So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.”
(1 Corinthians 3:7–8 NIV)

Dear Friends,

Greetings. The introduction this week is from a talk by Lee Strobel called “Linking Together”.

Some of you may have seen this already, but we at “People of the Keys” found it so very inspiring and uplifting we just felt we had to post it anyway.

Linking Together

By Lee Strobel

A person’s coming to Christ is like a chain with many links…. There are many influences and conversations that precede a person’s decision to convert to Christ. I know the joy of being the first link at times, a middle link usually, and occasionally the last link. God has not called me to only be the last link. He has called me to be faithful and to love all people.”—Evangelist Cliffe Knechtle

Vicky Armel didn’t look the part. She was an attractive blonde mother of two with a contagious smile and warm personality, but she also had a reputation as being an aggressive and street-toughened detective for the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia.

A spiritual skeptic, Vicky had little patience when Christians tried to talk to her about Jesus. She would put up her hand and say, “Back up! I don’t want to hear it.” If they persisted, she would explain that she had investigated many suicides and homicides. “Never once did that dead person get up in three days,” she would say.

Then she became partners on a series of cases with Detective Mike “Mo” Motafches, who is a committed Christian [Link #1 in the chain]. For a year, he periodically offered to talk to her about Jesus, but she rebuffed him like she had all the others. Yet somehow Mo’s persistence made an impression on her. “He never gave up on me,” she recalled later.

One day they were sent on an investigation to Maryland, which meant they would be in the car together for five hours. “Okay, this is your time,” Vicky said to Mo. “You can talk to me about Jesus all you want, under one circumstance: when we get back to Virginia, I don’t want you to talk to me about Jesus anymore.”

Mo grabbed the opportunity. He encouraged her to pray and ask God to reveal himself to her. “I guarantee he will answer you if you seek him,” he said. Mo talked about the reliability of the Gospels and the fulfillment of ancient prophecies in the life of Jesus against all mathematical odds. And he explained the Bible’s central message of redemption through the death of the Son of God.

Suppose a serial killer is found guilty of his crimes,” Mo said. “Then suppose the judge gives him a fifty dollar fine and no jail time. How would you feel about that?” Vicky said she would be outraged.

Mo continued. “The payment for the penalty of our sin is so high that only the death of God in the flesh could wipe out the consequences of our sin,” he explained. “Imagine the judge found the criminal guilty and sentenced him to death, but then got off the bench, sat in the electric chair, and died in the place of the guilty man. Vicky, God paid the penalty for your sin as Jesus was executed on the cross.”

Vicky listened intently but made no commitment. As a trained detective, she needed time to investigate what Mo had explained to her. The very next day she listened to the Bible on CD in her office [Link #2 in the chain]. Mo gave her tapes from his pastor, Lon Solomon [Link #3], and Christian books [Link #4]. She began listening to Christian radio as well [Link #5]. “I had never seen anyone so anxious to learn more about God and the Bible,” Mo said.

Another friend of Vicky’s, Tim Perkins, invited her to Mountain View Community Church on Easter of 2004 [Link #6], where people warmly welcomed her [Link #7] and she heard the gospel from pastor Mark Jenkins [Link #8]. The church also gave her a copy of my book The Case for Easter [Link #9], which discusses my examination of the resurrection of Jesus—an event that was the major stumbling block for Vicky. It turned out to be the perfect gift for an evidence-minded detective.

I read it and read it,” Vicky said. “Everything I needed to prove the case for Jesus I found in this book.”

Virtually none of the people who were links in the chain of influence in Vicky’s spiritual journey knew each other or knowingly worked together to reach her. But each one of them was an influence that God orchestrated to pull her slowly toward the Cross. Eventually, overwhelmed by the facts, Vicky prayed to receive Christ as her forgiver and leader.

Mo was there to see her baptized. “What a joy it was for me to watch Vicky publicly dedicate her life to God—a God she once swore didn’t exist,” he said.

The following year Vicky got up in front of her church to tell the story of her spiritual journey. She began by saying, “My name is Vicky Armel, and if you told me last year that I would be standing in front of hundreds of people talking about Jesus Christ, I would have said you were crazy.”

Just one year later, on May 18, 2006, Vicky was working at the Sully District Police Station when she got word there had been a couple of carjackings in the area. She rushed out of the police station to investigate; Mo had been in the midst of addressing an envelope and was just 15 seconds behind her. When she and another officer emerged from the station, they were instantly shot to death by a crazed teenage gunman brandishing an AK-47 assault rifle.

The senseless slayings stunned the community. Mo was grief-stricken. “I will miss my partner, my friend, my hero, and my sister in Christ,” he said.

But that’s not the end of Vicky’s story. Nearly ten thousand people—many of them police officers—paid their respects at Vicky’s funeral. I’m sure that none of them came expecting to hear from her personally. Yet at the funeral, Jenkins played the tape of the testimony Vicky had given at the church the previous year, in which she described her journey from skepticism to faith.

I know there’s probably a Vicky or Victor out there who is searching for God,” she said on tape to the hushed crowd. “I hope that my story might help you find God.”

And it has. Incredibly, even in death Vicky has become a link in the chain of influence helping to lead many people to Christ. After the funeral, the church received emails and phone calls from spiritually interested inquirers all over Northern Virginia. “Some people just walked in off the street,” Jenkins said. “They said, ‘We want what Vicky had.’”

One person told Jenkins: “It made me rethink my whole life over. I know I’ve made many mistakes and hurt some people. I want to be saved. I want the Lord in my life. I want him to know that I love him. I’m not sure how to go about doing this. Can you help?”

The unusual nature of Vicky speaking at her own funeral even brought media attention, which spread her story—and the story of her Savior—all over the globe. Who knows how many people will be encouraged to seek Jesus as a result? A church member by the name of Dwayne Higdon summed it up best. “Vicky didn’t just save lives,” he told a reporter. “She also saved souls.”

