For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8:38-39)
I Am Persuaded

Dear Friends,

Greetings! We hope you enjoy the following short video.

To view a more extensive discourse on this subject click on the link below.

God loves you as you are, not as you should be

Have a great week ahead.

Robert

***

cnsnews.com

Perhaps the Ancients Weren’t So Dumb: A Flood of Evidence Is Embarrassing the ‘Experts’

By Eric Metaxas | August 12, 2016 | 3:36 PM EDT

Were the ancients dummies? If so, why does archaeology keep confirming what they wrote? I’ll tell you why a healthy dose of humility can help us understand the past.

In his conversion story, “Surprised by Joy,” C. S. Lewis explains how his close friend, Owen Barfield, demolished his “chronological snobbery.” Lewis defined chronological snobbery as “the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate of our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that count discredited.”

In Lewis’s time, much of academia was already convinced that every past generation formed a staircase of progress, leading (of course) to enlightened modernity. And since Lewis’s death, many intellectuals have only become more convinced of their own perch at the pinnacle of history. These days, we barely even notice the snobbery.

But it’s time to notice, especially in archaeology. An article last week in The New York Times describes new evidence for the Chinese great flood, an event which ancient records say coincided with the rise of China’s first imperial dynasty. For many years, Western academics have considered this flood a myth—on par with Noah’s Flood in Genesis which, unsurprisingly, they also dismiss as fiction.

But several new dig sites have unearthed inscriptions that refer to just such a flood along the Yellow River, almost 4,000 years ago. And a team of geologists led by Qinglog Wu of Peking University in Beijing says they’ve found evidence in the rocks of a natural dam that trapped several cubic miles of water. When the dam collapsed, it sent a deluge downriver large enough to wipe out a civilization—just as the Chinese legends suggest.

Western experts were less than enthused at the news. The Times quotes several prominent archaeologists who scoff at the discoveries as attempts to read too much into Chinese myths. Dr. Paul Goldin of the University of Pennsylvania derides what he sees as a “fixation” among Chinese archaeologists with “[proving] that all the ancient texts and legends have some fundamental truth … It shouldn’t be every archaeologist’s first instinct,” he says, “to see if their findings are matched in the historical sources.”

Come again? Shouldn’t archaeologists want to know if what they’re digging up has significance in known history? Sadly for many in the West, the answer is a resounding “not really.” This dismissal of ancient writings—including the Bible—is rooted in chronological snobbery. The ancients, experts today assume, were just too dumb or superstitious to get their own histories right.

This attitude has not only blinded us to potential discoveries, it’s made it very embarrassing for archaeologists when the ancients do turn out to be correct. I think, for example, of the recent discovery of Goliath’s hometown, Gath. Or what about the unearthing of evidence for the biblical King Hezekiah, the likely discovery of the palace where Pilate tried Jesus, or the compelling evidence that “the house of David,” contrary to decades of secular scholarship, was founded by a real, historical man after God’s own heart?

All of these discoveries came as shocks to archaeologists and historians who doubted that such figures, places, or people ever existed. But again and again, our belief that the ancients were better at making myths than they were at recording history has handicapped archaeology, and left a lot of smart folks scraping egg off their faces.

Now, I’m not suggesting every legend is a history textbook, or even that Scripture renders archaeology superfluous. What I’m suggesting is that we set aside our chronological snobbery and stop dismissing the ancients out-of-hand.

They were not dummies. And we who dig up the remains of their civilizations aren’t always as clever as we like to believe.

***

WND

'BEN-HUR': SUPERB REMAKE OF MIRACULOUS STORY OF CHRIST

'There's so much fear and confusion out there – people are hungry for hope'

Published: August 16, 2016

By Rusty Wright

Do you remember the classic MGM movie, “”Ben-Hur””? Charlton Heston, the chariot race, the galley slaves forced to row at “ramming speed”? The film won eleven Oscars as it displayed passion and pageantry, betrayal and bitterness, grace and redemption.

Now, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey – with MGM and Paramount – have remade this film for a new generation. It opens August 19 in the United States.

“Ben-Hur’s” poignant depiction of revenge, reconciliation and redemption generates a powerful message for today’s world filled with racial and religious violence, cop killings and more. Actor Morgan Freeman told me recently at a press event, “The movie is very timely, for those reasons.” Roma Downey added, “There’s so much fear and confusion out there, a lot of chaos. … People are hungry for hope.”

First to finish, last to die

Two brothers in first-century Palestine split over the Roman occupation. Messala sides with Rome, Judah Ben-Hur with his Jewish heritage. Messala’s rage sends Ben-Hur into slavery for years.

When combat turmoil frees him, Ben-Hur returns to Jerusalem seeking revenge against Messala. A chariot race for the ages ensues – filmmakers spared no effort to make the signature event thrilling. “First to finish, last to die” is the watchword as the brothers claw for advantage.nd

But something happens inside Ben-Hur to break the cycle of hatred. It involves a carpenter who years ago helped him, which kindness he seeks to reciprocate. The carpenter’s words and life transform him.

As filmgoers prepare for the excitement, romance, and drama, understanding the movie’s backstory can enhance their appreciation for the tale and its 19th-century writer.

A chance encounter?

In 1876, Civil War general Lew Wallace took a train to Indianapolis for a convention. En route, he encountered Robert Ingersoll, a noted agnostic, who wanted to converse. Wallace agreed, provided Ingersoll let him choose the subject.

“Is there a God?” began Wallace. “I don’t know; do you?” replied Ingersoll.

“Is there a Devil?” continued Wallace. “I don’t know; do you?” countered Ingersoll.

Wallace, who considered himself absolutely indifferent to religion, continued with questions about heaven, hell, the hereafter. Ingersoll responded the same, then launched into a discourse.

“I sat spellbound,” Wallace later wrote, “listening to a medley of argument, eloquence, wit, satire, audacity, irreverence, poetry, brilliant antitheses, and pungent excoriation of believers in God, Christ, and Heaven, the like of which I had never heard.”

Skeptic jolts the General

Ironically, the skeptic’s arguments jolted Wallace from his spiritual indifference: “I [was] now moved as never before, and by what? The most outright denials of all human knowledge of God, Christ, Heaven, and the Hereafter which figures so in the hope and faith of the believing everywhere.” Ashamed of his poor knowledge about faith, he resolved to study and learn.

He decided to write a book about Jesus that would force him to thoroughly research the matter. The impact was significant: “I did as resolved, with results – first, the book ‘Ben Hur,’ and second, a conviction amounting to absolute belief in God and the Divinity of Christ.”

Convinced a novel with Jesus as protagonist would be poorly received, Wallace fashioned the story of a young Jewish noble – Judah Ben-Hur – who, betrayed by his brother, would suffer years in slavery before returning home to exact revenge. Along the way, a young Nazarene gave him a drink of water that helped sustain his life. Years later, Ben-Hur would seek to return the favor as the Nazarene was heading toward crucifixion.

Bestseller

Harper Brothers published the novel in 1880. It became the best-selling book of the nineteenth century and has never been out of print. A stage play and two earlier film adaptations have kept it before the public.

As you watch this new film presentation, maybe this backstory can add context to the movie’s theme. And perhaps the film will prompt you to studyas Wallace did to see if Jesus really is “the way, the truth, and the life” who can forgive and give us strength to forgive our adversaries.

***

WND

GERMAN BISHOPS SAY MARTIN LUTHER TREATED UNFAIRLY

Call father of Protestantism 'Gospel witness and teacher of the Faith'

Published: August 16, 2016

Martin Luther

In a shock to Roman Catholic traditionalists, the church bishops of Germany are praising Martin Luther, calling him a “Gospel witness and teacher of the Faith.”

A new report released last week by the German Bishops’ Conference, “The Reformation in Ecumenical Perspective,” Catholic Bishop Gerhard Feige, chairman of the German Bishops’ Ecumenical Commission, says the “history of the Reformation has encountered a changeable reception in the Catholic Church, where its event and protagonists were long seen in a negative, derogatory light.”

It asserts theological differences have been “re-evaluated,” and “the Catholic Church may recognize today what was important in the Reformation — namely, that Sacred Scripture is the center and standard for all Christian life.”

“While the wounds are still felt to the present day, it is gratifying that Catholic theology has succeeded, in the meantime, in soberly reconsidering the events of the 16th century,” says the German language report.

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The German bishops describe the founder of Protestantism, Fr. Martin Luther, as “a religious pathfinder, Gospel witness and teacher of the Faith.” They maintain that in 1521, Pope Leo X never gave an “adequate hearing” to Luther’s “concern for renewal in repentance and conversion.”

They claim his theology still poses a “theological and spiritual challenge” that has “ecclesial and political implications for understanding the Church and the Magisterium.”

In 2015 the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, Gerhard Müller, cautioned the German bishops, asserting that they are headed into schism.

Nearly a month later, Pope Francis called the German bishops to account for the “eroded” faith in Germany. He noted, “Fewer and fewer Catholics receive the sacrament of confirmation or get married in church, and the number of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life is severely diminished.”

He told the bishops “to diligently carry out their mission as teachers of the Faith – the Faith that is preached and lived in communion with the universal Church.”

***

WND (We have previously run a video concerning this subject.)

IS U.S. GOVERNMENT HIDING THE 'GIANT OF KANDAHAR'?

New installment of 'The Watchers' investigates Special Forces story

Published: August 14, 2016

It’s one of the most bizarre stories to come out of America’s longest war – an allegation United States Special Forces engaged and killed a “giant” in Afghanistan.

But it’s being reported by multiple sources. Several eyewitnesses claim the battle not only took the life of an American soldier, but that the government flew the huge corpse of the attacker back to the United States.

Reporter and researcher L.A. Marzulli explores the spectacular charge in the newest installment of “The Watchers,” the blockbuster series investigating the real evidence behind the Nephilim. These creatures were the offspring of the “sons of God,” the angels, and the “daughters of men.” In Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33, the Bible speaks of “giants” populating the Earth. When ordinary people saw them, they said “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

A strange passage, but one Marzulli contends is backed by evidence. What’s more, these giants didn’t just exist in biblical times but live on through the present day.

According to one of the interviews in the program, a Special Forces team operating in Afghanistan in 2002 encountered one of the creatures while on a patrol looking for a lost unit in an isolated part of the country. The soldier tells Marzulli his unit made its way along a goat path near a cave where the team noticed an unusual pattern of rocks, bones, and, ominously, a broken piece of communications equipment of the type used by the American military.

