Thursday, September 13, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: September 13, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: September 13, 2012

Iran Threatens To Bring War To U.S. Shores


Story taken from
http://www.wnd.com



              The deputy chief commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned this past week that any aggression against Iran will expand warfare onto the turf of its enemies.


“Our nation is ready to rub the enemies’ snout into dust and send thousands of coffins to their cities,” Gen. Hossein Salami told Fars News Agency.

“Any aggression against Iran will expand the war into the borders of the enemies,” he warned. “They know our power, and we won’t allow any aggression against our land.”

The general cited two reasons for what he called the greatness of the Islamic regime: “One is that the supreme leader, who is the deputy of the Hidden Imam [the Shiites' 12th Imam], rules with power, knowledge, penetrating the hearts; the other is the martyrs who shed their blood for the greatness of the country.”

In praising those martyrs, he said, “God states in the Quran that martyrs are alive and not to consider them as dead, as they had the art to exchange death to life and reach eternal life.”

Salami likened the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to a sun shining on the Islamic world, and that despite all the international sanctions and threats, Iran is progressing on all fronts.

Fars News Agency also reported a stern warning by Gen. Hassan Firoozabadi, head of the Army’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. Although he accused the U.S. and European nations of supporting al-Qaida and “terrorists” in Syria, he warned that America and the European countries should expect major attacks by al-Qaida and other terrorist groups in their homelands.

As reported earlier this year, terror cells have been placed on high alert to attack targets in the U.S. and Europe should Iran be attacked. Hundreds of terror cells have infiltrated America and, in collaboration with Hezbollah, are awaiting orders to strike American targets.

Thousands of cells have also been placed in Latin America.

“The Quds Force has established a command and control center in both Bolivia and Venezuela,” a former Iranian official with knowledge of the regime’s terror network recently revealed. “Though it has presence in Europe and other parts of the world, it has focused on Latin America. Thousands of such cells have been placed in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Venezuela.”

A recent report from within Nicaragua indicated that Iran has established a training base in the northern part of that country, where operatives, including Hezbollah terrorists, are being readied for an attack on U.S. and Israeli interests should a war break out with Iran.

Hassan Abassi, a former Guard commander and a current strategist, has stated that many of the cells are of Latin American origin, including from Mexico, and that several hundred targets have been identified in the U.S. for a possible attack.

“If America dares to destabilize the Islamic Republic of Iran, it should have no doubt that we will destabilize America,” Abassi said.

Another senior commander of the Islamic regime, Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, recently warned America, “In the face of any attack, we will have a crushing response. In that case, we will not only act in the boundaries of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf; no place in America will be safe from our attacks.”

Khamenei has also warned America that any conflict will expand beyond the region. That same warning was issued days ago by Hassan Nasrallah, the general secretary of the terrorist group Hezbollah.

The response by Iran in case of an attack on its nuclear facilities will be “very great,” Nazrallah said.

Thousands of Revolutionary Guards and paramilitary forces of the Basij are set to conduct exercises in the coming weeks within Iranian cities on the occasion of the week of holy defense, an annual event commemorating the Iran-Iraq war.

According to a source within the Guards intelligence division who has defected to Europe, the exercise is a practice to use force against the Iranian population and to militarize and take control of major cities because the regime expects another uprising over deteriorating economic conditions and major resentment by the majority of Iranians against the Islamic regime.


Stakelbeck on Terror: The Harbinger, Part 1

Stakelbeck on Terror: The Harbinger, Part 1

'Hezbollah Aiming 60-70 Thousand Rockets At Israel'


Story taken from

       Hezbollah has between 60 and 70 thousand rockets aimed at Israel, Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Security chief Amos Gilad said Monday.


Speaking at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's World Summit, Gilad said the Lebanese terrorist organization has stockpiled rockets of various types, and its arsenal is far more robust than the one it had prior to the Second Lebanon War. "The next war will be aimed against the home front," Gilad warned.

Gilad also blamed Hezbollah for a number of successful and unsuccessful terrorist attacks abroad.

Though admitting that the threat from Lebanon is growing, Gilad was largely optimistic about Israel's security situation, citing positive developments in Syria, Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

"In Syria, there is good news," Gilad said. "The Golan Heights remains the quietest region in the entire Middle East. Our deterrence capabilities are sufficiently, for the time being, keeping out warring parties in Syria." Gilad also warned that al-Qaida is starting to rear its head in Syria, with a view that the fall of Assad will allow it to open a new terror front against Israel.

Turning to Egypt, Gilad said that though there are many terrorist groups actively trying to strike Israel from the Sinai, recently-elected President Mohamad Morsy and his officials remain committed to peace.

Gilad called the situation in Gaza "relatively restrained," with Hamas generally holding other Palestinian terror groups back from striking Israel.

Gilad also stated that Israel is currently not facing a conventional military threat, a massive improvement over Israel's historical security situation.

Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, who lectured at the same conference, said that the Arab Spring is forcing populations across the Middle East to answer difficult questions about the congruence between Western and Islamic values.

"What happens when the majority does not want democracy?" Meridor asked rhetorically. "What happens when the majority does not believe a woman is equal to a man? What happens what it wants the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Meridor said the Middle East is experiencing a "battle between Western ideals of freedom and democracy versus traditional conservative and Islamic values."

                           

Jerusalem Dateline: Terror, Faith, and Redemption

Jerusalem Dateline: Terror, Faith, and Redemption

New Survey Reveals More Than Half Of Pastors Are Discouraged


Story taken from
http://www.christianpost.com


       Not all the news about pastors is discouraging. Pastors feel privileged to be called to their places of ministry. They have a deep love for those they shepherd. Most of them could not conceive of doing anything else. But please hear me: Many pastors are hurting.


LifeWay Research conducted a national survey of Protestant pastors. Among the questions they asked were two related to the hurts I noted above.

The Discouragement Factor

One of the key symptoms of the pain experienced by pastors is discouragement. Over one-half (55%) of pastors are presently discouraged. I suspect that if we surveyed pastors over just a few months, we would find that almost all of them experience deep discouragement.

Some interesting facts we discovered in our study:

• There was no pattern of discouragement related to the geographical location of the church.

• There was no pattern of discouragement related to the size of the church.

• There was no pattern of discouragement related to the educational level of the pastor.

• There was a significant pattern of discouragement related to the age of the pastor. The younger the pastor, the more likely he was to be discouraged.

The Loneliness Factor

Most pastors experience intense loneliness at times. When we conducted our survey, over one-half again (coincidentally the same number, 55%, as noted above) said they were lonely. Again remember that this survey was for a specific point in time.

Which pastors experience the greatest amount of loneliness? Our study noted some discernible patterns:

• There was no pattern of loneliness related to the geographical location of the church.

• Younger pastors were more likely to be lonely than older pastors.

• The larger the church, the greater the likelihood that the pastor was experiencing loneliness.

• The greater the education level of the pastor, the more likely he is to be lonely.

Why the Pervasive Discouragement and Loneliness?

Why are so many pastors struggling today? In an earlier article I wrote on pastoral depression, I noted the following possible reasons:

• Spiritual warfare. The Enemy does not want God's servants to be effective in ministry. He will do whatever it takes to hurt ministers and their ministries.

• Unrealistic expectations. The expectations and demands upon a pastor are enormous. They are unrealistic. But if one person's expectations are not met, that person can quickly let the pastor know that he is a failure.

• Greater platforms for critics. In "the good old days," a critic was typically limited to telephone, mail, and in-person meetings to criticize a minister. Today the critics have the visible and pervasive platforms of email, blogs, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

• Failure to take time away from the church or place of ministry. Workaholism leads to burnout. Burnout leads to depression.

• Marriage and family problems. Too often the pastor neglects his family as he cares for the larger church family.

• Financial strains. Many pastors simply do not have sufficient income from the churches they serve. That financial stress can lead to depression. Some pastors do not know how to manage the money they do have, leading to further financial strain.

