barrels. The country has been locked in a lengthy dispute with Western countries over its nuclear ambitions.

In recent weeks, the price of oil has risen higher on speculation that Israel could be preparing to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. The saber-rattling intensified this week with missile tests by Iran. That has further shaken oil markets because of concerns that any conflict with Iran could disrupt oil shipments from the Gulf region.

"The prices would go unlimited," Badri said during the interview, referring to the effect of a military conflict. "I can't give you a number."

Analysts said the timing of Badri's remarks was noteworthy, given that the idea of an attack on Iran has been around for years. In addition, an attack on Iran would probably not specifically target oil facilities, said Johannes Benigni, managing director of JBC, an oil research and consulting firm in Vienna.

"Perhaps OPEC wants to say to the Americans in particular that there would be an economic price to be paid for an attack on Iran," said Daniel Gros, director of the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels. "Gulf leaders also know that if a war broke out, the situation of some Gulf states also would become more uncomfortable and could have political difficulties for them domestically," he said, noting that some have their own Shia minorities.

Badri, a former oil executive who has headed the oil industry in Libya and also served as deputy prime minister of that country, called for a peaceful solution. He also suggested that an additional military conflict in the Middle East, besides the ongoing conflict in Iraq, would be severe and long-lasting.

"If something happened there, nobody would be able to solve it," he said.
The United States, Israel and other Western countries say Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran says the program is only for civilian purposes.
Badri said that current geopolitical tensions were among the principal reasons why oil prices were so high.

He said that a shortfall in refining capacity and a weak dollar were other factors, and he reiterated OPEC's position that speculation on oil markets probably was the most important.
But he said that reserves of oil were plentiful and that worries about scarcity were misplaced.

Proven reserves of conventional oil worldwide rose slightly to about 1.205 trillion barrels in 2007 from 1.195 trillion barrels in 2006, according to one of two annual reports issued by OPEC on Thursday.

Supplies from Russia and Norway and other nations outside the 13-member OPEC are expected to keep growing, helped by technologies like turning gas and coal into liquid fuel and extracting oil from tar sands and shale.
Even so, Badri sought to assuage concerns about a supply shock, saying that OPEC members already were investing $160 billion in new production capacity up to 2012.

But he said additional investment in future production capacity could be limited, potentially sharpening a dispute with consuming nations about whether sufficient steps are being taken to meet demand over the next decade.
The International Energy Agency, an energy monitor based in Paris and financed by industrialized nations, warned in its annual medium term report this month that oil supplies would remain tight over the next few years, despite the record-high prices. The IEA noted low spare capacity from OPEC, among other factors. It said that prices were high mostly because of fast-growing demand from rapidly industrializing countries like China, rather than because of market speculation.
On Tuesday, leaders of the Group of 8 economic powers warned that surging oil prices could be a key factor undermining world growth and called on petroleum suppliers to increase production and refining and to increase investment in oil exploration and output over the medium term.

Some analysts have predicted that oil prices could reach $200 a barrel this year as oil consumption continues to rise rapidly while supplies lag.

... when we assume that trade will solve all problems, including turning our enemies into friends, ... this sort of thing happens ...
- Tiger

The Observer

Failure To Fight The War - Does Our Government Want To Win? - Nope!

Military special operations forces (SOF) commandos are frustrated by the lack of aggressiveness on the part of several policy and intelligence leaders in pursuing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his top henchmen, who are thought to have hidden inside the tribal areas of Pakistan for the past 6½ years.

Policy dispute

Defense officials are criticizing what they say is the failure to capture or kill top al Qaeda leaders because of timidity on the part of policy officials in the Pentagon, diplomats at the State Department and risk-averse bureaucrats within the intelligence community.

The focus of the commandos' ire, the officials say, is the failure to set up bases inside Pakistan's tribal region, where al Qaeda has regrouped in recent months, setting up training camps where among those being trained are Western-looking terrorists who can pass more easily through security systems. The lawless border region inside Pakistan along the Afghan border remains off-limits to U.S. troops.

The officials say that was not always the case. For a short time, U.S. special operations forces went into the area in 2002 and 2003, when secret Army Delta Force and Navy SEALs worked with Pakistani security forces.

