God Is A Spirit”
(John 4:24)

The Nature and Power of God

God is the power of the universe. He is a part of every living thing because the very life that they have is a part of the life of God. “In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”1 “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”2 “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.”3

We know, however, that there is another power in the universe today, an evil power that operates within our world who the Bible calls Satan or the Devil. For the same reason that God gave Adam and Eve the freedom to choose either good or evil, and to obey or disobey Him, to believe His Word or doubt it, so He allows Satan to operate.

If God had not allowed the Devil and his evil to exist, we wouldn’t know what good was. If you’ve known nothing but good or light, how do you know it’s light? You’ve never known darkness.

We think of God as a person, because the Bible has no other simple way to present Him to us except in the sense of persons. But as we think of people and persons, God is not the same. God is a Spirit.4 No man has seen God at any time because He is everything everywhere, the power of the universe, the power of love. He is only personified in His Son, Jesus. This is why Jesus was sent, to personify God and to show us what God is like and in a sense to show us who God is—to bring God down to our human level of comprehension, our human level of perception, so that we can understand Him. In other words, to bring Him out of the fourth and fifth dimensions and God knows how many dimensions, down to what amounts to our flatlander level to show us what God is like. And Him we see in Jesus, His Son.

He had Jesus come to this world in a very common human fashion, born of a woman. His Son was born like any other baby so He would be just as human as we are and be able to understand our humanness, our human frailties and problems, and be a sympathetic high priest for us.6 At the same time, being a part of God Himself, the Son of God, He represented God to us, God personified in the flesh in Jesus. Otherwise, in the strict sense of human language, although God talks like a person in the Bible and He has many similarities to human beings, because we are made in His likeness, He is not actually a person that you can see, a great king with hoary hair, as some artists have depicted Him.

But how else are you going to depict God? How else are you going to depict Jesus’ Father unless you depict Him as a person, although in the technical sense He is not like we are? He is the power of the whole universe. He is love, which is the power of the universe. So you cannot say that God is a person, because He is not human; you cannot see Him. You cannot touch Him or feel Him, except through His spiritual power and the powers that He operates, and we feel those every day.

Since He is not a physical person but a spirit, that means He is a power, something spiritual that you cannot see. The Bible says very clearly that God is a Spirit. “No man hath seen God at any time, for God is a Spirit.”7

Jesus is in a sense a picture of God. He is like a symbol of God, a characterization of God. He is the Son of God, and we often say, “Like father, like son.” Your child is in a sense you, a picture or reflection of you, although distinct and separate in what might be termed as personalities. God, in a sense, pictures Himself as a person in the Bible because there is no other way He can cause us to understand Him.

God Himself walked in the person of a man, in the Garden of Eden with Adam. Later Abraham met Him as a man.8 He appeared in the Bible as a man, but that body was merely a personification of Him. So we have no other way to picture God or the Holy Spirit but through these figures and these personifications. Since God speaks of Himself as a Father, we represent Him as a Father.

Jesus is an actual person with a body like ours, like we are going to have when we have our resurrection bodies, who can eat and drink and feel all the same things that we can feel because He is human, although He is the Son of God. God and the Holy Spirit can take on bodies as representations of themselves, which they sometimes did in the Bible, figures representing them which the prophets saw. Daniel saw Jesus being brought before the Ancient of Days.9 The Ancient of Days must have looked like an old man, like a king upon his throne. He was seeing personifications or representations in these figures that he saw in his visions.

So God had to bring these things down to terms that the human mind can understand in concepts, figures, representations of the spiritual. We have to represent them just like the Lord does in the Bible. He shows Himself, in a sense, in word pictures when He says “God did this” and did that and said this and said that, and He appeared to Adam and walked with him in the Garden, He appeared to Abraham, He appeared to this one and that one in some type of figurative representation. I’m no theologian, and I’m just trying to bring Him down to the level of the average person. God is a Spirit, but He calls Himself a father and He is like a father.

We can’t understand everything; many things are beyond our comprehension. His ways are above our ways, as high as the heavens are above the earth, and so who can understand the mind of God, the Scripture says?10 It is beyond our comprehension. Thank God we know whom we worship—the one true God, and Jesus Christ His Son, the only Savior!


Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.—Isaiah 40:2811

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?—1 Corinthians 1:2012

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:713

By David Brandt Berg

Originally published October 1984. Adapted and republished April 2014. 
Read by Jerry Paladino.

1 Psalm 104:24 NIV.

2 John 1:3 NIV.

3 Romans 11:36 NLT.

4 John 4:24 KJV.

5 See John 1:18.

6 Hebrews 4:15.

7 John 1:18, 4:24.

8 Genesis 3:8, 17:1, 18:1.

9 Daniel 7:13.

10 Isaiah 55:8–9, Romans 11:33–34.

11 NIV.

12 ESV.

13 NIV.



Is The Beast Among Us? Are We Literally Heading Into the Prophesied End Times?

Mac Slavo

April 28th, 2014

With all that’s going on in the world economically, politically, religiously, and spiritually Charlie McGrath of Wide Awake News asks, “Is the beast among us?”

Are we headed for global financial enslavement because of the greed and the want of more power and money by corporate special interests?

Or are we literally heading into the prophesied end times? Are we headed into the End of Days on planet earth?

Just a few years ago it would be absolutely ludicrous for the generation before us if they heard the things that were happening now… if they heard that drones are going to be in the air, 30,000+ plus in the next few years… if they knew that the NSA or other so-called intelligence agencies were spying on the people of this land they would have completely lost their mind… they would have never, ever believed it possible in just a few decades time…

But now it’s accepted.

Now everybody walks around with a cell phone that can be complete trapped… Now people are walking around with RFID chips implanted in their credit cards or their passport… It’s just common practice.

And we’re being sold every single day that in order to be safe we have to partake in these kinds of measures.

So, it is not a far reach that the technology, as it advances… the potential to be injected with an RFID chip or some other kind of technology is not only going to be a potential… it’s already here. And it’s going to be voluntary at the beginning…

But we have seen time and time again how your personal freedom, how your rights, how your privacy is no longed relevant if it’s on the heels of an emergency.

When you look at it in its totality… you really could make the argument that we’re rapidly on a freight train that’s heading to a very, very dark place on planet earth. Some are going to call it End Times… some are going to call it Christian prophecy coming to fruition… and some are going to call it a really, really bad time to be alive on planet earth…

But the truth cannot be hidden. If you have eyes to see you can see the path that we are on.

While the notion that humanity is in its End Times is an argument that has been made throughout the last two thousands years (and before), the idea may not be so far fetched. Author Tom Horn, who predicted the unprecedented resignation of the Vicar of Christ Pope Benedict XVI nearly a year prior to the Vatican’s announcement, has also suggested that the melding of human and machine is a powerful sign that the world is in for what is shaping up to be a rocky century, because not only are we merging one with the other, but we are creating a new “species” in the process.

As Charlie noted in his commentary, there always seems to be some sort of crisis and each one has been used to further enslave the population of the world. Pastor Horn broaches this subject matter as well, suggesting that a future event will be used as a pretext for an attempt to centralize global power under one leader who will be presented to the world as a savior and that perhaps this person will be the Anti-Christ who signals the end of days. The Book of Revelation certainly paints a dark picture of these events and Horn uses dozens of ancient texts and interpretations to support the case that the age in which we are living will bring massive changes to our world.

