Monday, November 29, 2010

Dangerous 'new' Dark Ages

Two national-security experts have issued a report through the Heritage Foundation that warns Obama administration officials to start working now to prevent – and mitigate the damage from – an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States because of the potential for "unimaginable devastation."

An EMP strike can easily obliterate America's electrical, telecommunications, transportation, financial, food,and water infrastructures, rendering the United States helpless to coordinate actions and deliver services essential for daily life.

But it would not stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Much of the world's intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the 'new' Dark Ages,"

A detonation over the middle of the continental U.S. has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.

It doesn't take a "high tech" machine to accomplish this, either.

A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. For example, an adversary would not have to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMP attack against the United States. Such an attack could be launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high altitude.

Terrorists sponsored by a rogue state could attempt to execute such an attack without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism, has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea.

Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States.

While we do not know the intention of Iran in conducting these activities, we are disturbed by the capability that emerges when we connect the dots.

What we could see is an attack would turn science fiction into reality.

Airplanes would literally fall from the sky, cars and trucks would stop working, and water, sewer, and electrical networks would fail. Food would rot, medical services would collapse, and transportation would become almost nonexistent.

What could happen already has been documented in the 1977 New York City blackout, although on a much smaller scale.

Two lightning strikes caused overloading in the electrical power substations of the Con Edison power company. These lighting strikes, the equivalent of a minuscule fraction of [EMP], caused the Indian Point power plant north of the city to fail, as well as the subsequent failure of the Long Island interconnection. … Failure of the Linden-Goethals 230,000-volt interconnection with New Jersey resulted in the protective devices removing overloaded lines, transformers, and cables from service.

As a result, a power failure spread throughout the New York area. This blackout lasted only one day, yet resulted in widespread looting and the breakdown of the rule of law throughout many New York neighborhoods. The estimated cost of the blackout was approximately $246 million, and nearly 3,000 people were arrested through the 26-hour period.

The blackout in New York City resulted in an immediate breakdown of the social order. The police were outmatched and had no chance of stopping such massive theft, largely having no choice but to stand by watching the looters from a distance.

In North Brooklyn, a community of more than a million residents, only 189 police officers were on duty.

In 2003, a blackout in Ohio, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Canada saw massive traffic jams and gridlock when people tried to get home without traffic lights.

Railways, airlines, gas stations, and oil refineries halted operations. Telephone lines were overwhelmed due to the high volume of calls. Overall, the blackout's economic impact was between $7 billion and $10 billion due to food spoilage, lost production, overtime wages.

A true EMP attack could prove even more severe.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is Marriage Becoming Obsolete?

A new study by the Pew Research Center indicates that 39 percent of Americans believe that marriage is becoming obsolete.
As noted in the “Executive Summary” of the study:
The transformative trends of the past 50 years that have led to a sharp decline in marriage and a rise of new family forms have been shaped by attitudes and behaviors that differ by class, age and race, according to a new Pew Research Center nationwide survey, done in association with TIME, complemented by an analysis of demographic and economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A new “marriage gap” in the United States is increasingly aligned with a growing income gap. Marriage, while declining among all groups, remains the norm for adults with a college education and good income but is now markedly less prevalent among those on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder. The survey finds that those in this less-advantaged group are as likely as others to want to marry, but they place a higher premium on economic security as a condition for marriage. This is a bar that many may not meet.
On the face of it, such an assertion—that economic security and marriage could be competing values—ought to be unthinkable in a culture worthy of the name. The marital union stands as the fundamental social unit as the bedrock of human civilization, and marriage is the normal context of the next most important level of community: the bond between parents and children. The bonds of husband and wife, father and mother and children, are the fundamental context of human existence, from which economic security is often a secondary benefit. When economics are placed in competition with marriage, the economic situation has gone dangerously awry.
I believe there are many reasons why this is happening, but fundamentally, a growing number of Americans simply do not believe in the authority of Scripture. They do not believe the Bible is true or relevant today. This is directly responsible for the breakdown in biblical values. For a hundred years liberal scholars have undermined Scripture and the Living God by first casting subtle doubt on the historicity of the Bible, beginning with Genesis. This is key in understanding where we are today
After decades of liberals mocking foundational truths, such as the God-instituted “one-man for one-woman” concept, we no longer know who we are.  God designed men and women to complement each other in every way and thus produce children and inhabit the earth. This was His mandate.

