Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Story taken from
Israel supporters are sounding the alarm on a controversial law in the Palestinian Authority that forbids Arabs from selling land to Jews.
On the Mount of Olives, a large Israeli flag flies over a house where one man was possibly killed over the PA decree.
"Who killed him nobody knows, but it was because of the house," said resident Abraham.
Abraham's brother Mohammed was accused of selling the house to Jewish settlers. Just days after the new residents moved in, Mohammed's dead body was found on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem.
Abraham suspects someone killed his brother because of the belief that he sold a house to Jews. Abraham insists his brother was innocent.
"Even the Jewish rabbi said, 'We bought the house through other people, not from him,'" he recalled.
"They came here. They said, 'We didn't buy it from him. We buy it our way.' So this is what happened. This is the truth," he said.
Israeli correspondent Pinchas Inbari said it's widely known that under the Palestinian Authority, an Arab caught selling land to Jews faces the death penalty.
"People have already been executed on these charges or to be killed by the militias, by Fatah, or the Islamic jihad. or whatever you have," Inbari said.
The decree has been in place since before Israeli statehood in 1948.
Because of the danger, some real estate transactions have led to Arabs being given extra money to leave the region and resettle elsewhere.
It's a subject Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought up to the foreign press earlier this year.
"Ten minutes from here in the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, there is a law, a decree that if you sell land to Jews, it's punishable by death," Netanyahu said. "Now you think that's something worthy of reporting?"
While the law is widely known in the Middle East, it's seldom reported in the West.
Story taken from
Sabotage by an insider at a major utility facility, including a chemical or oil refinery, could provide al Qaeda with its best opportunity for the kind of massive Sept. 11 anniversary attack Osama bin Laden was planning, according to U.S. officials.
A new intelligence report from the Department of Homeland Security issued Tuesday, titled Insider Threat to Utilities, warns "violent extremists have, in fact, obtained insider positions," and that "outsiders have attempted to solicit utility-sector employees" for damaging physical and cyber attacks.
"Based on the reliable reporting of previous incidents, we have high confidence in our judgment that insiders and their actions pose a significant threat to the infrastructure and information systems of U.S. facilities," the bulletin reads in part. "Past events and reporting also provide high confidence in our judgment that insider information on sites, infrastructure, networks, and personnel is valuable to our adversaries and may increase the impact of any attack on the utilities infrastructure."
In the materials recovered after the Navy SEAL operation that killed Osama bin Laden in May, officials found evidence bin Laden sought to repeat the carnage of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on or around its ten year anniversary.
After gaining access to such sites, causing mayhem could be relatively easy, according to former White House counter-terrorism advisor and ABC News consultant Richard Clarke.
"There are a lot of very sensitive facilities where someone can get a job on the inside, get access to a control room, flip a switch, which causes an electric power grid to short circuit, causes a pipeline to explode," Clarke said.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement there was no specific threat.
"DHS routinely shares information with its state and local partners on a wide-range of potential threats, and as part of this responsibility, DHS issued an intelligence note to its federal, state, local, tribal and private sector partners on July 19 regarding potential threats to private sector utilities. While DHS has no specific, credible intelligence of an imminent threat posed to the private sector utilities, several recent incidents highlight the on-going threat to infrastructure in the utility sectors from insiders and outsiders seeking facility-specific information that might be exploited in an attack," DHS press secretary Matt Chandler said. "We will continue to work closely with our state and local partners, including our partners in the utility sector, to take steps to best protect from potential threats – including protecting our nation's infrastructure. This includes sharing information as well as best practices."
'I am Taking This Plant Hostage
U.S. officials were stunned last year in Yemen with the arrest of an alleged American recruit to al Qaeda, Sharif Mobley, of New Jersey, who had been employed as five different U.S. nuclear power plants in and around Pennsylvania after successfully passing federal background checks.
"If someone is determined, and has the right access, they could do damage that would affect thousands of lives," Sweet said.
Al Qaeda has already put out the word in its online magazine, Inspire, for "brothers of ours who have specialized expertise and those who work in sensitive locations that would offer them unique opportunities to wreak havoc on the enemies of Allah."
As evidence of American infrastructure vulnerabilities, the report specifically cites the attempted insider sabotage this April at a water treatment plant in Arizona.
Officials said then a disgruntled night shift worker took over the control room and tried to create a giant methane gas explosion.
"I am taking the plant hostage," the worker said in a recorded 911 call.
There was no tie to al Qaeda and his plot failed, but the incident was a reminder of how easily one insider could create potentially deadly mayhem.
"Facilities in the United States don't have to be attacked by terrorists with airplanes or bombs outside the facility," Clarke said.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Story taken from
They look like children's toys that are left discarded in wardrobes around the world.
But these innocent-looking devices are actually some of the most sophisticated drones on the planet.
The U.S. Air Force is developing the miniature spy craft with the goal of making them so small that they resemble birds and even insects.
Some even have moving wings that military chiefs hope will look so convincing that people won't pay them any attention.
The Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are being developed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
The base's Air Force Research Laboratory mission is to develop MAVs that can find, track and target adversaries while operating in complex urban environments.
The engineers, led by Dr Gregory Parker, are using a variety of small helicopters and drones in the lab to develop the programs and software.
The trials are the latest research into tiny drones funded by the U.S. military.
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has spent years developing a whole host of cyborg critters, in the hopes of creating the ultimate 'fly on the wall'.
Two years ago, researchers revealed that they had created cyborg beetles that can be guided wirelessly via a laptop.
Using implants, they worked out how to control a beetle's take-off, flight and landing by stimulating the brain to work the wings.
They controlled turns through stimulating the basilar muscles on one side or the other to make the wings on that side flap harder.
The embedded system uses nerve and muscle stimulators, a microbattery and a microcontroller with transceiver.
They were implanted in the beetles when they were at the pupal stage.
Three types of large beetles from Cameroon were used in the experiments at the University of California in Berkeley. The smallest was 2cm long, while the largest was 20cm.
Story taken from
Only one in three Palestinians (34 percent) accepts two states for two peoples as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to an intensive, face-to-face survey in Arabic of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip completed this week by American pollster Stanley Greenberg.
The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, was conducted in partnership with the Beit Sahour-based Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Israel Project, an international nonprofit organization that provides journalists and leaders with information about the Middle East.
The Israel Project is trying to reach out to the Arab world to promote “people-to-people peace.” The poll appears to indicate that the organization has a difficult task ahead.
Respondents were asked about US President Barack Obama’s statement that “there should be two states: Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people.”
Just 34% said they accepted that concept, while 61% rejected it.
Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state.
Asked about the fate of Jerusalem, 92% said it should be the capital of Palestine, 1% said the capital of Israel, 3% the capital of both, and 4% a neutral international city.
Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.
When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80% agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.
But only 45% said they believed in the charter’s statement that the only solution to the Palestinian problem was jihad.
The survey’s more positive findings included that only 22% supported firing rockets at Israeli cities and citizens and that two-thirds preferred diplomatic engagement over violent “resistance.”
Among Palestinians in general 65% preferred talks and 20% violence. In the West Bank it was 69-28%, and in Gaza, 59- 32%.
Asked whether they backed seeking a Palestinian state unilaterally in the UN, 64% said yes. The number was 57% in the West Bank and 79% in Gaza. Thirty-seven percent said the UN action would bring a Palestinian state closer, 16% said it would set back the establishment of a state, and 44% said it would make no difference.
When asked what Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s top priorities should be, 83% said creating jobs. Just 4% said getting the UN to recognize a Palestinian state, and only 2% said peace talks with Israel.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
“Son I would share with you my heart.”
