there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars;
and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and
the waves roaring.”
Upon The Earth Distress Of Nations
Pew: Reformation theology waning among Protestants
September 7 2017 by David Roach, Baptist Press
Five hundred years after the start of the Protestant Reformation, a majority of U.S. Protestants reportedly reject the Reformation doctrines of sola fide (the belief men and women are saved by faith alone) and sola scriptura (the belief scripture is the only infallible guide for faith and practice).
That’s the finding of the Pew Research Center, which also found a majority of western European Protestants reject sola fide and that theological differences between Protestants and Catholics seem to be narrowing in many cases.
“The result of the survey ... in America and Europe is not particularly surprising,” said Paige Patterson, a participant during the 1990s in a five-year theological dialogue between eight Southern Baptist leaders and eight representatives of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“Although such surveys have little relevance on the vitality of faith and are often skewed in various ways, there is a sense in which both groups surveyed are correct. Certainly, Catholicism and Protestantism are more alike than any other expressions of religion in the world in their confidence that the Bible is in some sense the Word of God, that Jesus of Nazareth is the center of the Christian faith, in their confidence in the doctrine of the Trinity ... and in their general concept of sin defined as rebellion against God,” Patterson told Baptist Press (BP) in written comments.
“On the other hand, the survey also demonstrates the extent of biblical illiteracy,” said Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Regarding salvation, two separate Pew surveys conducted in the U.S. and Europe and released Aug. 31 found:
Less than half (46%) of U.S. Protestants hold the Reformation doctrine that faith alone is needed to attain salvation. More than half (52%) espouse the historically Catholic doctrine that good deeds and faith are required to get into heaven.
A full 81 percent of U.S. Catholics say good deeds and faith are required to get into heaven. Just 17 percent of Catholics say salvation comes by faith alone.
In Europe, 29 percent of Protestants and 26 percent of Catholics espouse belief in salvation by faith alone.
Contrary to the majority of Protestants in the U.S. and Europe, the Augsburg Confession of Faith – a classic 1530 Lutheran confession of faith – stated, “Men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith.”
In contrast, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that while “no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification,” humans can “merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for ... the attainment of eternal life.”
Concerning the authority of scripture, Pew found:
Just 46 percent of U.S. Protestants believe the Bible provides all religious guidance Christians need. More than half (52%) say believers need guidance from church teachings and traditions as well.
Three-quarters (75%) of U.S. Catholics say Christians need guidance from church traditions and teachings in addition to the Bible. Just 21 percent of Catholics say the Bible provides all needed religious guidance.
Protestants traditionally have believed, as stated in the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith, “The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture.”
In contrast, the Catholic Church holds according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the church “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy scriptures alone. Both scripture and tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”
Only 30 percent of U.S. Protestants believe in both sola fide and sola scriptura, according to Pew.
In the western European survey, most Catholics and most Protestants in every nation said they believe the two Christian groups are more theologically similar than different.
“The poll,” Patterson said, “is a source of challenge to Baptists to be sure that we prepare our people adequately in the doctrinal commitments that we have.”
The European surveys were conducted via telephone April 11-Aug. 2, with 24,599 respondents from 15 countries. The U.S. survey of 5,198 panelists was conducted online May 30-Aug. 9.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service. This year, Baptist Press is publishing a series of stories leading up to the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, Oct. 31, 1517.)
SEE UNTOLD STORY OF STEVE MCQUEEN'S CONVERSION TO CHRIST
Final episode of American icon's life documented in new film
September 10, 2017
Steve McQueen (Still from “Steve McQueen: American Icon”)
Renowned as the “king of cool,” the ultimate alpha male, in the 1960s and 1970s he was Hollywood’s hottest actor, the star of classic films such as “The Great Escape,” “Bullitt” and “The Magnificent
Steve McQueen’s life is well known, including his tragic death at age 50 from cancer, but conspicuously missing in most recountings of his story is his decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ.
Greg Laurie, a prominent evangelist and pastor in Southern California, is seeking to fill that gap with a big-screen documentary movie he has produced, “Steve McQueen: American Icon.”
The film debuts as a one-night event Sept. 28 at select theaters nationwide.
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Narrated by actor Gary Sinise, the 110-minute documentary includes interviews with McQueen’s widow, Barbara Minty McQueen; actor Mel Gibson; renowned stuntman Stan Barrett; and actors Barbara Leigh and Mel Novak.
Asked by WND in an interview why the story of McQueen’s dramatic conversion is virtually unknown or written off as a “deathbed conversion,” Laurie said he wasn’t sure.
“It’s almost like the story has been buried,” he said.
Laurie said he had heard at the time of McQueen’s death in November 1980 that the actor had become a Christian, but Laurie had no first-hand knowledge. The pastor’s interest was piqued a little more than a year ago when he saw a documentary film about McQueen that told of his difficult childhood, rise to stardom and eventual abandonment of Hollywood.
“And then the movie also pointed out that he got cancer and he died. It just sort of ended. And I though, wait, I’ve heard McQueen had become a Christian.”
In fact, McQueen – who once famously said, “I live for myself and I answer to nobody” – declared his faith six months before the cancer diagnosis and lived another year, dying with a Bible clutched to his chest.
Laurie, the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, is the author of more than 70 books and has created two other feature films. He hosts the nationally syndicated radio broadcast “A New Beginning” and is the founder of Harvest Crusades, a large-scale evangelistic ministry attended by more than 7.6 million people worldwide.
On a quest to find out what happened at the end of McQueen’s life, Laurie began searching the Internet, discovering only a few old news articles about his conversion. The name Leonard De Witt, McQueen’s pastor, kept popping up, and Laurie wondered if he was still alive.
Laurie tracked down DeWitt and they met.
“As we began to talk, he was indeed Steve McQueen’s pastor and his friend, and told me the story in rich detail,” Laurie said.
“And it just shocked me. I thought, this is an incredible story that needs to be told to more people.”
Laurie ended up writing a book published this year, “Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon,” which is the basis for the film.
He put McQueen’s stardom in perspective, particularly for younger generations.
“Think about it this way,” he said. “Take Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Tom Cruise, and put them all into one guy. And that was, effectively, Steve McQueen,” Laurie said.
“He was the original Hollywood bad boy. He did his own stunts, he was iconic, he was a fashion icon. He was so many things simultaneously. In the world of cars, he was a racing icon. In the world of motorcycles, a motorcycle icon,” he said.
“I can’t think of any modern movie star or celebrity that occupied the unique spot that McQueen occupied in his day.”
Flight from Hollywood
But by the late 1970s – having relentlessly pursued fame, wealth, drugs, alcohol, women and just about anything fast (he was a real-life car and motorcycle racer) – McQueen decided to leave it all behind, moving to the small agricultural town of Santa Paula, California, in Ventura County, about 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where he poured himself into learning how to fly.
He let his hair and beard grow to given him a degree of anonymity and found a flight instructor, a stunt pilot named Sammy Mason.
“And Steve saw something in Sammy that changed him, this peace and serenity, ” Laurie told WND. “They would spend hours in the cockpit flying. And he would ask him, ‘Sammy, what is it about you that makes you different?'”
Mason told McQueen it was his faith in Jesus Christ, and McQueen wanted to know more. Eventually, McQueen asked Mason if he could go to church with him.
They sat together in the balcony of Ventura Missionary Church, Sunday after Sunday.
A member of the church told DeWitt of McQueen’s presence, and the pastor advised that they should just give him some space.
One Sunday, McQueen came up to DeWitt and tapped him on the shoulder.
Laurie recounted the scene, citing DeWitt: “The actor said, ‘Hello, I’m Steve McQueen’ – like he needed to tell the pastor who he is – and said, ‘I’d like to ask you some questions. Could we go out to lunch?'”
After two hours of answering McQueen’s question, DeWitt said he had a question for him.
McQueen said, “I know, you want to know if I’ve become a born-again Christian.”
McQueen informed DeWitt he had prayed along with the pastor a few weeks earlier when an invitation was given to accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The pastor and McQueen then met weekly for an hour of Bible study, bringing others along with him and growing in his faith, Laurie said.
Then came the cancer diagnosis in December 1979.
Laurie noted that McQueen had lived most of his life with a daredevil abandon, “almost as if he didn’t want to live.”
But now, with doctors telling him there was nothing they could do, he fought the cancer with everything he had, filled with a desire to tell people what Jesus had done for him.
He eventually sought an alternative treatment in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
McQueen, through DeWitt’s arrangement, had met with evangelist Billy Graham, and before leaving for Mexico, Graham went to meet him again.
On a runway, where McQueen’s chartered jet was preparing to take off, they prayed together.
McQueen realized he had misplaced his Bible, and Graham gave him his personal Bible, inscribing it to “my friend, Steve,” with the verse Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Laurie said that before undergoing surgery to remove tumors, McQueen – too sick to meet with fellow patients at the treatment center – recorded a prayer for them on an audio cassette, which is featured in the film.
The cancerous tumors were removed through surgery, but McQueen died during recovery of a heart attack, holding on to the Bible Graham had given to him.
“You could see his faith was real,” Laurie said. “He wanted to tell people” about what Jesus had done for him.
“So, I am sort of righting a wrong,” Laurie told WND. “Steve wanted to tell the story and was never able to tell it. So I feel like, OK, I’m going to tell it for him.”
Laurie said he didn’t write the book and movie for a church audience.
“I wrote this for Steve McQueen fans and maybe people who wouldn’t read a Christian book, to tell a really powerful and true story,” he said.
“And really what I want to say in this story and in this book and in this film is no one is beyond the reach of God,” said Laurie.
“I mean, if Steve McQueen, the guy he was, with all his fame and all his fortune and all his cool cars and all that he had saw the emptiness of it and found what he was looking for in a relationship with Jesus Christ, why shouldn’t everyone look for that?”
Laurie said he was surprised to find in his research that McQueen’s troubled childhood was almost identical to his: born to an alcoholic mother and a father he never knew then sent to live with various relatives.
“When you’re raised that way, you learn to fend for yourself,” Laurie said. “So he developed survival skills, he became a very self-absorbed man. He had no one to defend him but himself. He kind of fought his way through life. Yeah, he had a chip on his shoulder. He became very arrogant, but the reality is – and this comes out in the film; people who knew him well talk about it – Steve for his whole life, into his adult years, he was searching for his father.
“When it was all said and done, I think Steve was searching for God.”
SABOTEURS PART 12: More On The Occult Faith Behind The Founding Fathers And The Present Scheme For America To Produce Apollo-Antichrist
September 12, 2017 by SkyWatch Editor
Deism had become a trendy belief system on our land circa 1725, grew to dominance for many decades, and then finally declined in the early 1800s. Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706, so before his twentieth birthday, Deism would have been the new, fashionable, and intellectual faith for up-and-coming politicians. George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Paine were born in the 1730s, followed by Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison in the ’40s and ’50s. These men established their education under the influence of major universities and Deist professors in preparation for US leadership; Washington was the exception, as his education was primarily through observation of aristocratic and wealthy dealings among the Virginia high class—most of which were openly Deist. Much documentation suggests that these men were all Deists as a result of cultural exposure during the Age of Reason (the Enlightenment era), but there are several choice documents and letters that suggest something far more bizarre than mere Deism was bubbling underneath the polished exterior for at least some of these men.
Thomas Paine is known for his heavy influence in the American Revolution. His tract Common Sense, according to historians, proved to inspire the writing of the Declaration of Independence. His Crisis pamphlets were read aloud during the wartime era by George Washington to the troops. The memory of this man’s role in our country’s freedom, as stated on his very gravestone, reads: “On this site was buried Thomas Paine, 1737–1809, Author of Common Sense, the pamphlet that stirred American colonies to independence. John Adams said: ‘Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain,’ and ‘History is to ascribe the American Revolution to Thomas Paine.’” Paine’s role as a founding father may be more overlooked than some, but it is certainly solid. So, was he a Christian?
