Sunday, August 31, 2008

Evangelicals Energized by McCain-Palin Ticket

Sarah Palin already has energized conservative religious leaders who had fretted that John McCain would pick an abortion rights supporter as his running mate. The Alaska governor was raised in a Pentecostal church and has called herself "as pro-life as any candidate can be."

To Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religion Liberties Commission, Palin is "straight out of veep central casting." Land said he had urged the McCain camp to consider the political unknown.

Gary Bauer, one of McCain's most enthusiastic evangelical supporters, said the Arizona senator had hit a "grand slam home run" and that adding Palin to the GOP ticket is "guaranteed to energize values voters."

The 44-year-old mother of five, who led her high school chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was baptized as a teenager at the Wasilla Assembly of God Church, where she and her family were very active, according to her then-pastor, Paul Riley.

She now sometimes worships at the Juneau Christian Center, which is also part of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, said Brad Kesler, business administrator of the denomination's Alaska District. But her home church is The Church on the Rock, an independent congregation, Riley said.

"The church was kind of a foundation for her," said Riley, who said he gave the invocation at Palin's inauguration and had her address students at the church last month.

Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, said Palin attends different churches and does not consider herself Pentecostal.

As a politician, Palin has sided with the majority evangelical view in opposing gay marriage and expressing a desire to see creationism discussed alongside evolution in schools.

During a 2006 debate, she said she was a proponent of teaching both evolution and creationism in schools. She later clarified her stance in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, saying that she doesn't think creationism needed to be part of the curriculum and that she would not push the state Board of Education to add such alternatives to the state's required curriculum.

Not only does Palin oppose abortion as a matter of policy, but she chose to give birth to her youngest child, a son, after a prenatal exam indicated Down syndrome. Studies show that about nine in 10 pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis have chosen to have an abortion.

"That will resonate in a big way," said Quin Monson, a Brigham Young University professor who studies religion and politics.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who initially said he could not vote for McCain but has since opened the door to an endorsement, called Palin "an outstanding choice that should be extremely reassuring to the conservative base" of the GOP. Dobson added that the ticket "gives us confidence he will keep his pledges to voters regarding the kinds of justices he would nominate to the Supreme Court."

"It's an absolutely brilliant choice," said Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law. "This will absolutely energize McCain's campaign and energize conservatives."

Staver called Palin a "a woman of faith who has a strong position on life, a consistent opinion on judges. ... She's the complete package."

A Pew poll last week showed McCain leading Democrat Barack Obama 68 percent to 24 percent among white evangelical Protestants. But there was little enthusiasm: Only 28 percent of white evangelicals call themselves "strong" supporters of McCain, far short of President Bush's numbers four years ago.

Many evangelical leaders said McCain helped himself with a solid performance at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, where McCain proclaimed, "I will be a pro-life president."

Mark Silk, who specializes in religion and politics at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., cautioned that while evangelical leaders are praising the Palin pick, it might not necessarily trickle down.

"The question is how this will be received by a lot of rank-and-file evangelicals who are just Americans struggling along, going to their megachurches, and care about values," Silk said.

Some question whether old-guard traditional leaders, like Dobson, hold as much influence as in the past. The evangelical establishment never warmed to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's candidacy, but grass-roots evangelicals contributed to his big win in the Iowa primaries.

Evangelical leaders got worried when McCain floated the possibility of a vice presidential candidate who supports abortion rights, including Sen. Joe Lieberman or former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge.

By choosing Palin, "McCain is saying to social and religious conservatives, 'I'm taking your views incredibly seriously,'" said Michael Cromartie, director of the evangelical studies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

The Observer

Friday, August 29, 2008

Update - FOX News Has Just Reported!

initial blog: Friday, 8-29

FOX News has just reported that President G. W. Bush will be the Keynote Speaker at McCain's and Palin's Convention! If he does this;

McCain WILL LOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheney to Speak at Republican Convention

Vice President Cheney will speak at the Republican convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul on the same day as President Bush, contrary to reports earlier in the week that he was not seeking a slot at the gathering, officials said today.

"The Vice President looks forward to participating in the Republican National Convention and continuing to work for the election of Senator McCain and other Republican candidates in the coming months," Cheney spokeswoman Megan Mitchell said.

First Lady Laura Bush to Speak on Opening Night of Republican Convention

Bush will speak on opening night of GOP convention, then fade from view

... the more McCain "connects" with the the Bush administration the fewer votes he will get. I have a feeling this is going to be a continuous problem with McCain - acting conservative one moment, then going crazy left the next! - Tiger

UPDATE: White House: Bush Unlikely to Attend GOP Convention Due to Hurricane Gustav

The Observer

Much Better Looks Than McCain! : )

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain Camp Mocks ‘Temple of Obama’

Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign has released a memo mocking Democrat rival Barack Obama’s decision to decorate the stage he will give his acceptance speech tonight on as the “Temple of Obama.”

The memo, titled "Proper Attire for the Temple of Obama (The Barackopolis)," pokes fun at the neoclassical-style stage Britney Spears’ set supervisor Bobby Allen designed for the elaborate event at 75,000-seat Invesco Field, home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

"It's only appropriate that Barack Obama would descend down from the heavens and spend a little time with us mere mortals when accepting the Democratic nomination," Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz tells the New York Post.

"We'll put it in play against him," added Brian Rogers, a spokesman for McCain.

The McCain camp already is planning a series of ads that will bring the point home that Obama is a narcissistic celebrity candidate. It has even gone so far as to suggested the junior senator from Illinois’ delegates should wear togas to fit in with the curved, columned backdrop and other Greek-styled set pieces designed to evoke images of Apollo, Zeus and Athena.

For their part, several Democrats point out that in 2004, George Bush accepted the GOP nomination for president on an even more elaborate stage.

“We're trying to do something new," said a senior Obama campaign aide, noting that Obama is taking a page from the campaign book of John Kennedy, who in 1960 delivered his acceptance speech to 80,000 people in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Allen, the stage supervisor for Spears and several other rock stars, tells The Post he designed the set more to evoke images of the White House and the Lincoln Memorial, not the Acropolis.
"We've done Britney's sets and a whole bunch of rock shows,” Allen said, “but this was far more elaborate and complicated and we had to do it in far less time."

Once Obama speaks, confetti will rain down on him and fireworks will be fired off from locations around the stadium wall, according to an Associated Press report.

"We would have expected to read something like this in The Onion,” a McCain adviser mockingly told The Post. “Fortunately for us, it's true. Unfortunately for Obama, it's true."

... I don't care who you are! - that picture's just plain funny! - Tiger

The Observer

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Archbishop: Democrats Don't Know Christianity

'It's always important to know what our faith actually teaches'

Wow! This Catholic Knows His Stuff - Tiger

DENVER - Denver Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput says Democrats simply don't know Christianity if they insist on continuing to spin the Bible's teachings on abortion.

"It's always important to know what our faith actually teaches," he said in a "clarification" for Catholics in northern Colorado as Democratic National Committee members met in Denver this week to hear a speaker from the National Abortion Rights Action League promote Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, as the next "pro-choice" president.