But Tom Horn and Charlie McGrath aren’t the only ones who view the events of today as a prelude of what’s to come. The late Catholic priest Father Malachi Martin, a truly brilliant mind who advised two popes and was a student of archaeology, Semitic languages and ancient history, suggested in a 1996 radio interview that the devil is alive and well deep within the halls of the Vatican and that those who have turned to evil are working closely with elements of what those of us outside of the inner circle of the Church elite would refer to as the New World Order.

And what is the ultimate goal of those working to globalize control and centralize leadership? According to Father Malachi, it’s just what you would expect: the acquisition of money and power. And this evil pervades everything from the Church and top tier political offices to banks and the general population worldwide.

Keep in mind that Father Malachi is one who has not only sat with the inner circle, he had access to highly secretive documents and historical texts from which he draws on, so he’s not just theorizing on what might be going on behind the scenes.

The following assessment from Malachi is quite fascinating considering it was made nearly two decades ago before his death (which itself occurred under suspicious circumstances). He’s a well versed theologian, yet he, like many of us, was very attune to the global nature of what we might refer to as “The Beast.”

This organization… I’m talking about the visible organization… from the Pope down to the local Parish priets… it’s a facade… there is no longer an evangilization taking place… there is no longer any vibrancy… life has gone out of the system… as well as hope… the system is shot.

The third secret [of Fatima] interpreted on its face value, without going into the details of it, implies that the New World Order now being installed… between you, me and the Holy Spirit, it is installed in its grand lines now… is definitely something that will not last and is unacceptable to God… because this New World Order is built on money… it’s built on the regulation of capital and the flow of capital and the flow of capital goods… in the hands of the elite… outside of which no country or nation can live.

No nation can live without participating in this New World Order.

Take it for what you will. There are scores of historical texts that describe the events we see playing out before us.

Is it the End Times?

That remains to be seen. On this matter Jesus was clear with his disciples, “about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven.”

What we do know is that there exists a great evil throughout the world, as highlighted by Malachi Martin. It undoubtedly sits at the upper echelons of our society and governing bodies, and it wants more control and power. It will stop at nothing to get it.

Human tracking technology may well be The Mark of Biblical prophecy, but as Charlie McGrath succinctly notes “The Beast” must be viewed in its totality.

You better be aware of what’s happening in your world… and try to take a bigger view… and that’s myself included… it isn’t just one single issue here or there… are we on a path as a planet for a very, very dark time on planet earth?


But What Does This Mean For Us?

It might come as a surprise that some very conservative theologians allow for innate human abilities—along the lines of Watchman Nee’s latent power of the soul—as an explanation for some forms of extrasensory perception. A contemporary and friend of the celebrated evangelist D. L. Moody, Frederick Brotherton Meyer (1847–1929), was a Baptist pastor and evangelist during the heyday of the popular spiritualist movement of the nineteenth century. In a polemic against spiritualism, Meyer railed against the mediums, but conceded that psi abilities are not necessarily occult:

Neither telepathy nor clairvoyance appears deserving of our censure. They are natural properties of the mind, and only reveal the wondrous faculties with which the Almighty has endowed us. If it is possible to send out circling waves of wireless telegraphy, which widen out as the rings from a stone cast into a pond Or lake, and can only be appreciated where the receiver and the transmitter are perfectly attuned, so it is not difficult to believe that our minds are constantly radiating motions and influences through our brains, which are perceived by sympathetic correspondence with other brains.[xii]

Meyer allowed that telepathy and clairvoyance are human abilities endowed by the Creator. While dominant Western scientific consensus denies these abilities, the evidence for them is quite compelling and consistent with biblical revelation. While this may raise the hackles of a few critics, the biblical worldview has more in common with the findings of parapsychology than philosophical naturalism, and theologians have much to learn from the research. My conviction is that the Christian has nothing to fear from the pursuit of truth, even from unconventional sources... such as I infiltrated... where I found what I did not expect.

[xii]Frederick Brotherton Meyer, The Modern Craze of Spiritualism (Joseph Kreifels, 1919).


Examining Paranormal, PSI, and the ApocalypticPosted: April 27, 2014
8:00 am Eastern

by Cris Putnam PART 9 - Latent Powers of the Soul


American Dream (We have edited out ten paragraphs of this article as we felt they were just too graphic.)

Why Is The Media Silent About The Crucifixion Of Christians By Radical Jihadists?

Michael Snyder
American Dream
May 2, 2014

Could you imagine the uproar in the mainstream media that we would see if a member of a politically favored class of people was crucified for who or what they are? There would be front page headlines for weeks.

Image: Crucifixion (YouTube).

The following is an excerpt from a Fox News story about another incident of crucifixion that just happened recently…

Al Qaeda-backed jihadists are hanging the bodies of executed enemies on crosses crucifixion-style in a town in Northern Syria, according to a Syrian opposition group.

The executions reportedly took place Tuesday in Raqqa, where the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, an Al Qaeda-linked network, has taken over the city, according to Abu Ibrahim Alrquaoui, who identifies himself as a founder of a group called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

As I mentioned above, the jihadists that are doing this have the support of Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Obama administration and the Saudia are desperate to overthrow the Syrian government, and Obama seems to have no problem allying us with some of the most despicable jihadists on the entire planet in order to make that happen.

The brutality against Christians by U.S.-backed fighters has been going on for month after month with very little notice by the outside world. Just check out what has been going on in one little village in the middle of the war zone…

For a major part of the past year, it was occupied by Islamist Syrian rebels associated with al-Qaida who took advantage of its commanding position over Maaloula to help keep their grip on this Christian village. During the occupation of the village by the Saudi- and U.S.-supported rebels, strict Shariah law was enforced. Those Christians not able to flee were treated as slaves. Several Christian men were beheaded, and many of the women were forced into “temporary” marriages with multiple Islamic fighters.

And of course Syria is far from the only place where we see this kind of brutality on a consistent basis. For example, Christians are regularly slaughtered by radical jihadists in Nigeria. The following is just one recent example…

While many of us were enjoying our Friday evenings, a massacre was taking place in Nigeria that left between 100 and 150 Christians dead and around 200 homes burned to the ground.

At around 10pm Nigeria time last night while villagers were asleep, more than 40 Fulani herdsmen attacked the Ungwan Gata, Me-Sankwai and Tekum villages in Manchok (Kaura Local Government), which is located in Southern Kaduna, Nigeria. Southern Kaduna is a predominantly Christian.

These jihadi attackers first set fire to homes and when the Christians attempted to escape their homes, they were shot dead or butchered with machetes. The ones who could not escape their homes burned to death.

No one attacked was spared, including women and children. A pastor, his wife, and their children, of one of the villages, were said to be among the butchered.

Have you heard about that incident before now?

Probably not.

You see, the truth is that the elite control the “matrix” known as the mainstream media, and they don’t consider such stories to be important.

You probably haven’t heard about the young Christian woman that was dragged out of her car and beaten to death by a Muslim mob in Egypt either. Fortunately, there are some non-mainstream outlets that are covering this…

Eyewitnesses have given a harrowing account of the murder in Cairo of a young Coptic Christian woman, hauled out of her car and beaten and stabbed to death by a Muslim mob, apparently targeted because of a cross hanging from her rear-view mirror.