But the Genesis accounts of origins and early human history have been rendered unbelievable (which I find unbelievable) by God-hating critics, who present themselves as earnest, sincere truth seekers. In fact, they are God-haters who want everyone else to share their diabolical worldview. Many other examples could be cited of these competing worldviews. Look at
Ephesians 5:25:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…”
If our culture believed that the Bible is true, you would see healthy marriages everywhere, instead of the train wrecks that are commonplace in our homes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the everwatchful providence of almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United Stated States to be affixed.
—President Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863
Reprinted from the National Park Service.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

When God Blesses Others

When Saul observed that David was very successful, he dreaded him.—1 Samuel 18:15

Jealousy is a destructive attitude that poisons the way you view life. It is so harmful that God condemned coveting in two of the Ten Commandments. King Saul was a jealous and insecure man. He had been elevated to the highest position in Israel. He had been blessed in numerous ways. But Saul saw that David was gaining the attention and praise of the Israelites. The Israelites recognized Saul's accomplishments, but they also praised David, whom God was using to accomplish even more (1 Sam. 18:7). Rather than rejoicing that God had empowered another to defeat their enemies, Saul became murderously jealous and sought to destroy David.

Jealousy is an abomination in the life of a Christian. God has made us His children. None of us deserves to be God's child, so there is no need to compare our blessings with those of other children of God. Jealousy is self-centeredness at its worst. Jealousy robs us of joy and chokes out contentment. Jealousy hardens the heart and stifles gratitude. Jealousy assumes that God's resources are too limited for Him to bless another and still bless us.

Saul grew so preoccupied with his jealousy toward David that he neglected important things, bringing suffering and pain upon his people. Because of his jealousy, Saul's family was destroyed.

Watch over your heart! If you find yourself unable to rejoice in the success of others, beware! Do not let jealousy taint your heart. Repent before it robs you of any more of the joy and contentment God desires for you. When you are tempted to compare your success in life to that of another, ask God to remind you of all the ways He has blessed you undeservedly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Plastic toy pig was removed from a children’s farmyard set..What did you say?

I came across this article from the UK.
A plastic toy pig was removed from a children’s farmyard set by the Early Learning Centre (ELC) for fear of offending Muslims and Jews.
ELC’s HappyLand Goosefeather Farm set included a chicken, a horse, a cow and a sheep, as well as a pig sty. But no pig was included.
When one mother complained to ELC, she was told it had been removed because of “customer feedback and religious reasons”. Islam and Judaism are among the faiths which view pigs as unclean.

Ridiculous You Say?

The decision has drawn fire from a lot of mothers. One mother who bought the Farmyard set for her daughter’s birthday, exclaimed: “Surely if someone has issue with a toy that they don’t agree with, then don’t buy it!”
Other mothers have expressed their disbelief on the internet forum netmums, calling ELC’s move “ridiculous”, and “madness”.
Muslim mums on the site questioned why the pig had ever been removed.

Why was it Banned?

A Muslim mum named Safiyyah said “its just another animal” and she asked whether characters such as Peppa Pig would be banned.
She said the solution was “simple”; if you don’t want the toy pig, don’t buy the product, or take the pig out.
Another mother, who said she was part of a “muslim household”, commented that it is “up to the parent” whether children play with the pig or not.

So What Happens Now?

The ELC has now responded to media coverage of the story by deciding to “reinstate the pig and to no longer sell the set in international markets where it might create an issue.”
The company says any customers who have bought the set recently can now get a free toy pig from the ELC website.
I wonder when we will see that happening here in America?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are the Muslims dictating our civil rights?