So remember that all the links in the chain—the beginning, middle, and end—are vital in leading a person to Christ. Most of the time, God uses us as an initial or middle link. Even your smallest gestures—an invitation to church, the gift of a book, an act of kindness in the name of Jesus—can become one of many Christian influences that will accumulate over time in that person’s life, hopefully bringing him or her to faith in the end.

All too often Christians feel that they have failed if they’ve never actually prayed with someone to receive Christ. They mistakenly believe that the unexpected adventure of evangelism is confined to that single moment of a person’s conversion. Unfortunately, they forget that generally it takes a variety of experiences and conversations with numerous people over time before a person decides to become a Christian.

I can think of many people whose spiritual input encouraged me to investigate Christianity. There was the authenticity of my Christian neighbors; the transformation of my newly converted wife; the prayers of my mother; the kindness of a Christian who offered to serve us during our child’s illness; the authors of the books I read; the faithful preaching of the gospel at the church I visited; and even the testimony of a convicted street gang leader who shared his newfound faith with me. I’m sure you, too, can think of numerous links that eventually led you to Christ.

There are opportunities for adventure all along the chain! Our role is to be faithful to God’s command to be his ambassadors in a spiritually perplexed world. You may never know how many times God has used you as a beginning or middle link until you get to heaven—and then you will be eternally thankful that you reached out in so many seemingly simple ways to people in your life.

In her testimony played at her own funeral, Vicky Armel had a message for Christians like you and me. “Don’t give up on your friends,” she said. “Be there for them. Just always talk about Jesus.”

And trust that God will use you as one more important link along the way.


In historic vote, Palestine becomes non-member UN state with observer status

138 countries voted in favor, 9 against, and 41 abstained; Abbas in UN speech: Enough of aggression, settlements and occupation; Netanyahu says Abbas speech at UN 'full of lies.'

By Barak Ravid, Chemi Shalev and Natasha Mozgovaya

Nov.30, 2012

In a historic session of the United Nations in New York Thursday, exactly 65 years after passing the Partition Plan for Palestine, the General Assembly voted by a huge majority to recognize Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status in the organization. Some 138 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 41 abstained and 9 voted against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, U.S., Panama, The Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, and Micronesia.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the resolution "unfortunate and counterproductive," explaining that "only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and Israelis achieve the peace that both deserve: two states for two people, with a sovereign, viable, independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel."

Following the vote, U.S. UN envoy Susan Rice said the resolution does not establish Palestine as state, that it prejudges the outcome of negotiations, and ignores questions of security.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas delivered a hard-hitting speech in which he was highly critical of Israel, drawing extensive applause from the floor.

"Palestine comes today to the General Assembly because it believes in peace and because its people, as proven in past days, are in desperate need of it," Abbas said.

The Palestinian Authority chairman said "The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: Enough of aggression, settlements and occupation."

"The world is being asked today to undertake a significant step in the process of rectifying the unprecedented historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people since Al-Nakba of 1948."

"The General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine," Abbas said. He concluded his speech to a standing ovation. 

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, responded to Abbas' speech, saying that peace could only be achieved through negotiations, not via the UN route. 

"For as long as President Abbas prefers symbolism over reality, any hope of peace will be out of reach. No decision by the UN can break the 4,000 year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel," Prosor said. 

Those who vote in favor are undermining peace, he said. "The UN was founded to advance the cause of peace. Today the Palestinians are turning their back on peace. Don't let history record that today the UN helped them along on their march of folly."

Prosor said that Israel remains committed to peace, but that "we won't establish another Iranian terror base in heart of our country."

Responding to Abbas' speech, Prime Minister Netanyahu's office released a statement saying the world had watched a speech "full of dripping venom and false propaganda against the IDF and Israeli citizens. This is not how someone who wants peace speaks."

The statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said that no Palestinian state would be established without guarantees for the security of Israel, and that the way to peace would be through negotiations.

After long weeks during which Israel had tried to scuttle the Palestinian move using intimidation and threats to bring down the Palestinian Authority and cancel the Oslo Accords, it continued Thursday the line it has taken in the past few days of trying to belittle the move and present it as meaningless.

A few hours before the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a tour of the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem that the UN General Assembly decision to recognize the state of Palestine “will not change anything on the ground.”

Netanyahu attacked the international community and said that “It doesn’t matter how many hands will be raised against it, there is no force in the world that would cause me to compromise Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu said the decision will not advance the establishment of a Palestinian state, but rather delay it. “Peace can only be achieved through negotiations between the sides with no preconditions, and not through unilateral decisions at the UN. I suggest not to be impressed by the applause at the UN. I remember the applause Israel received in the hall when it decided to unilaterally leave Gaza. We received applause and took missiles. Israel left Gaza and Iran entered. Exactly the same thing happened when we left Lebanon. As prime minister I will not allow another Iranian terror base in Judea and Samaria – in the heart of the country – one kilometer from the center of Jerusalem.”

At this stage Israel’s reaction to the Palestinian move in the UN will probably be low-key. Israel is expected to impose limitations on senior PA officials and cancel their VIP cards that allow them free passage through Israel Defense Forces checkpoints in the West Bank, and will deduct debts of about NIS 1 billion that the PA owes various Israeli bodies, notably the Israel Electric Corporation. The deduction will come from confiscating the monthly tax revenues that Israel collects for the PA.

More stringent steps will be considered in the future in the event of further Palestinian moves such as turning to the International Criminal Court in The Hague or an attempt to be accepted into other UN agencies.

A senior official in Jerusalem said that Israel is not interested in carrying out immediate reactionary moves that would only serve to further focus international criticism of Israel, and not the Palestinians, who will be pressured after the UN move to renew negotiations with Israel without preconditions.




'We confess idolatry, witchcraft, political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue'

Published: 11/24/12


The Ugandan newssite New Vision reports President Yoweri Museveni celebrated Uganda's 50th anniversary of independence from Britain at the National Jubilee Prayers event by publicly repenting of his personal sin and the sins of the nation.