And to say that she was “beaten to death” doesn’t really capture the full horror of what happened to her…

Protestors climbed onto her car, collapsing the roof, then hauled her from the vehicle, beating and mauling her – to the extent, he said, that portions of her scalp were torn off. She was stabbed multiple times, her throat was slit and when she was dead, the mob torched her car.

This is evil to the highest degree.

But even in the midst of the slowest news year in ages, the mainstream media still won’t touch this stuff.

There is an extreme hesitance in the western world to report anything that will put Muslims in a bad light or put Christians in a good light.

Meanwhile, as Christians are being slaughtered by Muslims all over the globe, the western world is doing all that it can to shut down criticism of Islam.

For instance, the leader of a political party in the UK could be facing up to two years in prison for the “hate crime” of quoting Winston Churchill…

Political party leader Paul Weston was arrested by police and faces up to two years in jail for criticizing the religion of Islam during a public speech in the United Kingdom.

Weston’s “racially aggravated” hate crime consisted of him quoting Winston Churchill.

Weston’s arrest reveals the chilling implementation of thought crime in Britain and how political correctness is being used as a weapon with which to destroy the edifice of freedom of speech across the western world.

The following is what appears to be the quote that got Weston in trouble…

“The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities – but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.”

And in the U.S., great efforts are being made to make Muslims as comfortable as possible in our schools. Even as Christian prayers are being banned, entire prayer rooms are being set aside for Muslim students in schools all over the country. In addition, many school systems are now giving students days off during major Muslim holidays. In fact, this will soon be happening in New York City…

New York City is moving to close school for two Muslim holidays and the Lunar New Year — but Mayor de Blasio isn’t so sure about the Hindu festival Diwali.

Appearing on WNYC’s “Brian Lehrer Show” on Monday, the mayor said he hadn’t taken a position on whether Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated in India and other South Asian countries, should be a day off from school.

But he said he’d move forward with closing schools for Lunar New Year and for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, Muslim holy days.

But that is nothing compared to what happened at one high school in Colorado. As students recited the Pledge of Allegiance, the words “under God” were replaced with “under Allah”…

The principal at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, is facing a hailstorm of criticism from some very angry parents and residents.

The school recites the Pledge of Allegiance weekly, on Mondays. Last Monday, a member of their “Cultural Arms Club” led the student body in an Arabic version of the pledge, replacing the words “under God” with “under Allah.”

Principal Tom Lopez denies any attempt to push an Islamic agenda, saying, “These students love this country. They were not being un-American in trying to do this. They believed they were accentuating the meaning of the words as spoken regularly in English.”

In the U.S., people are bending over backwards to make the Muslim minority feel more comfortable.

But in Muslim countries, Christians are being beaten to death, beheaded and crucified and very few people in the western world even want to talk about it.

Has our society become so “politically correct” that we cannot even denounce great evil when it is happening right in front of our eyes?


The Telegraph

Former archbishop of Canterbury: We are a post-Christian nation

Exclusive: Former archbishop of Canterbury says Britain is no longer a nation of believers, as Telegraph poll reveals Christians are reluctant to express their faith

Lord Williams of Oystermouth says Britain is no longer “a nation of believers” Photo: Getty

By Tim Ross, Cole Moreton and James Kirkup

26 Apr 2014

Britain is now a “post-Christian” country, the former archbishop of Canterbury has declared, as research suggests that the majority of Anglicans and Roman Catholics now feel afraid to express their beliefs.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Lord Williams of Oystermouth says Britain is no longer “a nation of believers” and that a further decline in the sway of the Church is likely in the years ahead.

While the country is not populated exclusively by atheists, the former archbishop warns that the era of regular and widespread worship is over.

His stark assessment comes after David Cameron ignited a national debate over the place of religion in British public life. The Prime Minister urged Christians to be “more evangelical” about their faith and claimed that Britain should be a more confidently Christian country.

His remarks, in the run-up to Easter, provoked a furious response from atheist and secular groups, and prompted a succession of senior politicians to give their views, culminating in Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England.

However, an exclusive poll for The Telegraph today discloses substantial support for the Prime Minister’s view. Findings from the ICM survey of 2,000 people conducted last week included:

• More than half the public – 56 per cent – regard Britain as a Christian country, a figure which rises to 60 per cent among men and 73 per cent among the over 65s;

• Almost two-thirds of practising Christians appear to be frightened of speaking out about their beliefs. The poll found 62 per cent saying the rise of religious fundamentalism had made Christians afraid to express their faith;

• Widespread concerns also emerge over the perceived vulnerability of Christians in the UK to abuse or discrimination. Sixty-two per cent of people who hold Christian beliefs but do not worship regularly say they feel Christians are given “less protection” than other religious groups by the state;

• Overall, 52 per cent of respondents described themselves as either practising or non-practising Christians, while a further five per cent said they belonged to another faith group. Some 41 per cent said they were not religious.

In the interview, Lord Williams, now master of Magdalene College, Cam-bridge, accepted that Britain’s “cultural memory” was “quite strongly Christian”.

“But [Britain is] post-Christian in the sense that habitual practice for most of the population is not taken for granted,” he said. “A Christian nation can sound like a nation of committed believers, and we are not that.”

The former archbishop, who remains a member of the House of Lords, continued: “It’s a matter of defining terms. A Christian country as a nation of believers? No.

“A Christian country in the sense of still being very much saturated by this vision of the world and shaped by it? Yes.”

Lord Williams suggested that there may be “a further shrinkage of awareness and commitment” as a result of a lack of knowledge about Britain’s Christian legacy among younger generations, under the age of 45.

There may be opportunities for younger people to bring “a certain freshness” to the question of faith because they will not regard Christianity as “the boring old stuff that we learned at school”.

He rejected the suggestion that British Christians have been persecuted, although he acknowledged that some individuals have had “a rough time” as a result of the “real stupidity” of some organisations. His comments are likely to fuel the political controversy which erupted when the Prime Minister made his most outspoken comments about his Christian faith since becoming Conservative leader.

Mr Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, responded to the debate last week by suggesting that the Church of England should be formally disestablished from the state.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Lady Warsi, the senior Conservative peer and the minister for faith, defended the Prime Minister’s intervention, saying that “Christianity is part of the landscape of this country and always will be”.

However, she warned that many Christians now feel they cannot display their faith in public. She suggested that large numbers of immigrants from Christian backgrounds, such as Polish Catholics and members of Chinese and African churches, were leading to a religious revival in Britain.

“It’s when countries have a weak identity that things start to go wrong and people start to feel that they are under threat,” she said.

“Sadly that’s what happened in Britain for many years. Politicians didn’t talk about their faith because they were seen to be odd to do so.” This fuelled a rise in support for far-Right groups in the UK, she said.

“People say they are drawn to extremist groups because they feel their identity is under threat, that they are not allowed to be who they are or believe what they believe.

“That happens because people become unsure of what we stand for in our country. There is still sometimes a sense that the Christian heritage of Britain is not spoken about, not displayed. People don’t feel that they can dress in a Christian manner, can’t talk about Christianity and faith. These groups exploit that feeling and we have to stand up to that.”

