"I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
End Of The Age
Greetings! Two lines from Henry Francis Lyte's (1793 - 1847) well known hymn, "Abide With Me", seem most appropiate in the changes we see taking place throughout the world of today: "Change and decay in all around I see: O thou who changest not, abide with me!"
Thank God for the promises in His word that we can cling to when "Change and decay is all around, promises such as Romans 8:28-29: "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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
"O thou who changest not, abide with me.": For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
There is great turmoil and confusion, as you are surely aware, in the financial world today. Instability around the globe, which some of the articles below deal with. Many economists believe we are heading into the greatest depression the world has ever seen, much move severe than the Great Depression of the 1930's. If this is the case, as it certainly appears to be, we once again have God's Word as an anchor and rock we can claim and cling to. There are promises from what is considered the most famous sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount preached by Jesus himself.
" "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing. Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:25-34)
Have a great week ahead.
The Christian Post
The Early Church Fathers Belief about the Antichrist
by David Dollins
So much in our modern day has been written on the topic of the Antichrist. The Bible certainly has much to say about this coming evil person who is so wicked he is literally the Devil-Incarnate. The Bible gives him many titles, including 'fierce king' (Daniel 8:23), 'master of intrigue' (Daniel 8:23), 'contemptible person' (Daniel 11:21), 'the prince who is to come' (Daniel 9:26), 'man of lawlessness' (2 Thessalonians 2:3), 'son of destruction' (2 Thessalonians 2:3), 'the Beast' (Revelation 13:1), 'the Wicked One' (Psalm 10:2,4), and 'the little horn' (Daniel 7:8) among others. He is the one the Bible says will arise within a 10 kingdom confederacy at the end of days. Some scholars say it will be 10 nations within the old Roman Empire. Other scholars say the world itself will be divided into 10 regions of which he will rule over. It could be either.
Something occurred to me though. Why be satisfied with just studying behind modern day authors? What if we could go back 1,800 years and see what the Early Church Fathers wrote, taught, and believed (i.e., those of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation after the apostles)? Can we know what they believed regarding the End Times? Can we even trace a spiritual lineage after the apostles? The answer to those questions is yes! Not only do we have the original writings of what some of the Early Church Fathers believed about the coming of Christ and Antichrist, we can trace the Early Church Fathers spiritual lineage through the first three centuries and, amazingly, it begins with one of the original 12 Apostles! Just the fact that we can go back to the source for interpretation of the Biblical text has far reaching implications, as you will see.
Church historians have traced a spiritual lineage through 235 A.D., and it all began with the writer of the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John. We are told that Polycarp (martyred in 155 A.D.) was a disciple of John. Further, Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp. Finally, living 170-235 A.D., Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenaeus. Again, and maybe less confusing, it was John followed by Polycarp, Irenaeus, and Hippolytus. Three generations stem from the Apostle John. Those are the Bible teachers who would have most preserved John's teachings and, just as important, his interpretation of what he wrote because Polycarp would have heard it directly from John himself.
I came by a book entitled 'The Antichrist' by Larry Harper. It's a different type of book as he brought together two separate works on the subject of the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Christ. One work was that of the Church Father Irenaeus. The other was that of his disciple Hippolytus. The premise was that these two men preserved the apostolic teaching of the early Church. Certainly, Polycarp and Irenaeus believed they had been accurately taught the apostolic tradition. Irenaeus wrote this of his great teacher, "Polycarp...instructed by apostles...always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true".
As stated before, Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenaeus. It is these latter two who clearly believed they were taught those things the original Apostles received from Jesus Christ. As well, and not surprisingly, Irenaeus and Hippolytus agree on the basic points regarding the advent of Christ and Antichrist, these interpretations most likely being handed down by the Apostle John himself through Polycarp! If this is true, then what follows cannot be ignored. Even more so, just maybe we need to factor these points into our own belief system concerning what is about to occur in the near future.
