Barcelona terror attack: At least 12 dead after van plows into crowd; 2 suspects arrested 

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The Jihad continues, this time in Spain.

ISIS on Thursday afternoon claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Barcelona that killed at least 12 people and wounded 80 others.

The terror group took credit for the assault via its propaganda arm, according to SITE Intel Group.

“The perpetrators of the attack in #Barcelona are Islamic state soldiers and carried out the operation on command of [ISIS’ leader] of targeting coalition countries,” the ISIS release stated.

Source: Barcelona terror attack: At least 12 dead after van plows into crowd; 2 suspects arrested | Fox News

Contrary to the Populist myth, workers choose to leave manufacturing as often as they are fired

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Sometimes the company leaves the employee and sometimes the employee leaves the company. There is a lot going on in the manufacturing sector.

  • Some jobs are going to other countries. Part of that is a reflection of consumers choosing the same quality item at a lower price. It is natural and won’t go away.
  • Technology and automation is replacing many jobs and will only continue to. From 2006 to 2013, “manufacturing grew by 17.6%, or at roughly 2.2% per year,” according to a report from Ball State University. The study reports as well that trade accounted for 13% of the lost U.S. factory jobs, but 88% of the jobs were taken by robots and other factors at home.
  • Employees are voluntarily leaving the industry. This bucks the Populist myth, but many people don’t want manufacturing jobs.

“The manufacturing sector holds an important place in our political imagination — the common wisdom is that the nearly 30% decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs since 2000 was a key factor in Donald Trump’s rust-belt electoral success, for instance.”

“A subtext of this idea is that these manufacturing jobs are desirable, and American workers wouldn’t give them up easily. But according to analysts at the St. Louis Fed, the rate at which workers are quitting manufacturing jobs, rather than getting fired, has remained steady even as the number of jobs has fallen.”

“Why it matters: The trend today is that manufacturing workers are quitting their jobs at an accelerating rate, suggesting they’re leaving for better pay and working conditions in other fields. While the loss of manufacturing jobs has been devastating for many communities, it’s also true that many workers will leave manufacturing if given the chance.”

Source: Workers choose to leave manufacturing as often as they are fired – Axios

 

 

“Elections should be held on April 16th- the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.” ~Thomas Sowell

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The real effect of income tax is “hidden” from the public.

  • Payroll deduction of income taxes blunts the real effect by “hiding” the expense. It was a brilliant move to force employers into the roll of collecting the tax for the government.
  • There is only one time of year that real effect can be slightly seen. That is April 15 when taxes are filed. Some are still under some level of disillusionment since they “get money back”.
  • My kids are in shock, every year, when I tell them how much I paid in income taxes. I feel it is important for them to know what the full amount was.

“Elections should be held on April 16th- the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.” ~Thomas Sowell

Image result for april 15

What should I focus on about the tragedy in Charlottesville?

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What should I focus on about the tragedy in Charlottesville? Her name is Heather Hyer. She died needlessly at the hand of an evil doer. Her family won’t see her tonight. She won’t be home. An evil doer snuffed out her life.

That is the story. All else is misguided. May I have the courage to pray for her family. May I also have the courage to ignore what isn’t important.

Jesus calls on me to be a person of compassion, to not be critical and judgemental. I pray he gives me the courage to be compassionate and that God will comfort her family. That is what is needed.

A daughter won’t be home tonight.

Heather Hyer – Charlottsville Tragedy

PENCE COMES TO TRUMP’S DEFENSE

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Tom provides a balanced (much needed, thanks Tom) perspective.

Citizen Tom

As expected, the news media is using the riots in Charlottesville, VA to tar President Trump as a white supremacist. Trump’s statement on the matter (see BIGOTS FIGHTING BIGOTS) was not politically correct. He did not hate on the white supremacists enough. When is it going to occur to these people that adding more hatred to an already inflamed situation is not necessarily the best solution?

Sometimes, when we dealing with a tyrant like the guy running North Korea, for example, our leaders do have to graphically explain the consequences. Of course, plain language disturbs the news media. They are cowards, apparently. Someone who has nukes scares the little babies.

On the other hand, because the number of white supremacists is small, it is okay to say the nastiest things we can about those people. We can also deduce that the news media identifies with the supposedly “anti-fascist” counter…

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5 Sensible, Low-Cost Ways To Reform Our Broken Immigration System

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The good news is that even if we can’t build a consensus on the wall and deportation policy, there are steps we can take to right the ship that cost little, if anything, to implement.

Here are five essential steps toward restoring integrity and common sense to our legal immigration strategy.

  • Repeal Birthright Citizenship for Birth Tourists
  • Tougher screening for visitors
  • Crack down on visa abuse stateside
  • Shift from family reunification to a merit-based system
  • Demand reciprocity

A few of these are in the recently released legislation supported by President Trump. The ones that aren’t should be considered.

Source: 5 Sensible, Low-Cost Ways To Reform Our Broken Immigration System

Do we recognize that health insurance is not health care?

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We ought to recognize that health insurance is not health care. I can (barely) make my insurance premiums. The deductible sometimes keeps me from actually getting health care. Insured but with care.

  • The American poor can get health care. Medicare, Medicaid, and various state plans (as well as private charity and hospital write-offs) provide fairly universal health care. It isn’t the best by today’s standards, but it’s better than what the poor have had for the rest of human history. Improvements could be made, but the political clout of the poor is small. It is the broad middle class whose anxieties dominate health-care policy debates.”
  • “For the middle class, the real concern isn’t that they will die because they cannot afford health care, but that they will become poor from paying for health care. They fear that without generous health insurance the cost of medical treatments will consume their resources until they are reduced to poverty and forced to rely on the health-care options available to the poor. Their losses of comfort and status will be concomitant with recourse to government benefits and private charity, with the humiliating dependence those programs entail (plus, if they become permanently disabled they’ll have no way to earn enough money to get back to a better lifestyle).”
  • “These realistic fears are not of dying from a complete lack of treatment, but of financial hardship, dependence, and a declining quality of care—precisely the problems Obamacare visited on many Americans. Defenders of Obamacare would counter this by pointing to the people the law has helped, and claiming that GOP changes to Obamacare might hurt them. Both sides would have a point, because health-care policy invariably involves tradeoffs, no matter how often politicians promise (and voters want to have) it all.”

Source: Obamacare Debate Is Largely About Welfare For Middle-Class Americans

Dr. Rachel DiSanto’s story about fighting against physician assisted suicide

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Every person’s life has worth and meaning, regardless of what their life expectancy is. So when the physician-assisted suicide bill passed in Vermont, it was troubling for many Christian doctors, like Dr. Rachel DiSanto. They could not, in good conscience, counsel or refer people for physician-assisted suicide. Thankfully, in May 2017, Alliance Defending Freedom secured a legal victory to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals in Vermont. Learn more about this important case at http://adflegal.org/detailspages/case….

The Latest Anti-Trump Weapon: Accusing Their Critics of “Racism”

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Alan Dershowitz is a staunch liberal. He is very principled in his approach and I respect that greatly. Recently he has been accused of racism, by the left, for comments he made about Grand Jury in the Russian investigation.

  • “I am an apologist only for civil liberties and racial equality, not for a candidate against whom I voted.”
  • The civil liberties of all Americans are at stake. I will not be silenced by false and unethical charges of racism from people who are deliberately distorting my views for partisan political purposes. I will respond and expose their bias, bigotry and mendacity, because the issues are too important to be left in the hands of partisan extremists.”
  • “In addition to falsely accusing their political enemies of criminal conduct, some extremists, who are determined to see Donald Trump indicted, have come up with a new weapon: accusing those who disagree with them of “racism.

Source: The Latest Anti-Trump Weapon: Accusing Their Critics of “Racism”

Milton Friedman schools young Bernie Sanders about poverty

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Milton Friedman was an American economist and statistician best known for his strong belief in free-market capitalism. During his time as professor at the University of Chicago, Friedman developed numerous free-market theories that opposed the views of traditional Keynesian economists. He received the Nobel Prize in 1978.

See Dr. Friedman address Bernie Sanders about poverty.

Islam Is Taking Over And No One Is Paying Attention

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We need to stay focused on what America’s sworn enemy is up to.

  • The Jihad is real and will not be called off. Our enemy will not give up.
  • The move to establish the Caliphate must be stopped. Moving from ideology to territory is a big deal.
  • Sharia law is not going away. We must recognize and counteract it at every opportunity.

Princeton-Trained Computer Scientists Are Building a New Internet That Brings Privacy and Property Rights to Cyberspace

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Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea are the co-founders of Blockstack, a project to rebuild the internet using blockchain technology so that individuals can reclaim direct control over their own identities, contacts, and data. The goal is to bring the property rights we enjoy in the physical world to cyberspace.