While pondering this, the team was surprised by a man “at least twelve to fifteen feet in height.” The creature had long, red hair and skewered one operator, identified as “Dan,” with a pike-like weapon. The remainder of the team opened fire, repeatedly shooting the creature in the face and eventually killing it. The full length of the engagement was only 30 seconds.

After the battle, while mourning their fallen comrade, the military sent a helicopter to remove the creature.

“It was too big we couldn’t move it,” the soldier claimed. “It smelled worse than a skunk – a corpse that’s been around for a while. The communication was sent out that we had a very large, possibly human creature.”

But the soldiers were told afterward to “rewrite” their after-action reports.

“So we had to rewrite it the way they wanted it,” the man claimed.

The soldier confirmed the giant was armed with a weapon similar to the type Marzulli identified as the “Nephilim lance,” found at another location and tied to other evidence of the existence of this creature.

Other sources support this bizarre story. George Noory, host of the wildly popular radio program “Coast to Coast,” appears in the film to discuss his interview with a C-130 pilot who claims he transported the giant’s corpse back to a base in Ohio. The pilot said the creature was approximately twelve feet tall and weighed approximately 1,100 pounds.

“It just sounds like the Nephilim from the Bible, doesn’t it?” Noory enthused.

Marzulli blasted what he called a government effort to cover up the spectacular story and prevent those involved from speaking out.

“People have a right to know about this stuff,” he said. “If there are fifteen or eighteen footers roaming the Earth and our military has brought them down, we have a right as American citizens to know about it. I mean, this isn’t classified military stuff. This is something we need to know. And it points back to the biblical prophetic narrative.”

Another operator who spoke to Marzulli said those in power have a vested interest in keeping the story covered up.

“If it points to the Bible’s narrative being accurate, they don’t want it,” he said. “If it goes against Darwinian evolution, it’s not to be spoken of.”

This soldier testified there were rumors at his base in Afghanistan about the engagement with what become known as the Giant of Kandahar.

“We started hearing a rumor about a unit that killed what they were calling a really tall person,” he told Marzulli. “At first I didn’t think anything of it. I come to find out that the person they killed was actually three times the size of a man, had extra digits on their hands and on their feet, and had red hair. A special unit had come and wanted this target. We’d heard they’d killed this thing inside a cave or the mouth of a cave.”

The soldier alleged the rumor was actually widely circulated among military forces in Afghanistan.

“There was common knowledge among the military to hear this,” he charged. “Years later I came to find out when I had returned from Afghanistan and had met other military members that had not been in the operations with me. If you would bring up the Giant of Kandahar they’d know about it.”

He confessed the story sounds ridiculous.

“At first you think, this has got to be a joke, this has got to be hoax,” he admitted. “Then after things go down a certain way, and you keep hearing it, you start to realize it’s not a joke. They kept telling us to keep our weapons high, which means normally you are ready to put two in the chest on in the head, but they kept telling us to put it towards a man’s head and put it higher. So we would question why do they want us to shoot higher than a man’s head?”

The soldier also said local people told seemingly ridiculous stories about giants who would attack humans – even eat them.

“We would hear the locals talk about rumors of these giants,” he said. “They said they would live in the caves and they would eat people. They were cannibals. At the time, we compared it to tales of Bigfoot in the United States, every culture has this kind of folklore. To actually all of a sudden hear that a military unit had killed something though…”

The solider trailed off.

In the film, Marzulli investigates not only the incredible story about the events in Afghanistan but other evidence of strange creatures, including skeletons and skulls found all over the world. He suggests the sheer preponderance of evidence shows there is something substantial to these seemingly mythical tales of giants told all around the world by various cultures.

And for one group of American soldiers, it may have been deadly real. The only question now is whether more military personnel can step forward – and reveal the truth about the “Giant of Kandahar” once and for all.

***

BREAKINGISRAELNEWS

Giants, Demons, and the Land: The Paranormal Geography of Israel

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz August 15, 2016 , 11:30 am

And I will turn the captivity of My people Yisrael and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them.” Amos 9:14 (The Israel Bible™)

Nephilim. (Video Screenshot)

A new video describing how the land of Israel is truly the battleground between good and evil has revealed an incredible new understanding of Biblical forces in the literal land. The video was created by a young woman who sees Israel’s geography as a graphic demonstration of what she calls The Epic Battle of Duality.

Samantha Siegel created a stir two weeks ago when her video on the Dead Sea went viral. In the video, fish are seen in freshwater ponds that formed in the sinkholes surrounding the Dead Sea. She presented in this video a graphic image of Ezekiel’s prophecy coming to fruition. Her innate connection to the land brings out startling revelations.

Her newest video, entitled “Paranormal Biblical Geography”, begins with an overview of the significant nature of Israel’s location. Israel is at the southern edge of the Fertile Crescent, the region in the Middle East which curves, like a quarter-moon shape, from the Persian Gulf, through modern-day southern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and northern Egypt. It is also referred to as the cradle of civilization, since some of the earliest civilizations developed there.

The geographical analysis begins at the northern tip of Israel is Mount Hermon. The  snow-capped mountain is the northern terminus of the Syrian Rift, a tectonic fault-line that runs for 3,700 miles. Mount Hermon is mentioned in the Bible as the home of the Nephilim (Giants).

The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown. Genesis 6:4

There is indeed some evidence for this. Siegel notes that a strange site in the Golan named Gilgal Refaim (wheel of the giants) remains a mystery to archaeologists. Siegel quotes the Book of Enoch, attributed to the great-grandfather of Biblical Noah, an apocryphal second-century BCE source discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

And they called it Mount Hermon because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. Book of Enoch 6:6

The Book of Enoch claims the name of the mountain is derived from the Hebrew word cherem, meaning “to be banished”. The Nephilim were banished, sent from heaven to earth, at Mount Hermon.
Siegel then moves to the Hermon’s geographical opposite: the Dead Sea, which, though in the south of Israel, is physically connected to Mount Hermon. The snows on Mount Hermon melt, flow down the Jordan River, and eventually fill the Dead Sea.

She notes that the valley, the deepest depression on the face of the planet, now filled with uninhabitable saltwater, was first encountered in the Bible as a fertile region.

All these came as allies unto the vale of Siddim–the same is the Salt Sea. Genesis 14:3

The Hebrew word Siddim can also be read Shedim (demons). Siegel suggests the saltiness of the Dead Sea can be likened to a salt circle used to ward off or contain demons.

According to a prophecy in Ezekiel, in the Messianic era, the Dead Sea will also be fed by the waters flowing down from Jerusalem. This will return the region to its former fertile condition, a veritable Garden of Eden which bears every fruit imaginable.

The word shad also means a milk-giving breast, indicating the life-giving aspect of the Valley of Siddim which will be revealed in the End of Days.

And by the river upon the bank thereof on this side and on that side shall grow every tree for food whose leaf shall not wither neither shall the fruit thereof fail; it shall bring forth new fruit every month because the waters thereof issue out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for food and the leaf thereof for healing. Ezekiel 47:12

Siegel ends her remarkable video by emphasizing that Israel is a land which holds contradictions and secrets. This tiny country nearly contains every type of climate, all in close proximity to each other. Similarly, the spiritual powers of light and darkness are contained so closely as to be easily confused. Israel contains places of holiness, but it also contains absolute evil.

This is due to “The Epic Battle of Duality” present in the land, said Siegel.

In spiritual terms, goodness and holiness are accompanied by evil and impurity. Darkness is attracted to light because evil has no power of its own. Evil uses the power of light, turning light into darkness. Siegel explains how the extreme nature of the land of Israel is just so because it is the source of holiness, but it is also the battleground between good and evil.

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BREAKINGISRAELNEWS

What a 200-Year-Old Secret Teaching Reveals About the True Nature of Messiah Will Shock You

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz August 11, 2016 , 12:30 pm

The secret things belong unto Hashem our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:28 (The Israel Bible™)

(Shutterstock)

A highly secret teaching from one of the most renowned Jewish scholars and thinkers in Jewish history is slowly becoming known, revealing shocking details about the character of Messiah which are so explosive that they were hidden, in code, for over two centuries.

Megillat Setorim (“Scroll of Hidden Things”) has been a secret of the Breslov branch of Orthodox Judaism for over 200 years. It was revealed by the revered Rebbe (Rabbi) Nachman, the founder of the movement, exactly 210 years ago, on the fifth day of the month of Av in 1806, to two disciples during a long carriage ride in Ukraine.

Some of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings were recorded by his students in hints and code, though he forbade them from passing on his words, and collected into the first manuscript of Megillat Setorim. After death of the rabbi’s disciples, the manuscript was allegedly lost, though many believe it was purposefully hidden in order to prevent it being sought after and revealed.

“Rebbe Nachman did not want the Megillat Setorim publicized,” Rabbi Gedalia Fleer, who plays an important part in the history of the scroll, told Breaking Israel News. “Reading it is not enough. Interpreting it is another issue entirely.”

In 1963, Rabbi Fleer became the first Western Jew to visit the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman in Uman, Ukraine, where a Russian Jew entrusted him with the manuscript.

Rabbi Fleer brought the coded manuscript to a rabbi in Jerusalem who knew the secrets of how to read and translate the encrypted text. After initial reluctance, the rabbi taught the secret writings to Rabbi Fleer, forbidding him from taking notes or recording the lessons. Since then, and very slowly, the hidden writings have spread.

Rabbinical interpretation of what Megillat Setorim says about Messiah will upset most preconceived ideas about the man who will bring redemption.

Though “Rebbe Nachman says very little about the Messiah,” said Rabbi Fleer, “What he does say in Megillat Setorim is that when he comes, he is not going to appear like we think he will. People are going to look at him and say, ‘That’s the Moshiach (Messiah)?!’

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/useful_banner_manager_banners/433-BIN%20Sign%20Up%20-%20600.jpg
“It seems to be that he is not going to dress in a rabbinic manner, and he is going to be a young man and not an old man with a long beard.”

Rabbi Fleer went on to warn that Rebbe Nachman’s disciples did not believe anyone should anticipate or try to guess at the coming of the Messiah.