The Islamist attacks on America began before 9/11/2001. We were introduced to metal detectors at airports and security checks were becoming routine. All because of Muslims who insisted on attacking air travel to kill the infidels. Since 9/11, the rights of every American citizen have been restricted because of what the government wants us to believe is a handful of radical Muslims.

It has been said many times that the Muslim terrorists needed to be right only once, and American security wrong only once for there to be a major terrorist disaster.

How much money do you think the Muslim religion has cost the American taxpayer. Further, how much of our civil rights loss has been due to the Muslim religion. 

Now, in the news, the government has come up with what it calls “Backscatter” technology that uses low doses of radiation to create a naked image of those traveling on airplanes. This is what the government believes is an acceptable way to scan prospective air passengers for explosives or other materials that could cause death on an aircraft. The government says the radiation is safe, but who is to trust the government these days? Some believe there are health risks associated with these machines.

If one does not want to experience the naked body scan complete with the extra radiation with unknown future side effects, one can submit to a so-called “pat down.” This “pat down” includes a government official groping your genitals. If you refuse such a groping, it is likely you will not be permitted to fly and you are susceptible to civil fines of up to $10,000 according to Transportation Safety Administration policies. The Airlines can refuse to transport you if you refuse to permit a search of person or property by the TSA. You agree to this as part of the terms and conditions of purchasing an air travel ticket. In other words, you give up your Constitutional right of privacy and of unwarranted search and seizure.

In Genesis 16:12, an angel of the Lord describes Ishmael, the son of Abraham that the Muslims claim as their connection to God. The angel says, “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” 

This prophecy is true today because most everywhere in the world there is trouble, Islam is associated with it. 

Yet, when you see ll of the news, it is the Muslims who protest the loudest about airport restrictions on their religious rights. I

One wonders why they would not protest so vigorously against terrorism.

Friday, November 12, 2010

‘We need to stand up and say, 'No to Shariah.'’

 From Jewish World News - By Diana West

The contents of the following article could very well happen here in America in the next few months if we don't wake up!
When Barack Obama spoke in Mumbai about "the different meanings" of jihad, he set up us up again for the Big Lie: "I think," the 44th president said, sounding much like the 43rd president, "all of us recognize that this great religion in the hands of a few extremists has been distorted to justify violence toward innocent people that is never justified."
All -- all -- of the sacred books and schools of Islam say differently. Every, single one. The fact is - not the fantasy -- there is no distortion of Islamic texts required to justify the violence of jihad from Mumbai to Tel Aviv to New York City to Bali to Madrid and beyond. But we, dhimmi-citizens of an Islamizing world, are not supposed to notice the links between the violence and the faith, the faith and the law, the law and the violence -- and certainly not say so out loud. Most people don't. Increasingly, this state of denial is enforced by actual states of denial - the most recent example being Austria, which, in a trial on Nov. 23, will attempt to use "hate speech" laws to send Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff to prison for as long as three years for statements about Islam very similar to those I've just written.
The Viennese mother and housewife originally approached the subject of Islam from her unique background that includes a childhood stint in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979 when her diplomat-father was stationed there; and her own work experience with Austrian embassies in both Kuwait at the time of the Iraqi invasion in 1990, and Libya, on 9/11 ("The Jews did it!" Elisabeth's Libyan landlord shouted at her that same day).
She studied the Islamic texts and commentaries, the apologetics and the critiques. Empowered by her natural right to free speech, she decided to educate others in her native Austria about the Koran, about Islamic law (Shariah), in seminars she offered under the auspices of the pro-Western-civilization think tank Wiener Akademikerbund (Association of Vienna Academics). Contracted by the anti-Islamization Freedom Party (FPO) in 2008, Sabaditsch-Wolff has been educating Austrians about Islam ever since.
"The groups were very small at first, sometimes as few as five or six people" she recently told me. "Later on, the numbers rose to 35." Last fall, one attendee in particular seemed "overly enthusiastic about the topic," Elisabeth recalls. She turned out to be a journalist who would brand the seminar a "hate school" in a sensational story for NEWS, a left-wing publication.
"It causes a huge uproar among the establishment," Elisabeth says, although now that her trial approaches Austrian media are silent. "Bishops, rabbis, politicians, all of whom had never attended any of my seminars and knew nothing of the content, were asked to weigh in and condemn me. The bishop said, `One must never speak about any religion the way Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff did about Islam.' This was especially painful for me."
Elisabeth's husband, a military surgeon, is very supportive of her. "My mother had to come to terms with her daughter being maligned in the media," she says. "My sister has cocooned herself and believes the NEWS story rather than confronting reality. My father, who has attended all of my seminars, knows the truth and supports me 100 percent."
Of course, when she enters that Vienna courtroom, she will face the state alone. "The thought that the state -- a state that I love very much and that I represented proudly all my life -- is prosecuting me for thoughts is a painful one. It is hard to understand that I should have to stand trial for thoughts that are not only based on experience but are the product of careful study of the texts that make up Islam." But Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is also standing trial for her courage, which threatens all states of denial. "It is interesting to note that once the topic is raised, most friends out themselves as feeling the exact same way I do, however, there is fear. They do not want to become active out of fear for losing their jobs (which is a very real possibility) or getting hurt by some Muslim wacko. My response is always, `Fear is the wrong feeling here. We need to stand up and say, No to Shariah, gender apartheid, theocracy, parallel legal systems.' "By the way," she adds. "I am being charged for saying all of this!"
I don't know who follows my blog, or if any body does, but I wonder when I will be told I can't voice my opinion, on "certain" topics. Maybe you need to wonder the same things, wether you agree or not. "Think about it!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What Are We Really Doing Today?

