I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell,
behold, You are there.”
You Are There
Greetings! Romans 8:38-39, says “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Our first article below, “Atheist Professor's Near-Death Experience in Hell Left Him Changed”, is a vivid illustration of the truth and power of the above scriptures.
Psalms 139 is such a beautiful Psalm, we felt led to put the entire Psalm on the web site this week. We hope you have a great week ahead knowing that He will never leave you nor forsake you!
1. O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
3. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
4. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
6. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
7. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8. If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10. Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
11. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me;
12. Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
14. I will praise You, for IAMO.fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
15. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
17. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
18. If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I AM still with You.
19. Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21. Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22. I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.
23. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
24. And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
Faith Issues -
Atheist Professor's Near-Death Experience in Hell Left Him Changed
13 March 2012
by Mark Ellis -
In some near-death experiences, people report they were drawn toward "the light." But in this horrifying near-death experience for an atheist art professor, he was drawn into the darkness of hell, which dramatically altered the course of his life. - -
"I was a double atheist," says Howard Storm, who became a tenured art professor at Northern Kentucky University by age 27. "I was a know-it-all college professor, and universities are some of the most closed-minded places there are," he notes. - -
On the last day of a three-week European art tour he led, his group had returned to their hotel in Paris after a visit to the artist Delacroix's home and studio. As Howard stood in his room with his wife and another student, suddenly he screamed and dropped to the floor in agony. - -
"I had a perforation of the small stomach, known as the duodenum," he recalls. At first, Howard thought he was shot, and he glanced around the room to see if he could spot a smoking gun. As he writhed in pain on the ground, kicking and screaming, his wife called for a doctor. - -
"They said I needed surgery immediately," Howard says. "It's like having a burst appendix. I was told that if they don't get to it within five hours, you're probably going to die." - -
Howard had the misfortune of a falling ill on a Saturday in a country with socialized medicine, and no doctor could be found. "French doctors do seven surgeries a week, and after they do the seven surgeries, they take the weekend off," he discovered. - -
They placed him on a bed without sheets or a pillow and offered no pain medication. He waited in the room for 10 hours. "I was just lying there going south," Howard says. Meanwhile, intestinal contents were leaking into his abdominal cavity, which would soon lead to peritonitis, septic shock and certain death. - -
At 8:30 PM a nurse came in and said they were still unable to find a doctor, but they would try to find one the next day, Sunday. - -
"I had been struggling very hard to stay alive, but when she said there was no doctor, I knew it was time to stop fighting," Howard says. - -
Yet the thought of death scared him. "I was terrified of dying because it meant lights out, the end of the story," he notes. "It seemed horrible that at 38 years-old, when I felt powerful and successful in my life, it would all come to an end in such a ridiculously pitiful way." - -
Howard made an impassioned farewell to his wife, and told her to tell their friends and the rest of his family goodbye. Then he lost consciousness. - -
It wasn't long after he lost consciousness that he had a very unusual out-of-body experience, and found himself standing next to his bed, looking at himself lying there. As he stood there, he noticed he didn't feel the pain in his stomach. He felt more alive than ever, and his senses seemed more heightened than usual. - -
He tried to communicate with his wife and another man in the room, but they didn't respond, which frustrated him. "I was glad I didn't have the pain, but also I was very confused and disturbed by the situation." - -
"I saw my body lying on the bed, but I refused to believe it was me. How could that be me if I was standing there," he wondered. - -
Suddenly he heard people outside the room calling for him by name. They spoke English, without a French accent, which seemed strange, because everyone in the hospital either spoke French or heavily accented English. - -
"Come with us," they said. "Hurry up, let's go." - -
Howard went to the doorway. "Are you from the doctor?" he asked. "I need to have surgery. I'm sick and I've been waiting a long time." - -
"We know all about you," one said. "We've been waiting for you. It's time for you to go. Hurry up." - - Howard left the room and started to walk with them down a long hallway, which was very dimly lit - almost dingy. "They took me on a very long journey through a grey space that got increasingly darker and darker," he recalls. - -
They walked a long time, and Howard wondered why he was not tired when he had just suffered the worst day of his life. - -
"Where are we going? Howard asked. "How come it's taking so long? What is the doctor's name?" - - "Shut up," one said. "Be quiet," another said. "Don't ask questions." - -
Howard's fear and apprehension grew at the same time he lost trust in his guides. "Finally it was so dark I was terrified and I said, 'I'm not going any farther. I want to go back." - -
"You're almost there," one replied. - -
Howard dug in his heels. "I'm not going any farther," he said firmly. - -
His guides began to push and pull at him. Howard fought back, but he was horribly outnumbered. - - "We had a big fight and the fight turned into them annihilating me, which they did slowly and with much relish," he says.