“Messiah is going to come by hesech ha’daat (inadvertently). If you think he is going to come at a certain time in a certain way, then he won’t come. That’s why Breslov Hasidut (Hasidism) doesn’t delve into the subject very much,” he explained.

Dr. Zvi Mark, chairman for the study of Hasidism at Bar-Ilan University, became the first person to make the Megillat Setorim accessible to the general public when he published The Scroll of Secrets – The Hidden Messianic Vision of R. Nahman of Bratslav.

According to Dr. Mark, the Messiah is described in the teachings as a man of enlightenment and art. The secret scroll even sheds light on the sequence of events in the Messiah’s lifetime.

“Megillat Setorim describes the Messiah as conquering the world without firing even a single bullet,” Dr. Mark explained to Breaking Israel News. “He is described as an innovator of wisdom, medicine, and music. A character who deals in making peace between Israel and embodies religious leadership also to the nations of the world.

“Although initially the Messiah will not be acknowledged, Megillat Setorim is writing about when he is young, less than 12 years old,” Dr. Mark continued. “But later, when he is older, he will be recognized by all of Israel as a rabbi and scholar, and then he will begin to act as the Messiah.

“Not in Megillat Setorim, but in other places, Rabbi Natan writes that he understood from his teacher Rebbe Nachman that the War of Gog and Magog would not be a physical war, but a spiritual and cultural war.

“The Megilla itself is a wonderful vision of the order of the coming of the righteous redeemer, whose influence is spiritual rather than military, and the revolution he brings to the world will be spiritual, increasing wisdom, and empowering the place of music in human culture.”

(From the “Studies” section on this website.

1. The Antichrist will be intrinsically evil, yet appear as a savior.

He is variously described in the Bible as "a vile person," "the man of sin," "the son of perdition [Hell]," and "the wicked one."

"[There] shall stand up a vile person ... he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries" (Daniel 11:21 KJV). Some versions use the word "intrigue" here, in place of or in addition to "flattery."

2. The Antichrist will be outspoken and have great speaking ability.

"He shall speak great [pompous] words against the Most High" (Daniel 7:25 KJV).

"He was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies" (Revelation 13:5).

3. The Antichrist will have a fierce countenance.

"In the latter time [the Endtime, just prior to Jesus' return] ... when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up" (Daniel 8:23 KJV).

The prophet Daniel also describes him as a man "whose appearance was greater than his fellows" (Daniel 7:20). Other translations render this phrase "more stout than his fellows," or "more imposing than his fellows."

4. The Antichrist will be extremely proud.

"The king [the Antichrist] shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper" (Daniel 11:36).

He is going to be so proud, in fact, that he will eventually claim to be God Himself. "Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

5. The Antichrist will be a military genius.

The prophet Daniel describes several major wars that the Antichrist fights against those who oppose him during the last three and a half years of his reign. "He will be a master of deception, defeating many by catching them off guard as they bask in false security. Without warning he will destroy them" (Daniel 8:25 TLB).

"They worshiped the Beast, saying, 'Who is like the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?'" (Revelation 13:4).

6. The Antichrist will not desire women.

"He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all" (Daniel 11:37). This verse could mean that the Antichrist will be either celibate or a homosexual.

7. The Antichrist will have supernatural powers, given him by the Devil.

"His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper" (Daniel 8:24 KJV).

The Antichrist will be a man of such force and perverse ways that throughout the book of Revelation he is referred to as "the Beast." And by whose power will he prosper? "The Dragon [Devil] gave him his power, his throne, and great authority" (Revelation 13:2).

"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9 KJV).

He will astonish the world with his devices. "I saw [the Antichrist] as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the Beast" (Revelation 13:3 KJV).

For a short time, through the Antichrist, the Devil is finally going to get what he's been after all the time--kingship of the entire world--and he's going to rule the world with tremendous power. "Power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb [Jesus]" (Revelation 13:7-8 KJV).

God put these descriptions of the Antichrist and his reign in the Bible not to cause us to be fearful, but to help us to recognize him and be prepared. "You are all children of the light and of the day. ... So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Watch for His [Jesus'] return and stay sober" (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 TLB). Knowing that the appearance of the Antichrist signals Jesus' soon return to rescue His own will help carry us through!

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24 Ed.)

***

PRESSTV

Israelis scheming to replace Aqsa Mosque with ‘third temple’: Report

Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:49AM

A view of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem al-Quds’s Old City on August 14, 2016

Israeli institutions and organizations are reportedly awaiting the regime’s go-ahead for the construction of a so-called “third temple” in place of al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Palestinian-run International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) independent news organization carried the report on Monday, citing Israeli television channels.

Israeli Zionists claim they have the right to build a third temple in line with “scriptural prophecies” to follow the tradition of the first and second ones built in ancient times.

Back in June, Israeli Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel said “the first temple was destroyed in 586 BCE, the second temple in 70 CE,” adding that he wished to see a third one built.

The Israeli media, IMEMC reported, alleged that the Israeli bodies favoring the construction of the temple had received “wide political and popular support.”

“These organizations explained that they are ready to bring the equipment and tools to start building the temple in the place of both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque,” it added, citing Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency.

“They further stated that the total time needed to accomplish the building is three years, according to their plans.”

The al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are situated in Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount in Jerusalem al-Quds, which was occupied by Israel in 1967.

The mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. The site is also holy to Christians and Jews.

In August 2015, Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the compound, which is under the administration of Jordan, sparking a fresh wave of tensions with Palestinians. Over 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in recent months.

According to the agreement signed between the Tel Aviv regime and the Jordanian government after Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, visits to the compound by Israelis are permitted, but non-Muslim worship is prohibited.

On Sunday, fresh clashes erupted near the mosque after over 300 Israeli settlers entered the compound and performed rituals inside in violation of the agreement.

Muslims consider the trespass into the al-Aqsa Mosque yard as part of an Israeli Judaization campaign that targets the holy city of al-Quds and a provocation.

Jordan strongly denounced Israel for attacking Palestinian worshipers at the site and allowing “Zionist extremists” to enter the compound.

Over the past decades, Tel Aviv has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

***

WND

U.S. ALARM: 'UNPRECEDENTED DEMONIC OUTPOURING'

'I believe God is done with our once-great country'

August 17, 2016

They hailed from all Christian denominations and backgrounds, coming by the hundreds to defend their faith.

More than a thousand Christians rallied in Oklahoma City to protest a long-scheduled blasphemous ceremony designed to mock Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Though the “black mass” ritual took place as planned, the protests seemed to have an effect, as few attended the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall to witness a ritual entitled “The Consumption of Mary” performed by the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, a group of “devil-worshipers.”

The Catholic group the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property was one of the most prominent groups at the protest, appearing with their signature banners and sashes.

Dakhma of Angra Mainyu leader Adam Daniels appeared to reference the group and other Christian protesters as the explanation of the ritual’s low attendance.

“When you have the whole Roman legion out there, how likely are they [attendees] to come and buy tickets?” he asked.

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Daniels’ ritual incorporates a mix of occult practices designed to corrupt and desanctify a statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The statue is placed within a Solomonic triangle, a tool of occultism. A pig’s heart is placed within the statue and is consumed after the likeness of Mary is smashed. Burned pages from the Quran and menstrual blood were also reportedly part of the ritual.

Archbishop Paul Coakley called for prayer “in response to the blasphemous event” and a Christian ceremony held outside the civic center was attended by hundreds of people.

More than a thousand Christians from different denominations also attended a “Unity Prayer Walk” to counter the event.

However, the anti-Christian ritual did take place inside the civic center, as local officials said they could not prevent it for fear of a costly lawsuit.

Karl Payne, pastor of leadership development at Antioch Bible Church and the former chaplain of the Seattle Seahawks, is the author of “Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonization and Deliverance.”

He suggested there exists a double standard in both the media and the legal system in which attacks on conservatives and Christians are permitted or even justified.

“At this time in history our legislators and courts seem to be very concerned about any type of speech or actions giving offense to others, and seemingly promoting tolerance as a virtue that has replaced truth and common sense, but they seem to go deaf, dumb and mute over these concerns if those being offended or shown intolerant disrespect represent those holding conservative religious or political views,” he said.

“If the object of this obvious display of contempt was directed at liberal political ideologues, leftist advocates, homosexuals or transgenders, the same legislators and courts who have green-lighted this activity would probably shut it down before it ever got a head of steam.

“This individual, who apparently believes he is doing something courageous, is certainly selective regarding who he takes his stand against. He picks on people or groups who are told to love their enemies and pray for those who spite them. Does this action represent courage or convenience?”

Carl Gallups, a pastor, talk-show host and the author of “Final Warning,” believes Christian persecution is on the increase.

He also argues the “demonic” realm is a spiritual reality and demonic activity will increase in what he believes are the end times.

“The prophetic days in which we are living are going to increasingly demand a high level of spiritual discernment from God’s people,” he told WND. “There are times when God’s people will need to act, or react, with boldness and direct and tangible action – as the case demands. However, there will be other instances when an assault by the demonic forces of evil will need to be met with prayer and supplication, giving as little public attention to the affront as possible.

“Regardless, the Word of God is clear that the last days would be marked by an unprecedented demonic outpouring. I believe we are at least in the edges of that outpouring even now – from international calls for demonic deliverance ministries to open displays of demonic and satanic rituals.”

The “Consumption of Mary” is not the first act of deliberate blasphemy against Christians in Oklahoma City.

Daniels and his group particularly have targeted believers. On Christmas Eve in 2015, he poured fake blood on a statue of Mary, a desecration dutifully approved by city officials. Another “black mass” was held by the same group in 2014.

Oklahoma City was also targeted by The Satanic Temple, a separate group, which wanted to place a statue of Baphomet on the capitol grounds.

The group’s efforts were not successful – but they were able to display their statue in Detroit.

Payne is pessimistic about the future of the United States as demonic and occult practices become more common, especially as they are conducted with the sanction of governments.

“I personally believe God is done with our once-great country,” he told WND. “This is just one more activity, apparently under government sanction, that makes me wonder how much longer God is going to protect it from the chaos and destruction of secularism and anarchism running unfettered.

“The foundations of this country made it a wonder to the rest of the world, but now they are being systematically destroyed. Whether this country is conquered by apathy, anarchism, atheism or Shariah, the same people who see no problem with grown men in little girls’ bathrooms, babies being murdered in the womb, rioters burning and killing without reprisal, and terrorism being promoted as justice, are going to be in shock when the mob violence turns on them after they have served their useful purposes.”

