Sunday, July 31, 2011
Photo (Courtesy) http://www.christianpost.com/news/joe-biden-meets-pope-during-surprise-vatican-visit-51085/
Vatican City, Jun 3, 2011 / 11:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden met with Pope Benedict XVI in an unannounced visit to the Vatican, June 3. Both sides have been tight-lipped as to what was discussed.
“I have no comment. It was a totally private meeting and there will no communiqué,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., told CNA on June 3.
In fact the meeting wasn’t even listed on the Pope’s daily public schedule. One of the few give-aways was the heavy security surrounding the Port Sant’ Anna entrance to the Vatican all morning. Journalists covering the Pope’s meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas also spotted Biden’s car at the Vatican.
Vice President Biden is in Rome to mark the 150th anniversary of the country’s unification. Although he is a Catholic, Biden has had a troubled relationship with the Church because of his stance on certain issues, such as abortion.
In fact, after gaining the vice presidential nomination in 2008 he was criticized by his own bishop, the late Bishop Michael Saltarelli of Wilmington, for his stance on abortion. Biden was subsequently barred from speaking at events in Catholic schools in the diocese.
Biden has repeatedly stated at the he believes life begins at conception but that he would not want to impose his personal beliefs on others. This was countered by Bishop Saltarelli in 2004 when he replied;
“No one today would accept this statement from any public servant: ‘I am personally opposed to human slavery and racism but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.’ Likewise, none of us should accept this statement from any public servant: ‘I am personally opposed to abortion but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.’”
Biden isn’t the first senior Democrat who supports legalized abortion and is Catholic to meet Pope Benedict XVI.
In 2009 then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also visited the Pope at the Vatican. Afterwards she claimed, “I had the opportunity to praise the Church's leadership in fighting poverty, hunger, and global warming, as well as the Holy Father's dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel.”
This version of events, though, was somewhat contradicted by a Vatican statement issued only hours later:
“His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in co-operation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”
Vice President Biden also had meeting in Rome today with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on the issue of the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the Pope also held separate discussions on the same issue with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.
English.news.cn 2011-07-31 20:27:02 FeedbackPrintRSS
WASHINGTON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. debt ceiling negotiators are working on a tentative agreement on raising the federal government's debt limit to avert a looming debt default crisis.
The United States is not going to default, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday morning in an interview with CNN.
"We're very close to a deal," McConnell added.
He said that both parties were working on a 3 trillion U.S. dollars package, and some conservative GOP members wanted a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to be included in the deal.
Leaders from both parties are discussing the compromise plan "in a constructive way," Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said on Sunday.
However, Schumer held that it was "premature" to say now that a deal has been reached, as there are many details to talk about before sealing the deal, Schumer noted.
There has to be compromise on each side to push forward a solution in a divided government and Congress, noted Schumer, adding that the negotiators were discussing defense cuts of equal magnitude to domestic spending cuts.
Sunday was a "critical day" to cut a deal to raise the nation's debt limit, White House senior advisor David Plouffe said on Sunday, adding that "we have to get this solved."
Plouffe said there was not a deal yet, as both sides were working out on details of a plan.
The federal government's borrowing limit, currently at 14.29 trillion dollars, was reached on May 16. The Treasury Department said the nation would begin to default on its debts unless the Congress agreed to lift the limit by Aug. 2.
Obama's top economic adviser Gene Sperling Sunday also urged Congress to raise the debt limit to lift the uncertainty cloud over the economy and financial markets.
A procedural Senate vote on a debt ceiling proposal put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was postponed until Sunday afternoon to give negotiators more time to hammer out an agreement.
Editor: Zhang Xiang
6And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
7Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
8Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
9And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.
10Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
11Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
AlterNet / By Rania Khalek
The Strange and Dangerous Militarization of the US Police Force
The federal government has supplied local police departments with military uniforms, weaponry, vehicles, and training.
July 5, 2011
Just after midnight on May 16, 2010, a SWAT team threw a flash-bang grenade through the window of a 25-year-old man while his 7-year-old daughter slept on the couch as her grandmother watched television. The grenade landed so close to the child that it burned her blanket. The SWAT team leader then burst into the house and fired a single shot which struck the child in the throat, killing her. The police were there to apprehend a man suspected of murdering a teenage boy days earlier. The man they were after lived in the unit above the girl's family.
The shooting death of Aiyana Mo'Nay Stanley-Jones sounds like it happened in a war zone. But the tragic SWAT team raid took place in Detroit.
Shockingly, paramilitary raids that mirror the tactics of US soldiers in combat are not uncommon in America. According to an investigation carried out by the Huffington Post's Radley Balko, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement over the last 30 years, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units for routine police work. In fact, the most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.
Some 40,000 of these raids take place every year, and are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. And as demonstrated by the case of Aiyana Mo'nay Stanley-Jones, these raids have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries.
How did we allow our law enforcement apparatus to descend into militaristic chaos? Traditionally, the role of civilian police has been to maintain the peace and safety of the community while upholding the civil liberties of residents in their respective jurisdiction. In stark contrast, the military soldier is an agent of war, trained to kill the enemy.
Clearly, the mission of the police officer is incompatible with that of a soldier, so why is it that local police departments are looking more and more like paramilitary units in a combat zone? The line between military and civilian law enforcement has been drawn for good reason, but following the drug war and more recently, the war on terror, that line is inconspicuously eroding, a trend that appears to be worsening by the decade.
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 is a civil war-era law that prohibits the use of the military for civilian policing. For a long time, Posse Comitatus was considered the law of the land, forcing militarization advocates to come up with creative ways to get around it. In addition to assigning various law enforcement duties to the military, such as immigration control, over the years Congress has instituted policies that encourage law enforcement to emulate combat soldiers. Hence, the establishment of the SWAT team in the 1960s.
Originally called the Special Weapons Attack Team, the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units were inspired by an incident in 1966, when an armed man climbed to the top of the 32-story clock tower at the University of Texas in Austin and fired randomly for 90 minutes, shooting 46 people and killing 15, until two police officers got to the top of the tower and killed him. This episode is said to have “shattered the last myth of safety Americans enjoyed [and] was the final impetus the chiefs of police needed” to form their own SWAT teams. Soon after, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) formed the country's first SWAT team, which acquired national prestige when used against the Black Panthers in 1969.