Having said these words Jesus looked deep in my eyes and I could tell that what he was speaking of was both very deeply felt and an intense memory. We are sitting in the great hall of the castle of Joy. Having said this I heard the great door of the hall open and turning my head saw Father enter the hall and he came over to the large table Jesus and I were sitting at. I fell to my knees before him. I love Father for so many personal reasons. He has been there for me in my darkest moments and deepest trials. He is not only my God but I love him as a Father as well.
Father raised me to my feet and put his arms around me and held me in a loving warm embrace for a long moment. I never feel so loved and so safe and secure as when in Father’s presence.
After a long moment of just loving one another in a silent embrace he said, “Son sit down for we must share with you today that most holy of events of all time and I would also as my son has said share with you my heart”.
I sat down at the table and both Father and Jesus sat down side by side directly across from me. My spirit is filled with a great sense of anticipation of what they were going to share with me today.
Father said, “Michael no one could love and adore a son any more than I do my beloved son. I remember so clearly the day he was born incarnated in human flesh in the earth. It was a moment of both joy and pain for I knew that his birth signaled the end of Satan’s oppression in the earth. All of heaven at that moment broke out in a spontaneous celebration for the work of redemption had at that moment taken its first step. God had been born in human flesh and we were through that event forever united with mankind because of the willingness of my Son to come into the world and stand in your place.”
I cannot begin to describe the emotion and power that filled the room as Father spoke. His voice was filled with a depth of feeling that is hard to describe. Jesus was sitting as I was silently listening but the bond he and Father share in speaking of this subject was very real, and I for myself could not believe the great honor being shared with me that they were sharing this with me.
“Yet Michael my heart was also tinged with sorrow for I knew what he would suffer and endure. I knew the price he would pay on your behalf. I watched him grow and develop into a young man. My heart was moved as he by his words and deeds showed the great love we had for all mankind. He healed the sick, spoke words of life. He shared with a lost and hurting world the love of my heart and the eternal purposes of God that was shared with one and all freely by him. He was a source of inspiration and deliverance such as the world had never seen before. His voice was lifted in words of healing and consolation as one by one the multitudes came from far and near to be forever changed by him.”
Father sighed and tears formed in his eyes. He for a long moment just bowed his head as if collecting his thoughts.
“Yet Michael we both knew that the earthly ministry in which he walked would culminate in a divine sacrifice that would rend both our hearts, and yet was the only way that our family could be redeemed from the sin and darkness living inside them. We both loved you our children with a love that even now only he and I and the Holy Spirit will ever really comprehend.”
At this point Father ceased speaking and Jesus said, “They were like children. Those who came to hear my words had so little understanding of us and our ways. Yes we all were involved in the work that I accomplished. My Father was ever by my side. Nothing was said or ever done by me that he was not the source and I was the vessel through whom he worked out his great purposes. The Holy Spirit brought them to me and by his work they were moved by my words and delivered from sickness and the oppression of hell.
Yet there came a time when Father and I knew that the time of the eternal sacrifice had come. The disciples and I began to make our way to Jerusalem and I knew that my day of eternal sacrifice the very reason I had been born was at hand. Every step I took brought me one step closer and my heart was heavy and the weight of the cross that I was facing tore at my heart. Yet step by step my Father was ever with me and strengthened me with that eternal resolve to finish the work of redemption that he had given me to do.”
Father at this moment in a gesture of love and affection reached out his hand and took his son’s hand in his.
“Michael he said, my son was the God man and this was done through his incarnate birth. What many do not realize was that he and I shared also an eternal spiritual union that had been ours always from eternity past. He and I shared this still in his earth walk. As he made his way to Jerusalem where we both knew what he must do I was connected to all of it by my connection to my son. We both suffered the agony of the moment and both our hearts were moved by a divine purpose that we must do what we must do. When they took him away to die in your stead I was not only a mere observer but through my divine connection with my son I suffered as he suffered. Son you have both seen and experienced the holy connection that we have with you as a son. Yet also understand that we walk in a connection with each other far beyond what you can ever know”.
Father began to weep and his heart was torn with grief. His voice as he was speaking these words was tinged with the memories of the pain of the times he was describing.
“Michael they beat him. I felt every lash my heart was broken and yet I knew we must finish the work we had begun.”
At this point Jesus said, Yes all during my trial and the beating I suffered it was the connection I had with my Father that sustained me. His love was a reservoir of strength from which I drew. My body grew weaker and weaker they beat me until I was nearly dead. If they had not crucified me I would have died from the beatings they had already given me.
Father and I walked up Golgotha’s hill together. I could feel the pain and sorrow he was feeling on my behalf. His love for me was flowing into my spirit each step of the way.”
Jesus stopped speaking at this point and I do not believe I have ever experienced in my life such a holy moment as I was feeling at this time.
Father said, “ They laid my beloved down on the ground on the cross and they began to drive the nails into his hands and feet. They did this to my son. He and I who had been together always sharing our hearts one with the other. With every downward stroke of the hammer it tore a hole in my heart. I felt the nails tear his flesh. I felt the searing pain that shot down his arms and legs. As they dropped the cross into the ground it was my heart that was torn. Michael I had by this time come down off my throne and fallen to the floor of the throne room.
Yes my son was suffering but the grief and sorrow of my heart as I endured with him the sacrifice of the cross was almost more than I could endure. I felt his life slowly and surely leaving him. My agony was in its own way as painful for me as what he was enduring for you. Yet I knew before this sacrifice was done we would both share an even greater test. Hour after hour my heart grieved for him.
I longed to hold him and comfort him. Yet I knew we must finish this till the end. I poured my love and devotion into his heart. I shared with him not only my love but also my pain and sorrow for what he was going through. He was the perfect lamb sacrificed for the sins of the whole world. How could I not accept his sacrifice he had always been the love of my heart. His love and devotion to me had never been in question. The nobility of his character and the depth of both his love for me and for you matched my own.”
Father at this moment embraced his son and both silently wept in each other’s arms. This went on for some little time. I was also weeping and my heart torn by what both of them had suffered so that little insignificant I could be redeemed. Without their sacrifice I would not even be here to record all this that they were sharing with me. I fell on my face before them and began to worship them. I knew in my heart that there was more of this that they were going to share with me but that it was ending for today. How precious how wonderful is our God.
Story taken from
Erdogan's recent electoral victory speech puts his true intentions regarding Turkey's foreign policy goals in perspective. He said that this victory is as important in Ankara as it is in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, under Ottoman times, an important Ottoman city; that his party's victory was as important in a large Turkish city, Izmir, on the Western Anatolian coast, as it is in Damascus, and as important in Istanbul as it is in Jerusalem.
What does all this mean? At the very least, this victory speech signals a wish for Ottoman cultural colonialism and imperialism. The places Erdogan names were all part of by the Ottoman Empire; the territory of the modern Turkish Republic is what remained after World War I and Turkey's War of Independence from the occupying Allied forces. Turkey forms only the central part, and relatively small fraction, of what had been the Ottoman Empire, which at its height extended deep into southern Europe, and included most of today's Arab world and even beyond.
In saying that this victory is as important in all of these former Ottoman cities, Erdogan apparently sees himself as trying to reclaim Turkey's full Ottoman past. In religious terms, the entire reason for being of the Ottoman Empire was to spread the Sunni form of Islam prevalent there. Sunnis, who make up about 85% of the Muslim world, believe that when Mohammed died, the leadership of Islam was passed down through what amounted to the Meccan artistocracy, and not through Mohammed's family -- which is what the Shi'ites believe. The cities Erdogan mentioned are almost all Sunni, with a few non-Sunni ones thrown in.
