2014

2014 In Review By

Kenneth M. Axelson

Introduction

As the world and the United States careen at ‘warp speed’ to an uncertain destination, 2014 opened with a flurry of in-flight scandals and controversies that dwarf similar issues of all bygone administrations, of which a partial list follows…

  • 2013 IRS Scandal
  • Guantanamo Bay Detainment Scandal / Controversy
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Scandal
  • 2009 U. S. Dinner Security Breech
  • 2014 America-led intervention in Iraq
  • 2014 military intervention against ISIS
  • 2013 Benghazi Attack
  • Ebola Outbreak Scandal
  • Bowe Berdahl Prisoner Exchange Controversy
  • Charles Freeman Appointment Controversy
  • Veteran Health Care Debacle
  • President Obama’s Propensity to golf rather than business
  • Department of Justice unwillingness prosecute illegal aliens
  • Harry Reed’s unwillingness to even vote on House-passed bills

 

This list could continue for pages, but for no purpose.  The following text will delve into some, mindful of the need for brevity.  The partial list should remind the reader that Barack Obama pledged transparency at the outset of his administration, but has demonstrated the complete opposite of his commitment.  I once thought that the shame Bill Clinton thrust on the office of President was incomparable, but the disgrace Barack Obama and his administration have showered on America exceeds my wildest imagination.

 

Phil Everly’s Death

The January 3, 2014 news reported the death of Phil Everly at seventy-four from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  He wrote and arranged many of the top Country, Pop and Rhythm and Blues songs he and his older brother Don recorded as the Everly Brothers in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.  The brother’s combination of clean-cut vocals and the rockabilly strum and twang of their guitars was a magnetic attraction to many listeners of that era.  The brothers brought tradition, rather than rebellion to teenagers through Appalachian harmonies rooted in gospel and blue-grass, serving as models for the next generations of rock vocal harmonies such as the Beatles, Linda Ronstadt, Simon and Garfunkel and many others who recorded their songs and tried to emulate their precise, ringing vocal alchemy.  Being reared in a common family taught them to pronounce and accent words alike, which made their unique style difficult to replicate.  Phil Everly’s death was almost a prophetic statement of the losses the ‘Baby-boomers’ would experience in 2014.

There is a tragic twist in the success of this dynamic duo, and that is a spirit of division estranged these brothers for many years.  Tension between the brothers started in childhood, when they were expected to perform together.  The first evidence appeared in a 1960 British tour when Don had a nervous breakdown from prescription drugs.  While they performed as a duo, each dreamed of a solo career.  The dispute erupted in a 1973 California concert when Phil showed up drunk and purposely sang off key.  The audience booed, which prompted Phil to break his guitar, utter a sarcastic comment and walk off the stage.  Don regretfully announced the duo’s break-up, tried to proceed solo, but realized the futility and ended the show.  While the brothers were on speaking terms before Phil’s death, unresolved issues remained between them.  I open with this story as an example of how destructive the spirit of division is.

Russia Invades Crimea

The Friday, February 28th headline news told of Russian troops marching into Crimea accompanied by heavy weapons, together with Russian transport planes landing in Crimea with unknown cargo.  Crimean officials publically accused Russia of an armed invasion of a sovereign state, grabbing the global community’s attention.  President Obama delivered pious platitudes suggesting concern, but Russian President Vladimir Putin gave no regard for President Obama’s comments, claiming the Russian military action was needed to support ethnic Russians in Crimea.

Here we see the spirit of division at work once again, but on a larger scale.  Much of western Ukraine prefers closer ties to the European Union, while eastern and southern regions look to Russia for support.

The Russian military action followed three months of internal Ukrainian anti-government protests that led to pro-Russian Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych’s hasty departure, he claimed, due to threats against his family.  Ukraine’s prosecutor-general’s office said they sought Yanukovych’s extradition to Ukraine where he is wanted on suspicion of mass murder in violent clashes earlier in February between protestors and police, in which over eighty people died.  The plot thickened as Swiss prosecutors investigated Victor Yanukovych and his son Alexander on suspicion of money laundering while Geneva police searched and seized evidence from Alexander Yanukovych’s company.  Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein all froze assets Yanukovych and his entourage might have in those countries.

Crimea is a southeastern province of Ukraine with semi-autonomous status.  It was seized by Russian forces in the Eighteenth Century under Catherine the Great, and became the crown jewel of first Russian and then Soviet entities.  Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimean jurisdiction from Russia to Ukraine in 1954, where it remained until the Soviet Union collapse in 1991, when it became part of the independent Ukraine.  The disposition of Crimea and Ukraine hung in the balance throughout 2014 with most believing that Russia’s move would not be reversed and Putin’s intent was to rebuild the former Soviet Union.