Use of these paramilitary units gradually increased throughout the 1970s, mostly in urban settings. The introduction of paramilitary units in America laid the foundation for the erosion of the barrier between police and military, a trend which accelerated in the 1980s under President Reagan, when the drug war was used as a pretext to make exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act.
In 1981, Congress passed the Military Cooperation with Law Enforcement Act, which amended Posse Comitatus by directing the military to give local, state and federal law enforcement access to military equipment, research and training for use in the drug war. Following the authorization of domestic police and military cooperation, the 1980s saw a series of additional congressional and presidential maneuvers that blurred the line between soldier and police officer, ultimately culminating in a memorandum of understanding in 1994 between the US Department of Justice and Department of Defense. The agreement authorized the transfer of federal military technology to local police forces, essentially flooding civilian law enforcement with surplus military gear previously reserved for use during wartime.
Between 1995 and 1997 the Department of Defense gave 1.2 million pieces of military hardware, including 3,800 M-16s, 2,185 M-14s, 73 grenade launchers and 112 armored personnel carriers to civilian police agencies across the country. But this was only the beginning.
In 1997, Congress, not yet satisfied with the flow of military hardware to local police, passed the National Defense Authorization Security Act which created the Law Enforcement Support Program, an agency tasked with accelerating the transfer of military equipment to civilian police departments. Between January 1997 and October 1999, the new agency facilitated the distribution of 3.4 million orders of Pentagon equipment to over 11,000 domestic police agencies in all 50 states.
By December 2005, that number increased to 17,000, with a purchase value of more than $727 million of equipment. Among the hand-me-downs were 253 aircraft (including six- and seven-passenger airplanes, and UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-1 Huey helicopters), 7,856 M-16 rifles, 181 grenade launchers, 8,131 bulletproof helmets, and 1,161 pairs of night-vision goggles.
The military surplus program and paramilitary units feed off one another in a cyclical loop that has caused an explosive growth in militarized crime control techniques. With all the new high-tech military toys the federal government has been funneling into local police departments, SWAT teams have inevitably multiplied and spread across American cities and towns in both volume and deployment frequency. Criminologist Peter Kraska found that the frequency of SWAT operations soared from just 3,000 annual deployments in the early 1980s to an astonishing 40,000 raids per year by 2001, 75-80 percent of which were used to deliver search warrants.
In 1997, Kraska observed that close to 90 percent of cities with populations exceeding 50,000 and at least 100 sworn officers had at least one paramilitary unit, twice as many as in the mid 1980s. Radley Basko correctly points out that the trends giving rise to SWAT proliferation in the 1990s have not disappeared, so it's safe to assume these numbers have continued to rise and are significantly higher today.
Then there are the effects of the war on terror, which sparked the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the introduction of DHS grants to local police departments. These grants are used to purchase policing equipment, although law enforcement is investing in more than just bullet-proof vests and walkie talkies. DHS grants have led to a booming law enforcement industry that specifically markets military-style weaponry to local police departments. If this sounds familiar, that's because it is law enforcement's version of the military-industrial-complex.
By instituting public policies that encouraged the collaboration of military and domestic policing, the US government handed a massive and highly profitable clientele to private suppliers of paramilitary gear. Following the breakdown of Posse Comitatus in the 1980s and '90s, Peter Cassidy writes in Covert Action Quarterly that "gun companies, perceiving a profitable trend, began aggressively marketing automatic weapons to local police departments, holding seminars, and sending out color brochures redolent with ninja-style imagery."
Private suppliers of military equipment advertise a glorified version of military-style policing attire to local police departments and SWAT teams. One such defense manufacturing company, Heckler and Koch, epitomized this aggressive marketing tactic with its slogan for the MP5 submachine gun, “From the Gulf War to the Drug War—Battle Proven.”
Today's latest in paramilitary fashion sweeping through local police departments is the armored tank, which is making appearances all over the country at an increasingly alarming rate. The police department in Roanoke, Virginia paid Armet Armored Vehicles, a private company that specializes in military vehicles, $218,000 to assemble a 20,000-pound bulletproof tank with a $245,000 federal grant.
Not to feel left out, the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) in Lancaster, Penn., was recently seen sporting the Lenco BearCat, a camouflage colored Humvee-styled tank that can knock down a wall, pull down a fence, withstand small-arms fire and deliver a dozen heavily armed police officers to a tense emergency scene. The BearCat was purchased a year and a half ago with a $226,224 grant from DHS, yet it has spent nearly two years sitting in a garage at the county's Public Safety Training Center.
The most widely used justification for the purchase of heavily armored war machines is that violence against police officers has increased exponentially, necessitating the tank for protection of the men and women who serve our communities. But examination of the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report, a database that tracks the number of law enforcement officers killed and assaulted each year, reveals that this is simply not true. According to the UCR, since 2000 an average yearly toll of about 50 police officers have been feloniously killed, the highest reaching 70 in 2001. So the notion that militarization is a necessary reaction to a growth in violence against police officers is absurd, considering that violent crime is trending downward.
Others argue these tanks are needed in case of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. But on September 11, 2001, I do not recall the NYPD complaining that a lack of armored tanks was impeding its policing efforts. And during the catastrophic tornado that tore through Joplin, Missouri earlier this year, heavily armored vehicles weren't present nor were they needed to assist in the aftermath.
The majority of paramilitary drug raid proponents maintain that military-style law enforcement is required to reduce the risk of potential violence, injury and death to both police officers and innocents. The reality is that SWAT team raids actually escalate provocation, usually resulting in senseless violence in what would otherwise be a routine, nonviolent police procedure.