  • Is the internet broken? “These two Princeton-trained computer scientists—Ali completed his Ph.D. last month with a speciality in distributed systems—believe that today’s internet is fundamentally broken. Users are forced to trust companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook to maintain our online identities and personal information. They store our files in giant data centers that are increasingly vulnerable to hackers. And the Snowden leaks revealed that the National Security Agency has strong armed these tech giants into handing over users’ personal data without bothering to obtain court-issued warrants.”
  • Should I be evil? “Google has this saying, ‘don’t be evil,'” says Ali. “Maybe a company shouldn’t be powerful enough that they’re sitting there thinking, ‘should I be evil or not?'”

Source: Princeton-Trained Computer Scientists Are Building a New Internet That Brings Privacy and Property Rights to Cyberspace – Reason.com

“No Human Being is Illegal.” How Roe v. Wade Reveals The Hypocrisy Of Sanctuary Cities

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I believe in life. I believe we should protect life at all costs. This is not optional. I believe God has the same view. [See 12 verses on abortion]

Consider the words of the Apostle Paul. “The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth.” 1 Timothy 4:1-2

  • Is this all connected? “The most prevalent absurdity in modern America is the fact that we have blocked the entrance of 60 million of our own offspring via Roe v. Wade while we insist that those who pour across our borders illegally have a perfect right to be here.”
  • Is this hypocrisy? “Nothing lends itself to the definition of pure hypocrisy more than watching parades of protesters carrying signs, including some that say “No human being is illegal.”
  • A failed logic? “In the Senate nomination hearings for Supreme Court appointee Neil Gorsuch, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked Gorsuch to explain how he could reconcile his belief that all human life is intrinsically valuable with the ruling of Roe v. Wade. Gorsuch’s answer, although it may have been forced upon him, was the same as that of millions of Americans who are fighting tooth and nail to keep Roe on the books at all costs. He replied, “Abortion is different because the unborn are not legally recognized as people.”

Source: How Roe v. Wade Reveals The Hypocrisy Of Sanctuary Cities

Dennis Prager, cigars, the symphony and the left.

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Dennis Prager is great conservative thinker and writer. He loves to smoke great cigars. He also likes to conduct symphonies. Not easy I imagine. So, as a conservative, what happens?

  • “About a month ago, however, a few members of the orchestra, supported by some Santa Monica city officials, decided to lead a campaign to have me disinvited.
  • “As I said, this is a new low for the illiberal Left: It is not enough to prevent conservatives from speaking; it is now necessary to prevent conservatives from appearing even when not speaking. Conservatives should not be even be allowed to make music.”
  • Great news: “To its great credit, the board of directors of the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, composed of individuals of all political outlooks, has completely stood by their conductor and his invitation to me.”

Source: Dennis Prager Symphony & The Left – Ostracism | National Review

Smartphones devastating teens as the new iGen emerges

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Smartphones have reached a critical mass in the teen population, leaving social destruction in their wake, according to a long-read in the September issue of The Atlantic.

Jesus and his church can make a difference. Listen to Jesus:

God’s Spirit is on me;
    he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
    recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
    to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

Highlights from Jean M. Twenge’s sobering article, which focuses on the generation that followed millennials, called iGen:

  • Teens are dating less: “[O]nly about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates; for Boomers and Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent.”
  • Their maturity is stunted: “Across a range of behaviors—drinking, dating, spending time unsupervised— 18-year-olds now act more like 15-year-olds used to, and 15-year-olds more like 13-year-olds.”
  • They have more free time, but waste it: “Combined with the decline in working for pay, this means iGen teens have more leisure time than Gen X teens did, not less. … They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.”
  • They don’t hang out with their friends: “The number of teens who get together with their friends nearly every day dropped by more than 40 percent from 2000 to 2015…”
  • Teen murder is down, but suicide is up: “Teens who spend three hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35 percent more likely to have a risk factor for suicide … Since 2007, the homicide rate among teens has declined, but the suicide rate has increased.”
  • And girls are the hardest hit: “48 percent more girls said they often felt left out in 2015 than in 2010, compared with 27 percent more boys. … Three times as many 12-to-14-year-old girls killed themselves in 2015 as in 2007, compared with twice as many boys.”

Why it matters: “Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy. … There’s not a single exception.”

Source: Axios PM – Axios

American Society & Political Conflict: 2017 Is Not 1968

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Does 2017 compare to 1968? It helps to have a sense of history. The saying, “it could be worse” is true.

  • “One month into 1968, the Vietnamese celebrated their new year and the Viet Cong launched its Tet Offensive. The chief of the South Vietnamese national police was photographed executing a captured Viet Cong officer, horrifying viewers across the world. Communist forces rapidly overran most of Hue, and hundreds of U.S. Marines were killed taking it back over the following month. On February 27, Walter Cronkite told a stunned American public that the war could “only be ended by negotiation, not victory.” By March, anti-war sentiment in America had become mainstream.
  • “About two weeks after the last fighting in Hue ended, Eugene McCarthy came within eight points of defeating sitting president Lyndon Johnson in the New Hampshire primaries; a few days later, Robert F. Kennedy entered the race, and just weeks after that Johnson declared he would no longer stand for reelection.
  • “Four days after Johnson’s announcement, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, touching off riots in more than 100 American cities that would decimate countless neighborhoods for decades to come.

And the list goes on. Seriously. 1968 was not a great year. One of the worst ever.

Source: American Society & Political Conflict: 2017 Is Not 1968 | National Review

Sing Sing’s Hudson Link — Hope for the incarcerated?

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Is their hope for the incarcerated? Anything is possible with God. Jesus told the criminal next to him on the cross that “today you will be with me in paradise” after he acknowledge who Jesus is. That was 1 out of 2. The other abused Jesus and ridiculed him.

  • “Most of the 2.3 million people now incarcerated in America will return to their communities, and few will have been improved by their experiences inside.
  • “It is said that a convict’s successful reentry into society begins the day he enters a correctional facility, as prison administrators prefer to call their institutions.
  • “But the criminal-justice system is failing to accomplish lasting correction: More than half of released prisoners are arrested again in the first year, more than two-thirds within three years, more than three-quarters within five years.

Source: Sing Sing’s Hudson Link — Inmates & College Graduates | National Review

Frances Jimenez’s story about the freedom to choose life over death

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Due to the dozens of abortion clinics in the city of Chicago, Aid for Women was founded to empower women to choose life through its pregnancy centers and residential help programs.

  • As an Aid for Women staff member Frances Jimenez believes in the sanctity of life and is passionate about helping women who face unexpected pregnancies.
  • But at the end of 2016, a law was passed in Illinois that forced pregnancy help centers to refer their clients for abortions.
  • Alliance Defending Freedom is defending the freedom of pregnancy centers in Illinois to operate according to their conscience.

 

The weakest economic recovery since World War II.

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“The U.S. economy acquired an exclusive label [yesterday]: Recession-free for eight full years … the third-longest economic winning streak in American history” — AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman:

  • “Despite its longevity, … [i]t’s the weakest economic recovery since World War II.”
  • Why it matters: “[T]he economy is hardly the disaster that … Trump insists he inherited. Employers have been hiring steadily, month after month, since 2010. A majority of Americans now enjoy unusual job security.”
  • But, but, but … “[T]he expansion has been hobbled by a slow-growing labor force and by a puzzling slump in worker productivity, which is the amount of output produced, per hour worked.”

Source: Axios AM –

When asked to identify their ultimate financial goal for life, half of Christians first think of others—not themselves

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When asked to identify their ultimate financial goal for life, half of Christians first think of others—not themselves—according to The Generosity Gap, a new Barna report produced in partnership with Thrivent Financial. Jesus challenges us to give and be givers.

On the other hand, about one-third of Christians are self-focused in their priorities. In studying the drivers of Christian generosity, Barna categorized and analyzed these two groups as Givers and Keepers.

  • “Givers are motivated by “others-focused” goals: to provide for their family (43%), to give charitably (23%) to serve God with their money (20%) or to leave a legacy for others (14%). Fifty percent of Christians are Givers.”
  • “Keepers are motivated by “self-focused” goals: to support the lifestyle they want (42% of Keepers), to be content (37%), to be debt-free (16%) or to earn enough to show how hard they work (5%). Thirty-five percent of Christians are Keepers.”

Source: Christians’ Financial Motivations Matter – Barna Group – Barna Group Continue reading

Why Trump Keeping Trans People From The Military Is A Good Decision

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Is Trump right on this?