"I stand here today to close the evil past, and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness," Museveni prayed.

"We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation. We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal," Museveni said.

"Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict," Museveni prayed.

Next, the president dedicated Uganda to God.

"We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfill what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own," Museveni prayed.

Uganda won its independence from Britain Oct. 8, 1962. Resistance leader Milton Obote was the country's first prime minister.

Massachusetts pastor and activist Rev. Scott Lively believes Museveni is a model for other national leaders.

"The Museveni prayer is a model for all Christian leaders in the world. The leaders of the West have declined in proportion to their degree of rejection of God," Lively said.

Lively also believes Uganda will rise as a major African power as America continues to decline. He uses Britain as an example.

"Britain was at its height as a world power when it honored God as the Ugandan president has just done. America's greatness has similarly diminished as we have shifted from a Christian to a secular-humanist country. But watch now for Uganda to be blessed by God for their desire to be His," Lively said.

Lively added that Museveni is definitely drawing a contrast between Uganda and the West.

"This incident is also important as a contrast to the picture being painted of Uganda by the godless left of a backwards, violent and savage culture intent on murdering homosexuals," Lively said.

"On the contrary, Museveni is calmly and confidently setting the course of his nation by the guidance of the Bible, in a way that also shows great courage and resolve," Lively said.

Homosexual activist groups have criticized the government of Uganda and Museveni for passing laws criminalizing homosexual behavior. A current bill before the Ugandan Parliament increases the jail sentences for homosexual acts and includes criminal penalties for those who encourage or promote homosexuality.

The bill had included the death penalty for those who commit multiple acts of homosexual behavior, but the provision has been removed, BBC News reports.

The government of Uganda could not be reached for comment on this story.

Lively said he didn't agree with the death penalty provision but supports the nation's strong stance against homosexual behavior.

While Museveni is being held as a model for Christian leaders, Dave Daubenmire, PT Salt Ministries' president and founder and social commentator, said the problem for Western nations goes deeper than the political leaders.

The problem in the United States, he said, is the pastors.

"Sadly, I think our lack of repentance is the fault of the pulpit. Individual Christians are so awash in sin that they think politicians are merely better at sin than they are," Daubenmire said.

"There is no fear of the Lord and we are getting essentially a two-kingdom message. We hear that the devil is the god of this world and that Jesus will even the score later," Daubenmire said. "The problem is that most Christians are convinced that this world is in control of Satan and therefore are not interested in applying the kingdom principles for which Christ died."

Daubenmire quoted Matthew 28:18, in which Jesus said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."

Christians, Daubenmire said, are exhorted later in the same chapter to go and make disciples of all nations.

"We are to teach them and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," he said. "All power in heaven and in earth belongs to Jesus. Unfortunately, most Christians don't have the foggiest idea that He rules and reigns here and now, and that the kingdom principles that He taught us bring victory over evil wherever they are applied."

He added that Christians too often play with sin.

"Since we do not hate sin anymore, we don't demand repentance," Daubenmire said.

He quoted British 17th century statesman Edmund Burke, who said, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Daubenmire said that in America, "good men have yielded power to evil men."

"Evil rules when evil men make the rules," he said.

("If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14)


("Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.

Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.

Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water".Jeremiah 6:15, Jeremiah 2:11-13)

("For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.) 1John 2:16

(And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

And saying, Alas, alas that great city, (Babylon the Great, the Mother of harlots and abominations of the earth) that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.) Revelation 18:11-19)

The decline of fascination and the rise in ennui

By Seth Godin, Nov. 24, 2012 - A generation ago, a clever idea could run and run. We talked about Space Food Sticks and Tang and Gilligan's Island and the Batmobile for years, even though there certainly wasn't a lot of depth. Hit movies and books stayed on the bestseller lists for months or even years (!)

Today, an internet video or an investment philosophy or a political moment might last for weeks or even a few days. It's not unusual for a movie or a book or even a TV series to come and go before most people notice it. Neophilia has fundamentally changed the culture.

The result is that there's an increasing desire, almost a panic, for something new. Yesterday was a million years ago, and tomorrow is already here. The rush for new continues to increase, and it is now surpassing our ability to satisfy it.

When that need can't be filled (which is not surprising, if you think about it) then we're inclined to declare that it's the end, the end of new ideas, the end of progress, the end of everything that's interesting.

If you're in the business of making a new thing, this churn may be an opportunity, because it's easier now than ever to send a hit up the pop charts, whatever sort of pop you make. But it comes at a price, which is that it won't last, and you'll quickly have to go back and make another one.

The real opportunity, I think, is in trying to build longer arcs. Now that the cycle of new is eating itself in a race to ever-faster, there's a bigger chance to make long term change by consistently focusing on what works (and what's important), not what's new and merely shiny.

What's important, what's always important, is useful change.

("Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2)

Human Events


By: John Hayward  


There are some consequences to cultivating a creepy cult of personality in order to win elections.  For example, there's always the danger of your more... energetic supporters going overboard in their worship of Dear Leader.

Such was the case at the Soul Train Awards last Sunday, when actor Jamie Foxx declared, "It's like church over here!  First of all, give an honor to God and our Lord and Savior, Barack Obama."  He then led the audience in chanting the President's name.

JAMIE FOXX: First of all, give an honor to God and our lord and savior Barack Obama. Barack Obama.

Also notice that this clip was used as a preview for the presentation by BET.

There were some attempts to justify Foxx's behavior by claiming it was some sort of joke, although he doesn't sound like he's kidding, and the audience doesn't appear primed to enjoy robust mockery of the Cult of O.

Would this be a bad time to remind Obama and his acolytes of all that stuff the President said about respect for religion, back when he was fervently trying to convince the world that the American embassy in Benghazi was burned down over a YouTube video?  "The future must not belong to those who insult the prophet of Islam," et cetera.  Remember that?  Practicing Christians are not amused by the portrayal of modern secular politicians as replacements for Jesus.  But presumably their feelings don't count, because they won't burn anything down in outrage.  Would anyone like to take bets on Jamie Foxx's probable lifespan if he chooses to declare his beloved leader "the one true Prophet of Allah" at his next public appearance, rather than calling him "our Lord and Savior?"