• The problem of comparison. Every pastor will always know of a church that is larger and more effective. Every pastor will always know of another pastor who seems more successful. The comparison game can be debilitating to some pastors.

This one thing I do know. Pastors need our prayers more than ever. They need our support and encouragement. I am committed to pray for my pastor every day, even if it's only for a minute or so. Will you do the same? Our pastors pour out their lives for us daily. What can you do to help our pastors?



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: September 12, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: September 12, 2012

Will The US Election Give Us Insight Into God's Prophetic Clock?


Story taken from
http://www.omegaletter.com



           King Nebuchadnezzar lived and reigned over Babylon when the city was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was Nebuchadnezzar that constructed the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon.


Nebuchadnezzar was a real guy who really lived. In 597 BC he captured Jerusalem and deposed King Jehoiakim. The Jews rebelled and in 587 Nebuchadnezzar destroyed both the city and the Temple and deported Judah’s most prominent citizens to Babylon.

Uncounted thousands of Jews died in the siege, with the defenders eventually even resorting to cannibalism in their efforts to survive. The Temple of God was defiled. The Holy of Holies was desecrated and the Temple treasures looted.

Where was God when all this was happening? The Jews were His Chosen People; the Temple was His place on the Earth. Why didn't He interfere?

When the Ark was being transported aboard an oxcart, one of the oxen stumbled and an Israelite named Uzzah put out his hand to steady it. According to 2 Samuel 6:7, the moment Uzzah’s hand touched the Ark he fell over dead.

So how could a Gentile king and his hordes manage to sack the Temple without having to worry about Divine retribution?

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: And He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” (Daniel 2:20-21)

“Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”(Daniel 2:37-38)

Do you see it? Nebuchadnezzar was able to sack the Temple, touch the Temple treasures, defile the Holy of Holies and even steal from God, so to speak, because God appointed him.

God sets up kings. God removes kings. God made Nebuchadnezzar ruler over them, according to His purpose. The Prophet Daniel, a victim of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest, understood this principle well.

Nebuchadnezzar was king because God wanted him to be king and he would only stay king as long as God wanted him to.

God also appointed Cyrus the Persian, Alexander the Great, Caligula, Pilate, Kaiser Wilhelm, King Leopold II, Czar Nicholas, Emperor Hirohito, Kim il Sung, Mao Tze Tung, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot and every other murderous dictator in history.

Bible prophecy is the telling – in advance – of how these tyrants who had absolute power on earth, were mere pawns in the overall Big Picture of history.

God sets up kings and He brings down kings according to His will.

No tyrant, no matter how terrible, achieved his rank through his own effort. And while Satan is certainly capable of corrupting them, he is powerless to appoint them.

This is one of the harder sayings of Scripture, but it is nonetheless true. Every tyrant in history was either appointed by God or the Bible is not true.

When the Apostle Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, Nero was emperor of Rome. Ultimately, Paul was beheaded on Nero’s orders. It is especially important to keep Nero in mind when reading Paul’s admonition to the Romans as recorded in Romans 13:1-6.

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.

Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”

Let me repeat myself here: when Paul was speaking of the higher powers being ordained by God according to His purposes, Paul was speaking of Emperor Nero!

Nebuchadnezzar could lay siege to Jerusalem because God permitted it. Indeed, the Siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar was part of the overall plan of God for the ages.

It was from Babylon that Daniel was given the outline of future history from the order to rebuild the Temple to the reign of the antichrist in the last days.

No detail was left to chance – if we learn anything from Bible prophecy, we learn that every event is interconnected with the events that came before and those to come afterwards. Remove some of it and all of it collapses.

Now we come to the point of today’s briefing. What does Barack Obama, American politics and the Election of 2012 have to do with Bible prophecy?

Let’s look first at what we know as opposed to what we think. Barack Obama would not be president of the United States if God didn’t want him there. We know that as a certainty.

So by observing Obama’s agenda, if we are as far along the timeline as I believe we are, Obama’s agenda should provide insights into God’s agenda for the last days as articulated by Scripture.

As we’ve discussed previously, right or wrong, America is perceived by the world as the world’s most Christian nation. It is that perception that is relevant.

If I wanted to convey a message, I would use symbols that would make sense to those I was trying to reach. So if I wanted to convey a message to the Church about the collapse of Biblical Christianity at about the same time as the end of the Church Age, I would probably start this way:

“This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come” – and then I would describe the prevailing moral state of the world’s most Christian nation.

I wouldn’t describe the moral state of the whole world, since the moral state of the whole world, apart from Christ, has remained unchanged since Adam.

I’d describe a primarily Christian people in what is recognized as a primarily Christian nation -- one whose moral state was in obvious and discernible deterioration from a less immoral state.

The president sets the moral agenda for the nation – that’s just the way it is. America under Reagan was more moral than under Clinton. It was more moral under Bush than under Obama.

That isn’t to say the presidents were, but rather their agendas – since their agenda reflects that of the people that elected them.

America elected Barack Obama in 2008. The moral agenda of the nation has since reflected Obama’s morals. What are they?

Obama marks every Muslim holiday with a speech. When Obama mentioned Passover, he likened it to the uprisings in the Arab world.

It is hard to imagine showing more disrespect for Judaism than to link the Passover celebration with the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.

And Obama remained absolutely silent during the most solemn feast day on the Christian calendar, (apart from hosting an Easter Egg hunt).

Obama’s agenda has accelerated America’s decline exponentially. When Obama took office, the IMF was warning that if America didn’t get its financial house in order, it would lose its status as the world’s most powerful economy by 2030.

The IMF recently issued a revised forecast saying that at the present rate, the Age of America will come to an end in 2016 – the final year of an Obama second term.

Obama is president because God wanted Obama in the Oval Office at this exact moment in history.

Comparing Obama’s agenda with the agenda of the antichrist --a global government, centralized global economy and a global religious system and a global religious system hostile to Christians and Jews – American presidential politics takes on extreme relevance to Bible prophecy.

The antichrist is a politician who presides over a political system that has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof; gives lip service to the god of forces but who ultimately views himself as being above any god.

America is the country the rest of the world looks at as the world’s most Christian country. So when the world’s most Christian country elects a guy who claims to be Christian, gives lip service to Islam, despises the Jews and whose agenda guarantees America’s fall within two terms, whether or not he gets a second term is useful to the interpretation of unfolding Bible prophecy.

Obama is the president of the United States right now because God put him there. If he gets a second term, is that relevant to Bible prophecy?


The Brody File: Inside the DNC

The Brody File: Inside the DNC

Israeli EMP Attack Could Throw Iran 'Back to Stone Age'


Story taken from
http://www.israelnationalnews.com



                          Israel might attack Iran by using electromagnetic pulses (EMP) that could cripple the country by shutting down its electronics and sending the Islamic Republic “back to the Stone Age,” The London Sunday Times reported.


EMP causes non-lethal gamma energy to react with the magnetic field and produces a powerful electromagnetic shock wave that can destroy electronic devices, especially those used in Iran’s nuclear plants.

The shock wave would knock out Iran’s power grid and communications systems for transport and financial services, leading to economic collapse.

The “back to the Stone Age” tactic was first proposed in an Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) article in early August by Dr. Joe Tuzara, after another Arutz Sheva oped writer, attorney Mark Langfan described its power in an earlier article.

A former clinical research-physician-general surgeon for Saudi Arabian, Philippine and American healthcare systems, he wrote, “The wild card is in Israel’s hand - with Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) inscribed on it.

If Israel chooses one of its Jericho III missiles to detonate a single EMP warhead at high altitude over north central Iran, there will be with no blast or radiation effects on the ground.”

He explained that one effect of the EMP attack would be that, “Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges in Fordo, Natanz and widely scattered elsewhere, would freeze for decades.”

The WorldNetDaily reported three weeks ago, “Israelis have not ruled out a Jericho III missile launch to detonate a single electromagnetic pulse warhead at high altitude over central Iran."