Chaput's also appeared at a pro-life prayer vigil outside the massive new Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Denver, reportedly the largest abortion megaclinic in the nation.

"The future of a community, a people, a church and a nation depends on the children who will inherit it," he said at the event. "If we prevent our children from being born, we remove ourselves from the future. It's really that simple. No children, no future.

"We need to remember two basic truths. Here's the first truth. Society has an obligation – and Christians have a Gospel duty – to provide adequate and compassionate support for unwed and abandoned mothers women facing unintended pregnancies; and women struggling with the aftermath of an abortion. It's not enough to talk about 'pro-life politics,' The label 'pro-life' demands that we work to ensure social policies that will protect young women and families, and help them generously in their need. In the archdiocese of Denver we try very hard to do that through the Gabriel Project and other forms of outreach and support.

"Here's the second truth. Killing an unborn child is never the right answer to a woman's or society's problems. Acts of violence create a culture of violence—and abortion is the most intimate form of violence there is. It wounds the woman, it kills the unborn child and it poisons the roots of justice and charity that bind us all into one human family," he said.

In his clarification for church members, he denounced the "spin" among politicians seeking to justify abortion and appease militant pro-abortion interests, including the billion-dollar Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest player in its abortion industry.

"Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the 'separation of church and state.' But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a 'political' issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice," he wrote.

"Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettable, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them," Chaput continued.

The archbishop pointed to Pelosi's interview Sunday on the NBC's "Meet the Press" when she was asked when human life begins. The House speaker said:

"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition … St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

Chaput said Pelosi, because of her "study," must know the conclusions from Jesuit John Connery's "Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective."

Connery concludes with: "The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude … The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. Even during the many centuries when church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it. Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion."

Chaput continued: "Or to put it in the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer: 'Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.'"

He said the church's early fathers held abortion was homicide; "others that it was tantamount to homicide."

"None diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early church closely associated abortion with infanticide," he said.

Members of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy also agreed with Chaput, issuing a statement that not only were Pelosi's statements inaccurate, "Catholics, especially politicians, who publicly defend abortion should not receive communion, and ... ministers of communion should be responsibly charitable in denying it to them if they ask for it, 'until they have reformed their lives.'"

"Abortion (including the willful destruction of human embryos) and euthanasia are always intrinsically evil since they involve the intentional killing of innocent life," the group said.
Such issues hit home with the Democratic Party in this 2008 campaign, since Obama, who has called himself a Christian, opposed a measure as an Illinois state senator to protect babies who survive abortion procedures, because, among other reasons, it would be too burdensome on abortionists.

"From the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong," Chaput said. "Of course, we now know with biological certainly exactly when human life begins. Thus, today's religious alibis for abortion and a so-called 'right to chose' are nothing more than that – alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief," he said.

"Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it," he said. "The duty of the church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the 'separation of church and state' does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it's always important to know what our faith actually teaches."

At the vigil in front of the Planned Parenthood business, where he was joined by Alveda King, Chaput said the project "would offend every African-American and Latino family, and all of us, because every child lost to abortion here subtracts one more life, one more universe of possibilities and talent, from the future of this community. … The business of Planned Parenthood is the prevention of the future – and business is good, and very profitable, at the expense of this community."

A report by the Associated Press highlighted the faith of Sen. Joe Biden, Obama's pick to be vice president. The report told how he underwent brain surgery for a life-threatening aneurysm in 1988 and asked if doctors would allow him to tuck his rosary beads under his pillow.
But Chaput told AP Biden should refrain even from taking communion because of his support for abortion.

While Obama has been documented as being more pro-abortion than even NARAL, Biden has said he'll "accept" Catholic church teaching that life starts at conception. However, he said allowing virtually unlimited abortions under Roe vs. Wade "is as close" as society can get to respecting different religious views.

Chaput has stated that such deviancy from church teachings disqualifies those individuals from partaking of communion, which in the Catholic church is believed to involve the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ.

The Observer

Know Enough?

Obama's Connection With Ayers

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Can't Live With Her, Can't Live Without Her?

A Failure In The Making?

Barack Obama has made many mistakes in his campaign; his affiliation with questionable types like "Rev." Wright, Rezko, Ayers; etc .... Now, he sends "Mighty Whitey Joe Bidie" back home, missing the convention, and instead showcases the Clintons! Osama, I mean, Obama, is giving Mr. Amnesty every chance to win. (Tiger)

This article from the Financial Times explains:

A successful presidential convention can give the nominee a five- to 10- percentage point bounce in opinion polls. But as Barack Obama and running mate Joe Biden chart their course across the swing states of the mid-west towards Denver on Wednesday, a large chunk of media attention will be eaten up by Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Many supporters of Mr Obama express private anguish over the prominent role he has conceded to the former president and first lady on three out of the four days of the convention this week. The democratic nominee starts off the convention with an insignificant 1- to 2- percentage-point lead over republican rival John McCain.

Mr Obama’s supporters fear that by stealing part of the show, the Clintons may also limit the opinion poll upside. “They got everything of substance that they asked for,” said one senior Democrat, who was not involved in either Mrs Clinton or Mr Obama’s campaign. “And they also got some extras.”

Tomorrow Mrs Clinton will give a keynote address to an audience of 20,000 in the Pepsi convention centre in downtown Denver. Bill Clinton will follow with his own prime-time address to party delegates on Wednesday. And on Thursday disaffected Clinton delegates will get the opportunity to make a symbolic roll call vote for her nomination.

In addition to these three concessions, Mrs Clinton negotiated the right to show a short film about her life that will air prior to her speech. Showing a biopic is a privilege normally reserved for nominees or special circumstances – such as the appreciation today that will be accorded to Ted Kennedy, the senator for Massachusetts, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour.
In addition, supporters of Mrs Clinton have succeeded in inveigling strong language into the Democratic party platform condemning misogyny. Although the party platform is more symbolic than a European-style party manifesto, the wording harks back to the highly-charged days of the primary campaign earlier this year when Clinton supporters alleged their candidate was the victim of sexism.

Many of Mrs Clinton’s supporters, roughly a quarter of whom say they plan to vote for Mr McCain, will be out in force in Denver continuing to argue that the former first lady would have been the better nominee. Among the most vocal is Party Unity My Ass, a pro-Hillary groups whose website trails the catchphrase “We are the ones no one was expecting” – a mocking reference to Mr Obama’s line: “We are the ones we have been waiting for”.

Their resentment has been fuelled by Mr Obama’s decision to have excluded Mrs Clinton from his shortlist of vice-presidential nominees and the fact that he offered the slot to a candidate who garnered only one per cent of the vote before withdrawing from the race. Mrs Clinton, by contrast, won almost half the overall vote.

Yet to judge by Mrs Clinton’s public comments, Mr Obama has little to fear from her address tomorrow: “Senator Biden will be a purposeful and dynamic vice-president who will help Senator Obama both win the presidency and govern this great country,” she said in a statement on Saturday.