The Ottomans had two major rivals: the non-Muslim Europeans to the northwest, and the Shi'ite Persian Empire to the east. Although the Ottomans saw each enemy as presenting a different set of problems, they saw their own role in traditional Sunni Muslim terms: Continuing the Jihad, namely the conquest of the non-Muslim world. This requires expanding Sunni rule wherever possible; it also requires forcing non-Muslims to surrender to Sunni Islamic rule. In adopting this policy, the Ottomans were merely following the instructions of virtually every classical Muslim jurist: unending political and military conflict until the entire world submits to Islamic rule.
Shi'ites, as opposed to non-Muslims, have always been seen by Sunnis as an existential threat to Sunnism. Shi'ites, who make up about 12-15% of the Muslim world, believe that the only true rulers of Islam are Mohammed's direct descendants, not merely local "aristocracy," as the Sunnis believe; these rulers they call Imams. For Sunnis, "Imam" is often used just to mean "a preacher at a mosque."
Most Shiites believe that the definitive ruler of Islam was a direct descendant of Mohammed; is known as "The Twelfth Imam," or "The Mahdi" who disappeared in 873 A.D. -- a Messianic figure, whom they believe will return one day to rule the Muslims, just as many Christians believe in the Second Coming of Jesus.
When the Ayatollah Khomeini began ruling Iran in 1979, many Iranians began calling him "Imam' – denoting both "Ruler of the Muslims," and also that they thought he was possibly "The Twelfth Imam," re-emerged, for whom they had been waiting. Khomeini never really addressed this issue, seemingly purposefully leaving unclear his status as the reincarnation of theTwelfth Imam.
Shi'ites are engaged in an unending battle -- very often violent -- to convert others to the "true form of Islam" – theirs. The rulers of the Persian Empire in the 1500s consequently converted to Shi'ism, becoming the mortal Islamic enemy of the Sunni Ottomans; their basic reason for existing was to convert others to the "true form of Islam" – theirs.
While choosing to become Shiites, the rulers of the Persian Empire knew that they had a natural ally within the Ottoman Empire: a group called Alevis, who then lived in Eastern Anatolia in what is now Turkey . The Alevi religion consists of a mixture of Central Asian and Turkish pre-Islamic customs; but most importantly to revere the First Imam of the Shiites, Ali, a central figure in Shiite Islam. The Alevis in Eastern Anatolia therefore came to be seen as a natural ally of the mortal enemies of the Ottomans, the Shiites; and as a "fifth column" in the Sunni Ottoman Empire. From that time on, until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the Ottomans had to worry about the security of their eastern border area.
When the Persians converted to Shi'ism, the Ottomans evidently felt they had no alternative other than to send their military out to the east to fight them and address what they saw as a mortal threat to the existence of the Ottoman Empire, which was Sunni to its core.
The scars of this early 1500s battle between the Sunni Ottomans and the Persian Shiites has influenced the Turkish Sunni psyche so deeply that today's Turkish Sunnis -- and most importantly among them, Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan -- still recite age-old pejorative Turkish proverbs about both the Shiites and the Alevis. These proverbs include references to the Alevis and Shiites as untrustworthy brigands who also engage in indecent acts.
In spite of the historical animosity between Turkish Sunnis and the non-Sunni rulers of the neighboring countries –- such as the Shiites in Iran and Iraq, and the Alawis ruling Syria -- Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria tried to forge a loose political and economic alliance, which lasted until the beginning of what the Arabs called the "Arab Facebook Revolution," and which we in the West call "The Arab Spring." But Erdogan's Sunni inclinations seem to have overcome his political ambitions with his neighbors as the Sunni-non-Sunni basic differences re-emerged, as well as for political and economic reasons.
At the moment Erdogan is threatened by other problems that Iran is bringing to his doorstep. These include Iran's attempt to make itself the major energy transport country in the area, bypassing Turkey. Turkey's major geographic significance now is that it is a transporter of energy, bringing gas and oil from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and oil from northern Iraq to the world market. If Iran takes Turkey's place in the energy market, especially in transporting energy to India, China, and the region, Turkey will suffer an immense economic and strategic loss.
Further, Erdogan must be terrified of what he sees happening in Syria. Assad and his ruling clique are not Sunnis. They are Alawis -- not exactly the same as Turkey's Alevis, but similar in that they also revere Ali. But unlike the Shiites, the Alawis view Ali as a deity, much as the Christians revere Jesus. As a result of the continuing upheaval in Syria, the ruling party of Turkey might see itself as surrounded by various active religious threats from the east and from Syria, along Turkey's southern border.
Syria's tyrant, Bashar Assad, and his late father, Hafiz Assad, both Alawis, had come to an understanding with Syria's Sunni business elite, enabling these entrepreneurs to make money in exchange for acquiescing to Assad's Alawi rule. As long as these tacit agreements were in place, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan could feel comfortable dealing with Assad. Erdogan's and Assad's families even vacationed together, and Erdogan publicly called Assad his close friend -- an alliance all the more curious as the Syrian Sunnis view the Alawis with utter disdain, stemming from the Alawi worship of Ali as a deity, rather than as just the Twelfth Imam.
When the Syrian Sunnis started abandoning their ruler, Bashar Assad a few weeks ago, Erdogan took his cue from them and allowed Syrian Sunnis to host several Syrian opposition conferences in Turkey -- including one conference paid for by a wealthy Syrian Sunni businessman who until recently had been a supporter of Assad; and another conference, in Istanbul, of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Although both conferences had slightly different approaches to solving Syria's political problems, what united them was that at both, Syria's Sunnis -- Erdogan's natural allies -- were the dominant actors.
Erdogan may well now feel himself under threat from both Syria and Iran, until recently two of his allies. The policy of of "Zero problems with all neighbors" of Erdogan's Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has proven to be an abject failure.
Despite Erdogan's attempts to paper over some of his differences with the other countries in his region, Erdogan -- a devote Sunni Muslim –- could not make more than a temporary alliance with the Iranian Shiites, the Sunnis' tradition enemy. To be sure, he could have entered into a temporary alliance with them, as he could with Israel or the United States, but only in order to accomplish other, temporary, expedient goals.
Erdogan undoubtedly sees that he now has an opportunity to advance his Ottoman-centric Sunni policy in Syria and beyond. If Assad's Alawi regime falls, and is replaced by a Sunni-dominated one, Syria -- approximately 70% Sunni -- would be a natural ally for Turkey. Syria's Sunni business- and upper classes have had centuries-old connections with their counterparts in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey. Many marriages have taken place between upper class Syrian Sunnis and Turkish Sunnis. Moreover, Aleppo, the second largest city in Syria, close to the Turkish border, has had a strong Ottoman character, and could again become the major trading city it was until the Turkish-Syrian border was drawn after World War I.
In all, Erdogan's bottom line appears to be advancing a reconstitution of the Ottoman Empire, which he and his fellow Turkish Sunni fundamentalists now call " The Ottoman Region." In the long run, all non-Sunnis -- such as Iran, Israel, Syria (if it remains under Alawi rule after things eventually quiet down in Syria), and a Shiite-ruled Iraq -- remain outsiders. Erdogan might make temporary alliances with any of them, but, psychologically, that will be all he is prepared to do.
Turkey's attempted apparent rapprochement with Israel -- at least for the time being -- reflects his tactical thinking: Turkey does not want more trouble in its area right now. Erdogan is likely alarmed by the consequences of what might happen in Syria if Assad continues killing Syrians: those being killed are largely Sunni. Turkey's alliances with Iran, Iraq and Syria have all failed. It is hard to imagine why Turkey thought such alliances could succeed, based as they were on too many tenuous connections -- a Shi'ite Iran, an Alawi-ruled Syria and a Shiite-dominated Iraq. Not one of these is a natural ally for the Sunni Turks.
