The Turning Point in History
What mere human can choose his own birthplace? Or what mortal man can—or would—cause the officials of a foreign government to order his death by a terribly agonizing execution? How could anyone manipulate their bitter enemies to pay a specific price for their betrayal, mock and revile them as they are dying, much less cause a band of soldiers to gamble for their clothing and pierce their side after they’ve died, and cause a rich man to bury their body in his own personal tomb? Yet Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled not only these, but over 300 more specific predictions regarding His birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. Truly He was—and is—“unique” in every sense of the word!
Not one of the great recognized religious leaders—not Moses, not Buddha, not Confucius, not Mohammed—ever claimed to be God. True, some have been deified by their followers after they died, but none ever personally claimed to be deity.—That is, with the exception of Jesus Christ. In fact, He not only claimed to be the Son of God, God manifest in human flesh, but He convinced a great portion of the world that He in fact is God’s Son.
There is no reason to doubt that after His death, something incredible happened which transformed His tiny band of dejected followers into a company of witnesses whom all the persecution of Imperial Rome could not stop. Downhearted and discouraged, their Lord cruelly crucified by His enemies, it looked to those disciples as if their hopes had died and their dreams had been shattered.
But three days after Jesus’ death, their faith was rekindled in such a dramatic manner that no force on earth was able to quench it! And that lowly handful of His original followers went on to tell the entire world the Good News.—That God not only sent His Son into the world to teach us His truth and show us His love, but also that Jesus suffered death for our sake, and then rose from the grave.—So that we who know and believe on Him never need to fear death again, for we are saved and on our way to heaven, thanks to Jesus.
The New Testament also tells us that Jesus personally appeared to over 500 eyewitnesses after His resurrection.1 This was the resounding message that His first disciples boldly proclaimed throughout the world: “God raised Him from the dead!”2—From “Who Is Jesus,” TFI
Early Christianity was a “resurrection” movement through and through. … To preach the Resurrection is to announce the fact that the world is a different place, and that we have to live in that “different-ness.” The Resurrection is not just God doing a wacky miracle at one time. We have to preach it in a way that says this was the turning point in world history.—N. T. Wright
Belief in the resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith. It is the Christian faith.—George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury
Think of it! God sent His own Son, the very Lord of heaven, the master of the universe, down to earth to become one of us. He was miraculously conceived in the womb of a humble and lowly virgin named Mary, and took on the form of human flesh just like ours. Therefore He was the Son of Man as well as the Son of God.
Jesus not only adapted Himself to our bodily form, but He also conformed to our human ways of life, customs, language, dress, and living so that He might understand us better and be able to communicate with us on the lowly level of our human understanding. He became a citizen of this world, a member of humanity, a man of flesh, so that He might reach us with His love, prove to us His compassion and concern, and help us understand His message.
He came down and lived like us, worked like us, had to sleep like us, eat like us, and do everything that we have to do. There were times when He was weary, tired, and footsore, when He was hungry and thirsty, sad and discouraged. He became one of us, and as the Bible says, “was tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.”3
Jesus spent His time going around everywhere doing good—feeding people who were hungry, healing those who were sick, cheering and comforting those who were sad and brokenhearted. He loved everybody, even the poorest of the poor, and those whom everybody else looked down on.
He never had any kind of religious buildings, denominations, or formal congregations. He simply went out and met people on the streets, by the seashore, in the marketplaces—wherever He could reach them—and shared His message of love with all who would listen to it. He befriended even the most despised and rejected members of society: tax collectors, drunks, prostitutes, and sinners.
His religion of love was so simple that He said, “You must become as a little child to receive it.”4
Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross. He said, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.”5 He was the Son of God, and all the powers of the universe were at His disposal, at His command. He told His captors, “You could have no power over Me at all unless it was given to you from My Father. … I could lift My little finger and thousands of angels would immediately deliver Me from your hand.”6 He could have called on all the forces of heaven to slaughter His enemies, conquer Rome, and take over the world. But instead, He chose to lay down His life for you and me.
Why would the King of kings, the Lord of the universe, God in the flesh, allow himself to be captured, falsely accused, tried and condemned, whipped, stripped, and nailed to a cross like a common criminal? The answer is simple—because He loved you and me!
Three days after His lifeless body was buried, something happened that shocked His enemies and proved to all of His followers that He really was the Son of God: He rose from the dead, the victor over death and hell forever!
After His resurrection, He personally appeared to literally hundreds of His followers, encouraging, strengthening, and comforting them. He told them that He was going to return to be with His heavenly Father, but that He would always be with them in spirit, living in their hearts forever. He also gave His followers a wonderful promise, that one day, “I will come again.” The Son of Man shall “come in the clouds, with power and great majesty.”7—David Brandt Berg
Against the background of the modern predicament, the traditional Christian hope of the resurrection takes on an even greater brightness and significance. It tells man that he is no orphan after all, but the personal image of the Creator God of the universe; nor is his life doomed in death, for through the eschatological resurrection he may live in the presence of God forever.
This is a wonderful hope. But, of course, hope that is not founded in fact is not hope, but mere illusion. Why should the Christian hope of eschatological resurrection appear to modern man as anything more than mere wishful thinking? The answer lies in the Christian conviction that a man has been proleptically8 raised by God from the dead as the forerunner and exemplar of our own eschatological resurrection. That man was Jesus of Nazareth, and his historical resurrection from the dead constitutes the factual foundation upon which the Christian hope is based.—William Lane Craig
The entire plan for the future has its key in the resurrection.—Billy Graham
I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned, and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world—and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.—Charles Colson
See, then, the power of His resurrection—it proves without a doubt the faith once delivered to the saints. Supported by infallible proofs, it becomes itself the infallible proof of the authority, power, and glory of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God … the power of our Lord’s resurrection is an evidencing power … a justifying power, a life-giving power, and a consoling power.—Charles H. Spurgeon
The blessings of the Gospel are substantial facts and not mere theological opinions. As the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead was a plain visible matter of fact, such is the evidencing power of the resurrection of Christ, that when every other argument fails your faith, you may find safe anchorage in this assured fact. The currents of doubt may bear you towards the rocks of mistrust. But when your anchor finds no other hold, it may grip the fact of the resurrection of Christ from the dead. This must be true. The witnesses are too many to have been deceived. And their patient deaths on account of their belief proved that they were not only honest men but good men who valued the Truth of God more than life. We know that Jesus rose from the dead—whatever else we are forced to question, we have no question on that score. We may be tossed about upon the sea in reference to other statements, but we step to shore again and find terra firma in this unquestionable, firmly established Truth—“The Lord is risen, indeed.”—Charles H. Spurgeon
There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three.—Billy Graham
Historical argument alone cannot force anyone to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. But historical argument is remarkably good at clearing away the undergrowth behind which skepticisms of various sorts have been hiding. The proposal that Jesus was bodily raised from the dead possesses unrivaled power to explain the historical data at the heart of early Christianity.—N. T. Wright
It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.—Paul addressing Governor Felix, Acts 24:21
'BLOOD MOONS' A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO AMERICA?
Published: April 14, 2014
Blood moon seen through church steeple
While most of the U.S. is asleep Monday night, an astronomical phenomenon some mark as a sign of God’s judgment will blaze uniquely across the skies of North America.
The first of four, consecutive, total lunar eclipses, which cause a roughly hour-long reddening of the moon known as a “Blood Moon,” will become visible beginning at 12:53 a.m. ET on Tuesday, April 15.