Payne suggested the spiritual collapse of the country will eventually lead to the collapse of political institutions. He said many of the issues being discussed by the media are relatively unimportant and tangential compared to this shocking cultural change, and compared contemporary Americans to the rich passengers on the Titanic.

“People are busy shuffling chairs and listening to the band while this ship is sinking, to the delight of some and tears of others,” he said. “Assuming our children and grandchildren live to old age, which is not a sure bet, I am guessing some of them are going to wake up at some point, and ask, ‘What in the world were you thinking when you allowed chaos to replace order while you slept?'”

Gallups also charged modern Americans are ignoring the reality of spiritual warfare and the presence of the demonic – even when it is right in front of them.

“Because of modern technology, the whole world sees these demonic displays, one after the other,” the pastor said. “We are under the prophesied demonic deluge. The problem is it is so in your face that few actually ‘see’ it. There is such a technological saturation of evil – from entertainment mediums to virtual fantasy porn – that a ‘normalcy bias’ kicks in to overdrive.”

And Gallups concluded ominously what modern Christians are witnessing is nothing new.

“It’s kind of like the days of Noah,” he said. “Everyone just ‘ate and drank’ even though their judgment was staring them in the face, just like Jesus warned. The Lion of prophecy is roaring. I wonder if anyone actually hears it?”

***

Economic Collapse

AMERICA: YOU WILL GO INSANE BECAUSE OF WHAT YOUR EYES WILL SEE

During the months and years ahead, we are all going to see things that we never thought we would see happen in America

Michael Snyder

AUGUST 16, 2016

A cloud of madness is descending on America, and most of us are completely unprepared for the chaos that will be unleashed during the months ahead.

This morning, I was reading through Deuteronomy when I came to a phrase that really resonated with me. In the Modern English Version, this is what Deuteronomy 28:34 says: “You will go insane because of what your eyes will see”. As I read that, it struck me that this is precisely what America is heading for. There are going to be people that have vast quantities of food and supplies stored up that are still going to blow their brains out when they see what happens to this country because they don’t have any hope. Without hope, I don’t know how anyone is going to make it through what is coming. If you think that the unrest and violence in Milwaukee are disturbing, just wait for a while, because much, much worse is on the way.

On Monday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in Milwaukee, and the National Guard was brought in but not deployed after another night of chaos made headlines all over the globe. According to Fox News, 11 police officers have been injured by the violence so far…

Chunks of concrete and rocks hurled at police — and shards of glass from shattered squad car windows — injured seven officers, upping the two-day tally to 11 wounded cops, Police Chief Edward Flynn said on Monday.

Additionally, an 18-year-old man was shot and seriously injured, and officers had to use an armored vehicle to retrieve the man and take him to a hospital. Flynn said the city’s ShotSpotter system recorded 30 instances of gunfire on Sunday night, after 48 instances were recorded on Saturday.

It has also been reported that another police vehicle was set on fire late Monday night. Authorities are desperate to avoid a third night in a row like this, and so a strict curfew has been put in place…

After 10 o’clock your teenagers better be home or in a place where they’re off the streets,” Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Barrett made the announcement as tensions remained high in the Sherman Park neighborhood and police were out in force while the National Guard was on standby and ready to move in if necessary.

And that is one of the saddest things about this latest round of violence. So much of it is being done by youngsters that are just kids. Their minds have been poisoned, their emotions have been stirred up, and they are committing random acts of violence that would have been unthinkable for American teens to commit just a couple generations ago.

Racial tensions are constantly being fueled by many of our politicians and by the big mainstream news networks. As a result, instead of coming together as a country and learning to love people no matter where they are from or what they look like, we have entered a time when people are literally becoming fearful of being around others that don’t have the same skin color that they do. Just check out this quote from CNN…

People are afraid of each other,” resident Reginald Jackson said last year. “Black people are afraid of the white parts of town. White people are afraid of the black and Latino parts of town.”

Just two days ago, I delivered an address down at Morningside that was all about love. As a society, we have got to learn to love one another or we are simply not going to make it.

Since I am the publisher of several major websites, I get to review comments that people leave on the various articles. Many of those comments never get published on my websites, and in a lot of those instances this is because they contain some of the most hateful racist language imaginable.

Every single person, no matter who they are, where they are from or what they look like, is of immense value. When we decide to believe otherwise, we are making an absolutely tragic mistake.

It isn’t just in Milwaukee that violence is rising. Over in Chicago, we just witnessed the deadliest day in more than a decade. As I recently detailed on The Most Important News, there are at least 150,000 gang members living in Chicago today, and only about 13,000 law enforcement officers of all types to deal with them. That means that the police are outnumbered by a more than 10 to 1 margin, and at this point shootings are up about 50 percent compared to the same time last year…

Last week the Chicago Tribune pointed out that nearly 100 people had been shot in Chicago in less than a week. 9 people were killed on Monday alone marking the deadliest day for the city in 13 years. Now, with weekend data out, turns out the story is even worse. For the week ended 8/13, a total of 110 people were shot in Chicago with 24 of them killed. YTD statistics indicate the city is spiraling out of control with total shootings up to 2,621, a mere ~50% YoY increase, with 445 total homicides.

The ironic thing is that Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the entire nation. Obviously, what the liberal politicians have been attempting to do is not working. The following comes fromt he New York Times…

Not a single gun shop can be found in this city because they are outlawed. Handguns were banned in Chicago for decades, too, until 2010, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that was going too far, leading city leaders to settle for restrictions some describe as the closest they could get legally to a ban without a ban. Despite a continuing legal fight, Illinois remains the only state in the nation with no provision to let private citizens carry guns in public.

If unrest and violence are spiking this dramatically in places like Milwaukee and Chicago now, what are things going to be like when economic conditions start getting really, really bad in this nation?

During the months and years ahead, we are all going to see things that we never thought we would see happen in America.

In a world gone crazy, people are going to need hope, and that is why hope is going to become a larger and larger part of my message.

Hal Lindsey once said that we “can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope.”

So let us all be a source of hope, because it is going to be in very short supply during the days to come.

***

PMW

Media Silent As Persecution Of Christians Escalates

Reports from mission organizations around the world tell us that millions of Christians are being persecuted for their faith, with more than 7,000 having been murdered just within the last year. However, few in the West are hearing about it as the media ignores the growing threat that Christians face.

A recent survey mapped out the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian. This year's list, recorded using a points system, reveals persecution of Christians is actually on the rise.

Highlights were as follows:

- North Korea has been named the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian for the 14th year running.

- Iraq has replaced Somalia as the second most dangerous place to be a Christian.

- Eritrea, now nicknamed the 'North Korea of Africa' due to high levels of dictatorial paranoia, follows at number three.

- Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan, in that order, comprise the next three most difficult places for Christians.

- Somalia, Sudan, Iran, and Libya make up the final four of the top ten countries in that order.

- From the rest of the countries, the lowest ranking country in 2013, Niger, had 35 points. This year's lowest ranking country, Oman, had 53 points, still an increase of more than 50 percent.

- India, the second most populous country in the world, has seen persecution levels rise dramatically for the third straight year, rising to number 17 from a ranking of 31 in 2013.

Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK & Ireland, said: "This is a cause of great concern. Many countries have dropped down the list, not because persecution there is decreasing, but simply because others are getting worse faster."

Pearce added with a mixture of concern and hope: "The persecution of Christians is getting worse, in every region in which we work - and it's getting worse fast. In many parts of the world, despite the pressure and the often terrible cost, the church continues to grow. There is always hope, and yet we are in unmarked territory - the pace and scale of persecution of Christians is unprecedented and growing fast."

Indications are that, by geographical spread, most of these deaths and persecutions are carried out by Muslims. Christian charity Open Doors, (separately described a humanitarian relief organization that specializes in helping Christians who are persecuted worldwide), compiled the list.

The organization said extreme Islamic fundamentalism is rising most sharply in sub-Saharan Africa, where more people are killed for their Christian faith than anywhere else in the world.

From an individual country perspective, North Korea is by far the biggest culprit and antagonist against the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Christians. Mansfield noted that in North Korea it is estimated 70,000 Christians are currently in prison or labor camps because of their faith- which is illegal under Kim Jong-un's regime. Christians are forced to worship in secret and risk torture and death to do so.

Iraq has been named the second most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian where the church is on the brink of being wiped out. Christians have been increasingly persecuted by Islamic extremists.

The Christian population or Iraq has been decimated from two million in 2003 to less than 200,000 today. Thousands were forced from their homes when Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists captured large swathes of territory. Christians in Iraq face abduction, sexual abuse and death threats at the hands of the extremists.

In Syria, Christians have been targeted by crazed jihadis as well as being caught up in the ongoing civil war. With an estimated 772,000 Christians, it is forbidden to be a Christian in ISIS- controlled areas. In areas outside of ISIS control, it is illegal for people to convert from Islam. Christian villages have been attacked by ISIS terrorists and it is estimated 3,000 Christians were forced to leave their homes in February 2015 alone and hostages were executed.

In recognition of the scale and ferocity of these persecutions, a petition with more than 400,000 signatures has been submitted to the UN calling for the Security Council to formally declare the persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria as genocide.

In a separate report by Hollie McKay published in FoxNews.com, only a handful of mostly sick or elderly Christians remain in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, and Syrian Christians fear the forces that have brought that city's population of Gospel followers to the brink of extinction could do the same for the entire nation.

An estimated dozen Christian families are still in the northern city, forced under threat of execution to convert, pay an "infidel" tax or go into hiding. Forbidden from leaving, they are also in danger of dying from attacks directed at ISIS by Damascus, Russia, and the U.S.-led Western coalition.

"We are trying to help them escape or stay safe, in hiding," said Ayman Abdel Nour, executive director of Syrian Christians for Peace. "Their life is horrible. The people of Raqqa are being forced to live like it was 1,400 years ago."

The Rev. Ibrahim Nseir, pastor of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon and the Presbyterian Church in Aleppo, told FoxNews.com from the conflict-torn city: "We are facing terrorist action in the whole geography of Syria...They are destroying our churches, killing and kidnapping Christians, stealing our homes and our businesses."

In Eritrea, believers have been imprisoned in metal shipping containers in scorching temperatures and forced to work long hours of manual labor.