That effort was halted under Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, who recently blamed Pakistan for opposing the joint operations. Mr. Armitage, however, also disclosed his diplomatic opposition to the commando operations. Mr. Armitage, an adviser to Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain, told the New York Times last month that the United States feared pressuring Pakistani leaders for commando access and that the Delta Force and SEALs in the tribal region were "pushing them almost to the breaking point."

However, the officials said that without the training and expertise of the U.S. commandos, Pakistani forces took heavy casualties in the region, with about 1,000 troops killed by terrorists and their supporters.

Another major setback for aggressive special operations activities occurred recently with a decision to downgrade the U.S. Special Operations Command. Under Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the command in 2004 began to shift its focus from support and training to becoming a front-line command in the covert war to capture and kill terrorists. In May, SOCOM, as the command is called, reverted to its previous coordination and training role, a change that also frustrated many SOF commandos.

Critics in the Pentagon of the failure to more aggressively use the 50,000-strong SOF force say it also is the result of a bias by intelligence officials against special forces, including Pentagon policy-makers such as former CIA officer Michael Vickers, currently assistant defense secretary for special operations; former CIA officer Mary Beth Long, assistant defense secretary for international security affairs; and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, a former CIA director.

The officials said the bias among intelligence officials against aggressive military special operations is long-standing. As evidence, they note that one of the very few recommendations of the 9/11 commission ignored by President Bush was the panel's call for giving the Pentagon the lead role in paramilitary operations.

The commission report stated that "lead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift to the Defense Department." That has not occurred, and the officials said one result is that bin Laden and his deputies remain at large.
Said one Pentagon official: "The reason some Pentagon leaders appear to be so indecisive about President Bush's order to catch Osama bin Laden dead or alive is that they have not unleashed the dogs of war. Too many bureaucrats have blocked ideas from the aggressive U.S. commandos in Afghanistan and at SOCOM headquarters who just want to carry out the president's orders to stop al Qaeda from rebuilding."

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell declined to address any specifics of special operations policies but said he thinks senior commanders do not share the critics' views.

On the hunt for bin Laden, Mr. Morrell said: "No one should question our commitment to bringing Osama bin Laden and the rest of his cowardly lieutenants to justice, one way or another. It will happen. it's just a question of when."

China targets carriers

China is close to deploying a new conventionally armed strategic missile capable of hitting U.S. aircraft carriers and other warships at sea.

A defense intelligence official said a test of the new weapon is expected, but the timing is not known. A second official also said the Chinese anti-carrier ballistic missile effort, including an anticipated test firing, is being watched closely.

Defense officials said the new missile — a precision guided CSS-5 medium-range missile — is as great or greater a concern for some military planners as China's new anti-satellite weapon, which was first tested successfully against an orbiting Chinese weather satellite in January 2007.

The reason: The backbone of U.S. plans to defend Taiwan from Chinese attack calls for rushing more than half the U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups to the island in the event Beijing follows through on threats to use force to reunite the island with the mainland. Carrier-killing missiles are viewed as one of the most important strategic weapons in the Beijing arsenal because they will be able to block the rapid deployment of U.S. forces to the region considered vital to any Taiwan defense or defense of other allies in the region.

Richard Fisher, a specialist on the Chinese military with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the upcoming test of a medium-range anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) would not be China's first. "It would appear that the [People's Liberation Army] may now be developing three types of ASBMs," he said.

Two of the missiles are based on the CSS-5, also known as the DF-21, and Chinese Internet photos reveal what looks like a maneuvering warhead on the missile similar in design to warheads deployed on the U.S. Pershing-2 medium-range missile. The Pershing-2, dismantled in the 1980s, used a radar-digital map guidance system, and Mr. Fisher thinks the new Chinese anti-ship missile could use a combination of active radar and optical or infrared guidance.
A third anti-ship ballistic missile is expected to be a longer-range variant of the CSS-5 first seen in 2006 that may have multiple warheads.

"It is bad enough that these missiles are being developed and can soon target U.S. naval forces from China," Mr. Fisher said. "But we should also expect that China will eventually place these missiles on ships and submarines and sell them to its rogue allies."

"The Ahmadinejads, Castros and Chavezes of the world would love to have these missiles to hold the U.S. Navy at bay," he said, noting that the U.S. needs a similar capability to target China's growing navy.

U.S. Navy missile defense interceptors also should be upgraded to counter the new Chinese carrier killers, he said.

Bill Gertz covers national security affairs. He can be reached at 202/636-3274, or at insidethering@washingtontimes.com.