Lady Warsi, senior minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and minister for faith, argued that immigration had the potential to strengthen Britain’s Christian heritage, rather than dilute the national faith.

“Some people fear that immigration somehow makes Britain less of a Christian country, but actually, the opposite is true. Immigration has played into the Christian revival in this country.

“Look at the facts of church-going today. Some of the biggest church-goers are people whose heritage is in Africa and the Caribbean. We have eastern churches and we have Chinese churches.

“There are Roman Catholic churches that have been revived and restored by people who have come to Britain from Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe.

“Britain is a Christian country, but you can be Christian of all sorts of background and heritage.

“The diversity of Britain is not taking away from Christianity. It has actually led to a revival of Christianity.”

The Telegraph/ICM poll today discloses that a majority of the public still regards Britain as a Christian country.

Some 56 per cent said Britain was Christian, compared with 30 per cent who said they thought the country was “non-religious”.

The online survey of 2,000 adults provided further evidence of concerns that Christian beliefs are being marginalised in modern Britain.

The poll found that 62 per cent of practising Anglicans and Catholics along with 61 per cent of non-practising Christians agreed that they were afraid to express their beliefs, and 56 per cent of Christians also felt that the state gives less protection to their beliefs than to those of other faith groups.

Some 14 per cent of respondents defined themselves as practising Christians, while a further 38 per cent said they were “non-practising” Christian



Vatican declares Popes John Paul II and John XXIII saints

Pope Francis declares John Paul II and John XXIII as new saints

Pope Francis has declared Popes John Paul II and John XXIII saints, in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands.

He praised his two predecessors as "men of courage" at the Vatican service, the first time in history that two popes have been canonised at the same time.

The Mass was attended by Pope Emeritus Benedict, who quit as pope last year, and roughly 100 foreign delegations.

Analysts say Francis is trying to balance the conservative legacy of John Paul with the reforming zeal of John.

At the climax of the service, Pope Francis said in Latin: "We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church."

Relics of each man - a container of blood from John Paul and a piece of skin from John - were placed near the altar.

Pope Francis paid tribute to the two new saints as "priests, bishops and popes of the 20th Century".

"They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful," he said.

The Vatican estimated some 800,000 pilgrims had poured into Rome to see the two-hour ceremony first-hand.

For those unable to make it into St Peter's Square, giant screens were set up in nearby streets and elsewhere in the city.

"Four popes in one ceremony is a fantastic thing to see and to be at, because it is history being written in our sight," said Polish pilgrim Dawid Halfar.

Giant portraits of the two popes flanked Francis as he celebrated Mass

Pope Francis greeted crowds from the "popemobile" after the ceremony

The Vatican confirmed on Saturday that 87-year-old Benedict XVI - now officially titled Pope Emeritus - would make a rare public appearance alongside his successor.

"We've been counting down the days. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience”

Polish pilgrim in Rome

Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign for 600 years when he quit for health reasons a year ago.

Papal politics

The process of saint-making is usually long and very costly.

But John Paul II, whose 26-year reign ended in 2005, has been fast-tracked to sainthood in just nine years.

Many among the huge crowds that gathered as he lay dying cried out "santo subito", which means "sainthood now".

By contrast Italian-born John XXIII, known as the Good Pope after his 1958-63 papacy, had his promotion to full sainthood decided suddenly and very recently by Pope Francis.

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says there was a political dimension to this.

By canonising both John XXIII - the pope who set off the reform movement - and John Paul II - the pope who applied the brakes - Francis has skilfully deflected any possible criticism that he could be taking sides.


The Jerusalem Post

Jordan recognizes Palestinians’ rights to all of east Jerusalem


04/24/2014 18:38

PA and Jordan sign nine agreements to strengthen relations in various fields including agriculture, health, and civil defense.

Jerusalem skyline Photo: Marc Israel Sellem

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour met in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and signed agreements to strengthen relations in various fields, including an increase in economic and trade ties.

Ensour said that Jordan recognizes Palestinian sovereignty over “every square millimeter” of east Jerusalem, and this includes the Temple Mount, known as Haram al-Sharif by Muslims, The Jordan Times reported on Wednesday.

He also said that Jordan’s King Abdullah and Abbas signed an agreement last year that renewed the kingdom’s role as a custodian of Muslim holy sites in the city.

“Jordan does not compete with the Palestinians for sovereignty over east Jerusalem,” he said according to the report.

Ensour added that Jordan is constantly kept up to date about the status of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and that communication is fluid between Amman and Ramallah as well as with the US on the matter.

At the end of the meetings, nine memorandums of understanding and executive programs were presented in the fields of industry, protecting national products, agriculture, health, civil defense, and meteorology, Jordan News Agency Petra reported.

During a press conference with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Ensour stressed that Jordan supports the Palestinians’ quest for statehood and has always stood by them.

He also expressed his country’s support for the talks to reconcile Palestinian factions.




by M.E. SYNON 1 May 2014

In a crass and ill-timed intervention, the unelected president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy has warned Vladimir Putin that the EU intends ultimately to control every country on the western flank of Russia.

In an interview with De Standaard newspaper, Van Rompuy speaks about his “dreams” that all the Balkan states will join the EU. He calls it an “inspiring thought” that in the long term “the whole of European territory outside Russia” will be tied in some way to the EU.

He admits he does not know if there is public support for such a move, “But we do it anyway.”

Van Rompuy’s comments, released in the midst of the tensions which have followed moves by Brussels to put Ukraine on the path to EU membership, give credence to Putin’s fears that ultimately the EU intends to put its tanks on Russia’s lawn.

Building a common EU defence is one of the strategic priorities for the Brussels elite who are trying to build “a country called Europe.”

Most people in Britain are unaware of it, but a commitment by Britain and the other member states to common foreign, security and defence policies was written into the Maastricht Treaty of 1992.

In recent years the EU has deepened the integration of the military forces of member states with the framing of the Common Security and Defence Policy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are the leading voices for a common defence force for the EU.

In 2008, a report by a respected Dutch think tank warned that the EU is pursuing a secretive “military space policy.” It accused the EU of using the cover of the European Space Agency to develop technologies such as the Galileo satellite system for use by military as well as civilian. authorities

Last July, Martin Schulz, the German socialist President of the European Parliament who is now one of the top candidates to be the next president of the European Commission, said: “We need a headquarters for civil and military missions in Brussels and deployable troops.”

At the same time the European Commission proposed that it should “own and operate” its own surveillance drones.

Last December at a European Council meeting, member states agreed to “deepen defence cooperation.” At a press conference afterwards, David Cameron insisted Britain would block EU institutions from owning and operating their own military assets.

However, the fact is there is nothing Britain can do to stop a group of EU member states from creating their own “intergovernmental” defence force and asking the EU to administer it.

Now in this latest interview, Van Rompuy has said Brussels intends in effect to create an EU national border from the Arctic Circle to the Turkish border with Iraq.

This could threaten Russia’s historic, trade and political ties with Eastern Europe, so it is unlikely Russians will believe Van Rompuy when he insists the EU does not intend to create a “geopolitical shift.”

As long ago as 2007, José Manuel Barroso, the Portuguese former Maoist who is the president of the European Commission, said he liked to compare the EU “to the organisation of an empire.” He said “We have the dimension of an empire. I believe it is a great construction.”