Consider what he wrote in his The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology:
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.…
Each of those churches show certain books, which they call revelation, or the word of God. The Jews say, that their word of God was given by God to Moses, face to face; the Christians say, that their word of God came by divine inspiration: and the Turks say, that their word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from Heaven. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.…
When Moses told the children of Israel that he received the two tables of the commandments from the hands of God, they were not obliged to believe him, because they had no other authority for it than his telling them so; and I have no other authority for it than some historian telling me so. The commandments carry no internal evidence of divinity with them; they contain some good moral precepts, such as any man qualified to be a lawgiver, or a legislator, could produce himself, without having recourse to supernatural intervention.[i]
This view is similar to those shared by others of the founding fathers. If one were to research these men at length, they would find that they all were quoted as having appreciated the morality upheld within Christianity. But men like Paine no more belonged to the Body of Christ in his appreciativeness toward it than a Christian would be a Buddhist based on his or her appreciation of philosophy. Paine went on to address quite openly the faults he found in such concepts as the virgin birth of Christ, His resurrection, and His ascension, accepting only the probability of His death on the cross as a finite human man who lived among the Jews at one point in history. His open refutation of Christianity’s core doctrines goes much deeper still than this. Unabashedly, he writes that the Old Testament itself, and all the content therein, is “scarcely anything but a history of the grossest vices and a collection of the most paltry and contemptible tales.”[ii] Moving on to his personal grievances of the New Testament, Paine even postulates that the Holy Spirit’s impregnation of Mary was equivalent to any other scandalous, premarital act between a male suitor and a betrothed woman when he says, “What is it the Testament teaches us?—to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married, and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.”[iii] His summary of this “blasphemously obscene” belief system is as follows:
It is not the existence, or non-existence, of the persons [Jesus, Mary, and Joseph] that I trouble myself about; it is the fable of Jesus Christ, as told in the New Testament, and the wild and visionary doctrine raised thereon, against which I contend. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene. It gives an account of a young woman engaged to be married, and while under this engagement she is, to speak plain language, debauched by a ghost, under the impious pretence (Luke, chap. i., ver. 35), that “the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” Notwithstanding which, Joseph afterward marries her, cohabits with her as his wife, and in his turn rivals the ghost. This is putting the story into intelligible language, and when told in this manner, there is not a priest but must be ashamed to own it.[iv]
His final sentence here, in modern English, can be reworded: “Any priest or pastor willing to preach the heresy of Jesus Christ as the Son of God should be ashamed of himself.”
Needless to say, Thomas Paine—the forefather to whom the victory of the American Revolution has been repeatedly bestowed upon—was not a Christian. He was a Deist, and a radical one. According to the textbook, The Faiths of the Founding Fathers, “Thomas Paine, [a member of the Deism] movement’s radical wing viewed Christianity as a barrier to moral improvement and to social justice.”[v]
Well-known founding father and celebrated signer of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, likewise had limited beliefs in Jesus Christ and His purpose upon the earth. Revelation 22:19 says, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Jefferson was not concerned about this severe threat or its eternal implications when he used a razor blade to maim the Holy Bible, cutting choice teachings from the four Gospels and gluing them into a more so-called enlightened document popularly known as the “Jefferson Bible” (formally known as The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth). Jefferson’s cuts removed all of Christ’s miracles, all of His divinity as the Son, and most mention of the supernatural. The purpose of this, he says, was to purify Christ’s role and teachings from what the “priests” had corrupted throughout time. In a letter written to John Adams in 1813, Jefferson explained:
In extracting the pure principles which he [Christ] taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics, the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their logos and demiurges, aeons and daemons, male and female, with a long train of etc., etc., etc., or, shall I say at once, of nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an 8vo [Latin octavo—meaning one eighth the length of the original printed format] of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines.[vi]
But Jefferson shredded the Bible apart to create this “improved” gospel—one spared of all the “dunghills” such as Christ’s virgin birth and supernatural worth—without even the slightest inkling of fear that the “book of life” promise in Revelation would apply to his name. This is due to the fact that Jefferson didn’t even begin to respect the book of Revelation to begin with, as he said to Alexander Smyth in a letter dated January 17, 1825: “It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Book of Revelation] and I then considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.”[vii] This sentiment was penned a short number of years after he stated in his letter to William Short in 1819:
But the greatest of all the Reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by it’s lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dung hill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man: outlines which it is lamentable he did not live to fill up.[viii]
Similar to his cutting apart of the New Testament, Jefferson believed that only parts of the Old Testament were of any value whatsoever. In a letter to Adams on January 24, 1814, he poses a question of the Ten Commandments’ origin, saying that even though legend postulates they were written with the finger of God, we only have Moses’ testimony to believe such a thing, and that we all have equal rights to doubt their authenticity. So, like Paine, Jefferson appreciated the morality as taught by a finite and human Jesus, but there exists plenty of evidence that Jefferson was no more a Christian man than any other Deist philosopher.
Another commonly known Deist, Benjamin Franklin, was a great supporter of freedom from England. It was through his career in printing early on that the writings of Thomas Paine found their way into the troops during war time and fed their hunger for a life outside England’s dictatorial rule. But in addition to the wonderful deeds he carried out in the interest of our land of liberty and justice, Franklin was heavily involved in secret societies throughout our home region as well as France and England. In the scholarly journal article, “The Masonic Chronology of Benjamin Franklin,” we read that “the Masonic career of Benjamin Franklin extends over a period of almost sixty years, during which time he was accorded the highest Masonic honors at home and abroad.”[ix]
Philadelphia’s St. John’s Masonic Lodge (the first Masonic building in America where Franklin penned the society’s bylaws) awarded him with the title of Master Freemason during the same era he was elected Vénérable Maître W. M. (English “Worshipful Master”) at the Loge des IX Soeurs de Paris (“Nine Sisters Lodge of Paris”; it was at this location he assisted in the initiation of famous French enlightenment writer François-Marie Arouet—a.k.a. “Voltaire”—in 1778 just months before Franklin officiated Voltaire’s Masonic funeral amidst the brethren the same year). In the summer of 1734, he printed and published his Mason Book, which was the very first Masonic book printed in our country—and this act was carried out only a month after he had achieved the rank of “Grand Master of Pennsylvania.”[x] (Later in 1749, he was appointed the “Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania by Thomas Oxnard of Boston.”[xi]) During his American administration, the State House (Independence Hall) was built, and he and the brethren of St. John’s Lodge laid the cornerstone.[xii] According to the recorded minutes in the proceedings of the Grand Masonic Lodge of the Crown & Anchor building of London in 1760, Franklin was listed as “Provincial Grand Master.”[xiii] His death in 1790 is documented as passing “to the Grand Lodge beyond,” and his tombstone in Christ Church Yard of Pennsylvania would be a sacred gathering site for future Masonic services held in his honor.[xiv]
Not only was Franklin a founding father of our country, he was a founding father of our country’s Freemasonry roots. It’s nearly unthinkable that we would have established such fervor for Freemasonry on our soil without him.
Yet, Franklin’s personal dirty laundry list goes deep. In order to understand just how deep, we have to visit some facts about the “Hellfire Club” of Sir Francis Dashwood. (It was men like Dashwood, along with their anything-goes lifestyles resulting in extreme corruption of character and terrible decision-making, who heralded from the enlightenment Age of Reason to which these founding fathers belonged.)
Dashwood was the founder of the “Order of the Friars of St. Francis of Wycombe,” later appropriately coined the Hellfire Club. Several full-length films have been made on this subject. Membership to Dashwood’s Hellfire Club (and many others like it during this time) was made up of some of the most prominent names in the British—and soon American—government, as well as jovial buddies from the upper-crust society. The club’s first meeting was conducted on Walpurgisnacht (German “Walpurgis Night,” so named after the venerated eighth-century abbess St. Walpurga), April 30, 1752. The alternate and popularly used title Hexennacht literally translates “Witch’s Night.” The Germanic origins trace to the night when witches gather on the Brocken, the pinnacle of the Harz Mountains in Northern Germany, to await the heralding springtime (though this evening is observed in several countries throughout the world not limited to Germany). The scene of witches and warlocks interacting with the devil on the Brocken for his favor has been revered over and over again through the play adaptation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust!—and from many reports historically, those scenes are not entirely a work of fiction. Many documents attest to the wicked revelries that occur on Walpurgisnacht, including, but not limited to, fantastic orgies and demonic human or animal sacrifices to Satan as trade for his power and blessing.
Those who wish to fend off or scare away the witches partake in many protection rituals and customs (varying from country to country, but frequently involving bonfires in some way or other). Some tales involve a kind of unholy Passover event whereupon all stables and barns must be locked up with crosses on the doorposts alongside tacked sprigs of juniper and elder (sacred to pagan deities), and holy bells are placed around the necks of cows, lest the parading witches of Brocken capture the livestock and deliver them to their own horrific devices. Over the years, much like Halloween in the States, most of the original rituals and customs have been replaced with modern parties and fun bonfires where people by the score gather to drink beer, socialize, and eat fattening treats. But from one culture to another, today, the evening of Walpurgisnacht is an invitation for rebel youth to vandalize neighbors’ property and wreak havoc throughout the area with a tongue-in-cheek blame placed on those wily Brocken witches of yesteryear.
In 1752, it was no coincidence that Sir Francis Dashwood chose to launch his Hellfire Club on a date well known for sexual orgies, fiery sacrifices, and deals with the devil. Much like some of the acts carried out by revelers who observe Walpurgisnacht, Dashwood organized his club to partake in debauchery fitting the motto in stained glass above the grand entrance of one of his later meeting sites—Fais ce que tu voudras (“Do what you will” or “Do what thou wilt”)—essentially encouraging all members to drink deeply from the cup of wantonness and shameless iniquity for the duration of their gathering. (This motto was interestingly adopted later as a lifestyle mantra by Aleister Crowley, a Rosicrucian and 33rd-Degree Freemason, also popularly known as “the wickedest man in the world.”)
Once the meetings were established in the Medmenham Abbey, décor was raised within depicting phallic artwork and structures, as well as mythological imagery. Caves underground at the site were also decorated accordingly. These caves are known as the “Hellfire Caves,” and they still exist to this day. Although merriment was conducted in the main hall, when the men wished to indulge in gaieties so immoral that it would have jeopardized their standing as upright politicians and “Christian” aristocrats, the parties were taken underground. Women prostitutes dressed as nuns would attend and offer their “holy services” to the present “monks,” and the orgies would begin.
Not limited to mere orgies and drunkenness were these meetings, however. Blatant blasphemy and mock religious rituals for the appeasement of pagan deities was the norm. (More than one of the movies made about this club of men involves mock human sacrifices, one of which in 1961 depicted the act taking place under a Baphomet symbol.) It is said that Dashwood used a sacred Eucharist cup to pour anointings upon pagan altars and deity effigies. Among the long list of gods who were given unspeakably sickening “offerings” and sacrifices (more than merely the Eucharist-cup example just given, but far too vile to give in full detail here) were Dionysus, Venus, Bacchus, Priapus, Daphne, and Flora. There are rumors in heavy circulation that Black Masses and satanic rituals took place regularly. Evidence that the “monks” were summoning the devil is not hard to find…
A story is told of an evening wherein English journalist and politician John Wilkes fastened a pull-string through a loop connected to a trunk with a monkey (dressed as a devil or demon) trapped inside. He waited for the right moment to pull the string and release the animal with the other members of the brotherhood present as a practical joke. It went as well as he could have hoped, as the primate instantly flew out of his prison and clung to John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, another of the brethren. But it is Lord Sandwich’s response to the sudden appearance of the “devil”—a response the brethren thought was hilarious but which we find disturbingly revealing of the club’s underlying nature—that is relevant to our reflection here:
At the chosen moment, Wilkes pulled the cord and out popped the wretched animal which leapt on to the shoulders of Lord Sandwich, who, feeling the shock and seeing the animal grinning horribly at him concluded that the Devil had obeyed his summons in good earnest and had come to carry him bodily away. The harder he tried to shake off the poor creature the tighter it clung, whilst Sandwich cried out: “Spare me gracious Devil: spare a wretch who never was sincerely your servant. I sinned only from vanity of being in the fashion; thou knowest I never have been half so wicked as I pretended: never have been able to commit the thousandth part of the vices which I have boasted of…leave me therefore and go to those who are more truly devoted to your service.”[xv]
According to this oh-so-comical narrative, it wasn’t at all uncommon that these “monks” of the Hellfire brethren would get together and “summon the devil”—or at least, as Lord Sandwich admitted, “boast” about doing so. What is perhaps more enlightening is the fact that Sandwich, when he believed he had finally succeeded in summoning the devil who was now appearing for his dues, pleaded with the perceived apparition that he be spared, as he wasn’t as “truly devoted” to Satan as the rest of the Hellfire Club members. If, by his own admission, Sandwich was not as devoted as the others despite his direct summoning of the devil and the other “vices” he spoke of, what in the world were these other men doing that could possibly be so much worse as to prove their “true devotion”? It leaves much darkness to the imagination…
Later, when the club was dying off, it was documented that John Tucker—Hellfire Club “monk” and Member of Parliament for Weymouth, Massachusetts—was shocked to see the club’s disassembling. The description of this moment is also telling: “‘I was last Sunday at Medmenham and to my amazement found the Chapter Room stripped naked.’ Evidently, Sir Francis had decided that the time had come to remove all traces of incriminating evidence of the Club’s existence, including even the prints of the heads of kings and nuns and the pegs for the clothes with the brothers’ names above.”[xvi]
Such hiding of “incriminating evidence” was the way of the brethren from the beginning, as all nefarious secret societies charge its members with vows of the utmost secrecy, and this one was no different. The fact, then, that Benjamin Franklin’s visits to this club and participation in its revelries remains an ongoing rumor with much supporting proof is unsettling. Many historians, books, and articles, as well as exposés produced by such sources as the History Channel specials on the secret societies of the founding fathers, go as far as calling him an official “member,” whereas countless others simply say that he was a frequenter of the monks’ establishment and would have—at the very least—been an eyewitness to the acts carried out in the club. What we know for certain, however, is that he was there, on the grounds of the Hellfire Club, on several occasions, during the debauchery. A letter to a friend back home in Philadelphia makes this fact irrefutable. Dashwood held the office of Joint Postmasters General in Great Britain from 1766 to 1781, the year of his death. Franklin was Deputy Postmaster General in America during this revolutionary period, so Dashwood was Franklin’s superior officer. It is a historic fact that their working together made the two men close friends, and Franklin was often invited for visits to Dashwood’s estate in West Wycombe.