The Sunday Times report quoted Bill Gertz, editor of the Washington Free Beacon, said that the United States expressed concern about using a high-altitude nuclear bomb to set off the an EMP attack.

Amid constant reports of Israel’s preparing to take direct action to stop or at least halt Iran’s presumed race to manufacture a nuclear warhead aimed at Israel, Canada increased diplomatic pressure on Iran Friday by announcing it is closing its embassy in Tehran.

It called the Islamic regimen "the greatest threat to security and peace in the world."

Foreign Minister John Baird said that "the Iranian regime refuses to fall in line with UN demands regarding Iran's nuclear program, and making repeated threats to Israel's existence."


Mercy

Mercy

Does The FBI’s Looming Biometric Database Bring Big Brother Closer


Story taken from



                The FBI is readying its $1 billion Next Generation Identification program, a surveillance system that uses photographs and biometric data to help law enforcement entities nationwide identify possible "persons of interest."


But the bureau has openly mulled cataloging photographs of innocent people taken from surveillance cameras and social networking sites, as well as biometric information gathered for non-criminal reasons, sending privacy advocates into a fury.

The FBI's Next Generation Identification system would use photographs and biometric data to help law enforcement entities nationwide identify possible persons of interests.

It has some privacy advocates worrying law enforcement agents will be snooping on the entire U.S. populace, and leave the door open for a devastating data breach.Share This Story

NGI, as reported by the New Scientist, would use facial recognition software along with biometric tools such as voice recognition, iris scans and fingerprints to identify and track down suspected criminals. The database will be shared with law enforcement entities at state and federal levels across the country.

Privacy advocates fear the FBI will indiscriminately mash together biometric and photographic records into a searchable database, not taking the time to separate the wholly innocent from former convicts, the arrested-and-acquitted, and persons of interest.

The controversy lies in the grey area surrounding information outside the bounds of arrest records or mug shots such as pictures from social networks, fingerprints from background checks for job applications, or even photographs taken of folks just walking down the street.

All materials accumulated outside the bounds of regular police work could be bundled into a growing and pervasive information-collection operation on random civilians who are not suspected of committing any crimes, leaving the codified and catalogued personal information of millions open to a security breach.

The FBI has not publicly responded to the recent outcry. Its website does contain a boastful post laying out the potential benefits of NGI while also claiming to address privacy concerns.

"It doesn't threaten individual privacy. As required with any federal system, the FBI is doing Privacy Impact Assessments on what information will be collected, how it will be shared, how it will be accessed, and how the data will be securely stored ... all in an effort to protect privacy," the site states.

The FBI's Jerome Pender asserted in testimony before Congress in July 2011 that the database will include only mug shots from previous arrests provided by local, state and federal law enforcement around the country, and all matched photos will be considered only leads and not positive identifications leading to an arrest.

But NGI's privacy statement does not exclude civilian information from sources outside of law enforcement, attorney Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told the New Scientist. The digital rights advocacy group has been among NGI's loudest and largest decriers.

The FBI has stated in the past it will keep civilian information and criminal records nominally separated. Yet the information will be searchable simultaneously, essentially merging into one large database, according to EFF.

"Once you start plugging this into the FBI database, it becomes tantamount to a national photographic database," the American Civil Liberties Union's Jay Stanley told the New Scientist.

Why would the agency go through all the trouble of gathering millions of photos, scanning them, indexing them and storing them for later use?

The ability to identify a suspect at lightning speed has been every lawman's dream, a pursuit that began when Allan Pinkerton accidentally birthed the mug shot with his 19th century Wild West "Wanted" posters.

And with facial recognition software used by NGI achieving a 92 percent accuracy level in some cases, a larger gathering of photographs creates a greater chance of a successful match.

A 2010 presentation by the FBI's Richard Vorder Bruegge showed a law enforcement agency looking to catalogue and use any photos it can get its hands on, regardless of their origin, including "public datasets."

NGI's face-scanning technology would essentially match photos of a person of interest against a database the FBI estimates will grow to at least 12 million pictures.

The facial recognition aspect works two ways: Agents can use face-matching software to pair surveillance camera stills taken from a crime scene against a growing database of mug shots. It can also scan against photos from other surveillance cameras and online in search of a suspect.

If NGI's early stages are any indication of where it's heading, privacy advocates and ordinary citizens are right to fear it.

The NGI began pilot programs in 2011 with four participating states -- Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan and Oregon -- according to documents posted by the EFF.

The FBI's Next Generation Identification system would use photographs and biometric data to help law enforcement entities nationwide identify possible persons of interests.

It has some privacy advocates worrying law enforcement agents will be snooping on the entire U.S. populace, and leave the door open for a devastating data breach.

A memo from Hawaii states the FBI wants to "conduct automated surveillance at lookout locations," suggesting the bureau would take photos in public areas, shove them into the database and include members of the crowd in searches for suspected criminals. Another agreement with Maryland has the state promising to just hand over all photos on record to the FBI in what it calls a "photo data dump."

Other documents showcase the FBI's willingness to toss biometric records together into a giant pile -- regardless of their first intended use, according to documents obtained by EFF. For example, fingerprints taken at a precinct following an arrest would be thrown into a searchable database with prints taken for reasons outside of law enforcement, such as job applications.

The FBI is required to create a Privacy Impact Assessment for surveillance programs, though the one created for NGI predates the information-sharing schemes later established with participating pilot states.

"It is impossible to tell exactly how the FBI plans to acquire and use facial recognition data now and in the future," Lynch wrote. "However, given the information in these new documents and the FBI's broad goals for face recognition data the time is right for laws that limit face recognition data collection."

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security already sit on what they claim are the "largest biometric database in the world," according to the agency's site. DHS's data spans more than 91 million fingerprint records, while the FBI's ASFIS database includes 66 million criminal records and 25 million civil records.

Some may deride the EFF and ACLU's concerns as conspiracy theorist nonsense. Don't break the law and you have nothing to worry about ... right?

While the EFF would argue that a fully monitored society is not truly free, it more practically points to a huge security flaw in the system. A uniformly codified database of biometric and photographic data makes the impact of a breach infinitely more devastating, EFF argues.

Privicy advocates predicy that security technologies will evolve past the "combination/passcode/keycard" practices of old, headed toward biometric identification as the ultimate lock combination.

Should your thumbprint or iris scan become the universal key to your life, from your front door to the pharmacy checkout line to your ATM machine, one skilled hacker with a penchant for James Bond-esque antics can ruin countless lives, EFF argues. And NGI is the third in a fresh list of Big Brotherly activity on the part of the federal government.

Last month offered Wikileaks' revelation of TrapWire, a software that indiscriminately analyzes surveillance camera footage to try to identify terrorists planning attacks.

The hacked and leaked corporate emails from intelligence company Stratfor went on to show more smoke than fire, as TrapWire constituted a failed DHS experiment run on 15 surveillance cameras in Washington, D.C., and Seattle that was ultimately scrapped.

Next came hacker collective AntiSec's dump of more than a million alleged Unique Device Identifier (UDID) numbers used in Apple devices, which the group claims it swiped from an FBI agent's laptop.

It left many wondering why the federal agency wanted the information in the first place. (The FBI ever having it or being the source of the leak.)

Clearly the federal government, FBI and DHS et. al., have been doing their best to employ consumer technology and the private security measures for their own ends. But playing "Where's Waldo?" with the entire general populace strikes some as beyond justification.



Friday, August 17, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: August 17, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: August 17, 2012

Iran admits giving WMDs to terrorists


Story taken from
Washington Times



Israel will be obliterated by chemical, microbial and nuclear bombs, Iran is warning, but those weapons of mass destruction will be used first on Tel Aviv by Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad at the start of a decades-old Muslim dream of destroying the Jewish state.

An alarming commentary last week in Mashregh, the media outlet of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, confirmed that the Islamic regime not only has WMDs but has armed its terrorist proxies with them. Mashregh speaks for the regime.

It warned Israel that if the fighting in Syria does not stop, an all-out attack on the Jewish state will be launched and that at zero hour, Tel Aviv will be the first city to be destroyed.