Van Rompuy’s interview makes it clear that the EU elite intend for the empire to go right to the edge of the Russian Motherland.

In reply to Van Rompuy’s interview, a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Europe’s diversity means a one-size-fits-all Europe will not work. You cannot impose a federal, close-knit union on such a varied group of states. There is not the political will to do so.”

“Only 31 per cent of the people across the European Union have a positive view of the EU. Two-thirds believe their voice does not count in the EU. This is not the voice of people who think a ‘United States of Europe’ is the answer to their problems. You have to treat Europe like a network not like a bloc.”

UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall said Van Rompuy’s words “demonstrate the frightening expansionist mentality of federalist fanatics.” He said Van Rompuy “does show a rare glimpse of honesty when he admits that the EU’s desire to expand comes without any public approval.”

Vladimir Chizhov, Russian ambassador to the EU, and Douglas Alexander, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, were both unavailable for comment.



Ukraine's government has lost control of east, says acting president

Oleksandr Turchynov says security forces are unable to control situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions

30 April 2014

Pro-Russia gunmen in an administration building in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Ukraine's acting president has admitted his government has practically lost control of the east of the country, with his security forces "helpless" to stop a rolling takeover by pro-Russia gunmen.

Oleksandr Turchynov said numerous Ukrainian military and security personnel had defected to the rebels, taking their arms with them. Using the language of defeat, he told a meeting of regional governors: "I will be frank. Today, security forces are unable to take the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions quickly under control."

His comments came after anti-Kiev militants seized a string of official buildings in the eastern city of Luhansk on Tuesday. Only the city's police station remained under nominal central command.

Standing outside Luhansk's police headquarters on Wednesday, Tatiana Pogukay was close to tears. "We are still here. We didn't surrender. But Kiev betrayed us," she said. Her emotion was understandable. The previous night she and her colleagues had fended off an armed attack by 50 pro-Russia separatists. The gunmen in fatigues attempted to storm the building. One fired warning shots in the air; some scaled the roof; others rammed the rear entrance with a Kamaz truck.

The officers inside managed to stand their ground. They tossed smoke and stun grenades at their assailants from upper-floor windows. A frightened group of conscripts was allowed to leave. Eventually the separatists called it a night – with the police still in control of their four-storey regional HQ, at least for now. "We didn't give up our weapons. We defended this place with honour," Pogukay, a police colonel, said.

Despite some heroic resistance, the reality is this: most of east Ukraine is now a separatist fiefdom. The balance of power is tipping. It is moving inexorably away from the beleaguered government in Kiev, and towards militants supported by Moscow who are on the brink of declaring their own autonomous state.

With its Khrushchev-era apartment blocks and neo-classical Stalinist buildings, Luhansk – population 445,000 – already looks like Russia. The Russian border is 20 miles (35km) away. In a matter of weeks Luhansk will either be Russia, or a political entity allied with it.

On Wednesday the city's volunteer-soldiers were taking it easy after a remarkable 24 hours in which they seized municipal power. In early April a militia led by Soviet Afghan war veterans occupied Luhansk's security service agency HQ, in the centre of town. They helped themselves to its formidable arsenal: shiny new Kalashnikovs, pistols, grenades, and rocket launchers. Last week a new Moscow-approved "people's governor", Valery Bolotov, appeared. Bolotov sent Kiev a list of "demands". He set a deadline, which expired on Monday.

After failing to get a reply, the rebels carried out an effortless coup a day later. First, a 3,000-strong crowd encircled Luhansk's regional administration building, which overlooks a pleasant park and a statue of the moustached poet Taras Shevchenko. A couple of youths in masks smashed in the windows with crowbars; then the masses poured in. Riot police trapped in a courtyard did nothing. Miserable and humiliated, they eventually left.

On Wednesday masked armed volunteers were standing guard outside their new HQ; sandbags had been piled up before ground-floor windows; a nascent tyre-wall was taking shape on the pavement. One militiaman, Alexander, was happy to chat. He said despite the change in management it was business as usual, with council staff working as before. "Our job is to check IDs," he said. A wellwisher gave him a carton of Bond Street cigarettes. Nearby, a group of women were discussing the dramatic events of the previous day.

One old lady in a headscarf seemed confused by this rapid transfer of control. She asked Alexander if he had come from the Maidan, Kiev's pro-western protest movement?

"We're against fascism," Alexander answered.

She remained confused. Another woman intervened helpfully and said: "Don't worry, dear. Everything will be like in the Soviet Union again. We will have our Victory Day on 9 May. It will all be OK."

The old woman's face brightened. She grasped Alexander by the hand, and before walking down the street told him: "History will remember you."

Alexander, his face hidden by a balaclava, declined to give his surname. But he said he was a 39-year-old miner with a family. A "referendum" on Luhansk's future status would take place on 11 May, he explained. After that, he said, the region would probably join Russia, though he wasn't certain. Why had he joined "Luhansk's people's militia"? "There's been a fascist takeover in Kiev," he replied. He added: "Victory Day is sacred for us. I've heard the Kiev government wants to replace it with a gay pride parade."

The insurgents now occupy practically all of Luhansk's official buildings. Armed men on Wednesday patrolled outside Luhansk's city hall, also taken on Tuesday; one had a Kalashnikov with its grip decorated in Russian red, white and blue. Others peered out from inside the procurator's office down the road; they emerged to sweep away broken glass from their break-in the night before. A new Russian tricolour flew above the regional appellate court. The militia also dropped into the TV station for a chat.

In other parts of the east it was the same story. In the town of Gorlovka, 20 miles from the regional capital of Donetsk, militants hijacked the city hall early on Wednesday, as well as a second police station. In Donetsk others grabbed the tax and customs office. Each occupation follows the same revolutionary template: gunmen, who do the heavy lifting; takeover; tyre barricades; call for a referendum. Ukraine still has tanks and troops in pockets in the east. But the reality is that Kiev's authority has vanished, probably forever.

Instead of trying to wrest back control of Luhansk and Donetsk, Turchynov said on Wednesday his forces would concentrate on defending the provinces of Kharkiv, in the east, and Odessa, in the west. This will be difficult. The Kremlin's plan appears to be to resurrect the historic region of "New Russia", a large Russophone chunk of southern and eastern Ukraine.

At Luhansk's police station, meanwhile, Pogukay said she was incensed with Turchynov after he called the east's law enforcement officers "traitors". "First Viktor Yanukovych [Ukraine's ex-president] betrayed us. Now Turchynov betrayed us," she said, her voice shaking with feeling. "This is on his conscience." On Tuesday, just before the militia tried to seize the station, the regional police chief, Vladimir Guslavsky, faxed his resignation to Kiev, she said. He didn't get a reply. "He's a man of honour. He's staying in his post until they send a replacement," she said.

During the raid the insurgents managed to claw off half of a Ukrainian trident sign on the station's front wall. They also raised a Russian flag on a low overhanging roof; someone took it down again later. In anticipation of further attack, the police had sandbagged the entrance and ground-floor windows. Pot plants were visible in several upper windows; the lights were on. Ukraine's deputy interior minister had phoned up to offer his support, Pogukay said. But no one else from Kiev had bothered to pick up the phone. Surely the situation was now hopeless for the police? "We're not traitors like Turchynov said," she replied. "We'll fight to our last breath."