Missing Malaysian Airliner

On March 8, 2014, two hundred twenty-seven passengers from fourteen countries and twelve crew boarded an ill-fated Malaysian Airline Boeing 777-200 Flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.  Most of the passengers were Asian, but some were American, Australian or European.  While the intended destination was Beijing, most were unaware they would be an integral part of an airline mystery.

Flight MH370 took off on time, climbed to its normal cruising altitude of 35,000 feet and remained on radar for approximately two hours after take-off.  About one minute before MH370 should have entered Vietnam’s air traffic control, it disappeared.  Authorities concluded it was either high jacked or crashed.  The radar track air traffic control had showed that the plane did alter its course, but the loss of tracking data from the plane suggested the plane was high jacked by someone experienced in Boeing 777 architecture, which could disable specific equipment manually at a predetermined time.  The lethargic response by Malaysian authorities cost search and rescue team’s valuable time looking in wrong locations.  Searchers repositioned their efforts to the South Indian Ocean with no questions ever answered.

Retired Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney theorized the Jumbo Jet landed in western Pakistan due to covert involvement by the pilot, co-pilot, or both for sinister purposes.  While the actual fuel onboard MH370 is not known, the maximum fuel tank capacity would allow it to fly to Pakistan without refueling.  He explained that while there is no radar track of MH370 over India or Pakistan, it could have shadowed Singapore Flight 68 undetected by its crew and invisible to radar.

While no officials in any country gave this possibility any credibility, Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney has not turned from his theory.  Captured, but unpublished data from Rolls Royce engines, Boeing and United States Intelligence suggests that officials know more than they are telling, prompting the abandonment of the search.  Of interesting note, a number of Libyan airliners disappeared in August 2014; the reported number varied from seven to nine, but anticipating a possible terrorist attack on September 11th, authorities gave the number of passenger jets that could be used for destructive purposes at ten, including MH370 in the count.

Questionable Prisoner Exchange

President Obama faced bipartisan criticism after authorizing the controversial exchange of twenty-eight-year-old Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five high-value Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba May 31, 2014.  Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan under questionable circumstances in June of 2009 and remained in Taliban captivity until the exchange.  Mounting evidence suggests he deserted his post to join with the Taliban, endangering the lives of other troops dispatched to search for him, but there is no reported plan to prosecute.  Following the exchange, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl spent six weeks in debriefing, therapy and counseling as an outpatient at the Fort Sam Houston Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, before returning to a desk job at the base’s North Headquarters.

President Obama’s involvement in this situation stands in stark contrast to his failure to even call Mexico on behalf of Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi held in a Mexican prison after mistakenly driving into Mexico with guns in his car.  While the President of the United States should not be required to explain every action in international affairs, the dots just do not connect on President Obama’s actions in these two international diplomatic events.

Israel and Hamas in Gaza

Hamas kidnapped three Israeli teenage boys from a refugee camp June 12 2014.  Israel quickly initiated an unsuccessful rescue effort, and then dispatched forty battalions that arrested and detain three hundred fifty Hamas West Bank leaders for questioning.  This resolved nothing, cost five Palestinians their lives and only served to anger Hamas and elevate tension in the region, lighting the fuse for a more engaged campaign.  It is unlikely Hamas ever intended to release the boys unharmed, as the boy’s bound bodies were found June 30th in a field north-west of Hebron.  Forensic evidence suggested they were killed shortly after their abduction.  The Israeli searchers found numerous tunnels from the West Bank into Israel Hamas used for sinister purposes, which Israel destroyed and/or sealed over the next few weeks.  Finding themselves on the losing side of this conflict, Hamas began indiscriminate rocket-fire from Gaza into Israel.  As a protective measure, Israeli forces restricted travel from Gaza into Hebron, which barred approximately twenty-three thousand Palestinians from their jobs.  Commentators speculated that the kidnapping was retaliation for the death of a Palestinian by an Israeli border-crossing guard.  Palestinians disputed the Israeli contention that the man had charged the soldier with a metal pole, and the matter remained unresolved, as far as Hamas was concerned.  Another possibility is that Hamas used this incident as a trial balloon for a plan to trade Israeli abductees for the release of approximately five thousand Muslim Brotherhood prisoners held in Israel.