“The threat to retaliate against Israel with weapons of mass destruction is credible,” said Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, who previously served on the House Armed Services Committee and with the CIA. “A highly credible source in 2005 warned that a decision had been made at the highest level of the Iranian government to arm numerous ballistic missiles with chemical and biological warheads to retaliate against Israel if Iran’s vital interests were endangered. The fall of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad would constitute endangerment of Iran’s vital interest.”

The commentary said that for 18 months, Israel, with all its power, has tried to reshape Islamic movements that have targeted the “Zionists” into a conflict between Muslims, with Syria at the center of its efforts.

The Mashregh column charged that Israel is behind the Syrian crisis in order to strategically change the geopolitics of the region and defeat one of the main players in the Islamic world’s “resistance front.” It warned Israel that with the direction it has chosen, “There is a dead end, and the threat of mass killing awaits.”

The commentary recalled the doctrine of the founder of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: “If they stand against our religion, we will stand against their world. If all this bloodshed is to provide a better future for Israel, we will destroy their world.”

The lengthy analysis claimed that several forces are involved on both the diplomatic and military fronts to break the Syrian “resistance front.”

It cited Turkish forces on Syria’s border with that NATO country but also claimed there are American forces along the Golan Heights and in Jordan, and Saudi, Qatar and French forces at the Syrian border with Lebanon.

“Their defeat from the fronts within [Syria] and the movement of their forces on the borders are signs that the world’s Zionists have lost hope on the capability of [anti-Assad] terrorists against Syrian forces and now are looking for an opportunity to get the armed forces of others involved,” the commentary said.

A strategic look at the situation in Syria, it said, shows that in order to safeguard Damascus and Bashar Assad’s regime, it is necessary to destroy “the center responsible for these destructions, which will force the enemy to retreat.” To that end, Iran will break “the security of Israel by targeting Tel Aviv.”

The commentary, citing the weak economies in America and Europe, said that in an all-out confrontation between the “resistance front” and Israel, the West will stay out of it, not wanting to fight Syria with a military of 220,000 military personnel and 240,000 reserves, Iran’s massive forces and Hezbollah.

Should Israel and its allies succeed in unraveling Syria so the legitimate Assad regime loses control, the commentary said, there are but two scenarios:

“Groups armed with weapons of mass destruction (chemical, microbial and nuclear bombs), which have been obtained on the black market, will surely target Tel Aviv.

“Other countries with different motivations from revenge to a change in the balance of power in the region looking for the elimination of Israel from the world’s map will use the chaos created without accepting any responsibility.” (Right below this point, Mashregh put up a picture of an atomic blast.)

“Who can guarantee that armed groups or certain countries have not already armed themselves with weapons of mass destruction or that weapons of mass destruction obtained from the former Soviet republics after the fall of Soviet Union will not find their way into Tel Aviv?” the commentary asked. “It is best to stop the violence in Syria or the order to attack will be issued.”

As I reported last October and again recently, several sources have confirmed that Iran obtained at least two nuclear bombs from former Soviet republics and several neutron bombs possibly from North Korea. Iran and Syria also hold a large stockpile of chemical weapons.

“Although I have no current factual information about a possible Iranian biological weapons program, Iranian circumstances, past behavior and policies make it virtually certain that Iran has such a program,” said Fritz Ermarth, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council. “This means that, should they choose to do so, Iran’s leaders could put biological weapons in the hands of their own commando teams or terrorist groups they trusted for covert delivery in attacks on Israel or the U.S. or other targets. Hence, the threats of such WMD attacks should be taken seriously. They may be bluster, but of the most dangerous sort.”








Christian World News: August 10, 2012

Christian World News: August 10, 2012

Assad regime is 'falling apart', says former PM


Story taken from
Reuters


              FORMER SYRIAN prime minister Riyad Hijab yesterday claimed that President Bashar al-Assad’s government was falling apart and now controlled only 30 per cent of the country.


In his first public appearance since defecting to the opposition, Mr Hijab told a news conference in Jordan that the government’s spirits were low.

“I tell you out of my experience and the position I occupied that the regime is collapsing, morally, materially and economically. Militarily it is crumbling as it no longer occupies more than 30 per cent of Syrian territory,” he said.

It has been hard to independently determine the extent of territory in rebel hands because much of the fighting has occurred in outlying towns and rural areas and media access to Syria is restricted.

But President Assad’s regime has lost swathes of territory along Syria’s northern and eastern border and fighting has weakened his hold on larger cities such as Aleppo and Homs.

Mr Hijab, who like much of the opposition comes from Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority, was not part of the Assad inner circle. But as prime minister and the most senior civilian official to defect, his departure dealt a symbolic blow to the government, which is dominated by President Assad’s minority Alawite sect.

His defection, along with that of Syria’s ambassador to Iraq, has boosted opposition morale but the military reality on the ground has not changed, with aerial and ground bombardment keeping rebels in check.

Mr Hijab urged officers in the military to defect and join the opposition. He also called on rebels to work harder to unify their fractious ranks.

Syrian authorities claim they had dismissed Mr Hijab before he fled, but he told a news conference in Amman he had resigned and defected to the opposition, referring to the Assad government as an “enemy of God”.

“It is my duty to wash my hands of this corrupt regime,” he said.

President Assad faced a further diplomatic blow yesterday with the suspension of Syria from the Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, a step opposed by his Shia Muslim ally Iran.

President Assad will view the OIC move to suspend Syria as the work of Sunni Muslim states backing the rebels fighting to topple him. Divisions among the big powers and regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia have stymied diplomatic attempts to calm the conflict in Syria, where opposition sources say at least 18,000 people have been killed.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 180 people died on Monday.

The violence has displaced 1.5 million people inside Syria and forced many to flee abroad, with 150,000 registered refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, UN figures show.

United Nations emergency relief co-ordinator Valerie Amos arrived in Syria to discuss humanitarian aid for civilians trapped or uprooted by the fighting, which has often prevented the delivery of food and medical supplies.

Baroness Amos was due to meet Syrian authorities including deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad in Damascus, followed by talks with officials from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, spokesman Jens Laerke said.

“She’s there to express her grave, grave concern over the situation,” Mr Laerke told a news briefing. “She will look at the situation on the ground and discuss with the government and humanitarian partners how to scale up the response in Syria.”

Blogger: Israeli attack in Iran will include, missiles, assassinations


Story taken from
YNews

             US blogger Richard Silverstein says Israeli source leaked attack plan Bibi, Barak pitching to ministers. According to document, campaign will open with cyber-attack that will paralyze electrical grid


Any Israeli attack on Iran will open with a "coordinated strike, including an unprecedented cyber-attack which will totally paralyze the Iranian regime and its ability to know what is happening within its borders," American blogger Richard Silverstein wrote Wednesday.

Silverstein claims to have obtained an Israeli briefing document outlining the Jewish state's war plans against Iran, which, according to him, include the launching of dozens of missiles, an aerial attack, a sophisticated cyber attack and even the assassination of senior Iranian military and intelligence officials.

In the blog, Tikkun Olam, Silverstein said the document was leaked to him by a high-level Israeli source who had obtained it from an IDF officer. According to Silverstein, the source told him that normally he would not leak this sort of document, but that "these are not normal times. I’m afraid Bibi (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and (Defense Minister Ehud) Barak are dead serious."

The blogger estimates that the document was leaked to him in order to "expose the arguments and plans advanced by the Bibi-Barak two-headed warrior. Neither the IDF leaker, my source, nor virtually any senior military or intelligence officer wants this war."

According to Silverstein, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using this "sales pitch" to persuade the eight-member security cabinet to support a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.


"This is Shock and Awe, Israel-style. It is Bibi’s effort to persuade high-level Israeli officials that Israel can prosecute a pure technology war that involves relatively few human beings (Israeli, that is) who may be put in harm’s way, and will certainly cost few lives of IDF personnel," the blogger wrote.