The beliefs that Irenaeus and Hippolytus held in common regarding the coming Antichrist can be summarized as follows:
1. Satan will appear as a man in the person of the Antichrist because he seeks to reign as king over mankind and desires to focus the worship of God on himself.
2. The Antichrist will be a Jew, and will achieve his stated objectives by being accepted as the Christ, the messianic king of the Jews, taking his seat in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, pretending to be God Himself, and thereby becoming the 'abomination of desolation' spoken of by the prophet Daniel and mentioned also by Jesus (Daniel 12:11, Matthew 24:15).
3. The Antichrist is the 'little horn' of the fourth beast mentioned in Daniel 7. He will slay three of the other horns and reign as an eighth with the remaining seven (Hippolytus explains that those three are the rulers of Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia).
4. The Antichrist will achieve his objectives in the middle of the final 7-year period of this age. At that time he will be proclaimed the messianic king of the Jews and will take his seat as God in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. He will reign for three and one-half years.
5. The Antichrist, during his reign, will deceive the majority of people living on the Earth at the time into believing he is God. However, he will persecute those who refuse to worship him because they are able to see through his delusion.
6. Jesus Christ will return to Earth at the end of the three and one-half year reign of the Antichrist, destroying Satan's kingdom. The resurrection of the just will occur at that time.
Anesthetized pastor spoke hope
By Norm Miller, Baptist Press, Jul 28, 2011 - RICHMOND, Va., (BP)--Pastor Mark Becton's skin cancer surgery five years ago continues to touch lives--not medically, but spiritually.
Becton, pastor of Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., underwent surgery in August 2006 to remove the skin cancer and--while unconscious from general anesthesia--quoted Scripture and spoke words of encouragement heard by three medical professionals in the operating room.
Anesthesiologist Gail Heppner heard Becton and thought he wasn't completely sedated, so she upped his dosage. But Becton continued. When Heppner turned down the volume of monitors and the music playing in background, Becton's words became clearer to her.
"He is not only talking, he is completely articulate, clear as a bell," Heppner said. "As I listened, I felt this is not a man preaching, this is not a man in prayer, this is the Holy Spirit."
Heppner recounted what happened during the pastor's surgery during both of Grove Avenue's Sunday morning worship services on Sept. 10, 2006. "I know there are Christians in the room in pain. Some feel empty and used up, guilty because they feel they have nothing left to give God," Heppner said, recalling Becton's words.
Becton's words shocked nurse Carol Miller, who also addressed the Grove Avenue congregation during the September 2006 service.
A week before the surgery, Miller had voiced the same words to Heppner--that she felt "empty, used up and guilty" because she had nothing left to give to God.
Miller noted her suspicion at how Becton knew the words she had spoken to Heppner a week earlier. "Dr. Becton didn't know me," she told the Grove Avenue congregation. "Where did he hear that from?"
Equally stunned was Heppner, who had asked two others to pray for Miller. "At that point, the scientist in me was gone," Heppner said, noting that she "nearly burst into tears" over what her patient had spoken.
Miller said her reaction in the operating room became, "Okay, I'm listening, I'm listening."
"I was so filled with pain, this agonizing, grief-stricken pain, this weight of the world in my heart," said Miller, whose husband died on Christmas night in 2001 and whose daughter died a year later. "My heart was dried up and empty. That's the way I felt. ... I came to work every day and smiled. I went to church and prayed about it. But when Dr. Becton started speaking, you could feel the Holy Spirit in that room. Jesus came to work that day to take the burdens from my heart."
"Carol, let me have it, all your hurt and pain, just give it up," Becton said to her while completely sedated during the surgery.
"And that's what I did," Miller said.
"We put Dr. Becton to sleep, and everything went as normal," said surgeon Burton Sundin, the third medical professional who was impacted by Becton's words in the operating room five years ago. "We were waiting for the pathology to come back on his specimen, and the Holy Spirit spoke through him. He began to say things--the Holy Spirit began to say things--through Dr. Becton to me."