In Afghanistan, it is believed there are just a few thousand Christians, as those converting from Islam risk arrest. Buildings used as underground churches have been attacked and ex-pat Christians have been killed.

Based on these reports, it would seem that Christians within the West are much safer. Not quite - as a recent reminder by Chris Tomlinson for breitbart.com would indicate. Tomlinson's report makes reference to a new study showing that potentially thousands of Christians have been attacked and harassed in German migrant homes by Muslim guards and fellow migrants.

Markus Rode, a member of Open Doors said that the study is only "the tip of the iceberg" and called for more action to address the problem, Frankfurter Allgemeine reported. Volker Baumann of Action for Persecuted Christians (AVC) claimed that up to 40,000 Christians are being persecuted for their faith in Germany according to the group's research.

Baumann joined Rode and several others who represent Christian charities at a press conference where they recommended that the German government house Christians in separate homes, increase the number of non-Muslim security guards, and reach out to Christian migrants who may not report incidents of abuse for fear of reprisal from Muslims in their asylum homes.

It's not just in Germany either. According to Breitbart London reports, Christian refugees now in European asylum homes are finding more and more that they are in as much danger from radical Muslims in Europe as they were in their home countries. Most attacks include verbal insults, physical assaults and death threats against themselves and family members.

The perpetrators of most of the attacks were fellow migrants who look down on converts and believe them to be apostates. More interesting was the prevalence of Muslim security guards who participated in the attacks.

Almost half of those surveyed said they had received abuse from security guards and in the German capital of Berlin the figure rose to two-thirds. Many of the security guards hired to keep order and protect migrants regularly come from migrant backgrounds themselves and even more often have no qualifications.

In Berlin, Christian refugees were threatened after they refused to take part in Islamic prayers with Muslims from Iran and Afghanistan. About 80% of refugees surveyed say there's a need for separate accommodation for Christians and Muslims. Others say seminars should be held for all refugees on German law, rights and the freedom of religion.

Such arguments, of course, are purely academic where the invaders do not recognize the rule of law, refuse to assimilate into the culture, and there is no enforcement of the law by the host country.

Perhaps there has never been a greater time or need for support of Christians under persecution throughout the world. The prayers, giving and encouragement from Christian organizations and individuals towards alleviating the sufferings of their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ remains critical.

The forces of Satan and darkness are hard at work to steal, kill and destroy in these last days with the prime target being true believers in Jesus Christ.

However, the words of Jesus still ring true today, more than ever before regarding His church: "...the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it". (Matthew 16:18b).

The American Conservative

Christian-Run Agency Embraces Pig-Man

By ROD DREHER • August 4, 2016, 11:53 AM

How far gone are we as a culture and civilization? This far:

The federal government announced plans Thursday to lift a moratorium on funding of certain controversial experiments that use human stem cells to create animal embryos that are partly human.

The National Institutes of Health is proposing a new policy to permit scientists to get federal money to make embryos, known as chimeras, under certain carefully monitored conditions.

The NIH imposed a moratorium on funding these experiments in September because they could raise ethical concerns.

One issue is that scientists might inadvertently create animals that have partly human brains, endowing them with some semblance of human consciousness or human thinking abilities. Another is that they could develop into animals with human sperm and eggs and breed, producing human embryos or fetuses inside animals or hybrid creatures.

That report may be a little premature. In a blog post, the NIH says it is opening up public comment on lifting its public funding ban. It’s pretty clear that this is just a prelude to something that’s a fait accompli. Besides, who is going to stand in the way of Science™ over a trivial matter like basic human dignity?The director of the National Institutes for Health is Francis Collins, a geneticist and Evangelical Christian. On his watch, the NIH is going to create living creatures that are part human, part animal.

Do you understand how far this stuff is going? Here’s a piece that journalist Will Saletan wrote for The Washington Post in 2007(!). Excerpt:

To make humanized animals really creepy, you’d have to do several things. You’d increase the ratio of human to animal DNA. You’d transplant human cells that spread throughout the body. You’d do it early in embryonic development, so the human cells would shape the animals’ architecture, not just blend in. You’d grow the embryos to maturity. And you’d start messing with the brain.

We’re doing all of these things.

According to the British academy’s report, “researchers have constructed ever more ambitious transgenic animals” — some with an entire human chromosome — and it’s “likely that the process of engineering ever larger amounts of human DNA into mice will continue.” We’re transplanting pluripotent stem cells, which proliferate and grow many kinds of human tissue. We’re doing it early in mouse embryogenesis, and we’re implanting the resulting embryos in “foster mice” so they can develop.

We’re not doing these things because they’re creepy. We’re doing them because they’re logical. The more you humanize animals, the better they serve their purpose as lab models of humanity. That’s what’s scary about species mixing. It’s not some crazy Frankenstein project. It’s the future of medicine.

Back in the year 2000 — which seems ten lifetimes ago — Jody Bottum responded to news that British scientists had created a pig-human chimera. Excerpt:

It used to be that even the imagination of this sort of thing existed only to underscore a moral in a story. When our ancestors heard of Vlad the Impaler’s wife bathing in the blood of slaughtered virgins to keep herself beautiful, they were certain it was a bad thing. When they were told fairy tales of an old crone fattening children to suck the health from them, they knew which side they were supposed to take. When they read of Dorian Gray’s purchase of eternal youth, they understood that the price he paid was his soul.

But we live at a moment in which British newspapers can report on 19 families who have created test-tube babies solely for the purpose of serving as tissue donors for their relatives — some brought to birth, some merely harvested as embryos and fetuses. A moment in which Harper’s Bazaar can advise women to keep their faces unwrinkled by having themselves injected with fat culled from human cadavers. A moment in which the Australian philosopher Peter Singer can receive a chair at Princeton University for advocating the destruction of infants after birth if their lives are likely to be a burden. A moment in which the brains of late-term aborted babies can be vacuumed out and gleaned for stem cells.

In the midst of all this, the creation of a human-pig arrives like a thing expected. We have reached the logical end, at last. We have become the people that, once upon a time, our ancestors used fairy tales to warn their children against — and we will reap exactly the consequences those tales foretold.

You think Trump is going to stop this, Christian? Dream on. If Dr. Francis Collins, a believing Evangelical, won’t stop it, or resign his position over his inability to stop it, and if the American public is ho-hum about it, or even excited, because maybe the research will get us ever closer to Utopia — what makes you think your vote this fall makes a difference?

Signs of the times, my friends. Read them, and prepare. We are a perverse and wicked generation who deserves what we are going to get.

Baptist Press

Human-animal embryo research likened to sci-fi

by David Roach, posted Wednesday, August 10, 2016

NASHVILLE (BP) -- A National Institutes of Health proposal to fund research that inserts human stem cells into animal embryos has provoked warnings from evangelical bioethicists.

The focus of the proposed research would be studying human diseases and growing human organs in animals for transplants. But potential side effects of so-called "chimera research" -- a reference to Greek mythological creatures that were part goat, part snake and part lion --include destruction of human embryos, creation of animals with some semblance of human intelligence and creation of animals with the ability to produce human offspring.

"At the end of the day, it's a means versus ends question," said C. Ben Mitchell, provost and Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University. "Few people will object to the humane use of animals for the creation of discreet human tissues like kidneys or pancreases. But, if the means to that end involves immoral methods or requires the destruction of unborn human beings, the end does not justify the means."

Since September 2015 the National Institutes of Health has upheld a funding moratorium on research that introduces human pluripotent cells, which can develop into all types of cells in the body, into animal embryos prior to an early stage of development known as gastrulation. But in an Aug. 4 blog post, N.I.H. associate director for science policy Carrie Wolinetz announced two proposed changes:

-- Allowing human pluripotent cells to be introduced at an early stage into all animal embryos except non-human primates like monkeys, which are genetically similar to humans. Human stem cells could be added later in embryo development for such creatures.

-- Allowing human cells to be introduced into mammals other than rodents in order to modify the animals' brains.

Even if the new research guidelines were adopted, experiments still would be banned that involve breeding animals with human egg or sperm cells -- which could produce human offspring. However, bioethicists David Prentice and Chuck Donovan noted in a commentary for The Daily Signal that attempts to keep such animals from breeding "would likely not be 100 percent effective -- just ask anyone who has run an animal facility."

The public has 30 days to comment on the N.I.H. proposal. If it is adopted, the agency could begin funding animal-human research projects in early 2017, NPR reported.

Like all N.I.H. proposals, these provisions would apply only to government-funded research. Privately-funded research involving human stem cells and animal embryos would not be prohibited, according to The New York Times.

Charles Patrick, a former biomedical researcher and current vice president for strategic initiatives and communications at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Baptist Press the source of pluripotent human stem cells is one concern with human-animal embryo research.

"The cells being considered for injecting are human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)," Patrick said in written comments. "iPSCs are adult stem cells 'tricked' or induced to become pluripotent or hESC-like cells. There are no biblical or ethical issues with these cells.

"However, hESCs are derived from embryos developed via in vitro fertilization. From a biblical perspective, life begins at conception and thus life is being destroyed if hESCs are utilized," said Patrick, whose focus during 13 years at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center was tissue engineering.

Mitchell echoed the concern, categorizing the "cannibalizing human embryos for their stem cells" as "morally reprehensible."

Another concern for Patrick is that inserting human brain tissue into animals could "inadvertently trigger the transfer of human characteristics (such as intelligence, consciousness or speech) into an animal."

Mitchell, editor of Ethics and Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics, likewise expressed "worry that the result" of the N.I.H.-proposed research "might be animals with significant amounts of human brain tissue."

"What would this mean? Is this a new species? This sounds like H. G. Wells' 'Island of Dr. Moreau,'" Mitchell told BP, referencing a novel in which a mad scientist creates animals "fused with human genes."

Additionally, Mitchell stated, "if the protocol permits the creation of animal-human hybrid embryos, we have yet another problem. How much human DNA makes an embryo human? How are these embryos to be regarded ethically? Are their harms to unborn human beings? These are profound questions that demand answers before we move forward."

The Bible, Patrick said, "is clear in Genesis that God created man distinct from animals and gave man authority over animals. It would seem prudent to be very careful with technologies that potentially blur the distinction in God's created order."