This isn't the first time Obama supporters have gone overboard with their slobbering praise.  We've had celebrities swearing personal oaths of loyalty to him.  Schoolchildren have been made to sing hymms about Obama.  Newsweek editor Evan Thomas said in 2009 that "in a way, Obama's standing above the country, above the world, he's sort of God."

More recently, a professor at Florida A&M put out a book called "The Gospel According to Apostle Barack," which is a bit of a demotion from the celestial position Jamie Foxx had in mind for the President, but in the pages of the book itself Obama is explicitly compared to both Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr., so he's actually more like an apostle-plus or Super-Apostle.

Besides the disturbing North Korean flavor of this personality cult, it's an expression of the Obama voter's childlike dependence on government for both intellectual and spiritual direction, and a testimony to the linguistic poverty of this lowbrow era.  Earlier generations would have considered it both horrifying and rude for free-born citizens to regard any politician as a messianic figure.  Even the best elected officials should be viewed with some degree of skepticism by their moost enthusiastic supporters... if those supporters embrace the traditional American relationship between citizens and the State.  But many of us are no longer interested in either jealously guarding our liberties, or the exploring the poetry of language.  If people like you, then you're bigger than the Beatles; you're Superman, you're Jesus.  There are no fine degrees of awesomeness, and no blemishes upon the face of an icon.  Elections are more akin to football games than sober choices of temporary leadership... at as much emotional as they are rational.

For a politician like Obama, this has the salutary side effect of suppressing criticism.  Who asks tough questions about the fine point of our Lord and Savior's actual record?  The expression of benevolence is enough; endless credit for good intentions will be extended.  Faith takes supporters the rest of the way over the fiscal cliff.  Republican politicians and their campaign managers find this all both pathetic and faintly unbelievable... which is why they're surprised at the appearance of districts that gave Barack Obama a higher percentage of the vote than Saddam Hussein racked up at the height of his power in Iraq.



'Please stop watching... it's filth': Two and a Half Men star Angus T Jones' extraordinary outburst in religious video 

Teenager, who joined the show as a child in 2003, earns $350k per episode

Filmed video for Forerunner Christian Church, part of the Seventh-day Adventist movement

He says he 'does not want to be on' the hit show

Two and a Half Men bosses are yet to comment on the rant


PUBLISHED: 14:39 EST, 26 November 2012 | UPDATED: 17:36 EST, 26 November 2012

Two and A Half Men star Angus T. Jones has branded his hit show 'filth' and urged fans to turn off in an extraordinary religious rant.

The 19-year-old - who makes $350,000 per episode playing Jake - is featured in a new video for the Forerunner Christian Church, part of the Seventh-day Adventist movement.

In the online clip, titled Angus Jones Testimony, he says: 'If you watch Two and a Half Men, please stop watching.'

'I'm on Two and a Half Men and I don't want to be on it.'

Bizarre outburst: Angus T Jones calls his hit show Two and a Half Men 'Filth' in a video clip posted online

Jones has been on the show since he was 10 and It is unclear if he has tried to quit the show. The exact details of contract have not yet surfaced.

His comments are likely to attract ire from the show's creator Chuck Lorre and his bosses at Warner Brothers, who are yet to comment.

The teen's outburst continued: 'Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. People say it’s just entertainment.

'Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television and especially with what you watch on television ... it's bad news.'

He adds: 'If I am doing any harm, I don't want to be here. I don't want to be contributing to the enemy's plan.

'You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't. I'm not OK with what I'm learning, what the bible says and being on that television show.'

In the video the young star laughs as he admits his worried family have described his recent 'awakening' to the Seventh-day Adventist movement as a 'cult'.

'Of course all my family, not all my family, but some of my family were like "he's going to a cult" trying to tell me to get out of there,' said Jones.

'But I didn't feel like I was being fooled, I could study it for myself. Its there in the bible and there's no evidence for the opposing views.'

The show stars Jon Cryer as Jones' uptight dad and originally featured Charlie Sheen as his hedonistic philandering uncle, but Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher.

Jones has appeared on the show since 2003 and received a pay rise in May when Two And A Half Men was renewed for a tenth series.

His comments are just the latest crisis for the show, which was put in jeopardy when its original star Sheen was fired after attacking Chuck Lorre amidst a storm of bizarre behaviour.

The show has struggled to maintain its high ratings in recent times.

Having hit a high of 28.7million when Kutcher made his debut, ratings recently peaked at 13.6million when Miley Cyrus guest starred in an episode.

'Filth': Angus is paid $350,000 an episode to star in the show, in which he is seen with guest star Miley Cyrus in a recent episode

In his video Jones explained that he had been searching for a congregation to join when a schoolfriend introduced him to the church.

'I really started to get into reading the bible and I started to look for a church to go to. Every Sunday I was going to like three or four churches, I was just looking for the right church,' he said.

And he added: 'I was looking to go to a church with an all-black congregation. I like black people.

'The first day I went there I went by myself and I walked in and sat down at the back... It was just like, that was my church.

'Then I started the bible work at the church. And I was like this is really awesome, it seems so much more appropriate and it was right from the bible.

'I just kept learning the basic messages of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and every single time I was learning all this new stuff and I was just loving it.'

Jones also explained that he had begun observing the Sabbath, from sundown on a Friday to sundown on a Saturday.

In his younger days: A chubbier Angus with then co-star Charlie Sheen

Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures.

According to a tweet for The Forerunner Chronicles Jones is now a 'soldier for truth'.

They state on their Facebook page: 'The Forerunner is dedicated to proclaiming the truth that you need to know. "To live and die for the truth" is the moto [sic] and Jesus Christ is our general.

'He gives the orders... we put in the work! No questions asked.'

A spokesperson for Jones was not available for comment on the status of Jones' contract when contacted by Mail Online.