Sundin recounted Becton's words: "Dr. Sundin, you were delivered to me specifically to be my surgeon. And God has great plans for you and your life. And he has given you many gifts. They are His gifts, and He wants to use them through you, for Him. He has chosen you specifically to be His servant. ... God hears your prayers. He is near."
Sundin had prayed before Becton's surgery for relief from job-related feelings of burnout and despair. "Disease seemed to be winning its battle against me. Patients were unhappy and my life was in a total turmoil. I was dealing with the day-to-day toil and turmoil of being a young surgeon and trying to get my practice going," Sundin said. "The day before Dr. Becton's surgery, I left late with work on my desk piled to the ceiling. I was broken and I was seeking God.
"Some people will say it was the drugs talking or it just happened," Sundin said. "But it lifted the heaviness from all of our hearts."
Becton said what God did spread through the medical community in neighboring cities as the account was a front-page story in the Richmond Times Dispatch five years ago.
Not sure of all the reasons why God did what He did, Becton said members at Grove Avenue have a renewed passion for sharing the Gospel and the love of Christ at home and abroad. That's due, in part, he said, to another message he got and enunciated during the surgery: "Time is short, and many must come," Becton recounted.
Becton said every retelling of the story, whether public or private, elicits responses, smiles and even tears of amazement. "For those who have a relationship with Christ, their faith is stirred. And for those who don't, there's a sense of awe."
Evangelicals Without Blowhards
By Nicholas D. Kristof, NY Times, July 30, 2011 - IN these polarized times, few words conjure as much distaste in liberal circles as "evangelical Christian."
That's partly because evangelicals came to be associated over the last 25 years with blowhard scolds such as the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
Partly because of such self-righteousness, the entire evangelical movement often has been pilloried among progressives as reactionary, myopic, anti-intellectual and, if anything, immoral.
Yet that casual dismissal is profoundly unfair of the movement as a whole. It reflects a kind of reverse intolerance, sometimes a reverse bigotry, directed at tens of millions of people who have actually become increasingly engaged in issues of global poverty and justice.
This compassionate strain of evangelicalism was powerfully shaped by the Rev. John Stott, a gentle British scholar who had far more impact on Christianity than media stars like Mr. Robertson or Mr. Falwell. Mr. Stott, who died a few days ago at the age of 90, was named one of the globe's 100 most influential people by Time, and in stature he was sometimes described as the equivalent of the pope among the world's evangelicals.
Mr. Stott didn't preach fire and brimstone on a Christian television network. He was a humble scholar whose 50-odd books counseled Christians to emulate the life of Jesus--especially his concern for the poor and oppressed--and confront social ills like racial oppression and environmental pollution.
"Good Samaritans will always be needed to succor those who are assaulted and robbed; yet it would be even better to rid the Jerusalem-Jericho road of brigands," Mr. Stott wrote in his book "The Cross of Christ." "Just so Christian philanthropy in terms of relief and aid is necessary, but long-term development is better, and we cannot evade our political responsibility to share in changing the structures that inhibit development. Christians cannot regard with equanimity the injustices that spoil God's world and demean his creatures."
For many evangelicals who winced whenever a televangelist made the headlines, Mr. Stott was an intellectual guru and an inspiration. Richard Cizik, president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, who has worked heroically to combat everything from genocide to climate change, told me: "Against the quackery and anti-intellectualism of our movement, Stott made it possible to say you are 'evangelical' and not be apologetic."
Mr. Stott, who was a brilliant student at Cambridge, also underscored that faith and intellect needn't be at odds.
Centuries ago, serious religious study was extraordinarily demanding and rigorous; in contrast, anyone could declare himself a scientist and go in the business of, say, alchemy. These days, it's the reverse. A Ph.D. in chemistry is a rigorous degree, while a preacher can explain the Bible on television without mastering Hebrew or Greek--or even showing interest in the nuances of the original texts.
Some self-appointed evangelical leaders come across as hypocrites, monetizing Jesus rather than emulating him.