***

Zero Hedge

Lord Rothschild: "This Is The Greatest Experiment In Monetary Policy In The History Of The World"

by Tyler Durden

Aug 17, 2016 10:27 AM

Two months ago, the bond manager of what was once the world's biggest bond fund had a dire prediction about how "all of this" will end (spoiler: not well).

Now, it is the turn of another financial icon, if from a vastly different legacy - and pedigree - that of Rothschild Investment Trust Chairman himself, Lord Jacob Rothschild, who appears to be the latest entrant to the bearish billionaire club.

We were surprised to find his summary of recent events downright gloomy, and certainly non-conforming with a stock "market", manipulated by central banks as it may be, trading at all time highs. Here are the key excerpts:

The six months under review have seen central bankers continuing what is surely the greatest experiment in monetary policy in the history of the world. We are therefore in uncharted waters and it is impossible to predict the unintended consequences of very low interest rates, with some 30% of global government debt at negative yields, combined with quantitative easing on a massive scale.

To date, at least in stock market terms, the policy has been successful with markets near their highs, while volatility on the whole has remained low. Nearly all classes of investment have been boosted by the rising monetary tide. Meanwhile, growth remains anaemic, with weak demand and deflation in many parts of the developed world.

Many of the risks which I underlined in my 2015 statement remain; indeed the geo-political situation has deteriorated with the UK having voted to leave the European Union, the presidential election in the US in November is likely to be unusually fraught, while the situation in China remains opaque and the slowing down of economic growth will surely lead to problems. Conflict in the Middle East continues and is unlikely to be resolved for many years. We have already felt the consequences of this in France, Germany and the USA in terrorist attacks.

As a result, Rothschild has put his money where his mouth is: "we have reduced our exposure from 55% to 44%. Our Sterling exposure was significantly reduced over the period to 34%, and currently stands at approximately 25%. We increased gold and precious metals to 8% by the end of June."

***

WASHINGTON Examiner

America to hand off Internet in under two months

By RUDY TAKALA (@RUDYTAKALA) • 8/16/16 11:58 PM

The Department of Commerce is set to hand off the final vestiges of American control over the Internet to international authorities in less than two months, officials have confirmed.

The department will finalize the transition effective Oct. 1, Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling wrote on Tuesday, barring what he called "any significant impediment."

The move means the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which is responsible for interpreting numerical addresses on the Web to a readable language, will move from U.S. control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a multistakeholder body based in Los Angeles that includes countries such as China and Russia.

Critics of the move, most prominently Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, have pointed out the agency could be used by totalitarian governments to shut down the Web around the globe, either in whole or in part.

"The proposal will significantly increase the power of foreign governments over the Internet, expand ICANN's historical core mission by creating a gateway to content regulation, and embolden [its] leadership to act without any real accountability," Cruz wrote in a letter sent to Commerce and signed by two fellow Republicans, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

In the event any facilities are relocated to China, senators noted, they could go in the same building as the agency responsible for censoring that country's Internet. "We have uncovered that ICANN's Beijing office is actually located within the same building as the Cyberspace Administration of China, which is the central agency within the Chinese government's censorship regime," they wrote, noting that some of the American companies involved with the transition process have already "shown a willingness to acquiesce" to Chinese demands to aid with censorship.

"While this is certainly not illegal, it does raise significant concerns as to the increased influence that governments … as well as the culture of cronyism," they added.

***

KATEHON

A RUSSIAN BASE IN IRAN: A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE REGIONSLAMIC CIVILIZATION

17.08.2016

Russia has announced its military presence in Iran for the first time since the end of World War II. 16.08.2016 Tu-22M3 Russian strategic bombers made their first flight from the base Hamedan in western Iran. The aircrafts attacked targets of the terrorist group "Islamic state" in Syria. Previously, Russian strategic aviation had been performing combat missions from the base of Mozdok in North Ossetia. Now the distance to the targets in Syria has been reduced by 60%.

For the Syrian campaign, it means that Russian supersonic bombers will be able to bring  a larger payload and at the same time carry out an increasing number of sorties. Accordingly, the intensity and effectiveness of the Russian air operations will increase significantly. Hmeymim airbase in Latakia (former civil airport) is not suitable for such heavy bombers.

The Middle East: total coverage

News agencies spread information that Russia and Iran have agreed on the deployment of Russian strategic bombers at the air base Hamedan on a long term basis. This information was confirmed by Iranian officials. Chairman of the Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani said that the Iranian side will provide its infrastructure for Russia to combat terrorism. Russian strategic bombers in Iran dramatically change the geopolitical situation in the Middle East.

The combat range of the Tu-22M3 aircraft at supersonic speed is 1850 km and the maximum range is about 3000 km. This allows them to cover the whole of the Middle East. The area is now controlled by Russian aircraft includes Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen, Iran, the waters of the Persian Gulf. Within range are US military bases, all strategic places of Wahhabi monarchies of the Persian Gulf and the terrorist infrastructure in the region. The flight time to Riyadh is less than half an hour.

The Tu-22M3 is designed to destroy large enemy military-industrial targets, centers of command and control, and communications, destroy buildings (including magazines) and units deep behind enemy lines. This aircraft can also effectively conduct aerial reconnaissance and engage in electronic warfare. The Tu22M3 is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear weapons. The maximum carry load is 24,000 kg.

Moreover, if Russia finds it necessary in a wartime situation, in agreement with Iran, can place better weapons at the air base in Iran, for example, the strategic missile carriers Tu-160, which are armed with atomic bombs and missiles with nuclear warheads. The combat radius of this aircraft is 7500 km.

The Moscow-Tehran Axis

Iran’s willingness to provide to Russia a military base Hamedan is a unique event in recent history of the state and evidence of a close strategic alliance between the two countries. This step links Russian geopolitics with Iran's interests in the region. There is no doubt that the Russian Aerospace Forces will protect the interests and security of both Russia and Iran. Iran strengthens its immunity against major opponents - the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, due to the Russian strategic presence.

At the same time, Russia defends itself at a distance, moving the confrontation with the United States from Russia’s own border areas, closer to the marginal part of the Eurasian Rimland, and directly adjacent to the major US and British bases in the Persian Gulf (Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates).

Breakthrough Atlanticist blockade

For Russia, this event is crucial. A "breakthrough to the warm seas" to the Mediterranean, Iran and India; this geopolitical expansion towards the south has been a major strategic imperative of Russian geopolitics since the XVIII century and the basic meaning of "the Great Game" from the Russian side. In contrast to her Atlanticist powers, Great Britain and the United States were trying to prevent full Russian access to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Russian strategic bombers in Hamedan mean a breaking of the Atlanticist blockade in this part of the Rimland. Russia now receives immediate access to the region and the possibility of a way to operate militarily in this area, to protect both its own interests and those of its allies.

***

RT (This is another very interesting development.)

China ‘to provide aid, enhance military training’ in Syria – top army official

Published time: 16 Aug, 2016 15:22

Edited time: 17 Aug, 2016 04:59

Beijing and Damascus have agreed that the Chinese military will provide humanitarian aid to Syria, a high-ranking People's Liberation Army officer said, adding that the training of Syrian personnel by Chinese instructors has also been discussed.

Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China's Central Military Commission, Guan Youfei, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij, Chinese Xinhua news agency reported.

During the negotiation, Guan noted China’s consistent diplomatic efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis, adding that Beijing is now seeking closer military ties with Damascus.

"The Chinese and Syrian militaries traditionally have a friendly relationship, and the Chinese military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation with the Syrian military," he said.

Guan and al-Freij discussed the enhancement of training and "reached a consensus" on the Chinese military providing humanitarian aid to Syria, Xinhua reported, without providing further details.

According to the agency, Guam also met with a Russian general during his visit to the Syrian capital.

China has been operating in Syria alongside Russia and Iran in a “discreet manner” but now the time has come to “openly” step up anti-terrorist efforts, believes political analyst Roula Talj.

We will see more involvement of China, of Iran and Russia. They will go [in] stronger after ISIS, especially after Russia-US talks. I do not think the US will have any chance to oppose the interference of these allies. The US president or any candidate will have to answer their own public[’s] opinion, so it is good for them that someone else is doing the dirty job,” Roula Talj told RT. “In the face of their own public[’s] opinion they have to be grateful that somebody else is cleaning the mess they had created, especially as ISIS is getting stronger every day inside of Europe. Of course, they are not extremely happy to see the BRICS countries taking over.”

Meanwhile political expert Qin Duo Xu does not foresee any “deep involvement” of the Chinese military in Syria, but says it could be a “significant” first step for China to “get involved in the Syrian situation.”

There are chances that this cooperation will increase a lot,” he told RT. “At least China can provide more support or diplomatic cover in terms of cracking down [on] terrorists or some rebel groups that are really extremist in nature.”

If you look at the Chinese media, Chinese public opinion, [you will see] that [the] absolute majority is siding with the Syrian government and support[s] Russian military involvement. China has its own problems with terrorists: At least 100 Chinese citizens are fighting alongside with rebels and Islamic State against the Syrian government,” he added. “That is why China does support Russian involvement, does support Syrian government’s efforts in [the] fight against terrorists.”

It is in China’s strategic interests to get involved in the Syrian crisis and “play a larger role” in resolving it, independent China strategist, Andrew Leung said.

This is really a breakthrough in China’s strategies in the Middle East. There appears to be more coordination with countries, like Russia,” Leung told RT. “China sees itself as one of the great powers and as befitting a state of great power there is the responsibility to maintain peace and stability in a very important region in the world…as far as the Middle East is concerned it means even more to China because it is a matter of energy security.”

Despite being a permanent UN Security Council member and relying on the Middle East for oil, China was previously reluctant to become involved in the Syrian conflict.

Beijing preferred to concentrate on domestic affairs and the territorial dispute with its neighbors in the South China Sea.

It praised Moscow’s anti-terrorism efforts in Syria as Russia staged a bombing campaign there in September 2015 to March 2016. Russia still has some of its forces in the country to provide humanitarian and military assistance to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

Last year, there were reports that China was sending dozens of military advisers to Syria to help the country fight terrorists.

***

Fort Russ

Lavrov-Steinmeier Pact: Will the Berlin-Moscow Axis prevail?

August 15, 2016

By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ

Translated by J. Arnoldski

A meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia and Germany was held in Yekaterinburg a few days following the Crimean incident. Although the meeting was meant to discuss the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts, last week’s events in Crimea created a special atmosphere for the meeting.