Since the secretary of the Hell-Fire Club burned the club’s records the day before [Dashwood’s] death, there is no absolute proof that Franklin (or anyone else for that matter) was a member [outside of admission by documented correspondence that is]. But we do know that he made constant visits to West Wycombe and in July 1772 made a special trip from London to spend sixteen days with Sir Francis. We also know that there was a meeting of the club during this period and there seems to be no reason why Franklin should have gone to Wycombe at this special time unless he was a member. Only club members were allowed at Wycombe during meetings. Franklin did go into the caves, and only club members (except for servants and the “nuns”) were allowed past the iron gate. Franklin wrote to a friend in Philadelphia: “The exquisite sense of classical design, charmingly reproduced by the Lord le Despencer [Dashwood] at West Wycombe, whimsical and puzzling as it may sometimes be in its imagery, is as evident below the earth as above it.” This [“below the earth” reference] can refer only to the [Hellfire Club] caves.[xvii]
And if Franklin were present, as the evidence is clear he was, common sense begs the questions: Would a secret society as despicably wicked as the Hellfire Club allow such a renowned figure into their midst if his only purpose there was to observe? Would that not be a threat to them if such a noteworthy man as Benjamin Franklin was calmly sitting nearby, sipping wine and taking mental notes about their orgies, pagan offerings, and mock human sacrifices? By the very nature of his refusal to participate, he would have been making a statement that he found their behaviors a moral contradiction to their office, would he not? Therefore, through the most rudimentary of kindergarten logic, wouldn’t he be a tattle-tale risk?
One does not have to be an expert in the field of research regarding secret societies to know that bystanders (translation: eyewitnesses) would not be allowed on the premises during such horrific events unless they, too, had been initiated into the society and held full participation in its ceremonies. All signs point to the facts that Franklin was a member of the Hellfire Club (as hundreds of sources convincingly portray) and that he would have taken part in their rituals, including mock sacrifices.
That makes this next bit about him even more unscrupulous.
In early 1998, about two hundred years after Franklin’s death, conservation work began on 36 Craven Street in London at the “Benjamin Franklin House” where he lived off and on between 1757 and 1775. When Jim Field of the renovation crew discovered the first of a collection of more than 1,200 animal and human bones in the basement under the floor of the Seminar Room (including enough skeletons for four whole adults and six whole children, but accumulatively, the bones were from at least fifteen people), an abrupt halt was brought to the conservation plans until a brief investigation could bring answers as to the nature of their concealment. Sunday Times ran the story, and an excerpt from this article states: “Initial estimates are that the bones are about two hundred years old [dating them to approximately the last decade of Franklin’s life] and were buried at the time Franklin was living in the house, which was his home from 1757 to 1762 and from 1764 to 1775. Most of the bones show signs of having been dissected, sawn or cut. One skull has been drilled with several holes.”[xviii] After careful analysis and much documentation, it has been proven indisputably that the bones were buried while Franklin was living there.
The most popular explanation for the discovery by those who wish to exonerate Franklin from any dubious activity is the idea that the bones were obtained for study by Dr. William Hewson—a pioneer of hematology (the study of blood and blood disease)—who ran an anatomy school within Franklin’s home. Hewson, the story goes, conducted experiments on human cadavers to provide the medical community with beneficial research. It wasn’t until 1832 that such experimentation for the betterment of all mankind was made legal due to resistance from religious groups, so Hewson had to hide all traces of his work. The likeliest of all assumptions then, if this version of the story is true, is that Hewson obtained the cadavers from “the resurrectionists” body snatchers who provided fresh bodies in the middle of night via the Thames River and then disposed of them via burial in Franklin’s basement.
However, some of the bones were from animals, and many of the bones had been blackened by fire. If Hewson’s practice centered on animals occasionally, which is not unheard of for anatomical/medical experimentation, that part could be explained. What cannot be explained is why these bones would have been charred, as if by fiery sacrifice.
Understandably, between the close association of Franklin with the Hellfire Club and the burned bones buried beneath his house, many have come forward with theories that Franklin was far more involved with satanic rituals than he wanted the world to know about. Some postulate that the bodies arrived dead and were thereafter dissected and offered ceremoniously to pagan deities in that classic Dashwood flair; others suggest an even more frightening concept that Franklin was America’s first serial killer who followed through with real human sacrifices and thereafter had the bodies of his victims transported to Dr. Hewson so that if the evidence were ever found, Franklin would be able to skirt the blame on the noble cause of future medical ingenuity. Had Franklin’s reputation never initially been linked with visitations to the Hellfire Club and the darker sects openly connected to Freemasonry, these theories would sound conspiratorial and juvenile. Once the trail of questionable details is linked, however, such a notion is much less far-fetched.
But whatever the reason—anatomy school, human sacrifice, or posthumous offerings to the gods—at the very least, we know Franklin was not the “Christian founding father” he has so many times been remembered to be, and he said as much in a letter to Yale University’s president, Ezra Stiles:
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity.[xix]
Once again, we have a fellow “appreciator” of Jesus of Nazareth and the morals He spoke of, but Franklin was not by any stretch of the imagination a Christian man.
Franklin’s close associate John Adams gave a similar response when asked about his convictions of the Holy Bible and its central character in a letter to Thomas Jefferson dated September 3, 1816:
I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved—the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced![xx]
To refer to the Gospels and the cross upon which Christ hung for the covering of humanity’s sins as an “engine of grief” is all the evidence we need from John Adams to move right along to the next on the list, knowing that Adams, too, was no Christian.
Of course, the name many have been waiting for is the most celebrated founding father in US history: George Washington. Washington, like the others, appreciated the morality that Christ preached, but he, too, was a Deist—and a Freemason of the highest rank as of August 4, 1753, at the Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We need not look far to find convincing proof that Washington’s associates already knew he was not a Christian in the traditional sense, as the country continues to claim.
Bishop James White, personal pastor to Washington for more than two decades, gave testimony that although our first president attended church regularly for religious cameos, Washington never gave anyone any reason to believe it was out of sincere conviction any more than it would have been to satisfy the expectations of his country’s Christian citizens. White said, “I do not believe that any degree of recollection will bring to my mind any fact which would prove General Washington to have been a believer in the Christian revelation.”[xxi] White’s assistant, Reverend James Abercrombie, held the same opinion, and when questioned, his plain response was, “Sir, Washington was a Deist.”[xxii]
Thomas Jefferson, in his journal entry on February 1, 1800, recalled a day when Washington had cleverly outmaneuvered a group of persistent clergymen who asked Washington outright whether he was going to proclaim or deny the Christian faith during his farewell address as president. Their inquiry came as a result of Washington’s continually avoiding the issue while in office. They had it in mind to put him on the spot and force an answer for the clarification of the American people. Jefferson writes:
[T]he old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article in their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice.… I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets and believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more in the system [Christianity] than he did.[xxiii]
At least another fifty equivalent examples could be given that strengthen the existent doubts of Washington’s Christianity. Although it has been documented scores of times that he found the moral fibers of Christianity a benefit to mankind (are we all seeing the pattern here?), and he said so often, no personal writings or quote of his can irrefutably prove that he was a Christian. Many documents and quotes can be found that prove at least his personal clergy believed he was not, and only acted as if he was so the question of his faith would not become a stumbling block to his reputation and legacy as first president of this “Christian” nation.
With these names addressed, one could continue to expound upon this list and include hundreds of others whose roles in the early-development phases of our country were crucial. Sadly, a heavy number of these names would also fall into the category of Freemason or Deist, and often simultaneously. Suffice it to say that our government was not, as so many still think, founded by devout followers of Christ. Some might say, and for good reason, that it was the opposite.
This opinion could easily be born out of a deeper understanding of Masonic and Freemasonic roots, whose shocking plans we’ll continue to expose in the next entry…
[i] Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology (Borrois: Paris, 1794), Part 1, Section 1, as quoted by US History Online, last accessed April 13, 2017, http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/reason1.htm.
[ii] Thomas Paine, Age of Reason, Part 1, Section 5, http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/reason5.htm.
[iii] Thomas Paine, Age of Reason, Part 2, Section 20, http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/reason36.htm.<>br [iv] Thomas Paine, Age of Reason, Part 2, Section 14, http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/reason30.htm.
[v] David L. Holmes, The Faiths of the Founding Fathers (Oxford University Press, New York, NY; Kindle Edition: 2006), 41; emphasis added.
[vi] “Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 12 October 1813,” National Archives, last accessed April 17, 2017, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-06-02-0431.
[vii] “From Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Smyth, 17 January 1825,” National Archives, last accessed April 17, 2017, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/98-01-02-4882.
[viii] “From Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 31 October 1819,” National Archives, last accessed April 17, 2017, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/98-01-02-0850.<>br [ix] Julius F. Sachse, “The Masonic Chronology of Benjamin Franklin,” Historical Society of Pennsylvania, last accessed April 17, 2017, https://www.jstor.org/stable/20085334?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents, 238.
[x] Ibid.<>br [xi] Ibid., 239.
[xii] Ibid., 238.
[xiv] Ibid., 240.
[xv] “The Hellfire Club,” Hellfire Caves Online, last accessed April 18, 2017, http://www.hellfirecaves.co.uk/history/hellfire-club/; emphasis added.
[xvi] Ibid; emphasis added.
[xvii] Daniel P. Mannix, The Hellfire Club: The Rise and Fall of a Secret Society (Ballantine: 1959). Quote taken from the 2015 eNet Press edition, 104; emphasis added.
[xviii] “Benjamin Franklin, the Occult, and the Elite,” The Sunday Times, February 11, 1998.
[xix] “Benjamin Franklin,” The Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. XII (Encyclopedia Americana, 1919), 11.
[xx] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006), 43.
[xxi] John E. Remsburg, Six Historic Americans (New York: Truth Seeker, 1906), 193.
[xxiii] The Literary Digest: Volume 24; No. 22 (New York, NY: Funk & Wagnalls, 1902), 746.
Gatekeeper of DC Society Sally Quinn Comes Out as Occultist, Used Hex to Kill People
by JOHN NOLTE12 Sep 2017
You and I, meaning Normal People, we look at our Thought Leaders, our Media and Cultural Overlords, our Ruling Class, and oftentimes wonder how they can be so venal and dishonest in pursuit of what they want — and what they want most of all is control over the lives of us Normal People, those of us who do not want to control anyone. We just want to be left alone.
How many times have we asked, How do they live with themselves? All the lies they tell, the innocent people they destroy, the fake news they publish, the character assassination, the stoking of racial conflict, the hate campaigns, the advocating of violence, the unending cultural bigotry against those of us just minding our own business… How do they sleep at night?
Maybe, thanks to the dribs and drabs that have bubbled up over the past year, we are starting to have that question answered. The latest revelation surrounds Sally Quinn, the surviving widow of Ben Bradlee, the Washington Post’s powerful executive editor from 1968 to 1991, who then served as the paper’s vice president until his death in 2014.
For nearly 50 years, the entire social and political world of DC revolved around this couple. Bradlee and Quinn were the New Camelot (his career took off in large part because of his friendship with John F. Kennedy), the Gatekeepers of who was in and who was out, the Elite Deciders among our Ruling Class with the extraordinary power of the Washington Post, and by extension the rest of the mainstream media, to abuse and weaponize their will against the rest of us.
Well, to put it as bluntly as possible, we are now learning that the Queen of Camelot is an occultist, a witch of sorts who honestly believes (according to her own new memoir) that she murdered three innocent people through the dark art of the hex: a young woman who committed suicide after flirting with Quinn’s boyfriend; a magazine editor who published an unflattering profile of her, who decades later died of cancer; a psychic who died of a cerebral hemorrhage before the end of the year after telling Quinn something she did not want to hear.