  • “In a stunning move, President Trump announced on Twitter that transgender individuals will not serve in the U.S. military. Despite Congress voting in late July to fund gender-reassignment surgery for military service members, Trump tweeted Wednesday: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
  • “It’s unclear the mechanisms Trump plans to use to put this policy into effect, however. Activist groups announced plans to sue immediately if Trump codifies this policy in an executive order, and Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a statement defending the Department of Defense’s decision under President Obama to allow transgender soldiers to remain in the armed forces. He says there’s not enough evidence that transgender people will reduce combat effectiveness or that transgender soldiers’ elective gender-change surgeries are too steep a price for taxpayers to pay.”

Source: Why Trump Keeping Trans People From The Military Is A Good Decision

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” ~Martin Luther King

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This says it all. Of course, MLK knew that it is Jesus that sets us free. How great is it that we live in a country where our founders valued freedom.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Martin Luther King on Free Speech

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. Continue reading

Gyrating drag queen’s erotic performance shocks audience at grade school talent show

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What in the name of Ru Paul is wrong with the New York City Board of Education?

Parents are furious after children as young as 5-years-old were exposed to an erotic drag show performance at what was supposed to be a school district talent show.

Some good questions from Todd Starnes:

  • “First, who signed off on a school program that featured a kindergarten choir and a gyrating, adult drag queen?”
  • “Second, why is that person still employed by the school district?”
  • “Third, why hasn’t the school district publicly apologized to traumatized parents and their children?”

Source: Gyrating drag queen’s erotic performance shocks audience at grade school talent show | Fox News

Deny the Holocaust, but Don’t Question Sharia?

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Why is it so hard to believe how horrible Sharia law is and why it is a threat to our life of freedom in the United States?

  • Why is it encouraged, even praised, to deny the unimaginable suffering that millions went through during the Holocaust, but if anyone dares to question Sharia their lives are in danger?”
  • “If you dare even to joke about Islam, your punishment can range from torture, long terms of imprisonment, to swift death sentences, either judicial or from mob violence.”
  • “They have created a myth in the name of the Holocaust and consider it above God, religion and the prophets,” — Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Iranian state television.

Source: Deny the Holocaust, but Don’t Question Sharia?

Sweden: A Failed State?

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What is going on in Sweden? Here are a couple of items from the Gatestone Institute.

  • “The Swedish state, in true Orwellian style, fights those Swedish citizens who point out the obvious problems that migrants are causing.”
  • “When police officer Peter Springare said in February that migrants were committing a disproportionate amount of crime in the suburbs, he was investigated for inciting “racial hatred”.”
  • “Currently, a 70-year-old Swedish pensioner is being prosecuted for “hate speech”, for writing on Facebook that migrants “set fire to cars, and urinate and defecate on the streets”.”

Source: Sweden: A Failed State?

“You Tricked Me,” Trump Yelled at PA’s Abbas Over Incitement Lies

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“Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every shahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah’s will,” said the PA leader during the peak of the 2015 wave of terror throughout Israel.

Source: “You Tricked Me,” Trump Yelled at PA’s Abbas Over Incitement Lies: Report – Breaking Israel News

Ultra-Rich Gay Activist On Targeting Christians: It’s Time To ‘Punish The Wicked’. We’ve been warned.

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In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, tech millionaire turned LGBTQ activist Tim Gill said he’s aiming to punish Christians who don’t want to participate in same-sex weddings.

For more than two decades, the software programmer has poured an estimated $422 million into various gay rights causes. After the Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal in all 50 states in 2015, Gill turned his attention and resources to targeting Christians.

So, we’ve been warned? What would Jesus have us do?

Of course, Jesus is clear on the issue. It is between a man and woman.

In marriage a man becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals.” ~Jesus 

My job is to continue to speak the truth, in love!

The election of Donald Trump, who claims to support gay rights but stocked his administration with anti-LGBTQ extremists, has only emboldened those looking to erase the gains of the past decade. Gill refuses to go on the defense. ‘We’re going into the hardest states in the country,’ he says. ‘We’re going to punish the wicked.’

Source: Ultra-Rich Gay Activist On Targeting Christians: It’s Time To ‘Punish The Wicked’

Of course, I am good company.

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.” ~Barack Obama

What Jesus has to say on this is instructive. Here is the whole story from Matthew 19.

One day the religious leaders (Pharisees) were badgering him: “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”

He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”

They shot back in rebuttal, “If that’s so, why did Moses give instructions for divorce papers and divorce procedures?”

Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as aconcession to your hard heartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan. I’m holding you to the original plan, and holding you liable for adultery if you divorce your faithful wife and then marry someone else. I make an exception in cases where the spouse has committed adultery.”

Jesus’ disciples objected, “If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck. Why get married?”

But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

Writer James Vlahos’ quest to give his dying father eternal life by creating a chatbot of him

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This is very noble on behalf of the son. Hopefully someone also told the father of Jesus, who is only way to eternal life.

WIRED’s August cover story is the personal account of writer James Vlahos’ quest to give his dying father eternal life by creating a chatbot of him, per a release:

  • “Vlahos has long been interested in conversational computing. Even as an 11-year-old, he was fascinated with an early chatbot prototype that ran on a Commodore PET computer at his local library. He’s also currently at work on a book about conversational computing.’
  • “[W]hen Vlahos’ father received a cancer diagnosis in April 2016, the idea of creating a chatbot of his father popped into his mind almost immediately.”
  • He writes: “I dream of creating a Dadbot — a chatbot that emulates not a children’s toy but the very real man who is my father. And I have already begun gathering the raw materials: those 91,970 words [in a binder] that are destined for my bookshelf.”
  • “The story follows Vlahos through the last few months of his now-deceased father’s life, while [the writer] learns how to code for the decision-tree responses of a chatbot and navigates the moral and emotional responses of his mother, siblings, wife and sons, as he creates Dadbot.”
  • Story … Video

Source: Axios AM – Axios

5 Things The Right Can Learn From Abortion Supporters At Yale Law

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What can I learn today that will be useful?

“I knew what I was getting into when I enrolled in a reproductive rights seminar at Yale Law School, a whole semester reading pro-choice arguments.” By 

Daniel did some heavy lifting here. It was worth his time. Here are the ideas and what he learn about the Pro-Choice movement:

1. Pro-Choice Advocates Notice When Opponents Compromise

2. Pro-Choice Advocates Care About Women

3. Some Pro-Choice Advocates Are Really Afraid of Pregnancy

4. Pro-Choice Advocates Have Their Doubts

5. The 2016 Election Terrified Them

Continue reading

Planned Parenthood Executive Urges Pro-Choicers to Concede ‘It’s killing’

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The Center for Medical Progress continues to release footage of abortion doctors candidly discussing gruesome late-term terminations and organ harvesting.

Dr. Lisa Harris, medical director of Planned Parenthood of Michigan, delivered a convention talk about the hidden side of the abortion industry.

“Our stories don’t really have a place in a lot of pro-choice discourse and rhetoric, right? The heads that get stuck that we can’t get out,” she said as the audience laughed. “Those are all parts of our experience. But, there’s no real good place for us to share those.”

Harris said that the pro-choice community should concede certain rhetorical points to the pro-life community, adding that abortion is an inherently violent act and a form of “killing.” She said that abortion doctors “see the fetus the same way” that pro-life activists do, but that should not stop pro-choice advocates from defending their position.

“Given that we might actually both agree that there’s violence in here, ask me why I come to work everyday,” she said. “Let’s just give them all the violence, it’s a person, it’s killing, let’s just give them all that.” Continue reading

NSA Illegal Surveillance of Americans — Obama Administration Abuse & FISA Court Response

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“During the Obama years, the National Security Agency intentionally and routinely intercepted and reviewed communications of American citizens in violation of the Constitution and of court-ordered guidelines implemented pursuant to federal law. The unlawful surveillance appears to have been a massive abuse of the government’s foreign-intelligence-collection authority, carried out for the purpose of monitoring the communications of Americans in the United States.”

So how do most Americans react?

We yawn. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal.

Why aren’t more people upset? What happened to needing a search warrant?

Even more important, what happened to Presidents who actually care about our Constitution. We require that an oath be taken “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Jesus challenges us. He says let your Yes be Yes and your No be No. I don’t think he is impressed. This isn’t the way of his government.

“While aware that it was going on for an extensive period of time, the administration failed to disclose its unlawful surveillance of Americans until late October 2016, when the administration was winding down and the NSA needed to meet a court deadline in order to renew various surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).”

Source: NSA Illegal Surveillance of Americans — Obama Administration Abuse & FISA Court Response | National Review

Deadly Tale: Christian Converts from Islam. A not so pretty picture. 

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Maryam Naghash Zargaran, a 38 year-old Christian convert from Islam, is currently facing serious health issues in one of the world’s most vicious jails; Evin prison in Tehran.