"Mostly they were biting and tearing at me. This went on for a long time. They did other things to humiliate and violate me which I don't talk about." - -
When Howard was no longer "amusing" to them, he collapsed on the ground, ripped apart, unable to move. - -
He lay there motionless for a few moments, completely spent. Then he was surprised by a small voice inside his head that said, 'Pray to God.' - -
He thought, 'I don't pray. I don't even believe in God.' - -
Then he heard the voice a second time, 'Pray to God.' - -
'But I wouldn't know how to pray even if I wanted to pray,' he thought. Whose voice was this, he wondered? It sounded like his voice, but the words were completely foreign to his own thinking. - -
Then he heard the voice a third time repeat the same message. His mind drifted back to his days in Sunday school as a child. "I tried to remember things I memorized when I was very young," he says. He struggled to think of something he could pray. - -
He managed to blurt out, "The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want..." - - When the people around him heard his attempt to pray, they became enraged. "There is no God and nobody can hear you," they cried, along with other obscenities. "If you keep praying we will really hurt you." - -
But Howard noticed something curious. The more he prayed and began to mention God, the more they backed away from him. - -
Emboldened, he began to shout out bits and pieces of the Lord's Prayer, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and God Bless America. Finally, he was screaming any fragments of God's truth he could muster from the moldy recesses of his memory bank. - -
It seemed to work! Even in the darkness, he could tell they had fled, but not too far away. - -
As he lay there, Howard began to review his life. "I came to the conclusion I led a crummy life and I had gone down the sewer pipe of the universe. I had gone into the septic tank with other human garbage. I was being processed by the garbage people into garbage like them." - -
"Whatever life was supposed to be about, I missed it," he thought. "What I received was what I deserved and the people who attacked me were people like me. They were my kindred spirits. Now I will be stuck with them forever." Feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness filled his mind. - -
His thoughts floated back again to himself as a nine year-old in Sunday School, "I remembered myself singing Jesus Loves Me, and I could feel it inside me. As a child, I thought Jesus was really cool and he was my buddy and he would take care of me." - -
"But even if Jesus is real, why would he care about me? he thought. "He probably hates my guts. I'm not going to think anymore; I'm going to ask him." - -
"I've got nothing else to lose. I'll give Jesus a try." - -
Then he yelled into the darkness, "Jesus, please save me!" - -
Within an instant, a brilliant light appeared that came closer and closer. He found himself bathed in a beautiful light, and for the first time he could clearly see his own body's miserable condition, ghastly for his own eyes to behold. "I was almost all gore." - -
Immediately he recognized Jesus, the King of Kings, the Rescuer, the Deliverer. "His arms reached down and touched me and everything healed up and came back together," he recalls. "He filled me with a love I never knew existed." - -
Then he picked up Howard, like one football player picking up a fallen teammate on the field, put his arms around him, and Howard cried like a baby in His arms. "He carried me out of there and we headed to where God lives." - -
In his mind, Howard began to think that Jesus made a terrible mistake. "I'm garbage and I don't belong in heaven," he thought. - -
They stopped moving, and both Howard and Jesus were hanging in space, somewhere between heaven and hell. "We don't make mistakes," Jesus said tenderly. - -
"He could read everything in my mind and put His voice into my head," Howard recalls. "We had very rapid, instantaneous conversations." - -
Then Jesus told Howard He had angels who would show him his life. "It was a terrible experience because my life deteriorated after adolescence. I saw I became a selfish, unloving person. I was successful, a full tenured art professor at 27, the department head, but I was a jerk." - -
In this replay, he saw his heavy drinking and adultery. "I cheated on my wife proudly. It was horrible." - -
For the first time he realized the way he lived his life hurt Jesus. "I was in the arms of the most wonderful, holy, loving, kind person and we're looking at this stuff. Embarrassing doesn't even begin to describe it." - -
As they watched together, Howard could see the pain and disappointment on the face of Jesus.
"When I did these things it was like sticking a knife into his heart." - -
"Do you have any questions?" Jesus asked. - -
"I have a million questions," Howard replied, and proceeded to unburden himself of anything and everything he could imagine asking an omniscient being. Jesus answered Howard's questions kindly and patiently. - -
When Howard couldn't think of anything else to ask, he said, "I'm ready to go to heaven now." - - "You're not going to heaven. You're going back to the world," Jesus replied. - -
Howard began to argue, but it was to no avail. Jesus told him to go back and live his life differently. - -
At 9:00 PM, Howard was back in his hospital room in Paris. Less than 30 minutes had elapsed since he lost consciousness. - -
As Howard opened his eyes, he heard the nurse say, "The doctor arrived at the hospital and you're going to have the surgery." - -
As they wheeled him out of his room on a gurney, he saw his wife in the hallway. "Everything is going to be really good now," he said to her. When she heard him, she cried, thinking they were brave words. - -
When Howard emerged from surgery, with the effects of the anesthesia wearing off, he spoke to his wife. "It's all love," he told her. "You don't have to suffer anymore." - -
"You need to sleep," she replied, thinking he was slightly addled from the drugs. Then he awakened again and began to tell her about Jesus and the angels and heaven and hell. - -
"She was an atheist and she didn't like it. She thought I lost my mind." Sadly, Howard's marriage ended in divorce after she left him many years later. - -
When his strength returned, Howard began to devour the Bible. "Since none of my atheist friends believed me, I started memorizing verses and I would give them Bible lectures, but that didn't go over very well," he recalls. - -
He grew "desperate" for fellowship in a church, and began to attend Christ Church in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, part of United Church of Christ. Howard's pastor worked with him patiently, and after three years, Howard was ordained as a lay minister in his church. - -
Sensing a deeper call into ministry, he attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio and later pastored a church in Covington, Ohio. - -
He also wrote a book about his experience, "My Descent Into Death," which he says was written primarily to non-believers. - -
Howard and his second wife, Marcia, a strong Christian, are both involved in missionary work in Belize. He maintains a passion for painting, with much of his art devoted to spiritual themes.
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Vatican's twisted priorities
Op-ed: instead of focusing on decline of Arab Christianity, Catholic Church chooses to demonize Israel
Published: 03.16.12 Israel Opinion
In a special interview with Die Tagespost last week, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, named by Pope Benedict to represent the Vatican in the Jewish State, declared that "Israel's existence as such has nothing to do with the Bible." He then compared Christians' condition in today's Jerusalem with Jesus' Passion: "We Christians never forget that even our Lord himself suffered and was mocked in Jerusalem."