Just consider your reaction in the event of a SWAT team breaking down your door in the middle of night, possibly even blowing off the hinges with explosives, while you and your family are asleep. Imagine the terror of waking up to find complete strangers forcing their way into your home and detonating a flash-bang grenade, meant to disorient you. Assuming nobody is hurt, what thoughts might be raging in your mind while the police forcefully incapacitate you and your loved ones, most likely at gunpoint, while carrying out a search warrant of your home. Assuming you were able to contain the mix of fear and rage going through your body, consider how helpless you would feel to know that any perceived noncompliance would most certainly be met with lethal force.
Training and technology-sharing between the defense and civilian law enforcement seems responsible for the pervasive culture of militarism plaguing domestic law enforcement. In fact, an estimated 46 percent of paramilitary units were trained by "active-duty military experts in special operations." Lawrence Korb, a former official in the Reagan administration, famously said that soldiers are “trained to vaporize, not Mirandize." As police officers continue to emulate soldiers in their weaponry, language, tactics, uniform, and mindset, it won't be long before they vaporize instead of Mirandize as well.
We have created circumstances under which the American people are no longer individuals protected by the Bill of Rights, but rather "enemy combatants." The consequences of such a mindset have proven time and again to be lethal, as we now rely on military ideology and practice to respond to crime and justice. For some insight into the implications, one needn't look any further than minority communities, which have long been the victims of paramilitary forces posing as police officers. Black and Latino communities in the inner-cities of Washington DC, Detroit and Chicago have witnessed first-hand the deadly consequences of militarization on American soil. Military culture now permeates all aspects of our society. Does anyone really believe that heavily armed soldiers trained to kill are capable of maintaining an atmosphere of nonviolence?
It's important to remember that police officers are not responsible for instituting these policies. Over the last three decades local police departments supplied with military uniforms, weaponry, vehicles, and training, were told they were fighting a war on drugs, crime and terror. The politicians who instituted these policies are responsible for the militarization creeping into civilian law enforcement. What might the end result be if the distinction between police and military ceases to exist? The answer is a police state -- and certain segments of our society are already living in one.
Rania Khalek is a progressive activist. Check out her blog Missing Pieces or follow her on Twitter @Rania_ak. You can contact her at email@example.com.
Religious groups increasingly advocate liberalized immigration policies for the U.S. -- ones that pursue a more compassionate alien legalization process. The National Council of Churches, the Episcopal Church bishops, and United Methodist agencies want virtually open borders. The National Association of Evangelicals has endorsed legalization. Most recently, the Southern Baptist Convention endorsed legalization while also calling for border enforcement.
This all comes at a bad time for God-fearing Alabama. The state -- with its 120,000 illegal immigrants -- has followed Arizona with a strict new policy, which Alabama's governor boasts is the "strongest immigration bill in the country." A local United Methodist bishop, meanwhile, contends that it's the "meanest immigrant legislation bill in the nation."
Presbyterian Church (USA) clergy Kay Campbell, an editor and reporter for the Birmingham News, recently reported for the liberal website Red Letter Christians about a religious demonstration against Alabama's law. Once an English teacher at a Miskito Indian village to victims of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, Campbell wrote of her former students: "I wondered if they'd grown up to fight with the Sandinistas that would attempt to return democratic rule to their land. I wondered if they'd grown up to sneak into America (there being no legal line for penniless, unskilled laborers) so that they could send money back to their little sisters living in the traditional one-room cabins still built on stilts despite the distance from their traditional fishing grounds."
Of course, these wonderful Sandinistas who tried to "return democratic rule to their land" were notorious for their persecution of the Miskito Indians, not to mention their overall Marxist-Leninist attempts to impose a Soviet-backed police state in Nicaragua during the 1980s. Campbell wondered if illegal immigrants should be "any less able to cross borders for opportunities than corporations," and in so doing proved that reporters even in Birmingham can be left-wingers.
Some of Alabama's United Methodist clergy, in conformity with denominational policy, have prominently denounced the new law. "The purpose feels like intimidation and meanness," Birmingham-based Bishop Will Willimon told the local newspaper, citing "frustration," "disappointment [and] embarrassment." He complained: "One of the most nefarious aspects of this law is it appears to criminalize Alabamians in the act of being helpful and compassionate," citing the law's prohibition against knowingly giving a ride to illegal immigrants. "One thing our church is hoping to show our Spanish-speaking friends is that this law is not in our spirit," the Bishop said. "We want the world to know that this does not represent the best of Alabama."
It's doubtful that Alabama state troopers will be swooping down on church volunteers feeding or giving doctor-rides to illegal immigrants. But the United Methodist Church, like most of the Religious Left, officially rejects any immigration restrictions. Any border enforcement is commonly derided as "militarization." And illegal immigrants are routinely likened to the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt, or Abraham searching for the Promised Land.
Bishop Willimon and other Methodist clergy have sent an open letter to Alabama's governor denouncing the immigration law. Citing Martin Luther King, they declared that Christians have a "moral duty to obey just laws, [and] they also have a moral duty to disobey unjust ones."
They admitted the law's supporters are "well-meaning individuals" with "valid concerns" about "unemployment in this fragile economy" and state expenses for health care, police, fire protection, and education. But the Methodist clergy insisted the law "contradicts the essential tenets of the Christian faith." They cited Old Testament sojourners, the Good Samaritan, and St. Paul's rejection of distinctions among Christians. "We believe that God's call for the United Methodist church is to be a church for ALL people, to be in ministry to ALL people," they declared.
The government's vocation is very different from the church's, as fuzzy-thinking religious critics often forget. St. Paul affirmed the state's police and military responsibilities to protect its people. Bishop Willimon, formerly the dean at Duke University's prestigious chapel, is a pacifist neo-Anabaptist who rejects traditional Christian understanding of the Apostle's teaching.
Insisting that the state must behave like the church in offering unlimited hospitality to all people is untenable, of course. It also contradicts traditional Christian understanding of the state's divinely ordained duties. Alabama's laws may or may not have flaws, but its religious critics don't seem to offer serious arguments against it.
From: OfficialADTVChannel Jun 23, 2011
The trends today in the religious world are very clear. Unity is in, and truth is out.
Can there be unity without truth? Is there a modern-day spiritual Babylon being built? Are secret societies a true force on the global landscape, or just a mirage of paranoid conspiracy theorists? The facts speak for themselves.