As for Erdogan and Davutoglu, in the depths of their souls, they are fundamentalist Sunni Muslims and see themselves as such. The Turkish-Iranian-Iraqi-Syrian alliance, which Erdogan worked so hard to build, has failed. Erdogan's and Davutoglu's long-term, Sunni goals, and those of the non-Sunnis in the area, have been, and will always be, vastly different. Turkey might conclude temporary alliances with non-Sunnis as needed, to address immediate concerns, but we cannot expect much more than this. Given Iran's regional bid to replace Turkey as "energy-central," and the apparent attempt of the Shi'ite Iranian-Syrian-Alawi alliance to try to put down the Sunni-dominated Syrian insurrection, Turkey needs to make sure it does not have additional problems.
It is in this context that we should understand Turkey's renewed interest in the U.S. and Israel. As such, both the U.S. and Israel should be extremely wary of Erdogan and his associates. Erdogan's Turkey does not see long-term interests with either. Given economic developments in Iran, Alawite oppression in Syria, and Shiite-dominance in Iraq, Erdogan understands that he must take a temporary hiatus from his goal of reasserting what appears to be his real goal -- the Turkish Sunni domination of the entire Middle East.
Story taken From
The intensive U.S. efforts to create an agreed outline for renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have failed, Israeli and Palestinian sources have told Haaretz. The sources said the Palestinian leadership is more determined than ever to pursue the recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the United Nations in September.
Israeli source who was close to talks held by the U.S. administration with both Israeli and Palestinian officials told Haaretz the Americans was unable to find a formula that both parties could accept and take to the negotiating table. He said the Americans were working on a formula that would combine President Barack Obama's speech at the State Department on May 19 and his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on May 22. Such a formula would offer the Palestinians the 1967 border with territorial exchanges while promising Israeli recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.
Both parties raised numerous objections to Washington's proposal, leading the administration to conclude that neither was ready to resume talks. The Americans therefore decided to settle for a generic Quartet statement containing only a single bit of real news - announcing the dispatch of a team of senior diplomats to hold another round of talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah and report back to Obama personally.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday he was ready to resume peace talks "tomorrow," and blamed the Palestinians for the impasse in negotiations. He made the remarks during a meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias, who was visiting Jerusalem.
The foreign ministers of the Quartet met last night in Washington. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met separately with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Quartet envoy Tony Blair, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The ministers were to dine together and then issue the press announcement.
Senior officials in both Jerusalem and Ramallah said yesterday the Palestinian Authority leadership was determined to push for a UN vote on statehood, based on their assumption it was no longer possible to resume talks with Israel. The Palestinians insist on continuing with the move, despite strong American opposition. On his visit to Washington last week PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat was rebuffed when he tried to present the Palestinian appeal to the UN.
The Palestinians believe that by the end of this month they will be able to secure support from 130 member states for recognition of an independent Palestinian state in the United Nations. The European Union members they judge most likely to vote in favor include Sweden, Spain, Malta, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg, and possibly France and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, more than 100 members of the European Parliament are urging the EU and its member states to discourage the Palestinians from seeking UN recognition.
In a letter to Ashton, parliamentarians from conservatives to liberals to socialists argued that issues between Palestinians and Israelis can be solved only by negotiations, not a declaration of independence.
"It is precisely because we believe in the justness of the Palestinian cause that we urge them to refrain from seeking UN recognition of a unilaterally declared state, a counterproductive step we fear could set back the chances for peace," said the letter, signed by 106 members of the European Parliament.
Monday, July 18, 2011
I have spent a time of quiet relaxation and repose. I am at present busily engaged in working in the vineyard. There are so many misconceptions about heaven. One is that everything is just there perfectly in place. The truth is there is something to be said for getting your hands dirty in good honest work. I am trimming vines and gathering grapes. My heart is filled with the joy of the moment and the peace and tranquility of this place. I love being here and my spirit is refreshed and uplifted.
It has been quite a journey since last year and my heart has and is reflecting on all I have seen and heard in the last year. It has been a year of growth and renewal. Yes I have learned so many new things but the greatest thing for me I believe has not been just the truth I have learned, but the new relationships and people I have come to know. Moses is more than just an inspired man of God to me. I have grown to think of him as a spiritual Father. Enoch, Elijah, and so many others are all a wonderful memory in my heart. They are a blessing sent from Father to teach me the time honored wonders and principles that they had to impart to me.
Yet I know as unbelievable a time as this has been for me up till now there is still so much more to learn. I have not just been idly thinking but have filled a basket with these wonderful grapes. I am taking them to the room where the winepress is where they will be made into that rich powerful wine of joy that Moses and I enjoyed. Thinking again of Moses I did so enjoy our time together in the castle. He was so relaxed and pleasant. I don’t think I have ever seen him like that before. I feel I am getting to know the man not just the spiritual Icon that he is.
As I approached the door of the winepress an angel took my basket of grapes and I followed him into the room where the winepress is located. To my pleasant surprise I found Jesus was inside. He was busily giving instructions to the angels so gathered in the work they were doing. He looked up at me and smiled, and after a moment or two of conversation with the head angel, walked over to me and gave me a warm hug of greeting.
We both walked back out the door into the bright warm light of the vineyard outside. He motioned me to follow him and we walked in silence out of the vineyard into the garden beyond. He made his way to a beautiful arbor made of beautiful entwined branches covered with lovely multicolored flowers. Inside was a bench where we both sat down. There was a cool breeze blowing through the branches filling the arbor with the intoxicating smell of the flowers the arbor was made of. Yet as lovely and wonderful as the arbor is it pails beside the glory and wonder of the Lord who is sitting beside me. I think the best blessing of all in the past year is how my relationship with Jesus and Father has grown and moved to another level.
Jesus looked at me for a long moment and then began speaking to me.
“Son your hour is almost upon you. Satan has desired to destroy you and has unleashed everything he can to stop what Father is preparing you for. You like Paul have been plagued by a fallen angel who through many evil devices has attempted to thwart my and Fathers plans for your life. These cannot and will not be allowed to stop what we are doing in your life. At present your body has been weakened by sickness and oppression.”
All this time as he had been speaking to me he had been looking me in the eyes. I was, as always in his presence, overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of his appearance and bearing. Yet the most beautiful thing about Jesus is not the beauty of his form, but rather that inward beauty of his heart.
He was speaking to me as if in the whole wide universe at that moment I had his total undivided attention another wonderful thing about him.
“Son you are called to another harvest field and your time shall soon come.”
At this he leaned back and rested his head against the back of the bench upon which we were sitting and staring straight ahead continued.
“There is a short time of tranquility remaining on earth. For a short while it will seem that the nations of this world have turned the corner and the worry and fears of the past year forgotten. I will give my church a last end time move of my Spirit. Then in the days of my greatest moving the world shall begin to be shaken by the judgments yet to come foretold in my word. Son millions of souls are being weighed in the balance in this day and hour.”
He then stopped and looked at me and paused and I knew that what he had to say next was something for me that was very important.
“Son you have seen many things in the past year and you have still much to learn. Shortly you shall begin to walk out that anointing that Father has for you and many others including your friend and my devoted son Gene. The days of both of you being set forth to accomplish both Fathers and my wills for your lives are almost upon you, and at present both you and he are being prepared each in his own way for that which is yet to follow. Yet know this your greatest ministry is yet to come and when the door shall open it shall be for both of you and it will be together.