In the video the young star laughs as he admits his worried family have described his recent 'awakening' to the Seventh-day Adventist movement as a 'cult'


The Jerusalem Post

Yosef: Gentiles exist only to serve Jews



According to a Rabbi, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews.

The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the head of Shas's Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator.

"Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world - only to serve the People of Israel," he said in his weekly Saturday night sermon on the laws regarding the actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on Shabbat.

According to Yosef, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews.

"In Israel, death has no dominion over them... With gentiles, it will be like any person - they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one's donkey would die, they'd lose their money.

This is his servant... That's why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew," Yosef said.

"Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.

That is why gentiles were created," he added.

Yosef's Saturday night sermons have seen many controversial statements from the 90-year-old rabbi. In August, Yosef caused a diplomatic uproar when he wished a plague upon the Palestinian people and their leaders, a curse he retracted a few weeks later, when he blessed them along with all of Israel's other peace-seeking neighbors.


lArutz Sheva

Muslims Claim Netanyahu Plans to Build 'False' Holy Temple

Netanyahu's latest building plan for Jerusalem is none other than for the Third Temple, claims Al Aqsa Foundation.

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

First Publish: 11/28/2012

Overlooking the Temple Mount

Al Aqsa officials warn that the "new Likud" is planning to build a "false" Third Holy Temple and divide the Muslim compound.

Muslim paranoia of Jews on the Temple Mount had reached panic stages even before this week's Likud primaries that placed Jewish Leadership faction leader Moshe Feiglin in a ranking that assures his election to the Knesset in January.

Arab world media constantly report of Jewish "invasions" of the Temple Mount every time Jews try to ascend the holy site. Israeli authorities enforce the Muslim Waqf policy that forbids Jews to pray there or carry prayer books or other holy articles with them.

The Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement's branch in the Galilee frequently claim that Israel is digging underneath the Temple Mount to cause its collapse.

Now, the Al Aqsa Foundation has pointed to the popular support for Feiglin and other strong nationalists of the Likud as proof that Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount will be "contaminated" by Jews.

Worst of all, the Foundation claims that the election results show that Prime Minister Netanyahu soon will announce plans for building the Third Temple, which it describes as "false," in line with increasingly popular Muslim ideology that the First and Second Temples never existed.

All of the "evidence" is "undeniable proof that the Al Aqsa mosque is in danger and that the Muslim world must shoulder the responsibility to save it," according to Al Aqsa.

Feiglin is known for his desire to pray on the Temple Mount, and after the Pillar of Defense counter terrorist operation, he wrote, "We must expel the Muslim Waqf from the Temple Mount and restore exclusive Israeli sovereignty over the Mount - Judaism's most holy site. We must encourage Jews to ascend the Temple Mount after the proper halakhic preparations and to actualize their sovereignty over the beating heart of the Jewish Nation."

Natural News

Global government now seeks total control over the internet

J. D. Heyes - Natural News - Nov 28, 2012

What is arguably the very last bastion of totally free speech is once again under assault by the world's tyrants, as the United Nations is now eying regulation of the Internet - as though it was in need of being regulated.

Why? It's an age-old story.

Leaders of authoritarian regimes the world over hate the free flow of information that is disseminated via the Internet. They hate the fact that they no longer have a monopoly on ideas and opinion within their own country. They see notions of freedom and liberty as a threat. They despise any medium that undermines their grip on power. And their regimes are heavily represented in the U.N., of which the United States (once considered the bastion of liberty and freedom) is the largest contributor.

"Who runs the Internet? For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web's success as a new technology. But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations," reports The Wall Street Journal.

Authoritarians seek ways to control free expression, free speech, and individual liberty

A sizable number of the world body's 193 members simply oppose the open and very uncontrolled nature of the Internet, the paper said, noting the World Wide Web's interconnected global networks that defy international boundaries and, as such, make it extremely difficult for governments to tax or censor.

For over a year, these authoritarian regimes have lobbied a UN agency known as the International Telecommunications Union to grab the reins of the Internet and take over its management. The organization, which was originally created in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, last wrote a treaty on communications in 1988, years before the commercial Internet developed into a popular communications and commerce medium, and back when telecommunications referred to voice telephone calls routed through national telephone monopolies.

In the coming days, the ITU plans to hold a "negotiating conference" in the emirate of Dubai, say reports. In the past months, rumors have surfaced that a new treaty could be in the offing - one that will no doubt prove disastrous to a free and open Internet.

Most U.S. resolutions, as well as free-market commentary in publications such as the Journal, "have focused on proposals by authoritarian governments to censor the Internet," the paper reported. "Just as objectionable are proposals that ignore how the Internet works, threatening its smooth and open operations."

What would be the effect of having the Internet "reviewed" and "regulated" by global bureaucrats, most of whom are sympathetic to, or beholden to, authoritarian regimes bent on stifling free speech, free expression and individual liberty.

The Internet consists of 40,000 networks, interconnected among 425,000 global routes that cheaply and inefficiently deliver messages and digital content to about two billion people around the world every day - with a half-million signing on each day.

Up to now, the Internet has been self-regulating, which has obviously been working just fine (hence the growth figures in the previous paragraph). As it stands, no one has to ask for permission to put up their own blog or website. No government has the ability or right to tell network operators how they should do their jobs.

'Technology moves faster than any treaty process'

What has transpired is an extremely rare, if virtual, place for innovation that requires no prior permission from a regulatory or government agency or bureaucrat or governing body.

Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard pointed out that 90 percent of cooperative "peering" agreements among co-existing networks are "made on a handshake," adjusting as needs change.

"The Internet is highly complex and highly technical, yet governments are the only ones making decisions at the ITU, putting the Internet at their mercy," Sally Wentworth of the Internet Society told the Journal recently. She went on to say that Web developers and engineers who make the Internet work have said it's "mind boggling" that any government - even a so-called world government - would ever claim the universal right to regulate or manage the Internet.