'Two-headed warrior.' Barak (L) and Bibi (Photo: Eliad Levy)

"Bibi’s sleight of hand here involves no mention whatsoever of an Iranian counter-attack against Israel. The presumption must be that the bells and whistles of all those marvelous new weapons systems will decapitate Iran’s war-making ability and render it paralyzed. The likelihood of this actually happening is nearly nil."

According to Silverstein, an Israeli strike on Iran will include a "barrage of tens of ballistic missiles" launched from Israeli territory towards Iran, as well as a barrage of "hundreds of cruise missiles" which will "pound command and control systems, research and development facilities, and the residences of senior personnel in the nuclear and missile development apparatus.

"Intelligence gathered over years will be utilized to completely decapitate Iran’s professional and command ranks in these fields," according to the blogger.

Silverstein says the attack will open with an unprecedented cyber-attack which will take the internet, telephones, radio and television, communications satellites, and fiber optic cables leading to and from critical installations—including underground missile bases at Khorramabad and Isfahan - out of action.

"The electrical grid throughout Iran will be paralyzed and transformer stations will absorb severe damage from carbon fiber munitions which are finer than a human hair, causing electrical short circuits whose repair requires their complete removal. This would be a Sisyphean task in light of cluster munitions which would be dropped, some time-delayed and some remote-activated through the use of a satellite signal," the blogger claims.

According to the document, the missiles will strike their targets—some exploding above ground like those striking the nuclear reactor at Arak–which is intended to produce plutonium and tritium—and the nearby heavy water production facility; the nuclear fuel production facilities at Isfahan and facilities for enriching uranium-hexaflouride. Others would explode under-ground, as at the Fordo facility.

Following the first wave of attacks, Silverstein says, an Israeli radar satellite will pass over Iran and transfer information directly to war planes making their way covertly toward Iran.

"These IAF planes will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously unknown to the wider public, not even revealed to our US ally. This equipment will render Israeli aircraft invisible. Those Israeli war planes which participate in the attack will damage a short-list of targets which require further assault," the blogger writes.

According to Silverstein, among the targets approved for attack are Shahab 3 and Sejil ballistic missile silos, storage tanks for chemical components of rocket fuel, industrial facilities for producing missile control systems, centrifuge production plants and more.


Silverstein mentions that Iran is divided into 31 districts, each with its own independent command and control facilities and mechanisms. "So Israel wouldn’t be able to knock out a single facility and paralyze the IRG. They’d need to knock out 31 separate sets of facilities–a much harder task," he writes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: August 16, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: August 16, 2012

Iran Will Be Able To Build A Nuclear Bomb by October 1st


Story taken from
http://debka.com




                 At its present rate of enrichment, Iran will have 250 kilograms of 20-percent grade uranium, exactly enough to build its first nuclear bomb, in roughly six weeks, and two-to- four bombs by early 2013, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report.


Hence the leak by an unnamed Israeli security source Sunday, Aug. 12, disclosing Iran’s progress in developing the detonator and fuses for a nuclear warhead which can be fitted onto Shehab-3 ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel.

Since 20 percent refined uranium is a short jump to weapons grade fuel, Iran will have the capability and materials for building an operational nuclear bomb by approximately October 1.

This knowledge is not news to US President Barack Obama, Saudi King Abdullah, Syrian ruler Bashar Assad, or Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - and certainly not to Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Netanyahu’s comment at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday: “All threats against the home front are dwarfed by one – Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear arms!” – was prompted by that deadline.

Ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not have that information when he “assured” Tel Aviv students Sunday, “Iran’s nuclear program has not reached the threshold necessitating Israeli action now or in the near future.”

He further claimed that Israel’s “defense leaders” don’t subscribe to the view that “action now is unavoidable.” Olmert, who stepped down under a cloud of suspected corruption in 2009, has not since then had access to regular intelligence briefings on Iran.

So either he spoke out of ignorance or willfully joined an opposition chorus of voices speaking out against Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The fact is that when Olmert approved the Israeli strike for destroying a nuclear reactor under construction by Iran and North Korea in northern Syria in September 2007, Iran was years away from accumulating enough enriched uranium and the capability to build nuclear warheads. Both are now within Tehran’s grasp in weeks.

Leading an opposition campaign to bring down the incumbent government is legitimate. Discrediting belated Israeli action to pre-empt a nuclear Iran as fodder for that campaign is not. If what Olmert and Barack (the same defense minister as today) did in 2007 was necessary then, action now for delaying Iran’s imminent “breakout” to a bomb is many times more necessary and far more urgent.

However Netanyahu and Barak have put themselves in a straitjacket by two lapses:

1. By foot-dragging on their decision for two years, they have led their opponents at home and in Washington – and Khamenei’s office too – to believe that, by turning on the heat, they can hold Israel back from military action against Iran’s nuclear program until it is too late.

The time has been used not just for Iranian nuclear progress, but to enlist ex-politicians and retired generals at home and add them to the voices, especially in the White House, which believe Israel can learn to live with a nuclear-armed Iran.

2. Netanyahu and Barak have behaved as though a decision on Iran is in their exclusive province, insulated from the turmoil and change swirling through Israel’s Arab neighbors in the past two years.

But the Middle East has a way of catching up with and rushing past slow-moving politicians: Sunday, at 10:00 a.m. Netanyahu warned his ministers that no threat was worse than a nuclear Iran. At 17:55 p.m., Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi dropped a bombshell in Cairo.

In one fell swoop, he smashed the Egyptian military clique ruling the country for decades, sacked the Supreme Military Council running Egypt since March 2011 and cut the generals off from their business empire by appropriating the defense ministry and military industry.

That fateful eight hours-less-five-minutes have forced Israel’s leaders to take a second look at their plans for Iran.

Morsi’s lightning decisions were the finishing touches that proved the Islamist Bedouin terror attacks in Sinai of Aug. 5 fitted neatly into a secret master plan hatched by Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to seize full control of rule in Cairo – a plan debkafile first revealed exclusively last Friday, Aug. 10.

Netanyahu now faces one of the hardest dilemmas of his political career - whether to go forward with the Iran operation, which calls for mustering all Israel’s military and defense capabilities – especially for the repercussions, after being suddenly confronted with unforeseen security challenges on its southwestern border, for thirty years a frontier of peace.

The exceptional talents of Netanyahu and Barak to put off strategic decisions until they are overtaken by events has landed Israel in an especially perilous plight, surrounded now by a soon-to-be nuclear-armed Iran from the east; threatened Syrian chemical warfare from the north and the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt to its south.

The Brody File: Conservatives vs. Obama

The Brody File: Conservatives vs. Obama

A Short History of Results Of US Aid To Islamists


Story taken from
http://www.israelnationalnews.com




                 The apparently good news that the United States intends to give the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt more aid to fight Sinai terror is a bad sign, based on a history of American aid to Islamists, according to former senior IDF officer and Algamor Terror Victim chairman Meir Indor.


“The agreements with Islamist elements are not stabile, and generally speaking, the forces that are trained by the Americans in Islamic countries eventually turn their guns against the United States and the West, including acts of terror and war crimes,” he wrote to his e-mail readers Monday.

The CIA helped none other than Osama bin Laden, who was taught guerilla warfare by Americans in the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in 1987. The United States gave bin Laden 60,000 tons of weapons, according to Indor.

After the Soviets left, bin Laden’s terrorist organization turned its guns against the Americans and their allies in a world-wide wave of terror, including the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Trade Towers in New York and the Pentagon near Washington.

Indor wrote, “Pakistani forces thought to be relatively loyal carried out terror in India, and it is not clear even today if they provided cover for bin Laden during his residence in the country."

He sarcastically said, “The Americans learned one lesson, albeit belatedly, and at least did not ask their ally [Pakistan] to help them eliminate bin Laden” last year.

Iran is next on Indoor’s list.

The United States, with the cooperation of Israel, helped Iran build a powerful army, which now threatens the entire world with the threat to build a nuclear weapon.