You both will have the time to prepare for that which is to come, and when it does you will be ready to face the onslaught of hell that the evil one has for this day. You as will be others shall be my voice to this last time generation. Son know this when the evil one arises you shall be ready, and shall withstand his assaults. You and Gene, whom I linked together way back as teenagers, shall be two of my instruments through whom the power and glory of my Father and his kingdom shall withstand and demonstrate his kingdom authority to a world on the threshold of the great tribulation that is soon to come,”
Jesus then stood and we walked out of the arbor.
He then turned and facing me said “Do not let the distractions of the earth at this time move you. I say again do not get caught up in the movements but rather get your message from me and gain your strength and insight from here.”
With this he again turned and walked away and I knew our discourse for the present was over. He has as always given me much to think about and reflect upon God be praised.
Story taken from
Budget and debt problems are once again racking America. Barack Obama has failed to persuade the Republican majority in Congress to raise the national debt ceiling. That much is nothing new, and similar attempts will be unlikely to succeed in the future. Since July 10, the White House has been holding daily consultations on raising the ceiling. The current ceiling of $14.3 trillion must be raised by several hundred billion, or the Department of the Treasury will run out of money by August 2.
The Americans raise their debt ceiling on a regular basis. Since 1993, they have come close to defaulting 16 times. In 1995, the government even shut down for a week. In the past, the world perceived these exercises as a matter of course, whereas now the unwritten rule of the U.S. budget is increasingly becoming a sore subject.
The times have changed, and the national debt and deficit have become too astronomical to be treated as an American eccentricity, especially considering the U.S.-bred financial crisis of 2008 and the backdrop of failing finances in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal (likely to be followed by Spain and Italy) and the patently pre-crisis condition of the Euro.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has not yet announced who will be the hardest hit if worst comes to worst – the secretaries of departments, other officials, congressmen, senators, the Pentagon, intelligence, teachers, transportation workers, the IRS, NASA, museums, or janitors. That much, at least, is of little concern to Europe.
The problem is not salary cuts for specific agencies but U.S. solvency. Nobody is saying that the United States will immediately default on its entire sovereign debt – it remains the most reliable debtor in the world.
The trouble lies elsewhere:
a) The national debt continues to swell (in reality, it exceeded the ceiling of $14.3 trillion in May).
b) The federal government has come too close to being unable to pay interest on its debt too often.
c) Due to the uncertainty surrounding American debt and financial upheaval in parts of Europe, interest rates are growing on all financial markets;
d) Insurance rates on credit are growing.
e) The stock exchanges are getting nervous.
Put together, these factors may constitute a volatile mixture that could flare into another global financial crisis. It may start with minor market convulsions that erupt into something much larger.
The extent of European frustration with American debt is aptly expressed in one telling commentary. The British journal The Economist, a well-known guru of the free market, free trade, and sound conservatism, supports Obama’s position and calls Republican grievances with the budget proposals of a Democratic president “a gamble where you bet your country’s good name.” It considers such conduct shameful and absurd for Republicans who advocate reductions in government spending.
Cuts in social spending and higher taxes are still the only way of reducing budget expenditures and a country’s sovereign debt. This is exactly what Obama suggests, but the Republicans object to any such tax increases. Meanwhile, they are ready to reduce the budget by only $2 trillion instead of the $4 trillion that Obama suggests.
To cut is to heal
In European eyes, these developments in the White House are a farce rather than a tragedy. It is something akin to taking the world’s financial and economic players hostage and making them the captive audience to an American soap opera that has evoked little but bewilderment and confusion.
It is clear that the Republicans do not want to come to Obama’s aid on the eve of the 2012 presidential elections, but it is unclear why they insist on keeping the rest of the world in suspense.
America is far from being a champion of the ratio between its GDP and national debt. That debt amounts to 65% of its GDP and ranks 37th on the list of major global debtors. Yet many European countries fare worse: Greece (144%), Iceland (123%), France (83%), Germany (78%), and Britain (77%).
A look at the information provided by the CIA (or IMF – they are only slightly different) makes it clear that Japan is worst off in terms of debt: 226% of the GDP! Only St. Kitts and Nevis come close with 186%.
The debt section of the CIA’s yearly periodical is the only economic publication in which we are pleased to see Russia in 123rd place (out of 132). We seem to have left everyone behind with a debt of only 9.5% of our GDP.
In fact, we are among the leading creditors of the U.S. government, although we cannot yet afford to talk to Washington or ignore its opinion like China, its biggest creditor. Washington owes $1.154 trillion to Beijing, amounting to 25.8% of U.S. external debt. Japan is the runner-up with $890.3 billion in U.S. treasury bonds. Put together, Tokyo and Beijing account for 45.7% of total U.S. debt. Russia’s share is some $130.5 billion or a mere 2.9%.
American debts are still considered the most reliable in the world. U.S. bonds have almost the same liquidity as dollars on the debt security markets. But Moody’s has already hinted that if the United States delays payment on its debt, there will be consequences for its credit rating. Moody’s Spokesman Steven A. Hess put it succinctly when he said that if a debtor delays interest payments once, it may do so again, adding that it will automatically remove the debtor from the top category of the credit rankings.
There is still hope that these problems will dissipate by the August 2 deadline. The world is counting on the fact that a new and massive “Greek dilemma” is not on the horizon. But the longer this situation lasts, the greater the risk that America’s debt problems will cause a chain reaction. If so, the storm clouds of a new crisis will form again in earnest and on an unprecedented scale.
Story taken from
Iran launched two long-range missiles into the Indian Ocean in February, Iranian news agencies reported yesterday, quoting as their source the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The commander, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said that if Iran is attacked, it can retaliate by targeting American aircraft carriers in the region, which he described as “moving targets.” Hajizadeh said the launch test included firing two missiles from the Semnan province in the north of the country. He said American spy planes were operating in the area, but “curiously didn’t report that.”
Iran has claimed for some time that it has rockets with a range of 2,000 km. but a statement on their actual launch for such a distance is unusual, as is the choice of direction − toward the Indian Ocean.
Israeli missiles expert Uzi Rubin told Haaretz that launching a missile into the ocean at such a distance shows the Iranians’ ability to chart the course of the missiles and pinpoint the landing location. He said this was a breakthrough that would allow the Iranians to go on increasing the range of their missiles, if they so desire.
“This is the first tangible evidence that the Iranian Shihab 3 missile can actually reach that range,” said Rubin, former head of Israel’s Wall (Homa) missile defense program. He said such a range would allow Iranians to hit targets not only in the Persian Gulf and in Israel, but also in Europe.
Rubin told Haaretz he believes the improvement from the Shihab’s previously proved range of 1,300 km. may have been achieved through constructing the body of the missile out of aluminum, rather than steel. “It’s a complicated technical project that would involve redesigning the missile and significantly upgrading its various capabilities,” he said.
The United Nations reported recently that Iran tried to launch a long-range Sijil missile in October. The report was not officially released, due to fierce Chinese opposition to the release of the information, but reports were distributed to media outlets and websites. The failure of the Iranian commander to mention that experiment could mean it ended in failure.
The missiles launched in February were one Sijil and one Shihab 3 missile. “The ability to launch a Sijil again after an apparent failure in October, within just four months, is very impressive,” Rubin said.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
It has been my privilage to have been given many heavenly experiences. I reached back in my journals to present today's entry.
In the day-to-day living of our lives so many things can occur which either can cause joy or distress. That is what makes heaven such a wondrous place. I have spent the last two weeks simply basking in the joy of my Lord. I have spent a great deal of time with Jesus, and although there have been many discussions, they have all just been a time of sharing back and forth each of us just enjoying the others company. When we are with Jesus sometimes it is just for the sake of being together not for any earth shattering revelation.