Rather than discuss the nature and threat of Islamic supremacism, the Western media, Western political leaders and academics deny it --- and believing Christian and Jews are paying the price.
Caroline Glick has an interesting article in the Jewish World Review that I would like to do some quoting from. “Years from now,” she says, “when historians seek an overarching concept to define our times, they could do worse than refer to it as the Age of Dissimulation.” 
It seems that today, those who are suppose to be in the know are trying to figure out ways how they can hide reality from themselves and you and I as well.
On Sunday, John Brennan spoke on Fox News about the latest attempted Islamic terrorist attack on American soil.
Since the Obama administration has barred US officials from referring to terrorists as terrorists and effectively barred US officials from acknowledging that Islamic terrorists are Muslims, Brennan simply referred to the Islamic terrorists in Yemen who tried to send bombs to synagogues in Chicago as "individuals."
Today, practically, the only individuals willing to speak honestly about who Islamic supremacists are and what they want are the Islamic supremacists themselves.
Rather than discuss the nature and threat of Islamic supremacism, the Western media along with nearly all Western political leaders and academics deny and dissimulate. Rather than address the threat, they accept the Islamic line and blame Israel for everything bad that happens in the world. 
One could say that the fear of Islamic terrorism fuels some of this behavior. But fear can't be the full explanation. Most Westerners have no contact with Muslims. And Islamic terrorist attacks in the West are not a daily occurrence.
The West's newfound obsession with Islamophobia probably also has something to do with it. Western elites are terrified of being accused of racism. This is particularly true when — as is the case with Islamophobia — the charge is leveled on behalf of people who were oppressed in the past by Westerners.
But while fear of the charge of Islamophobia does play a role in Western kowtowing to Islamic supremacists, the West's aversion to the perception that it is oppressing those it once oppressed fails to provide an adequate explanation for its willingness to collaborate with Islamic supremacist attempts to blot out Jewish history. The West's history of oppressing Jews is far bloodier and longer than its record of oppressing Muslims.
Caroline goes on to say, In the end, there is only one credible explanation for the West's willingness to lie about the nature and goals of Islamic supremacism. There is only one credible explanation for the West's willingness to collaborate with Islamic supremacists as they purge the historical record of the Jewish roots of Western civilization. There is only one explanation for the West's willingness to accept the Islamic supremacist assertion that Israel is to blame for Islamic aggression against Jews and Christians alike.
But if I mention anti-Semitism, I will be attacked as a paranoid Jew.