The Observer

The "2nd Whore of Babylon" Continues It's Mischief


John, the Apostle, addressing all Christians, explaining that "antichrists" abound. Notice; some people believe the "last days" are in the future, but we have been in the "last days" since the time of Christ - according to scripture:

"1 John 2

18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the[
c] Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.[
d] 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also."



The Religious Left Recognizes the (South) Korean Threat

Making a very slow exit, the outgoing chief of the Swiss-based World Council of Churches is gravely alarmed about South Korea’s new conservative government shifting away from easy détente with the Stalinist North Korea.

South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak was elected in December, and inaugurated in February, after having criticized his left of center predecessors for their “Sunshine” policy of “appeasement” towards Kim Jong Il. That policy emphasized economic cooperation with North Korea at the expense of any human rights critique of the world’s most brutal regime. In its place, Lee has offered a “Denuclearization, Opening and Vision 3000” policy that would economically reward North Korea only after it denuclearizes and shows advances on human rights.

Naturally, the World Council of Churches, which never found a Marxist tyranny it could not warmly coddle, much preferred South Korea’s previous “Sunshine” policy, which funneled endless aid into North Korean coffers without reciprocity. South Korea’s cash strewn detente with Kim Jong Il further enriched the dictator and his infamous military/police apparatus.

The WCC, which never expresses a peep about North Korea’s brutal police state, is quite concerned about South Korea’s new expectation of reciprocity from North Korea, instead of just endless, cost-free bribes. So soon to retire WCC chief Samuel Kobia has implored President Lee to reconsider.

“Your Excellency, we see this shift in South Korea’s policy toward North Korea as potentially hindering the efforts for peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula,” Kobia wrote Lee in a July 1 letter. “ It is in this context, on behalf of the World Council of Churches and its member constituencies all over the world, that I urge you to take all possible measures to avoid any deterioration of inter-Korean relations.”

Kobia observed to President Lee that he WCC has been “monitoring” the Korean Peninsula for several decades. By “monitoring,” Kobia means that the WCC has tirelessly advocated full U.S. withdrawal from South Korea and reunification with North Korea, while ignoring the seeming inconsequentiality that North Korea is ruled by a deranged tyrant who alternates between starving and brutalizing his suffering population. The WCC prefers to ignore North Korea’s impoverishing communism and militarism as the root cause of the Koreas’ division, preferring instead to blame the U.S. and its allies in South Korea.

In a bid for some spiritual fig leaf, Kobia attached a WCC reunification prayer for President Lee’s consideration.


"We cry to you out of the depths of despair over the division of Korea,
Which is the victim of a divided world.
You came to this world as a Servant of Peace,
You provide love and peace.
You commanded us to love each other…
You have given us signs of hope in the midst of despair."

It’s nice that the WCC occasionally takes time from news releases to pen a prayer. But in typical fashion, this particular “prayer” describes Korea simply as a “victim” of a “divided world.” In its various sanitized historical recollections about the Koreas, the WCC is always too bashful to admit that communist North Korea attempted to militarily conquer South Korea. That the continued division of Korea is owing entirely to the archaic Stalinist structures that strangle North Korea is simply too emotionally difficult for the WCC to acknowledge.

But the WCC is not so shy about confronting South Korea about its ostensible intransigence. “The ‘engagement policy’ with its emphasis on ‘reconciliation and cooperation, peace and co-prosperity’ initiated by the leadership of two successive South Korean governments contributed to the easing of tensions in the Korean Peninsula,” Kobia enthused in his letter to President Lee about Lee’s accommodationist predecessors. “The policy and dynamics of inter-Korean cooperation developed by South Korea during the past decade have made unprecedented progress in inter-Korean relations and have helped to generate important confidence-building measures. However, the new South Korean government’s policy towards North Korea reflected in your inaugural speech of ‘Denuclearization, Opening and Vision 3000’ is cause for concern and disappointment as it negates the spirit of the joint declarations made by the two Koreas in the recent past.”