Yet there has been a purpose for it all. The more time I spend with him the more I realize just how much he means to me. This place I have been in resembles in some ways a small villa. I have a small place if I were on earth I would think of it as like a bungalow. I also have not been alone here. My friend Moses is also here along with several others. We have each been enjoying our time with Jesus. Rest eternal rest and repose in God is the purpose and atmosphere of this place. My spirit has both rejoiced and gained rest in my time here.
There is a beautiful garden right in the center of this place and Moses and I are at this moment sitting under the shade of this beautiful fruit tree. A cool breeze is blowing through the garden bringing with it the sweet smell and aroma of the flowers and fruit trees of this garden. Moses is sitting right beside me and he reached up and picked two pieces of fruit off the tree we are sitting under and with a twinkle in his eye passed one to me.
I have known Moses for a little over a year now as we count time on earth. I have gone from being in awe of his anointing, to thinking of him, as my mentor to now he seems like family to me. I am very relaxed with him and just enjoy being with him. I haven’t seen much of him in the last few months and it has been such a joy being here with him. This fruit is incredible just like everything else here. Ones senses are definitely more acute here. Such simple things mean so much here like sitting under a tree with a close friend like Moses.
We presently both got to our feet and began to walk through the garden. My mind and heart are at such perfect peace. As we walked along Moses began to speak. “Michael heaven is not always a place of great spiritual intensity and fervor. It is so very important to as you have done here to learn to rest in God. This villa and garden is called favor for here Father has established a place where those who have fought the good fight to get here can rest and refresh there spirits.”
He stopped and put his arm on my shoulder and looked in my eyes with love and compassion.
“Michael do not see yourself as after the flesh or think this is how I or any one here sees you. In the flesh you will always fall short, as did we all when we lived out our lives. Rather learn to see yourself after the Spirit and live out of that inward revelation of God as he day by day reveals himself to you. Son after having so many deep spiritual times with you of such intensity it is a great joy to just be able to spend time in fellowship.”
With this he turned and began walking again. By and by we came to the end of the garden and began to ascend a small hill. The moment my foot touched the hill my heart began to almost swoon with joy. Moses looked at me and smiled
“Son this entire place is the place of God’s favor for the redeemed. This hill is on the verge of the vineyard of joy that awaits us on the other side of it. Yet the vineyard like the garden are all part of this place of favor set here by Father so long ago.”
Moses and I reached the top of the hill and I looked down on the most beautiful well cared for vineyard I had ever seen. Angels could be seen busily attending to the vines and at just the sight of it my heart was filled to overflowing.
Moses put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Come Michael let us descend into the vineyard that our Father has so thoughtfully provided for us and all others whom he calls here.”
With that word we walked down the hill into the vineyard. The grapes were magnificent each one of them a study in absolute perfection. We walked for a little ways until we came to this beautiful castle right in the center of the vineyard. It almost took my breath away to look upon it. It looked very old yet fresh and new.
“Moses had a look of joy and anticipation on his face and said. “This is a place of rest and renewal for all who would come here. The word says that the joy of the Lord is our strength and this is a castle of joy come Michael let us be going”
We walked to the entrance where an angel opened the heavy door for us and allowed us entrance. All around me I saw saints of God each filled with such joy and love. What wonderful fellowship. We went to a table and sat down and an angel brought us a pitcher of wine and two goblets.
Moses dutifully poured us each a glass and said, “This is the wine of joy and gladness made from the grapes of the vineyard we passed through as we came to this place.”
I raised the goblet to my lips and took a deep drink. Never had I in my entire life ever tasted something so rich and sweet. My spirit began to be flooded with joy and tears of love for my God welled up in my eyes. I saw that Moses was moved much as I was.
“Michael we shall be spending some time here and both I and many others will be sharing with you the wisdom God has given them but for now just revel in the joy of our God.”
I took another deep drink and leaned back in my chair my heart racing and my spirit intoxicated on the power, love, and joy that this place was bringing to my heart.
Story Taken From
The United Church of Christ, the denomination whose Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright blasted the United States and white people for years from the pulpit while Barack Obama sat in his pews, has decided to banish God "the Father" from its organizational documents.
A report from Eric Anderson on the denomination's website confirmed that delegates to the UCC's "General Synod 28" agreed late Monday to a series of proposed amendments to the constitution and bylaws. The vote was 613 in favor of the changes, 171 against and 10 abstaining.
The changes include a pointed deletion of a reference to God "as heavenly Father," which has been part of Christendom's description of the Trinity for millennia – the three persons of God being the heavenly Father, Christ the Son and Savior, and the Holy Ghost, the counselor and comforter.
It was cited by Shakespeare, John Bunyan, John Milton, Oliver Cromwell and William Bradford, and now you, too, have the opportunity to own the "1599 Geneva Bible"
In Article V, referencing local churches, the constitution previously said, "A Local Church is composed of persons who, believing in God as heavenly Father and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and depending on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are organized for Christian worship, for the furtherance of Christian fellowship, and for the ongoing work of Christian witness."
The new language, which still must be reviewed by the denomination's conferences, would be changed to say, "A Local Church is composed of persons who, believing in the triune God, accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and depending on the guidance of the Holy Spirit."
Other constitutional changes in the package approved by delegates meeting in Tampa, Fla., over the holiday weekend dealt with issues such as modifications in the church structure, the responsibilities of boards and committees.
Denomination spokeswoman Barb Powell told WND today that the change was made because the reference to "heavenly Father" was too restrictive.
"In the UCC, our language for God, Christ and the Holy Spirit … is preferred to be more open for different expressions of the Trinity," she said. "Heavenly Father is just one vision."
She told WND the denomination seeks to be "inclusive" in its language, "so therefore we will tend to change language that is more traditional to be more inclusive."
She said some of the denomination's pastors refer to God with terms such as "Creator" and "Father and Mother."
"There are a lot of people who decided, if God still is speaking to us, there is more light and truth to break forth," she said.
However, a group within the denomination, the Biblical Witness Fellowship, was critical of the editing.
"Rejecting God as Father in an age of fatherlessness is unthinkable," said David Runnion-Bareford, a leader of the fellowship organization. "God acted toward us in amazing grace when He offered to be our Father through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ who offers us life in his name.
"This is not something we as humans made up in some other time. Rejecting our Father is [an] act of arrogant rebellion in the name of cultural conformity that only further alienates members, churches, but more importantly God himself."
He noted the constitution had contained the reference since its founding in 1957, and said it "remains the covenant connection with the basic truths of Christianity that keeps many churches affiliated who are otherwise alienated by the denomination's very liberal agenda."
The organization, a group inside the denomination, warned that the UCC is "the leader among Protestant denominations in member loss."
"This is indeed a powerful confession by the Synod of the UCC that, having rebelled against the word of God, is on sinking sand – with our members, churches, historic witness, and identity in Christ washing away before our eyes," Runnion-Bareford said.
The organization explains on its website that it was "formed in alarmed response to decades of continued denominational decline that has resulted from the UCC's theological surrender to the moral and spiritual confusion of contemporary culture."
"The BWF attempts to network with renewal movements in other 'mainline' denominations as well as to expose churches to the rich diversity of resources available in the wider fellowship of the evangelical mainstream of the American church. In doing so, we hope to spark new vitality and faithfulness in the life of a denomination which seems to have strayed from its first love," the organization explains.
"We are deeply concerned about the alarming rate at which the UCC is encouraging the ordination of those who choose 'alternative' lifestyles (i.e., homosexuality, bisexuality and sexual activity outside of marriage), embrace moral relativism, seek authority in human experience, or are ambivalent about such basic beliefs as the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the reality of the Resurrection and other doctrines of the church which are the foundation of our faith. Continued ordination of ministers who cannot accept even the simplest truths of the Christian faith will only contribute to the further collapse of our church to the prevailing mythologies of the culture."