Monday, November 8, 2010

“What is going on in the world?”

Someone asked me the other day this question “What is going on in the world?” In our conversation, here are some of the things that were discussed, not necessarily in the order they appear.
It seems like the world has turned upside down. / People seem to be given over to the lusts of the flesh and pleasures of this life. / What has happened to the virtues of honesty, decency and hard work? / Where has common sense gone? / It seems that the entire world has turned against Israel. /The world is becoming more and more like Sodom and Gomorrah. / Everything seems to be going in a global direction, from economics to education. / Many countries are in financial trouble. / Multitudes all over the world are finding fewer jobs available. / Many are losing their homes. / Every time a person goes on the Internet–where they go, what they do, and what they say on any site or in any email—is permanently recorded and can be accessed in microseconds. / More and more devices to monitor you are being installed worldwide. 
And I am thinking, WOW, what a discussion!
And, with few exceptions, no matter where you go, you are being watched and recorded. Much of the reporting by the news-media is not objective, and often news concerning issues of importance go unreported. More and more earthquakes are occurring. Occasionally, new diseases are appearing. 
Knowledge and technology are increasing at an incredible rate. Terrorism is spreading at an alarming rate. 
I wonder if there might be any place in the world one can go and be 100% sure they will be safe? 
We see in our country, the United States of America, that we are going in the direction of more control over people’s lives and businesses; and our individual freedoms are declining. Often statistics that are published are misleading, violating the public trust. The name of the game that is going on is control and deception. 
The Bible says that a world dictator will come on the scene soon, but before this happens, many of the things listed above are going to get worse, even as those in authority may tell you things are getting better. 
So what can we do? Bring forth God’s Word and prepare the people to meet Jesus; but few will listen, even as it was in the days of Noah. Few believed the flood would come.. The fact that few believed the flood would come, did not stop it from happening. Things are going to get worse, but God’s Word is always correct.
 Much of what is happening has been foretold in God’s Word. While many are upset about these and other things, the informed, born-again Christian knows what is happening. He knows that an event in the Bible called the Translation or being “caught up” (or the Rapture, as many call it) is getting closer and closer. Few will be taken, and many will be left behind, crying out, “Lord, open to us!” 
Many of the things mentioned here are mentioned in the Bible, as events that would take place after Israel’s rebirth. The Bible clearly states that Israel would be reborn as a nation. That was the event that revealed we had entered in the latter days. It happened May 14, 1948. Within a generation of that event, a multitude of prophecies would be fulfilled, including the Rapture. A generation “may” perhaps be 70 years (Ps 90:10). Some believe it could be longer. 
Of the 365 prophecies that the Bible tells us would take place, 364 are solidly in place. Several of these prophecies that are listed have to do with born–again churches and the Bible. 
The Bible clearly states that is the last days, there would be a "falling away." Religious persecutions would increase, for those that let their light shine for Jesus. The Bible predicted that the people of the world would no longer want sound doctrine, but they would want to hear what their itching ears wanted to hear. Sin would increase more and more. Yes, things have greatly changed in the last few years, but 100% of the changes are in perfect harmony with what God’s Word has told us.

And so, as you read this, where do you stand?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is there really a Sharia threat?