But in reporting on poverty, disease and oppression, I've seen so many others. Evangelicals are disproportionately likely to donate 10 percent of their incomes to charities, mostly church-related. More important, go to the front lines, at home or abroad, in the battles against hunger, malaria, prison rape, obstetric fistula, human trafficking or genocide, and some of the bravest people you meet are evangelical Christians (or conservative Catholics, similar in many ways) who truly live their faith.
I'm not particularly religious myself, but I stand in awe of those I've seen risking their lives in this way--and it sickens me to see that faith mocked at New York cocktail parties.
Why does all this matter?
Because religious people and secular people alike do fantastic work on humanitarian issues--but they often don't work together because of mutual suspicions. If we could bridge this "God gulf," we would make far more progress on the world's ills.
And that would be, well, a godsend.
The Christian Science Monitor
Ethical frontiers of humanizing animals in the lab
Mice with human-language DNA? Goats with human-like organs? They already exist. A British report raises anew the dilemma of creating animals with human characteristics for the sake of medical science.
By the Monitor's Editorial Board
July 28, 2011
The report's title was enough of a jolt to grab anyone's attention: "Animals containing human material."
Unfortunately, the July 22 report from Britain's Academy of Medical Sciences received far too little public attention for what the title really means: the humanizing of animals in lab experiments.
Before the academy's report gathers dust on scholars' shelves, it's worth keeping a spotlight on this latest contribution to an ongoing debate over what it means to be human - a topic not to be left to scientists or government.
Rapid advances in research are allowing more cases of animals being given human characteristics. Mice have been injected with the human DNA for language, for example - and they squeak differently. Goats implanted with human stem cells have blood and organs similar in DNA to humans. Several scientists have proposed implanting apes with human brain cells - one of the more troubling frontiers.
Mixing up species through cell, gene, or embryo transfers has long been the stuff of science fiction - think of the novel "The Island of Dr. Moreau" by H.G. Wells. In real life, today's research is aimed at creating animals with enough humanlike parts to test new drugs or medical therapies - so humans don't need to be test subjects.
While that purpose is laudable, transhumanism raises ethical and religious dilemmas that go far beyond those for cloning, gene therapy, genetically altered food, and other recent bioscience advances.
Imagine, for example, if a human uterus is transplanted into an animal, allowing the birth of a child. It's not implausible.
The United States tried to sort out the ethical boundaries for such research nearly a decade ago. The result was a set of federal voluntary guidelines, such as not injecting apes with human brain cells.
The British report goes further in recommending clear legal boundaries, international standards, and strong oversight for the most ethically challenged research - the type called "human lineage specific" - such as brain-cell transfers to apes or the creation of embryos that are "predominantly animal" but contain human cells.
The report reflects a healthy humility about potential consequences. "Current scientific knowledge often does not permit precise prediction of the effects that modification of an animal's organs might produce," the report states.
Creating a creature that is partially human, for instance, could result in it likely not being accepted by either humans or its own species. Lacking a social group for support, it could suffer a cruel future.
Equally challenging is the presumed threat to common assumptions about human dignity, or inherent qualities such as self-consciousness, a capacity to recognize the mental states of others, or a sense of "fairness." The report leaves open the idea that consciousness is not physical but perhaps something beyond the sum of material parts.
Qualities of thought are shared among all species, with humans tending to have more or higher levels of qualities. The fact that humans even debate the ethics of creating humanized animals helps set them apart.
As science further blurs the boundaries of the human-animal divide, the public needs to join this debate. The essence of being human is, after all, a constant striving to express higher qualities, especially in thinking.
("God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:25-27
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Psalms 139:14
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20)
'Freaked out' BBC reporter tells millions of radio listeners of the moment he faced a UFO on his way to work
'Disc-shaped' aircraft hovered over village in Hertfordshire
Radio 5 Live broadcasts 'gobsmacked' journalist's claims to millions
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
4th August 2011
It's a radio station known for irreverent chat, where current affairs and topical discussion reign supreme.