"Technology moves faster than any treaty process ever can," Internet Society warned.

Even if the Obama administration hasn't yet publicly stated its position, liberty-minded officials and lawmakers in Europe (believe it or not) have stepped up to the plate.

The European Parliament has passed a resolution that protests plans by the ITU to seize control of the Internet.

"[The European Parliament] believes that the ITU, or any other single, centralized international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over either Internet governance of Internet traffic flows," says the resolution, which was passed by a majority of EP representatives, reports said.

Biggest backers of regulation include Russia, China

According to Britain's The Guardian newspaper:

What's worrying the EP, along with an unlikely coalition of Google, the U.S. Republican party, organized labor, and Greenpeace, is that the meeting might try and take over regulatory oversight for Internet communications in a closed-door coup. The U.S. government has said it will oppose serious moves to change the current regulatory order, but how effective that will be remains to be seen.

"The resolution of the Parliament is a big success for internet users. This sends a clear and positive signal to the European Commission and the Member States", said Amelia Andersdotter, MEP for the Pirate Party and co-submitter of the resolution, The Register reported.

Some of the biggest backers of unmitigated Internet regulation include, not surprisingly, the authoritarian regimes of Russia and China.

As we've said, the Internet is truly the last bastion of genuinely free speech and expression, not to mention a tremendous creator of commerce and wealth. Regulating the Internet will have exactly the same effect as regulations on industry have had - it will stifle creativity, curb freedoms, kill jobs and destroy economic growth.

We'll be keeping an eye on this very important issue.


Extreme Tech

Stop worrying, and embrace RFID ("And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:16-17)

By Grant Brunner

November 23, 2012

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a simple way of using embedded chips as a form of tracking and authentication. It's now fairly common to have pets implanted with RFID chips so they can be identified even without their collar attached. As RFID use has increased in frequency in the developed world, there has been a non-trivial amount of pushback from luddites  the religious, and privacy advocates. In reality, RFID isn't that scary, and we should embrace it.

Wired has an article explaining a recent kerfuffle between a student and her high school. Simply put, the school requires students to use RFID-equipped badges so they can track movement on campus for funding and truancy purposes. The student refused to wear the badge on religious and privacy grounds. In response, the school suspended her until she agrees to use the school ID. A legal battle ensued, and a judge temporarily lifted the school suspension until the case can proceed later.

In reality, these concerns are minor and based on fear of technology. This is just a tinfoil hat situation on a larger scale than normal. It appears from the known details about this story that these badges aren't even being used at the individual class level. The low-tech method of having teachers taking roll call in class is even more refined than this RFID solution. If this was legitimately about privacy concerns, advocates would be against roll call in school as well. Instead, this whole situation is about fear mongering -- not privacy concerns.

While there are some issues with the technology, specifically relating to other people accessing the information on the chip, this doesn't showcase them. Preventing unauthorized access to the chip's data is a problem, but it can be handled with cryptography. For example, requiring a password or using rolling codes can thwart evil-doers successfully. If you're really worried about other people reading your RFID chip, it can be rendered harmless simply by covering it in a sleeve that works like a faraday cage.

Behavior is the real problem here -- not technology. RFID is a useful tool that is already being used by companies like Walmart and organizations like the Department of Defense in the United States for authentication and tracking purposes. While RFID can be abused just like anything else, the technology isn't inherently bad. Even the more paranoid among us should embrace RFID, and stop worrying about the tech so much. After all, common technology like smartphones and tablets are more susceptible to nefarious use. Give RFID a break.




30 Nov 2012 98

City attorney of San Bernardino Jim Penman had the audacity to tell the truth to the residents of bankrupt San Bernardino at a recent city council meeting. Taking stock of the fact that San Bernardino’s murder rate has jumped 50 percent over the last year, that the city has been cutting its police force by about 80 officers, and that there is no good news in sight, Penman stated, “lock your doors and load your guns.” He stands by the statement today, explaining, “you should say what you mean and mean what you say.”

Penman continued, “Let’s be honest, we don’t have enough police officers. We have too many criminals living in this city. We have had 45 murders this year…that’s far too high for a city of this size …. I’m not advocating that people go out, who don’t have any training, and buy firearms. I certainly strongly caution anyone who has children at home not to have a loaded gun in the house.”

City Councilwoman Wendy McCommack agreed with Penman: “We need to take our streets back, we need to take our neighborhoods back and we need to protect our homes, and that’s what I think Jim was trying to say.”

These are the wages of fiscal collapse. Californians would be wise to take notice. So would Americans more broadly.


The Guardian

Russia's Cossacks start patrolling Moscow streets

AP foreign

November 27 2012

MOSCOW (AP) -- Renowned for their sword-fighting prowess and notorious for their anti-Semitism in czarist Russia, the Cossacks are taking on new foes: beggars, drunks, and improperly parked cars.

The Kremlin has sought to use the once-feared paramilitary squads, which spearheaded czarist Russia's expansion, in its new drive to promote conservative values and lure nationalists.

Eight Cossacks clad in traditional fur hats and uniforms patrolled a Moscow train station on Tuesday looking for signs of minor public disturbances.

The patrol, approved by the authorities, is a test-run on whether the group can become an armed and salaried auxiliary police force, like the Texas Rangers, with the power of arrest, patrol leader Igor Gurevich said.

"We're like Chuck Norris!" Gurevich said.


The Telegraph

Rejected Beatles audition tape discovered

The Beatles' audition tape famously rejected by a record executive in 1962 has finally been uncovered after 50 years.

The Beatles in 1962 with their original drummer Pete Best. The Beatles' audition tape famously rejected by a record executive in 1962 has finally been uncovered after 50 years.  Photo: REX

By Telegraph reporters

22 Nov 2012

The fledgling group were told "they had no future in showbusiness" as guitar groups were "on the way out" following the audition.

The decision by a Decca Records executive proved to be one of the worst made in music history.

Within months John, Paul, George and original drummer Pete Best had signed with EMI and went on to become the greatest band of all time.