Indor then lists Turkey as another Western ally that has turned around and become an anti-Western Islamic regime, where he said the United States is involved “up to its neck” by having assisted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan before Islamists began to dominate the government.

“The same thing happened in Gaza,” continues Indor. “The security forces and police were trained with help from America and its European friends and now they serve as Hamas terrorists.”

Indor concludes with a warning against U.S. aid to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government to fight terror n the Sinai, bordering Israel.

“The Islamic takeover of the Egyptian army is a threat, and the takeover by [Mohammed] Morsi and his leaders of Egypt’s army should worry the United States as well as Israel. Their emissaries already are sitting at the southern entrance to Israel, and the Egyptian army is parked above the huge underground tunnel system that is a bridge for the flow of forces to the Sinai."

The United States is ignoring a series of questions about the Egyptian army, Indor states. He wrote, “How did it happen that the Egyptian army, trained by Americans and equipped with the best of American methods, could not control the Sinai?

“Why did they turn a blind eye to global jihad terrorists that infiltrated from Gaza to the Sinai over a long period of time, even during the Mubarak regime?

“Isn’t this reminiscent of the behavior of Egypt during the terror of the 50s and 60s that enabled ‘Fedayeen‘ attacks against Israel?”

Indor suggests that instead of aiding Egypt, the United States should deny Cairo’s requests for military help and to place more troops so close to the Israeli border.

“Otherwise,” he warns, “in the next confrontation, Israel will find itself facing a modern Islamic army.”

Stakelbeck on Terror: The Coming Middl East War, Part 2

Stakelbeck on Terror: The Coming Middl East War, Part 2

Sterilize 15-Year-Old Girls For Free--Without Parental Consent Now A Reality In Oregon

Story taken from
http://cnsnews.com



          Thanks to an Obamacare regulation that took effect on Aug. 1, health care plans in Oregon will now be required to provide free sterilizations to 15- year-old girls even if the parents of those girls do not consent to the procedure.


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finalized the regulation earlier this year.

It says that all health care plans in the United States--except those provided by actual houses of worship organized under the section of the Internal Revenue Code reserved for churches per se--must provide coverage, without cost-sharing, for sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives to “all women with reproductive capacity.”

In practical terms, "all women with reproductive capacity" means girls as young as about 12. That, according to the National Institutes of Health, is when girls usually start menstruating.

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act--a.k.a. Obamacare--was enacted in March 2010 it included (in Section 2713) a non-specific requirement that health care plans must provide "additional preventive services" to women. These unspecified "additional preventive services," the law said, were to be "provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration," a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In developing the regulation to define these "additional preventive services," HHS commissioned a federally funded committee at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to recommend what they should to be.

In July 2011, this committee issued a report that said: “The committee recommends for consideration as a preventive service for women: the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity.”

White House staff toast Obama on the Truman Balcony early on March 22, 2010, after PPACA had passed Congress. (White House Photo/Pete Souza)

The committee report said that “with reproductive capacity” meant “from the time of menarche to menopause.” Menarche is the beginning of menstruation--again, on average, about the age of 12 for American women.

On Aug. 1, 2011, HHS announced that it was adopting the IOM committee's recommendation almost verbatim. In fact, it added just one word--placing "all" in front of "women with reproductive capacity."

Thus, the regulation issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration said: "Non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage without cost-sharing consistent with these guidelines in the first plan year (in the individual market, policy year) that begins on or after August 1, 2012. ... All Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity."

HHS said nothing about restricting the provision of these free "preventive services" to women who were 18 or older, or 21 or older, or even 15 or older. The regulation simply said "all women with reproductive capacity."

However, states have varying laws on the age of consent. CNSNews.com took a look at Oregon and its rule of consent for sterilization--one of the free services required by the Obama administration's regulation.

In Oregon, the age of informed consent is 15, and the law and rules on sterilization are detailed in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 436.205 to 436.335.

Under Oregon law, girls from 15 years of age and up are given complete control over whether to be sterilized or not. The parents or guardians of a minor girl--between 15 and 18--can neither grant nor deny consent for a sterilization.

The Oregon law says: "'Informed consent' means consent given by an individual 15 years of age or older for sterilization that is: (a) Based upon a full understanding of the nature and consequences of sterilization pursuant to information requirements set forth in ORS 436.225(1); (b) Given by an individual competent to make such a decision; and (c) Wholly voluntary and free from coercion, express or implied."

Oregon defines "sterilization" as "any medical procedure, treatment or operation for the purpose of rendering an individual permanently incapable of procreating."

The Oregon Health Authority has created a special consent form called "Ages 15-20 Consent to Sterilization."

"When I first asked for the information, I was told that the decision to be sterilized is completely up to me," says this Oregon form for 15-year-old children. "I was told that I could decide not to be sterilized."

"I understand that the sterilization must be considered permanent and not reversible," says this consent form. "I have decided that I do not want to become pregnant, bear children or father children."

The consent form even includes a section that can be signed by an interpreter, in case a 15-year-old child being sterilized by their own consent in Oregon is incapable of understanding English.

This section says: "If an interpreter is provided to assist the individual to be sterilized: I have translated the information and advice presented orally to the individual to be sterilized by the person obtaining this consent." After specifying what language the interpreter used to explain the sterilization to the child, the form asks the interpreter to stipulate: "To the best of my knowledge and belief he/she understood this explanation."

Additionally, the Oregon government makes the consent form available in Spanish--"15-20 anos Consentimiento para esterilizacion."

CNSNews.com specifically asked the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) by e-mail, “What is the legal age of consent to sterilization in Oregon?”

The OHA media contact, Christine Stone, replied, “In Oregon, the legal age for consent for sterilization is 15 years.”

Because the provision for coverage of sterilization under Obamacare applies to “all women of reproductive capacity,” which means girls younger than 15, CNSNews.com followed up with the OHA, asking, “What is the rule regarding 12-, 13-, and 14-year-old girls who want to be sterilized?”

Stone said she could not provide any information other than what is cited in the Oregon statute.

However, a handbook published by Disabilty Rights Oregon states that the law governing sterilization “prohibits the sterilization of children younger than 15, and mandates that a parent, guardian or conservator may not give consent for sterilization of a minor child or protected person.

The law allows a person who is 15 or older to consent to be sterilized. But if a person is not capable of giving ‘informed consent,’ sterilization cannot proceed until age 18, and then only in limited circumstances as determined by court order.” (Handbook: DRO-Sterilization_Handbook(2).pdf)

CNSNew.som also contacted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and asked, “Can you confirm that under this regulation a girl as young as 12 must be offered the opportunity to obtain a sterilization free of charge?”

In addition, CNSNews.com asked the HHS, “In Oregon, the age of consent for a sterilization procedure is 15 years or older. Can you confirm that under this regulation, a 15-year-old girl can obtain a sterilization free of charge?”

After following up with multiple phone calls and e-mails, CNSNews.com was told by the HHS office of the secretary that there was no one available to answer these questions.

At a pen-and-pad meeting with reporters in late March at the U.S. Capitol, CNSNews.com asked House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), “The administration has approved a regulation under Obamacare that says, quote, ‘all women with reproductive capacity,’ end quote, must be offered free sterilization--”

Hoyer then interrupted, saying, “How is that related to a pre-existing condition?”

CNSNews.com continued, “--hold on--free sterilization in their health care plans. Do you support the mandate for free sterilization for college-age women?”

Hoyer expressed surprise, stating, “Free sterilization? I don’t know anything about free sterilization. I don’t know anything about that. I’m sorry. The answer is, I don’t. But I don’t think anybody is proposing that.”

At a press conference in mid-July, which specifically focused on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), CNSNews.com attempted to ask House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) whether she supported the HHS regulation insofar as it extends to teens and college-age women. Pelosi, however, cut the question off before it could be completed.