A former children’s music teacher, Zargaran became acquainted with teachings of Christianity at young age. Even though she grew up in a Muslim family and under Sharia, she found Christianity to be her true faith. She made a decision to convert, and dedicated her life to helping children, and ended up at an orphanage. She did her best to care for the children, and provide them with the stability and love they had been missing.

So what is the outcome?

  • Islamist leaders fear that as a former Muslim, you have true knowledge of what Islam actually is, and you may disclose that information to others.
  • “Not only has [Maryam Naghash Zargaran] been detained unjustly because of her Christian faith, but the Iranian authorities have denied her urgently needed medical care.” — U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
  • “For more than four years, Maryam Naghash Zargaran has suffered in an Iranian prison, falsely charged with ‘propagating against the Islamic regime and collusion intended to harm national security.’ The Iranian government must cease its targeting of Christians and release Maryam and other religious prisoners of conscience.” — Clifford D. May, Commissioner, USCIRF.

Source: Deadly Tale: Christian Converts from Islam

Baumol’s Disease & Productivity: Entitlements’ Problem as the Workforce Ages

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Technology is marching ahead. Many jobs are going to be eliminated because of robotics and artificial intelligence.

William J. Baumol, who recently died at 95, was not widely known beyond the ranks of economists, all Americans are living with, and policymakers are struggling with, “Baumol’s disease.”

It is one reason brisk economic growth is becoming more elusive as it becomes more urgent. And it is a disease particularly pertinent to the increasingly fraught health-care debate.

Consider this from 1993:

Senator Moynihan: “Montefiore Hospital was founded in New York City in the 1880s. At that time, how long did it take for a professor of medicine to make his morning rounds, and how many interns would he take along with him?”

Dean: “Oh, about an hour; say 12 interns.”

Moynihan: “And today?”

Dean: “Got it!”

Perhaps technological advances will somewhat increase the productivity of teachers (e.g., online learning) and doctors (e.g., diagnostic advances using the human genome) as they have of policing (e.g., more efficient deployments of personnel). But there are limits.

Consider rounds conducted via Facebook Live or YouTube. Could be 1,200 interns engaged rather than 12. Our world is changing rabidly. We all need to deal with it.

Continue reading

Franklin Graham: Boy Scouts No Longer A Group Christian Church Can Support

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The Boy Scouts of America is no longer a place where Christian churches should want young men to participate, Rev. Franklin Graham said recently.

“The Mormon Church made a good decision yesterday, announcing it was pulling older boys out of the Boy Scouts of America,” Graham wrote on his Facebook page.

“They had been the biggest sponsor of Boy Scouts in the United States. A scholar said the Boy Scouts’ new policies relating to gays probably related to the decision,” Graham wrote.

Jesus challenges us to accept God’s plan for men and women. Jesus hasn’t changed his mind.

Source: Franklin Graham: Boy Scouts No Longer A Group Christian Church Can Support

Comey’s Leaked Memos: Who Will Guard the Guardians?

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Alan M. Dershowitz raises a great question. Of course, Alan is a true liberal but he is honest to the core about our constitution. I always pay close attention to his thoughts.

So … who will guard the guardians?

President Trump has accused former FBI director James Comey of illegality in leaking memos that may have contained classified information. If it is true that the leaked Comey memos – laundered through a law professor in an effort to pressure Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein into appointing a special counsel – contained classified information, who will investigate Comey? Surely the Special Counsel, Comey’s friend who he helped get appointed, could not conduct a credible investigation. Nor could Rod Rosenstein, who made the appointment. Will yet another special counsel have to be appointed to conduct an investigation of Comey’s leaking?

Source: Comey’s Leaked Memos: Who Will Guard the Guardians?

Ayn Rand, Altruism, Jihad and Jesus

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In fathoming the failure of Europeans to protect their own interests against the onslaught of Islamic jihadism, one is reminded of Ayn Rand’s quotation that “[r]eason is not automatic.  Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.  Do not count on them[.]”

What is going on in Europe, or at least western Europe? Is just that they feel guilty about their imperialist past and have some atonement needs?

It could be that this idea that no culture is better than any other culture has finally taken hold. Say something long enough and you just might come to believe it.

Of course, there is the never ending media that soft pedals the true roots of Islamic evil. This has become insidious.

Or, it could be that we just don’t want to hear the truth about the only way to God being through Jesus. How about we stand up for that.  Continue reading

“That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers in these United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.” ~Linda Sarsour

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Jihad

In a speech at the 54th Annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Convention, Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March, called for a “jihad” against President Trump. Jesus has a better way in mind. Jesus challenges us to love our enemies.

“When we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad,” she said at the convention in Illinois last weekend. “That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers — not only abroad and in the Middle East an in the other side of the world — but in these United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”

“We have to stay outraged,” she said. “Do not criticize me when I say that we, as a Muslim community in these United States of America, we have to stay perpetually outraged.

“When I wake up in the morning and remember who is sitting in the White House, I am outraged,” she said. “Do not ever be those citizens that normalize this administration because when the day comes that something horrific happens to us or to another community, you will be responsible for normalizing this administration.”

“Our number one priority is to protect our community, it is not to assimilate and to please any other people in authority,” she said. “Our top priority is to please Allah, and only Allah.”

You can watch her 23-minute speech in full below.

As Jordan Schachtel at Conservative Review points out, Sarsour thanked Imam Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, in the beginning of her speech. She called Wahhaj her “favorite person in this room” and described him as her “mentor, motivator, and encourager.”

You Want Checks And Balances? Stop Ignoring The Constitution

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Our constitution is a marvelous document and a tremendous governmental framework. Combine that with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and you have a true trifecta.

We seem to keep wandering down the path of executive authority. Congress and the Supreme Court should keep our presidents in check by using their constitutional authority.

That said, the president has the authority, under the constitution, to fire the FBI director.

The president doesn’t have the authority to approve treaties or start wars, just to name a few “no – no”s.

“Trump has an authoritarian impulse,” Ian Bremmer tweeted after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, “But incompetence is a better explanation of his administration’s challenges to date.”

Source: You Want Checks And Balances? Stop Ignoring The Constitution Continue reading

“I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.”  ~Justice John Roberts – Supreme Court

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Justice John Roberts

You may have watched it already, but the commencement address from Chief Justice John Roberts at his son’s middle school graduation has become the most unusual kind of social media sensation: one of laud and honor. Roberts’ remarks run just a little less than 11 minutes and deal with the ordinary considerations of life for ninth graders and their parents. But Roberts said some remarkable things.

In acknowledging the remarkable privilege of young men bound for the best preparatory schools in the country, the chief justice wished them the gift of adversity:

“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope you will suffer betrayal, because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time, so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck again, from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in your life, and understand that your success is not completely deserved, and the failure of others is not completely deserved, either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you will be ignored, so you will learn the importance of listening to others. And I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.” – John Roberts

Why haven’t America’s schools improved?

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Every year, almost every industry improves. It is the way we roll in the United States. We work ourselves silly making things better. In the last 10 years, Apple has introduce 7 new iPhones. Consider the innovation in just 10 years. What is up with our educational system? Is “Common Core” really the best we can do?

We get more choices — usually better choices, for less money. But not in education. Is it because schools are run like a monopoly? Where is the competition? What is the investment like in innovation? Continue reading

A Middle-Class Truck Driver’s Rant On America’s Health Care Mess

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Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act is a train wreck.

Trying to force people to buy health care insurance is an abomination. No wonder 6.5 million Americans revolted and refuse to buy it.

I’m pretty much done listening to politicians and pundits pontificate about lowering premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. I’m main-lining to give myself the health care I want and need. We can call it the “Blue Collar-Redneck Shield” plan. I’d better get crackin’ on this, because it won’t be long until the powers that be simply start deducting $2,500 a month from my paycheck for whatever convoluted government program they come up with.

Source: A Middle-Class Truck Driver’s Rant On America’s Health Care Mess

Germany legalizes same-sex marriage after Merkel changes position

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German lawmakers voted recently to legalize same-sex marriage after a short but emotional debate, bringing the country in line with many of its Western peers. Though Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the measure, she paved the way for its passage by freeing other members of her party to vote their “conscience.”

Lawmakers voted 393 for legalizing “marriage for everybody” and 226 against, with four abstentions.

The good news is that Jesus hasn’t changed his mind. Marriage is between a man and a woman.

Source: Germany legalizes same-sex marriage after Merkel changes position | Fox News

Bill Nye: Gender-Chromosome Correlation Is So ’90s

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God created us male and female. That really is a fact.

Let us not succumb to the absurd and ridiculous.

I must stand up for what is right.

The transgender machine rolls on. It shows no signs of slowing down; indeed, it has all the appearance of a lasting, solidified phenomenon.