Remarkably, no WCC official has expressed similar “concern” and “disappointment” about nearly any policy of North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Il. Perhaps the WCC, in a gracious Christian spirit, simply does not want to hurt the feelings of the sensitive dictator? If only the WCC were as equally solicitous of the thousands of Christians in North Korea who struggle in secret, lest they be imprisoned or murdered. Even North Korea’s nuclear program is described by the WCC in abstract, impersonal terms that avoid any finger pointing. Indeed, Kobia hailed North Korea for recently dismantling a nuclear cooling tower, showing its “clear commitment to dismantling its nuclear program in the near future.” Why cannot South Korea respond with similar equanimity? The WCC, when complaining about South Korea, always likes to cite its ecumenical partners in South Korea.

“The WCC member constituencies in South Korea have already expressed their concerns on this recent policy development, which is being promoted by your administration,” Kobia warned President Lee. “The World Council of Churches shares the concerns expressed by the South Korean churches about your government’s policies on North Korea, and we urge you to respond creatively to the positive gesture demonstrated by the North Korean government last week.”
By “South Korean churches,” the WCC refers to the left-leaning Korean Council of Churches, which reliably repeats the WCC’s political mantras. More outrageously, the WCC frequently boats of its partnership with the Korean Christian Federation (KCF), which is Kim Jong Il’s puppet church group in North Korea. Although Kobia was not so audacious as to mention the KCF in his letter to President Lee, the KCF presumably agrees with the WCC’s deep “concern” about the new South Korean skepticism of North Korea. And helpfully, Kobia did send the KCF a copy of his reprimand of President Lee, presumably just to assure the KCF that the WCC stands with the North Korean dictatorship in resisting any external pressures for human rights reforms.

What do the Gospels say about those who support the persecutors against the persecuted? Do not expect the WCC to quote that Scripture in any of its future “prayers” about the Koreas.

The Observer

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Surprise To Many, A Messiah That Dies and Is Raised in 3 Days Is Straight From Judaism

Tablet ignites debate on Messiah and Resurrection


By Ethan Bronner
Published: July 5, 2008

JERUSALEM: A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.

If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time.

The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era — in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone.

It is written, not engraved, across two neat columns, similar to columns in a Torah. But the stone is broken, and some of the text is faded, meaning that much of what it says is open to debate.

Still, its authenticity has so far faced no challenge, so its role in helping to understand the roots of Christianity in the devastating political crisis faced by the Jews of the time seems likely to increase.

Daniel Boyarin, a professor of Talmudic culture at the University of California at Berkeley, said that the stone was part of a growing body of evidence suggesting that Jesus could be best understood through a close reading of the Jewish history of his day.

"Some Christians will find it shocking — a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology — while others will be comforted by the idea of it being a traditional part of Judaism," Boyarin said.

Given the highly charged atmosphere surrounding all Jesus-era artifacts and writings, both in the general public and in the fractured and fiercely competitive scholarly community, as well as the concern over forgery and charlatanism, it will probably be some time before the tablet's contribution is fully assessed. It has been around 60 years since the Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered, and they continue to generate enormous controversy regarding their authors and meaning.

The scrolls, documents found in the Qumran caves of the West Bank, contain some of the only known surviving copies of biblical writings from before the first century AD In addition to quoting from key books of the Bible, the scrolls describe a variety of practices and beliefs of a Jewish sect at the time of Jesus.

How representative the descriptions are and what they tell us about the era are still strongly debated. For example, a question that arises is whether the authors of the scrolls were members of a monastic sect or in fact mainstream. A conference marking 60 years since the discovery of the scrolls will begin on Sunday at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the stone, and the debate over whether it speaks of a resurrected messiah, as one iconoclastic scholar believes, also will be discussed.

Oddly, the stone is not really a new discovery. It was found about a decade ago and bought from a Jordanian antiquities dealer by an Israeli-Swiss collector who kept it in his Zurich home. When an Israeli scholar examined it closely a few years ago and wrote a paper on it last year, interest began to rise. There is now a spate of scholarly articles on the stone, with several due to be published in the coming months.

"I couldn't make much out of it when I got it," said David Jeselsohn, the owner, who is himself an expert in antiquities. "I didn't realize how significant it was until I showed it to Ada Yardeni, who specializes in Hebrew writing, a few years ago. She was overwhelmed. 'You have got a Dead Sea Scroll on stone,' she told me."

Much of the text, a vision of the apocalypse transmitted by the angel Gabriel, draws on the Old Testament, especially the prophets Daniel, Zechariah and Haggai.

... article continues, it's long, but well worth it!

The Observer

Garner - Washington Times - The Loser Supremes!


The Observer