The anecdote about the magazine story, published in 1973, and her son, who was born in 1982, informs us that Quinn, who was born in 1941, practiced the occult in the most demonic ways imaginable well into adulthood. Quinn finally ceased hexing others, but not out of a sense of remorse:
She outs herself as a believer in the occult and as an erstwhile practitioner of voodoo … [and t]he book is awash in tales of Quinn’s occult prowess—she wants people to take this seriously, or at least to believe she takes this seriously. At the very least, she scared herself so badly when her third curse hit its mark—prompting a panic that her previous hexes had been karmically responsible for her son’s illness—that she vowed never to dabble in the dark arts again.
Quinn’s other acts of admitted wickedness include plotting to break up Bradlee’s marriage (which she did) and using the threat of adultery to bend Bradlee to her will.
Almost as troubling is the matter-of-fact way in which the Washington Post informs us of this bombshell, in the Outlook section under the chatty headline, “Sally Quinn’s hexes, marital ultimatums and visceral love of her son.” The story is written by Connie Schultz and her criticism of Quinn is primarily limited to this:
Had Sally Quinn stayed true to the promise of her book’s whimsical title, “Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir,” she might have led readers on a journey of self-exploration as she shared her stories of hope and the many faces of faith in the aftermath of despair.
What in God’s name is going on here?
We have just discovered that one of the primary movers and shakers of the last half-century is a practicing occultist, and…
The information is dropped as though Quinn’s tell-all is the usual-usual about plastic surgeries and sex.
Worse still, our Ruling Class is now joking about Quinn putting a deadly hex on President Trump.
In my mind, this explains so, so much.
Before I get to that, though, rewind your brain to last year…
We now know, at the very least, that John Podesta, one of the most powerful men in DC, is comfortable with the occult practice of Spirit Cooking, comfortable enough that his own brother invited him to a Spirit Cookout.
To protect Podesta from this bombshell, and by extension Hillary Clinton (the news broke in the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign), Snopes published a dismissal, which is worth reading.
However, as much as Snopes wants to wish it all away, what cannot be wished away (and what Snopes and Podesta’s other MSM defenders failed to address) is the fact that in 1996, the hostess of this Spirit Dinner, Marina Abramovic, wrote a cookbook about Spirit Cooking with recipes that include “fresh breast milk with fresh sperm milk” and “fresh morning urine.”
Moreover, Abramovic is a full-blown occultist.
Whether or not John Podesta attended this dinner with his brother Tony (a powerful DC lobbyist who admits he did), so what? What in the world is this woman doing swimming in the same circles as the chairman of a presidential nominee’s campaign who also served as chief of staff to a sitting president (Bill Clinton)?
Let’s just say it out loud… The most powerful people in our country are either outright occultists, are comfortable with witchcraft and Satanism, or are moving and shaking among those who are.
Whether or not you believe in the power of the occult, that does not matter. Also beside the point is whether or not the Podestas and Quinn and those calling to have Trump hexed believe.
What we do know is that these people have completely rejected any notion of a loving God, and moved towards darkness.
Furthermore, we also know that this darkness is not about consenting adults behaving badly amongst themselves. Rather, this is about them attempting to harness a power to control others, to manipulate events to their will, to hurt or outright kill those who offend or insult them.
As I said, this explains so, so much. Especially the fact that everyone is shrugging over the disturbing news, as though it is not news, as though it is normal, or at least as though it should be normal.
Planned Parenthood Teams up with Satanists to Promote Abortion in Missouri
by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.13 Sep 2017
Missouri has reportedly doubled its abortion capacity this year “thanks to the Satanic Temple and Planned Parenthood,” who have worked in tandem to fight the state’s restrictions on abortion.
With some of the most clearly defined regulations on abortion in the nation, Missouri had managed to lower the number of abortion facilities to a single clinic, but a second Missouri clinic opened its doors recently and two others plan on following soon.
Planned Parenthood has battled against state regulations requiring abortion clinics to meet the same surgical center standards as full hospitals and for their doctors to have hospital privileges, and in April a federal court sided with the abortion giant.
U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs granted a preliminary injunction invalidating requirements for the state’s abortion clinics to meet standards for surgical centers and for their doctors to have hospital privileges, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down similar restrictions in Texas, which deemed those laws unnecessary and unconstitutional.
“Missouri has not complied with that decision,” Sachs, of the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City, wrote.
Shortly afterward, Planned Parenthood expressed its intention to expand its abortion services in the state. On Monday, Planned Parenthood Great Plains announced plans to offer abortion services at two more clinics in Missouri, including its midtown Kansas City clinic, which now offers medication abortion services.
The Satanic Temple has often lent its muscle to pro-abortion efforts alongside Planned Parenthood, and in this case has pressured Missouri legislators and worked through the courts to bring about a relaxing of abortion restrictions, according to reports. One of the Temple’s fundamental tenets is that “One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.”
On Monday, the Satanic Temple argued in a Missouri court that the state’s abortion restrictions violate members’ rights to free religious practice. The organization challenged two Missouri laws: one that requires patients to look at anti-abortion literature and another that obliges them to wait 72 hours between their initial consultations and second appointments for their abortions.
Satanic Temple members have argued that their religion prizes rational, independent thought and that forcing Satanists to read anti-abortion pamphlets and “consider a religious proposition with which they do not agree” during the 72-hour waiting period constitutes a violation of their beliefs.
For years the Satanic Temple has been involved with lawsuits in Missouri fighting abortion regulations. The group also attempted to procure a religious waiver for a female Satanist who sought to circumvent the 72-hour requirement under pretense that it violated her religion. A judge eventually threw out the case because the woman was no longer pregnant.
The Satanic Temple has been on the forefront of the fight to protect and extend abortion rights throughout the nation, and in 2015 set up a crowdfunding website with Indiegogo “to challenge arbitrary, insulting abortion regulations,” especially the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Its website states:
The Satanic Temple (TST) supports personal choice in the context of abortion and, as part of a multi-faceted Women’s Rights campaign, TST is offering religious exemptions from arbitrary, insulting, and outright harmful anti-abortion legislation that has been steadily encroaching across the nation.
As an interesting aside, Satanism has a millennial history of association with child sacrifice, which makes the Temple’s financial and moral support of abortion a natural activity for the sect. The Israelites struggled against the worship of Baal, another name for the Phoenician god Moloch, who demanded child sacrifices of his followers and was associated with the devil. The prophet Jeremiah spoke explicitly of the sacrifice of children to Baal, warning his readers that God finds such behavior abhorrent.
Baal was often identified with Satan, especially in the form of “Beezebul” (Lord Baal), the prince of demons, which literally meant the “Lord of the Flies.” Jesus Christ was accused of obtaining powers for his miracles from “Beelzebul,” whom he identified as Satan.
‘Face of death and destruction’: Satellite images show eerie ‘portrait’ of Hurricane Irma
September 10, 2017
Satellite images have revealed a spooky, face-like formation in the eye of Hurricane Irma as the deadly storm is poised to make landfall in the US.
After roaring its way along the Caribbean leaving a trail of carnage in its wake, the Category 4 hurricane is now set to crash into the coast of Florida, with Governor Rick Scott warning that the state is facing the “most catastrophic” storm it has ever seen.
NASA has been sharing satellite images and timelapse videos as the hurricane hurtled through the Bahamas and Cuba, leaving at least 22 people dead and destroying countless homes, businesses, and even hospitals.
The images convey the immense ferocity of the storm as it barrels along its way, though several social media users have noticed an even more chilling feature in some of the pictures - the appearance of a face.
The ‘face’ was spotted in footage released by NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT) and was also broadcast on CNN.
Twitter user Connie Johnson labelled it “the face of death and destruction,” while numerous others shared the image asking if people could see it.
The grey visage wasn’t even the only face-like pattern spotted in the satellite images. Weather Channel meteorologist Stu Ostro shared another photo of Irma as it braced to hit Florida, which also had face-like features.
Ostro spotted a similar phenomenon last year when Hurricane Matthew hit the Sunshine State.
As well as the threat from Irma, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center has issued a warning to Floridians over the threat of tornadoes which are sweeping across the south of the state.
(Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air.” Ephesians 2:2)
REPORTS: CHINA BANNING CHILDREN FROM CHURCH
'Joining Christian groups and attending religious activities' now forbidden
September 9, 2017
China’s Communist Party-controlled government long has tried to stamp out faith.
It has banned churches unless they are affiliated with the government, imprisoned pastors and lay leaders, and discriminated against church goers.
Lately, government officials have removed crosses from church buildings.
Now, according to UCA News, at least four regional governments in China are banning children from church.
The governments have issued notices that “restrict children from joining Christian groups and attending religious activities,” the report said.
Children are being turned away from church, even if they show up with parents.
Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”
“Additionally, the ban includes promises that officials will launch investigations into both government approved churches and underground congregations who operate outside the tightly controlled official Beijing-run Catholic and Protestant churches,” the report said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has “instituted formal plans to ‘sinicize’ religion with the intention of bringing more religious followers under the control of the ruling Communist Party, which itself is official atheist and forbids members from practicing,” the report continued.
A note from a school district in eastern Zhejiang, the report said, read, “An emergency notice from the higher authorities strictly forbids all secondary and primary school teachers, students and toddlers to join Catholic or Protestant churches.”
In another incident, a summer camp run by churches was disbanded and all the students told to go home, the report said.
“According to Chinese media reports Changsha, the capital of central Hunan province, held an emergency video conference in June discussing how to stabilize work in the education system. As part of that, Liang Guochao, head of the Education Bureau, stressed making a ‘decisive effort to prevent religions infiltrating into schools and to guide students to consciously resist religious cults so as to make the campus a piece of pure land,'” the report said.
According to the Stream, a Christian newssite, the Communist Party and President Xi “fear that if children go to church, they will not have strict Marxist atheists to join their ranks.”
One Nation’s Outcome, After Caving To The LGBT Agenda
Posted at 3:30 pm on September 8, 2017 by Susan Wright
Gay marriage – man’s sad, destructive twisting of God’s plan for His creation – is not without consequences.
Four years ago, the British parliament chose to redefine marriage from what God designed, to what corrupt men desire.
Now, as Australia is set to allow the people to vote on how marriage will be viewed in their nation, the Spectator has examined some of the changes in the political and social climate of Britain, since they made their change.
Current Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May, has revealed proposals to abolish the need for any medical consultation before gender reassignment. Simply filling out an official form will be sufficient. A ‘Ministry of Equalities’ press release, explicitly announced, that the proposals were designed to: ‘build on the progress’ of same-sex marriage. Guardian journalist Roz Kaveney boasted that changing your gender is now: ‘Almost as simple as changing your name by statutory declaration’.
They have a “Ministry of Equalities.”
It would seem that such a casual regard for something of such potential emotional gravity could absolutely be avoided, without a lot of therapy.
Transport for London prohibit what they call “heteronormative” words, in favor of gender neutral terms. Colleges will drop grades of students that say words like “he” and “she,” directing them to use the made up term “ze,” instead.
So your grades don’t depend on how hard you work or actual achievement. They hinge on how culturally “woke” you are.
Most egregious is the attack on religious liberties. It’s the one thing humanists like to assure will not happen – as long as they get their way – but as Britain is proving, allowing room for such blatant disregard for God’s way is just the first step to a full-on assault.
Sin and wickedness do not seek to share space with the godly, but rather, seek to overwhelm, overcome, and replace the godly, until there is nothing left.
Equalities minister Justine Greening, has insisted that churches must be made to: ‘Keep up with modern attitudes’. Likewise, the Speaker of the House of Commons, a position supposedly defined by its political neutrality, had this to say: I feel we’ll only have proper equal marriage when you can bloody well get married in a church if you want to do so, without having to fight the church for the equality that should be your right’.
In other words, the assurances of freedom of religion, to worship, and to honor God are soon replaced by the calls to make God conform to man, rather than the other way around.
The creation becomes more important than the Creator.
And as one politician found out, even after supporting gay marriage, that wasn’t enough. He voted for the atrocity, against what he said his personal religious convictions were.
That was his first mistake. You always stand for your faith, or there’s no need to stand, at all.
Upon finding that he considered himself a Christian, Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, was harangued and grilled over his actual beliefs about gay marriage. The fact that he’d voted for it meant nothing. It was his personal feelings that needed to be rooted out, publicly, and he needed to be hammered for them.
Farron resigned, saying it was impossible for a believing Christian to hold a prominent position in British politics.
So what happens when believers in traditional marriage seek to provide homes for children in the foster system?
In a heartbreaking development and in spite of Britain’s ‘foster crisis’, aspiring foster parents who identify as religious, face interrogation. Those who are deemed unlikely to ‘celebrate’ homosexuality, have had their dreams of parenthood scuppered. This month, Britain’s High Court, ruled that a Pentecostal couple were ineligible parents. While the court recognised their successful and loving record of adoption, they decreed that above all else: ‘The equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence’. How has Great Britain become so twisted? Practicing Jews, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, who want to stay true to their religious teachings, can no longer adopt children.