But Radio 5 Live took on a more otherworldly tone this morning when one of its own sports reporters claimed he had a close brush with a UFO.
'Freaked out' sports journalist Mike Sewell said he was left gobsmacked when he spotted a huge 'disc-shaped' aircraft hovering above the Hertfordshire countryside on his way to work in the early hours of the morning.
Unidentified: Sports journalist Mike Sewell says he saw a disc-shaped craft hovering over a Hertfordshire village
Mr Sewell was driving from his home in the Midlands to catch an early morning flight from Stansted airport when he saw the UFO in the night sky over the village of Cottered, near Buntingford, he claimed.
He called his employers at Radio 5 Live and his interview with presenter Nicky Campbell was broadcast to millions of listeners.
He said: 'I was probably about 15 or 20 miles from Stansted at 4.15 in the morning and there was this big bright light in the sky descending towards the road.
'As it got closer it then banked to the left, and as it banked to the left and went across the countryside I could see underneath it.
'It wasn't an aeroplane, and it wasn't a helicopter. Certainly of a kind of - and I dread saying this - disc shape. It had several lights flashing all around it.
Claims: The extraordinary revelations were broadcast on Nicky Campbell's show (pictured)
'Underneath there were at least two large panel lights, soft white lights, and then it just sat or circled a certain area above the field for a few moments.
'I was so gobsmacked, I was trying to negotiate the road, which was a small country lane. Eventually I dropped down and lost sight of it but certainly for two or three minutes I saw what, I think, was not a normal aeroplane.'
The well-respected reporter, who was flying to Sweden for tonight's Champions' League qualifying game between Glasgow Rangers and Malmo, said a van driver in front of him also saw the UFO.
He added: 'I'd love the person who was driving in front of me in what looked like a VW silver transporter to contact the police or yourselves [the radio station] because they saw it as well.
'I was wide awake and I'm of sound mind. I was completely freaked out by it. This was a long way from Stanstead airport - at least 15 miles - and the aircraft was going westerly rather than easterly towards Stansted.
'It was not the shape of a normal aircraft it was a big disc, round-shaped craft and it didn't leave.
'I watched it for two or three minutes before I eventually lost sight of it. I decided to go back again through the village. It's a very quiet area and I've spoken to someone who knows it very well and they said there's no military installations in that area so I would be intrigued to hear if anybody else saw it.'
UFO expert Timothy Good said Mr Sewell's sighting was 'absolutely fascinating' and was 'clearly not a conventional aircraft of any type'.
During the interview on Radio 5 Live, which followed his sports report, he added: 'I'm most impressed, I wish I'd seen it myself. I would assume that a number of other people would have seen this object.
'It might be extra terrestrial, it might well be one of ours. Top secret aircraft and spacecraft have been flown by the U.S. military and by the British military for quite some time now.
'As Ben Rich said, who developed the stealth aircraft back in 1993 in the presence of two friends of mine: "We now have the technology to go to the stars". And that was back in 1993.'
When Mr Good was asked to elaborate on where this technology came from, he replied: 'Alien crafts. The study of alien crafts that have been recovered and by liaising with actual aliens who have helped us develop this technology.'
LDS Freedom Forum
Former Comptroller General David Walker: 'collapse coming'
by Col. Flagg
Aug 02, 2011
Former head of the Government Accountability Office and Comptroller General of the United States, David Walker has issued a stark warning following the compromise deal to raise the debt ceiling.
"We are less than three years away from where Greece had its debt crisis as to where they were from debt to GDP," Walker highlighted in an interview with CNBC earlier today.
Greece's ratio of debt to GDP has surpassed 100% and is heading towards 150%, a factor that has meant without bailouts from the EU and the IMF, the country would have defaulted.
The US is now nearing the same 100% margin with GDP growth floundering below 1%.
"We should recognize that this could be a leading indicator for us," Walker said, adding that something must be done now to significantly restructure government spending if a major collapse is to be avoided in the future.