Tuesday’s blood moon is part of a “tetrad,” a set of complete and consecutive lunar eclipses that will continue in roughly six-month intervals until October 2015.
Some consider it nothing more than an alignment of the heavens, but others are watching much more closely, because of the alignment with biblical prophecy.
Some, such as Pastor Mark Biltz, author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” have noticed each of the tetrad’s blood moons fall on Jewish holidays through this year and next.
“We are on the verge of witnessing something historic,” said Biltz, who discovered the blood moons phenomenon in 2007. “This has happened only eight times over the last 2,000 years! And the last two times these occurred on the Jewish holidays there was a war in the Middle East regarding the nation of Israel. These are patterns and historical facts that cannot be disregarded. The Jewish Talmud records that total lunar eclipses are indicators or omens for the nation of Israel.”
Biltz will discuss the confluence of astronomical and biblical events during an appearance on “The Today Show,” on Monday, April 15.
Best selling author and televangelist Pastor John Hagee claims the four blood moons that will soon appear in the skies over America are evidence of a future “world-shaking event.”
And author Doug Drake noted that for sleeping Americans, the appearance of the blood moons over our skies may have special significance.
“Maybe the message is for us ‘sleepers’ here in the United States,” Drake wrote in a blog post. “We have turned from our faith in the God of Bible. Maybe He has a message for us; or maybe not.”
Drake recognized the words of the Bible’s 1 Thessalonians 5 speak directly to the signs of the times and those who “sleep” while God is moving:
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken be drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore, comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 KJV).
And while NASA predicts there will be several tetrads in the 21st century, North Americans will have the best view of the first, beginning Monday night.
“The most unique thing about the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the USA,” NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak told CNN.
Biltz notes there’s something else unique about this tetrad: it’s convergence with biblical holy days.
The April 15 event, for example, happens during Passover. On Oct. 8, the blood moon will occur during the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. Another blood moon will occur during Passover on April 4, 2015. The last will happen on Sept. 28, 2015, another Feast of the Tabernacles.
Historically, a tetrad also occurred in 1493, while the Jews were being expelled from Spain. Another tetrad occurred in 1949, soon after the state of Israel was founded. The last tetrad happened in 1967, during the Six-Day War between Arabs and Israelis.
Biltz discovered what has become the “blood moon phenomenon” back in 2007, researching the correlation between when blood moons fell on feast days and key historical world events. He found the divine link between prophecy, heavenly signs, historical events, and when they intersect.
His new book “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs” details the science of astronomy in light of Bible prophecy. He began to teach and explain his discovery of a series of lunar and solar eclipses that happened at the same time important dates (Passover, Feast of Tabernacles) on the Hebrew calendar.
“Blood Moons” was released nationwide March 18, and has consistently been one of the top books sold on Amazon.com. A full-length documentary produced by WND Films and featuring Biltz was also released the same day.
As Passover nears, millions of people around the world are watching with anticipation for the moon to turn blood red with the first eclipse.
But Biltz said that to really understand the meaning, it’s important to know the seasons, feasts and calendar of the Lord.
Biltz, founder of El Shaddai Ministries, is a well-known commentator on the feasts of the Lord who has spoken in Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and throughout the United States.
When he appeared on The Jim Bakker Show, host Jim Bakker called Biltz’ work, “the most important book of the times.”
Biltz spent two-days recording interviews with Lori and Jim Bakker at their Christian retreat in Branson, Mo., with Bakker saying that these upcoming broadcasts will tell “the definitive story of the impending blood moons by the man who discovered the astronomical relationship behind the prophecy, heavenly signs and when they intersect.”
Bakker told Pastor Biltz that he read “Blood Moons” in exactly one setting, spending an entire night consuming every page and detail set forth in the book.
Joseph Farah, who wrote the foreword to “Blood Moons,” spoke with Pastor Biltz about the importance of being on God’s calendar, as outlined in Genesis 1:14.
Farah said: “You are the ‘blood moons’ guy, you are the discoverer of something that has become a phenomenon around the world. People recognizing God has given us heavenly signs for our times. And talking about time, the whole world is on a seven-day calendar and has been since God created the world. It’s in Genesis. What’s so significant about those seven days unless it came from the hand of God?”
Biltz said “mankind has been trying to change the seven day week forever, but it’s set in concrete, and this is what God created, despite man’s greatest endeavors.”
“This is God’s calendar,” he said.
Israeli Institute Prepares Priests for Jerusalem's Third Temple
The movement to rebuild Jerusalem's third temple expands.
An aerial view of the Old City of Jerusalem. An organization of Israeli temples is preparing priests for the the reconstruction of the city's historic third temple.
April 10, 2014
By: Yuval Avivi, Contributor for Al-Monitor
On April 10, at 5 p.m., hundreds of Jews will gather at the Maimonides rabbinical institution plaza in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem and start learning the Jewish laws of Passover. Rabbis and experts, including Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the head of the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem, the leading body preparing for the establishment of the third temple, will teach the audience the laws of the Passover sacrifice. Alongside Ariel, the ritual slaughterer (shohet) Rabbi Yehudah Giatt will teach the audience about the unique elements of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifice. After the lessons, the real thing will start: the simulation of the Passover sacrifice.
The timing of the gathering isn’t coincidental: This was the date on which the people of Israel were commanded to take a lamb and sacrifice it, before the exodus from Egypt. The ceremony on Thursday will be, in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) lingo, “practice with live fire.” Slaughtering lambs, sprinkling their blood on the altar by priests dressed in kosher priestly garments and roasting the lambs, with their heads, legs and innards. Just as God intended.
This isn’t the first time that the "Association of Temple Organizations" will hold this activity, but this year the practice drill and re-enactment of the Passover sacrifice will be carried out by the students of the school for priests, Nezer Ha-kodesh, which started operating this year. The priest school intends to train the hundreds of priests that would be needed to work at the third temple; many Jews endeavor for its establishment in Israel today.
Ten students, who got to the priests school by word of mouth, paid 1,000 shekels (some $290), a relatively small sum, for twice-weekly lessons, three hours each, that teach “how to be priests.” The director of the school, Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman, hopes that the school will be more properly publicized next year and that more students will arrive. “The rabbis say that the minimum necessary is 13 priests in the temple to carry out the mandatory sacrifices. If you’re talking about a fully operating temple, where people bring their own sacrifices, it’s a place where hundreds of priests work daily,” he says. “In the days of old, a father and grandfather would teach the grandson and son how to be a priest, the commandments and laws. Today, they have to take a course. The prayer to establish the temple has no meaning if we don’t actually prepare for it. Think what would happen if tomorrow you got a functioning temple and don’t have priests.”
There are a great many laws for the temple, some of which have been forgotten and faded over the years: how to use incense, how to light the holy menorah, how to sanctify hands and feet, and of course, how to sacrifice. “The priests themselves come with requests to learn one topic or another. We are also learning as we go how the course should look. The students are very practical and focused,” explains Friedman.
At the Temple Institute, researchers are working hard to relearn the laws as well as study the architecture, location and necessary tools. “One of the unique elements of the course,” says Friedman, “is the actual practice. In my course, they learned how to sacrifice birds, so we brought stuffed doves, so that the priests would learn how to hold them, how to execute the specific moves. We work on standing in front of the altar to demonstrate the action, so that it’ll become natural to them.”
For the temple people, the priests’ course is an advanced stage that follows the completion of quite a few steps. First of all is the level of consciousness. For many years, say those working to establish the third temple, religious Zionism and the State of Israel worked to focus Jewish longing on the Western Wall.