And the ones who suffer for this compulsion to cater to the gay lobby are the children.
Television aimed at toddlers teaches so-called “gender fluidity,” and parents can no longer withdraw their children from schools that bring in sex educators to teach their children about sexual positions, masturbation, and “satisfying” pornography.
And please, don’t bring up your silly, old-fashioned concerns about sexually transmitted diseases or promiscuity. That’s for suckers, who don’t realize what a fantasy world is being created by teaching 8 year olds that sex is consequences-free, and they should be doing it whenever, with whoever, and anybody who objects has the problem.
Even religious schools are feeling the pressure to conform, denying the very purpose for separating themselves from mainstream schooling.
Independent religious schools are under intense scrutiny. Dame Louise Casey, a senior government advisor, recently insisted that it is now: ‘Not Ok for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage’.
Ofsted, the body responsible for school-assessment, has been wildly politicised. In 2013, Prior to the redefinition of marriage, Ofsted visited Vishnitz Jewish Girls School. They passed the school with flying colours. In fact, they went out of their way to highlight the committed and attentive approach to student welfare and development. Four years later, Ofsted returned. This time, they failed the school on one issue alone. While again, noting that students were ‘confident in thinking for themselves‘, their report, pointed to the inadequate promotion of homosexuality and gender reassignment. As such, it was failing to ensure: ‘a full understanding of fundamental British values’. It is one of an initial seven faith schools that face closure.
There are further tales of employees being forced to wear pro-LGBT rainbow badges, in a show of support (whether they support it, or not), and some even lose their jobs for openly objecting.
In retrospect, the silent majority in Britain remained silent for too long. Reflecting on redefinition, Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman of the Bow Group think tank pondered that:‘Same-sex marriage was promoted in the UK, as an issue of supposed tolerance and equality. What we have seen, is the most unequal and intolerant outcomes of any political issue in recent history’.
Because, as I’ve said before, the goal is not equality, nor is it a quest for tolerance.
The goal is compliance, and a crushing of all things that are a reminder of a Creator God. For the LGBT lobby, that means the traditional family must be destroyed.
Secular humanists believe destroying the family is what will bring about their Utopia. What it does is crumble the culture, and there is no good to come from a place where the family, which is the model of Christ’s love for the church, is perverted and destroyed.
But these kingdoms will have to discover for themselves. All Christians can do is stand firm, and pray.
THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Alien reptile’ and cloaked figure in Yair Netanyahu’s meme have old-new origins
To demonize his father's political enemies, PM's son posted a meme 'rife with anti-Semitic themes' hidden in plain view
By MATT LEBOVICSeptember 11, 2017, 1:13 pm
The cartoon posted to Facebook by Yair Netanyahu on Friday contained no Stars of David, no swastikas, and no anti-Jewish text. However, hidden in plain sight within the since-removed meme were two of the most potent anti-Jewish narratives: the colonizing alien-lizard Jew, and the scheming Illuminati Jew.
The portrayal of Jews as less-than-human parasites engaged in a global conspiracy is not new, and can be traced to the notorious canard, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” More recently minted is the Netanyahu meme’s green reptile-man, a stand-in for Jewish aspirations popularized by British conspiracy theorist David Icke.
Since the early 1990s, Icke has regaled fellow travelers with tales of shape-shifting reptiles who control Earth. This reptilian take-over is understood to be about Jews, who are capable of controlling minds. In recent years, Icke has sold-out stadiums across Europe by preaching this mash-up of sci-fi horror with old-fashioned anti-Semitism.
“People know how to decode the code about reptilians — whether Icke means it or not, it doesn’t change that fact,” said Jan Rathje of the Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, an anti-racism group in Germany. “It seems ridiculous, but the conclusion that Icke draws is that because he thinks the reptilians are pulling the strings behind it, therefore the Holocaust didn’t happen – that’s anti-Semitism,” said Rathje.
In the realm of reptilian domination, leaders ranging from the British royal family to Egypt’s pharaohs have been the target of shape-shifting Jews. These invaders take control of these “elite corporal hosts,” also known as “reptilian overlords.” The gentile proxies become foot soldiers in Jewry’s quest for domination of the galaxy. All of this is part of the “New World Order,” an umbrella of conspiracy theories pushed by Icke and others.
“I’m not talking about one earth race, Jewish or non-Jewish,” said Icke in a 2001 book about extremists. “I’m talking about a genetic network that operates through all races, this bloodline being a fusion of human and reptilian genes,” said the activist, who also believes the moon is hollow.
One of Icke’s top targets is George Soros, the Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor and billionaire who — in the meme posted by Yair Netanyahu — uses our planet as bait. In the cartoon, Soros is positioned as the ultimate “feeder” of humanity to the extra-terrestrial Jewish alien, who in turn holds an Occult symbol in front of the meme’s third Jewish boogeyman, a hideous figure cloaked in black.
In his native Hungary, where Soros survived the Nazi occupation, the 87-year old financial investor is seen as the proverbial “evil frog in the well,” a demon bent on erasing borders and flooding the country with immigrants, drugs, and homosexuality. As a favored target of Jew haters, Soros appears to embody several canards of modern anti-Semitism, from Mideast conspiracy theories to Jewish control of Western governments.
“George Soros is a multi-functional Luciferian who serves primarily as a political agent of disinformation,” according to New World Order Wiki. “Soros unites various nations and companies in deals that will benefit the Satanic hierarchy,” and “he is very close to the upper echelons of the Occult,” according to the site’s section on the Jewish philanthropist.
‘The Happy Merchant’ and Illuminati conspiracies
In place of George Soros baiting the alien reptile in Yair Netanyahu’s meme, an earlier version of the scene used a so-called “happy merchant Jew” as the leading antagonist putting things in motion.
Like an anti-Semitic “Where’s Waldo,” the smirking merchant appears in all kinds of places. Clad in a yarmulke, he has a hooked nose, frizzy hair, and rubs his hands together with malice. The merchant can photo-bomb images unconnected to Jews, including when he gleefully hovers over scenes of hurricanes and earthquake devastation.
According to the website “Know Your Meme,” the happy merchant is based on anti-Semitic ideas including, “a Jewish conspiracy to control the world; greedy Jews, or blaming corporate greed on Jews; fabricating the Holocaust; and blaming the Jewish conspiracy for promoting feminism, homosexuality, “race-mixing,” or causing any current calamity.”
There are many variations for the merchant drawing. Sometimes, his hooked nose appears much larger than his actual head. Other times, most of his body is obscured, or in the shadows.
“It’s unquestionably the most popular anti-Semitic image on the internet, and if one pauses to think about the scope and reach of the internet, it’s easy to make an argument that “Jew-bwa-ha-ha.gif” [the image’s name] is the most widely seen anti-Semitic image in history,” according to a 2015 BuzzFeed article about the trend.
Like the merchant, the Netanyahu meme’s third and final string-puller is seen rubbing his hands together. The sorcerer-like figure grins as he baits former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak with money. Like the alien reptile Jew, the Gargamel-like figure is a stand-in for Illuminati Jews, or the Freemason-controlling Jews — the men who have allegedly been behind almost every war and revolution in modern history.
As with the “reptilian overlord” narrative advanced by Icke, not all Illuminati conspirators are Jewish; however, it is always Jews who direct the ever-growing organization. In recent years, Icke has started claiming that “fallen angels” and “alien invaders” are actually behind his beloved “The Protocols.” This assertion, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is an attempt by Icke to hide hate speech that is in plain sight to his followers.
Elijah J M
The Kurds in Iraq and Syria are being used by the US as a Trojan horse for the purpose of dividing the Middle East
Iran, Syria and Iraq believe that the US and Israel are consciously taking advantage of the Kurds in Syria and Iraq
The countries of the region believe that declaring an independent Kurdistan is a premature step that can only increase the deep trouble the Kurds are in
Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus wrongly believe that the US does not have a clear strategy in Syria and Iraq
For many reasons it is in the US’s interest to destabilise Ankara despite Turkey being a NATO member
Erdogan is considered “out of the US’s orbit” since the coup-d’état failure and the US’s supporting of an independent Rojava
Even though Turkey won’t fight the YPG because they are under the US protection, it will fight the Kurds in Afrin (on the other side of Rojava)
The US is backing the Kurds in Syria and Iraq simultaneously, to see which will succeed first in giving shape to a state
The US plan to establish a Kurdish state in Iraq and Syria opens the path to a Sunni state in Iraq, a country considered to be an Iranian governorate
Masoud is excluding an immediate announcement of independence but considers it the beginning of a long peaceful dialogue with Baghdad
The Kurds won’t survive in a state that can be surrounded from both land and air and which has no access to the sea
Barzani supported Bashar al-Assad for many years by allowing men and weapons to reach the Syrian Army
Problems between Damascus and the Kurds started when the Americans landed in the north east of Syria
The US intervention pushed Moscow’s allies from being Kurdish protectors, into allowing Afrin to be attacked by Turkey
Iraqi officials see in the Masoud referendum an invitation to Sunnis and radical Shias to claim their own state.
Masoud Barzani needs to prepare solid ground before he ventures anywhere near an independent Kurdistan
The leader of Kurdistan Iraq, President Masoud Barzani, has called for a (second) general referendum on Independence, setting the date as 25th of September this year. He is determined to materialise the dream of establishing a Kurdish state in the Middle East.
This coincides with support from the US administration for Kurdish Syrians in al-Hasaka, Raqqah and Deir al-Zour northern provinces. The aim is to see another Kurdish Federation that can follow the path or even precede their Iraqi “brothers”.
Both the steps in Iraq and Syria relating to the Kurds are linked, regardless of borders. Nevertheless, the regional countries directly concerned – i.e. Ankara, Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus – believe that it is the US’s intention to reshape the region and form a “new Middle East,” as promoted during President George Bush’s eraby ex-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice..
Will the countries, which are neighbours to the Kurds, allow the US to divide the Middle East by taking advantage of 22-25 million enthusiastic and committed Kurds, dreaming of having their own state?
The Kurds in the Middle East represent the largest ethnicity in the world, to-date, without a state. They are spread mainly through Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Lebanon, with a less numerous presence in the rest of the world. It is certainly not the US’s blessing or its strategy which is vital to the creation of a Kurdish state in both Iraq and Syria, but the consensus of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria,.
Unfortunately for the Kurds, these countries can and will overcome their differences and their conflicting objectives in Syria, above all to uniting to prevent the creation of this Kurdish state. In fact, just following the announcement of Masoud Barzani of his intention for a general referendum for independency, knowledgeable sources informed me that Iranian, Turkish and Syrian intelligence and security officers met at the highest level to discuss the possible “devastating consequences” on their respective countries following Barzani’s announcement of the referendum and the effect on the Middle East of an independent Kurdish state. The security officers believe the US is using the Kurdish dream of a State of their own, in order to divide the Middle East and test the other countries’ reaction to it.
It is a legitimate Kurdish dream, from the Kurds’ perspective: they have a right to their own state. But the countries of the region believe it is a premature step that will increase the Kurds’ problems. Therefore it is essential to bury this “US project” as quickly as possible and put it forward in time: until the wars in Syria and Iraq are over.
Countries like Iran, Syria and Iraq believe that the US and Israel are behind such a plan, taking advantage of the Kurds emotional approach towards the idea of having a State in order to partition the Middle East. This would leave the “axis of resistance” dominating over weak and divided states, particularly bearing in mind that the plans to overthrow the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (after over 6 years of war), establish an ISIS caliphate, and allowing the natural consequences of the war in Iraq to create another Sunnistan state have all been foiled to date.
Turkey also believes the US is not against weakening the position of President Erdogan as punishment for his growing role in the Middle East, his direct involvement in Syria, his opposition to a Syrian Kurdish State in Syria (where the US is trying to build an alternative military base to Incirlik in due course), and it is encouraging a Kurdish State on the Turkish border under the control of the PKK, mainstream Turkey’s fiercest enemies. There is no doubt that the Syrian Kurds will probably follow the same path as Iraqi Kurdistan: already the US is building several military bases and airports in north-eastern Syria, to occupy part of the country and maintain a long-term US presence.
High-ranking officials I spoke to in Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus believe the US does not have a clear strategy in Syria and Iraq. Regardless of this inaccurate assessment, and watching the events unfold, the US administration actually seems pretty confident of its strategy in Iraq and Syria. The US’s illegal occupation forces supported a major attack on al-Badiya (the Syrian semi-desert, rich in oil and gas) with Syrian “moderate” groups, so as to expand its control over the Syrian steppe linked to the Iraqi Sunni Anbar and the Jordanian – Saudi desert. It occupied al-Tanaf and tried to exert tremendous pressure (in vain) on Baghdad to prevent the Popular Mobilisation Unities from reaching the border with Syria. It attacked Raqqah with the aid of its Kurdish proxies and is about to liberate it from ISIS. And it has preserved access to oil fields and dams in rural Raqqah to make sure that a future Kurdish Syrian “State” or Federation can survive independently of Damascus. And, as if this were not enough, it is supplying its Kurdish proxies with lethal weapons and heavy artillery. All indications lead to the conclusion that the US is trying – with the Kurds in Syria and Iraq simultaneously – to see which one may succeed first in giving a shape to a state, imposing it as a fact on central governments, all the time aware that this policy will encourage Kurds in other parts (Iran and Turkey) to follow the same path of independence.