The same reassurance is not felt about Mr Clinton, who has continued to convey only lukewarm support for Mr Obama in his public comments. Friends say that privately he is still seething about what he sees as the Obama campaign-inspired portrayal of him as a racist during the primaries.

But even if Mr Clinton swallows his pride and delivers a barnstorming address for Mr Obama, the convention’s message will have been partly diluted. “It is really hard to see why the Obama camp has given such a big role to both Clintons in a year that is supposed to be about change,” said the head of a liberal thinktank, who asked for his name to be withheld.

Historians of party conventions point out that their two primary purposes are to set a course for the general election and to demonstrate party unity to the nation. They also point out that candidates who lose presidential elections have often emerged from a divided convention.

For example, in 1992, George H.W. Bush’s convention was hijacked by Pat Buchanan, the nativist Republican, who launched his “culture wars” from the podium. Or Gerald Ford in 1976 whose relatively bland presidency was put in the shade by Ronald Reagan’s rousing address. Or Al Gore in 2000, who was overshadowed by none other than Bill Clinton. “The Clintons have done this before,” said the senior Democrat. “And they are capable of doing it again.”
But the real test, he added, will come early next week in the post-convention opinion polls.

The Observer

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If There Is No God

by Dennis Prager
HT: The Tigress
We are constantly reminded about the destructive consequences of religion -- intolerance, hatred, division, inquisitions, persecutions of "heretics," holy wars. Though far from the whole story, they are, nevertheless, true. There have been many awful consequences of religion.

What one almost never hears described are the deleterious consequences of secularism -- the terrible developments that have accompanied the breakdown of traditional religion and belief in God. For every thousand students who learn about the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials, maybe two learn to associate Gulag, Auschwitz, The Cultural Revolution and the Cambodian genocide with secular regimes and ideologies.

For all the problems associated with belief in God, the death of God leads to far more of them.
So, while it is not possible to prove (or disprove) God's existence, what is provable is what happens when people stop believing in God.

1. Without God there is no good and evil; there are only subjective opinions that we then label "good" and "evil." This does not mean that an atheist cannot be a good person. Nor does it mean that all those who believe in God are good; there are good atheists and there are bad believers in God. It simply means that unless there is a moral authority that transcends humans from which emanates an objective right and wrong, "right" and "wrong" no more objectively exist than do "beautiful" and "ugly."

2. Without God, there is no objective meaning to life. We are all merely random creations of natural selection whose existence has no more intrinsic purpose or meaning than that of a pebble equally randomly produced.

3. Life is ultimately a tragic fare if there is no God. We live, we suffer, we die -- some horrifically, many prematurely -- and there is only oblivion afterward.

4. Human beings need instruction manuals. This is as true for acting morally and wisely as it is for properly flying an airplane. One's heart is often no better a guide to what is right and wrong than it is to the right and wrong way to fly an airplane. The post-religious secular world claims to need no manual; the heart and reason are sufficient guides to leading a good life and to making a good world.

5. If there is no God, the kindest and most innocent victims of torture and murder have no better a fate after death than do the most cruel torturers and mass murderers. Only if there is a good God do Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler have different fates.

6. With the death of Judeo-Christian values in the West, many Westerners believe in little. That is why secular Western Europe has been unwilling and therefore unable to confront evil, whether it was Communism during the Cold War or Islamic totalitarians in its midst today.

7. Without God, people in the West often become less, not more, rational. It was largely the secular, not the religious, who believed in the utterly irrational doctrine of Marxism. It was largely the secular, not the religious, who believed that men's and women's natures are basically the same, that perceived differences between the sexes are all socially induced. Religious people in Judeo-Christian countries largely confine their irrational beliefs to religious beliefs (theology), while the secular, without religion to enable the non-rational to express itself, end up applying their irrational beliefs to society, where such irrationalities do immense harm.
If there is no God, the human being has no free will. He is a robot, whose every action is dictated by genes and environment. Only if one posits human creation by a Creator that transcends genes and environment who implanted the ability to transcend genes and environment can humans have free will.

9. If there is no God, humans and "other" animals are of equal value. Only if one posits that humans, not animals, are created in the image of God do humans have any greater intrinsic sanctity than baboons. This explains the movement among the secularized elite to equate humans and animals.

10. Without God, there is little to inspire people to create inspiring art. That is why contemporary art galleries and museums are filled with "art" that celebrates the scatological, the ugly and the shocking. Compare this art to Michelangelo's art in the Sistine chapel. The latter elevates the viewer -- because Michelangelo believed in something higher than himself and higher than all men.

11. Without God nothing is holy. This is definitional. Holiness emanates from a belief in the holy. This explains, for example, the far more widespread acceptance of public cursing in secular society than in religious society. To the religious, there is holy speech and profane speech. In much of secular society the very notion of profane speech is mocked.

12. Without God, humanist hubris is almost inevitable. If there is nothing higher than man, no Supreme Being, man becomes the supreme being.

13. Without God, there are no inalienable human rights. Evolution confers no rights. Molecules confer no rights. Energy has no moral concerns. That is why America's Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed "by our Creator" with certain inalienable rights. Rights depend upon a moral source, a rights giver.

14. "Without God," Dostoevsky famously wrote, "all is permitted." There has been plenty of evil committed by believers in God, but the widespread cruelties and the sheer number of innocents murdered by secular regimes -- specifically Nazi, Fascist and Communist regimes -- dwarfs the evil done in the name of religion.

As noted at the beginning, none of this proves, or even necessarily argues for, God's existence. It makes the case for the necessity, not the existence, of God. "Which God?" the secularist will ask. The God of Israel, the God of America's founders, "the Holy God who is made holy by justice" (Isaiah), the God of the Ten Commandments, the God who demands love of neighbor, the God who endows all human beings with certain inalienable rights, the God who is cited on the Liberty Bell because he is the author of liberty. That is the God being referred to here, without whom we will be vanquished by those who believe in less noble gods, both secular and divine.
The Observer

Friday, August 15, 2008

Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran And The Revolt Of Islam

To the Dhimmis In Chief - Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush

The Bush Administration Continues Its Dhimmy Ways

20 Muslim nations ban U.S. religious workers
Yet State Department allows entry to 100s of Muslim clerics each year

A new congressional study has found that more than 20 Muslim nations deny entry to American and other foreign religious workers, WND has learned, even as the U.S. State Department grants entry to hundreds of clerics from their countries each year.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and most other Middle Eastern countries still refuse to offer religious visas, and deny entry to U.S. clergy as official policy, according to a report by the Law Library of Congress, the foreign legal research arm of the U.S. Congress. In a shocker, U.S. allies Afghanistan and Iraq also made the list of religious refuseniks.

"Of this group, the vast majority constitute Arab or Muslim states," said Wendy Zeldin, senior legal research analyst for the Library of Congress.

"Since Islam prohibits proselytism by other religions, foreign religious workers will in effect be denied entry to conduct religious work," Zeldin wrote in the three-page report, a copy of which was obtained by WND.