CNSNews.com asked Pelosi, “You mentioned the preventive services mandate. One of the services that health care plans have to offer free of charge are sterilizations. And I was wondering do you agree with the federal government mandating—”

Pelosi said: “You know what, I told you before, let’s go to church and talk about our religion—"

CNSNews.com asked: “No, no, but it’s—"

Pelosi said: “Right here we’re talking about public policy as it affects women and we’re not, you know that this bill is—"

CNSNews.com asked: “No, it has nothing to do with the religious views but do you—"

Pelosi said: “No, it does.”

CNSNews.com: “--agree that the federal government should be mandating—"

Pelosi: “I believe that the legislation to allow women to determine the size and timing of their families and have access--"

CNSNews.com: “--even for---”

Pelosi: “--to contraception. Next question.”

In another instance on Capitol Hill, CNSNews.com asked Pelosi, "Do you support the regulation taking affect August 1 requiring all health plans to cover free sterilizations for teenage girls?"

Pelosi said, "I don't subsribe to your characterization of it," and then moved on to ther questions.

Also, in late July, CNSNews.com asked Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), “The HHS preventive services mandate requires all health plans to offer free sterilizations, including to girls in their teens. Do you support the mandate as it applies to teens?”

At that point, Rep. Schakowsky started to walk away without answering but, while walking, she said, “I don’t--I’m unaware that it says that sterilization including teens is in that. I’ll check that out.”

“I will check that out,” she said.

CNSNews.com then followed up, “It says all women of ‘reproductive capacity,’ and it defines it as from menarche to menopause.”

“I’ll check that out,” she said.

Edwin Black, author of War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, told CNSnews.com: “I find it abhorrent that a 15-year-old girl who is not old enough to consent to sexual activity, who is not old enough to consent to buying a beer, who is not old enough to drive herself to the hospital could possibly be considered old enough and mature enough to give informed consent for her own sterilization. And the most vulnerable of these girls will be those who are wards of the state who are presented a piece of paper and told ‘sign here,’ as they were in Virginia and California.”

“Right now, when our country is considering compensation, such as in North Carolina for sterilization victims [and] states are hopping on the bandwagon to issue formal apologies … is not the time to reverse years of awareness and dive back into state-sponsored sterilization,” said Black.

“The decades of genocidal sterilization are filled with numerous examples of fake consent forms being executed by young women who were being pressured by the state into sterilization.”

The IOM committee that recommended mandating coverage for free sterilizations to all "women with reproductive capacity" specifically argued that getting rid of cost-sharing requirements would lift a major barrier to what it considered more effective, long-lasting methods of contraception such as sterilization.

“In a study of the cost-effectiveness of specific contraceptive methods, all contraceptive methods were found to be more cost-effective than no method, and the most cost-effective methods were long-acting contraceptives that do not rely on user compliance," said the IOM committee's report.

"The most common contraceptive methods used in the United States are the oral contraceptive pill and female sterilization," said the report. "It is thought that greater use of long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods—including intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants that require less action by the woman and therefore have lower use failure rates—might help further reduce unintended pregnancy rates. Cost barriers to use of the most effective contraceptive methods are important because long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods and sterilization have high up-front costs.”

"The elimination of cost sharing for contraception therefore could greatly increase its use, including use of the more effective and longer-acting methods, especially among poor and low-income women most at risk for unintended pregnancy," said this report recommending free sterilization coverage for all women who could conceive a child.

"A recent study conducted by Kaiser Permanente found that when out-of-pocket costs for contraceptives were eliminated or reduced, women were more likely to rely on more effective long-acting contraceptive methods," said the report.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: August 14, 2012

News Channel Morning Edition: August 14, 2012

Russia: New US sanctions on Iran 'overt blackmail'


Story taken from
Reuters


Jerusalem Dateline:

Jerusalem Dateline:

Billy Graham: 'Final Call' For America To Repent


Story taken from
http://www.wnd.com


            
       Believing God will allow him to live to 95, famed evangelist Billy Graham is making his “final call to America to turn to God.”


Timed to coincide with his 95th birthday, Graham is calling people in the United States and Canada to repentance as part of the “My Hope with Billy Graham” evangelistic outreach set for the week of Nov. 7, 2013.

Unlike his famous stadium crusades over the past six decades, Graham is asking Christians to invite family, friends and neighbors to their homes to watch the “Living Room Crusade” on their televisions, tablets or smartphones as part of a massive grassroots effort to ignite a spiritual awakening in North America.

In what is expected to be the largest undertaking in its 60-plus year history, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association hopes to mobilize millions of Christians to register as host “Matthews” at www.myhopewithbillygraham.org and undergo training to learn how to share their faith with others.

“We have seen God visit our nation in powerful and transformational ways in the past,” Preston Parrish, vice president of “My Hope with Billy Graham,” told WND.com. “We are praying this will be a real moment of revival and awakening and transformation across our nation.”

The announcement comes as Graham – whom Parrish described as “very sharp and keen mentally” at age 93 – released a letter last month entitled, “My Heart Aches for America.” In the letter, Graham recalled how his late wife Ruth once expressed concerns about the “terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards” – exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Graham wondered what his wife would think of America today – noting millions of babies have since been aborted and “self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.”

“My heart aches for America and its deceived people,” wrote Graham, who has preached to more people – 2.2 billion – than any other Protestant in history and has provided spiritual counsel to every president from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush. He received Barack Obama in his home in 2010.

“The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower – wealthy, unconcerned and self-centered. When the prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented. I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation.”

Anne Gimenez, the national chairperson of America for Jesus – The Awakening, says similar revivals have occurred in the past in America and Europe during other times of declining morality and spiritual darkness.

“I think Billy Graham’s idea is genius,” says Gimenez, whose organization expects hundreds of thousands of people to gather at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 28 and 29 to pray for another Great Awakening in the United States. For more information, log onto www.afj2012.org. “We’ve been waiting for an idea that would spark America into revival and perhaps this is it.

“America and the world seem to be in a state of growing apostasy and unbelief. Atheism and agnosticism is growing by leaps and bounds. In history, when there is great darkness engulfing the world, there is also the opportunity for a great light to come – the gospel light. And so at this time when we seem to be spiraling downward into spiritual darkness, it is the ideal and opportune time for a great spiritual awakening.”

Graham’s letter comes as a growing number of spiritual and political leaders have made similar calls for repentance, stressing that the nation is in a downward spiral of economic decline, corruption, immorality, secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, the author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Harbinger – The Ancient Mystery that holds the Secret of America’s Future,” says the fact Graham released the letter at “this point in his life” and “at this moment in America is very significant.”

“Billy Graham has been a pastor to presidents and the most famous evangelist in the world for the past several generations. For such a word to come from such a voice is stunning,” says Cahn, the senior rabbi at the nation’s largest messianic congregation, the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J. “He is giving the nation a prophetic warning.”

“His words match the overall message and call of ‘The Harbinger,’ that America is in rapid departure from God and His ways – that it now stands in danger of judgment and the signs that appeared in judgment of Israel are now reappearing on American soil. And yet no matter how dark it gets, there is still hope for mercy and room for redemption, but that redemption can only come through the repentance and prayers of God’s people.

“The other thing that’s striking about Billy Graham’s warning is that it comes at the same time when believers across the nation are sensing this very same thing and when leaders are increasingly calling for prayer and intercession for America. ‘The Harbinger’ ends with a call for prayer, repentance, and revival among God’s people. That all these things are converging at the same time is significant.”

In fact, the most in-demand Christian video around today is “Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” the video that explains the message from “The Harbinger.”

The Graham crusade also comes as several organizations are planning prayer gatherings, evangelistic festivals and other events over the next year.

Starting Sept. 28 and continuing through Nov. 6, 40 Days to Save America is calling for repentance, prayer and fasting in the 40 days prior to the presidential election. For more information, log into http://40daystosaveamerica.com.

This event and others follow The Response when Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared Aug. 6, 2011, a day of prayer, fasting and repentance. He invited fellow governors to attend the event at Reliant Stadium – saying it was time to “convene the leaders of each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting, like that described in the book of Joel.”