Anderson's report from the Florida meetings said delegate Robb Kojina of Hawaii urged adoption of the changes. According to Anderson, Kojina said, "This structure of governance is a missional model for us to do ministry in a post-modern world, that makes us responsible to discern God's voice in our settings."
The UCC and its prominent Chicago pastor Wright made headlines during the 2008 presidential election because of Obama's 20-year membership in the church.
Wright famously condemned America in God's name and blamed the U.S. for provoking the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by dropping nuclear weapons on Japan in World War II and supporting Israel since 1947.
ABC News reviewed dozens of Wright's sermons, finding repeated denunciations of the U.S., based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.
"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God d--- America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in a 2003 sermon. "God d--- America for treating our citizens as less than human. God d--- America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
In addition to damning America, he told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the U.S. had brought on al-Qaida's attacks because of its own terrorism, ABC News reported.
"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Wright said in a sermon Sept. 16, 2001. "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."
WND has reported the church itself has been revealed to have a strong African-centered and race-based philosophy.
Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is where Obama was baptized as a Christian two decades ago. Obama even borrowing the title for one of his books, "The Audacity of Hope," from a sermon by Wright.
During the campaign, the first paragraph of the "About Us" section of the church's website mentioned the word "black" or "Africa" five times:
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian. ... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.
On another page on the website, Wright explained that his theology was "based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone's book, 'Black Power and Black Theology.'"
Story taken from
Regional analysts say Israeli officials are thinking about reoccupying the Sinai Peninsula because of the growing prospect of infiltration by al-Qaida and other militants such as Hamas, the inability of the Egyptian military to guarantee security and the prospect of a cut-off of vital natural gas supplies flowing through a repeatedly sabotaged pipeline, according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
Israeli officials already have warned of a heightened terrorist threat from the Sinai. In April, Israeli aircraft attacked a car said to be carrying three Hamas operatives allegedly planning to abduct Israelis there.
In response, Israel's counter-terrorism bureau issued an instruction that told of "updated information that terrorist organizations are continuing their efforts to abduct Israeli tourists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula for bargaining purposes" and that "terror agents that are residing in Sinai are coordinating plans for such attacks with local Bedouin collaborators."
Since the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in January, Israel has become increasingly concerned with the security of the Sinai, a stretch of land that is three times the size of Israel's pre-1967 border area, or some 23,000 square miles.
As G2Bulletin recently reported, some 400 al-Qaida militants are known to have infiltrated into the Sinai with the help of Hamas Palestinians from bordering Gaza. There also is Israeli concern that Hamas could bring in rockets from the Gaza Strip and shoot them into Israel along the 140-mile border between Israel and the Sinai.
Egyptian authorities also claim they no longer can maintain security in the region.
Egyptian police are abandoning their remote stations and checkpoints, which are coming under increased attacks from Bedouin tribesmen in the region. Bedouin tribesmen ransacked numerous abandoned government facilities and have threatened to attack South Sinai oil installations and tourist resorts.
"The Sinai is already known as a lawless land," according to a senior Israeli official. "There is real concern that if the Egyptians don't get the Sinai back under their control, it could develop into a major threat to Israel."
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Once more I have been caught up in the Spirit and find myself on top of the mountain of God. In this large cave are several elders that it has been my privilege to get to know in the last few years. I can feel the calling of the Spirit tugging at my heart as I stand here surrounded by these powerful men of God.
Almost as if he were speaking for the group here assembled Enoch stepped forward and took me by the arm. He took his other arm and wrapped it around my shoulders as he slowly turned me until I stood face to face with him. His eyes as always twinkle with the wisdom and glory of God.
He said, “Michael my son it has been a hard journey for you to this time and place. The evil one has sought to sift you as wheat, but the Father who has called you to himself is calling you once more. We here assembled have been aware of the suffering and pain you have endured in recent days. We were brought here not only to encourage you my son, but to also pray and intercede for you during this time.
Yet here my voice and take into your heart wisdom that shall keep you in the days ahead. We here assembled have had the privilege of speaking words of wisdom that Father had placed In our hearts to give you. Yet there is one truth I would share with you my son this day, and all others whom Father has ordained, who shall walk in his anointing in these last days.”
Tears formed in the corners of his eyes and I could sense the emotion and compassion of this great servant of God.
“Michael our days are over. There is much we can do working out Father’s purposes as we see that grand day approaching. We can and will continue to pray and intercede for you my son. The days ahead shall be challenging but Father shall fulfill his purpose in your life, as he has with all of us. Paul had his thorn in the flesh which was not some weakness or sin in his life, but the messenger of Satan who buffeted him wherever he went. It was this messenger who drove the crowds to stone him, rose up the storm to kill him at sea, and even possessed the serpent that leaped from the fire wood and bit him. Yet Father protected him and he was allowed to finish his course.
The evil one has been attacking your flesh and body with severe illness over these last several years. During these days from time to time, the Lord through his servants has delivered to you several words of healing. Father has also used them to pray for you for strength and healing. You have several times for a short period of time walked in a shadow of the healing Father is bringing to you my son.
Yet the battle was renewed time and time again and you have felt yourself assailed from without in your body by the assaults of the principalities of sickness and death. Father was testing you. He let you walk in the healing for a short while, and then the battle would be renewed. There were reasons for this my son. He wanted to see if you would hold on to the promise of healing he had demonstrated to you time and time again, or when the battle was renewed and the afflictions returned fall into doubt and unbelief.
You have endured my son having learned the wisdom to deal with that days suffering ,and never doubting the promises Father had made to you. Do not concern yourself with the pain and suffering of these recent days, but rather with the resolute purpose Moses and I saw in your heart from the beginning. Take hold of that calling Father has brought into your life. We here assembled have taken you as far as we can.
Each mans time is ordained of the Holy Spirit. You must walk this out my son by the power and authority of the Lord of Hosts. He is calling you to himself even now and the questions you have had shall all be answered”.
All at once the ground of the cave began to shake with the glory of God and we all fell on our faces before him. I was picked up by the Holy Spirit and carried from the cave up into the glory cloud of God.
I am wrapped up in what appears to me to be a cocoon of light. Faster and faster we are moving climbing ever higher into the glory cloud of God. In the spirit you are aware of things by the intuition of the human spirit. I know that in just a few seconds of time we have traveled beyond the realm of heaven itself the acceleration or speed with which we have been traveling began to slow.
Then we stopped altogether and the cocoon of light opened and I found myself standing before the most powerful wall of light I have ever seen. I fell on my face and covered my head with my cloak while grasping my staff with the other. A voice began to speak to me from out of wall of light set before me.
“I am the Lord God Almighty. By me the worlds came into existence. I have brought you here my son to the outer realm of my glory. No man except the son has eve penetrated beyond the wall of light you see before you. Yet it has been my plan my child to allow my glory to pass before you. I have many things to share with you my child for the day of shaking has come for the world of men”.
I have never felt so close to the very heart beat of my heavenly Father than I do right now. I instinctively squeezed my eyes closed even tighter than I already had. I began to feel the light that was just in front of me begun to move all around me and encircle me.
I cannot look upon him but as the light encircled me I am being affected by the light and glory of his power and majestic being. I feel like a tiny thing lost in the vast sea of God surrounding me. Yet I have no fear. How powerful is the Lord our God!
Story Taken From
Tonight millions of American families will shovel huge piles of food into their mouths without even realizing that starvation is rapidly spreading in Africa.