The socio-sexual anarchy wrought by the transgender zeitgeist is perhaps the most interesting of all, if not also the most horrifying. Nothing really seems to mean anything anymore. GLAAD, for example, claims that “For transgender people, the sex they were assigned at birth and their own internal gender identity do not match.” But elsewhere, GLAAD claims that “sex” is “a combination of bodily characteristics,” while “gender” is “a person’s internal, deeply held sense of their gender.”

 This doesn’t add up in the slightest: by GLAAD’s own reckoning, “sex” and “gender” are two radically—qualitatively—different phenomenon. How could the two ever “match” in the first place?

Put another way, it would be like saying, “Their foot size and their own internal gender identity do not match,” or, “Their hair color and their own internal gender identity do not match.” Two phenomena of fundamentally different essences cannot be considered discordant if they were never supposed to “match” in the first place.

Source: Bill Nye: Gender-Chromosome Correlation Is So ’90s

Consider the selective editing of an episode from Bill Nye’s mid-90s television show, changing a segment that affirmed the chromosomal basis of biological sex:

On Netflix’s collection of episodes of “Bill Nye,” the 23rd episode, entitled “Probability,” is identical to that which originally aired in 1996—except that the segment on sex and chromosomes has been excised completely. The episode offers no explanation whatsoever. The show simply moves from the segment immediately prior the deleted clip to the segment immediately following it.

“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.” ~Thomas Sowell

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Image result for victimIt used to be our culture in the United States that we are all equal. We believed it. We fought for it. It was important to us.

We seem to be moving to a new standard and are encouraging a nation of victims.

I believe in freedom, liberty and equality. I refuse to be a victim.

“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.” ~Thomas Sowell

JFK: Democrat or Republican? – Larry Elder for Prager University

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John F. Kennedy lowered taxes, opposed abortion, supported gun rights, and believed in a strong military. And he was a proud Democrat. But would he be one today? Author and talk show host Larry Elder explains.

Donate today to PragerU! http://l.prageru.com/2eB2p0h

Because You Asked: What is Sharia and How Does it Affect One’s Life in America?

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Anni Cyrus explains Sharia and its impact on American life style.

Why? Because you wanted to know what Islamism means to you and your way of life.

Jesus came to set us free and that freedom is guaranteed us in the United States Constitution. Jesus is the only way to God.

A Once-Gay Person’s Thoughts on Gay Pride (Ken Williams)

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I have to respect Kris Vallotton and his courage in speaking out on this most difficult topic. I pray you consider carefully the story of Ken Williams. It defies what we hear everyday on this issue.

It is real and it is to be considered carefully.

I passionately disagree that homosexuality is normal sexual behavior, but I honor everyone’s right to have a different opinion. I don’t hate anyone and I have spent my life loving people I completely disagree with. To me, agreement isn’t necessary for relationship. I’m not the kind of guy who beats people with the Bible and I think it’s hard to punish people into true purity. At the same time, I also think it’s wrong to remain quiet and allow only the homosexual voice to be heard in society. Given that this weekend is the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade, which is the largest gathering of the LGBT community in the Unites States, I wanted to allow Ken Williams to share a part of his story with you.

Ken Williams is on staff with Moral Revolution—an organization I founded years ago to help define healthy sexuality. He wrote a blog post out of his own personal journey into freedom. With this weekend being a big celebration of LGBTQ+ pride, I wanted my readers to hear from someone who struggled with homosexuality and came out of it. Whether you know someone struggling with same sex attraction, are struggling with it yourself, or have no grid for the lifestyle, I hope this story will encourage and inspire you towards greater levels of freedom! I have so much hope in my heart for anyone struggling in this area and Ken’s story is an incredible testimony of true freedom, not the false freedom that the LGBTQ+ community covers itself in.

Source: A Once-Gay Person’s Thoughts on Gay Pride – Kris Vallotton

It’s a dog’s life

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Image result for corgiAn Englishman went on safari in Zambia, taking his faithful corgi along for company. One day the corgi decided to go do some exploring on her own.

As she was wandering around, she saw a leopard approaching with the obvious intention of having her for lunch. Just in time, she noticed some bones on the ground nearby, and settled down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching leopard.

When the cat was close enough to pounce, the corgi said, “Wow, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?”

Hearing this, the leopard immediately halted his attack and retreated into the jungle. “Whew, that was close,” said the leopard. “That dog nearly got me.”

A monkey who had witnessed the whole encounter from a nearby tree figured that he could put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection. So he went after the leopard, and when he caught up to him, the monkey told what he had seen and heard and struck a deal for himself.

Furious at having been tricked, the leopard growled, “All right, monkey — hop on my back and watch what I’m going to do to that conniving canine!”

But the corgi had seen the monkey go after the leopard and figured out what he was up to. When she saw the leopard approaching with the monkey on his back, she sat down with her back to them, pretending she hadn’t seen them. When they were close enough to hear, the corgi said, “What’s taking that monkey so long? I sent him half an hour ago to bring me another leopard!”

Source: It’s a dog’s life | bluebird of bitterness

How to Think About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Policies and Religious Freedom

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SOGI laws are not about the freedom of LGBT people to engage in certain actions, but about coercing and penalizing people who in good conscience cannot endorse those actions.

Source: Ryan Anderson 

Key Takeaways From the Report

 

  1. Sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) antidiscrimination laws are unjustified.
  2. The public policy response that was appropriate to remedy the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow is not appropriate for today’s challenges.
  3. The law must leave people free to engage in actions based on the conviction that we are created male and female and that male and female are created for each other.

Source: How to Think About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Policies and Religious Freedom | The Heritage Foundation

East Lansing Bans Apple Farmer From Market For Being Faithful Catholic

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This is sad. Steve Tennes isn’t a bigot and doesn’t discriminate against others. He does hold traditional views of the Catholic Church. In our country, that is his right. He has been given that right by God. It is enshrined in our Constitution.

But, East Lansing is so intolerant of Steve Tennes’s viewpoint that it monitors Steve’s Facebook posts and punishes Steve for what he does outside of East Lansing. That isn’t right.

We must all stand up for his rights. If we don’t, we may loose ours.

Imagine the following bizarre conversation after a New York City police officer pulled someone over on the way to Newark Airport.

Officer: Is that a 32-ounce soft drink?

Man: Yes, officer.

Officer: Well, I’m going to have to ticket you for that. New York City recently banned consumption of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces.

Man: I’m sorry, officer. I didn’t know about that law. But we’re currently in New Jersey now, and I bought the drink in New Jersey after leaving New York. So I’m confused.

Officer: Doesn’t matter. As part of the law, New York banned anyone from doing business in the city if he or she drinks soft drinks larger than 16 ounces anywhere.

Man: Wow. The city must seriously dislike soft drinks. Okay, but one more question, if you don’t mind. How did you even know to pull me over for the drink after my business trip?

Officer: Well, the city monitors social media, so when you posted a picture of the soft drink, it flagged city officials. In fact, posting the drink is a separate violation of the law, so I’m going to have to ticket you for two violations. Here you go. Have a nice day.

This conversation is too bizarre to be real. In fact, it’s fictional. Unfortunately, for a guy named Steve Tennes, the story is all too real. It just involves a different city and a different topic — the topic of same-sex marriage, a cultural context in which the bizarre becomes reality.

 

Source: East Lansing Bans Apple Farmer From Market For Being Faithful Catholic

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain

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Excellent analysis from the Gatestone Institute.

  • “The whole system failed and that is what has been happening for the last 30 years. And it is PC. People are just too, too afraid to, you know, just too, too afraid to speak the truth.” — Mohan Singh, founder of the Sikh Awareness Society.
  • MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency, revealed that it has identified 23,000 jihadist extremists living in the country.
  • Manchester bomber Salman Abedi used taxpayer-funded student loans and benefits to bankroll the terror plot, according to the Telegraph. Abedi is believed to have received thousands of pounds in state funding in the run-up to the attack even while he was overseas receiving bomb-making training. It also emerged that the chief imam of Abedi’s mosque fought with militants in Libya. The mosque was also reported to have hosted hate preachers who called for British soldiers to be killed and non-believers to be stoned to death.
  • “It is no secret that Saudi Arabia in particular provides funding to hundreds of mosques in the UK, espousing a very hardline Wahhabist interpretation of Islam. It is often in these institutions that British extremism takes root.” — Tom Brake, Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman.

Source: A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: May 2017

Movie Review: The Wedding Plan starring Noa Kooler

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This is one of the most enjoyable movies I have seen in a long time. I highly recommend it if you are a person of faith and believe that nothing is impossible with God.

Or even if you aren’t a believer, maybe you will become one.

Very compelling and extremely well done. Definitely 5 Stars.