This past week saw several things happening. In the midst of the voting, for new control of the government, there was also a vote on Islamic law in our courts.
Voters in Oklahoma have decided to ensure that Islamic Sharia law cannot gain a foothold in their state courts.
The vote came in a night of drama in the US midterm elections, in which the state of California also rejected moves to legalise cannabis.
Oklahoma voters gave a resounding ‘no’ to Sharia, with 70 per cent backing Republican Rex Duncan’s move to ban state courts from using international or Sharia law.A Muslim civil rights activist is suing the state of Oklahoma over its new voter-approved measure banning Islamic law, also known as Sharia, and international law from the state's courts.
Muneer Awad, director of the state's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), charges that the law violates the First Amendment's ban on the government establishing religion. Awad also argues that the law stigmatizes Muslims by singling out Islam for the ban and no other religion, and that the perceived threat of Sharia overtaking state law does not actually exist.One law professor told CNN the law is a "mess" that will cause a confusing tangle in the courts.
"Many of us who understand the law are scratching our heads this morning, laughing so we don't cry," University of Oklahoma law professor Rick Tepker said after the measure passed with 70 percent of the vote. "I would like to see Oklahoma politicians explain if this means that the courts can no longer consider the Ten Commandments. Isn't that a precept of another culture and another nation? The result of this is that judges aren't going to know when and how they can look at sources of American law that were international law in origin."
CAIR argues that the language of this law is so sweeping it may "prevent Oklahoma courts from implementing international agreements, honoring international arbitrations, honoring major international human rights treaties, [and] honoring marriages and divorces from other countries."
So what is Sharia Law? Islam
Sharia (Arabic شريعة Šarīʿa[ʃaˈriːʕa], "way" or "path") is the sacred law of Islam.Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crimepolitics and economics, as well as personal matters such assexualityhygiene, diet, prayer, and fasting. Where it enjoys official status, Sharia is applied by Islamic judges, or qadis. The imamhas varying responsibilities depending on the interpretation of Sharia; while the term is commonly used to refer to the leader of communal prayers, the imam may also be a scholar, religious leader or political leader.
So is there a Sharia threat?
There has never been a case of Sharia law "infiltrating" Oklahoma courts, but believers in the Sharia threat point to a single case in New Jersey that was later overturned. In that 2009 ruling, a New Jersey judge refused to grant a restraining order to a wife whose husband forced sex on her. The decision favored the husband's argument that the expectation that his wife would have sex with him "was consistent with his [religious] practices."
An appeals court overturned the judge's decision, citing the Supreme Court precedent set in a case in which a Mormon man was not allowed to have multiple wives because U.S. law trumps religious belief. All courts are bound by that precedent.
But the abrogation of the New Jersey decision hasn't stopped Oklahoma lawmakers from believing they need to make sure Sharia law doesn't gain a foothold  in their state. The case has also fueled the lucrative cottage industry of conservative pundits who warn about a Sharia threat in the country.
"The fact that Sharia law was even considered anywhere in the United States is enough for me," Oklahoma state senator Anthony Sykes told CNN. "It should scare anyone that any judge in America would consider using that as precedent."
Judges do occasionally reference international law in their decisions, the Wall Street Journal points out. In the Supreme Court's review of Washington's ban on assisted suicide, for example, "Chief Justice William Rehnquist cited court decisions from Australia, Britain, Canada, Colombia and New Zealand," the Journal notes.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said that cases from international law are of course not binding on any U.S. judge, but "they can add to the store of knowledge relevant to the solution of trying questions."
The rise of Sharia fears
The liberal blog Thinkprogress notes that fears of Sharia law used to be on the fringes of the conservative movement, but more recent alarms over the alleged Sharia threat from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich have helped bring the issue into the mainstream. Protests against mosques around the country were on the rise this summer.
In September, Frank Gaffney, president of the nonprofit Center for Security Policy, released a report calledSharia: The Threat to America, arguing that radical Muslims are trying to institute Sharia in this country.
Brannon Wheeler, history professor and director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the United States Naval Academy, told The Tennessean newspaper that Gaffney's report is misleading.
"He makes the Sharia look absurd and insidious by trolling through and finding outrageous rulings and then making them universal for all time," Wheeler said. "It's ridiculous."
Wheeler also said Sharia comes from scholars' interpretations of the Quran, and thus is not one set code of law that applies to every Muslim.
"There's no text that is entitled 'The Sharia,' " Wheeler said. "It's not a code of law. It's not like you could go to the library and get the 12 volumes of Sharia law."
Proponents of a ban on Sharia point to horrifying judicial decisions in fundamentalist Muslim countries as reason enough. For example, judges in the United Arab Emirates recently ruled that men may physically "discipline" wives and children so long as they don't leave visible marks. Still, Western societies that permit Sharia among Muslim communities haven't opened any evident window to a threatened Islamic takeover. TheUK Daily Mail reports that Britain recognizes Islamic courts as forums for "community disputes involving minor disagreements or matters not considered appropriate for conventional legal measures."
Of Oklahoma's 3.7 million residents, about 15,000 are Muslim, and Muslims make up less than 1 percent of the total U.S. population.
Can our constitutional law that we have here in America and Sharia law co-exist? I don't think so