Frustrated by perceived lack of response, Israeli and Palestinian citizens both resorted to vigilante, retaliatory violence, which brought comments from many countries condemning the conduct contributing to the escalating tension.  The Hamas’ technique was to position their rocket launchers at hospitals, schools and civilian facilities purposely to maximize civilian casualties in any Israeli retaliatory measures, setting the stage for liberal, anti-Semitic news to emphasize civilian deaths and injuries caused by Israelis.  The Lord allowed Israel the skill and resources to build their “Iron Dome’ system to destroy incoming enemy rockets.  Israel also put a marine blockade off Gaza to diminish weapons and supplies from reaching Hamas.  The unfortunate collateral affect was to stop food and medical supplies from reaching Palestinian civilians.  The mistake Hamas made in this offensive was to use similar offensives against Egypt, which pressured Hamas to end their offensive.  It must be stated that the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood objective is to kill all Jews and destroy Israel, but Scripture affirms that they will not succeed!  You see, Israel and specifically Jerusalem is Holy Real Estate to the Lord, which He included in the Land Covenant He made with the Jews…

Deuteronomy 30:1-10 (KJV)

And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

(2)  And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;

(3)  That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

(4)  If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:

(5)  And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

(6)  And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

(7)  And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.

(8)   And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.

(9)  And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers  (10)  If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

The Lord made this Covenant with Moses, as the earthly, corporate representative of the Lord’s chosen people at that time.  Although the Land Covenant is unconditional.

Moses spoke prophetically about Israel’s disobedience, which would lead to a scattering of the Israeli people from the homeland for a limited block of time (Deuteronomy 28:63–68).

The Jews rejected each person of the Godhead.’  In the days of the Judges, they rejected God the Father (1 Samuel 8:7).

, during Jesus’ Incarnation, they rejected God the Son (Luke 23:18).

and in the days of Stephen they rejected God the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51, 54–60).

While mankind is fickle, the Lord is faithful and the Land Covenant remains intact.  The Lord made a poignant comment to Moses concerning the Land He gave to Jacob’s/Israel’s descendants…

The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me Leviticus 25:23 (KJV)

This prohibition includes gifts, trades, acts of war, forfeiture and all forms of political appropriation.  Some Bible students believe the Lord fulfilled this Covenant during Solomon’s reign, but Israel forfeited the gift when they divided because of sin and the respective parts conquered.  That is just not the case.  No one except Israel’s descendants have any claim to the land of Israel, period.  This would exclude Arab Muslims, who descended from Ishmael, the son Sarah claimed, the offspring of her husband Abraham and her servant named Hagar.

Deuteronomy 30:1–6 states specifically the Lord will regather the Jews to their homeland when they repent, and Israel’s repentance is a prerequisite event to the Lord Jesus Christ’s return (Amos 9:9–15 and Acts 15:14–17)!  Society, at large is so preoccupied with the catastrophic events around them, that a diminishing minority of souls actually long for Jesus’ Glorious return.  This is why praying for the peace of Jerusalem is important (Psalm 122:6).  Peace in the Middle East won’t come through any political endeavors; but when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.

Israel’s current land occupation is temporary, because it is only a fraction of the Lord’s gift to Abraham’s descendants through Isaac and Jacob, not Ishmael.  This extended from the Euphrates River on the north and east to the Negev on the south and the River Wadi el–Arish in Egypt on the west.  Israel now occupies only about eight thousand square miles of a three hundred thousand square mile allotment.  While Scripture never locates the Garden of Eden, some reason these may have been the original boundaries.  The world’s Middle East peace initiative strives to end the conflict, but the Palestinian peace initiative seeks to occupy the land of Israel one piece at a time, as they drive the Jews out.  There has never been a Palestinian state.  The term was originally coined by the Romans as an insult to the Jews.  What is wrong with this picture?  Scripture does not endorse the Palestinian objective, but teaches that Gentiles will be allocated a portion of the land during the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 47:21–23 and Isaiah 14:1–2).

The Why And Wherefore Of ISIS

The news media introduced the public to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) early in 2014.  ISIS is a dangerous fighting contingent of radical Sunni Muslim maniacal madmen invading numerous Iraqi cities formerly occupied by American forces.  David Remnick published an alarming comment from a Presidential interview about this group in a January 27, 2014 New Yorker article when Barack Obama said: ‘if a jayvee team puts on Lakers’ uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.’

ISIS has certified in the days since that they are anything but a jayvee team, but rather a growing, well-armed, well-organized, technically competent, sophisticated and barbaric group under clever leadership, which is diabolically executing large groups of people outside their ideology.  For the record, terrorists seek to kill and maim innocent people to advance their ideology!  Regardless of their classification, ISIS continues in its effort to eradicate Christianity in Iraq.  Reports pour out of Iraq’s Nineveh province of wholesale executions of believers by crucifixion and beheading.