Bible History Daily
Canaanite Fortress Discovered in the City of David
Bible and archaeology news
Robin Ngo • 04/07/2014
A massive 3,800-year-old fortress that protected the Gihon Spring was uncovered in the City of David. Photo: Eli Mandelbaum, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Excavations around the Gihon Spring in the City of David have uncovered a massive 3,800-year-old fortress. Called the “Spring Citadel” by archaeologists, the discovery is part of a 15-year excavation led by Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukrun of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
This enormous 18th-century B.C.E. structure that isolates and protects the Gihon Spring is believed to be the fortress described in the Book of Samuel that King David conquered:
The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, even the blind and the lame will turn you back”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.” Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, which is now the city of David. 2 Samuel 5:6–7
The Gihon Spring was also the site where King Solomon was crowned, according to the Book of Kings:
King David said, “Summon to me the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. There let the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet, and say, “Long live King Solomon!” 1 Kings 1:32–34
According to Oriya Dasberg, director of development in the City of David, “The Spring Citadel was built in order to save and protect the water of the city from enemies coming to conquer it, as well as to protect the people going down to the spring to get water and bring it back up to the city.”
With 23-foot-thick walls comprised of stone blocks up to ten feet wide, the Spring Citadel represents the largest Canaanite fortress discovered thus far in Israel.
Vatican rejects “chosen people” claim, calls on Israel to end “occupation”
Published time: October 30, 2010 18:49
Edited time: October 30, 2010 18:49
A high-ranking Israeli official on Sunday slammed a statement from Catholic bishops, who called for international organizations to lead the cause of Palestinian statehood.
Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros sparked an interreligious firestorm when he suggested that Israel was “using Scripture” to continue its occupation of Palestinian territory.
"The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians,” Bustros said at the close of a two-week conference in Rome, Italy, “to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.”
The Archbishop then questioned the biblical idea of a “promised land” set aside by a specific group of people.
"We Christians cannot speak of the promised land as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people,” Bustros continued. "This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people."
Bustros led the group that drafted the synod's concluding statement on Israel and the Palestinians.
The controversial comments came at the conclusion of a two-week Vatican conference assembled to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
Pope Benedict XVI was in attendance at the synod and celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Cathedral on Sunday with the bishops.
On Sunday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon criticized the concluding statement of the conference, saying the forum has been “hijacked by an anti-Israeli majority."
"We express our disappointment that this important synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda," Ayalon said in a statement. "The synod was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority."
Ayalon then called on the Vatican to distance itself from the comments, which the Israeli official said amounted to “libel.”
"We call on the Vatican to distance themselves from Archbishop Bustros' comments which are a libel against the Jewish People and the State of Israel and should not be construed as the Vatican's official position," the foreign minister said in his statement. "These outrageous comments should not cast a shadow over the important relationship between the Vatican, the state of Israel and the Jewish people."
The Palestinian Authority, however, praised Bustros’ comments.
"Israel cannot use the biblical concept of a promised land or chosen people to justify new settlements in Jerusalem or Israeli territorial claims," Saeb Erakat, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement released Sunday.
Erakat said the synod sent "a clear a message to the government of Israel that it may not claim that Jerusalem is an exclusively Israeli city."
"The Palestinian people will thus have an independent and sovereign homeland where they can live with dignity and security," the statement continued optimistically. "The State of Israel will be able to enjoy peace and security within their internationally recognized borders."
"The Holy City of Jerusalem will be able to acquire its proper status, which respects its particular character, its holiness and the religious patrimony of the three religions: Jewish, Christian and Muslim," it said. "We hope that the two-state-solution might become a reality and not a dream only."
Pope Benedict XVI first called for a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis during a visit to the region in May 2009 when he voiced the Vatican's support of a sovereign Palestinian homeland. At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was opposed to a two-state solution.
The Vatican, however, eager to boost its sagging popularity worldwide, noted during the synod that only 2.1 per cent of those living in Israel are Christian, who continue to be outnumbered by high Jewish and Muslim birthrates.
The Catholic Church also mentioned conflict, religious discrimination and economic woes as the cause of its shrinking influence in the Middle East.
No sign of apology
The Vatican in January blamed Israel not only for the exodus of Christians from Palestinian-controlled territories, but for the plight of Christians across the entire Middle East.
The statement, which served as the basis for the latest Vatican synod, was also authored by Arab bishops from the Middle East, who argued that Israel’s "occupation" of Arab-claimed lands is the root cause of most of the oppression suffered by Christians in the region.
They suggested that in the absence of an "occupation," radical Islamic forces across the Middle East would lose their support base, and stop causing problems for Christians.
The Vatican said they were not trying to take sides in the issue, but that the Arab bishops “know the situation well.”
This is not the first time of late that religious tensions have boiled over between the adherents of Judaism and Christianity.
Earlier this year, the Catholic Church became suddenly embroiled in a string of pedophile cases, some of them dating back many years. Some inside of the Catholic Church saw a “Jewish conspiracy” behind the reports.
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Meridiaga, the archbishop of Honduras, said there was something curious about the media’s timing of the revelations, coming as they did as the conflict in the Middle East was heating up.
"It certainly makes me think that in a moment in which all the attention of the mass media was focused on the Middle East, all the many injustices done against the Palestinian people, the print media and the TV in the United States became obsessed with sexual scandals that happened 40 years ago, 30 years ago…"
L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's daily newspaper, criticized what it said was a "clear and despicable intention" by the media to strike at Benedict "at any cost."
American lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a well known defender of Israeli interests, called the Cardinal’s assertions a “cockamamie theory” and “blood libels,” while arguing that much of the criticism (concerning the pedophile cases) “comes from disappointed Catholics.”
Strange how two religions that emerged from the same seed are so committed to dragging each other down at every opportunity.
Robert Bridge, RT
TURKISH MILITARY ASSISTS ATTACK ON CHRISTIANS
Evokes memory of Armenian genocide a century ago
Published: April 13,2014
F. MICHAEL MALOOF
WASHINGTON – The Turkish military is actively assisting foreign-backed Sunni Islamic militants who are routing Christian Armenians from the northwestern Syrian town of Kassab, Syrian and Lebanese sources told WND.
The Armenians are being forced to seek refuge in the Syrian city of Latakia.
While there have been numerous reports of Islamic militant groups such as the al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and the ISIS attacking Syrian Christians, the attack on Armenian Christians in Syria by Turkey has brought back memories of the Ottoman Turk attacks on Christian Armenians.
The Turkish attacks beginning in 1915 and lasting until 1923 killed more 1.5 million people and has been regarded by many experts as genocide.
As a result, many hundreds of thousands of Armenians fled to neighboring Syria and Lebanon to seek refuge and reestablish Armenian communities.
In addition to some 120,000 Armenian Christians, the government of embattled Shiite-Alawite President Bashar al-Assad has been protecting Christian Syriacs, Marionites and Eastern Orthodox believers.
Beginning last March 21, Sunni rebels have expelled some 5,000 Armenian Christians from their historic town, violently attacking the residents and desecrating their churches. Sources say the al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists then occupied the town’s abandoned homes and businesses.
The Armenian refugees fled some 35 miles, mostly on foot, to Latakia, a Syrian Army stronghold. There also is a sizeable Christian population in Latakia.
The Turkish government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied any involvement in aiding al-Nusra militants, even though Erdogan, who also is Sunni, has allowed the Syrian opposition and al-Nusra militants to use his country as a base from which to launch military operations, hold meetings and store supplies.