Moving Closer To War

Paul Craig Roberts

April 26, 2014

The Obama regime, wallowing in hubris and arrogance, has recklessly escalated the Ukrainian crisis into a crisis with Russia. Whether intentionally or stupidly, Washington’s propagandistic lies are driving the crisis to war. Unwilling to listen to any more of Washington’s senseless threats, Moscow no longer accepts telephone calls from Obama and US top officials.

The crisis in Ukraine originated with Washington’s overthrow of the elected democratic government and its replacement with Washington’s hand-chosen stooges. The stooges proceeded to act in word and deed against the populations in the former Russian territories that Soviet Communist Party leaders had attached to Ukraine. The consequence of this foolish policy is agitation on the part of the Russian speaking populations to return to Russia. Crimea has already rejoined Russia, and eastern Ukraine and other parts of southern Ukraine are likely to follow.

Instead of realizing its mistake, the Obama regime has encouraged the stooges Washington installed in Kiev to use violence against those in the Russian-speaking areas who are agitating for referendums so that they can vote their return to Russia. The Obama regime has encouraged violence despite President Putin’s clear statement that the Russian military will not occupy Ukraine unless violence is used against the protesters.

We can safely conclude that Washington either does not listen when spoken to or Washington desires violence.

As Washington and NATO are not positioned at this time to move significant military forces into Ukraine with which to confront the Russian military, why is the Obama regime trying to provoke action by the Russian military? A possible answer is that Washington’s plan to evict Russia from its Black Sea naval base having gone awry, Washington’s fallback plan is to sacrifice Ukraine to a Russian invasion so that Washington can demonize Russia and force a large increase in NATO military spending and deployments.

In other words, the fallback prize is a new cold war and trillions of dollars more in profits for Washington’s military/security complex.

The handful of troops and aircraft that Washington has sent to “reassure” the incompetent regimes in those perennial trouble spots for the West–Poland and the Baltics–and the several missile ships sent to the Black Sea amount to nothing but symbolic provocations.

Economic sanctions applied to individual Russian officials signal nothing but Washington’s impotence. Real sanctions would harm Washington’s NATO puppet states far more than the sanctions would hurt Russia.

It is clear that Washington has no intention of working anything out with the Russian government. Washington’s demands make this conclusion unavoidable. Washington is demanding that the Russian government pull the rug out from under the protesting populations in eastern and southern Ukraine and force the Russian populations in Ukraine to submit to Washington’s stooges in Kiev. Washington also demands that Russia renege on the reunification with Crimea and hand Crimea over to Washington so that the original plan of evicting Russia from its Black Sea
naval base can go forward.

In other words, Washington’s demand is that Russia put Humpty Dumpty back together again and hand him over to Washington.

This demand is so unrealistic that it surpasses the meaning of arrogance. The White House Fool is telling Putin: “I screwed up my takeover of your backyard. I want you to fix the situation for me and to ensure the success of the strategic threat I intended to bring to your backyard.”

The presstitute Western media and Washington’s European puppet states are supporting this unrealistic demand. Consequently, Russian leaders have lost all confidence in the word and intentions of the West, and this is how wars start.

European politicians are putting their countries at great peril and for what gain? Are Europe’s politicians blackmailed, threatened, paid off with bags of money, or are they so accustomed to following Washington’s lead that they are unable to do anything else? How do Germany, UK, and France benefit from being forced into a confrontation with Russia by Washington?

Washington’s arrogance is unprecedented and is capable of driving the world to destruction. Where is Europe’s sense of self-preservation? Why hasn’t Europe issued arrest warrants for every member of the Obama regime? Without the cover provided by Europe and the presstitute media, Washington would not be able to drive the world to war.



Natural News

Psychiatrists now say non-conformity is a mental illness: only the sheeple are 'sane'

Friday, April 25, 2014 by: Jonathan Benson

NaturalNews) Modern psychiatry has become a hotbed of corruption, particularly the kind that seeks to demonize and declare mentally ill anyone who deviates from what is regarded as the norm. This is abundantly evident in the latest installment of the industry's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, which dubs people who do not conform to what those in charge declare to be normal as mentally insane.

The so-called "condition" for why a person might choose to resist conformity has been labeled by the psychiatric profession as "oppositional defiant disorder," or ODD. The new DSM defines this made-up disease as an "ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior," and also lumps it in alongside attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, another made-up condition whose creator, Dr. Leon Eisenberg, admitted it to be phony on his death bed.

As you might suspect from this type of open-ended description, almost any personal behavior perceived by someone else to be undesirable or strange might be categorized as symptomatic of ODD. Children who throw temper tantrums or fight with their siblings, for instance, might be declared to have this supposed mental illness, as might children who express disagreement with their parents or teachers.

Disobedience and defiance are common behaviors among young children, and parents have long dealt with such behaviors by exercising proper discipline. At the same time, not all forms of disobedience and defiance are wrong, depending on the authority involved and the action petitioned. A child who is told by his teacher to keep his unpopular opinions to himself, for instance, and who resists this order might simply be exercising his freedom to express disagreement.

But that's the problem with categorizing conditions like ODD so loosely, as virtually any uncommon behavior can be declared to be oppositional or defiant simply because it bucks the status quo. Famous minds of the past like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, for instance, whose unconventional ideas might have seemed crazy in their day, are the types of folks who today might be declared to have ODD or some other type of mental disease.

An even greater danger to using this subjective approach in the diagnosis of mental illness is that it threatens to curtail freedom of speech and political dissent. The federal government has already tried to declare those who oppose its tyrannical policies, or who simply question them, as having "political paranoia," a type of mental illness.

Characterizing non-conformity as 'mental illness' a hallmark of totalitarian government

Such outlandish abuse of the medical system for controlling popular thought is nothing new. Many authoritarian governments, including the former USSR, implemented similar mental health programs that categorized dissenters as having chemical imbalances in need of a remedy. Today, that remedy is often mind-altering, psychotropic drugs with devastating side effects.

"Psychiatric incarceration of mentally healthy people is uniformly understood to be a particularly pernicious form of repression, because it uses the powerful modalities of medicine as tools of punishment, and it compounds a deep affront to human rights with deception and fraud," explains a 2002 analysis and commentary on the abuse of psychiatry in both the Soviet Union and China that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

"Doctors who allow themselves to be used in this way... betray the trust of society and breach their most basic ethical obligations as professionals."

You can view this study, which has powerful implications for what the psychiatric profession is becoming today, here:


Sources for this article include:







Natural News

MERS outbreak hits 30% death rate as pandemic spreads in Saudi Arabia

Monday, April 28, 2014

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) The MERS outbreak sweeping through Saudi Arabia and Egypt has accelerated yet again with 26 new confirmed cases today. Infections have exploded by 73 percent in just one month, reports Reuters.

What really has virologists alarmed, however, is the 30% death rate currently being observed. As Reuters reports (1) :

Saudi Arabia, where MERS was discovered around two years ago and which remains the country most affected, has now had 339 confirmed cases of MERS, of which 102 have been fatal.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and it has no known treatments or cures in the entire world of western medicine. There are no antibiotics, no vaccines, no medications and no medical interventions practiced by conventional medicine which have any ability to reverse a MERS infection.