Walker, who has long spoken out against wasteful federal spending, urged that the nation should "deal with the disease, instead of the symptoms," adding that increasing the debt ceiling as well as federal budget deficits will inevitably lead to the same situation in the US as has been witnessed in Greece.
"Here's the bottom line. If you take the total liabilities of the United States - public debt, unfunded pensions, retiree health care, under funding with regard to social security, with regard to medicare, a range of commitments and contingencies - as of September 30 2010 we would have had to have had $61.6 trillion dollars in the bank in order to be able to defease those obligations." Walker explained.
CNN Money (Edited from longer article.)
Stocks: Worst day since 2008 financial crisis
By Annalyn Censky
August 4, 2011
The Dow has now lost all of the ground it gained in 2011.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks plunged Thursday in their single worst day since the 2008 financial crisis.
The Dow tumbled 512 points -- its ninth deepest point drop ever -- as fear about the global economy spooked investors.
"The conventional wisdom on Wall Street was that the economy was growing -- that the worst was behind us," said Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital. "Now what people are realizing is the stimulus didn't work, and we may be headed back to recession."
U.S. markets were already sharply lower on widespread worries, including the weak job market. But the selling gained momentum as Japanese and European policymakers stepped in with dramatic measures to shore up their financial markets.
There's "total fear" in the market, said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at the world's largest money manager, BlackRock.
All three major indexes tumbled more than 4% Thursday and erased all their gains for the year. The indexes have also pushed into "correction" territory -- defined as a 10% drop from recent highs. The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 have all fallen 10% in just the last 10 days.
"In the last two weeks, we've been through the ringer," said Rich Ilczyszyn, market strategist with futures broker Lind-Waldock. "When we start looking at the recovery, there's nothing to hang our hats on anymore."
The market's fear gauge -- the VIX (VIX) -- surged 35.8% to a reading of 31.8. A level above 30 signals a high degree of fear.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) was down 512 points, or 4.3%, with Alcoa (AA, Fortune 500), Caterpillar (CAT, Fortune 500) and Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) among the biggest drags on the blue chip index. Thursday's sell-off marked the steepest point loss since October 2008.
The S&P 500 (SPX) was down a staggering 60 points, or 4.8%.
The Nasdaq (COMP) lost 136 points, or 5.1%. Some of the better performing tech stocks, Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and Netflix (NFLX) were all down between 2% and 3%.
Fears about a global slowdown are at the forefront of investors' minds amid recent weak economic data. Early Thursday, the latest reading on jobless claims showed a large number of Americans remain unemployed. ("Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven." Proverbs 23:5)
Super Congress: the final nail in the coffin of representative democracy and freedom as we know it
Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Cloaked in the fear surrounding the debt ceiling and a possible default is the most dangerous legislation that America has ever faced. If this passes, the Super Congress will make the PATRIOT Act look like a just and fair law. When six Republicans, six Democrats and the President have complete control over the legislature, we need to be concerned.
The most frightening aspect of this proposed "committee", inaccurate though the term may be, is the fact that lawmakers in Washington have already openly admitted the unprecedented power they will be afforded.
Referring to the Super Congress as a committee is a bit deceitful. Calling it a Supreme Council of Overlords would be a bit more accurate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made this quite clear by announcing on the Senate floor that, "The joint committee - there are no constraints. They can look at any program we have in government, any program ... It has the ability to look at everything."
When this is made explicit and openly so, I think there should be some serious concern among Americans. The PATRIOT Act was not billed as an Act that would be used to detain and torture Americans and innocent people from around the globe who did not have any evidence against them. We only found this out after it was rushed into law.
The Super Congress, on the other hand, has already been exposed as a completely unconstitutional body that will remove the ability for anyone to filibuster a bill or amend it in any way. This gives 13 people the unprecedented power to push through any legislation without a single amendment.
This fact already has some groups up in arms, literally.