Two major opinions divide Muslims into separate camps known as Sunnis and Shias.  The rift between the Sunni and Shia Muslims arose after the death of the prophet Muhammad over who should assume the leadership of the Muslim nation.  Sunni Muslims believe the leader should be elected from candidates qualified for the office, which is what happened, and the Prophet Muhammad’s close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation.  . The word “Sunni” in Arabic comes from a word meaning “one who follows the traditions of the Prophet.

Opposition arose from a group calling themselves Shia, who believe that  leadership should have passed directly to the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin/son-in-law, Ali bin Abu Talib.  Throughout history, Shia Muslims have not recognized the authority of elected Muslim leaders, choosing instead to follow a line of Imams which they believe have been appointed by the Prophet Muhammad or God Himself.  The word “Shia” in Arabic means a group or supportive party of people.  The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical “Shia-t-Ali,” or “the Party of Ali.” They are also known as followers of “Ahl-al-Bayt” or “People of the Household” (of the Prophet).

Sunni Muslims represent about eighty-five percent of Muslims all over the world, but concentrations of Shia Muslims live in Bahrain, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.  Iran is the exception, where Shia Muslims comprise ninety-three percent of its population.  The next closest are Bahrain and Iran which is sixty percent Shia Muslim.  Positions of these two groups trickle down to spiritual life distinctive, but it is important to note that despite these differences in opinion and practice, Shia and Sunni Muslims share the main articles of Islamic belief and are considered by most to be brethren in faith.  Most Muslims do not distinguish themselves by claiming membership in any particular group, but prefer to call themselves simply, “Muslims.”

ISIS actually debuted in 2012 as a splinter group of Al-Qaeda, and has been growing ever since.  In July, ISIS overran the Nineveh capital city of Mosul, which had had a strong Christian presence for over one thousand, seven hundred years.  It also was a city Americans fought and died for, and when America withdrew from Iraq, Mosul became fertile ground for terrorists to reclaim. ` Christians who had lived there under threat of death for years began to leave.  ISIS gang’s looted Christian homes and businesses, tore down crosses, desecrated cemeteries, ruined or occupied churches, destroyed the tombs of biblical prophets and burned over one thousand ancient Christian manuscripts, all to establish control and intimidate Christians and other religious minorities.  From Mosul, ISIS incrementally fanned out to conquer every city formerly occupied by Americans, using murder and mayhem to instill fear in those before them.  Effectively, ISIL has become a Christian holocaust.  They want everyone to convert to Islam and institute sharia law in Iraq, Syria and every other country they invade.

When ISIS first hit the news, they focused on Iraq with some penetration into Syria, but within a few months, they had effectively dissolved the border between Iraq and Syria and changed their name to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).  The English word Levant was coined in 1497, and referred to the East in general, or more specifically, the Mediterranean lands east of Italy.  The term underwent a dynamic process of historic evolution and understanding in the years since, to now refer to the countries of Cyprus, part of the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and part of southern Turkey.  These are the countries this growing terrorist group plans to bring under their control, referred-to as a Caliphate.

A Caliphate is a zone of control under Islamic or Muslim rule of sharia law.  The last Caliphate ended May 16, 1916 when the Sykes-Picot Agreement overturned the Ottoman Empire.  The Ottoman Empire was a grand Caliphate seated in Turkey that controlled much of the Middle East.  There are several dates of duration for the Ottoman Empire, depending on perspective.  One claims it formed in 1299 and lasted until 1916.  Another documents its origin in 1301 and dissolution in 1922.  Either way, the Ottoman Empire existed as a Muslim stronghold for over seven hundred years.  Whether you agree with Islamic ideology or not, you must concede that Muslims are patiently determined to maintain and advance their cause for Allah.  Unfortunately, a number of tactical blunders over several hundred years weakened the Ottoman Empire base to its final demise.

The English diplomat Sir Mark Sykes met with French diplomat François Georges-Picot between November of 1915 and March of the following year, to forge the Sykes-Picot Agreement, or Asia-Minor Agreement.  This caucus developed a secret pact between the governments of the United Kingdom and France, with Russia participating to define spheres of influence in the Middle East.  This agreement divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arab peninsula into regions of future British or French control.

The unfortunate conclusion to this treaty was that following the Russian Revolution of October 1917, the Bolsheviks publicized the agreement embarrassing the British, disappointing the Arabs and delighting the Turks.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement granted jurisdiction of the eastern Mediterranean to the Jordan River including the ports of Haifa and Acre (modern Israel), Jordan and Southern Iraq.  This was the first of two phases required to restore the Jews from their dispersion in 70 A.D.  The first phase in World War I prepared the land for the people and the second phase in World War II prepared the people for the land.