Twal's position on Israel and the Bible has been embraced at the highest levels in the Catholic Church. The Vatican synod in 2010 declared that Israel cannot use the Biblical concept of a promised land or a chosen people. "We Christians cannot speak about the Promised Land for the Jewish people", the synod's document said. "There is no longer a chosen people. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians."
A few days ago, Patriarch Twal responded enthusiastically to the agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah. He also denounced "the Judaization of Jerusalem" and attacked Israel for "trying to transform it into an only Hebrew-Jewish city, excluding the other faiths." Elsewhere, Iraq's Archbishop, Louis Sako, asked to "separate between Judaism and Zionism." Indeed, in the most influential quarters of Christianity, Jews are still regarded as an apostate group not entitled to a sovereign state of its own.
Backed by the Catholic clergy, for the first time in history the Palestinians asked the United Nations' cultural body to register Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity under the name of "Palestine." According to Omar Awadallah, who heads the UN department in the PA Foreign Ministry, "Jesus is the Palestinian prince of hope and peace and Christians all over the world want that church to be a World Heritage site."
In a period when the Vatican's anguish at the catastrophic decline of Arab Christianity should be palpable, the Catholic Church chooses to demonize Israel and to increase its collaboration with the PLO. The confirmation comes from the intensity of high profile meetings in recent weeks and the participation of bishops not only from Arab countries, but from Europe and the United States as well.
'Zionism racially exclusive'
A Vatican delegation comprising Ettore Balestrero, the Holy See's Under-Secretary for Relations with States, and Archbishop Antonio Franco, Apostolic Delegate in Israel, just met in Ramallah with Palestinian ministers and officials for an agreement with the PLO. Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, in a first-ever interview for a cardinal on al-Jazeera, declared that Israel must adopt "an internationally recognized statute for that part of Jerusalem where the Holy Places of the three monotheistic religions are open to believers."
Meanwhile, Catholic and Muslim dignitaries met in Beit Sahour for a conference on "How to live together in a future Palestinian state." Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, and Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, attended the event organized by Al-Liqa, a Vatican ecumenical center. Sabbah signed a document condemning Zionism as "racial exclusivity" and "the ideology of empire and colonialism."
Last January, eight Catholic bishops from Europe and North America, including UK Archbishop Patrick Kelly and French Archbishop Michel Dubost, visited Gaza. "I asked prisoners in the largest prison in Europe (in Evry) to pray for you," Dubost told Gazans. The inference was clear: Palestinians are living in a big prison terrified by Israel. In the same period, Father Manuel Musalam, head of Gaza's Catholics, met with Hamas leader, Mahmoud al Zahar, and declared that "Christians are not threatened by Muslims" but that everyone faces the same problem, that of Israel's "humiliation."
Last November, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai, head of Lebanon's Catholic Church, sent his envoy, Father Abdo Abou Kassem, to Tehran for a conference in support of a "Zionist-free middle east." The conference was also attended by Hezbollah ideologue Mohammad Raad and by Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal.
If in the wartime period the Vatican had taken a moral stand against Nazism, the outcome might have been different for the Jewish people. But that was 1943. By 2012, the Church should know better. Yet it seems that as was the case in World War II, the Vatican is again pursuing a joint cause with evil forces to buy temporary security.
The Vatican's criminalization of Zionism, which Arab Churches made a basic condition for Muslim-Christian rapprochement, grants the elimination of the Jewish State priority over defending the rights of their own beleaguered communities. After Arab nationalism failed to eliminate Israel, Arab Christianity and the Vatican are now building a Palestinian identity hostile to Israel and the Jews.
New Executive Order Seizes Control over Civilian Activities
Barbara H. Peterson
A new Executive Order signed on March 16, 2012, gives Obama the power to seize all forms of transportation, food, and any other civilian services including health care, for national defense, as well as to conscript necessary persons for a National Defense Executive Reserve. This is an all-inclusive E.O. that executes total control over everything from home gardens to any form of transportation, to forcing people to work for the collective. Read it and weep.
For those who think this new Executive Order will not affect you because you think we are not in a "national emergency," understand that WE ARE, with Iran as the excuse. Obama signed a "Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Iran" on March 13, just three days before the following E.O.
Quotes from President Theordore Roosevelt and President Woodrow Wilson
"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day".
- President Theordore Roosevelt April 19, 1906
"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."
- President Woodrow Wilson, before his death in 1924
Russian Anti-Terror Troops Arrive in Syria
Assad: Deaths Were 'Individual Mistakes'
By KIRIT RADIA (@KiritRadia_ABC) and RYM MOMTAZ
MOSCOW, Russia, March 19, 2012
A Russian military unit has arrived in Syria, according to Russian news reports, a development that a United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was "a bomb" certain to have serious repercussions.
Russia, one of President Bashar al-Assad's strongest allies despite international condemnation of the government's violent crackdown on the country's uprising, has repeatedly blocked the United Nations Security Council's attempts to halt the violence, accusing the U.S. and its allies of trying to start another war.
Now the Russian Black Sea fleet's Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency. The Assad government has insisted it is fighting a terrorist insurgency. The Russian news reports did not elaborate on the Russian troops' mission in Syria or if they are expected to leave the port.
The presence of Russian troops in Syria could be a "pretty obvious" show of support to the regime, according to Russian security expert Mark Galeotti.
"No one thinks of the Russians as anything but Assad's last friends," said Galeotti, professor of global affairs at New York University.