On August 10th, Vladimir Putin refused to participate in the Normandy Quartet meeting planned for September in China. On the same day, the French foreign ministry issued an essentially pro-Ukrainian statement calling on both sides to settle their disputes peacefully. When one side becomes the victim of a terrorist attack by the other, such a call can only be considered dubious. Russia might as well have called upon the government of France to sit down at the negotiating table with Islamists after the terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice.

Thus, the face-to-face meeting between Sergey Lavrov and Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Russia, and what’s more in deep Russia (Yekaterinburg is the geographical center of Russia), resembles something like a separate set of negotiations.

Both diplomats are political heavyweights. Steinmeier, for example, is more popular than Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany and it is quite possible that he expects to run for the lead post on behalf of his Social-Democratic Party in the Bundestag elections of 2017. It has long since been noted that Steinmeier visits Moscow and meets with his Russian colleagues, and even President Putin, way more often than Madame Merkel. If Moscow prefers to negotiate with Sarkozy and Republicans when it comes to French politicians, then Steinmeier (a member of the same party as Gerhard Schroeder) can be considered more than just a diplomatic figure. He is famous for his special opinion on the question of relations between Russia and NATO and his approach to sanctions is markedly more flexible than that of his competitors in the CDU and even his own party comrades. Although there are indeed parties and politicians that are more convenient for Russia, such as Die Linke and Alternative for Germany, none of them, especially the young AfG not yet represented in the Bundestag, can be called heavyweights in German politics like Steinmeier.

So allow me to posit the following: the meeting between Sergey Lavrov and his German colleague (with whom Lavrov spoke with obvious pleasure, using the informal Russian word for you, ty, and calling each other by their names), is an attempt to build an alternative to the Normandy Four format. From a psychological standpoint, the German minister of foreign affairs' agreement to meet in Russia with his Russian colleague is obviously an expression of support.

Perhaps, if I am right in my assumptions, this separate alliance outside the Normandy Quartet is capable of transcending situational frameworks. It is probably no coincidence that German politicians’ criticism of Moscow’s position (and, indirectly, its minister of foreign affairs) on a humanitarian corridor from Aleppo has collapsed. If you look at the headlines from Ekaterinburg, the obvious dominance of Lavrov over the conversation immediately catches the eye. Among other things, the minister of foreign affairs of Russia made harsh anti-Ukrainian statements (of course, with the tone and restraint of a superior diplomat) which were not met with any strong objections from his German colleague.

Perhaps the meeting in Yekaterinburg was a step in comparing notes and networking with the potential winner of Bundestag elections which are not too far off (a year). Frank-Walter Steinmeier is not a pro-Russian politician. He is a pro-German politician and a professional, and as such Russia understands and is interested in him. What Russia failed to do with Gerhard Schroeder (due to the SPD’s defeat in elections, i.e., build a mechanism for particularly trusting relations with Europe’s #1 leader, might succeed with Steinmeier if the results of next year’s elections to the Bundestag will be favorable to his party. This is possible as long as today’s meeting in Yekaterinburg was not held simply so that Germany’s popular foreign minister could improve his international image and bargaining power against Madame Merkel, his boss and rival.

***

NEO

Will Hungary Be Next to Exit the EU?

Author: F. William Engdahl

17.08.2016

Will Hungary be the next nation to exit the dysfunctional European Union? The question isn’t at all as far-fetched as it might seem. On October 2, voters in Hungary will participate in a nationwide referendum to vote whether they agree to the forced settlement of migrants in Hungary by the EU or not. It’s a major issue in Hungary, a land of proud and staunchly independent-minded people who have endured 150 years of Ottoman rule; wars with Habsburg Austria until the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 created a peaceful coexistence under the dual Monarchy of Austria–Hungary. After that, Hungarians were subject to the Soviet Union since 1945, initially under the dreaded Mátyás Rákosi, until it became the first Warsaw Pact communist country to declare a constitutional republic in October, 1989 and open its borders to Austria, setting in motion the domino fall of East Germany and then of the entire Warsaw Pact and, ultimately, the Soviet Union. Like every nation, they have a very special history.

It might well be said that Hungarians, always an ethnic melting-pot population whose parliament enacted the first laws of ethnic and minority rights in the world in 1849, are not a passive people when they sense something is wrong in the way they are being treated. So it is today regarding the Brussels proposal that Hungary and other EU member states must accept a Brussels-determined number of political war refugees from the Middle East and pay for all their costs whether they want them or not. Countries that refuse to take their quota would face severe financial penalties. In 2015 some 400,000 refugees arrived in Hungary in 2015 before a four-meter high razor wire fence was erected on the border with Serbia.

About half, or 200,000, attempted to gain asylum in Hungary, and after government procedures, only 264 refugees were granted political asylum. Since the erection of the fence the inflow via the so-called Balkan Route has all but stopped. The Austrian government has also decided to cooperate with the Orban government in jointly patrolling their common border.

Hungary is joined in opposing the Brussels mandatory refugee quota proposal by the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland–the so-called Visegrad Four group. So far only Hungary has decided on a national referendum on the issue. Polls show well over 66% opposed to the mandatory quotas, including Orban, who has urged a No vote.

Hungary’s outspoken Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, the only prime minister since 1989 to serve a full term and be re-elected, is very popular among Hungarians for speaking his mind against what he feels are wrong policies coming out of Brussels. Many Hungarians see him as a modern David pitted against the far larger Goliath, the faceless, unelected EU Commission.

On October 2 Hungarians will vote on a single question in a special national referendum: “Do you want the European Union to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of Parliament?”

Orban: ‘terror risk…’

On the war refugee issue Orban minces no words: “Hungary does not need a single migrant for the economy to work, or the population to sustain itself, or for the country to have a future,” he said in a recent interview. On the contrary, he stated, “Every single migrant poses a public security and terror risk. This is why there is no need for a common European migration policy.” Whoever needs migrants can take them, but don’t force them on us, we don’t need them.” As far as Hungary is concerned, he stated in an interview with RT, “migration is not a solution but a problem…We don’t need it and won’t swallow it.” The Hungarian government insists that the right to decide refugee issues should be reserved exclusively for national governments.

Hungary and three other central European states that constitute the Visegrad Four group, which includes Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, have been opposing the mandatory quotas the EU wants to impose on each member state. Last December Hungary filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Justice to thwart the EU’s attempt to redistribute incoming arrivals across the European Union. A decision could take years. The referendum is intended to give a broad popular mandate against Brussels’ forced quota attempts.

First step to EU Exit?

Clear to all from Brussels to Berlin to Budapest is that Hungarians will vote an overwhelming No to refugee forced quotas. At that point the real question will be will Hungarians hold a second referendum, as the British did recently, to vote on leaving the EU or not when it becomes clear that Brussels will ignore the Hungarian vote with their usual deafening silence. The idea of a Hungarian EU exit is not unthinkable at all at this point now that Britain has become “first out the door,” establishing the precedent exit is possible.

The Orban government to date has moved with a certain directed caution to test the limits of EU rules. Far from a “right-wing tyrant” as Brussels bureaucrats and politically-correct mainstream EU media have portrayed him, the Oxford-educated Orban is a highly-sophisticated, apparently not corrupt (a real novelty in today’s politics if true) genuine democrat who always turns to his voters on key policy decisions to be sure he has them with him, something anathema to the unelected Brussels oligarchy.

Viktor Orban’s views on the current refugee crisis, which media deliberately misnames the far more benign-sounding mass migration situation of the EU, he outlined in detail in his February 28 annual State of the Union address to the nation, midway into his third term as (elected) Prime Minister.

Referring to the country’s recent experience extricating itself from the destructive decades of communist rule, now as an EU member state since 2004, Orban notes, “we are concerned as to how we should protect our national interests within the European Union.” This sounds reasonable enough unless one realizes that the aim of the EU as an institution is precisely the opposite–to ultimately destroy any and all national interests in favor of a top-down Brussels-centered autocracy of the unelected.

Real accomplishments

As so much about the true Hungary and Orban’s actual accomplishments is either ignored or distorted by mainstream non-Hungarian media, it’s first useful to note some of what Viktor Orban has accomplished in the first term from 1998-2002 when his Fidesz Party won in a coalition with the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) and the Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party (FKGP) and in his sole majority government since 2010. After 8 years out of office, Orban’s Fidesz Party won an overwhelming popular mandate of 53% of the vote and two-thirds of Parliament seats in 2010 and re-election in 2014 to the present.

As Orban notes in his February address to the nation, “within three years we had consolidated the budget, stabilized the economy, avoided bankruptcy, curbed inflation and reduced unemployment – the latter not marginally, but from 11.5% to 6.2%. We sent the IMF packing, repaid our loan ahead of schedule, and this year we shall also repay the last blessed penny of our debt to the European Union. All in all, in 2014 we rounded off this period of stabilization with economic growth of 3.7%, and opened a new chapter.”

In addition, under Orban’s term, the government managed “in five years to reduce personal income tax from 35% to 15%, and in five years we have left 1,300 billion forints in the pockets of families. We have reduced household utility bills by 25%, and in five years the minimum wage in Hungary has increased by 50%. We have achieved this together: the state and the market; the Government and the business sector; employers and employees; Hungarian micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises and the local subsidiaries of global conglomerates…Compared with 2010, we have allocated forty per cent more funding to health care. We have halved waiting lists. We have allocated more than five hundred billion – more than five hundred billion forints – to the development of our hospitals.”

That is the background of Hungary’s present economy under Orban’s term and the background to understand why the population supports his call for a no to mandatory refugee quotas. Now his remarks on the refugee crisis are relevant.

name of this danger is mass migration…’

Orban continues, “I would now like to explain why I have said all this. In summary, it is because all of this is now in danger. The financial stability we have worked so hard for is in danger…Our nationally-oriented foreign policy – which has been built with such painstaking attention to detail – is in danger. Restored public order and public security free of terrorist threats are in danger. And our national culture…is also in danger.”