Sources told WND that Turkish military personnel manning the border between Turkey and Syria allowed the foreign Islamic militants to pass without interference.
The sources also report that al-Nusra fighters have taken control of the Kassab border crossing into Turkey.
According to Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi, the Turkish government is facilitating the infiltration of foreign militants into Kassab. He said such assistance violates international resolutions, since it constitutes involvement in terrorism.
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian also expressed concern about the fate of the Christian Armenians in Kassab.
“About 120,000 ethnic Armenians live in Syria – in Kassab and other areas,” he said. “Military actions and the humanitarian situation have forced ethnic Armenians to leave the city.”
Lebanese sources told WND that given the Sunni attacks on the Christian Armenians in Syria, it is possible that the Iranian-backed Shiite group Hezbollah will intervene to protect them and get back Kassab.
Pointing to the threat from al-Nusra, whose members increasingly are descending on Lebanon, sources say that the Armenian Christians have asked Hezbollah for protection in the country.
The Armenian Christians are a relatively small minority group in Lebanon but have sided with most of the other Lebanese Christians to seek Hezbollah’s protection.
In addition, Lebanese sources say that the Armenians in Lebanon are training a small militia which they have organized to protect against attacks from the Sunni al-Nusra group.
In 2000, the Lebanese parliament voted to recognize the turn-of-the-century Turkish killing of Armenians as genocide. It is the only Arab country and one of the few countries in the world that has done so.
Al-Qaeda Seizes Anbar Dam, Floods Out Troops Near Fallujah
Maliki Vows Revenge as Water Shortages Grow on the Euphrates
by Jason Ditz, April 11, 2014
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is continuing to expand its gains in the Anbar Province, seizing a strategically valuable dam on the Euphrates river, giving them considerable control of Iraq’s water supply.
Underscoring just how valuable a prize the dam is, the militants closed a series of flood gates last week, flooding the area along the river being used by the Iraqi military as a staging area for an offensive against AQI-held Fallujah, and forcing the troops to retreat.
The closure of the gates has also significantly lowered water levels downstream, causing major electricity shortages in towns that use the river’s flow to generate energy, and also threatening irrigation in several Shi’ite cities.
AQI didn’t leave the gates closed for all that long, however, and reopened many of them for fear that the flooding might expand into their own territory.
Iraq’s Water Ministry dubbed the move a “heinous crime,” while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed to exact revenge for the loss of the dam with a full-scale military offensive.
STOCKS DIVE AS RUSSIA ABANDONS U.S. DOLLAR
Moscow accelerates move in retaliation for Obama sanctions
Published: April 13, 2014
JEROME R. CORSI
NEW YORK – The stock market dive Friday that brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average to near 16,000 and the Nasdaq to below 4,000 might reflect an accelerated move by Russia away from the petrodollar in retaliation for the Obama administration’s threatened economic sanctions over Russia’s takeover of Crimea.
Russia’s politically motivated attack on the petrodollar could trigger a major U.S. stock market collapse amid a global loss of confidence in the dollar caused by the Federal Reserve’s continuing policy of buying billions of dollars monthly in U.S. Treasury debt.
The Fed hopes to stimulate the economy by artificially keeping already depressed interest rates at zero.
With the Fed having limited options to address a panic caused by a bear market that could continue into next week, the risk of heavy selling of the U.S. dollar in international markets could raise prices in the increasingly import-dependent U.S. economy.
Hyperinflation could result, pushing the struggling economic recovery into a renewed economic recession.
On Friday, the third straight day of stock market losses, the Nasdaq plunged 54.37 points, or 1.3 percent, to 3,999.73. The Dow dropped 143.47 points, or 0.9 percent to 16,026.75, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 17.39 points, or 1 percent, to 1,815.69.
U.S.A. Today reported Friday that after the market selloff last week, investors remain jittery as the Nasdaq has dropped 3.1 percent, its worst plunge since November 2011, the S&P 500 has fallen 4 percent from its record high close of April 2 and is 1.8 percent lower for the year, while the Dow has retreated 3.3 percent from its Dec. 31 record close of 16,576.66.
Economist Peter Koenig, a former staff member of the World Bank, warned last week Russia is in the process of abandoning the “petro-dollar” as the trading unit for oil and gas transactions, with Russian hydrocarbon trade estimated at approximately a trillion dollars per year.
“The main supporters of this plan are Sergey Glaziev, the economic aide of the Russian president and Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, the biggest Russian oil company and a close ally of Vladimir Putin,” noted Voice of Russia radio April 4. “Both have been very vocal in their quest to replace the dollar with the Russian ruble. Now, several top Russian officials are pushing the plan forward.”
On March 21, Reuters reported Russia and China were close to finalizing a “Holy Grail” deal in which the Russian state-owned gas firm Gazprom would pump 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to China starting in 2018. The gas would flow through the first pipeline between the world’s largest supplier of natural gas and the world’s largest user of natural gas, with the transactions to be valued in the Russian ruble, Chinese yuan or possibly in gold.
ZeroHedge.com, an economic blog that has been warning Russia’s war on the petrodollar could trigger a major collapse in U.S. stock markets, reported March 20 that Putin thanked China for standing by Russia in Crimea.
In addition to negotiating energy deals with China, Russia is also continuing to negotiate a deal with Iran to barter 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day for Russian goods. The deal would enable Iran to sell an additional $20 billion in crude oil without having to value the transactions in dollars.
Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., warned President Obama in a letter addressed to the White House that if Iran “moves forward with this effort to evade U.S. sanctions and violate the terms of oil relief provided for in the [Iranian interim nuclear deal reached in Geneva in November 2013], the United States should respond by re-instating the crude oil sanctions, rigorously enforcing significant reductions in global purchases of Iranian crude oil, and sanctioning any violations to the fullest extent of law.”
Era of dollar debasement
Economist John Williams, editor of the ShadowStats.com economic blog, has warned that the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing, or QE, committing the Fed to buy U.S. Treasury and agency-issued debt, has undermined worldwide confidence in the dollar.
As WND reported, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated in March that the Federal Reserve had not yet done enough to combat unemployment even after holding interest rates near zero for more than five years and engaging in a policy of Quantitative Easing that has pumped its balance sheet to $4.23 trillion.
Yellen’s remarks were widely interpreted by investors as indicating the Federal Reserve would continuing buying U.S. debt for the foreseeable future.
Under Yellen’s direction, the Fed has engaged in a policy of “tapering” the amount of QE, reducing by $10 billion a month the amount of U.S. debt the Fed purchases, with the aim of reducing the $85 billion a month amount of QE under former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to zero before the end of the year.
Williams warned in an April 2 commentary: “With the federal government and Federal Reserve locked into their respective systemic-destructive fiscal and monetary policies, a related, continuing massive loss of global and domestic confidence in the U.S. dollar, should lead to an outright dumping of the U.S. currency in the global markets, setting the initial stages of a hyperinflationary great depression.”
“The timing of the hyperinflation onset by the end of 2014 remains in place, with the odds of that occurrence estimated at 90 percent,” he wrote.
Williams continues to maintain that gold remains “the basic hedge for preserving the purchasing power of one’s wealth and assets in this still-developing era of dollar debasement.”
In his weekly newsletter published Friday, Williams warned that weak economic fundamentals remain suggestive of deteriorating business activity. The dollar is expected to continuing weakening on international currency markets as a result of the pressure on the Fed to continue buying billions of dollars of U.S. government-issued debt monthly.
In January, WND reported fears that rising interest rates would trigger a major downward stock market adjustment.