The Gun Owners of America released a statement summarizing how this Super Congress could easily be used to wipe out our right to bear arms.
As they outline, much of the unconstitutional gun control legislation has been killed in the House and Senate through filibuster and with the help of Speaker of the House John Boehner.
However, if the Super Congress is passed into law, the crucial ability to filibuster will destroy all impediments and highly restrictive laws like the United Nation's small arms treaty could easily be put into law.
The larger question that looms over this entire issue is: what can they not pass?
Unfortunately for everyone in America, and the world for that matter, this Super Congress would have literally no limitations whatsoever. Every single controversial bill that has been filibustered or voted out could be pushed through. Let your imagination run wild, although be warned it likely won't lead anywhere pretty.
If you live in the United States, you have the duty to contact everyone you know and inform them about this issue. We need to build a massive grassroots movement that will inundate our representatives 24/7 with the call to never allow this to be put into law. We must stop this before it is passed, or else it will be too late and whatever shred of freedom we had left will be lost for good.
US is parasite on world economy: Putin
Aug 1, 2011
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says the United States is feeding on the world economy like a "parasite" by building up an unsustainable debt that threatens the global financial system.
In an address to a group of pro-Kremlin youths attending a summer camp north of Moscow on Monday, Putin accused the US of acting like a "parasite" by accumulating tremendous debts that have jeopardized global markets, AFP reported.
"The country is living in debt. It is not living within its means, shifting the weight of responsibility on other countries and in a way acting as a parasite," Putin said.
On Sunday, US President Barack Obama announced a last-minute agreement reached by members of Congress to raise the country's public debt limit, which will allow Washington to avoid its first default in history while enforcing a painful economic austerity plan on US citizens.
The Russian prime minister censured the United States' foreign exchange policy and stated that the world should begin using reserve currencies other than the dollar for trade and savings.
"If the US encounters a systemic malfunction, this affects everyone," Putin noted, adding, "There should be other reserve currencies."
Putin said that the debt deal announced by Obama "was not that great overall because it simply delayed the adoption of a more systemic solution."
The agreement came after interminable wrangling on Capitol Hill on the period of time the country would need to lift the debt limit to avoid a default on its staggering $14.3 trillion debt.
The US officially hit its debt ceiling on May 16, with the prospect of a default threatening to increase interest rates, devalue the dollar, and jolt economies across the world.
Washington owes about 47 percent of the money to foreigners. The biggest creditors are China, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Mediterranean diet 'lengthens life by up to FIFTEEN years', researchers claim
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
3rd August 2011
Living longer: A study has found that following a Mediterranean diet, alongside other factors, could extend life expectancy in women by up to 15 years, and by eight years for men
Those who follow a Mediterranean diet combined with exercise, not smoking and keeping to a healthy weight could live up to 15 years longer, researchers say.
The ten-year study by the University of Maastricht followed 120,000 men and women who were aged 55 to 69 in 1986.
A Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, olive oil, fruit, nuts, fish and whole grains, and low in meat and alcohol.
The effect is strongest in women, who can live an extra 15 years compared to the least healthy people, while healthy men can enjoy eight years more.
Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands said keeping to the four healthy lifestyle factors can 'substantially reduce' the risk of an early death.
Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers calculated a 'healthy lifestyle score' based on smoking, exercise, weight and diet and followed the group until 1996.
Researchers found that combining the diet with exercise, keeping to a healthy weight and not smoking dramatically cut the risk of dying young.
Healthy: The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, olive oil, fruit, nuts, fish and whole grains, and low in meat and alcohol
Piet van den Brandt, professor of epidemiology at Maastricht University, who worked on the study, said: 'Very few research studies worldwide have analysed the relationship between a combination of lifestyle factors and mortality in this way.
'This study shows that a healthy lifestyle can lead to significant health benefits.
'Furthermore, the effects of a Mediterranean diet were more evident in women than in men.
'Within this diet, nuts, vegetables and alcohol intake had the biggest impact on lower mortality rates.'