At 32, Michal (Noa Kooler), an Orthodox Jewish woman, is finally looking forward to the comfort and security of marriage, when she is blindsided by her fiancé’s decision to call off the wedding with only a month’s notice. Unwilling to return to lonely single life, Michal decides to put her trust in fate and continue with her wedding plans, believing Mr. Right will appear by her chosen date. Confident she will find a match made in heaven, she books a venue, sends out invitations and buys a wedding dress, as her skeptical mother and sister look on with trepidation. During Michal’s month-long search for a spouse, she enlists the help of two different matchmakers, goes on a series of disastrous blind dates and finds an unexpected connection with a charming but utterly unsuitable pop star (Oz Zehavi) – all while dismissing pleas by concerned friends and family members that she reconsider her risky plan. As the day of the ceremony grows closer and no suitor appears, Michal puts everything on the line to find happiness.

Source: The Wedding Plan (2017) – Rotten Tomatoes

Unveiling clock showing 8,411 days left for Israel, Iranians rage against Jewish state 

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Iran held major anti-Israel rallies across the country Friday, with protesters chanting “Death to Israel” and declaring that destroying the Jewish state is “the Muslim world’s top priority.”

Iranians participating in Quds Day rallies also called for unity among pro-Palestinian groups against the “child-murdering” Israeli government, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

So what does God say about all this? Consider Numbers 14:6-9 – “Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, members of the scouting party, ripped their clothes and addressed the assembled People of Israel: “The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land—very good indeed. If God is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against God! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have them for lunch! They have no protection and God is on our side. Don’t be afraid of them!”

Source: Unveiling clock showing 8,411 days left for Israel, Iranians rage against Jewish state | The Times of Israel

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~~Mark Twain

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There is some interesting thinking here when it comes to being in the majority.

Not that you have to change your mind but what is it about the “minority view” that I should consider? What do they see that I don’t? Is there a “yes / and” solution to consider rather our normal “either / or”?

Perhaps it is time to pause and reflect!

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~Mark Twain

The One Thing That is Holding You Back

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Did you see the movie City Slickers (from way back in 1991!)? It’s a cheesy comedy, but it has one line in it that has an honest, simple truth.

Fed up with the antics of the “city slickers”, the crusty old cowboy looks at one of them and asks,

Do you know what the secret of life is?

He then holds up one finger and says,

This.
One thing.
Just one thing.
You stick to that and the rest don’t mean $*!+

“But what is the ‘one thing’?” the confused city slicker asks him.

That’s what you have to find out.

So … what is the secret of life?

Adriel Arocha, native American, benefits from Religious Freedom Restoration Act and doesn’t have to cut hair.

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In order to enter kindergarten in the Needville, Texas, schools, Adriel Arocha, the son of Kenney Arocha and Michelle Bettenbaugh, was told he’d have to cut his hair.

The school had general grooming policies, including that “[b]oys’ hair shall not cover any part of the ear or touch the top of the standard collar in back.”

The policy’s stated design is “to teach hygiene, instill discipline, prevent disruption, avoid safety hazards, and assert authority.”

The parents applied for an exemption but because their religious practices were handed down orally, they couldn’t provide the necessary written documentation of their religious practice.

The boy and his parents won their case that the school district had violated Texas’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act. One interesting thing to note about this case is that it occurred back when the ACLU vocally supported RFRAs.

Toe’s up anyone? The ultimate case against drinking.

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This is just too rich. Perhaps it just makes a great case against drinking.

Vancouver Sun: “The Yukon hotel’s Sourdough Saloon is down one human toe after a patron boasted about and then followed through with stealing a mummified toe that is used in the saloon’s infamous Sourtoe Cocktail on Saturday. ‘We are furious,’ said Terry Lee, the hotel’s toe captain who performs the Sourtoe ceremony. ‘This guy asked to do the Toe after the 9 to 11 p.m. toe time hours and one of the new staff served it to him to be nice — and this is how he pays her back. What a low life.’ The cocktail involves downing a shot of whiskey that contains a human toe inside the glass. The drinker’s lips must touch the toe in order to be initiated into a club and issued a certificate. In a statement, Lee said the man is from Quebec, had a French accent and had been bragging about possibly stealing the toe before he took the drink. The hotel plans to fine the patron $2,500 and is offering a reward for anyone who has information about the theft. The man also left his certificate, which bears his name, and police are now investigating.”

Image result for sourtoe cocktail

The “God” of Al Gore is not the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob

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Climate Change and Global Warming are not God’s and cannot be a religion.

Of course the climate is changing. Remember the Ice Age?

Jesus challenges us to live for God and no one / thing else. That is our goal.

Al Gore is proving that the only sure things in life are death, taxes, and cheesy sequels.  An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power picks up where his 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth, left off. His original climate change “documentary” was chock-full of false predictions, e.g., global warming would melt enough ice to cause a 20-foot rise in sea levels “in the near future.” This time around, Gore is relying not just on fake science but also fake religion, some of which he shared in an interview published Thursday: [I]f we choose to use the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet as an open sewer…

Source: The “God” of Al Gore is not the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob | The Resurgent

Supreme Court rules trademark law banning offensive names is unconstitutional

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Great news for the 1st Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a federal trademark law banning offensive names is unconstitutional, siding with a rock band whose name had been deemed racially disparaging by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

Source: Supreme Court rules trademark law banning offensive names is unconstitutional | Fox News Continue reading

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” ~Thomas Jefferson

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We know that there is truth. That truth is self-evident.

Some want to deny it but it can’t effectively be denied.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” ~~Thomas Jefferson

Think you’re living in a ‘hellhole’ today? Try being a billionaire in 1916.

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In 1916, here is what your wealth could have gotten you.

  • Travel to the west coast was in an un-airconditioned train.
  • Communication was slow and inconvenient.
  • No radio or TV.
  • Ordering Thai curry, chicken vindaloo or Vietnamese pho was impossible. You never heard of it and it wasn’t in restaurants.
  • Depression, bipolar disorder, a sexually transmitted disease or innumerable other ailments are un-treatable.
  • Life expectancy at birth was 54.5 years
  • 75 percent of women working in factories had left school before eighth grade.
  • Less than one-third of homes had electric lights.

And the list goes on and on. We have a great life and we have so very much to be thankful for.

Having bestowed the presidency on a candidate who described their country as a “hellhole” besieged by multitudes trying to get into it, Americans need an antidote for social hypochondria. Fortunately, one has arrived from Don Boudreaux, an economist at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and proprietor of the indispensable blog Cafe Hayek.

He has good news: You are as rich as John D. Rockefeller. Richer, actually.

Some historians estimate that on Sept. 29, 1916, a surge in the price of Rockefeller’s shares of the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey made him America’s first billionaire. Others say he never reached this milestone and that Henry Ford was the first. Never mind. If Rockefeller was the first, his billion was worth $23 billion in today’s dollars. Boudreaux asks if you would accept this bargain: You can be as rich as Rockefeller was in 1916 if you consent to live in 1916.

Source: Think you’re living in a ‘hellhole’ today? Try being a billionaire in 1916. – The Washington Post Continue reading

To Deliver Real Senate Rule Changes, Repeal The 17th Amendment

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We need some bold ideas. This one probably won’t happen but it would help “drain the swamp”.

President Trump has tweeted that Senate rules for budget bills should be changed. There’s little chance that will happen. But why settle for little changes when we need big-league change? We need to stop playing the game as it has always been played. If we’re to get this country back on track, we need to change the rules of the game.

As a reminder: the Seventeenth Amendment allows for the direct election of U.S. senators. Previously, state legislators selected senators. The framers of our Constitution believed this process would make senators less tempted by the whims of voters and more concerned with the long-term interests of their states. Less concerned with the trending topic of the moment, these senators would brake the excesses of government expansion.

Source: To Deliver Real Senate Rule Changes, Repeal The 17th Amendment

How to get kids to do as they are told.

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Why is it so hard for so many parents and teachers to get kids to do as they are told? Because too many adults have followed some very bad advice. Family psychologist John Rosemond offers some useful tips on how to get the little barbarians to listen.

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When was the last time you heard a child referred to as obedient? It’s probably been a while. That’s too bad because the best research tells us that obedient children are happy children. And, from my experience as a family psychologist, the parents of obedient children are happy parents.

Since all parents want their children to be happy, the question becomes: How does one get a child to obey? Is there some trick to it?

Well, there are certainly are a lot of parents who think so. They believe that proper discipline is a matter of using the right methods, techniques, and strategies: what I call consequence delivery systems. Parents have been using these behavior-modification-based methods since they became popular in the 1960s – seemingly to no avail. Would anyone argue that today’s kids are more obedient than kids were several generations ago? I don’t think so. The reason these methods and techniques don’t work is that proper discipline is not a matter of proper methods. It’s a matter of a proper attitude on the part of the parent.