Last week, the dollar weakened against the euro and the British pound after the publication of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting. Yellen once again affirmed the Fed would consider allowing interest rates to rise six months after concluding the QE bond-buying program later this year.
After the publication of the FOMC minutes, the euro rose 0.4 percent against the dollar to $1.3852, its highest level since March 24, and the dollar fell against the British pound to $1.6801, the lowest level since Feb. 17.
On Tuesday, WND reported margin debt, the loans made by stock brokers to permit investor clients to buy stocks on credit, has reached a record high of $466 billion, approaching for the first time half a trillion dollars.
Borrowing to buy stocks works only as long as the stock market is going up in value. When the market levels off or begins to drop significantly in value, investors buying stocks on credit run the risk of having borrowed money on a losing proposition.
In the extreme, when an investor’s account begins to lose value in a stock market adjusting downward, a brokerage firm can initiate a “margin call,” forcing the investor either to liquidate stocks or to add money to the account to maintain the ratios demanded by federal regulators between the amount of money borrowed on margin and the underlying value of the stocks purchased.
Europe Folds As Putin Tells It To Pay Ukraine's Gazprom Bill, Or Else
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/11/2014 10:03 -0400
Another day ending in "y" means another day in which Putin plays the G(roup of most insolvent countries)-7 like a fiddle.
The latest: Europe should provide aid to Ukraine to ensure uninterrupted natural-gas deliveries to the region, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said as reported by Bloomberg.
"Russia is the only country helping Ukraine’s economy with energy supplies that are not paid for," Dmitry Peskov told reporters today in Moscow, commenting on President Vladimir Putin’s letter yesterday to 18 European heads of state. “The letter is a call to immediately review this situation, which is absurd on the one hand and critical on the other.
Said otherwise: PUTIN SAYS EUROPE GAS TRANSIT DEPENDS ON UKRAINE: IFX
Or, as we explained yesterday, Russia is quite happy to keep the EU gas flowing... as long as Ukraine has enough gas in storage to assure Gazprom it won't syphon off gas destined for Europe. So how much gas does Ukraine need to pre-stock? About $4-5 billion worth. The problem is that Ukraine doesn't have a dime to spend on gas.
So putting the question aside if Ukraine will or won't import even one bcf of Russian gas ever again (thanks to some fracking or US natgas exporting magic), what Putin just said is that if Europe wants an uninterrupted supply of gas it better find a way to fund Ukraine to the tune of up to $5 billion, or else the gas may just get shut off.
And guess what: Putin is about to win yet again:
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger is working on a plan to help Ukraine pay some of its gas bills to Russia, he told Austria's ORF radio on Friday, saying there was "no reason to panic" about Russian gas supplies to Europe.
"We are in close contact with Ukraine and its gas company to ensure that Ukraine remains able to pay and the debts that the gas company has to Gazprom do not rise further," he said, adding he would meet Ukraine's energy and foreign ministers on Monday.
"I am preparing a solution that is part of the aid package that the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank is giving to Ukraine and from which payment for open bills will be possible."
The chass game continues: Putin X+1 - Pidgeons 0
Fars News Agency
Russian FM: West 'Off Scale' Hypocrisy over Ukraine
Monday April 14, 2014
TEHRAN (FNA)- Western countries of "off the scale" hypocrisy over the crisis in Ukraine where protests in the Southeast led to fresh violence at the weekend, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
"We can remember when violence on Maidan that ended with dozens and dozens of deaths was called democracy, while peaceful protests that are ongoing now in Southeastern Ukraine are called terrorism," Lavrov said, Voice of Russia reported.
"The hypocrisy is off the scale", he said.
'Try not paying your gas bill for just 3 months, see what happens'
Published time: April 12, 2014 03:46
Russia has to stop gas subsidies to Ukraine as it cannot keep supporting the bankrupt anti-Russian regime in Kiev, energy asset manager Eric Kraus told RT, adding that it will be the EU's problem if Ukraine eventually starts stealing their transit gas.
RT: Ukraine says it wants heavily discounted gas from Russia. Does it have grounds to ask for that?
Eric Kraus: I think it is fairly absurd considering that you have a strongly anti-Russian regime which has been brought into place by the Europeans and by the Americans in Kiev. You can't really ask the Russians to fund this regime, can you?
RT: On the other hand, Russia has doubled prices in the span of just a few months, perhaps some calling that too harsh?
EK: It is harsh, but basically what they did is not double prices. What they did is they removed subsidies.
Russia has been very heavily subsidizing Ukraine, since Ukraine became independent, because they needed a friendly, at least a neutral state at their border. Now if Ukraine wants to align itself with NATO and basically anti-Russian countries, then they are going to have to pay their own way.
RT: The US says Russia's blackmailing Ukraine and Europe and says Moscow should not use gas as a political weapon. And president Putin reacted to the statements joking, it is bad to read other people's correspondence. What is your reaction?
EK: First of all for the Americans to accuse anyone of using economic blackmail is a major case of the pot calling the kettle black. They have been threatening illegal sanctions against Russia for weeks. So, who is using the blackmail here? And secondly, yes, the letter was not addressed to the American president.
RT: Ukraine hasn't paid for gas in three months. What are Russia's options now?
EK: Try not paying your gas bill for three months and then see what happens. Basically at some point Russia says it sells gas for money and at some point if the client does not pay, they have to close it off.
The problem is then, the danger is that Ukraine will start siphoning off the Russian gas which is being provided to Europe. And the Europeans brought this upon themselves. It is a European problem. They're going to have to solve it. They can simply pay for Ukraine's gas if they wish.
RT: There have been reports that several petroleum companies have allegedly discovered a mother lode of shale gas in Western Ukraine, near the European border. What kind of implications could that bring to the table?
EK: We have been hearing about the Ukrainian shale gas for a long time. All of the attempts to produce thus far have been failures, as has been the case for Polish shale gas. The geology is somewhat different. I don't know if this time it is for real, but it will have major implications for the European, at least for Ukrainian gas supply. But I would be very skeptical until we see this confirmed.
RT: Who do you think is to blame at the end of the day for the crisis in Ukraine?
EK: I think it has started as a democratic movement against particularly corrupt and incompetent president who was never Mr. Putin's choice by the way. Mr. Putin never liked Yanukovich.
Unfortunately as the revolutionary movement progressed, it was replaced by a vanguard of neo-fascists of far right wing parties which then took power by violence ,and are now complaining of eastern Ukrainians seeking to take power by that same violence.
The problem has been that the Europeans and the Americans have been attempting to use this. They are not concerned with the interests of the Ukrainian people. There is a game of power politics here and they are trying to push Russia into a corner and Ukraine provides convenient means of doing so.
France is the new cauldron of Eurosceptic revolution
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Britain is marginal to the great debate on Europe. France is the linchpin, fast becoming a cauldron of Eurosceptic/Poujadist views on the Right, anti-EMU reflationary Keynesian views on the Left, mixed with soul-searching over the wisdom of monetary union across the French establishment.
Marine Le Pen’s Front National leads the latest IFOP poll for the European elections next month at 24pc. Her platform calls for immediate steps to ditch the euro and restore the franc (“franc des Anglais” in origin, rid of the English oppressors), and to hold a referendum on withdrawal from the EU.
The Gaullistes are at 22.5pc. The great centre-Right party of post-War French politics is failing dismally to capitalise on the collapse in support for President François Hollande.
The Parti Socialiste is trailing at 20.5pc. The Leftist Front de Gauche is at 8.5pc and they are not exactly friends of Brussels.