Our Lady of China
by Zsolt Aradi
There are other great shrines dedicated to the Virgin in China. Of these, we shall give one brief mention here: that of Our Lady of China, located near Peiping. It stands in a village named Tong Lu. This mission was started by the Vincentian Fathers. It was a poor place, perhaps the poorest in the whole region, formerly called "the place of beggars." In 1900, there were some seven hundred Christians gathered about the little hamlet. Suddenly, the famous Boxer rebellion swept China and grew to such proportions, that even small places like Tong Lu could not escape its fury. In April 1900, a force of ten thousand rioters attacked Tong Lu. The soldiers, in senseless rage, started to shoot into the sky. Then suddenly they fled, frightened, and never came back again. According to the legend, a woman in white appeared above the settlement, and the rioters' bullets were aimed at her. When the apparition did not fade, attackers had not even time to reorganize because a strange horseman put them to flight. Soon after they had disappeared beyond the horizon. Father Wu, a Chinese priest, confessed to his flock that he invoked the help of Mary. A new church was built on the site and Father Wu placed a picture of Our Lady on the main altar. He asked the painter to dress Our Lady in the royal robes of the dowager Empress Tzi-Hsi. The image of the Blessed Virgin in the royal robes of the pagan Empress, with the Christ Child on her knees, is vivid expression of Chinese tradition. It is a shrine of the Mother and her Son. Though her robes be pagan, she belongs to every age, to all people and to every race. As was told and promised in the Old Testament: "I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge and of holy hope."
The Tong Lu church was completely destroyed recently by the Chinese Communists, but the picture of Our Lady of China remains intact because only a copy of the picture was used in the church. The original was hidden in the wall behind the copy, and this was recovered and found intact. It is now in possession of Chinese priests who carry out their activities in disguise.
This item 3172 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org
By Neil Marks Reuters – 1 hr 34 mins ago
GEORGETOWN (Reuters) - A Caribbean Airlines jet carrying 163 people crashed and broke in two Saturday as it tried to land in Guyana at night, injuring several passengers but killing no one.
The Boeing 737-800 overshot the runway as it arrived at Georgetown's Cheddi Jagan airport just after midnight from New York, following a stopover in Trinidad.
"We are very, very thankful and grateful that there are no deaths," Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo said at the airport.
One passenger suffered a broken leg, but no other serious injuries were reported, an airline spokeswoman said.
Flight BW-523 was carrying 157 passengers and six crew. Caribbean Airlines said it did not yet know the cause of the accident.
(Additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Vicki Allen)
1Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD:
2Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:
3Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:
4Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about;
5Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
6Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:
7Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.
8But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.
9For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown:
10And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded:
11And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
12Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.
13Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations:
14Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord GOD.
15Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord GOD.
16Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
17Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
18Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:
19And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
20And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.
21But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
22Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
23And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
29I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
30And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
31Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
32Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
33Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
34And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
35And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
36Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
37Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.
38As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Friday, July 29, 2011
TeresaGorman - Mark Shields: Debt talks have become a "non-negotiable terrorist demand"
PBS NewsHour on PBS 1 hour ago
By Hal Dardick
12:23 p.m. CDT, July 29, 2011
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today said next year's city budget hole is nearly $636 million and he won't use one-time fixes or reserves to fix it.
"Today is to inform the public who pays the bills of the size and the scope of the problem," Emanuel said at a City Hall news conference. "The system needs reform. It is calling out for it."
Emanuel also said he won't raise taxes on Chicagoans who feel "nickeled and dimed" until the city's financial structure gets reformed.
"I can't ask people to pay more into a system that needs to be fundamentally restructured," he said.
Without significant changes in how the city operates, the city budget gap would widen in coming years to $741.4 million in 2013 and $790.7 million in 2014, the administration estimates.
Much of the budget imbalance results from long-term union contracts with locked-in raises, rising health care costs for workers and increased borrowing in recent years that brought higher interest payments.
The budget figures do not include shortfalls in city pension systems, which could add costs of $500 million or more annually in coming years. Absent changes in the pension systems or new revenue sources, that could result in a doubling of the city property tax, according to The Civic Federation, a non-partisan budget watchdog group.
Emanuel is required under state law to make them public by July 31.
Release of the preliminary figures is the first step in fashioning a budget for the coming year. Emanuel’s task will be to find ways to close that gap without tapping one-time revenue sources, as former Mayor Daley did repeatedly in recent years.
Emanuel, who personally briefed City Council committee chairmen on the budget this morning, told them he has asked his department heads to come up with ideas to close the gap. His appearance at the briefings was a break from past practice, when Daley had his financial chiefs present the news to aldermen.
In May, Daley said he anticipated a budget shortfall next year of $587 million, but incoming Emanuel administration officials have said they anticipated it would be higher.
Last year, the city plugged a budget gap of $655 million largely by dipping into dwindling reserves, refinancing debt and drawing money from once-sacrosanct special taxing district funds.
During his first couple of months in office, Emanuel has taken steps to curtail spending. He announced plans to cut $75 million from this year’s $6.15 billion spending plan, and he has pushed unions to make concessions, so far to little avail.
Critics note that even in 2007, when the economy peaked, the city faced a budget gap of $95 million, and spending has only increased since.
Uploaded by apiequalityla on Oct 26, 2008
Loma Linda University Religion Professor Julius Nam voices concern on Proposition 8. No on proposition 8. This is in English.
Uploaded by apiequalityla on Oct 26, 2008
Loma Linda University Religion Professor Julius Nam voices concern on Proposition 8. No on proposition 8. This is in Korean
Let's put this in the "things not to say before trying to spend a trillion dollars" column...
[Uploaded by WSJDigitalNetwork on Nov 19, 2008
For more political videos, head to www.wsj.com/video. Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff for president-elect Barack Obama, outlines the opportunities for bipartisan reform that he says the financial crisis presents at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, D.C. (Nov. 19)]
1O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
10To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
11And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
16To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Uploaded by carpentersdaughter2 on Aug 15, 2008
Many Christians and mainline churches are doing this Hindu and New Age Practice. This practice make a person focus on themselves and not on Christ. It places them in an altered state of consciousness where demonic suggestion can take place.