I hasten to point out that contrary to popular belief; Israel is holy real estate to the Lord.  Scripture separates Israel from all other nations, which are divided into those friendly to Jews and those that are anti-Semitic.  ISIL hates Jews, as does Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and all other Muslim extremist groups, which want to remove all Jews from the world, but others have fostered the same notion and failed, and so will ISIL.  According to Matthew 25, the Lord Jesus Christ will preside at the Judgment of the Nations, where He will eliminate all anti-Semitic countries, period!  One of the reasons ISIS has reaped the success it has is because the people they overrun have no weapons and little ability to defend themselves.

So all of this Middle-East conflict from Muslim radicals begs the question of why?  The simplistic answer is spiritual warfare.  I hasten to draw a distinction here, and that is that religion is man’s attempt to accrue favor of a perceived divine authority, whereas Christianity is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shed His Blood to atone for the sin of the elect!  Christian obedience to Scriptural directives should flow out of love for Jesus Christ, not to secure His favor.  The Politically-Correct (PC) position is that Islam is a peaceful religion, and Muslims are peaceful people, but even a casual examination of the history of the religion reveals that Muslims are reserved until they gain a majority of the population, when their passivity turns aggressive.  The following verses from the Koran specifically indicate that non-Muslims or infidels are worthy of death and this is what fuels the Muslim extremist ruthless behavior…

  1. Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them (infidels) wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse, but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone.  But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”  than killing…
  2. Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”
  3. Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.
  4. Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”
  5. Quran (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”
  6. Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-“
  7. Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”
  8. Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”
  9. Quran (8:65) – “O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight…”
  10. Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”
  11. Quran (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
  12. Quran (33:60-62) – “If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.”
  13. Quran (48:29) – “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves.”

The term Imam is the title of a Muslim religious leader, or priest of a mosque, but the term has a broader application determined by the context of use.  Like Christianity, Islam has a well-defined eschatology, or belief about the last days, but the two differ, and both cannot be correct.  Muslims believe there are twelve Imam Successors to Muhammad, the twelfth being born in 868 A.D., but different from all others was placed in hiding called ‘occultation’ or judgment by Allah.  Both Sunnis and Shiites believe Al-Mohdi to be the Muslim messiah.  This man will come to show all man-kind ‘the way’, which Muslims believe is Islam.  Some Muslims believe that Jesus is the Mohdi that will come to proclaim Islam as the true religion.  But set in contrast is the Scriptural promise of Jesus certain return…

(6)  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (7)  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (8)  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (9)  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  (10)  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;  (11)  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:6-11 (KJV)

Christ followers during His Incarnation expected Him to physically reign over an earthly kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem.  Jesus never spoke contrary to their expectation, except to inform them they were not privileged to know when!  Regarding Islam, Scripture contains no mention of Islam or the notion Jesus will acknowledge Allah as Supreme, but rather is returning as the Second Adam to pick up the gauntlet the First Adam forfeited…

The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. I  Corinthians 15:47 (KJV)

NEWS FLASH!  Jesus will not yield His Sovereignty to any other god!  Jesus’ purpose in His return is to tabernacle with His creation, and to restrain Satan during His earthly, righteous reign so that humanity’s propensity to sin will originate exclusively in a deceitful and desperately wicked heart (Jeremiah 17:9).  This is the Kingdom of Heaven, and is not built by murdering perceived outsiders.  There are many things which must occur between now and that glorious day, but according to the Prophet Isaiah, one of them is the destruction of Damascus…

The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. Isaiah 17:1 (KJV)

I would remind the reader that the ISIS objective is to control Bahrain, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, not necessarily in the alphabetical order presented here.  Like the cities ISIS has already occupied, the peoples in the remaining lands have no more ability to defend themselves than did those already defeated, except Israel.  In contrast to other Middle East people, Israel has top notch intelligence, trained soldiers who rarely miss their targets, serious weaponry including nuclear warheads, plus the real deciding factor is that the Lord is enabling them to prevail against unthinkable odds.  Damascus is the oldest occupied city on the face of the planet, and while it has been defeated, it has never been left uninhabitable.  In recent days, Damascus has been the central haven of terrorists, whose main goal is to destroy Israel, kill all Jews and take possession of that land, but ISIS has not encountered resistance such as Israel is capable of.  We are very likely watching the caldron begin to bubble for the destruction of Damascus, as prophesied in Isaiah 17:1.

Regardless of outward civility, passive Muslims read the same Koran as the radicals, and stand as much to gain from the elimination of infidels, meaning you!  It is politically incorrect to profile anyone for any reason, yet there are a number of Muslim mosques known for transforming supposed passive Muslims into radicals, who commit violent crimes in the name of Allah, or forsake family and friends heading for the Middle East to join ISIS to kill Americans.  This trend can be traced to public school and college curriculums of historical revision.  The removal of God and his Word from our schools left a void now filled with hatred and self-centeredness.  Wow!  We have certainly come a long way, and now find our nation on a slippery porcelain slope.  Barry McGuire recorded a song written by P. F. Sloan in 1965 entitled ‘Eve Of Destruction’, which turned out to be a sarcastic prophetic statement of where we have come!