At the same time, Washington routinely issues R-1 religious visas to clerics from the Middle East, including jihadi hotbeds Saudi Arabia and Egypt, even though an alarming number of foreign imams have been suspects in terrorism investigations since 9/11.

The Department of Homeland Security, in fact, considers visiting imams as nonthreatening as Buddhist monks. Screening procedures call for both visitors to be treated as the same level of security risk at the border.

Also, R-2 visas are routinely granted to relatives of foreign imams.

By comparison, Saudi religious police recently accused more than a dozen foreign Christians living in the kingdom of worshipping in their homes and ordered them deported.

The deportation conflicts with the message stated just weeks earlier by Saudi King Abdullah, who called for interfaith dialogue and held a summit in Spain with a representatives from several major religions.

"Deporting Christians for worshipping in their private homes shows that King Abdullah's speech is mere rhetoric and his country is deceiving the international community about their desire for change and reconciliation," International Christian Concern President Jeff King said.

King Abdullah's meetings – which drew about 200 representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and other religions – had to be held outside of Saudi Arabia, because, as one journalist observed, "the mere fact that rabbis would be openly invited to the kingdom, a country where in principle Jews are not permitted to visit, would have constituted a turning point."

Some U.S. lawmakers say the long list of Muslim nations denying non-Muslim religious workers is eye-opening.

"This gives us a better picture of what countries discriminate against us based on religion," said Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., who instructed the Congressional Research Service to compile the list (see below).

Myrick, who co-chairs of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus, said she is troubled by the one-sided exchange of religious visitors, and plans to introduce a bill to restrict R-1/R-2 religious visas for imams who come from countries that do not allow reciprocal visits by non-Muslim clergy.

Nations not offering religious visas & denying or restricting entry to religious workers:

I. No religious visas, entry denied to foreign religious workers:

North Korea
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates

II. No religious visas, entry allowed, but with restrictions:

Solomon Islands

Source: Library of Congress

The Observer

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So ... You Love Watching The Olympics, Right?

Inspiration for Olympic Prayer Band Arrested - The Voice of the Martyrs
Pastor Zhang “Bike” Mingxuan, known for traveling across China on a bicycle to evangelize, was arrested by Chinese police just two days before the Olympics began. Pastor Bike was the inspiration for the recent partnership between The Voice of the Martyrs and China Aid Association to create the Olympic Prayer Band.

Pastor Asks for Prayer BandEarlier this year, Pastor Bike pleaded with VOM staff to ask Christians to pray for persecuted Christians in China during the Olympics. The pastor voluntarily preaches the gospel openly in China despite being persecuted. He has asked for his identity to be revealed to bring continued attention to the persecution of Christians in Communist China.

Thanks to Pastor Bike’s inspiration and the commitment of concerned Christians across the United States, more than 800,000 prayer bands have been circulated. On Aug. 6, Pastor Bike was arrested while trying to deliver medicine to his ailing wife. His wife and another pastor were also arrested. We have also learned this week that Chinese officials are opening a full investigation of the Olympic Prayer Bands that were distributed to house church members within China. Despite this increased pressure from Chinese authorities, Chinese Christians continue to ask for prayer and to make their plight known.

Pastor Bike, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, rode his bike more than 10,000 miles, visiting 24 Chinese provinces to introduce nonbelievers to Jesus Christ. Armed with a Bible and his business card, which declared “Believe in Jesus, Earn Eternal Life,” Pastor Bike brought the gospel to thousands of people. He and other Chinese evangelists have been repeatedly harassed by Chinese officials during this Olympic year. Please pray for the release of Pastor Bike and his wife.
The Observer

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Careful, Israel! The Plan Has Always Been To Divide and Conquer!

Israel adopts U.S. plan to split nation into 2 -
Calls for Palestinian state in strategic territory

... Bush is no friend of yours! ...

JERUSALEM – A detailed proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state that reportedly was presented by Israel to the Palestinian Authority in recent weeks was heavily influenced by the U.S. and is largely based on an American-drafted plan, WND has learned.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported yesterday Prime Minister Ehud Olmert handed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas a plan for an Israeli withdrawal from most of the strategic West Bank and for parts of the Israeli Negev desert – Israeli territory undisputed by the international community – to become part of a Palestinian state.

WND last week quoted a top Palestinian official stating Olmert told the PA he intends to accelerate negotiations the next few weeks to reach a deal on paper outlining a Palestinian state before he steps down from office next month.

Olmert earlier this month announced he will resign from office after his Kadima party holds internal elections next month to choose a new leader. He said he is stepping down due to a criminal investigation, described by police officials as "serious," in which he is accused of corruption and financial improprieties.

The Haaretz report says the deal, confirmed by diplomatic sources speaking to WND, was rejected last night by the Palestinians unless certain key modifications were made.

The proposal calls for Israel to evacuate 93 percent of the West Bank, while the Palestinians would receive territory equivalent to 5.5 percent of the West Bank, located in the Israeli Negev desert.

The plan grants the Palestinians passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on territory that would be jointly patrolled by Israel and the PA. The passageway would give the Palestinians access to areas close to central Israeli population centers.

Much of the plan previously was published by WND in a series of articles in recent months.

According to the plan Olmert sent to the PA, land to be annexed to Israel would include the large West Bank Jewish community blocs of Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and the areas surrounding Jerusalem, and some land in the northern West Bank adjacent to Israel. The rest of the West Bank would be handed to the Palestinians.

An area from the Israeli Negev nearly equivalent in land mass to the territory Israel would retain in the West Bank would be transferred to the West Bank – marking the first official Israeli plan that calls for pre-1967 land to be given to the Palestinians. Pre-1967 refers to Israeli territory that was not reconquered in the 1967 Six Day War.

The plan would be set out on paper and implemented on the Israeli side in stages, while the PA would need to first retake control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas before Israel would give them most of the West Bank.

Mark Regev, Olmert's spokesman, refused to confirm yesterday to WND the existence of the plan as reported by Haaretz.

But Nabil Abu Rdainah, Abbas' spokesman, told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA the plan presented by Olmert showed a "lack of seriousness" since it did not provide for a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Israeli diplomatic sources said Olmert will now offer a new draft plan in the immediate future.

The plan Olmert already presented was adapted from a detailed American proposal sent earlier this year to the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating delegations, diplomatic sources said.

The U.S. plan also called for peripheral eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem to become part of a future Palestinian state, but those sections of the plan seemed to have been placed on hold for now.

Olmert is considered a lame duck prime minister and according to polls has little standing with the Israeli population, but he has vowed to forge ahead with Israeli-Palestinian negotiations started at last November's U.S.-backed Annapolis summit, which seeks to create a Palestinian state by the end of the year.

Last week a top PA negotiator told WND Olmert has stated he plans to grant the Palestinians a state on paper before he steps down from office next month.

"Papers are very important. It puts limits on the new prime minister," said the PA negotiator, speaking to WND on condition of anonymity. "For example, the weak point of Israeli-Syrian negotiations are papers signed by former prime ministers that now must be abided during current negotiations.