The Iman replaced another Russian ship "which had been sent to Syria for demonstrating (sic) the Russian presence in the turbulent region and possible evacuation of Russian citizens," the Black Sea Fleet told Interfax.
RIA Novosti, a news outlet with strong ties to the Kremlin, trumpeted the news in a banner headline that appeared only on its Arabic language website. The Russian embassy to the U.S. and to the U.N. had no comment, saying they have "no particular information on" the arrival of a Russian anti-terrorism squad to Syria.
Moscow has long enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Assad regime, to which it sells billions of dollars of weapons. In return Russia has maintained a Navy base at Tartus, which gives it access to the Mediterranean.
Last week Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had no plans to send troops to Syria.
"As for the question whether I consider it necessary to confront the United States in Syria and ensure our military presence there... in order to take part in military actions -- no. I believe this would be against Russia's national interests," Lavrov told lawmakers, according to RIA Novosti.
Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov denied reports that Russian special forces were operating inside Syria. He did say, however, that there are Russian military and technical advisors in the country.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the U.S. government had not heard of the reports of Russian troops in Syria and declined to comment.
The American Dream - Friday
What Is Causing The Strange Noises In The Sky That Are Being Heard All Over The World?
March 23, 2012
During the second half of 2011, a lot of people all over the planet started reporting hearing really strange noises coming from the sky. In some instances the noises produced a loud rumbling such as a train, a thunderstorm or the slamming of a heavy door would make. In other instances, the noises sounded more like "groaning". In yet other instances the noises sounded almost as if a trumpet was playing. Dozens of videos went up on YouTube purporting to document this phenomenon, but the truth is that you can fake almost anything on a YouTube video and many dismissed these strange "strange sounds" as an Internet hoax. However, now entire towns in the northern part of the United States are hearing strange noises in the sky and the mainstream media is reporting on it. In fact, one U.S. town is planning to spend thousands of dollars to hire an engineering firm to investigate where these strange sounds are coming from. At this point a lot of theories about these strange noises are being floated, but so far scientists have not been able to give us a definitive explanation for the source of these strange noises. So exactly what in the world is going on?
This phenomenon made national news again this week because of what has been going on in Clintonville, Wisconsin. Hundreds of residents of Clintonville reported hearing incredibly loud noises coming from the sky for several nights in a row. Even CBS News is reporting on what is happening in Clintonville....
Since Sunday, the residents have been disturbed by "booming" noises loud enough to wake them from their sleep.
Last night, hundreds of people attended a public meeting to get to the bottom of booms. But they aren't any closer to the truth.
One resident told CBS News, "The last few days we've been having (a) booming shaking noise."
Another resident said, "(For) a lot of people the house is rattling, you can feel the ground rattling, and it's booming all the time. It's kind of like, what's going on? You don't know what's happening."
So what is causing these noises that are so loud that even the ground is shaking?
According to Fox News, the town has investigated every possible explanation that they can think of for these strange noises....
City officials say they have investigated every possible human cause. They checked water, sewer and gas lines, contacted the military about any exercises in the area, reviewed permits for mining explosives and inspected a dam next to City Hall. They even tested methane levels at the landfill in case the gas was spontaneously exploding.
So far no explanation has been found. So Clintonville has decided to spend $7,000 to hire an engineering firm to investigate the cause of these strange noises.
According to geologists, the town does not sit on any fault lines and the ground beneath the town is very solid. Some geologists are claiming that "micro-quakes" could have been responsible, but others find this explanation to be very unsatisfying.
For many town residents, solving the mystery is not as important as getting these strange noises to stop so that they can get some sleep.
The following comes from the recent Fox News article mentioned above....
"My husband thought it was cool, but I don't think so. This is not a joke," said Jolene Van Beek, who awoke early Sunday to a loud boom that shook her house. "I don't know what it is, but I just want it to stop."
But Clintonville is not the only town in Wisconsin where strange sounds are being reported.
Mysterious noises are also being reported in a town called Montello which is 80 miles away from Clintonville.
Posted below is a local news report that discusses the strange noises that are being reported in Clintonville and Montello....
These strange sounds have made the mainstream news up in Canada as well.
Recently, strange noises caused such a violent shaking that they actually brought down a barn on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
Geologists say that no earthquake occurred at the time that the barn collapsed.
So what caused the barn to collapse?
That is a very good question.
And this is not just a North American phenomenon.
If you go on to YouTube and you do a search for "strange sounds" or "strange noises" you will find dozens of videos from all over the world. Yes, there are definitely a few videos that appear to be hoaxes, but is that true with all of them?
The evidence for this phenomenon is mounting and it is getting really hard to deny that there really are large numbers people all over the globe that swear that they are hearing really strange sounds coming from the sky.
So exactly what in the world is going on?
Well, there are a lot of theories floating around on the Internet. The following are some of the most prominent theoriesabout what is causing these strange noises: electromagnetic noise, earthquakes, "fracking", rock bursts, venting of high-pressure gas that has been trapped underground, meteor showers, HAARP or directed energy weapons, and some believe that all of this is just a giant publicity stunt.
Perhaps the biggest reason why these strange noises have so many people alarmed is because humans generally have a great fear of the unknown.
If the cause of these strange noises is revealed, the hysteria will die down.
But if these strange noises continue (or even become more intense) and there continues to be no scientific explanation for them, then the hysteria may turn into full-blown panic.
What is clear is that our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. As I have documented previously, earthquakes are becoming more frequent and more powerful. The "Ring of Fire" is becoming a lot more active and we have been seeing a disturbing amount of volcanic activity lately.