Now the original safety master tape, a 10-track demo the group recorded at Decca's London studios on New Year's Day 1962, has come to public light for the first time.

It is thought the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein held on to the tape he had paid to make and later gave it to an executive associated with EMI.

He sold it in 2002 to a prolific buyer of music memorabilia. He is now selling it at auction with a pre-sale estimate of 30,000 pounds.

The recording has never been officially released and the sound quality on it is said to be pristine.

At the time of the recording, Epstein had visited several record companies with the hope of securing a contract for the Beatles.

On New Year's Eve 1961 the band were driven from Liverpool to London but ended up taking 10 hours to get there as the driver got lost.

The following day they were auditioned by Decca producer Tony Meehan.

Epstein selected the material and chose 10 cover songs the Beatles had previously performed in various clubs, along with three of their own songs.

But the band failed to impress Decca executive Dick Rowe who turned them down, believing 'guitar groups are on the way out.'

The 10 tracks on the 12 inch audio tape include Money (That's What I Want), Like Dreamers Do, Take Good Care of my Baby, Three Cool Cats, Love of the Loved, Memphis and Crying Waiting Hoping.

A handwritten note stuck on the cover for the tape lists the 10 songs and their length.

There is also a photo negative of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best that they took with them to the audition and would have been used as the album cover had they won the contract.

Ted Owen, of auctioneers the Fame Bureau, which is now selling the tape, said the tape had never been officially released.

"It is totally unique and the sound quality is crystal clear," he added, saying that the tape went to a Capitol Records executive after the Beatles signed with EMI.

"He sold it to the current owner who was one of the top buyers for Hard Rock Cafe but it was for his own personal collection."

Mr Owen said the tape contains covers from mainly American artists and in some songs they sound American.

"They are copying the American style, the style of artists like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry," he said. "Those were the days of Rock and Roll and everybody who was trying to make a name for themselves were trying to replicate that style.

"They were hoping that by doing that they would get a record deal.

"But they were turned down, which is pretty ironic when you look at what happened after."

Instead of the Beatles, Decca Records signed up the Tremeloes, who auditioned the same day. They did later go on to sign the Rolling Stones.

Within weeks after signing with EMI, it was decided to replace drummer Pete Best with Ringo Star.

Bill Heckle, the co-owner of The Cavern Club in Liverpool, said: "This was always a big, big deal for Beatles fans.

"It was a great album. It was the one that failed the audition but it is such a historical document."

The tape will be offered for sale at the Fame Bureau auction in London's Mayfair on November 27.


(Don't try this at home.)



The Endangered Repairman


Published: Saturday 24 November 2012

"We chose carefully, selecting a system that had been manufactured in this country, one we felt would last us for the next fifty years."

If there is one piece of electronic equipment in our house that every member of the family equally enjoys, it is our stereo. Listening to music and radio is one of our greatest pleasures. Bob and I purchased it shortly after we got married with gift money we'd received. We chose carefully, selecting a system that had been manufactured in this country, one we felt would last us for the next fifty years.

It lasted ten. Soon, little buttons stopped working, then a few speaker wires shorted out. This past year, we decided to get it fixed. We contacted the manufacturer.

"Those systems can't be repaired any longer," the company representative informed me. But lucky for Bob and me, the company, keen on seeming "green," has a buy-back program for their old electronic products. They'd take my stereo away, and in exchange, they'd award me a $500 credit toward a new stereo system. I asked if the new ones were still manufactured here. The representative faltered, "Well, no...."

We decided to visit a nearby independently owned store that specialized in home entertainment systems. We explained we were looking for a stereo. A good one. There, we learned that stereos were a thing of the past. We were supposed to be listening to music through new wireless blue-tooth speakers that spoke directly to our computers, which would channel the radio stations and music over the internet. We should just throw out our old stereo and buy the new technology.

"But our internet is really slow," I started to explain, "and we don't have internet on the side of the house where we live." The salesman cut me off. He had an answer in the form of an additional electronic device that would magnify the wireless signal and push it into the side of the house where we lived.

"But I don't want to leave my computers and internet turned on while I'm listening to the radio. And I don't want to have the internet in that side of my house." Call me kooky, but I don't like to be "connected" at all times. I also don't want to be operating four pieces of electronic equipment (a router, a computer, a signal amplifier and a blue-tooth sound system) just so I can listen to some local folk music over the airwaves.

"What are you lady, Amish? Times are changing!" The salesman snapped at me.

Needless to say, he didn't make the sale.

It was my mom who reminded us that we should call Mr. Kleinberger. For years, he and his wife had operated an electronics store on Main Street in Cobleskill. I remember going in there as a girl. He had two or three televisions in stock, maybe three or four radios. New products were not his mainstay. His real bread and butter was in repairing electronics. Any electronics: televisions, radios, VCRs, electric fence chargers. Eventually, the repair business fell away.

"Factories don't authorize repair people anymore," Mr. Kleinberger explained to me over the phone. "It used to be that we'd get trained by the manufacturers to repair and maintain their equipment. Nobody does that anymore. They wanna sell you the next new thing. I can look at your stereo," he said, "but I can't make any promises."

Bob and I figured we had nothing to lose. We brought it over to his farmhouse, where he directed us to leave it on his kitchen counter, next to a pile of fence chargers the local farmers had brought in.

A few weeks later, I called to see how he was progressing. "Nobody at the company will talk to me," he complained. "I called the manufacturer twice to find out how I'm supposed to open the casing on this thing without breaking it, and they tell me they're under strict orders not to release the information. But they'll give you money for it if you wanna buy a new system. Seems a waste, though, because if I could open this up, I'm pretty sure the repair would be just a few dollars' worth of parts. A new system would cost you thousands."

Mr. Kleinberger didn't give up. He kept calling the manufacturer, and kept calling, and kept calling. One day a few weeks back, my phone rang. I picked up the receiver, and heard classical music playing.