Luis Cataldo, the director of The Response and an intercessory missionary at the International House of Prayer, says when a “father of the faith like Billy Graham” issues a letter of this magnitude it has to be taken seriously.

“When he says America is in trouble, we have to repent,” Cataldo says. “He’s gone through global wars as a spiritual shepherd. He’s seen a bunch of stuff and he’s saying America, ‘We have to repent.’ This may be our last chance to repent. We’ve turned away from God and God is just, loving and right to bring judgment.”

Even more significantly, Cataldo says, God is now awakening the church through a convergence of political and spiritual leaders calling the nation to prayer, fasting and repentance.

“It’s almost as though the Lord is trying to awaken the church and is now bypassing the church and going to government officials,” Cataldo says. “Gov. Perry, (Kansas) Gov. Sam Brownback and other leading government officials are calling for Joel 2 solemn assemblies. They are doing it because there is a spiritual crisis in America.”

Billy Wilson, executive director of the Awakening America Alliance and the Center for Spiritual Renewal, says the alliance representing a coalition of 300 Pentecostal and charismatic ministers is partnering with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as it prepares for the crusade.

“We are very excited about Dr. Graham”s desire to speak at this stage in his life to our nation,” Wilson says. “Obviously, Dr. Graham’s voice in America is one of the strongest of perhaps the last two generations of Christians. We are honored to partner with him and ‘My Hope with Billy Graham.’”

At this time, Wilson says America finds itself in perhaps the place of greatest spiritual need in its history.

“We find ourselves in a 21st century world where in many ways our future and destiny is at stake,” Wilson says. “Really, the only hope for America is God’s grace and His covering over our nation. That only comes when God’s people humble themselves and pray, and sometimes we forget the last one – turn from our wicked ways. The call for righteousness among Christians and the church in America should be very strong in every pulpit across the nation right now.”

“My Hope with Billy Graham” is a massive effort to reach people across the United States and Canada with the “good news of God’s love,” Parrish says.

Since 2002, Graham’s son, Franklin, and grandson, Will Graham, have spoken at “My Hope” evangelistic festivals in 57 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. More than 305,000 churches have participated and more than 10 million decisions for Jesus have been recorded

“Now, in 2013, there is a broad sense of conviction and urgency about the timeliness of this important project in the U.S. and Canada,” Parrish says. “We want to help people in North America understand in a fresh way the love God has for them and the forgiveness and eternal life he offers them in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Following a simple biblical model, the outreach combines the reach and excitement of a nationwide media event with the power of personal relationships. Under the guidance of their local pastors, Christians across these two countries will open their homes to share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues and neighbors using different media programs featuring Graham’s message, popular music and real-life testimonies.

“The idea is part of the biblical pattern for us as Christians to be showing God’s love to the people around us,” Parrish says. “The most loving thing we can do for someone else is not only to give them food and water, but to give them the message that has given us hope for eternal life.”

The outreach is modeled after the biblical story of Matthew. After accepting Jesus’ call to follow Him, Matthew invited friends into his house to meet the person who changed his life, Like the Apostle Matthew, Christians in North America will invite their guests into their homes to learn about Jesus using prime-time television, while others will gather at a coffee shop or the park to watch the program on a tablet or smartphone.

They will then share their own story of how they met Jesus and invite their friends to pray to receive Jesus. Each host will follow up with new believers and encourage them to become part of a local church.

With “My Hope with Billy Graham” and other events and outreaches planned in the coming months, Wilson says he has great hope for the spiritual future of North America.

“We may be on the edge of a new Great Awakening right now, to be honest,” Wilson says. “Though things look dark, that has always been true in America before every great spiritual movement. This was true before the First Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening and the other awakenings. In that darkness, God’s people united in prayer to turn the tide.

If we unite together in prayer, I believe we can see a new Great Awakening and I believe what Dr. Graham is trying to do can be very effective – but only if God’s people really humble themselves, pray and repent in this season.”



Can God Speak to You?

Can God Speak to You?

Is Liberal Christianity Worth Saving?


Story taken From



            The recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church has prompted a broader discussion of the fate of liberal Christianity. No surprise-the Episcopal Church has been one of the most aggressively liberal influences in American Christianity in the past few years, pushing hard against the traditions of the broader Anglican Communion.


In The New York Times, Ross Douthat goes so far as to ask, "Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?" But that question necessarily prompts two others: What is Liberal Christianity, and Should it be saved?

Liberal Christianity is dying on the vine. Mainline denominations are taking big hits across the board. According to The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, among Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians, more adults are leaving the church than entering it.

Methodists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans are retaining less than half of their children. And in these denominations, no one is sitting in the pews! Gallup reported in 2005 that weekly and near-weekly church attendees made up less than 45% of self-identifying Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans, with Episcopalians at a dismal 32%. And the numbers aren't getting any better.

But what, exactly, is liberal Christianity? Over the past several decades, liberalism has primarily defined itself by what it is not. Its message is "We're not like those stodgy old traditionalists-we're hip and accepting" (as long as they're not asked to accept unchanging morality or the truth of Scripture).

Liberal Christianity rejects the core tenets of Christianity, including the belief that Jesus is God, that all of mankind is guilty of sin and condemned to hell, that God sacrificed His Son to bear the punishment for our sins, that Scripture is the absolute, unchanging, perfect Word of God, and that the only path to salvation is through believing in Christ's sacrifice and accepting His gift of eternal life by grace through faith.

In place of these tenets, liberal Christianity embraces a series of denials: Christ is not divine, mankind is not inherently sinful, the Scriptures are not authoritative and unchanging, heaven and hell are not literal, morality and theology are not absolute, and social mores do not flow from Scripture, but are an ever-changing product of our evolutionary enlightenment.

All of these beliefs allow liberal Christians to be more "comfortable" in the culture around them. The common message of the liberal Christian is that "God is love" and we need to speak to the rest of culture in the language of loving acceptance.

"Love" here is code for the conviction that there is no absolute moral standard which humankind has violated. Hence, to believe in justice, morality, sin, punishment or an unchanging God is to be "judgmental" and "unloving."

If this is the heart of liberal Christianity, is it worth saving? Douthat argued in his article that conservatives "should not be smug" about the failures of liberalism, but rather value the work liberal Christianity has done to advance the social duties of the Church.

While liberal Christianity might have gotten the Church talking more about social justice, it provided all the wrong answers. Liberal Christianity looks primarily to the government to shoulder our social responsibilities.

But the social duties of Christians are clearly spelled out in Scripture, and they are directed to individual Christians and to the church. Christians-individually and collectively-are primarily responsible for this work, not the civil government.

It is not the message of "acceptance" but the truth of historic, traditional Christianity that has transformed society over the centuries. The spread of the biblical Gospel message throughout generations has changed the world.

Christianity has grown and spread because Christians have taken seriously Christ's great commission to go into all the world and make disciples. Animated by love for their neighbor (dictated by Scripture) and concern for their eternal future (heaven or hell), believers in historic Christianity have sought to spread the truth of the Gospel throughout the world.

Concern for their fellow man and the belief that ministering to the poor and needy is the same as ministering to the Lord Jesus Christ himself (Matt. 25:40) has been the impetus to build hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, pregnancy care centers, water purification plants and the like around the world.

Liberal Christianity undermines the Truth that has motivated so much good work. Liberal Christians reject the core tenets of historic Christianity. They have embraced the contemporary fancies of an ever-changing culture. They have nothing to live for, nothing to die for, and nothing to work for.

For them, church is just another social club, devoid of power because it is not animated by transcendent truth and accountability for living in conformity with that truth.

They have no authority for faith or action. They embrace a counterfeit Christianity, a pale image of the real thing, a hollow shell, a thin gruel that offers little sustenance for its followers or the culture at large.

It is no wonder that the ranks of liberal Christian churches are shrinking. Liberal Christianity is passing with a whimper, not a bang. Increasingly, its adherents have concluded it is not worth saving.