Uploaded by RepMeehan on Jul 26, 2011
Congressman Meehan questions a senior ATF Official about multi-agency involvement in Fast and Furious.
July 29 - The Angel of Revelation 18
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. Rev. 18:1.
The prophecies in the eighteenth of Revelation will soon be fulfilled. During the proclamation of the third angel's message, "another angel" is to "come down from heaven, having great power," and the earth is to be "lightened with his glory." The Spirit of the Lord will so graciously bless consecrated human instrumentalities that men, women, and children will open their lips in praise and thanksgiving, filling the earth with the knowledge of God, and with His unsurpassed glory, as the waters cover the sea.
Those who have held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end will be wide-awake during the time that the third angel's message is proclaimed with great power. During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. So abundantly will the renewing Spirit of God have crowned with success the intensely active agencies, that the light of present truth will be seen flashing everywhere.
There is to be, at this period, a series of events which will reveal that God is Master of the situation. The truth will be proclaimed in clear, unmistakable language. As a people, we must prepare the way of the Lord, under the overruling guidance of the Holy Spirit. The gospel is to be given in its purity. The stream of living water is to deepen and widen in its course. In all fields, nigh and afar off, men will be called from the plough and from the more common commercial business vocations that largely occupy the mind, and will be educated in connection with men of experience. As they learn to labour effectively, they will proclaim the truth with power. Through most wonderful workings of divine providence, mountains of difficulties will be removed, and cast into the sea. The message that means so much to the dwellers upon the earth will be heard and understood. Men will know what is truth. Onward, and still onward the work will advance, until the whole earth shall have been warned. And then shall the end come.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
PM appoints head of National Economic Council as chairman of committee to look into making Sunday day of rest, Friday half-day
Attila Somfalvi Latest Update: 07.05.11, 16:34 / Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday tasked the Head of the National Economic Council, Professor Eugene Kandel, with examining the possibility of making Sunday an additional day of rest instead of a regular work day.
According to the proposal, Saturday and Sunday will be official days of rest while Friday will become a half day work-wise.
Netanyahu instructed Kandel to set up a special committee, made up of governmental representatives from every ministry, which will consider the proposal's repercussions. The committee's recommendations will be presented to the government.
The proposal was drawn up by Minister for Regional Development Silvan Shalom several months ago. Shalom believes Israel's economy would benefit from a shift to long weekends, as is customary in the rest of the western world.
Will it be full on Sunday now? Netanya beach (Photo: Ido Erez)
"It's a cosmopolitan move. Those who wish to join the world must adopt this 'long weekend' model of Saturday-Sunday as done by many countries across the world, such as India, China, Japan and Muslim countries such as Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and more," explained Shalom.
"Nearly 75% of the world's population work according to this model, and Israel must join and align itself with the world," he added.
Yedioth Ahronoth recently reported that Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer has expressed his support of the concept.
According to Shalom, the majority of the Israeli public is interested in working until noon on Fridays and turning Sunday into a day of rest, both in places of work and schools.
According to the proposal, banks and the stock exchange will be closed on Sundays, while businesses will remain open. Soccer matches will be held on Sundays – perhaps to lessen the desecration of the Shabbat.
Meanwhile, Shas Chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Sunday that his party was against the move, by orders of it spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
According to Yishai, the move's disadvantages outweigh its advantages.
Shas sources said the despite the party's position on the matter, should the prime minister's committee's recommendations support such a move, the matter would be brought before Rabbi Yosef once more.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Recent events - a teen in a taxi shot in the head by a person who cannot be named, a six-year-old abducted and murdered, graves desecrated as thugs hunt for gold - call for a wickedness-prevention programme. I cannot believe that our two political parties can be so fervently on the hustings and so enthusiastically followed by the news, while ordinary citizens - and not even the dead - can be at peace.
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen's call for support from the advertising and media fraternity at last week's AAAJ Media Awards event for his "I Believe" Initiative (IBI) should be heeded. While we certainly do not want the media to become strait-laced sermonisers, we have to give ourselves a reality check.
Kathy Grant, the young talent in the Ity & Fancy Cat Show who teaches at Calabar Primary, related the challenges her young pupils are facing. While we are celebrating high fashion, there are children attending school in "shoe-shells". Shoe shells? "Yes," she explained. "They have the uppers of the shoes on, but the soles have long been worn out and fallen off so their bare feet are on the ground."
Teachers speak of children arriving hungry at school and even at our tertiary institutions, there are students who are barely eating one meal a day. When you contrast these conditions with the lifestyle being portrayed in some sections of the media, we understand how impoverished youngsters, hungry for the fast life, are at serious risk. "Your partnership is crucial to the IBI," the GG told the media, "which focuses on self-actualisation, particularly for our troubled youth who are vulnerable to abuse and easy recruitment into criminal gangs."
We have seen the great results from Parenting Seminars sponsored by USAID with a mother disclosing that she had no idea what a budget was, but now she felt empowered to tell her son, "No, I will not buy you the brand-name sneakers. This $6,000 is to go towards your schoolbooks." Basic meal-planning to show parents how to make economical, nutritious dishes have made a difference to their children's well-being.
Our pages and programmes cannot look the same as media in the developed world. We have what Sir Patrick describes as "a duty of care" to the more vulnerable among us, especially the young and the elderly. The unfolding election campaigns and the juicy Wikileaks tidbits make interesting reading, but media will have to "mother", "father" and "police" where the rest of the society is falling short.
Our ageing population
If we are lucky, one day we will be elderly so we had better take notice that if we do not address population ageing now, we may be the very victims of that lack of planning, a timely warning from Professor Denise Eldemire Shearer, head of the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre. At the launch of World Population Day last Monday, we learned that the number of people over 65 years will be 14 per cent of Jamaica's population in 2030 and by 2050 will reach the 21 per cent mark. Executive Director of the National Family Planning Board Dr Olivia McDonald observed that "the proportion of elderly dependents continues to grow while the working-age population declines as a percentage of the overall population. These demographic trends can have potentially damaging consequences for Jamaica's social and economic future".