"Olmert told us his goal is to reach an agreement on paper," the negotiator said.

He said the agreement will likely encompass understandings regarding the transfer of much of the West Bank to the Palestinians. He said he "hopes" the issue of Jerusalem is broached but that it might not be mentioned on paper beyond a declaration of agreement to negotiate further.

The Observer

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Expressive Display Of Real Courage and Faith!

Son of Hamas Leader Turns Back on Islam and Embraces Christianity

Mosab Hassan Yousef is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary story. He was born the son of one of the most influential leaders of the militant Hamas organization in the West Bank and grew up in a strict Islamic family.

Now, at 30 years old, he attends an evangelical Christian church, Barabbas Road in San Diego, Calif. He renounced his Muslim faith, left his family behind in Ramallah and is seeking asylum in the United States.

The story of how his life unfolded is truly amazing, whether you agree or disagree with his views. Below is a transcript on an exclusive FOX News interview with Hassan as he tells firsthand how a West Bank Muslim became a West Coast Christian.

Click here to view video of Mosab Hassan Yousef speaking out.

Click here to view video 'Renouncing Islam.'

JONATHAN HUNT: Why, after 25 years, did you change?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: I believe that all those walls that Islam built for the last 1,400 years are not existing (sic) anymore. They don't recognize this. They built those walls and made people ignorant because they're afraid. They didn't want people to discuss anything about the reality of Islam, about the big questions of Islam and they asked their followers, the Muslims, 'Don't ask about those certain questions.'

But now, people have media. If the father closes the door for his daughter not to leave the house, she's going to go behind her computer and travel the world. So people easily can get information, knowledge, searching (sic) engines, so it's very, very available for everybody to study about Islam, about other religions. Not from the Islam point of view, but from other points of view.
So for the next 25 years this is for sure going to make huge change in the Muslim and the Arab world.

JONATHAN HUNT: You speak from a unique perspective, a man who grew up not just in an Islamic family but as part of an organization seen by many people around the world as an extreme force in Islam: Hamas. What is the reality of Islam? You say people don't see the reality; What is the reality of Islam?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: There are two facts that Muslims don't understand ... I'd say about more than 95 percent of Muslims don't understand their own religion. It came with a much stronger language than the language that they speak so they don't understand it ... they rely only on religious people to get their knowledge about this religion.

Second, they don't understand anything about other religions. Christian communities live between Muslims and they're minority and they (would) rather not to go speak out and tell people about Jesus because it's dangerous for them.

So, all their ideas about other religions on earth are from Islamic perspectives. So those two realities, most people don't understand.

If people, if Muslims, start to understand their religion — first of all, their religion — and see how awful stuff is in there, they'll start to figure out, this can't (be) ... because most religious people focus on certain points of Islam. They have many points that they are very embarrassed to talk about.


MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Such as Muhammad's wives. You will never go to a mosque and hear about anyone talking about Muhammad's wives, which is like more than 50 wives — and nobody knows (this), by the way. If you ask the majority of Muslims, they will not know this fact.

So they're embarrassed to talk about this, but they talk about the glory of Islam, they talk about the victory, the victories that Muhammad made. So, when people just like look at themselves and see they're defeated, they have ignorance, they're not educated, they're not leading the world as they're expected to do. They’re think they want to get back to that victory by doing the same, what Muhammad did, but disregarding (sic) the timing. They forget that this happened 1,400 years ago and it's not going to happen again.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do they want to destroy Christianity?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Islam destroyed Christianity from the beginning and Muslims don't recognize that they stabbed Christianity (in) its heart when they said that Jesus wasn't killed on the cross. They think that they honor him in this way.

Basically, any Christians understand that this way, (but Muslims) tell Jesus, okay, we don't care, you didn't die for us. Someone sacrificed his life for you, (but) you tell him, okay, you didn't do it!
This is what Muslims are doing basically. But they don't understand that this is the most important part of Christianity: the cross!

So, they are ignorant, they don't know what they are doing and it explains what an evil idea it is behind this Islam.

JONATHAN HUNT: What specific event or events began to change your mind about Islam?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Since I was a child I started to ask very difficult questions, even my family was telling me all the time, 'You're a very difficult person and we were having trouble answering your questions. Why are you asking so many questions?' This was from the beginning, to be honest with you.

But I felt that everybody — and my father was a good example for me because he was a very honest, humble person, very nice to my mother, to us, and raised us on the principle of forgiveness, okay? I thought that everybody in Islam was like this.

When I was 18 years old, and I was arrested by the Israelis and was in an Israeli jail under the Israeli administration, Hamas had control of its members inside the jail and I saw their torture; (they were) torturing people in a very, very bad way.

JONATHAN HUNT: Hamas members torturing other Hamas members?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Hamas leaders! Hamas leaders that we see on TV now, and big leaders, responsible for torturing their own members. They didn't torture me, but that was a shock for me, to see them torturing people: putting needles under their nails, burning their bodies. And they killed lots of them.

JONATHAN HUNT: Why were they torturing people?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Because they suspected that they had relations with the Israelis and (were) co-operating with the Israeli occupation against Hamas ... So hundreds of people were victims for this, and I was a witness for about a year for this torture. So that was a huge change in my life. I started to open my (eyes), but, the point (is) that I got that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims. Good Muslims, such as my father, and bad Muslims, like those Hamas members in the jail torturing people.

So that was the beginning of opening my eyes wide.

JONATHAN HUNT: You talk about the good Muslims, like your father, yet you still now renounce the faith of your father. Could you have not been a good Muslim?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Now, here's the reality: after I studied Christianity — which I had a big misunderstanding about, because I studied about Christianity from Islam, which is, there is nothing true about Christianity when you study it from Islam, and that was the only source.

When I studied the Bible carefully verse by verse, I made sure that that was the book of God, the word of God for sure, so I started to see things in a different way, which was difficult for me, to say Islam is wrong.

Islam is my father. I grew up for (one) father — 22 years for that father — and another father came to me and told me, 'I'm sorry, I'm your father.' And I was like, 'What are you talking about? Like, I have my own father, and it's Islam!' And the father of Christianity told me, 'No, I'm your father. I was in jail, and this (Islam) is not your father.'

So basically this is what happened. It's not easy to believe this (Islam) is not your father anymore. So I had to study Islam again from a different point of view to figure out all the mistakes, the huge mistakes and its effects, not only on Muslims — (of) which I hated the values ... I didn't like all those traditions that make people's lives more difficult — but its effects also on humanity. On humanity! People killing each other (in) the name of God.

So definitely I started to figure out the problem is Islam, not the Muslims and those people — I can't hate them because God loved them from the beginning. And God doesn't create junk. God created good people that he loved, but they're sick, they have the wrong idea. I don't hate those people anymore but I feel very sorry for them and the only way for them to be changed (is) by knowing the word of God and the real way to him.