"Ya hear that?" Mr. Kleinberger's voice came over the line. "That's your stereo. It's a beautiful piece of machinery, that thing is. Every single part is a standard American part, made here and easily replaced."

He went on to tell me his story of the repair. He'd made six different phone calls to the manufacturer, each time trying to get the same information: how to open the housing of the stereo without breaking it.

Each time, the answer was the same: "We don't service those stereos anymore, and we don't have that information. But we'd be happy to tell you about our buy-back program."

Eventually, Mr. Kleinberger decided that, since he likes to talk, he'd wear them down with talking. "I told them my whole life story," he said. He talked about his repair shop, about his wife, who has Alzheimer's, who he takes care of; about how he fixes electronics out of his house; about the history of electronics repairs and manufacturing in this country, about his cats.

"I figured I'd make 'em crazy," he told me. I could hear his smile, even through the receiver. "And maybe they'd transfer me to someone else. And they did. And I just kept doing it to the next person and the next person. But the first question I'd ask was 'how long have you worked there?' I finally found one guy, Josh, who'd worked there about as long as you had that stereo. That was the longest time of anyone I'd spoken with. I figured I had my man. He remembered when the stereos were manufactured here."

Josh wasn't authorized to release the pertinent information. But, like Mr. Kleinberger, he had a love for electronics. This love isn't the narrow obsession with technology that drives so many folks to buy things they don't need. Josh and Mr. Kleinberger had a mutual passion for the way things are made, the way the right parts make for a quality piece of equipment, the excitement of deciphering a problem and figuring out a repair. Josh held out as long as he could. He reminded Mr. Kleinberger he was under strict orders not to release the information. He told him about the buy-back offer. But with their mutual passion, the information Mr. Kleinberger needed eventually came out. And the stereo was repaired.

I've been thinking about Josh and Mr. Kleinberger a lot these days. Every morning, my inbox is filled with urgent messages: online petitions to stop ecologically harmful practices; online petitions to change government policies to benefit the earth; online petitions to save the polar bears. Yet I don't see any online petitions to save people like Josh and Mr. Kleinberger. While I care about the polar bears (and yes, I sign the petitions), Josh and Mr. Kleinberger are an endangered species in their own right, worthy of our attention.

The polar bears are in danger because of the way we live, because of our abuses to the environment, because of our throwaway consumer culture. Josh and Mr. Kleinberger are unsung heroes in battling those exact problems. They are the lingering vestiges of our fix-it culture. And we need to bring people like that back into our communities.

While "buy back" programs make a manufacturer appear earth-friendly in the consumer marketplace, they really only stimulate more consumption. A more civic and ecologically sound approach would be to reinstate trainings for independent repair businesses.

Locally-owned repair shops help to circulate money throughout the community, but also help residents lower their cost of living, in addition to reducing the volume of consumerism.

With people like that around, I think I could easily get another fifty years out of this stereo...maybe even more. Who knows? Sigh. It seems they just don't make stereos, or people, like that anymore.

(“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12)


New York Times


November 28, 2012

Photo of Officer Giving Boots to Barefoot Man Warms Hearts Online


On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.

The act of kindness would have gone unnoticed and mostly forgotten, had it not been for a tourist from Arizona.

Her snapshot — taken with her cellphone on Nov. 14 and posted to the New York Police Department’s official Facebook page late Tuesday — has made Officer DePrimo an overnight Internet hero.

By Wednesday evening, the post had been viewed 1.6 million times, and had attracted nearly 275,000 “likes” and more than 16,000 comments — a runaway hit for a Police Department that waded warily onto the social media platform this summer with mostly canned photos of gun seizures, award ceremonies and the police commissioner.

Among all of those posts, the blurry image of Officer DePrimo kneeling to help the shoeless man as he sat on 42nd Street stood out. “This is definitely the most viral,” said Barbara Chen, a spokeswoman for the department who helps manage its Facebook page.

Thousands of people commented on Facebook and Reddit, which linked to the post on Wednesday. Most of them praised Officer Deprimo, yet some suspected the photograph had been staged. Many debated whether the officer’s actions were representative of police officers in general, or were just unusually exceptional.

“I still have a grudge against law enforcement everywhere,” wrote one commenter on the police Facebook page. “But my respects to that fine officer.”

Officer DePrimo, 25, who joined the department in 2010 and lives with his parents on Long Island, was shocked at the attention. He was not warned before the photo went online; the department had not learned which officer was in the picture until hours later.

The officer, normally assigned to the Sixth Precinct in the West Village, readily recalled the encounter. “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,” he said in an interview. “I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.” They started talking; he found out the man’s shoe size: 12.

As the man walked slowly down Seventh Avenue on his heels, Officer DePrimo went into a Skechers shoe store at about 9:30 p.m. “We were just kind of shocked,” said Jose Cano, 28, a manager working at the store that night. “Most of us are New Yorkers and we just kind of pass by that kind of thing. Especially in this neighborhood.”

Mr. Cano volunteered to give the officer his employee discount to bring down the regular $100 price of the all-weather boots to a little more than $75. The officer has kept the receipt in his vest since then, he said, “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse.”

The photo was taken by Jennifer Foster, a civilian communications director for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. She said the moment resonated for personal reasons: She remembered as a young girl seeing her father, a 32-year veteran of the Phoenix police force, buy food for a homeless man.

“He squatted down, just like this officer,” she said.

After returning from vacation, she described the picture in an e-mail to the New York Police Department, thinking of it as a sort of a compliment card. She never expected the picture to end up online — “I’m not on Facebook,” she said — but a department official e-mailed her and asked if she would send along the photo so it could be posted.

As for the man he helped, Officer DePrimo never got his name, and he could not be immediately located on Wednesday. “He was the most polite gentleman I had met,” the officer said, adding that the man’s face lit up at the sight of the boots. Officer DePrimo offered him a cup of coffee, but “as soon as the boots were on him, he went on his way, and I just went back to my post.”


Until next week...keep on believing.

Almondtree Productions

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
(Matthew 25:40)