A 30% fatality rate is considered extremely alarming in the world of infectious disease. Influenza typically kills fewer than 1 in 1000 people infected, but MERS is so far killing 3 out of 10.

Highly infectious disease

MERS also appears to be highly infectious and easily able to spread among the population. A highly infectious virus that spreads from person to person without requiring direct contact -- i.e. an "airborne" infection -- is considered extremely dangerous because of its ability to multiply extremely rapidly. This trait, when combined with a long incubation period, turns individuals into disease-spreading carriers.

The worst-case profile of a pandemic disease, in fact, is as follows:

• Extremely contagious (easily caught by others)

• Long duration, asymptomatic incubation period

• Resistant or immune to all known medical treatments

• When symptoms appear, they help spread the disease (sneezing, for example)

• High enough fatality rate to kill lots of people, but low enough to keep many carriers alive and spreading the disease

Rapidly becoming an infectious disease of global concern

Does MERS fit this profile? MERS certainly seems to meet the criteria, and a news report from the Sun Star explains that MERS has an incubation period of 3 - 14 days, which is sufficiently long to very effectively spread the disease. The 30% fatality rate is actually a bit higher than what a "successful" pandemic viral strain would prefer, by the way. It kills too many people too quickly and thus might "burn out" more easily in a limited population.

A more "successful" pandemic strain would actually have a kill rate closer to 5%, allowing it to turn 95% of infected people into carriers rather than fatalities.

In any case, MERS is clearly something we need to watch very carefully. If it continues to spread, it now has the potential to leap from nation to nation and truly become a global pandemic. It also has the potential to mutate along the way, possibly becoming more infectious but less fatal -- a change which would almost certainly panic virologists.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/27/us...



Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

AP Photo / Patrick Semansky


A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," they write, "while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."

As one illustration, Gilens and Page compare the political preferences of Americans at the 50th income percentile to preferences of Americans at the 90th percentile as well as major lobbying or business groups. They find that the government—whether Republican or Democratic—more often follows the preferences of the latter group rather than the first.

The researches note that this is not a new development caused by, say, recent Supreme Court decisions allowing more money in politics, such as Citizens United or this month's ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC. As the data stretching back to the 1980s suggests, this has been a long term trend, and is therefore harder for most people to perceive, let alone reverse.

"Ordinary citizens," they write, "might often be observed to 'win' (that is, to get their preferred policy outcomes) even if they had no independent effect whatsoever on policy making, if elites (with whom they often agree) actually prevail."



Gerry Adams arrested for questioning over 1972 IRA slaying

By Chelsea J. Carter and Peter Taggart, CNN

May 1, 2014


NEW: Police announce the arrest of a man in the case but decline to identify him

NEW: Gerry Adams has vehemently denied any role in the killing

Jean McConville was abducted, killed and buried in 1972

Adams: "I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs.

Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- Police on Wednesday arrested Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams for questioning in connection with the 1972 Irish Republican Army abduction and slaying of a widow, a move that could shake Northern Ireland's fragile peace.

In a statement released shortly before he surrendered for questioning, the 65-year-old Adams vehemently denied any involvement in the killing of Jean McConville. The Police Service of Northern Ireland announced the arrest of a 65-year-old man whom they declined to identify but described as a suspect in the McConville case.

Adams has long denied having any role in the death of McConville, a widowed mother of 10 who was reportedly killed by the IRA because the group believed she was a spy for the British army.

"I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice," Adams said in the statement posted on his party website. "Malicious allegations have been made against me. I reject these."

The questioning of Adams was not unexpected. Adams said he told authorities last month that he was willing to meet with investigators.

Long associated with the IRA, once considered the armed wing of Sinn Fein, Adams is a prominent Catholic politician who helped broker peace in Northern Ireland. Today, Sinn Fein is Ireland's second-largest opposition party.

"While I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will, I am innocent in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs. McConville," Adams said.

Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and Protestant fighters wanted to keep it that way. Catholics were fighting to force the British out and reunify the north with the rest of Ireland.

Known as the Troubles, the conflict lasted 30 years, ending in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement that brokered peace. The agreement provided a political framework for power-sharing among the parties.

The IRA admitted in 1999 to killing a number of people who have become known as "The Disappeared" -- those who vanished during the Troubles.

Among the victims was McConville, whose remains were found partially buried on a beach in County Louth in 2003. She died of a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.

McConville, 38, was taken from her home in Belfast in December 1972, her daughter, Helen McKendry, told CNN in 2012.

"They came about tea time and they dragged her out of the bathroom and dragged her out," said McKendry, who was a teenager at the time. "...All I ever wanted was to know the reason why they killed my mother."

The investigation into McConville's killing was revived by authorities after the release of interviews given by members of the IRA, who implicated Adams.

The recordings were made by Boston Collage as part of the Belfast Project, which is a collection of interviews conducted with former Northern Irish paramilitary fighters. They provide an oral history of the decades of fighting.

Participants in the project believed their recorded interviews would be kept secret until their deaths.

One of those featured was Brendan Hughes, a now-deceased former commander of the IRA, a Catholic paramilitary.

Hughes told his interviewer about McConville: "I knew she was being executed. I knew that. I didn't know she was going to be buried or disappeared as they call them now."

Hughes went on to allege Adams was involved: "The special squad was brought into the operation then, called The Unknowns. You know when anyone needed to be taken away, they normally done it. I had no control over this squad. Gerry had control over this particular squad."

Adams has called the allegations libelous.



Ukip likely to come out top in European elections, warn Hain and Tebbit

Poll giving anti-EU party a three-point lead suggests racist candidates and Nigel Farage's expenses are not harming Ukip

Sunday 27 April 2014 16.30 EDT

Ukip's leader, Nigel Farage, campaigning for the European elections. YouGov put Ukip on 31%, Labour on 28% and the Tories on 19%. Photo: Tom Maddick/Ross Parry

Ukip is on course to win the highest share of the vote in next month's European elections, senior political figures warned on Sunday, in a result that would be viewed as a collapse of trust in the political establishment.

With a European election poll showing Ukip forging ahead, after a week that saw the party involved in a row about a racist candidate and buffeted by other controversies that would damage conventional parties, Peter Hain, the Labour former cabinet minister, said Ukip seemed to be immune from criticism and that he expected the party to beat Labour.

Lord Tebbit, the former Tory chairman, also said he expected Ukip to make history by becoming the first party other than Labour or the Conservatives to win a UK-wide election since the first world war. Tebbit said his party was still paying the price for David Cameron's decision to brand Ukip supporters "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists" eight years ago.

At the weekend, Ukip became embroiled in a fresh racism row following revelations that William Henwood, a local election candidate for the party in Enfield, north London, had said Lenny Henry should emigrate to a "black country" after the comedian and actor suggested ethnic minorities were poorly represented on British television.

Asked to explain himself on Sunday, Henwood chose to repeat the racist sentiment. He told the BBC: "I think if black people come to this country and don't like mixing with white people why are they here? If he [Henry] wants a lot of blacks around, go and live in a black country."

But a European election poll for the Sunday Times giving Ukip a three-point lead suggests scandals are not causing harm. The poll was conducted at the end of last week, after a controversy over a racist local government candidate, Andre Lampitt, and questions raised by the Times over party leader Nigel Farage's office expenses. The YouGov survey put Ukip support at 31%, ahead of Labour on 28%, the Conservatives on 19% and the Lib Dems on 9%. Of 16 European election polls conducted this year, this is only the second showing Ukip ahead, and the first showing a lead higher than two points.