Right now Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are experiencing the worst drought conditions that they have seen in 60 years. Tens of thousands of African families have abandoned their homes as they desperately search for food and water. Hundreds of thousands of farm animals have died because of the drought. Considering the fact that approximately two-thirds of the people living in the region "make their living by raising goats, sheep, cattle and camels", the word "catastrophic" just is not sufficient to describe what is happening.
Every single day, thousands more head to Dadaab, the biggest refugee camp in the world. Dadaab was originally designed to hold 90,000 people, but now over 360,000 precious people are camped there. In addition, approximately 30,000 desperately hungry people are standing outside the fences waiting to be admitted. It is projected that by the end of the year there will be over a half million people living in Dadaab. Sadly, this is just the beginning.
According to the United Nations, there are already 10 million people in the region that are facing severe food shortages, and many fear that if the drought continues we could actually see mass starvation in Africa in 2012.
Hopefully the world will be very generous as they hear about what is happening in the Horn of Africa. But the truth is that food is getting tight all over the globe. Last summer an unprecedented heat wave caused Russia to put restrictions on the export of wheat. Some of the key agricultural areas of China, Pakistan, Brazil and Australia have experienced unprecedented flooding over the past 12 months.
Natural disasters have hit U.S. crops hard in many states as well. Crop diseases such as UG99 wheat rust continue to spread. The world continues to lose topsoil at an alarming rate. Things simply do not look promising.
Meanwhile, the price of oil has absolutely soared over the past year. The methods that we use to produce and transport our food take a lot of oil. If the price of oil continues to climb that is going to make it very hard to feed the entire planet.
Most Americans have no idea how desperate things are becoming in many areas of the globe already. Just check out what a recent article in The Guardian had to say about the situation at Dadaab....
Every day 1,000 Somalis stream across the Kenyan border to Dadaab, which is full to bursting with 367,000 people and already constitutes the largest refugee settlement in the world. They arrive malnourished and dehydrated but – after a walk lasting weeks – grateful that they have made it to a point where they will get food and water.
Sometimes words alone are not enough to convey an accurate picture of what is really going on. Take a couple of moments to watch the video posted below. Imagine if you and your family had to go to a camp like this....
Sadly, the suffering is not limited to one refugee camp. There are millions of Africans that are now in danger of starvation.
A recent article in The Telegraph described how bad things are getting in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda....
"Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950/51 in many pastoral zones," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said. "There is no likelihood of improvement [in the situation] until 2012," she added.
A lot of these people don't have any money. If aid was not rolling in from elsewhere they would be dropping dead all over the place.
Food prices are rising so quickly in these areas that it is becoming difficult for anyone to be able to afford to buy food.
TEAR Fund executive director Steve Tollestrup says that food prices in the region are really getting out of control.....
"For example, yellow maize prices in the Ethiopian Jiiga grain market had risen by 117 per cent from May 2010 to May 2011, while white maize at the Mandera market in Kenya had risen by nearly 60 per cent."
In some areas of the Horn of Africa we are starting to see food riots. For example, the following is a very brief excerpt from a recent Reuters report....
Kenyan police fired tear gas to disperse people protesting in the capital on Thursday against high food and fuel prices and a shortage of maize which has enraged many in east Africa's biggest economy.
When people cannot even feed themselves they have nothing left to lose.
Today, there are approximately two billion people that spend more than half of their income on food.
So what are they supposed to do when the price of food doubles?
Are they supposed to spend every penny they have just on food?
Most Americans have no idea what it is like to have to scratch and claw just to survive each day.
There are hundreds of millions of people around the globe that are engaged in a desperate struggle to survive.
Meanwhile, the speculators and the big Wall Street banks feel no guilt at all when they drive up the price of food in order to make a few extra bucks.
Look, the truth is that what we are seeing in Africa right now is just the beginning.
When the global economy crashes, things are going to get a lot worse.
Right now a significant percentage of the global population can barely afford to buy enough food to eat. Most people do not realize this, but when the global financial system totally collapses there is a very real possibility that we could see mass starvation.
The following are 12 signs that the world is running out of food....
#1 More than 3 billion people, close to half the world's population, live on less than 2 dollar a day.
#2 Over the past year, the global price of food has risen by 37 percent.
#3 Just about every major agricultural commodity has been skyrocketing in price. Check out what a recent Bloomberg article had to say about what has been happening to many key agricultural commodities over the past year....
Corn futures advanced 77 percent in the past 12 months in Chicago trading, a global benchmark, rice gained 39 percent and sugar jumped 64 percent. There will be shortages in corn, wheat, soybeans, coffee and cocoa this year or next, according to Utrecht, Netherlands-based Rabobank Groep. Prices also rose after droughts and floods from Australia to Canada ruined crops last year. European farmers are now contending with their driest growing season in more than three decades.
#4 According to the World Bank, 44 million more people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices.
#5 Sadly, rising food prices is not a new trend. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the global price of food has gone up by 240% since 2004.
#6 To a large extent, this global food crisis has been brought on by the greed of the wealthy. A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research discovered that the bottom half of the world population owns approximately 1 percent of all global wealth.
#7 The average income per person in the poorest countries on the continent of Africa has fallen by one-fourth over the past twenty years.
#8 It is estimated that over 80 percent of the world's population lives in countries where the income gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
#9 Approximately 1 billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry every single night.
#10 Every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death and three-quarters of them are children under the age of 5.
#11 It is estimated that the entire continent of Africa only owns approximately 1 percent of the total wealth of the world.
#12 According to the most recent "Global Wealth Report" by Credit Suisse, the wealthiest 0.5% of the global population controls over 35% of all the wealth on the planet.
Those of us that live in wealthy countries have it really good.
We get to shovel huge amounts of food into our faces whenever we want.
But eventually things are going to change for us as well.
Global food supplies are getting really tight. If something does not change we are going to have some real problems.
Renowned investor Jim Rogers recently put it this way....
"We’ve got to do something or we’re going to have no food at any price at times in the next few years."
We all saw what happened during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and during the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan. When a major crisis occurs, food can disappear from store shelves overnight.
The frightening thing is that global stockpiles of food continue to go down. Just check out this report from a recent Financial Post article....
Global stockpiles of corn, the most-consumed grain, are forecast to drop to 47 days of use, the fewest since 1974, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show. Inventories are declining as demand continues to outstrip production that’s forecast to rise to a fifth consecutive year of record.
Most Americans simply do not understand how close we potentially are to a major global food crisis.
Hopefully we will not see one any time soon.
But you might want to get ready just in case.
Story taken from
Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Iran will not restrict itself to closing the Strait of Hormuz if it is threatened, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Monday.
Closing the Strait of Hormuz is on Iran's agenda in special circumstances and in the face of threats, Jafari told the Mehr News Agency, adding that "we have not limited ourselves to this (tactic) and have not stopped there."
"Currently, we are seeking to utilize our defensive capabilities in open seas. And it means that if enemy plans to pose a threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran from outside the Strait of Hormuz, we are capable of taking retaliatory measures, and this strategy is currently on our agenda," he was quoted as saying.
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow, strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.
The strait is the only sea passage to the open ocean for large areas of the petroleum-exporting Persian Gulf. About 15 tankers carrying 16.5 million to 17 million barrels of crude oil pass through the strait on average every day, making it one of the world's most strategically important choke points. This represents 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil shipments, and 20 percent of all world oil shipments.
The Aerospace Commander of IRGC Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said Iran plans to test-fire new "supersonic surface-to- sea missiles" as part of its ongoing war games in the Persian Gulf in the coming days, the English language satellite Press TV reported on Monday.
Hajizadeh said that the new missiles have been designed to target ships and forces at sea, said the report.