Let me illustrate the point. Let’s say that for a week I observe the classroom of a grade school teacher who has the reputation of being the best disciplinarian in her district. She consistently has fewer behavior problems than any of her colleagues. What is she doing? She’s making her expectations perfectly clear. Which means, first, she communicates in simple, declarative sentences. She doesn’t use fifty words when she could use ten. The more words you use to communicate your expectations, the less confident you sound.

Second, she prefaces her instructions to her students with authoritative phrases like “I want you to…” and “It’s time for you to…” She says, “It’s time for you to take out your math books and turn to page 25” as opposed to “Let’s take out our math books and turn to page 25. Okay?”

Third, this teacher does not explain the motives behind her instructions to her students. Why? Because she knows that explanations invite arguments.

Whenever parents tell me they’re dealing with an argumentative child I know that these well-intentioned people are explaining themselves. They tell their child why they want him to pick up his toys, for example. And he argues, because you can always pick apart an explanation. If you don’t explain yourself when you give an instruction to a child, then the child, being a child, is almost surely going to ask for one. He’s going to ask Why? or Why not? At which point… get ready for a big surprise… your answer should be “Because I said so.

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Pulse Night Club Attack Anniversary — Why does the evil ISIS caliphate still exist?

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The United States, and other European and non-European countries, are being attacked day after day. It is relentless.

Since 2001, there have been 33,457 attacks, killing 215,565 innocent human beings.

This is horrific.

This is evil.

So again we ask, why doe the evil ISIS caliphate still exist?

Mateen’s strike represents one of ISIS’s greatest single victories in its war against the West. For the cost of a single expendable martyr, jihadists executed their most successful U.S. terrorist attack since 9/11, and they did so in a way that vindicated ISIS’s distinctive tactical approach. Rather than relying on hard-to-plan (and easier-to-stop) spectacular attacks, ISIS seeks to plan or inspire a broader range of smaller attacks. It’s a strategy that’s paid off in Europe and in the United States, where the rate and deadliness of terror plots has increased markedly since 2014.

Thus, I have to ask. Why does the ISIS caliphate still exist?

Source: Pulse Night Club Attack Anniversary — ISIS Hasn’t Been Defeated | National Review

You Want Checks And Balances? Stop Ignoring The Constitution

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Donald Trump is not the only authoritarian leaning president we have had. We have had two in a row.

The constitution is important for all political parties to honor, respect and defend.

Trump has an authoritarian impulse,” Ian Bremmer tweeted after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, “But incompetence is a better explanation of his administration’s challenges to date.

Source: You Want Checks And Balances? Stop Ignoring The Constitution Continue reading

Has the entire LGBT narrative just crumbled?

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This is something to stop and think about. Intuitively we know that men are born men and women are born women is true. If flies in the face of logic to believe otherwise.

You can create example after example of analogies that show us how silly the argument is.

Why do so many believe it?

Clearly a culture of relativism has taken hold. There are no truths that are self evident. Relativism is the idea that views are relative to differences in perception and consideration. There is no universal, objective truth according to relativism; rather each point of view has its own truth.

Jesus is the truth. The word of God is not relative.  Continue reading

“Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.” ~Thomas Sowell

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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a great thinker, scholar and defender of our glorious constitution. I will miss his articles but fortunately, he leaves behind a great legacy of writing.

Most appreciated is his commitment to knowing the facts and research. It seems many have lost the will to do the hard work.

Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.It was very fulfilling to be able to share my thoughts on the events unfolding around us, and to receive feedback from readers across the country — even if it was impossible to answer them all.

Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program — and it felt wonderful. With the political news being so awful this year, it felt especially wonderful.This made me decide to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding more pictures to my website (www.tsowell.com).

Source: Thomas Sowell’s Farewell Column: Perspective on Decades of Research & Writing | National Review

Does God Exist? 4 New Arguments that science can’t explain

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Science tells us that the universe came into being via The Big Bang. But how do you get from energy and matter to a self-aware human being? That takes three additional Big Bangs that science cannot explain.

Noted theologian, Frank Pastore, unravels this compelling mystery and, in the process, poses the ultimate question that every thinking person must face.

Source: Does God Exist? 4 New Arguments | PragerU

Evil strikes again, this time against Iran. They say 5 Tehran attackers had fought for Islamic State killed 17.

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Evil continues. This time a bold attack against Iran itself.

Also, two more suicide bombers attacked a shrine to Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of modern-day Iran, as another suicide device was detonated, killing at least two and injuring another 10.

Five of the men who launched an attack in the heart of Iran’s capital previously fought for the Islamic State group, the country’s Intelligence Ministry said Thursday, acknowledging the first such assault by the extremists in the Shiite power.

The attacks Wednesday on Iran’s parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary leader killed at least 17 people and wounded over 40, stunning its people.

Source: Iran says 5 Tehran attackers had fought for Islamic State – NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

In the long run, Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Is Doomed

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What is the role of “religion” in the American culture?

It is not to be dismissed. Many have already done so. We, the faithful, must not. We must stand firm for what God says even when it insights the other side.

We must stand with Jesus.

This is what makes the infamous Obergefell ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in late June of 2015 so egregious. It strikes at the heart of America. As my new book, The Miracle and Magnificence of America details, try as they might, the British were unable to establish successful settlements in America until faith-filled families decided to venture across the Atlantic and lay down permanent roots in the “New World.”

Source: Articles: Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Is Doomed

Prime Minister May condemns evil London terror attacks that killed 7; police arrest 12 in raids

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Evil strikes again, this time in London. So far this year, there have been 911 Islamic attacks in 46 countries, in which 6506 people were killed and 7171 injured.

Since 9/11 in 2001, there have been 33,457 Islamic attacks with 215,565 killed and 296,994 injured.

Also recently:

  • 2017.06.03 (Afghanistan) Three suicide bombers detonate at a a funeral, killing twenty mourners.
  • 2017.06.02 (Tunisia) A young shepherd is kidnapped and beheaded by Islamic extremists.
  • 2017.06.02 (Cameroon) Eleven are left dead when Islamists strap two girls with bombs and send them into a refugee camp.
  • 2017.06.01 (Germany) A father of two is stabbed to death by two Muslims for smoking during Ramadan and refusing to fast.
  • 2017.05.31 (Kenya) Islamists abduct and murder a teacher.
  • 2017.05.31 (Afghanistan) The Haqqani network detonates a massive suicide truck bomb during rush that kills over ninety, including many women and children.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the “evil ideology” behind the London terror attacks that left at least seven dead and more than 40 injured late Saturday night.

May addressed the attack Sunday after a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee. In her speech, May called for a tougher stance at home against extremists and tougher controls on cyberspace to prevent its use by extremists.

Source: May condemns London terror attacks that killed 7; police arrest 12 in raids | Fox News

The Middle East Problem – Why doesn’t Palestine want Israel to exist?

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The Middle East conflict is framed as one of the most complex problems in the world. But, in reality, it’s very simple.

Israelis want to live in peace and are willing to accept a neighboring Palestinian state. And most Palestinians do not want Israel to exist. As Dennis Prager explains, this is really all you need to know.

In 5 minutes, understand how Israel was founded, and how, since that auspicious day in 1948, its neighbors have tried to destroy it, again and again.

Sikh woman protected by Religious Freedom Act

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Freedom

Why is our religious freedom important and we need state laws to protect us? It is not all about Christians.

Sikh federal employee Kawal TagoreAfter being baptized in the Sikh faith, Kawal Tagore began carrying a kirpan, “an emblem resembling a small knife with a blunt, curved blade” that reminds Sikhs of their commitment to justice. It’s one of five articles of faith baptized Sikhs are supposed to carry.

She was told to go home from her job with the IRS in a federal building in Houston and told not to return. The building allowed scissors, knives, box cutters and other items with far sharper blades than her kirpan, but they wouldn’t let her carry her religiously required emblem. After working from home for nine months, she was fired.

She sought protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and on November 4, 2014, the government agreed to settle the case.

 

We have a lot to remember on Memorial Day including the evil attacks that continue daily

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We have a lot to remember, for those who died for our freedom. Below is a list of the casualties.

The fight continues as evil attacks us daily. There have been 30,901 deadly terror attacks by Islamist Jihadist’s since 9/11 killing 215,094.

So far in 2017, there have been 869 Islamic attacks in 46 countries, in which 6,035 people were killed and 6,378 injured.

The Fear-of-God means hating Evil,
    whose ways I hate with a passion.

Source: Proverbs 8:13

  • Civil War – Approximately 620,000 Americans died. The Union lost almost 365,000 troops and the Confederacy about 260,000.
  • World War I116,516 Americans died, more than half from disease.
  • World War II405,399 Americans died.
  • Korean War 36,574 Americans died.
  • Vietnam Conflict58,220 Americans died.
  • Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm383 service members died.
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom 4,421 service members died.
  • Operation New Dawn (Afghanistan 2010) – 73 service members died.
  • Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan – October 2001)2,350 service members died.
  • Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (Afghanistan 2015) – 22 service members have died.
  • Operation Inherent Resolve (Iraq & Syria 2014)- 39 service members have died.