So could earth changes have anything to do with these strange noises?
We just don't know at this point.
Most of the time when I write an article I like to have some answers. But I do not know what is causing these strange sounds.
So what do you think about these strange noises?
Do you believe that you know why they are happening?
Have you heard strange sounds coming from the sky where you live?
Chilean UFO travelling at 4,000mph 'captured on film from seven angles'
By EDDIE WRENN
PUBLISHED: 16 March 2012
Video from Chile is stirring up the UFO debate after an unusual object took a fly-by during an air-show.
The footage, from 2010, appears to show a 'spot' moving quickly from frame to frame, causing the engineer who spotted the aberration enough alarm that he alerted the Chilean Government.
The UFO made an appearance during an acrobatic air-show at the El Bosque Air Force Base in Santiago, and apparently went un-noticed at the time.
Whether this is because this was due to advanced alien cloaking technology, or because the object is just an artifact on the film depends on your viewpoint.
Scroll down for video
The spot, highlighted in these pictures, zoomed past El Bosque Air Force Base in 2010
The object flies so fast that, assuming it is not a camera defect, it is travelling an estimated 6,000mph
Investigative journalist and UFO author Leslie Kean told MSN's Cosmic Log: 'This is a very, very unusual case, and I'm hoping that this case will help move forward the recognition that there really is something here that's worthy of further study.
However 'debunker' Robert Sheaffer told the website: "They are "unexplained cases" only if you ignore the explanation.
'That's what's going to happen in this case.'
Kean said that CEFAA, the government agency which investigates strange air phenomena, found the object on seven separate pieces of video tape, which implies the object - whatever it is - is not an abberation on the video tape.
Ricardo Bermudez, CEFAA's director, told a UFO conference last month that the spots were caused by an object traveling at speeds in excess of 4,000 mph.
Kean picked out a few elements that make this sighting a little special, in particular that the Government investigated the footage so thoroughly, and found examples of the object on seven pieces of film.
Observers did not see the object - it would have flashed by in the blink of an eye
First, that humans would be unable to survive inside an object travelling at such speed, and second, that there was no sonic boom.
However, while Kean suggested the case could become 'the case UFO sceptics have been dreading', cynics were left unperturbed.
Astronomer Phil Plai told Cosmic Log: 'It's a tiny thing in a low-res video.
'If this is the best she [Kean] can come up with, dread is not exactly what I feel.'
Cosmic Log said that, for independent research to take place, the other six videos must be released, as well as details about the camera-men, and their relationship to each, in order to ascertain if a hoax had been carried out.
Other explanations could be an insect flying past the camera which, if close enough, coan apepar like a distant object flying at speed.
However, when asked this, Kean said: 'I went back to the CEFAA official re: the bugs, and he said that's what they all thought at first when they got the first film.
'But when they went and got additional footage from very different vantage points which showed the same thing, they knew that was impossible.
'I don't think they're that stupid to claim this is a UFO if it was a bug, given that so many experts looked at it.'
LOS ANGELES PASSES RESOLUTION AGAINST ‘INTOLERABLE’ RADIO SPEECH
Posted on March 22, 2012
by Jonathon M. Seidl
The Los Angeles City Council has passed a resolution condemning speech on radio that some may find “intolerable.”
According to the local CBS station in L.A., Councilmember Jan Perry “introduced legislation this week that would call upon media companies to ensure ‘on-air hosts do not use and promote racist and sexist slurs’ on radio and other broadcasts.”
The resolution, which the L.A. Times notes is only a “symbolic” move, passed 13-2.
“It’s exactly appropriate for this council to speak up against the vile things we hear on the airwaves,” Councilman Paul Krekorian told the Times. According to him, he doesn’t want to see free speech stifled, but rather is looking “to seek a greater consensus on what is appropriate speech and to reject what is not.” [Quote is referring to the Times' paraphrase -- it is not Krekorian's exact words]
That raises the question: Isn’t coming to a greater consensus on appropriate speech the beginning of censoring free speech?
Just consider what local radio host Dominique DiPrima of KJLH-FM (102.3), who supports the resolution thinks.
“Instead of censoring people, or firing people, we want to see representation in terms of hiring and clear standards of what can and can’t be said on the air,” she said. [Emphasis added]
And that raises another question: Who decides what is tolerable and intolerable beyond the regulations already set forth by the FCC?
COLLAPSE OF THE INTERNET IMMINENT?
Hacking group threatens March 31 shutdown
By Steve Elwart
In the era of modern cyberwarfare, even some things that seem to be fantastic claims are being taken seriously. There is a new threat on the horizon that sounds unreal, but is given serious attention by cyber specialists.
But is it really more than an electronic April's Fools Day joke?
"Operation Global Blackout" is a movement by a group of cyber hackers to shut down the Internet by launching an attack on Root Name Servers, the machines that control the Internet.
The hackers claiming to be the infamous hacktivist network, Anonymous, said that they are going to shut down the Internet to protest "SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), Wallstreet (sic), our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs."
The group claims its intention is not to destroy the Internet, but disable it to draw attention to their demands.
The threat of an attack is eerily reminiscent of the protest of January 18 when Wikipedia took its website dark to protest the SOPA and PIPA (Protect IP Act) bills in Congress that were meant to stop the illegal sharing of movies and music on the Internet.