The heirs to Charles de Gaulle are watching their Right flank peel way to the Front National, just as the Tory flank has been peeling away to Ukip. Needless to say, they don’t like it. A party gathering over the weekend was a hubbub of Eurosceptic dissent.
Xavier Bertrand, the former employment minister, said it is time to abandon the Franco-German axis that has been the guiding principle of French foreign and economic policy for half a century. “It’s important but it shouldn’t be the alpha and omega of France’s vision,” he said.
“How can we pursue an energy policy if the interests of France and Germany are so different. It is better to work with the English on this subject, and the same goes for European defence. Let us recognise that the alignment with Germany is stopping us pushing for another ECB policy, one that favours growth and jobs,” he said.
This refrain was picked up in an astonishing column in Le Figaro by former editor Philippe Villin last Friday in which he called for a Latin front led by France and Italy to blow up the euro.
In an open letter to Italian leader Matteo Renzi – just 17 years old at the time of Maastricht, and therefore uncompromised and free of EMU’s Original Sin – he warns the young leader that there is no hope of lifting Italy out of its low-growth debt-trap without a “return to the lira.”
Even if the euro fell to 1:1 against the dollar it still would not be enough to save Italy – says Mr Villin – since the intra-EMU gulf with Germany would remain.
He tells Mr Renzi to undertake a tour of southern capitals to forge a Latin alliance, then march on Berlin to inform Chancellor Angela Merkel that monetary union has become untenable. He should warn her that the end has come unless Germany does more than the bare minimum to keep EMU afloat.
She will of course refuse to budge – says Mr Villin – but that is not the point. The young Italian’s actions would set off market alarm, causing a precipitous drop in the euro and a bond crisis. This would be deliberate, if dangerous. It would force Germany to face up the choice it has so far evaded: accept a genuine fiscal/transfer union, or leave EMU. Mr Villin obviously prefers the latter. (So does the Bundesbank in my view.) “By precipitating this drama, you would save Europe and the Europeans”, he said.
I pass this on so readers can make their own judgment, reserving my own. What is striking is how such thoughts are gaining currency (excuse the pun) in the French political debate.
Three books have recently appeared arguing that the euro must be broken up in order to clear the way for genuine economic recovery, or even to save the European Project.
1. François Heisbourg, “La Fin du Rêve Européen”
2. Coralie Delaume, “Europe Les Etats désunis”
3. Steve Ohana, “Désobéir pour sauver l'Europe”
A further book by statesman Jean-Pierre Chevènement — “1914-2014: L’Europe sortie de l’Histoire?” – makes a fascinating case the EU has lost its way because it wrongly blamed “nationalism” for causing the two world wars. It has tried to build a superstate edifice by denying the nation-state soul of the European peoples (plural). Fine stuff.
France is a country “animated by a spirit of rational liberty”, to borrow from Edmund Burke, and it has always seemed obvious to me that it would not fore ever tolerate mass unemployment, fiscal infeudation to Berlin-Brussels, and a state of affairs that has become so noxious in so many ways. It is hardly surprising that it is at last in the grip of a fresh revolution.
The Gaullistes are divided. The old guard will of course yield no ground on EMU. They cannot do so because they have worshipped at this altar all their lives. Some relative reformists are now clutching at the flimsiest of straws.
Laurent Wauquiez – a former Europe minister, no less – has just written a book “Europe, il faut tout changer” (Europe, we must change everything) in which he calls for a return to a euro hard-core of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Holland.
This strikes me as unworkable. Are they going to relegate the Slovenes, Slovaks, Finns, Latvians or Portuguese to non-voting status, or freeze them out of EMU altogether? You cannot run Europe on that kind of capricious basis. Such thinking does however show the intellectual policy swamp that has engulfed the grand venture of monetary union.
In the meantime, of course, we are assured that the EMU crisis is entirely behind us. Sunlit uplands lie ahead. This moment of malaise will pass. Yes, and pink elephants will fly over Mare Nostrum.
MailOnline (Edited from longer article.)
Investigators reveal MH370 co-pilot tried to make a call from his mobile phone after the aircraft 'vanished' but 'was abruptly cut off' as U.S. deny reports the plane landed at their remote military base
Investigators say call was made from Fariq Abdul Hamid's mobile phone
It was flying low enough for a sub-station in Penang to pick up signal
Details of who Fariq was trying to call have not been disclosed
It possible for a mobile phone to be connected at an altitude of 7,000 feet
U.S. denies reports plane landed at base on remote island of Diego Garcia
By RICHARD SHEARS and TARA BRADY
PUBLISHED: 04:31 EST, 12 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:52 EST, 12 April 2014
The co-pilot of missing flight MH370 made a call from his mobile phone while the aircraft flew low over the west coast of Malaysia, it was revealed today as the U.S. denied reports the plane landed at a military base on the remote island of Diego Garcia.
Investigators have learned that the call was made from Fariq Abdul Hamid's mobile phone as the Boeing 777 flew low near the island of Penang, on the north of Malaysia's west coast.
The New Straits Times reported the aircraft, with 239 people on board, was flying low enough for the nearest telecommunications tower to pick up Fariq's signal.
The call ended abrupty, however it has been learned that contact was definitely established with a telecommunications sub-station in Penang state.
The paper said it had been unable to ascertain who Fariq was trying to call 'as sources chose not to divulge details of the investigation.'
It added: 'The telco's (telecommunications company's) tower established the call that he was trying to make.
'On why the call was cut off, it was likely because the aircraft was fast moving away from the tower and had not come under the coverage of the next one,' the paper said, quoting 'sources'.
The paper added that it had also been established that Fariq's last communication was through the WhatsApp Messenger app and that it had been made at about 11.30pm on March 7, shortly before he boarded the aircraft for the six-hour flight to Beijing.
The race to find MH370: Eight countries using 17 vessels and 19 aircraft in the hunt for missing plane’s black box lying 15,000ft at the bottom of the Indian Ocean
Revealed: Kate's Aussie convict relatives who can trace their roots to a lamb stealing labourer
The New Straits Times said it had been told checks on Fariq's phone history showed that the last person he spoke to was 'one of his regular contacts - 'a number that frequently appears on his outgoing phone logs'.
That last call, said the paper, was made no more than two hours before the flight took off 12.41am on March 8 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
It is believed a call was made from Fariq's phone near the island of Penang. Today the U.S also denied reports the plane landed in Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean
Separate sources told the paper that checks on Fariq's phone showed that connection to the phone when he made that last call before he boarded the plane had been 'detached'.
'This is usually the result of the phone being switched off.
'At one point, however, when the airplane was airborne, between waypoint Igari and the spot near Penang (just before the aircraft went missing from radar), the line was "reattached".'
Search area: This image released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority shows the current planned search area along the old ones in the Indian Ocean, West of Australia, for the wreckage of flight MH370
The paper said that a reattachment does not necessarily meant that a call was made. It could also be the result of the phone being switched on again.
The revelation came as the U.S. denied claims the missing flight had landed at its military base on the remote island of Diego Garcia.
There had been rumours that the jetliner could have headed for the small coral atoll in the Indian Ocean after it veered off course while travelling between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Beijing, China on March 8.
However, a spokesman for the U.S. embassy in the Malaysian capital denied the allegation.
According to Malaysia's Star newspaper, the spokesman said: 'There was no indication that MH370 flew anywhere near the Maldives or Diego Garcia.
'MH370 did not land in Diego Garcia.'