Evil attack via suicide car bomb kills 18 in Afghanistan on first day of Ramadan

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A suicide car bomber has killed 18 people in the eastern Afghan city of Khost, the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said a public bus station was hit by the bombing, but local police said the target were Afghan security forces working with American troops in the province.

“A suicide car bomb in Khost province has killed 18 people and wounded six others, including two children,” Mr Danish said.

The attack comes a day after at least 15 Afghan soldiers were killed when Taliban fighters attacked their base in Kandahar, in the third major insurgent assault this week on the military in the southern province.

Source: Suicide car bomb kills 18 in Afghanistan on first day of Ramadan – 9news.com.au

Yuval Levin’s The Fractured Republic: How To Rebuild Communities

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Levin, the editor of National Affairs, argues in his brilliant new book The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism, that both parties are besotted with nostalgia for the mid-20th century. Conservatives tend to stress the social cohesion of 1950s America (or its seeming renaissance under Ronald Reagan), while liberals yearn for the economic security of the 1960s.

Although they have different goals, leading Republicans and Democrats alike want to go back to the way things were — and they think they can take us there from Washington. Trump says he’ll cut deals in the Oval Office that will make America great again; Clinton promises “universal” everything (education, retirement, health care) to restore the American Dream.

Source: Yuval Levin’s The Fractured Republic: How To Rebuild Communities

Evil attack in Egypt: Gunfire on bus carrying Coptic Christians kills at least 26

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Once again, evil attacks us. Christians in Egypt are under siege from the evil radical Islamists. Egyptians and Muslims must do something about this.

A team of gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of Cairo Friday, killing at least 26 people, including children, and wounding 25 other people, Egyptian officials confirmed.

As many as 10 attackers stormed the bus dressed in military uniforms and wearing masks, according to witnesses. The Christian victims were on their way to visit a monastery.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Egypt’s Coptic Christians have become the preferred target of the Islamic State in the region. Egypt’s Copts, the Middle East’s largest Christian community, have repeatedly cried out for help from discrimination, as well as outright attacks, at the hands of the country’s majority Muslim population.

Source: Egypt attack: Gunfire on bus carrying Coptic Christians kills at least 26 | Fox News

Persecuted Church in Iraq & Syria — See & Tell the Truth & Act on It

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We need leaders who call out evil for what it is.

We have an enemy. He has an army at his disposal. He wants to destroy and kill us.

We need leaders, who understanding the evil in the world, do something about it.

I’m here on behalf of the president as a tangible sign of his commitment to defending Christians and, frankly, all who suffer for their beliefs across the wider world,” Vice President Mike Pence said at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Washington, D.C., last week.There the vice president acknowledged something that the previous administration, after some pressure, also recognized: some of the evil of religious persecution in the world today. Former secretary of state John Kerry would ultimately use the word “genocide” to call out the ongoing threat that the so-called Islamic State posed to Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.

Source: Persecuted Church in Iraq & Syria — See & Tell the Truth & Act on It | National Review

"I would rather be accused of breaking precedents than breaking promises." ~~John F. Kennedy

Quotes, thoughts and musings

God’s Promise

Jesus challenges us to make sure our yes is yes and our no is no.

When we say yes we need to follow through. That is the core of character and the goal that God has in mind for us.

God is faithful to his word. Jesus wants us to be the same way.

God doesn’t enter into a contract with us, written by a crafty lawyer. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God’s promise at that—you can’t break it.

This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone…

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“No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.” ~Donald Trump

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Donald Trump sees the world in an interesting way. He is also very certain of it. It isn’t a great trait, but, it is all about Donald.

No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.” ~Donald Trump

I’m guessing Abraham LincolnJames Abram Garfield (1881), William McKinley (1897-1901), and John F. Kennedy(1961-63). all assassinated while in office, might disagree.

Of course, what about Nelson Mandela? What about Ghandi?

And not so well known, John W. Stevens, a North Carolina tobacco trader who served in the Confederate army, Stevens became a Republican after the Civil War. He helped organize blacks and they, in turn, helped elect him to the state Senate. This didn’t go over well with some of the locals. Stevens was ostracized, denied credit and was even accused of murdering his mother. In 1870, Stevens was stabbed and strangled after being ambushed by more than a dozen members of the Ku Klux Klan.

And … the list could go on.

Trump and Mandela

Left Wants To Make Abortion An Economic Issue To Sideline Its Atrocities

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Is abortion an economic issue?

The answer is a resounding no.

Abortion is a moral issue dealing with the life and death of a human being. Let us not delude ourselves.

Last week, the New York Times published an editorial titled “Why Abortion is a Progressive Economic Issue.”

Prompted by chaos in the Democratic ranks over the issue of abortion, the article argued that because lower income women are more likely to choose abortion, and because economics are a strong consideration for women who choose to abort their children, one cannot separate the issue from other progressive economic issues. Other writers have echoed this sentiment, packaging abortion alongside things such as wealth redistribution and universal healthcare.

Source: Left Wants To Make Abortion An Economic Issue To Sideline Its Atrocities

A Gratuitous Assault on Religious Liberty is a choice, not an accident

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Sometimes I wonder, how could this happen? Why would it be this way?

There is an answer.

A leader, consciously decided, to make it happen. Someone is accountable.

That isn’t blame. That is reality.

Religious liberty is a choice of leadership. When it begins to disappear, a leader has decided to let it or make it happen.

It is not a mistake.

We need leaders who care about our constitution and our liberty.

It has to leave the reader wondering just why all of this has been necessary. Why has this become a heated political battle and a Supreme Court case? It’s hard to avoid one simple answer: It has happened this way because the Obama administration wanted it to. The president saw an advantage in going out of his way to spark a highly divisive cultural, political, and legal battle that leaves some of his fellow Americans with the sense that their most basic liberties are threatened rather than going out of his way to avoid it. He may feel justified in that view, in light of how that fight has gone. But that is no excuse.

Source: A Gratuitous Assault on Religious Liberty – Yuval Levin | National Review

Individual Cowardice Is Killing American Culture when the rules aren’t clear around men and women

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The rules used to be pretty clear and they were logical. Men couldn’t use a girls locker room. The man would be arrested. It just wouldn’t work.

Not so much anymore it seems. So we have basic questions with answers we need to agree on.

What is a man? What is a woman?

I used to think I knew. Oddly, I still do.

“Woman” defined as “adult human female; of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) which can be fertilized by male gametes.”

“Man” defined as “adult human male; of or denoting the sex that produces gametes, especially spermatozoa, with which a female may be fertilized or inseminated to produce offspring.”

I took biology, a long time ago. Are they still teaching this? I think so. I hope so.

Early this morning I was reading Rod Dreher’s blog at the American Conservative and stumbled across yet another dispatch from the utterly absurd bathroom wars. One of his New York City readers wrote in to say that her 14-year-old daughter had just finished dressing in a city locker room when a grown man stepped from the showers wearing only a towel. Girls as young as seven were present, and they were staring at the man with “concerned expressions.” The reader ends her e-mail with, “It sucks to be a parent these days.”

Source: Individual Cowardice Is Killing American Culture | National Review

Does religious freedom in Texas allow for goat sacrifice in neighborhood homes?

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Is our guarantee for religious freedom just for Christians, Muslims and Jews?

Most dominant religions in the United States think it’s all right to kill and eat goats but that you can’t do it in a residential neighborhood. But not all religions share that view.

José Merced moved to Euless, Texas, in 1990. A Santeria Oba Oriate, or priest, Merced had performed certain animal sacrifices essential to Santeria for 16 years. But in 2006, Euless said he had to stop. He sued the city on the grounds it had violated Texas’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Modern-day Santeria originated in Cuba and is a syncretism of Western African tribal religion and Roman Catholicism. It engages spirits called orishas through the use of life force that it gets, at times, via sacrificed animals. Its practitioners worship in the home — there are only a couple Santeria temples in the world and none of them are in the United States — and on special occasions such as ordination the worship calls for sacrifice of four-legged animals in addition to other animals.

This practice is in conflict with all sorts of generally accepted codes in Texas. Merced won his case in 2009.

Another victory for religious freedom in the United States.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” ~John F. Kennedy

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We live in a world that is changing very rapidly. We need to look ahead.

Where are we going? Is it the right direction? Is it going to take us off course? Is it where God wants us to go?

What God wants is the big thing. That is where the focus should go. Jesus will show us the way.

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” ~John F. Kennedy