JONATHAN HUNT: Does it worry you that in saying these things — and given your background and your words carrying extra weight — there is a danger that you will increase the difficulties, the hatred between Christians and Muslims in the world right now?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: This could happen if a Christian person will go talk to them about the reality of Islam. They put Christians on the enemy list anyway, before you talk to them about Islam. So if you go to them and tell them, as a Christian, they will be offended immediately and they will hate you and this will definitely increase the vacuum between both religions — but what made someone like me change?

Years ago, years ago, when I was there, God opened my eyes, my mind also, and I became a completely different person. So now, I can do this duty, while you as Christians can help me do it, but maybe you wouldn't be able to. (Muslims) have no excuse now.

JONATHAN HUNT: How difficult a process has this been for you to effectively walk away from your family, leave your home behind? How difficult is that?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Taking your skin off your bones, that's what happened. I love my family, they love me. And my little brothers, they’re like my sons. I raised them. Basically, it was the biggest decision in my life.

I left everything behind me, not only family. When you decide to convert to Christianity or any other religion from Islam, it's not (enough) to just say goodbye and leave, you know? It's not like that. You're saying goodbye to culture, civilization, traditions, society, family, religion, God — what you thought was God for so many years! So it's not easy. It's very complicated. People think it's that easy, like it doesn't matter. Now I'm here in the U.S. and I got my freedom and it's great, but at the same time, nothing is like family, you know. To lose your family —

JONATHAN HUNT: Have you lost your family?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: My family is educated and it was very difficult for them. They asked me many times, especially for the first two days, to keep my faith to myself and not go to the media and announce it.

But for me it was a duty from God to announce his name and praise him (around) the world because my reward is going to be that he's going to do the same for me. So I did it, basically, as a duty. I (wonder) how many people can do what I can do today? I didn't find any.

So, I had to be strong about that. That was very challenging. That was the most difficult decision in my life and I didn't do it for fun. I didn't do it for anything from this world. I did it only for one reason: I believed in it. People are suffering every day because of wrong ideas. I can help them get out of this endless circle ... the track the devil (laid) for them.

JONATHAN HUNT: Have you spoken to your father recently?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: There is no chance to communicate with my father because he's in jail now and there is (sic) no phones in the jail to communicate with him.

JONATHAN HUNT: Have other members of your family told you how he's reacted?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: They've visited him from time to time. Till this moment, I don't know his reaction exactly but I'm sure he's very sad (over) a decision like this. But at the same time, he's going to understand, because he knows me and he knows that I don't make any decisions without (believing strongly in them).

JONATHAN HUNT: Is it making his life more difficult among fellow Hamas members?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Definitely. My family, including my father, had to carry this cross with me. It wasn't their choice. It was my choice, but they had to carry this cross with me and I ask God — I pray for (my father), all my brothers and my sisters here in this church, praying all the time for them — 'God, open their eyes, their minds, to come to Christ. And bless them because they had to carry this cross with me.'

JONATHAN HUNT: Tell me about Hamas and the way it works. Is Hamas a purely Islamic religious organization as you see it, and that's where, in your eyes, its faults lie, or are there other parts of it which are a problem for you? Or is Hamas a good organization? What is Hamas to you?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: If we talk about people, there are good people everywhere. Everywhere. I mean, good people that God created.
Do they do their own things? Yes, they do their own things. I know people who support Hamas but they never got involved in terrorist attacks, for example ... They follow Hamas because they love God and they think that Hamas represents God. They don’t have knowledge, they don't know the real God and they never studied Christianity. But Hamas, as representative for Islam, it's a big problem.

The problem is not Hamas, the problem is not people. The root of the problem is Islam itself as an idea, as an idea. And about Hamas as an organization, of course, the Hamas leadership, including my father, they're responsible; they're responsible for all the violence that happened from the organization. I know they describe it as reaction to Israeli aggression, but still, they are part of it and they had to make decisions in those operations against Israel, (for) which there was the killing of many civilians.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you believe Israel blameless in the conflict?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Occupation is bad. I can't say Israel — I'm not against any nation. We can't say Israelis, we can't say Palestinians, we're talking about ideas. Israel has the right to defend itself, nobody can (argue) against this. But sometimes they use (too much) aggression against civilians. Sometimes many civilians were killed because those soldiers weren't responsible enough, how they treat people at the checkpoints.

My message even to the Israeli soldiers: at least treat people in a good way at the checkpoints. You don't have to look really bad and it's not about nations, it's about just wrong ideas on both sides and the only way for two nations really to get out of the endless circle is to know the principles that Jesus brought to this earth: grace, love, forgiveness. Without this, they will never be able to move on, or break this endless circle.

JONATHAN HUNT: You've seen your father jailed, you've been in prison yourself. You've seen Hamas carry out acts of terror against Israelis, and yet you say everybody needs to rise above that?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Definitely. This is the only choice. Nobody has magic power to do something for the Middle East. No one. You can ask any politician here in the U.S., you can ask any Palestinian politician or Arab politician, Israeli leaders; no one, no one can do anything. Even if they believe in peace now: they're part of the game.

They're part of the trick. They can't, even if you find a brave person, like Rabin, who was called by an Israeli to make peace with the Palestinians and give them a state, no one, even if you find a strong leader, they can't do this. You can't force an independent country to give another country independence. (Especially when) the other country wants to destroy it.

Everybody is hurt. Israeli soldiers, they lost their friends. Palestinians, they lost their children, their fathers. (There are) many people in prison still, and many people were killed. Thousands. So everybody will never forget this. If they want to keep looking to the past, they will never get out of this circle. The only way to start (is just by) moving on. They were born under the occupation as Palestinians.

The last two generations, it's not their choice. The new generations from Israel — if we say disregarding the existence of Israel is right or wrong, what's the guilt of those people who were born in Israel and they have no other country to go to? It's their country now, that's how they see it. And they are going to keep their resistance and defense against whomever. (They will) say, 'Get out of this land!' So the only way is for both nations to start to understand the grace, love and forgiveness of God, to be able to get out of this.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you believe that Israel can ever strike a peace deal with Hamas?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: There is no chance. Is there any chance for fire to co-exist with the water? There is no chance. Hamas can play politics for 10 years, 15 years; but ask any one of Hamas' leaders, 'Okay, what's going to happen after that? Are you just going to live and co-exist with Israel forever?' The answer is going to be no ... unless they want to do something against the Koran. But it's their ideology and they can't just say 'We're not going to do it.' So there is no chance. It's not about Israel, it's not about Hamas: it's about both ideologies. There is no chance.

JONATHAN HUNT: Aren't you terrified that somebody is going to try to kill you for saying these things — which would be approved of according to parts of the Koran?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: They got to kill my ideas first, (and) that's it, they're already out. So how are they going to kill my idea? How are they going to kill the opinions that I have? ... They can kill my body, but they can't kill my soul.

JONATHAN HUNT: You're not afraid?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: As a human, you know, I can be very brave now, I'm not thinking about it at this moment and I feel that God is on my side. But if this will be the challenge, I ask God to give me enough strength.