Diego Garcia is about 3,500km from Malaysia.Meanwhile experts said today that it was possible for a mobile phone to be connected to a telecommunications tower at an altitude of 7,000 feet - which is low for a large jet like the Boeing 777 unless it was flying at high speed to maintain height.
Belgian Medical Group Gives Doctors Permission to Euthanize Patients Without Consent
by Wesley J. Smith
The Journal of Critical Care Medicine has published a statement by the Belgian Society of Critical Care Medicine giving ICU docs the right to kill patients–even though euthanasia in the country is supposed to only be consensual.
Under the document, futile care impositions of withdrawing or withholding care are up to the medical team–whatever a patient or family may want. Moreover, in such cases, doctors are allowed to kill! From the statement (my emphasis):
This statement paper, developed by members of the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine Council, is not about giving analgesics or sedative agents to combat pain or agitation, nor about the so-called double effect, wherein analgesics given to alleviate pain may have the adverse effect of shortening the dying process. The discussion here is about the administration of sedative agents with the direct intention of shortening the process of terminal palliative care in patients with no prospect of a meaningful recovery…
Moreover, we explain our belief in the concept that shortening the dying process by administering sedatives beyond what is needed for patient comfort can be not only acceptable but in many cases desirable.
In other words, kill the patient by intentionally overdosing with palliative drugs beyond what is needed for comfort–whether the patient wants it or not!
And note, the patient need not be actually suffering!
Shortening the dying process with use of medication, such as analgesics/sedatives, may sometimes be appropriate, even in the absence of discomfort, and can actually improve the quality of dying; this approach can also help relatives accompany their loved one through the dying process—such a decision should be made with due consideration for the wishes of family members.
The killing license also applies to children:
The present document applies to children as well as to adults
It’s only logical: Once killing is accepted as an answer to human suffering, what constitutes “suffering” expands like an elastic band to include that of society and the hospital having to care for lives defined as meaningless. And it can even include termination when patient suffering isn’t present.
Senior Scientist: Cancer increase expected on West Coast from Fukushima exposures; Radioactive particles can bio-accumulate and form hotspots while crossing Pacific — KCRW: Concern California wildlife to be impacted; Sea life can biomagnify nuclear waste, leading to higher levels of radiation
NPR affiliate KQED, Mar. 10, 2014
Michael Krasny, host: It’s a question we don’t necessarily have an answer to.
Edwin Lyman, Union of Concerned Scientists’ senior scientist: Well, we do have an answer. The connection between ionizing radiation exposure and increased cancer risk is very well established. We do know that because the accident deposited radioactivity into the environment that wasn’t there before, that it’s going to cause additional radiation doses to people, that will be associated with additional disease. Now the question is, whether that will be a strong enough signal that an epidemiological study will be able to detect and prove causation. That’s a different issue, sometimes people tend to confuse the two. They think if it can’t be detected it’s not there. But simply extrapolating from first principles — there’s radiation in the environment that wasn’t there before, people are exposed, that will cause additional disease. [...] This is a problem, because of the heterogeneous nature of the way these isotopes travel and are bio-accumulated, there are potential hotspots.
National Geographic: Fukushima considered world’s worst nuclear accident — Physician: Fukushima remains a “global health concern” — Kaku: “It’s so bad, they don’t even have a picture of melted core… the agony is unending”
MILITIAS ARE ON ROUTE: IS THE 2ND AMERICAN REVOLUTION STARTING IN BUNKERVILLE, NEVADA?
APRIL 11, 2014 BY THE DOC
An area just outside of the little town of Bunkerville, Nevada, with a population of around a thousand people, may go down in history. This little spot in the desert may be compared with Concord, Massachusetts, the site of the “shot heard round the world” – the first shot fired in the American Revolution. Because it looks like the second American Revolution may start there…and soon.
It seems that the US government, in all of their infinite wisdom, has declared war on a cattle rancher named Cliven Bundy.
Armed federal officers have arrived to steal Bundy’s cattle and close down the land he is using. What’s more, they have declared a zone around the area to be free of the restrictions of the Constitution, specifically, the First Amendment right to assemble and speak freely. They’d like to keep their reprehensible actions quiet and out of the public eye. It’s really difficult to mow down a bunch of protesters ala Waco with the whole world watching.
Yesterday, tensions began to rise even further and numerous protestors were tazed and assaulted.
It looks like tensions will rise even further because Americans have had enough.
Militias have been mobilised. It’s going to get real.
Bundy may be facing down a bunch of armed federal thugs but he’s going to be backed up by militia members from across the country.
This is the day that Patriots have been talking about and training for. They will not stand down.
Feds Back Down In New Bundy Standoff, Agree to Release Cattle
Epic confrontation “like something out of a movie”
Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
April 12, 2014
In an epic standoff that Infowars reporter David Knight described as being like “something out of a movie,” supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy advanced on a position held by BLM agents despite threats that they would be shot at, eventually forcing BLM feds to release 100 cattle that had been stolen from Bundy as part of a land grab dispute that threatened to escalate into a Waco-style confrontation.
Despite the fact that Bureau of Land Management officials agreed to cease their operation to seize Bundy’s cattle after a massive public backlash, Bundy demanded that Sheriff Douglas Gillespie disarm BLM officials and return his stolen cows.
When this didn’t happen, hundreds of Bundy supporters, including cowboys on horseback, descended on a nearby cattle pen outside of Mesquite where the seized cows were being held.
In a tense standoff, armed BLM feds, backed up by at least one SWAT team, threatened to shoot at Bundy supporters if they marched any closer to a line of vehicles.
Infowars reporter David Knight, who was at the head of the march, described the scene as like the moment from V For Vendetta when the military is forced to stand down.
Despite threats such as “one more step and you’re dead,” the protesters continued their slow march towards BLM agents as bullhorns blared.
Refusing to back down, the protesters marched straight past the armed men and towards the cattle pen.
Sheriff Gillespie eventually appeared to inform Bundy supporters that the BLM had finally caved and agreed to release the 100 cattle they had seized that were inside the pen.
After around 30 minutes, Bundy supporters saw the cattle being released about a mile away in the distance.
It cannot be overstated how much of a gargantuan victory this represents for the American people in their battle against big government tyranny.
“The people have the power when they unite,” Ammon Bundy told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “The war has just begun.”
REID SMELLING ANYTHING BUT ROSY IN RANCH FIGHT
Desert showdown blows lid off long-standing plans with the Chinese
Published: April 13, 2014
JEROME R. CORSI
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
NEW YORK – When Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to take his cattle off land the federal government demanded for the habitat of an endangered desert tortoise, it focused the nation’s attention on an arena Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have preferred to be kept quiet.
An investigative report published last week by Infowars.com drew a connection between Senate Majority Leader Reid’s involvement with Chinese energy giant ENN, Chinese efforts to build massive solar facilities in the Nevada desert and the showdown between Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, or BLM.
It wasn’t the first report to notice curious dealings involving the Chinese and America’s top Democrats.
On Jan. 20, 2013, WND warned Chinese government-backed economists were proposing a plan to allow Chinese corporations to set up “development zones” in the United States as part of a plan proposed by the Chinese government to convert into equity the more than $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury debt owned by the Chinese government.
The next day, Jan. 21, 2013, WND documented the Obama administration had begun to allow China to acquire major ownership interests in oil and natural gas resources across the USA.
Harry Reid and Chinese solar investments in Nevada
On April 3, 3012, Bloomberg reported Chinese billionaire Wang Yusuo, one of China’s richest citizens and the founder of Chinese energy giant ENN Group, had teamed up with Senate Majority Leader Reid to win incentives including land 113 miles southeast of Las Vegas that ENN sought to buy for $4.5 million, less than one-eighth of the land’s $38.6 million assessed value.