Though Muslims do not know when the Mohdi will return, they believe he will come to end the misery of his people.  Many Muslims believe al-Mohdi is already here watching the peril of our time, and the extremists believe their sinister activities will hasten his unveiling.  Satan continually tries to counterfeit every aspect of the Lord’s Plan, and the Muslim eschatology is no exception.  The increasing clash of Muslims with Christianity and Jews is an indicator to Muslims that al-Mohdi’s return is imminent.  Muslims believe that Israel is the primary prohibition to al-Mohdi’s appearing, fueling Muslim hatred for Israel and the West, which has traditionally supported Israel.

While anti-Semitism has prevailed since the Lord set Abram apart (Genesis 12 and following), and there have been organized attempts to decimate the Jews, such as Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich, never before has there been such a concentration of Middle East and global events to align with Biblical prophecy.  The geo-political alignment of Muslim Brotherhood nations with Russia that matches the groups Ezekiel identifies as the enemy contingent of nations that will invade Israel as we approach Jesus’ return…

Ezekiel 38:1-12 (KJV)

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  (2)  Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,  (3)  And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:  (4)  And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:  (5)  Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:  (6)   Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.  (7)  Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.  (8)  After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.  (9)  Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.  (10)  Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:  (11)  And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,  (12)  To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

  • Gog: The name of a ruler or man leading a coalition of nations against Israel.
  • Magog: A coalition of nations, most of which were part of the former Soviet Union including, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and possibly Afghanistan
  • Mesech and Tubal: Parts of the present nation of Turkey.
  • Persia: Modern Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Cush: Ethiopia and present Sudan
  • Put:
  • Gomer: Modern Germany and Turkey.
  • Beth Togarma Phrygia which is part of Turkey in Asia Minor.
  • Dedan: Peoples of the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait.

Ezekiel continues…

(13) Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?  (14)  Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?  (15)  And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army  (16)  And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

Ezekiel 38:13-17 (KJV)

  • Merchants of Tarshish The market-based economies of Western Europe, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland and the United States.

Anti-Semitism is growing at an alarming rate worldwide, particularly in the Western, market-based economies.  We saw evidence of this in the indifference of our own Congress when Israel needed money for more surface-to-air missiles for their Iron-Dome defense system against Taliban missiles from Gaza.  Our Congressional lethargy was embarrassing.  The United States of America and Israel have been allies since Israel’s reformation in 1948, until Barack Obama took office.  His foreign policy has generated countless questions, left America as a laughing stock of world powers, favored Muslims and disfavored Israel, who no longer gives Barack Obama any credibility.  Concern arose in the Christian community in early December, when Barack O”Bama threatened to impose sanctions against Israel for continuing to build apartments in the West Bank adjacent to Jerusalem.  Israel’s decision to settled incoming Jews in that area irritates the Palestinians, which also irritates President Obama.  This is a dangerous move for America, as Genesis 12 affirms the Lord blesses those who bless Israel and hates those that stand against her.  The stage is set for the curtain to rise on the next Act on the Lord’s Redemptive Plan!  Are you ready?

Souls living during the Twentieth and Twenty-First centuries have witnessed more prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes than any previous generation; yet prophetic passivity has enveloped the church like a virus.  Evangelicals seem to fall into two predominant camps: those who spiritualize New Testament prophecy, and those convinced they will be raptured out of here before hard times arrive.  Neither of these camps have any sensitivity to where we are on the Lord’s Prophetic Timeline.  Consider Jesus’ words to the Jewish legalists…

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.  (2)  He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.  (3)  And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? Matthew 16:1-3 (KJV)

There are three hundred, thirty-three Messianic prophecies in both Testaments.  Jesus fulfilled one hundred nine of them literally during His Incarnation.  This leaves two hundred, twenty-four Messianic prophecies to be fulfilled when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.  The Author of the Hebrew letter wrote…

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)

To suggest that New Testament prophecy is to be understood spiritually and not literally does violence to the Scripture.  Jesus’ exhortation in Matthew 16:3 is as relevant today as it was when he spoke those words!