"The protection of persons who are in need of care in old age will be unavoidably the responsibility for public policies in the years to come," said Beverley Hall-Taylor, Executive Director of the National Council for Senior Citizens. Past NAJ President Merel Hanson noted the challenges in housing and the environment. She said that elderly folks are encouraged to walk for exercise but many live in fear and demand to know, "Where can we walk?"
In the CCRP (Caribbean Community of Retired Persons), we have young retirees who have much to offer in every sphere of national life. We need a policy that will ensure that these experienced individuals are allowed to pass on the treasure of their values, knowledge and skills to the next generation.
We have to snap out of this impoverished approach to nation-building, the constant re-invention of the wheel, with the oft-repeated studies citing the same tired findings. Meanwhile, there seems to be a conspiracy of mediocrity ( I will be writing more about this) which is stifling innovation and efficiency. Where is our compassion?
Alternative energy sources
Let us look at the matter of electricity that is taking huge bites out of every budget, whether residential or business, and a great burden for our elderly. There was a report last week that finally the people of Carron Hall, St Mary, were getting potable piped water, thanks to the installation of a solar-powered water pump. At St John Bosco Boys' Home in Hatfield, pig droppings are converted to biogas to power their stoves. Anyone can google instructions to make a solar oven with material costing less than $1,000.
Our media could save us millions by publishing diagrams of these energy-saving devices, demonstrating the how-to on television and websites. We cannot blame the JPS investors who are spending millions to keep their company running and their large workforce on the payroll. It is up to us as responsible leaders and citizens to explore the alternatives. Sun, wind and water are abundant in Jamaica, so we have limitless raw material for our research.
Bleaching and self-image
In the area of values, we in media can look beyond ridiculing those who "bleach" to addressing the negative self-image that would drive our young people to do damage to their beautiful, God-given skin. We can encourage youngsters to spend less time on ridiculous and expensive styles and gadgets, and more on their education. We can celebrate refreshing lyrics like Iceman's "Wifey" and decent families who may not be rich, but who contribute to community building.
We quote from Ken Jones's Marcus Garvey said... a statement made by the great man in 1919: "We need crusaders in journalism who will not seek to enrich themselves of crime and ignorance ... (but will promote) racial pride, self-respect, love and integrity." Time to give him a listen.
WCC general secretary Tveit led a prayer at Kingston's monument for children who died under violent circumstances.
Jamaican national leaders welcomed a global ecumenical delegation on Monday as the week-long International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) began unfolding in Kingston.
The delegation comprised leaders from the World Council of Churches (WCC), Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) and Jamaican Council of Churches (JCC) who attended a series of meetings with Jamaican authorities.
The Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary, briefed Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding on the history of the WCC and the IEPC, a gathering of some 1,000 worldwide faith leaders and peace practitioners exploring the concept of just peace and recent advances in peacemaking practices.
Golding offered a warm welcome, expressing his wishes that the IEPC be “an inspired and inspiring event.” He emphasized the crucial role of both the church and state in the ethical development of societies worldwide today, especially in contexts – as in his own country – marked by crime and violence.
Sir Patrick Allen, governor general of Jamaica, added his joy, on behalf of Jamaica and the entire Caribbean region, to be hosting such a significant event.
The IEPC's location in Jamaica is an intentional acknowledgement of the region's involvement in the Decade to Overcome Violence, explained CCC general secretary Gerard Granado. Kingston was one of the focus capitals of the WCC’s “Peace to the City” campaign launched in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1997.
Before the delegation, Allen pointed out the fact that crime and violence are treated as the most important items on both government and church agendas in Jamaica today. Allen, an ordained pastor and former head of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Jamaica, recalled the “ultimate sources of peace offered by the gospel” that inspire Christians worldwide to commit to peace talks and processes worldwide. He affirmed that “there is nothing wrong in Jamaica today that cannot be fixed by what is right.”
His optimistic approach inspired a vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee, the Rev. Dr Margaretha Hendriks-Ririmasse, to call on churches to search for mutual collaboration between governments worldwide.
“People are losing faith in Christianity. We must rescue the interest of people in the gospel by showing how we can work together in this world,” she said.
Jamaican parliamentary opposition leader Portia Simpson-Miller – one of the country's most popular politicians – also received a visit from the ecumenical delegation and listened to a brief introduction on the goals of the IEPC.
Simpson-Miller, who was the first female prime minister of Jamaica, is also a member of the Council of Women World Leaders. She said that the churches play a “very crucial role” in the transformation of all forms of hostility witnessed in the country.
Reflecting on Simpson-Miller's thoughts, Metropolitan Prof. Dr Gennadios of Sassima (Limouris), the other vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee, said that one of the goals of the IEPC is to have a concrete impact on Jamaica’s struggle to overcome violence.
Remembering young victims of violence
During a short visit to a monument in downtown Kingston in memory of children who have been killed under violent circumstances, WCC general secretary Tveit led a prayer for the numerous young victims who have had their names recorded there since 2008.
“Maybe if these children can be remembered daily, less will die in the future,” said Maria Salesmen, a representative of the Kingston & St. Andrew Corporation and member of the board of the JCC.
The delegation wrapped up its official visits at the Supreme Court of Jamaica, where Chief Justice Zaila McCalla offered insights on just peace.
A dialogue about building peace and the judiciary system of Jamaica led the Rev. Dr Walter Altmann, moderator of the WCC Central Committee, to make a comparison between the situation in his home country, Brazil, and Jamaica.
“When the judiciary system is too slow, there is a growing feeling of impunity in society,” he said. “Therefore, we must support all initiatives in which the judiciary system becomes faster without harming people’s rights and, thus, help to more effectively deter crime and corruption.”
The IEPC opens on Wednesday, 18 May and concludes on 25 May.
More information on the IEPC
High resolution photos of the visit may be requested free of charge via photos.oikoumene.org
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Bill Smith, Editor: The issue of Agenda 21 has not been addressed previously by the ARRA News Service on this site and much has yet to be researched on the topic. However, due to recent situations in Arkansas and Missouri rural communities, I have noted that residents are becoming alarmed and many are seeking to be informed about Agenda 21 issues. Thus this topic must be addressed.