Every website has an associated numeric IP (Internet Protocol) address. The root name servers are a critical part of the Internet because they are the first step in translating website names into IP addresses that are used to access web sites.WND has a domain name (WND.com) and a corresponding IP address. Rather than try to remember the IP address, a person can type in the name of the website and the Internet root name servers act like a phone book, finding the proper IP address and directing the request to the correct website.
Currently there are 13 name servers that are used to direct all Internet traffic worldwide. The servers are key components of the Internet, mapping domain names to IP addresses. Attacks on these servers could disrupt the operation of the World Wide Web.
These servers, however, are highly resilient and distributed, with backup systems if a server were to fail. Any attack on these servers would have to be coordinated in nature and attack all the servers at once.
While the root servers are designed to withstand such an attack, hackers believe they have found a vulnerability that will allow them to attack these servers using other servers to do the work for them. In using what is called a Distributed Denial of Service Attack "DDoS" on the servers.
Operation Global Blackout calls for supporters to download a DDoS tool, called "Ramp," which will flood the root name servers with more requests for IP addresses than they can possibly process. If the servers cannot be accessed to get the required IP address, anyone entering the name of a website would get an error page saying that the page could not be accessed.
Anonymous said the global shutdown, "... may only lasts [sic] one hour, maybe more, maybe even a few days. ... Remember, this is a protest, we are not trying to 'kill' the internet, we are only temporarily shutting it down where it hurts the most. ... No matter what, it will be global. It will be known."
However, shutting down the servers may not be as simple as Anonymous believes. Kim Davies from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said, "There are not 13 root servers. There are many hundreds of root servers at over 130 physical locations in many different countries."
Also protecting the servers is a strategy called "anycasting." Using anycasting, the name servers are actually dozens of servers spread across the world acting as a single machine, each with a backup.
Robert Graham of Errata Security wrote, "The Anonymous hackers can certain[ly] cause local pockets of disruption, but these disruptions are going to be localized to networks where their attack machines are located. They might affect a few of the root DNS servers, but it's unlikely they could take all of them down, at least for any period of time. On the day of their planned Global Blackout, it's doubtful many people would notice."
Other researchers also believe this may be a large April Fool's joke. Some believe this is an example of what the cyberworld calls "trolling," posting false, inflammatory messages to the Internet merely to provoke a response.
Those in the hacking world aren't so confident. The Anonymous members plan to use a relatively little-known technique called DNS amplification, which utilizes a flaw in the server programming, called an "exploit," to send out streams of useless data that in turn cause other name servers on the Internet to add to the turmoil by producing even more useless data that overwhelms the server's ability to handle the data.
While some analysts do not think this current threat is real, previous attacks on the name servers have been taken very seriously.
March 8 was the original date for the FBI to black out part of the Internet for millions of users to stop the spread of a piece of computer malware called DNSChanger Trojan. This is a hacking program that has infected millions of computers all over the world in more than 100 countries. (The date has now been postponed to July 9.) This program was designed to join together computers (called bots) in huge networks (called botnets) which would point users to malicious name servers in Estonia, New York, and Chicago.
The DNS servers would then display fake search answers, and promote fraudulent and dangerous products. Because every web search starts with the name servers the botnet would show users false version of the Internet. (The FBI took over the botnet's "command and control" (C&C) servers in November as part of Operation Ghost Click.)
One reason the FBI didn't implement Operation Ghost Click now is that it would leave almost half a million computers still connected to the Internet with this malware still installed, waiting to be used by a hacking group for a different purpose, such as a DDoS attack. (The DNSChanger Working Group has information on its website on how to test for and clean a machine of the malware.)
Given the constant attacks on the Internet and the world's critical infrastructures, the long term prognosis for defeating cyberattacks is grim. Cyberwarfare is a form of asymmetric warfare where it is far cheaper in terms of money and manpower to launch an attack than guard against one.
Hackers repeatedly have shown great ingenuity in breaking down protective firewalls and defeating defenses and have stolen vast amount of data bringing computer systems to their knees.
Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the U.S. National Security Agency, testified in Congress that computer hackers could have the ability to take down the entire U.S. electrical grid within the next two years.
In previous testimony, Alexander warned that hacking groups such as Anonymous are moving in a more disruptive direction by attempting to do physical damage to critical infrastructures.
The final outcome of this battle remains very much in doubt.
Steve Elwart, P.E. is the Senior Research Analyst with the Koinonia Institute and a Subject Matter Expert for the Department of Homeland Security.
The Raw Story
American ISPs to launch massive copyright spying scheme on July 12
By Stephen C. Webster
If you download potentially copyrighted software, videos or music, your Internet service provider (ISP) has been watching, and they're coming for you.
Specifically, they're coming for you on Thursday, July 12.
That's the date when the nation's largest ISPs will all voluntarily implement a new anti-piracy plan that will engage network operators in the largest digital spying scheme in history, and see some users' bandwidth completely cut off until they sign an agreement saying they will not download copyrighted materials.
Word of the start date has been largely kept secret since ISPs announced their plans last June. The deal was brokered by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and coordinated by the Obama Administration. The same groups have weighed in heavily on controversial Internet policies around the world, with similar facilitation by the Obama's Administration's State Department.
The July 12 date was revealed by the RIAA's CEO and top lobbyist, Cary Sherman, during a publishers' conference on Wednesday in New York, according to technology publication CNet.
The content industries calls this scheme a "graduated response" plan, which will see Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and others spying on users' Internet activities and watching for potential copyright infringement. Users who are "caught" infringing on a creator's protected work can then be interrupted with a notice that piracy is forbidden by law and carries penalties of up to $150,000 per infringement, requiring the user to click through saying they understand the consequences before bandwidth is restored, and they could still be subject to copyright infringement lawsuits.