JONATHAN HUNT: Have you been threatened?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: No, not really. Honestly, most Muslims and Muslim leaders here in the U.S. community, European communities, they are trying to get ahold of me. They are calling my famiily, my mother, and asking for my contacts. They are telling her, 'We want to help him.'

JONATHAN HUNT: They think you need help?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Yeah, they think that Christians took advantage of me, and this is completely wrong. I've been a Christian for a long time before they knew, or anyone knew. I love Jesus, I followed him for many years now. It wasn't a secret for most of the time, and this time I just did it to glorify the name of God and praise him.

They're not dealing with a regular Muslim. They know that I'm educated, they know that I studied, they know that I studied Islam and Christianity. When I made my decision, I didn't make it because someone did magic on me or convinced me. It was completely my decision.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you miss Ramallah?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Definitely. You've been there and you know how a wonderful country (it is). Very, very beautiful. It's a very small spot and it has everything — this is why people are fighting for that piece of land. I definitely miss Ramallah. Jereusalem. The Old City.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you believe you will ever be able to go back?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: I think I belong to that land, and sooner or later I'm going to go back, no matter what. If they want to kill me, they (will) do whatever they want to do. I have a family there, they love me, they completely support me now with my decisions. Maybe they don't want me to talk to the media but they believe that I made a decision that I completely believe in. So they support me, so I love my family. I'm going to go back there again one day. I love my town.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you think you'll ever go back to a Middle East living in peace?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: There will be a 100-person peace when Jesus comes back, when he judges everybody. His kingdom's going to be 1,000 years and it's going to be completely peaceful and it's going to be the kingdom of God.

JONATHAN HUNT: What is your basic message to any Muslim listening to this right now?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: My message to them is, first of all, to open their minds. They were born to Muslim families — this is how they got Islam and this is just like ... any other religion, like growing up (in) a Christian family, or growing up (in) a Jewish family.

So my point is that I want those people to open their eyes, their minds, to start to understand and imagine that they weren't born for a Muslim famiily. And use their minds.

Why did God give them minds? Open their hearts. Read the Bible. Study their religion. I want to open the gate for them, I want them to be free. They will find a good life on earth just by following God — and they're also going to guarantee the other life.

The Observer

Yes, We Failed The Georgia Test!

U.S. Diplomat: Washington Doesn't Care

United Nations — U.S. diplomatic sources, speaking on background, tell Newsmax they have "no pressure" from the White House to break the impasse in the U.N. Security Council on Russia's invasion of Georgia.

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, has insisted that all Georgian military forces pledge not to re-enter the breakaway regions now occupied by Moscow. The U.S. and Georgia insist that such conditions would allow a de-facto breakup of international borders and have refused the Russian demands.

As such, an old-fashioned political standoff, reminiscent of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War days has emerged in the Security Council.

The impasse has been highlighted by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad tossing verbal grenades at his Russian counterpart, Vitaly Churkin, who has repeatedly rebuffed them.
While Khalilzad has asked if Moscow's true intent is to overthrow the Georgian government, Churkin shot back, asking if Washington had not "encouraged its Georgian ally" to move troops into the disputed regions sparking the Russian reaction.

Other than playing "point-counterpoint," the U.N. has remained powerless. Published reports claim as many as 2,000 people have been killed since the fighting began last week.

"We have no pressure from Washington," confided the U.S. diplomat.

The veteran U.S. official added that the only pressure is coming from "the public and the media."

"We don't want to see any quick Council action," he explained.

He added that a resolution condemning the Russian action is sure to face a veto. It would also get the issue off the Council's table, something Washington does not want.

The source pointed out that the French have sent President Nikolas Sarkozy to Moscow to see Kremlin officials.

"We (the U.S.) have only sent an assistant secretary of state. What does that tell you?"

President George Bush, who conferred with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Olympics in Beijing, refused to shorten his Asian trip and will return to Washington Monday night.

The Observer

Monday, August 11, 2008

Garner - Washington Times

Will We Fail The Georgia Test?

Do the Right Thing

Nothing peachy about the Russian attack on Georgia.

By Jonathan Foreman

Today America faces a big test. Will we stand up for Georgia? Or will we betray her in the way that the United States so often betrays its friends and allies abroad?

A depressingly consistent aspect of American foreign policy since the Korean War has been to let down peoples who fight for us, trust us, or depend on us. Remember the Montagnards of Vietnam who fought so valiantly with our Green Berets during the Indochina conflict? Most of them ended up dead or in reeducation camps and it was decades before the survivors were even given visas to come to the USA.

Osama bin Laden himself has pointed out to his followers that America is a fair-weather friend, and that when things get tough — Lebanon in 1982, Somalia in 1993 — American administrations can be counted on to cut and run.

As the U.S. figures out what to do about the Russia-Georgian war, it should bear in mind that the world is watching very closely. Georgia has proved itself as a true friend and ally of the United States; it has sent thousands of troops from its small army to help the U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sure the Georgians got themselves into this conflict by launching a bid to recapture South Ossetia. But it wasn’t unprovoked — the Russians have been building up the government and armed forces of the breakaway province for years, and have been applying every kind of pressure to stop Georgia joining NATO, including aggressive measures like shooting down a Georgian aircraft earlier this year. And the Russians are in no position to criticize Georgia’s efforts to recapture breakaway territory given the tens of thousands the Russians killed to reverse Chechnya’s attempts to break free.

As Russian bombs rain down on key Georgian military bases, Ukraine and the Baltic states know all too well that they are next on the list for Russian invasion — probably with the same pretext of protecting Russian citizens — if the Kremlin gets away with crushing Georgia.

Also watching what happens in the Caucasus with one eye on the U.S. will be allied countries like Taiwan (it knows that U.S. corporations have long been pushing successive U.S. administrations to abandon Taiwanese democracy), Pakistan (it’s been dumped before), India, Turkey, the Gulf states, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Australia, and Colombia… the list goes on.

The Bush administration is said to be obsessed with loyalty. But at the same time, it is habitually disloyal to America’s friends and allies. None of the over 30 countries that have sent troops to take part in the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq have been economically or politically rewarded in any way. Indeed the administration has taken them so much for granted than it hasn’t barely acknowledged their contribution, still less thanked them. This has damaged the administration because it plays into the myth of “unilateralism.” But much worse than that, it has also damaged American interests. Our allies have realized that America is neither grateful nor reliable. If the Poles had got anything for their stalwart support in Iraq — even something as cheap and easy as more visas to the U.S., the Kaczinsky government might not have fallen and the Poles might not be taking their troops out. If Tony Blair could have pointed at a single major defense contract from the United States — say a small aircraft carrier to be built in one of Britain’s desperate shipyards — he could have replied convincingly to charges of being “America’s poodle.”

But Georgia is a bigger test.

We don’t have to go to war for her (fortunately for irresolute Western governments, Georgia’s not in NATO) but we must back her in every other way: diplomatically, economically and with military technology and advice, now and after any ceasefire that is called.