What is Agenda 21? The United Nations (UN) Division for Sustainable Development states, "Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment. . . ."
Before proceeding, at least one conservative feels that Agenda 21 is not the problem. Citizen Tom commented on the below referenced article:
"Agenda 21 is a distraction. It’s not the real problem. It just gets us accused of being conspiracy nuts. . . . No plot is required. Government funds NGOs just because it gives politicians someone to point at as an “expert”. Is it an accident such “experts” give politicians excuse for do what they want to do? . . .
Why do we have a threat to private property? Why do we have excessive environmentalism? Why did Obama form that White House Rural Council (WHRC)? The UN made him do it? Don’t be silly. There are enough American busybodies. We don’t need to go overseas to find more. Busybodies will interfere in other people’s lives just because they can. It’s their ego trip. If their interference give them a way to seize power, that just further incentivizes them.
If Agenda 21 is not the problem, what is? Where is this stuff coming from? Because of technological developments, we have a real need to create and protect wild lands. However, because we cherish our freedom, we must also protect our property rights from busybodies. Unfortunately, we let our government, usually by citizens with a natural inclination to be busybodies, educate our children. Do you think politicians want teachers telling students that politicians don’t have the right to run their lives? Of course not. So each generation grows up more ignorant of Christianity and our heritage of liberty. Each generation grows up just a little more comfortable with the idea of being enslaved."
I am not prepared to "debate" anyone on either side of the issue. At this moment, I see that UN Agenda 21 and Obama's Executive Order 13575 "Establishment of the White House Rural Council" play well into the hands of liberal progressive busybodies. These busybodies and other opportunity seekers threaten citizen's property rights. As cited in the executive order, "16% of the American population lives in rural counties." Thus, 84% of Americans do not live in rural areas.
Those living in rural areas in North America (at least north of the Mexican border, are envied by all who are in power, by many of those "piled up in cities," by the members and staffers of the UN, by those who may be "one world nuts," and by a majority of those in other countries. In the United States, we have privately owned land and the resources on and under those lands belong to the owners of the property. Also, the rural areas of the U.S. provide much of the resources needed by the rest of America, and these rural areas feed a significant portion of the world when not distracted by "green agendas."
Based on the history and the agenda advanced by our present administration, we must be alert and become educated as to the threats to rural communities contained within the nuances of documents and the agendas advanced by the busybodies. Focus on the people who rely on the agenda statements in executive orders and UN documents.
Executive order 13575 uses the words "The Council shall work ... to coordinate development of policy recommendations to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America, and shall coordinate my Administration's engagement with rural communities." Why? Why is this needed? It is the cities that are consuming the majority of resources. Why does the Obama administration seek to use and advance words like "sustainable rural communities." Sidetracking for one statement, besides buzz words like "global warming" and "shared sacrifice" be alert when you see the word like "sustainable" and "sustainable living."
During times of economic stress, people in the rural areas are far safer and self sufficient than those who dwell in the cities. Those who own any property need to realize that outside the confines of present U.S law, the UN and lots of "busybodies" do not believe you actually own your land or property. They see you as caretakers, renters, and people that should be globally taxed and who may be removed from your property for the "greater good."
Unfortunately, these agendas have already been advanced in some states, counties and communities and even promoted in colleges and universities. While I am not willing to dismiss UN Agenda 21, I agree with Citizen Tom that we must beware of well intentioned busybodies and agenda driven liberal progressives.
Thus, the following article is shared to initiate future discussion on this topic.
H/T LoopyLoo305 For the following article.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
by Boudica BPI Weblog: Be scared, very scared. Don't depend on someone else to stand against this, you are that someone else and we all must to our share to get the message out and prevent these sustainable living ordinances from passing at the local level. View these two clips and then visit our friend The Mad Jewess and read her post.
Executive Order 13575 "RURAL COUNCILS" Agenda 21 NWO
President Obama signed his 86th executive order (13575) on June 9, which established the White House Rural Council (WHRC). According to The Blaze, the Executive Order seems to be in line with the United Nations radical Agenda 21, as it is designed “to begin taking control over almost all aspects of the lives of 16 percent of the American people.”
Evidence of this can be found in Section One of the Executive Order, which reads:
Section 1. Policy. Sixteen percent of the American population lives in rural counties. Strong, sustainable rural communities are essential to winning the future and ensuring American competitiveness in the years ahead. These communities supply our food, fiber, and energy, safeguard our natural resources, and are essential in the development of science and innovation. Though rural communities face numerous challenges, they also present enormous economic potential. The Federal Government has an important role to play in order to expand access to the capital necessary for economic growth, promote innovation, improve access to health care and education, and expand outdoor recreational activities on public lands.
As the Executive Order references “sustainable rural communities,” it raises a few eyebrows, since that is one of the key phrases found in the UN plan for sustainable development known as Agenda 21. The order admits that it intends to seize greater power over “food, fiber, and energy,” items that are key to human sustenance.
The mission and function of the White House Rural Council, according to the Executive Order, is as follows: “The Council shall work across executive departments, agencies, and offices to coordinate development of policy recommendations to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America, and shall coordinate my Administration’s engagement with rural communities.”
The order doesn’t at all camouflage the levels of authority it will achieve. In order to reach the mission set out, the Executive Order states that the council will “make recommendations to the President, through the Director of the Domestic Policy Council and the Director of the National Economic Council, on streamlining and leveraging Federal investments in rural areas, where appropriate, to increase the impact of Federal dollars and create economic opportunities to improve the quality of life in rural America.”
Analyzing the language of the document, The Blaze questions, “is there a hint that a ‘rural stimulus plan’ might be in the making? Will the Federal government start pumping money into farmlands under the guise of creating ‘economic opportunities to improve the quality of life in rural America?’ “
The order also states that the WHRC will “coordinate and increase the effectiveness of Federal engagement with rural stakeholders, including agricultural organizations, small businesses, education and training institutions, healthcare providers, telecommunications services providers, research and land grant institutions, law enforcement, State, local, and tribal governments, and nongovernmental organizations regarding the needs of rural America.”