The US is not concerned about the Erdogan and the Turkish government’s reaction to its plan in favour of a Kurdish state in both Syria and Iraq because it is in the US’s interest to destabilise Ankara (for a number reasons) even though Turkey is a NATO member. In American eyes, Erdogan is considered “out of the US’s control and orbit,” ever since the failure of the coup d’état : the US promotion of the Syrian Kurds and support for their possible independent state along the Turkish-Syrian borders confirms this. In fact, both the Turkish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister describe the Kurdistan move as an “irresponsible and grave mistake”. Turkey won’t fight the YPG, for now, because these fighters are under the US protection, but it will certainly fight the Kurds in Afrin, on the other side of Rojava.
Iran also, through its supreme leader Say’yed Ali Khamenei, has stated clearly that Iran wouldn’t allow a Kurdish state on its borders with Iraq. This clear, overt and harsh position towards the Kurds springs less from an animosity towards the Kurdish people, more because the US stands behind the timing and the strategy of the “independence project”, particularly at this moment when the partition of the Middle East is still a strong option, and following the failure of ISIS to divide the Levant and Mesopotamia.
This is exactly why Erdogan pushed his forces from Jarablus to al-Bab, disregarding the US presence, and divided Rojava in two parts. This is also the reason why Iran pushed its forces above al-Tanaf to close the road on the US from al-Badiya towards the north-east and in advancing south-east within al-Badiyah, recovering over 30.000 sq km, to prevent the US and its proxy forces from extending their control over that arena. The US plan, in Tehran-Damascus-Ankara’s eyes, is to establish a Kurdish state in Iraq and/or Syria and to open the path to a Sunni state in Iraq, a country considered in US eyes as an Iranian governorate. The “Sunni uprising” in Syria failed because the country is composed of over 70%Sunni who control the economy whereas the Alawites have the military command of the country in their hands.
Now, according to decision makers in the region, the Kurds may be committing a particularly serious mistake by earning the animosity of the surrounding countries because, in a State that can be attacked or surrounded by both land and air- and which has no access to the sea- they cannot survive without co-operation..
Masoud Barzani, of course, believes the timing is perfect to hold the “biding referendum” (it will almost certainly win over 90% in favour of the independent state) on the 25th of September, and he also believes that the Kurdish population accepts the risks that will come with such a decision. Masoud is excluding an immediate announcement of the independent state but considers it to be the beginning of a long peaceful dialogue and negotiation with Baghdad to meet the Kurdish population’s wishes. Masoud, according to high-level sources in Kurdistan, doesn’t want to encourage the Kurds in other countries to follow in his footsteps because the Kurds in Iraq have a different agenda and ideology from the Kurds in Syria, Turkey, and Iran. But despite what the Kurdish leader believes and says, there are no such guarantees or processes that give independence to one Kurdish nation in one country and which will exclude the others. In point of fact, Barzani cannot guarantee the reaction of the same Iraqi Kurds in the longer term even if these now declare overtly their support for his decisions. Behind closed doors, many anti-Barzani Kurds express their disagreement with the referendum at this critical moment in the Middle East.
What many ignore is the fact that Kurds in both Iraq and Syria did not take a neutral position during the on-going wars in Syria and Iraq: Masoud Barzani gave substantial military support to Bashar al-Assad for many years by allowing men and weapons to reach the Syrian Army. Moreover, the Syrian Kurds offered the same support to the besieged Syrian cities bordering Afrin that were surrounded by al-Qaeda and their allies. Damascus believes the security and well being of the Kurds is the result of its Arab and Muslim entourage: it will certainly not be created by the partition of the country they live in, nor by following US policy. In fact, the problems between Damascus and al-Hasaka started when the Americans landed in the north east of Syria. This is when Saleh Muslim, chairman of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), attacked Iran and praised Saudi Arabia’s role in the region following the US’s unlawful intervention in Syria. The US claims to be fighting ISIS, but it also hits the Syrian Army and its allies in many circumstances. So the relationship between the Syrian Kurds and Damascus has not yet reached a dead end.
The US intervention and the Kurds’ hostile attitude towards Syrian allies pushed Damascus, Moscow and Iran away from being Kurdish protectors. (Moscow and the Syrian Army originally created a demarcation line around Manbij to pay back the Kurds, protect these and prevent Turkey from taking the city that the Kurds had liberated from ISIS.) This attitude then allowed Turkey to attack Afrin and lift the Kurds’ “protection,” disrupting the US plan to occupy part of Syria and divide the country.
There were serious contradictions in the latter years in the dynamic relating to Turkey and the Kurds, in both Syria and Iraq:
-Turkey allowed the Peshmerga to fight along with their enemies, the Syrian Kurds YPG, in Kobane (or Ain al-Arab) when ISIS was about to take control of the city. The same Turkey will work hard today to stop Kurdistan from declaring its independence in Iraq, and will do anything to prevent the Kurds in Syria from creating their State, Rojava, and certainly won’t hesitate to hit those (Syrian Democratic Forces) who became the US proxies in Bilad al-Sham.
-MasoudBarzani, in 2014, praised ISIS by calling it a “tribes’ revolution” because he believed the terrorist group would establish a Sunnistan and therefore allow an independent Kurdistan, with Iraq divided into three states. Masoud realised immediately later that the extremist group wanted the rich-oil Kirkuk: they attacked Erbil and aimed to enslave the Kurds. This is when he changed his stance towards ISIS, joined Baghdad in its fight against terrorism, and fought along with the Iraqi Army for three years to protect the unity of Iraq. Today, the Kurdish Leader wants to declare the independence of Kurdistan following the referendum he has called. But, also today, Masoud cannot simply ask for the support of Turkey and Iran in his plan of independence and then give a green light to internal troubles in these countries where there are millions of Kurds all with a claim to independence.
-Iran supported the Kurds by providing weapons to protect its autonomous federation in 2014 when Peshmerga had only old AK-47 and few mortars to defend themselves against ISIS, following the fall of Mosul. The US delayed their military support and war on terrorism in Iraq, allowing a strong bond to be established between Masoud Barzani and Tehran (mainly with the IRGC-Quds commander Qassem Soleimani) where the Peshmerga exchanged the Iranian courtesy by establishing a supply line between Kurdistan and the Syrian Army, Tehran’s ally. Today, the same Iran will do its best to prevent the birth of an independent state in Kurdistan and will join Turkey in preventing such a partition from taking place.
The Iraqi Kurds disagree with the PKK in Sinjar and even fought against them on some occasions. They don’t get on with the YPG and the PKK in general due to differences in ideology and objectives. But when there is a danger to fight against, all Kurds become united under one national identity and one ethnicity. This is why countries hosting Kurds in the Middle East are certain that the independence declaration of Kurds in one country will be contagious to all Kurds in all countries. This is mainly why many countries in the Middle East will do everything in their power to prevent their independence.
Baghdad considers Kurdistan as an autonomous federation protected by the constitution. The officials in Baghdad recognise they did not implement the constitution: they neither resolved the disputed area nor did they fulfil their financial commitments towards Erbil. Iraqi officials see no purpose in following a referendum in Kurdistan for independence because this will invite the Sunni also to ask for an independent state and indeed the radical Shia to claim their own state. This may also spread towards the Shia in other parts of the Middle East.
Baghdad is also expected to stop all kinds of collaboration with Kurdistan if Masoud calls for an independent state. Kurds living under the central government face an unknown future, even if most Shia politicians in power have Kurdish origins. No future financial support will be granted and the central government in Baghdad may prevent any aircraft from reaching Kurdistan, a State surrounded by land and without access to the sea. It will be a silent war against Kurdistan, the real war against ISIS will not be over. The PMU may prevent the Peshmerga from recovering disputed areas, leaving Erbil as a state with continuing insecurity.
The Gulf countries will definitely support a partition of Iraq and Syria because that would give them what they have lost in Bilad al-Sham and Mesopotamia through many years of war. Saudi Arabia failed to divide Iraq by creating a Sunni State and failed to overthrow Bashar al-Assad by allowing Sunni extremists to take control of the country.
If the Kurds declare independence Kurdistan is expected to suffer serious recession, but the countries of the region, mainly Saudi Arabia, will be happy to help by attracting the Kurds into their orbit. In fact, Saleh Muslim already took this path: soon we will have Barzani praising Saudi Arabia.
Masoud Barzani needs to prepare solid ground before any independent Kurdistan adventure. He is sending envoys to Baghdad, Tehran, Ankara and the GCC to get feedback from these capitals about his independence project. He is also saying the referendum doesn’t mean immediate independence: it is only a question of timing. But this perilously premature announcement may prevent the future Kurdish generation from ever fulfilling their dream of a State.
Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US are not in themselves enough to secure and protect a prosperous and peaceful Kurdish State because the timing – amazingly seen by Barzani to be the best opportunity – could not be worse. The situation remains so volatile that every single move could take off in a dramatic direction, and reshape the entire Middle East. What is common between the 25th of September 2017 referendum and the 2005 referendum is that both should remain stored in a drawer.
US on collision course with Syrian forces in ‘race for Deir ez-Zor’s oil fields’
12 September, 2017
Ahmed Abu Kholeh, head of the Deir al-Zor military council which fights under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), speaks during a press conference in the village of Abu Fas, Hasaka province, Syria, September 9, 2017 © Rodi Said / Reuters
Last Tuesday, the Syrian military backed by the Russian air force finally broke the IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL) siege of Deir ez-Zor from the west following a cruise missile strike on terrorist positions.
The advance to clear the remaining terrorists progressed at a steady pace, and by Saturday, Syrian government forces smashed the IS blockade of the military airport which for three years had served as the only lifeline to the city.
Following Damascus’ strategic victory, and while its forces continue to squash pockets of IS resistance in the west of the city, the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) swiftly announced on Saturday a separate offensive east of Deir ez-Zor. SDF forces raced to Deir ez-Zor which lies only 140 km south-east of Raqqa, where the US-led coalition is conducting its main offensive against ISIS.
“Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) welcomes the commencement of their offensive to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Khabur River Valley, dubbed ‘Operation Jazeera Storm,’ north of Dayr Az Zawr (Deir ez-Zor) in eastern Syria,” the Pentagon said in a statement Saturday. It added that the operation will be run by the Deir Ez-zor Military Coalition.
The Pentagon confirmed that US-led coalition forces will support the mainly Kurdish militia in the “Khabur River Valley offensive” as part of the advice and assist mission. The US-coalition also said that it will offer the SDF equipment, intelligence and logistics support, in addition to “precision fires and battlefield advice.”
“It’s going to be a race,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. “It is going to be a race because you’ve got the Syrian army with Russian assistance coming in from the West and you have the United States coming in from the north and the East.”
On Sunday, spokesman for the CJTF–OIR, Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, said the SDF has made “significant gains into the Khabur River Valley,” capturing roughly 250 km2 since launching its Operation Jazeera Storm offensive. The Khabur River runs south through Deir ez-Zor province into the Euphrates River, which is about 35 kilometers east of the provincial capital.
According to reports, the SDF was just a few kilometers across the river from Deir Ez-zor city. The coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters, allegedly advanced from the northeast, reportedly capturing the 113th Brigade Base and parts of the Al-Salihiyah District, Almasdar news noted in their report.
Meanwhile Monday, the Syrian army continued with its successes against IS fighters in the west near the airport, “liberating the 17th Hills that are located just southwest of the Liwaa Tameen Base,” the report added.
According to Almasdar, both forces are apparently aiming to block each other’s path to the city of Albukamal on the Euphrates river which lies near the border with Iraq.
“As we get closer to Deir ez-Zor and you have these forces converge upon one another, the importance of [communication] between the Russians and the coalition, SDF and the regime becomes more important,” Dillon was quoted as saying by Foreign Policy magazine.
“The SDF and regime conduct all their interactions [with Russian side] through the deconfliction channel” Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a defense department spokesperson told Foreign Policy. “We pass messages on about where we’re operating, and they’ll pass on where they’re operating,” he said.
The SDF has meanwhile promised not to attack Syrian government forces.
“We have clear instructions that after Daesh is eliminated, we should not act against the forces of the [Bashar Assad] regime or against the Russian, Iranian forces or the Hezbollah movement, which are allied with it,” SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Sputnik Monday.