Bloomberg reported ENN intended to create solar energy farms on the Nevada land, despite the nearly 50 percent plunge in solar panel prices globally in the previous 15 months that led to the bankruptcy of solar equipment maker Solyndra LLC, which had received approximately $535 million in U.S. government loan guarantees.
Bloomberg further documented ENN had contributed $40,650 individually and through its political action committee to Sen. Reid over the previous three election cycles.
Subsequently, on Sept. 4, 2012, Breitbart.com reported lawyer Rory Reid, the son of Sen. Reid, had been appointed the primary representative for ENN Energy Group, fronting the bid by the Chinese company to build a $5-billion solar panel plant on a 9,000-acre Clark County desert plot in Laughton, Nevada.
A Reuters report published on Aug. 31, 2012, documented that Reid was recruited by ENN during a 2011 trip he took to China with nine other U.S. senators, supposedly to invite Chinese investment in the United States.
The Senate group accompanying Reid on his 2011 trip to China included six other Democrats and three Republicans: Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
“A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67-year-old rancher,” blogger Dana Loesch wrote last week. “They want his land.”
Loesch pointed out that Reid has been accused by ranchers in Nevada of using the BLM to control Nevada land, over 84 percent of which is already owned by the federal government, and to pay back special interests, including his top donor, Harry Whittemore, who first urged Reid to have the habitat of the desert tortoise moved before he was convicted of violating federal election laws by illegally funneling $150,000 to Reid’s 2007 reelection campaign.
Confirmed by a 71-28 Senate vote on April 9, BLM chief Neil Kornze served as a former senior adviser to Reid before he joined BLM in 2011, serving for the past year as the agency’s principal deputy director, according to a CBS local television news report broadcast in Carson City, Nevada.
In 2012, BLM and the U.S. Department of Energy published a “Final Pragmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States” that Inforwars.com charged established the basis for allowing the endangered desert tortoise to migrate habitats, paving the way to put solar energy development projects on acreage that includes public land at dispute in the Bundy standoff over grazing rights.
Harry Reid Calls Cliven Bundy
Supporters “Domestic Terrorists”
“I repeat: what happened there was
Paul Joseph Watson
Senator Harry Reid has escalated the
war of words over the Cliven Bundy dispute, sensationally labeling
the Nevada cattle rancher’s supporters “domestic terrorists”
during an event in Las Vegas today.
During a ‘Hashtags & Headlines’
event at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Reid referred to
Bundy supporters as “Nothing more than domestic terrorists,”
adding, “I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.”
Reid was referring to the stand off on
Saturday in Bunkerville where Bundy supporters, some of whom were
armed, forced Bureau of Land Management agents to back down and
release around 380 head of cattle belonging to Bundy that had been
seized over the course of the previous week.
Reid claimed that Bundy viewed the
United States as a “foreign government,” while accusing his
supporters of goading violence.
“There were hundreds, hundreds of
people from around the country that came there,” Reid said. “They
had sniper rifles in the freeway. They had weapons, automatic
weapons. They had children lined up. They wanted to make sure they
got hurt first … What if others tried the same thing?”
Despite Reid’s characterization of
Bundy supporters as “domestic terrorists,” the only violence
metered out during the dispute was when BLM agents tasered and
assaulted Bundy supporters during an incident on April 9.
No matter where you stand on the Bundy
issue, Reid’s characterization of American protesters as “domestic
terrorists” is chilling and a massive backlash is almost certain to
It also fits the narrative that the
federal government has been pushing for years through literature such
as the MIAC report, which framed Ron Paul supporters,
libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own
gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag, as potential terrorists. In
2012, a Homeland Security study was leaked which characterized
Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,”
and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing”
Reid attracted controversy earlier this
week when he promised that the BLM’s fight with Bundy was “not
over”. The Nevada Senator was hit with accusations of cronyism
after his former staffer Neil Kornze was confirmed as the new BLM
director earlier this month.
Reid is obviously angry after his
complicity in the siege against the Bundy family was exposed and
became a viral story. Although many news outlets claimed this issue
was “debunked,” Reid’s involvement in a solar farm just 35
miles from Bundy’s ranch is documented. Archived files which were
deleted from the BLM’s own website confirm that confiscating
Bundy’s cattle was necessary in order to clear the way for
lucrative solar deals with transnational corporations.
Meanwhile, the BLM has admitted
slaughtering two prize bulls belonging to Cliven Bundy during their
round up of his cattle. The BLM claims the bulls “posed a safety
hazard” but refused to elaborate. Bundy supporters have pointed to
photographs which appear to show one of the bulls having suffered a
8 Psychological Benefits of Being Humble
Dr. Jeremy Dean, PsyBlog, 1 April 2014
The poet Tennyson once said that humility is, “the highest virtue, the mother of them all.”
Yet society celebrates over-confidence, entitlement and a perpetual focus on the self.
People are increasingly competitive, attention-seeking, narcissistic, obsessed with their appearance and entitled.
A new study, though, underlines eight ways in which being humble can help us improve our lives (Kesebir, 2014).
The author of the study, psychologist Pelin Kesebir, explains that:
“Humility involves a willingness to accept the self’s limits and its place in the grand scheme of things, accompanied by low levels of self-preoccupation.” (Kesebir, 2014).
Humility—or ‘a quiet ego’ as she calls it—can be surprisingly powerful in a variety of different ways.
1. Soothe the soul. Humble people are better able to cope with anxiety about their mortality.
Instead of erecting self-defenses against death, humble people tend to find it provides a useful perspective on life and how it should be lived.
When it’s not all about you, interestingly, it makes death easier to contemplate.
2. Excellence in leadership. Humble leaders are not only better liked, as you might imagine, but they are also more effective.
Author of a study published in the Academy of Management Journal, Bradley Owens explained (Owens et al., 2011):
“Leaders of all ranks view admitting mistakes, spotlighting follower strengths and modeling teachability as being at the core of humble leadership.
And they view these three behaviors as being powerful predictors of their own as well as the organization’s growth.”
3. Higher self-control. Having high self-control is one key to a successful life.
Oddly, perhaps, studies have found that an obsession with the self can paradoxically lead to lower self-control.
The humble, though, because they place less importance on the self, exhibit higher self-control in many situations.
Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that humble people tend to know their limits.
4. Better work performance. The humble not only make better managers, but they also make better employees.
A study of employees’ supervisors found that being honest and humble was a good predictor of people’s job performance (Megan et al., 2011).
5. Higher grades. Perhaps being a better employee and better manager has its roots in the formative years.
A study of 55 students has found that those who were more humble did better academically (Rowatt et al., 2006). Being humble, therefore, may make you better in school.
6. Less prejudice. One of the characteristics of being humble is having a low sense of entitlement.
Humble people don’t think they are owed things.
This leads to a less prejudiced view of the world, encouraging them to be tolerant to others and less defensive about their own beliefs.
7. More helpful. Humble people are, on average, more helpful than people who are conceited or egotistical.
In a study by LaBouff et al. (2011), participants who were more humble, were more likely to offer help, and offered more of their time, to those in need.
Unsurprisingly, humble people have also been found to be more generous.
8. Better relationships. Humble people may have better relationships because they accept other people for who they are.
A study by Davis et al. (2012) of groups of people found that humility helped to repair relationships and built stronger bonds between people.
next week...keep on believing.
the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor
gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not
much better than they?”