Hain said the mainstream political parties had to recognise that Ukip's success was symptomatic of a wider loss of trust in politics. "The political class needs to wake up because Ukip are capitalising on the big anti-politics sentiment that is out there," he told the Guardian.

"Despite the fact that their candidates have blamed flooding on gay marriage, called women sluts, and expressed openly racist and Islamophobic prejudice – some really nasty stuff – and Nigel Farage has been accused of all sorts of allegations, all of it just seems to wash off, just like water off a duck's back, because they are the expression of a deep antagonism to the political class.

"It is really disturbing that they seem to have developed an immunity to the truth. It's for that reason that I expect them to be in the lead on 22 May."

Hain said Labour could win, but that it would be "very hard" and that the party would have to get its vote out effectively. His analysis was backed by Matthew Goodwin, an associate professor of politics at Nottingham University and co-author of a new book about Ukip, Revolt on the Right. He said that, until recently, he had expected Ukip to come second in the European elections, but that he had changed his mind.

"Having looked at the shift in opinion polls in the last 10 days to two weeks, I think what we are beginning to see is what we saw at this point before the 2009 European elections and the 2004 European elections, which was a Ukip surge, which always happens late on," he said. "My instinct is that they will probably end up ahead at the European election."

Goodwin said there were two reasons why the extensive media coverage over recent days of scandals and embarrassments involving Ukip did not seem to be having any impact on the polls.

"First, the core Ukip electorate are the most distrustful in British politics," he said. "And, second, over the last 20 years in European politics, one of the lessons that has been learned has been that, when it comes to the radical right, the strategy of condemnation and of ridicule has got us nowhere."

Goodwin added that a Ukip victory in May would have profound implications. "If they finish second, that raises awkward questions for David Cameron. But if they finish in first place, that amounts to an entire rejection of the British establishment's political past."

Tebbit said the party was a "quite remarkable phenomenon" and that it seemed to be "inured" to attacks from the media. "On present form, it looks like they will poll the most votes," he said, claiming the Ukip supporters who commented on his Telegraph blog constantly referred to Cameron's decision to label them "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racist" (a claim Cameron has subsequently retracted) as one reason for their rejecting the Conservatives.

Cameron's jibe was a terrible mistake, the peer said. "If I were running a retail business, and if I suddenly discovered that my customers had been walking past my shop and going to a competitor, I would not stand in the street cursing them. I would go to the other shop and see what they were selling," he said.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said that the comments from Ukip's Henwood about Henry were "absolutely disgusting".

While promising to investigate Henwood's comments, Ukip declined to disown him outright, instead claiming that the party was the victim of smear campaigns orchestrated by other parties alarmed at Ukip's success in the polls.



A slightly grouchy guide for new grads and other Millennials

By Anne Fisher,

April 23, 2014

If you’re about to finish college and venture into the corporate world, you’ve no doubt heard plenty of perfectly good tips on job-hunting: Double-check the spelling in your resume, show up on time, look hiring managers in the eye when you talk to them, turn your cell phone off in interviews.

That’s all fine, of course, but what if you happen to be rocking a conspicuous piercing, a tattoo, or “hair of a color not found in nature,” as Charles Murray puts it? “Curmudgeons will not hire you except for positions where they don’t have to see you, and perhaps not even those,” he writes in The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead. And that’s not all: Even if someone else in the organization does hire you, “curmudgeons will not give you a fair chance to prove yourself.”

He adds that “I know it’s terribly unfair. But you won’t get anywhere by trying to reason with us … There is no way (in our view) to argue that a pin through an eyebrow is anything but disfigurement.” Whew.

Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the unabashedly conservative Washington think tank American Enterprise Institute. Still, he insists his views are shared—though perhaps silently—by people at or near the top of most companies in every industry except maybe high-tech and show business.

The corporate world is, in Murray’s view, ruled by curmudgeons, whom he defines as “highly successful people of both genders who are inwardly grumpy about many aspects of contemporary culture, make quick and pitiless judgments about your behavior in the workplace, and [who] don’t hesitate to act on those judgments in deciding who gets promoted and who gets fired.”

So what does it take to impress these folks, who may well be “executives in their forties who have every appearance of being open-minded and cool,” but are in truth closeted curmudgeons?

First, watch your language. Among Murray’s pet peeves is what he perceives as many Millennials’ frequent, casual use of “the f-word.” He’s seen young job hunters instantly disqualified for dropping the f-bomb during interviews (twice, in one clueless candidate’s case), but the real advantage in “abstaining from casual obscenity,” he writes, is that it will make you a more effective communicator and, eventually, manager: “It’s a lot of fun, once you have established a restrained persona, to watch the startled look on others’ faces when you do let loose. You will instantly have their complete and perhaps terrified attention.”

Other missteps to avoid, Murray contends, are writing office emails as if they were texts to friends; using the word “impact” as a verb (he recommends the less trendy “affect” instead); saying “issue” when what you mean is “problem”; and clogging every sentence with the verbal tic “like” which, even in moderation, “lowers our estimate of the offender’s IQ.”

If these tips seem nitpicky, they’re not. “I am struck by the high percentage of people who have risen to senior positions who also care deeply about the proper use of the English language,” Murray writes. “An even higher proportion of them are obsessively precise about everything.”

Murray has some sharp words for Millennials whose “sense of entitlement,” he claims, has made them reluctant to pay their dues doing menial tasks. He notes that many curmudgeons (read: bosses) are managers in their fifties and older who “were getting up at five in the morning to deliver newspapers when they were nine or ten” and may have worked their way through college doing hard physical work. Moreover, “when the curmudgeons in your life were twenty-two, most of them found that getting started in the job market was characterized by low pay, boring entry-level work, [and] little job security,” he writes.

As a result, they’re “hypersensitive to any vibe you give off when you’re told to go pick up something in the mailroom. You don’t have to say anything or even roll your eyes,” he writes. “The slightest of sighs will lodge in their memory like their first kiss, only in a bad way.”

If all this makes curmudgeons sound tough to please, that’s because they usually are. But, Murray points out, there’s an important upside: They often make great mentors. To get ahead fast, he writes, “you want to be assigned to a successful curmudgeon, the more demanding the better.”

Why? Because, Murray writes, he or she is “more likely to have a gimlet eye for mistakes—and by the same token is more likely to notice when they don’t occur … [and] to be in love with excellent performance.” Deliver it, and your curmudgeonly boss is “your best bet to become your self-appointed advocate” to other higher-ups. And whose career, entry-level or not, couldn’t use one of those?




How to see clearly without glasses using a simple trick

Trick requires just one human hand


Monday 28 April 2014

Lost your contact lenses? Crushed your glasses? Well you need stare at blurry public transport signs no longer, as simple physics can be exploited to give your vision a small boost using just your hand.

The 'trick' was posted in YouTube video form by the channel Minute Physics and has been stunning bespectacled users in the hours following.

It's very simple:

Make a tiny hole with your finger (curling up index finger works best) and look through it.

Whatever you're viewing, be it text, object or vista should appear considerably clearer.


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

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
(Proverbs 15:3)