In other words, the federal government will seemingly control every aspect of rural America.
As observed by The Blaze, “When did outdoor recreation become a conservation-related activity?”
So who will be heading these opportunistic efforts? The following is a list of members who will be serving on the new council, which will be headed by Tom Vilsack, the current Secretary of Agriculture:
John Bush of Texans for Accountable Government Exposes Agenda 21 to Austin City Council
Posted by Bill Smith at 4:28 PM
Americans are so focused on Congress and Obama at the federal level of government right now that most are overlooking the socialism creeping in at the local level through Agenda 21. It is easy to overlook local government since people are saturated with too much information in the internet age. Compounding this is the fact that Agenda 21 is a dull topic, and it becomes understandable how it has been able to fly mostly under the radar since 1992, slowly working its way into our cities and counties.
Agenda 21, which reportedly means an agenda for the 21st century, is a United Nations program launched in 1992 for the vague purpose of achieving global "sustainable development." Congress never approved Agenda 21, although Presidents Obama, Clinton and George H.W. Bush have all signed Executive Orders implementing it. 178 other world leaders agreed to it in 1992 at the Rio Summit. Since then, the U.N. has mostly bypassed national governments, using Agenda 21’s International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (“ICLEI”) to make agreements directly with local governments. ICLEI's U.S. presence has grown to include agreements with over 600 cities, towns and counties here, which are now copying the land use plans prescribed in Agenda 21.
Some conservatives are trying to attract attention to Agenda 21 by labeling it a secret conspiracy to create a one world government. While that will wake some people up, it will turn off others. It does not matter whether it is a conspiracy or not. There are people on the left side of the political spectrum - who may even believe they have good intentions - working together to spread their vision for society worldwide. Whether they meet in dark rooms or openly in public meetings is irrelevant; they are having great success convincing local governments in the U.S. to adopt their socialist and extreme environmentalist programs under the guise of feel-good buzz words. Left wing billionaire George Soros's Open Society has provided $2,147,415 to ICLEI. Van Jones' Green for All and the Tides Foundations’ Apollo Alliance are also reportedly ICLEI contributors.
Agenda 21 ostensibly seeks to promote "sustainability" (the latest revisionist word for "environmentalism," since Americans have learned too many negative things about environmentalism). "Sustainability" is an amorphous concept that can be interpreted to an extreme degree that would regulate and restrict many parts of our lives. When will the level of carbon emissions be low enough? How much must we reduce our consumption of fossil fuels? Preserving the environment is a dubious science, and what steps are really necessary to protect the environment are anyone's guess.
Agenda 21 promotes European socialist goals that will erode our freedoms and liberties. Most of its vague, lofty sounding phrases cause the average person’s eyes to glaze over, making it easier to sneak into our communities. The environmentalist goals include atmospheric protection, combating pollution, protecting fragile environments, and conserving biological diversity. Agenda 21 goes well beyond environmentalism. Other broad goals include combating poverty, changing consumption patterns, promoting health, and reducing private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership, and privately owned farms. It seeks to cram people into small livable areas and institute population control. There is a plan for “social justice” that will redistribute wealth.
Once these vague, overly broad goals are adopted, they are being interpreted to allow massive amounts of new, overreaching regulations. Joyce Morrison from Eco-logic Powerhouse says Agenda 21 is so broad it will affect the way we "live, eat, learn and communicate." Berit Kjos, author of Brave New Schools, warns that Agenda 21 "regulation would severely limit water, electricity, and transportation - even deny human access to our most treasured wilderness areas, it would monitor all lands and people. No one would be free from the watchful eye of the new global tracking and information system." Even one of the authors of Agenda 21 has admitted that it "…calls for specific changes in the activities of all people…" These steps are already being enacted little by little at the local levels.
Since the U.S. is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and uses more energy than any other country, it stands to lose the most from environmental regulations. The goal of "sustainability," which comes down to using government to heavy-handedly accomplish vague goals of caring for the earth, goes contrary to our free market capitalism. Even more unfair, struggling third world countries and communist countries that cannot financially afford to comply with the onerous environmental regulations will continue their high levels of fossil fuel consumption, and the U.S. will be forced by U.N. regulators to conserve even more to make up for those countries.
Obama signed Executive Order 13575 earlier this month, establishing a "White House Rural Council" prescribed by Agenda 21. The amount of government Obama has directed to administer this is staggering. Obama committed thousands of federal employees in 25 federal agencies to promote sustainability in rural areas, completely bypassing Congressional approval. Some of these agencies are unrelated to rural areas. The agencies will entice local communities into adopting Agenda 21 programs by providing them millions of dollars in grants. Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh writing for Canada Free Press analyzed the order and wrote, "it establishes unchecked federal control into rural America in education, food supply, land use, water use, recreation, property, energy, and the lives of 16% of the U.S. population."
Tea party groups, talk show host Glenn Beck, and organizations like Freedom Advocates, Catholic Investigative Agency and Sovereignty International are working hard to expose Agenda 21, but there is only so much a few can do. Some local governments have become aware of what Agenda 21 is really about and dropped out of ICLEI this year. The Carroll County Board of Commissioners, Montgomery County in Pennsylvania and the city of Edmond, Oklahoma have all withdrawn their participation.
It will be difficult to defeat Agenda 21 because it requires changing the attitudes of over 600 separate localities across the U.S. Ideally, a conservative president could roll back the executive orders implementing it, but considering Republican President H.W. Bush was a disappointment in this area that may be too much to hope for. If Republicans take over Congress they could challenge the huge power grab Obama made with Executive Order 13575 and ban Agenda 21 in the U.S. For now, local activists must champion this issue, much like Texans for Accountable Government has done, educating local boards and commissions and serving on them. Agenda 21 is a tedious and overwhelming topic, and until it can be explained in an easy-to-understand way that interests the average American, it will be tough to beat back.
Our only safety is in standing constantly in the light of God’s countenance.—Manuscript 84, 1905.
Evangelism, Page 121.