Malaysian Airliner Shot Down Over Ukraine

2014 was not a good year for Malaysian Airlines.  On July 17th fifteen crew and two hundred eighty-three passengers boarded a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200 for a scheduled international flight MH-17A at Amsterdam, the Netherlands bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  The plane took off without incident, climbed to a thirty-five thousand foot cruising altitude on a heading directly over the Ukraine.  Twenty-five miles from the Ukraine border, the fuselage suffered structural failure, and MH 17 crashed, killing all two hundred ninety-eight souls, strewing body parts and wreckage over a nine-mile debris-field controlled by pro-Russian separatists.  Dozens of bodies fell into crop fields and some through roofs into houses.  The initial presumption was that MH-17 was shot down, but who was responsible.  Confusion and finger-pointing followed.

As the flight originated in the Netherlands and the majority of passengers were Dutch, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) took the lead in the investigation.  The Eastern Ukraine separatist spokesman told Reuters that the Ukrainian military was responsible, but Kiev denied the allegation, saying terrorists were to blame.  Shortly after the crash, Separatist leader Igor Girkin boasted on Facebook that they had downed a transport plane, but deleted the posting after news spread that a passenger plane crashed in the region.  The crash occurred during the Battle in Shakhtarsk Raion, part of the ongoing war in Donbass, in an area controlled by the Donbass People’s Militia.  According to United States intelligence sources, evidence gathered in the five days after the crash pointed overwhelmingly to pro-Russian separatists having shot down the plane using a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the territory they controlled.

United States sources stated that their judgment was based on sensors that traced the path of the missile, shrapnel patterns in the wreckage, voice print analysis of separatists’ conversations in which they claimed credit for the strike, and photos and other data from social media sites all indicated that Russian-backed separatists had fired the missile.  The Russians felt the Ukraine bore full responsibility for the crash since it happened in the Ukraine, but the Ukrainian government says the missile was launched by “Russian professionals and coordinated from Russia”.

With two hundred ninety-eight deaths, MH-17 is the deadliest air incident in the Ukraine, and the deadliest airliner shoot down in history.  The crash was Malaysia Airlines’ worst incident and it’s second of the year, after the disappearance of MH370 on March, 8th in route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.  Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, several Ukrainian Air Force airplanes have been downed, the first on June 14thwhere forty-nine people on board died.  Then on June 29th, Russian news agencies reported that insurgents had gained access to a Buk missile system after having taken control of a Ukrainian air defense base.  On the same day, the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed possession of such a system in a since-deleted tweet.

On July 15th , following his visit to Kiev, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski warned about the dangers posed by the continued Russian military support for pro-Russian separatists, especially ground-to-air missiles.  On the same day, an Associated Press journalist saw a Buk launcher in Snizhne, a town in Donetsk Oblast ten miles southeast of the crash site.  Associated Press journalists reported that the Buk M-1 was operated by a man “with unfamiliar fatigues and a distinctive Russian accent”.  The DSB investigators released a preliminary report in September indicating MH-17 split up in mid-flight probably due to impacts by high-energy objects causing structural damage, but further research was necessary to certify the theory.  They expected the full investigation and final report would take a year to complete.  The bottom line is that none of this would have happened had Russia not moved into the Ukraine.

The Last Chapter Of The Costa Concordia Disaster

Four thousand, two hundred fifty-two passengers and crew boarded the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia at Cibitiveccbia Lazio for a planned Mediterranean Sea cruise January 13, 2012.  The ship deviated from her planned route on the first leg of the cruise, sailing too close to the island of Isola del Giglio, Tuscany when it collided with a rock, capsized and sank.  Passengers reported concern at the sound of the impact, and a blackout certified their fears.  Water gushed through the damaged hull, flooding the engine room, and shorting out electrical systems.  Ccaptain Francesco Schettino ordered the crew to calm alarmed passengers, who were advising authorities, family and friends via cell phones and social media about the incident.  Automated stabilizing systems ceased to function without power, and the ship started to list to the port side, as it drifted for over an hour before Ccaptain Schettino ordered an evacuation.  By then, other ships had moved close by to assist.  Onlookers watched the Costa Concordia list shift from the port side to the starboard, continuing to roll, and coming to rest on its side in shallow water on a sloping underwater plain dangerously close to a cliff.  All but thirty-two souls escaped to safety.

The salvage crew righted the ship September 17, 2013, with plans to scrap the vessel, but the target dry dock location (Genoa, Italy) required the derelict be towed considerable distance over rough seas much of the year.  Since mariners advised those in question that the required sea route was calmest in August and September, the salvage crew waited to move the Costa Concordia until July 27, 2014.