As the SDF military offensive to expel IS and secure parts oil rich province continues, tribal figures aligned with SDF have already proposed measures to form their own form of government. Tribal figures on Monday called for “establishing a preparatory committee that will discuss the basis and starting points for a Civil Council for Deir ez-Zor.”
The statement published by SDF’s media office said the consultations would aim to reach a “formulation that will express the aspirations of all our people in Deir ez-Zor.” The statement, however, did not mention if the city council activities would be coordinated with the central government.
Maloof believes the US is intentionally using the Kurds to permanently entrench themselves in the oil rich Syrian province that is bordering Iraq.
“I think the US activity, their initiatives now are calculated. They are meant to try to maintain a US presence in Deir ez-Zor,”Maloof pointed out.
“Even though the Syrian army and the Russian air assistance has basically taken over the place, the United States really wants to maintain that area. They want to occupy it with the help of the Kurds.”
“I think the United States has the intentions of building a base there. The US has political and strategic intentions for that region; aimed principally at trying to maintain influence in neighboring Iraq ultimately.”
“Ultimately the Syrian army needs to reoccupy their own area, their country,” Maloof said “I think there is going to be a need for the United States and Russia to talk about this because this could create even greater conflict on who is going to ultimately occupy Deir ez-Zor and indeed that entire region.”
Venezuela Is About To Ditch The Dollar In Major Blow To US: Here's Why It Matters
By Tyler Durden
Sep 8, 2017 11:45 PM
Authored by Darius Shahtahmasebi via TheAntiMedia.org,
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, Reuters reports. According to the outlet, Maduro will look to use the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes (essentially the way Venezuela will manage its currency in relation to other currencies and the foreign exchange market), along with a basket of currencies.
According to Reuters, Maduro was referring to Venezuela’s current official exchange rate, known as DICOM, in which the dollar can be exchanged for 3,345 bolivars. At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys only 10 bolivars, which may be one of the reasons why Maduro wants to opt for some of the weaker exchange rates.
“Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in a multi-hour address to a new legislative “superbody.” He reportedly did not provide details of this new proposal.
Maduro hinted that the South American country would look to using the yuan instead, among other currencies.
“If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro also said.
Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserves but has been undergoing a major crisis, with millions of people going hungry inside the country which has been plagued with rampant, increasing inflation. In that context, the recently established economic blockade by the Trump administration only adds to the suffering of ordinary Venezuelans rather than helping their plight.
According to Reuters, a thousand dollars’ worth of local currency obtained when Maduro came to power in 2013 is now be worth little over one dollar.
A theory advanced in William R. Clark’s book Petrodollar Warfare – and largely ignored by the mainstream media – essentially asserts that Washington-led interventions in the Middle East and beyond are fueled by the direct effect on the U.S. dollar that can result if oil-exporting countries opt to sell oil in alternative currencies. For example, in 2000, Iraq announced it would no longer use U.S. dollars to sell oil on the global market. It adopted the euro, instead.
By February 2003, the Guardian reported that Iraq had netted a “handsome profit” after making this policy change. Despite this, the U.S. invaded not long after and immediately switched the sale of oil back to the U.S. dollar.
In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was punished for a similar proposal to create a unified African currency backed by gold, which would be used to buy and sell African oil. Though it sounds like a ludicrous reason to overthrow a sovereign government and plunge the country into a humanitarian crisis, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails confirmed this was the main reason Gaddafi was overthrown. The French were especially concerned by Gaddafi’s proposal and, unsurprisingly, became one of the war’s main contributors. (It was a French Rafaele jet that struck Gaddafi’s motorcade, ultimately leading to his death).
Iran has been using alternative currencies like the yuan for some time now and shares a lucrative gas field with Qatar, which may ultimately be days away from doing the same. Both countries have been vilified on the international stage, particularly under the Trump administration.
Nuclear giants China and Russia have been slowly but surely abandoning the U.S. dollar, as well, and the U.S. establishment has a long history of painting these two countries as hostile adversaries.
Now Venezuela may ultimately join the bandwagon, all the while cozying up to Russia, as well (unsurprisingly, Venezuela and Iran were identified in William R. Clark’s book as attracting particular geostrategic tensions with the United States). The CIA’s admission that it intends to interfere inside Venezuela to exact a change of government — combined with Trump’s recent threat of military intervention in Venezuela and Vice President Mike Pence’s warning that the U.S. will not “stand by” and watch Venezuela deteriorate — all start to make a lot more sense when viewed through this geopolitical lens.
What initially sounded like a conspiracy theory seems to be a more plausible reality as countries that begin dropping the U.S. dollar and opting for alternative currencies continuously — and without exception — end up targeted for regime change.
If the U.S. steps up its involvement in Venezuela, the reasons why should be clear to those who have been paying attention.
* * *
This moves comes just days after The BRICS Summit where Putin unveiled his "fair multipolar world," which culminated, as Pepe Escobar explained, in the following
Meet the oil/yuan/gold triad
It’s when President Putin starts talking that the BRICS reveal their true bombshell. Geopolitically and geo-economically, Putin’s emphasis is on a “fair multipolar world”, and “against protectionism and new barriers in global trade.” The message is straight to the point.
The Syria game-changer – where Beijing silently but firmly supported Moscow – had to be evoked; “It was largely thanks to the efforts of Russia and other concerned countries that conditions have been created to improve the situation in Syria.”
On the Korean peninsula, it’s clear how RC think in unison; “The situation is balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict.”
Putin’s judgment is as scathing as the – RC-proposed – possible solution is sound; “Putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile. The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions.”
Putin’s – and Xi’s – concept of multilateral order is clearly visible in the wide-ranging Xiamen Declaration, which proposes an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and national reconciliation process, “including the Moscow Format of consultations” and the “Heart of Asia-Istanbul process”.
That’s code for an all-Asian (and not Western) Afghan solution brokered by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by RC, and of which Afghanistan is an observer and future full member.
And then, Putin delivers the clincher;
“Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.”
“To overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies” is the politest way of stating what the BRICS have been discussing for years now; how to bypass the US dollar, as well as the petrodollar.
Beijing is ready to step up the game. Soon China will launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold.
This means that Russia – as well as Iran, the other key node of Eurasia integration – may bypass US sanctions by trading energy in their own currencies, or in yuan.
Inbuilt in the move is a true Chinese win-win; the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.
The new triad of oil, yuan and gold is actually a win-win-win. No problem at all if energy providers prefer to be paid in physical gold instead of yuan. The key message is the US dollar being bypassed.
RC – via the Russian Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China – have been developing ruble-yuan swaps for quite a while now.
Once that moves beyond the BRICS to aspiring “BRICS Plus” members and then all across the Global South, Washington’s reaction is bound to be nuclear (hopefully, not literally).
Washington’s strategic doctrine rules RC should not be allowed by any means to be preponderant along the Eurasian landmass. Yet what the BRICS have in store geo-economically does not concern only Eurasia – but the whole Global South.
Sections of the War Party in Washington bent on instrumentalizing India against China – or against RC – may be in for a rude awakening. As much as the BRICS may be currently facing varied waves of economic turmoil, the daring long-term road map, way beyond the Xiamen Declaration, is very much in place.
ALERT FROM MY BRIGADIER GENERAL FRIEND GREG Z (RETIRED) LETTER TO MY READERS CONCERNING EMERGING CIVIL WAR IN AMERICA
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have taken the deep divisions (and perhaps emerging civil war) in America off the front pages. The underlying issues, however, have not changed and will soon reemerge.
The intent of this letter is to help your readers understand:
What is now going on behind the scenes.
How to identify the players.
What your readers are up against, and
The overarching tactics, techniques, and procedures being employed.
As you know, revolutions and civil wars are rarely spontaneous. They are planned and orchestrated. When I attended the US Army War College we studied the requirements of a successful revolution. It won’t surprise you that the principles are the same whether it is an Arab Spring event or a South American uprising.
This will be broad-brush explanation.
Every revolution has generally the same “players.”
The Philosophers/Idealists: These people truly believe in their cause---even if the cause is misguided. These people are often eloquent (and persuasive) writers. They create the “moral foundation” for the revolution. Some revolutions are noble (think 1776). Most are not.
The Leaders: These are men and women who can rally the crowd to “the cause”, whether they, themselves, believe in the cause or not. They typically have no power; but they desperately want it. Some revolutionary leaders are principled (think George Washington), but most are driven by pride, ego, and a desire to rule.
The Communicators/Media: Every revolution needs a vehicle to transmit the message to the larger audience. In the not so distant past, newspapers and pamphlets served this purpose; today it is obviously electronic. These players take the Idealist’s message and package/glamorize it to the masses. Convincing disaffected people they are being wronged, and that the new leader/system will improve things, is the goal.
The Organizers: These people are detail-oriented and enjoy the challenge of orchestrating “history changing events.” Always in the background, they pride themselves on being indispensable to the cause. They expect praise, significant remuneration, and positions of power for their efforts.
The Resource Providers: I should have put this group first. As the old saying goes, “Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics.” This group provides the logistics of money, arms, connections, supplies, equipment, trainers, etc. They are the true power behind the revolution. Without these wealthy, powerful and anonymous players, all revolutions fail. Think George Soros (and his team) in this role. (As an aside, despite what your readers think, very few Americans know who Soros is.)
The Opportunists: This is the wild-card element. They are not strategic thinkers. They are not committed to “the cause.” They are not under the sway of Leaders, Organizers, or the Media. They are cynics who see a chance for short-term personal gain and they do not want to let any opportunity slip by. They are the thorn in the side of all the groups named above. Opportunists can sidetrack the revolutionary message and derail years of preparation and effort.
So, with that as background, how is today different?
I believe Antifa was a beta-test by the Resource Providers to see if they could do something not done before-----control the Opportunists.
Knowing the Opportunists just wanted flat screen TVs, a new car, or the chance to be violent without consequence, the Resource Providers sought to bring them to heel.
Rather than leave things to chance, why not identify Opportunists in advance? Then, why not recruit them, equip them, train them, and even pay them? You could thereby control the previously uncontrollable part of a successful revolution.
Antifa was an attempt at this.
Remember, today’s revolutionary-players knew of the hippie/druggie riots of the 1960’s and 1970’s. That debacle turned a generation of Americans against the so-called “peace movement” and initiated a conservative backlash thereby setting back the anti-American cause by decades.
Ever since, the revolutionary crowd has been patiently, quietly, and effectively pushing back toward their goal. Based on their latest moves, I believe they are convinced the groundwork for bolder efforts is now in place.
So far, the results of their Antifa experiment are mixed. Antifa’s tactics clearly went too far, and they were clumsy in their execution. The Alt-media and Internet bloggers identified the duplicity and prevarications of the “spontaneous uprisings” against President Trump, Civil War statues, or white privilege. The media mantra had little effect in portraying Antifa in any sympathetic light.
Nonetheless, the Antifa-Opportunists did not derail the greater movement. The media’s efforts were not totally in vain. America’s cultural/racial/social divisions were deepened via the constant divisive messaging. The left’s efforts were especially effective in the eyes of poor minorities and privileged elites. Just note the NFL player national anthem protests as evidence thereof.
With the Antifa lessons learned, the anti-American revolutionary planners are already adapting. Antifa is clearly being dumped, but a new (more “reasonable”) group will soon emerge. The media messages will change, and so will the leadership. The end goal of dividing, and hence destroying, America remains, however, the same. But now the ground is a little more fertile.
Divide and conquer is an ancient strategy. It is still effective. It is happening now. Shining a light on it is the first response to turning back the assault.
Your friend in Christ,
PS Every revolution needs a trigger. The most successful trigger is hunger. Citizens will put up with all kinds of government/leadership abuse; that is, until they can no longer eat. The Arab Spring uprisings started when food costs consumed 55%-60% of a worker’s take-home pay. When you control the food, you control the timing of the revolution.
PPS You and I both know there is a spiritual element to all of this. That subject is too much for this missive, but I believe your readers will make the necessary connections.
Sep 12, 2017
The New York Times
Violence Erupts on Desperate Caribbean Islands: ‘All the Food Is Gone’
A street in St. Martin after Hurricane Irma. Residents spoke of a disintegration in law and order as survivors struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages.
MARTIN BUREAU / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES
By AZAM AHMED and KIRK SEMPLE
SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
MARIGOT, St. Martin — At dawn, people began to gather, quietly planning for survival after Hurricane Irma.
They started with the grocery stores, scavenging what they needed for sustenance: water, crackers, fruit.
But by nightfall on Thursday, what had been a search for food took a more menacing turn, as groups of looters, some of them armed, swooped in and took whatever of value was left: electronics, appliances and vehicles.
“All the food is gone now,” Jacques Charbonnier, a 63-year-old resident of St. Martin, said in an interview on Sunday. “People are fighting in the streets for what is left.”