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Day After - What May It Bring In The Next Two Years?

After watching President Obamas press conference, one can wonder if he really understands what happened yesterday in this mid-term election. As the question was asked of him by one reporter, "do you really get it?"
And could the way that this administration has handled the "Middle East" conflict, be the reason our country is in the mess it is in right now?
As in the words of Fox News, "We report, you decide!"
And than the Republican's victory in the House of Representatives seems to leaves many in Israel (according to the news headlines today) wondering whether President Barack Obama's stymied domestic agenda will encourage him to concentrate more on foreign policy, including the Middle East peace process.
So than where does this election leave us today?
The Republicans are expected to take a tougher stance on Iran and put pressure on the Obama administration to be easier on Israel. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), who is expected to become House Majority Leader and thus the highest ranking Jewish member of the House, told Haaretz last week that a “[Republican] Congress would have a tangible impact on improving the U.S.-Israel relationship."
The system of checks and balances which seemed to be non-existence in the past two years, will most likely permit congress to apply oversight to the administration’s foreign policy. If they can regain the majority, they will use the larger platform to make the case that a strong Israel is firmly in the strategic and moral interests of the United States. We could very well see the administration, in the next two years backing down from pressuring Israel into making concessions that will compromise Israel’s already tenuous security.
America's largest pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC, today hailed the results of midterm elections in the U.S. which saw staunch supporters re-elected to Congress on both sides of the party political divide.
Here is I think what we see:
Many of the strongest friends and supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship were reelected on Tuesday.
These included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Reps. John Boehner (R-OH), widely tipped to be named Republican majority leader in the lower House of Representatives, which his party seized from Democratic control.
Other pro-Israel successes cited by AIPAC included outgoing House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as well as Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
"It is abundantly clear that the 112th Congress will continue America's long tradition of staunch support for a strong, safe and secure Israel and an abiding friendship between the United States and our most reliable ally in the Middle East," AIPAC said.
Israel's Washington embassy also expressed satisfaction with the results.
"Support for Israel at the Congress is strong and bipartisan,” an embassy spokesman told Haaretz.
AIPAC also welcomed the election of three new Jewish members of Congress: Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Congressman-elect David Cicilline (D-RI), and Congresswoman-elect Nan Hayworth (R-NY).
Cicilline becomes the fourth openly gay member of Congress – and third Jewish gay member of Congress.
Some Jewish incumbents lost out, however – among them Florida Democrat Alan Grayson, who ran a controversial campaign in which he labeled his opponent, Daniel Webster, “Taliban Dan”. Another incumbent, Ron Klein lost to the republican Allen West, in Florida.
In Wisconsin, Republicans picked up two seats, ousting Jewish Democratic incumbent, Steve Kagen, who lost to Reid Ribble. Another Jewish Congressman to leave the House is John Adler of New Jersey.
Jewish vote
According to an election day poll by J Street, another lobby group that sees itself as AIPAC's more liberal rival, 66 percent of U.S. Jews voted Democrat.
Only 7 percent of Jews polled identified Israel as a decisive issue, with 62 percent citing the economy and 31 percent mentioning healthcare as a major concern.
Sixty percent of U.S. Jews approved of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job, while 53 percent approved of the way he is handling the Arab-Israeli conflict.
A decisive 83 percent of American Jews supported an active U.S. role in resolving the conflict. Seventy-one percent supported a U.S. policy involving “publicly stating disagreements with” Israel and the Palestinians, while 65 percent said they were prepared to see America "exert pressure” on the sides to push them toward peace.
The poll, conducted by conducted by Gerstein Agne Strategic Communications, surveyed 1000 Jewish voters across the U.S. and 600 Jewish voters in Pennsylvania on the evening of November 2nd. A separate poll, conducted before the election from October 20-24, surveyed 400 voters in Illinois’ Ninth Congressional District. 
John Boehner (R-Ohio), expected to be the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, is considered to be pro-Israel, despite recent criticism by Jewish Democrats for his support of Tea Party candidate Rich Iott who used to participate in reenactions of World War II battles wearing a Nazi officer uniform.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) is expected to replace Howard Berman (D-California) as the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ros-Lehtinen is one of the most active House members on the issues related to Israel. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vatican synod calls for end to Israel’s ‘occupation’