If we don’t, if we let our ally be defeated and humiliated by the Russians, everyone will know that friendship with America carries more risk than rewards. Moreover it will genuinely signal a new age of American isolation. The diminution and weakness described or predicted by so many “declinist” authors will become a reality.

The Observer

The Sorry State of the Union - Alan Keyes

"We live in revolutionary times, by which I mean times when a form of government will either be restored or overthrown – not just in the sense that one group replaces another in power, but in the profound sense that substitutes one premise of government for another. In our case, the premises of aristocratic despotism (the rule of superior ability, force and fear) are replacing those of democratic liberty (moral equality, self-discipline, consent). Unfortunately, the battle between these forces is being waged in an intellectual climate deeply prejudiced against the understanding needed even to comprehend the nature of the battle, much less wage it effectively. This is what makes the prospects for liberty so obscure."

... a long, but fruitful read, containing subjects like;

- 2-party system: No choice but evil

- Dobson's choice

- The demands of conscience

- The Christian standard

- McCain abandons principle on the issue of abortion

- McCain abandons principle on the issue of destroying human embryos for research

- McCain: Blind to principle on the issue of marriage natural right and the family

- Family and government by consent

- Disregarding the natural basis of family leads to tyrannical government

- Homosexual marriage and the principle of natural human equality

- Surrendering to relativism

- McCain's stand on national security is dangerously self-contradictory

- The lesser evil more deadly?

- Who helps Obama?

- Obama's greatest vulnerability

... and finally,

- No choice but evil?

The Observer

Friday, August 08, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

More Proof We're Not Serious About Terror - Which Only Means Our Government Is Becoming The Terror!

A military jury gave Usama bin Laden's driver a stunningly lenient sentence on Thursday, making him eligible for release in just five months despite the prosecutors' request for a sentence tough enough to frighten terrorists around the globe.

Salim Hamdan's sentence of 5 1/2 years, including five years and a month already served at Guantanamo Bay, fell far short of the 30 years to life that prosecutors wanted. It now goes for mandatory review to a Pentagon official who can shorten the sentence but not extend it.

It remains unclear what will happen to Hamdan once his sentence is served, since the U.S. military has said it won't release anyone who still represents a threat. The judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, said Hamdan would likely be eligible for the same administrative review process as other prisoners.

Hamdan thanked the jurors for the sentence and repeated his apology for having served bin Laden.

"I would like to apologize one more time to all the members and I would like to thank you for what you have done for me," Hamdan told the panel of six U.S. military officers, hand-picked by the Pentagon for the first U.S. war crimes trial in a half century.

The military has not said where Hamdan will serve his sentence, but the commander of the detention center, Navy Rear Adm. David Thomas, said last week that convicted prisoners will be held apart from the general detainee population at the isolated U.S. military base in southeast Cuba.

"I hope the day comes that you return to your wife and daughters and your country, and you're able to be a provider, a father, and a husband in the best sense of all those terms," the judge told Hamdan.

Hamdan, dressed in a charcoal sports coat and white robe, responded: "God willing."

... as the U.S. Government becomes more and more "malleable" towards Terrorists and Terror the more Dhimmi we become. The U.S. Citizen will have no choice but to increasingly mistrust his government.

The Observer

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Big Brother Is Getting Very Active!

Yes, Big Brother is alive and well in these perilous times. As has been pointed out on many occasions, this Global War On Terror is as much a War on Us as it is them!

The first story applies to dear old Uncle Sam. You know him; he's the old bearded guy who's turned more and more tyrannical as he's aged and has recently taken this tyranny to new heights. "Federal agents at the border may seize a traveler’s laptop computer and other electronic devices and hold them for an unspecified period of time even if they have no reason to suspect any wrongdoing. Under newly disclosed policies, dated July 16 and issued by two agencies of the Department of Homeland Security, officials may also share copies of the laptop’s contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, The Washington Post reports."

This is from you Republicans favorite guy, the beloved President George W. Bush, also known as America's first Saudi/Mexican President, and holder of political prisoners Ramos and Compean.

Secondly, In something straight out of the movie, Minority Report, "the Connecticut state legislature shows police have used the state's unique gun seizure law to confiscate more than 1,700 firearms from citizens based on suspicion that the gun owners might harm themselves or others." "The state's law permits police to seek a warrant for seizing a citizen's guns based on suspicion of the gun owner's intentions, before any act of violence or lawbreaking is actually committed."

For all you government lovers out there (Republicans and Democrats), these two bits of news should make you dizzy with glee and excitement!

All Tiger can say is; buy more guns and ammo before it's too late. This "government" we have will eventually unleash all it's power on the innocent, while protecting the criminal!

The Observer

Monday, August 04, 2008

More Archaeological Proof Of The Bible's Validity

Old Testament 'proof': Royal seal discovered -
Archaeologists unearth ancient relic from prince mentioned in Jeremiah

By Joe Kovacs © 2008 WorldNetDaily

A team of archaeologists in Israel has unearthed what's believed to be the royal seal of an Old Testament prince who is said to have tossed the prophet Jeremiah down a well.

The stamped engraving, known as a "bulla," was discovered earlier this year about 600 feet south of the Temple Mount, but is just now making headlines.

Team leader Dr. Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem's Hebrew University says the imprint was found in clay, astonishingly well-preserved, bearing the name of Gedaliah, the son of Pashur.

"How absolutely fantastic and special this find is can only be realized when you hold in your hand this magnificent one-centimeter piece of clay and know that it survived 2,600 years in the debris of the destruction, and came to us complete and in perfect condition," Mazar said.

Gedaliah is mentioned by name in Jeremiah 38:1 as he served Judah's King Zedekiah in the final days before Jerusalem was conquered by Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.

The prophet's writings tell of the actions that Gedaliah and his fellow princes took against him:"Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords.

And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire." (Jeremiah 38:6)

The prophet was rescued after an Ethiopian eunuch pleaded with the king on Jeremiah's behalf, saying, "he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city." (38:9)

The king then ordered 30 men to hoist up the prophet before the city fell to the Babylonians.

The letters on the seal are in ancient Hebrew, and Mazar told WND the relic was recovered through a wet-sifting process. She says the method was learned after the "illegal excavations" by the Waqf, the Islamic custodians of the Temple Mount, who have been dumping debris in huge mounds.

"The wet sifting that we did for the destruction debris from our excavations indeed allowed us to uncover hundreds of different kinds of small finds such as tiny fish bones, Phoenician glass beads, Hebrew, Babylonian and Egyptian bullae and seals, pits and seeds, hematite and limestone weights, arrowheads, figurines, jewelry and more," she said.

This is actually the second recent discovery of an ancient bulla from the time of Jeremiah.In 2005, Mazar found another seal with the name of Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, who is mentioned twice in the prophet's book. That artifact was found in a stone structure Mazar believes was part of King David's ancient palace.

She added, "It is not very often that such a discovery happens to archaeologists in which real figures of the past shake off the dust of history and so vividly revive the stories of the Bible."

The Observer