Participating ISPs have a range of options for dealing with customers who continue to pirate media, at that point: They can require that an alleged repeat offender undergo an educational course before their service is restored. They can utilize multiple warnings, restrict access to only certain major websites like Google, Facebook or a list of the top 200 sites going, reduce someone's bandwidth to practically nothing and even share information on repeat offenders with competing ISPs, effectively creating a sort of Internet blacklist -- although publicly, none of the network operators have agreed to "terminate" a customer's service.
It is because of those reasons that the content industries believe this program achieves much more than what might have been possible in the realm of public policy, and the ISPs appear to agree. The voluntary scheme will be paid for mostly by the content industries, which will share some costs with the ISPs.
Not everyone sees it as a positive: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group, argued that the "graduated response" scheme lacks transparency, and that copyright holders could wield the network operators like a blunt instrument in cases where their claims may not be entirely valid -- which is the biggest problem with statutes codified by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They also pressed for assurances that claim reviews will be conducted by a neutral party, and suggested that users should be given some form of due process before their bandwidth is turned down or cut off entirely.
The EFF also took issue with the system of protest the program puts in place, which only gives users six predetermined "defenses" against a copyright claim. "And even the six enumerated defenses are incomplete," they complained. "For example, the 'public domain' defense applies only if the work was created before 1923 -- even though works created after 1923 can enter the public domain in a variety of ways."
A legislative effort that would have achieved some, but not all, of these ends was utterly destroyed by the Internet's first ever mass work stoppage late last year, which saw thousands of popular websites go dark in protest. (Disclosure: The Raw Story participated in that protest.)
It's not yet clear how the tech world will react to the ISPs siding with the content industries to do what the government simply could not.
Samsung Watches You?: New Samsung TVs Have Built-In HD Camera, Microphones, Face and Speech Recognition
Posted by: Soren Dreier
Samsung demoed these features to the press earlier this month. The camera and microphones are built into the top if the screen bezel in the 2012 8000-series plasmas and are permanently attached to the top of the 7500- and 8000ES-series LED TVs. - A Samsung representative showed how, once set up and connected to the Internet, these models will automatically talk to the Samsung cloud and enable viewers to use new and exciting apps.
These Samsung TVs locate and make note of registered viewers via sophisticated face recognition software. This means if you tell the TV whose faces belong to which users in your family, it personalizes the experience to each recognized family member. If you have friends over, it could log these faces as well. - In addition, the TV listens and responds to specific voice commands. To use the feature, the microphone is active. What concerns us is the integration of both an active camera and microphone. A Samsung representative tells us you can deactivate the voice feature; however this is done via software, not a hard switch like the one you use to turn a room light on or off. - And unlike other TVs, which have cameras and microphones as add-on accessories connected by a single, easily removable USB cable, you can't just unplug these sensors.
Samsung Smart TV Commercial :
The Washington Post
High-tech Sweden edges closer to becoming cashless society
By Associated Press, Published: March 17
STOCKHOLM -- Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661. Now it's come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.
"I can't see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore," says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970's pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.
( Camilla Lindskog / Associated Press ) - ALTERNATIVE CROP - Vicar Johan Tyrberg in the Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, on Sept 7, 2011, stands next to a credit card machine enabling worshippers to donate money to the church collection without carrying money in their pockets. Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661 and now it's come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.
The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.
In most Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices -- which make money on electronic transactions -- have stopped handling cash altogether.
"There are towns where it isn't at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash," complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden's National Pensioners' Organization.
He says that's a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash.
The decline of cash is noticeable even in houses of worship, like the Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, where Vicar Johan Tyrberg recently installed a card reader to make it easier for worshippers to make offerings.
"People came up to me several times and said they didn't have cash but would still like to donate money," Tyrberg says.
Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden's economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.
Three percent is still too much if you ask Ulvaeus. A cashless society may seem like an odd cause for someone who made a fortune on "Money, Money, Money" and other ABBA hits, but for Ulvaeus it's a matter of security.
After his son was robbed for the third time he started advocating a faster transition to a fully digital economy, if only to make life harder for thieves.
"If there were no cash, what would they do?" says Ulvaeus, 66.
The Swedish Bankers' Association says the shrinkage of the cash economy is already making an impact in crime statistics.
The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011 -- the lowest level since it started keeping records 30 years ago. It says robberies of security transports are also down.
"Less cash in circulation makes things safer, both for the staff that handle cash, but also of course for the public," says Par Karlsson, a security expert at the organization.
The prevalence of electronic transactions -- and the digital trail they generate -- also helps explain why Sweden has less of a problem with graft than countries with a stronger cash culture, such as Italy or Greece, says economics professor Friedrich Schneider of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria.
"If people use more cards, they are less involved in shadow economy activities," says Schneider, an expert on underground economies.
Don't use the words husband and wife! Coalition's same-sex wedding reforms would axe terms from official documents
'Bride' and 'bridegroom' could even be removed from marriage certificates
By Steve Doughty
PUBLISHED: 15 March 2012
Reforms to allow same-sex marriage will see the words husband and wife removed from official forms, it was revealed last night.
Tax and benefits guidance and immigration documents must be rewritten so they no longer assume a married couple is a man and a woman.
And private companies will be told to overhaul paperwork and computer databases containing the words.
Spouse and spouse: The words husband and wife will be axed from official documents under the proposed same-sax marriage reforms
Marriage certificates could even be affected by the Coalition proposals, with rules possibly axing terms such as bride and bridegroom.