In a press conference at the Vatican, Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, a Greek Melkite archbishop from Boston and president of the Church’s Commission for the Message, launched a blistering attack against the very foundation of Jewish belief.
“The Holy Scriptures,” Bustros declared, “cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.”
Not stopping there, he went on to state that “we Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people... There is no longer a chosen people.”
One cannot help but wonder: What Bible is the Vatican reading? Whichever one it is, it must be missing a few pages, as even a cursory glance at the Scriptures makes clear that the Jewish people’s right to the Land of Israel is indisputably ordained.
Take, for example, Isaiah 14:1-2: “The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again He will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land.” Or how about Jeremiah 11:5, where God says: “I will fulfill the oath I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey...” And then there’s Ezekiel 34: 11-13. And Hosea 3:4-5. And Amos 9:14-15. And Obadiah 1:17, Zephaniah 3:19-20 and Zechariah 8:7-8.
But somewhere along the line the Catholic Church just does not get it. Then, the Vatican spokesman waited two days before issuing a mealy-mouthed statement which did little to calm the storm. His statement is as follows, “If one wants a summary of the synod’s position, attention must currently be paid to the ‘Message,’ which is the only written text approved by the synod in the last few days,” the Vatican’s Father Federico Lombardi said. “There is also a great richness and variety in the contributions made by the fathers, but which as such should not all be considered as the voice of the synod as a whole.”
No matter what they say, there is no getting around the fact that this convocation of bishops was called by the pope himself. The perception around the world seems that the Vatican had officially delegitimized Israel while assaulting Judaism itself. 
As the Catholic writer William Doino Jr. noted: “In a statement meant to be fully and intensely Christian, Israel was singled out for blame and criticism. That’s not fair, much less Christian.”
Indeed, this entire episode is little more than a cheap bit of politics wrapping itself in the robes of religion. Bustros and his colleagues clearly have a political ax to grind with the Jewish state, and they shamefully do not hesitate to invoke the sacred for this most profane of goals.
No one can or will find the words “Palestine” and “Palestinians” in the New Testament. So the learned bishops could not have come up with the idea of the “occupation of Palestine” while attending Sunday school.
The founder of Christianity would also have to be considered an “occupier” and a “settler,” for according to Christian belief, Jesus the Jew was born and raised in Bethlehem, the very same Bethlehem that Bustros would now like to see become part of a Palestinian state.
If this unbridled insult and hatred to Israel and the Jewish people is allowed to stand and not denounced and corrected soon, more of the Israel’s enemies will stir more hatred.
To go one step further, and given the Catholic Church’s long and dark history of anti-Jewish persecution, it is only fitting that the pope himself speak out loudly and clearly on this issue. 
One again wonders how this would take place when on this date 45 years ago, on October 28, 1965, that the Second Vatican Council approved a document known as Nostra Aetate, which heralded a sea change in the Church’s position toward Jews. 
When it comes to its attitude toward the Jews, the church still has a long way to go.