Anarchy In the Caribbean: Escaped prisoners and hundreds of looters armed with guns and knives terrorise hurricane-hit islands as police from Britain and France are flown in to restore order
Escaped prisoners armed with guns and knives are terrifying islanders as they recover from the hurricane
On St Martin, the regional police chief said a gang of 600 'local delinquents' was responsible for the trouble
Sam Branson, son of Virgin tycoon Richard Branson, said: 'It's really sad to say that there is a lot of civil unrest'
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said 50 police officers have gone to British Virgin Islands to tackle looting
France, which oversees Saint Barthelemy, said police presence had been boosted to 500 amid lawlessness
Terrified tourists stranded on St Maarten say looters have started raiding hotel rooms, homes and shops
Many tourists are locking themselves in their hotel rooms as the only way to stay safe during the unrest
Islanders are taking matters into their own hands, arming themselves with machetes to defend themselves
In some island shops, even the mannequins have been stripped of their clothes and the coathangers are bare
One bar manager has described how there is 'no rules, no law and no protection' in Maho Beach, St Martin
Authorities confirmed 10 people had been killed on Cuba bringing the death toll to at least 34 in Caribbean
By Julian Robinson and Jennifer Smith and Rory Tingle For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 11:42, 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:33, 12 September 2017
Harvey’s Next Danger: Massive Mosquito Clouds
Standing water is breeding billions of post-hurricane mosquitoes, which could transmit diseases like the West Nile Virus
September 7, 2017
After the catastrophic devastation of hurricane Harvey, the people of Texas are now facing a slew of problems from contaminated floodwaters to toxic mold to giant alligators sneaking into homes to floating rafts of fire ants. But as Joe Hanson at Texas Monthly reports, Harvey victims have yet another galling problem to add the mix: giant clouds of mosquitoes.
Immediately after the storm, the mosquito population along the Gulf Coast crashed. The insects are usualy pretty robust in this region, but the massive torrents of rain washed away the the mosquitos as well as their larvae, which develop in standing water. Now as the 28,000 square miles of floods are receding, it's leaving behind pools of standing water in its wake. And the mosquitos are returning with a vengeance.
Populations are already rising in some regions. Residents have posted images of people or windows covered in thousands of the insects. Jesse Peña, a resident of Victoria, Texas, volunteering in the recovery of nearby Seadrift, posted an image on Facebook that shows his truck coated in the insects. He included the caption: "In case you thought we were joking."
Peña witnessed vast clouds of mosquitoes while driving through the area. “There were clouds of mosquitoes over trees that looked like spirits,” he tells Elizabeth Abrahamsen at Wide Open Country. “I never saw anything like that before. They were still, hovering. Driving through them was literally like driving through the rain.”
While hordes of biting mosquitoes is no joke, public health officials are especially worried about the possible transmission of mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika. As Julie Beck at The Atlantic reports, risk of transmission is low immediately after the storm because mosquito populations, including most infected insects, were swept away. But that respite might not stick around for long.
In the months after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, mosquito-borne illnesses almost disappeared, Beck writes. But the following year the number of cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease more than doubled, something public health officials worry could happen in Texas.
“What needs to be done is long-term surveillance beyond this transmission season,” Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston tells Hanson. “Given all the West Nile we’ve already seen in Texas in recent years, this means we’re really going to have to keep our eyes on it in the coming months. We can’t really say we’re out of the woods until much later.”
There is still a possibility that Texas could see a bump in disease this year as well. Since the hurricane hit with several weeks of disease transmission season yet to go, it's possible that a re-established mosquito population could begin spreading West Nile. “The timing is kind of interesting,” Hotez tells Beck. “If we were at the end of arbovirus [insect-spread disease] season, or we were headed well into the fall, then the effect would be beneficial because you’re going to wash the mosquitoes away and then basically, transmission season’s over,” he says. “[But] we still have a lot of weeks of mosquito transmission season in Texas left.”
For their part, Harris County tells Hanson that their mosquito abatement equipment survived the flood and they are out aggressively fogging and applying pesticide to standing water. They also urge homeowners to do what they can to drain any standing water on their property.
While disease is in the back of everyone’s mind, it’s the biting that is currently causing problems in some areas, which is slowing down recovery efforts or at least making them even harder. “When they bite it’s like a tiny razor blade that cuts you, and you can’t satisfy the itch,” Peña tells Abrahamsen. “My thoughts were on all the people without power that have to endure them. I had my own blood all over my shirt yesterday from killing them. Repellent only lasts so long.”
Florida Power Official Makes Unheard-of Prediction for Crippled Electrical Grid
BY K. CAMPBELL
ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 AT 5:38AM
Even in a state used to hurricane damage, the power and scope of Hurricane Irma was unprecedented as it swept through Florida, and the recovery effort is likely going to be unprecedented too, especially when it comes to restoring electric power to the Sunshine State’s battered residents.
Robert Gould, Florida Power & Light’s vice president and chief communications officer, said the monstrous storm would likely necessitate a “wholesale rebuild” of the electrical grid on Florida’s Gulf Coast, according to ABC.
“That will take weeks,” Gould explained. “This thing is a monster.”
Florida Power & Light, the state’s biggest power company, had at least 11,000 crew members on standby to restore power once Irma had made its way through the state, according to WLRN.
Ninety percent of the company’s customers live within 20 miles of the coastline.
“I can say this with certainty. We have arguably one of the strongest grids in America, but no grid is designed to be able to withstand a Category 5 storm,” Gould said.
He also warned that many Floridans would be without power for a while due to dangerous conditions following the storm.
“We expect, given the fact the storm has slowed down, many of our customers will be out for a day or longer, given that, much like emergency responders, our crews cannot get out and work. It’s just too dangerous,” Gould told the Sun Sentinel.
When restoration operations begin, priority will be given to the company’s own power plants, substations and wrecked transmission lines. Then, the company will focus on hospitals, police and fire stations, water treatment plants and communication facilities. Gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and community centers will follow.
Fortunately, the electrical situation wasn’t as bad as other places affected by Hurricane Irma, such as Puerto Rico, where officials estimated it could take half a year to completely restore power.
What would you do if you were going to be without electricity for weeks?
Fellowship of the Minds
NY mayor Bill de Blasio: ‘If had my druthers’ America would be communist
Posted on September 11, 2017 by Dr. Eowyn
Karl Marx’s vision of communism is a utopian society of “to each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities”.
By that measure, New York mayor Bill de Blasio, aka Warren Wilhelm Jr., is through and through a communist.
In an interview with New York magazine’s fawning Chris Smith, published on Sept. 4, 2017, de Blasio revealed his true, dangerous Bolshevik beliefs.
In the New York interview, claiming to speak for “people all over this city,” de Blasio railed against the institution of private property. He said that “if I had my druthers,” America would be a totalitarian state (“a very, very powerful government, including a federal government”) wielding total power over every facet of people’s lives ( “involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality”) in accordance with the communist dictum of “in accordance to their needs”. At the city level, the totalitarian state would “determine which building goes where, who gets to live it, what the rent will be”.
These are his words:
“What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development. […]
Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That’s a world I’d love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They’d love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.
It’s not reachable right now.”
In the meantime, before he could have his druthers as a totalitarian mayor of New York City, de Blasio prides himself on having implemented little socialist “fixes,” such as:
free lawyers for those being evicted
ending tax breaks for luxury condos
mandating the construction of affordable housing
more taxes on “the wealthy”
minimum wage increase
What de Blasio the communist neglected to say in his interview is that he himself is “the wealthy,” with an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.
Let students sit exams with iPads and laptops, says Cambridge academic to combat students not used to 'the lost art of handwriting' turning in unreadable papers
Cambridge University is considering letting students take exams on laptops
This is because more scripts are becoming illegible as handwriting is 'lost'
The university's upcoming review is part of its Digital Strategy for Education
By Charlie Moore For Mailonline
Cambridge University is considering letting students take exams on laptops and iPads because they rarely use 'the lost art' of handwriting during their studies.
Students who struggle to write by hand or need extra time in exams are already allowed to use laptops - but this could soon become widespread rather than exceptional.
The university's review is part of its Digital Strategy for Education, which aims to 'introduce technology that supports teaching and learning'.
Cambridge University is considering letting students take exams on laptops and iPads because they rarely use 'the lost art of handwriting' during their studies
History lecturer Dr Sarah Pearshall said handwriting was becoming a 'lost art'.
She told the Daily Telegraph: 'Fifteen or twenty years ago students routinely have written by hand several hours a day - but now they write virtually nothing by hand except exams.'
'As a faculty we have been concerned for years about the declining handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward trend. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these scripts.
One former student told MailOnline: 'I did all my exams on laptops - it really helped me but it makes being able to touch type essential.'
Another said: 'I think being able to go back and change your essay - which you can't do when writing- would make things harder as people would run out of time trying to create the perfect answer.'
A Cambridge University spokesman said the review was ordered after 'students raised concerns that they rarely handwrite during their studies'.
He added: 'As part of this, a consultation is being conducted among students on whether computers should be allowed in exams.
'The consultation is on-going and will be used to inform future decision-making on the issue.'
Massive holes in the ice caused by violent volcanic eruption open up in glacier in Iceland
September 8, 2017
The largest glacier of Iceland is melting like an ice cream.
Giant holes as large as 1,300 feet wide and caused by volcanic eruptions have opened up in Vatnajökull.
The largest glacier of Iceland Vatnajokull and the volcanoes buried under its ice.
Vatnajökull is the second largest glacier in Europe, covers 8 percent of Iceland and several volcanoes. In the last few years, the enhanced seismic activity has created several glacial floods in the area.
Now, huge holes more than 1300 feet wide and several hundreds of feet deep are appearing in the ice. These cavities mean that the ground beneath the glacier has been left exposed for the first time in hundreds or thousands of years, since the glacier itself was formed.
Scientists believe it is very important to be vigilant against the creation of any more calderas, which raise the likelihood of a glacial flood.
The cavities in the ice are hundreds of feet deep and up to 1300 feet wide. Via RUV.is
These floods – jökulhlaup – occur when the dam that contains a glacial lake fails. They can occur simply as the result of a buildup in pressure but are more likely to be caused by a volcanic eruption or earthquake, as in 2010 during the second eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
The giant holes in the ice are forming continuously. Via RUV.is
There is something weird happening on the largest glacier of Iceland and nobody can determine what it indicates.
What to Put in Your Go-Bag in Case of an Emergency
By Kirstin Fawcett
September 7, 2017
From forest fires to floods, natural disasters have dominated the news of late. But even if your region hasn’t been afflicted by tropical storms or scorching flames, it’s always a smart idea to prepare for the worst while still hoping for the best. One way to stay safe in the midst of a sudden crisis is by packing a go-bag, an emergency carryall with just-in-case supplies. A go-bag’s contents will vary according to your own personal needs, but experts typically suggest including a few staple items.
We don’t recommend becoming a walking grocery store, but every go-bag should include at least a three-day food supply, and at least one gallon of water per person per day. Opt for healthy non-perishables, like pouches or cans of tuna and beans (don’t forget a manual can opener!) and protein or granola bars.
Pre-packaged nuts, trail mix, beef jerky, and peanut butter are other good options, as they’re packed with energy-boosting protein. You’ll also need plenty of water for both hydration and sanitation purposes, but if you don’t want to weigh down your pack with multi-gallon bottles, consider bringing water-purifying tablets, mini-filters, or a reusable water bottle equipped with a filter.
Additional go-bag items include a prepackaged first aid kit (customize it by adding your prescription medicines to the mix), an emergency whistle, a wrench or pliers (for turning off water valves, circuit boxes, and gas appliances), a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery- or hand-powered radio, and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert. These items are all likely available at your local big box outdoors store.
Other less obvious–but no less important–supplies include a dust mask (it helps filter contaminated air), plastic sheeting and duct tape (to construct a makeshift shelter), and wet wipes, trash bags, and plastic ties (to stay clean and hygienic in the absence of showers and routine garbage collection).
Cell phones can be just as useful in a crisis as they are for checking social media feeds, but you should pack some old-fashioned local maps along with extra chargers and phone batteries. That way, if you lose service, you won’t be stuck relying on a malfunctioning Google Maps page to find your way.
While shopping for your go-bag (it should be durable, yet lightweight), look for a large waterproof pouch to store money, credit cards, and essential documents, including copies of your passport and visas; your driver’s license; and your marriage, birth, adoption, and naturalization certificates. If you have pets or an older relative, you may also want to purchase and pack a second bag just for them.
While essential, these go-bag suggestions are by no means comprehensive. Feel free to add extra supplies, or tweak the ones above as needed. But since disasters can strike at any time, do consider packing three separate go-bags: one for home, one for work, and another for your car. Hopefully, you’ll never need them–but it’s always worth your peace of mind to have them.
next week...keep on believing.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.”
This site is partially sponsored by Association of Missionary-Minded Christians.