The reforms - promised by Prime Minister David Cameron last autumn and set out in a consultation paper launched yesterday - intend to open civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples for the first time.
A different category - religious marriage - will be reserved for male and female couples.
Pledge: Prime Minster David Cameron promised the reforms last autumn
The proposals have triggered a furious row, with the Church of England accusing the Coalition of misunderstanding the law of marriage.
But Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone warned religious leaders not to 'fan the flames of homophobia' with 'inflammatory' language.
New versions of documents will'replace references to husband and wife with the more neutral terms spouses and partners'.
The cost of the red tape revolution demanded by the 'Equal Civil Marriage' plans will run into millions, according to an official analysis published alongside the consultation paper.
Businesses will be given 'lead-in time' - a period of grace to change their websites and databases before their failure to recognise same-sex marriage runs foul of the law.
The consultation paper, produced by Home Secretary Theresa May and Miss Featherstone, has set aside three months for public responses before civil servants begin to draw up the new legislation.
And the axing of the terms husband and wife is spelled out in an 'impact analysis' published by the Home Office alongside the paper.
A thing of the past: UK Border Agency forms would replace the terms with spouses and partners
It said UK Border Agency forms and staff guidance would replace husbands and wives with spouses and partners.
'Some tax, National Insurance Contributions and tax credit legislation will have to be changed where there is a specific reference to a husband and wife,' it added.
References to go include direct mentions of husband and wife and phrases about couples 'living together as husband and wife'. Forms and IT systems and guidance for Revenue and Customs staff will need to change, it added.
Argument: Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone believes marriage 'should be open to everyone
The removal of gender-specific language also has sweeping implications for marriage services.
The Home Office declined to say yesterday how ministers intend to change the wording of ceremonies.
Currently couples marrying in a register office must pledge to take each other as 'my wedded husband' or 'my wedded wife'.
If marriage law is reformed in line with the rewrite of red tape, then couples will be required at a civil wedding to pledge themselves to 'my wedded partner'.
The Church of England said: 'Arguments that suggest "religious marriage" is separate and different from "civil marriage", and will not be affected by the proposed redefinition, misunderstand the legal nature of marriage in this country.
'They mistake the form of the ceremony for the institution itself.'
The Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales said in a statement: 'It is alarming to note that children are not mentioned at any stage in this consultation document about marriage.'
But Miss Featherstone said yesterday: 'I believe that if a couple love each other and want to commit to a life together, they should have the option of a civil marriage, whatever their gender.
'Marriage is a celebration of love and should be open to everyone.'
PRO-MARRIAGE MP'S DEATH THREATS
Death threat: MP David Burrowes
A senior MP who defended the institution of marriage has received death threats and hate mail, it emerged last night.
Tory David Burrowes, a ministerial aide to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, said he has been sent scores of intimidating emails and messages on social networking sites over his opposition to gay marriage.
Mr Burrowes, a Christian father of six, was forced to pass on the messages to police.
He said he was more worried about the intolerance displayed in the threats than the actual risk to his life.
But the North London MP has had to seek security advice after one website published details of his travel arrangements and urged campaigners to confront him.
'Since I raised my head above the parapet on this issue I have received a barrage of death threats and hate mail,' he told the Mail. 'But I am more concerned about the curtailment of freedom of speech than the actual threats.
This is an example of general hostility, vitriol and hatred which will drive a wedge between people of different views.'
Mr Burrowes said teachers had already confided in him that they feared they would have to promote gay marriage if the Government pushed through the law change.
In an article for the Conservativehome website, Mr Burrowes said he feared the consultation over the proposals would lead to 'a further erosion of freedom of expression', adding: 'I can put up with the intolerance and abuse sent my way for not just supporting marriage but daring to express my view on the subject!
'But I am concerned for the teacher who feels her conscience constrained by a change in the law when declaring her belief in "traditional" marriage.'
Ministers have tried to placate furious Conservative MPs by offering them a free vote on the issue.
Schools ban children making best friends
Pals ... but kids told to form groups
By HARRY HAWKINS
Published: 19th March 2012
TEACHERS are banning schoolkids from having best pals -- so they don't get upset by fall-outs.
Instead, the primary pupils are being encouraged to play in large groups.
Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey.
She added: "I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn't have a best friend and that everyone should play together.
"They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend. But it is natural for some children to want a best friend. If they break up, they have to feel the pain because they're learning to deal with it."
Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, confirmed some schools were adopting best-friend bans.
He said: "I don't think it is widespread but it is clearly happening. It seems bizarre.
"I don't see how you can stop people from forming close friendships. We make and lose friends throughout our lives." The Campaign for Real Education, which wants more parental choice in state education, said the "ridiculous" policy was robbing children of their childhood.
Spokesman Chris McGovern added: "Children take things very seriously and if you tell them they can't have a best friend it can be seriously damaging to them. They need to learn about relationships."
- myView -
By DEIDRE SANDERS, Sun Agony Aunt
THIS policy doesn't just fly in the face of common sense, it's chilling.
Our childhood friendships are how we begin to learn about love and commitment. Of course they often break up, and that is how we learn resilience so we can cope with rejection later.
Such a ruling has stemmed from teachers lacking confidence and skills to deal with the fall-out from classmates' rows. But seeing teachers -- and parents -- cope calmly with conflict and hurt is what our children model themselves on.
I hope this silly policy is buried as of now.
Until next week...
says the LORD, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: "I
AM the LORD, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all
alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; Who frustrates the
signs of the babblers, And drives diviners mad; Who turns wise men
backward, And makes their knowledge foolishness.”