He gets precise: “The name of this danger is mass migration…The year 2015 brought to an end an age in which, believing that it was under Europe’s control, we took the protection and safety of our continent for granted. One year ago, on this same occasion, we were already warning that a new age of mass migration had begun. We were mocked mercilessly, and insulted by friends, allies and rivals alike…The reality is that those coming here have no intention whatsoever of adopting our way of life, because they see their own as more valuable…And why, indeed, would they give it up? The reality is that they will not provide the supply of labor needed by the factories of Western Europe. Facts show that, across entire generations, the unemployment rate is much higher – sometimes several times higher –among those born outside Europe. The reality is that the European nations have been unable to integrate even the masses who arrived from Asia and Africa gradually, over a number of decades. How could they succeed in doing so now, so rapidly and for such large numbers?”

All those statements can be argued. But here is the core point on which Orban bases his strategy of Referendum, and the ultimate reason he will next be forced after October 2 to begin preparing a ‘Huexit’ from the EU for Hungary:

“…it is hardly the migrants whom we should be so angry with. The majority of them are also victims: victims of their countries’ collapsing governments, victims of bad international decisions, victims of people smugglers. They are doing what they see as being in their own interests. The problem is that we Europeans are not doing that which would be in our own interests. There is no better word for what Brussels is doing than “absurd”. It is like a ship’s captain heading for collision who, instead of wanting to take avoiding action, is more interested in deciding which lifeboats should be non-smoking. It is as if, instead of repairing the leaking hull, we are arguing about how much water should flood into which cabins…”

Orban then continues:

It is a big enough problem that Brussels is not capable of organizing the defense of Europe, but it is an even bigger problem that it lacks the intent to do so. In Budapest, Warsaw, Prague and Bratislava it is difficult for us to understand how we have reached a point at which it is even possible that those wanting to come here from other continents and other cultures can be let in without controls. It is difficult to understand the weakening of our civilization’s natural and fundamental instinct for the defense of ourselves, our families, our homes and our land… This is Europe. Europe is Hellas, not Persia; it is Rome, not Carthage; it is Christianity, not a caliphate. When we say this we are not claiming that we are better, but that we are different. To point to the existence of an independent European civilization does not mean that it is better or worse; it only means that “we are like this, and you are like that.”

This move by Hungary, its Prime Minister and its population is no superficial political ploy to bargain for a better deal from Brussels as David Cameron intended with his Brexit fiasco (seen from Cameron’s view). It’s a fundamental drawing of a line in the sand of the entire European Union between countries who believe in a dissolved national sovereignty in favor of a supranational Brussels-based United Europe, and those countries who fiercely intend in the wake of this refugee crisis and all its ramifications, to demand essential national sovereign rights.

Brussels, and clearly Merkel’s Berlin, will oppose Hungary tooth-and-nail to defend their supranational concept. They will do that with the backing of George Soros and his European Council on Foreign Relations think tank. Not surprising, Viktor Orban has repeatedly openly opposed Hungarian-born billionaire speculator George Soros and his NGOs for trying to destabilize Hungary. Soros money also funded the document known as the Merkel Plan, which is the direct opposition to Orban’s defense of national sovereignty over the admission of refugees.

At this point the unfortunate experiment known as the European Union is flying apart in every direction. Hungary may well be forced to rethink its EU identity after October 2 if not well before as events are going, and that will ineluctably feed the forces of dissolution in the EU, perhaps a not at all bad consequence.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

***

EurActiv.com

US moves nuclear weapons from Turkey to Romania

By Georgi Gotev, Joel Schalit | EurActiv.com

August 18, 2016 at 6:05:47 AM GMT+1 (updated: August 18, 2016 at 6:47:10 PM GMT+1)

US nuclear weapons are stationed throughout Europe. [Amanda Slater/Flickr]

Languages: Français | Deutsch

EXCLUSIVE/ Two independent sources told EurActiv.com that the US has started transferring nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey to Romania, against the background of worsening relations between Washington and Ankara.

According to one of the sources, the transfer has been very challenging in technical and political terms.

“It’s not easy to move 20+ nukes,” said the source, on conditions of anonymity.

According to a recent report by the Simson Center, since the Cold War, some 50 US tactical nuclear weapons have been stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base, approximately 100 kilometres from the Syrian border.

During the failed coup in Turkey in July, Incirlik’s power was cut, and the Turkish government prohibited US aircraft from flying in or out. Eventually, the base commander was arrested and implicated in the coup. Whether the US could have maintained control of the weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey is an unanswerable question, the report says.

Another source told EurActiv.com that the US-Turkey relations had deteriorated so much following the coup that Washington no longer trusted Ankara to host the weapons. The American weapons are being moved to the Deveselu air base in Romania, the source said.

Deveselu, near the city of Caracal, is the new home of the US missile shield, which has infuriated Russia.

Romania was an ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but it never hosted nuclear weapons during that period. Stationing tactical US nuclear weapons close to Russia’s borders is likely to infuriate Russia and lead to an escalation. The stationing of Russian nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962 was the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war.

EurActiv has asked the US State Department, and the Turkish and the Romanian foreign ministries, to comment. American and Turkish officials both promised to answer. After several hours, the State Department said the issue should be referred to the Department of Defense. EurActiv will publish the DoD reaction as soon as it is received.

In the meantime, NATO sent EurActiv a diplomatically worded comment which implies that allies must make sure that US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe remain “safe”.

“On your question, please check the Communiqué of the NATO Warsaw Summit (published on 9 July 2016), paragraph 53: “NATO’s nuclear deterrence posture also relies, in part, on United States’ nuclear weapons forward-deployed in Europe and on capabilities and infrastructure provided by Allies concerned. These Allies will ensure that all components of NATO’s nuclear deterrent remain safe, secure, and effective,” a NATO spokesperson wrote to EurActiv.

The NATO summit took place a few days before the failed coup in Turkey. At that time, the risks for the US nukes in Incirlik were related to the proximity of the war in Syria and the multiple terrorist attacks that have taken place in Turkey in recent months. For some of the attacks, Ankara blamed Islamic State, and for others the PKK, the Kurdish military organisation that appears on the EU and US terrorist lists.

Strong denial by Romania

The Romanian foreign ministry strongly denied the information that the country has become home of US nukes. “In response to your request, Romanian MFA firmly dismisses the information you referred to,” a spokesperson wrote.

According to practice dating from the Cold War, leaked information regarding the presence of US nuclear weapons on European soil has never been officially confirmed. It is, however, public knowledge that Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy host US nuclear weapons.

After the failed putsch, relations between Washington and Ankara are at their worst since Turkey joined NATO in 1952. Ankara believes the US government supports the Turkish US-exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom it accuses of having masterminded the failed coup. Turkey is demanding Gülen’s extradition, and the issue is expected to take center stage when US Vice President Joe Biden visits Turkey on 24 August.

Arthur H. Hughes, a retired US ambassador, wrote in EurActiv yesterday (17 August) that Gülen has indeed received considerable assistance from the CIA.

Russia has capitalised on the stained US-Turkey relations and there are fears in Western capitals that NATO-member Turkey could draw even closer to Moscow – with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan bluntly making it clear he feels let down by the United States and the European Union.

***

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Homeowners reveal their deeds have disappeared from banks after years of 'safe keeping'

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 at 15:30

Home owners across the country have revealed that their property deeds have been disappearing from banks in recent years.

Callers to RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline this afternoon spoke about how they had lodged their title deeds with their banks and can now no longer access them.

One caller, Sylvia Briggs said she had lodged an envelope containing her deeds with her bank in Dublin 16 years ago but when she returned to collect them this year she was told the bank did not have the envelope.

Sylvia explained: “The year 2000 I went to Bank of Ireland, which was my bank, over in James’s street and I put it in an envelope for safe keeping, which was very obviously the title deeds to my house – that was in June 2000.

“I went back on the 29th May this year and I asked them for them. Now I did that on the phone and about two days later I rang, giving them time to retrieve them and they told me they hadn’t got them.

***

***

HEALTHY FOOD ADVICE

Eat Every Morning 1 Teaspoon Of Cinnamon Powder And See What Happens To Your Body In 45 Minutes!

July 23, 2016

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Hrana Sredina Golema

Cinnamon has always been used in beverages breakfast Quinoa with Lecha, Quaker or other juice.Cinnamon is a spice with rewarding aroma and flavor. And not only is a spice, but an ingredient that greatly benefits our health.

Cinnamon is a food rich in fiber because 1 00 g. This seasoning containing 54.30 g. fiber . This food also has a high amount of calcium. The amount of calcium is 1228 mg has per 100 g. With an amount of 38.07 mg per 100 grams, cinnamon is also one of the foods with more iron. Cinnamon is considered a “miracle food” and science has shown that its components provide substantial health benefits.

WHAT HAPPENS TO EAT YOUR BODY AFTER 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder?

After eating 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and then your body digests, after 45 minutes, this is what happens to your body:

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  • Your body responds to insulin more effectively and regulate sugar levels in the blood

  • the proper digestion of food and helps relieve intestinal discomfort

  • Reduce and combat the proliferation of cancer cells in our body

  • It produced an anticoagulant effect and improves blood circulation

  • We received a calming effect, especially for arthritis pain

  • bacterial growth is avoided in food

  • Increases cognitive function and memory, being highly recommended for people with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease

  • heart diseases are prevented and improved colon function

  • Expels cold body and prevent diseases caused by viruses and bacteria

  • We get more energy and avoid exhaustion, revitalizing our body

  • They decrease the damage caused by tissue over time, rejuvenating the body

  • growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors is reduced

  • Besides being very tasty, the benefits of cinnamon spice make this an alternative remedy of much value. Even prepared in an infusion can be an excellent natural remedy for motion sickness and nausea.

HOW TO USE THE cinnamon

Every morning add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder coffee, a lemon juice, any fruit juice , a cup of milk or a cup of tea of your choice. You can also add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to one tablespoon of honey. Anyway, the important thing is that you add the teaspoon of cinnamon to your daily diet and improve your health will achieve unimaginable proportions.

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

Cinnamon is generally safe to consume, but if you notice any allergic reaction such as dermatitis, avoid it.

It is not recommended for pregnant women or during lactation. Nor for children under 6 years.

If you suffer from Crohn’s disease or colitis is best not to consume, it is also contraindicated for people with liver disease.

***

Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? and whither shall I flee from my presence? If I should go up to heaven, thou art there: if I should go down to hell, thou art present. If I should spread my wings to fly straight forward, and sojourn at the extremity of the sea, it would be vain, for even there thy hand would guide me, and thy right hand would hold me.”
(Psalm 139:7-10)


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