The moral is that no one ever sins in a vacuum.  In this case, officer indifference ended the lives of thirty-two souls, cost hundreds of neither millions of dollars to scrap a modern cruise ship, not to mention the environmental and economic damage near the disaster, nor the expense of lawyers and awards to claimants for years to come. Italian maritime authorities arrested Ccaptain Francesco Schettino, charging him with manslaughter in connection with causing a shipwreck, failing to assist three hundred passengers, and failing to be the last to leave the wreck.  Charges were later expanded to include failing to describe to maritime authorities the scope of the disaster and with abandoning incapacitated passengers.  This effort is expected to be the most expensive salvage operations to date, and a reminder to the reader to be on guard for the wickedness of your own heart…

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

Romans 3:10-18 (KJV)

(10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  (11)  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  (12)  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  (13)  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (14)  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:  (15)  Their feet are swift to shed blood: (16)  Destruction and misery are in their ways  (17)  And the way of peace have they not known  (18)  There is no fear of God before their eyes.

James 4:7-8 (KJV)

(7)  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.   (8)  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Psalm 19:12-14 (KJV)

(12)  Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.  (13)  Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.  (14)  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

For the record, these poignant passages apply to you and me just as they do to Ccaptain Francesco Schettino.  The difference being that he had opportunity we did not, but rest assured that except for the grace of the Lord, you are just as capable of a similar blunder!

A Divisive Cloud of Civil Unrest Shrouds The Country

At midnight on August 9, 2014 with some measure of civil unrest present in Ferguson, an unincorporated suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, Officer Darren Wilson was on standard patrol in a Ferguson police cruiser when he observed Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson walking in the middle of the 2900 block of Canfield Drive.  For the record, sidewalks are for pedestrian traffic, while streets are designed for vehicles, except in designated pedestrian crosswalks.  Officer Wilson ordered the two to move to the sidewalk, but his order provoked the two pedestrians, who rushed the police cruiser.  Brown and Officer Wilson struggled through the police cruiser driver’s window, when Officer Wilson’s service pistol discharged, either intentionally or as a result of the struggle.  Brown and Johnson fled in different directions, with Officer Wilson pursuing Brown.  While reports differ, Michael Brown died from multiple gunshot wounds.

These ignited civil protests from a predominantly black community governed by a predominantly white city government and protected by a predominantly white police force, since Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson were/are black and unarmed, while Officer Wilson is white.  The news attracted nonlocal anarchists, civil rights activists, provocateurs and race hustlers, who perfected ways to capitalize on mob-mentality by stoking racial fires into violent protests, rioting and looting.  Several died and innocent business owners suffered injury, damage to their businesses and loss of looted property from angry protestors for weeks.

Protestors found Officer Wilson guilty in the kangaroo court of popular opinion of something worthy of death.  The facts are that Michael Brown’s three hundred pound frame gave him distinct advantage when he got Officer Wilson in a choke-hold, while he was seated in his patrol car.  While Michael Brown’s parents alleged he was innocent of any guilt, the Ferguson Police Department released a security video from a local store Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson robbed just prior to the confrontation.  The video showed Michael Brown using his frame and weight to shove aside the store clerk and take what he wanted.  Authorities authorized several autopsies on Michael Brown’s body, including one by the Federal Government, ordered by Eric Holder, who also got involved.

Violent protests continued for several weeks, where angry mobs hurled rocks and Molotov Cocktails at police and then complained that police were patrolling in armored vehicles and those on foot were outfitted in riot-gear.  It would appear the protestors wanted law enforcement to patrol unprotected so the angry mob could mow them down like bowling pins on an alley.  Majority opinions, particularly in angry mobs are seldom right.  Protestor conduct in Ferguson, Missouri borders on anarchy.  It is interesting that peace returned to Ferguson when local men assembled to drive back the angry demonstrators.

The case went quickly to a Grand Jury to determine probable cause to indict Officer Wilson’s actions.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating whether Officer Wilson violated Michael Brown’s civil rights.  The Department of Justice is reviewing the Ferguson Police Department’s Internal Affairs finding of use of force by its officers over the last four years.  By the middle of October 2014, the Grand Jury release preliminary findings of Michael Browns blood on both Officer Wilson’s clothing and pistol, meaning Michael Brown’s initial wound occurred while he was attacking Officer Wilson through the driver’s window of his patrol unit.

Of interesting note, a white friend in the San Francisco Bay Area was experiencing something similar to the events of Ferguson, Missouri.  His son is a local canine police officer, who shot and killed an unarmed black youth who charged the officer after he caught the youth in a crime.  Anarchists, civil rights activists, provocateurs and race hustlers moved From Ferguson, Missouri to the San Francisco Bay Area for the second verse of the same song.  It is tragic that youths of any nationality lose their lives in the pursuit of criminal activity, but this is why we pay officers to enforce the law and thwart criminal activity!

By the start of November, organized, Ferguson protestors were anticipating an unacceptable conclusion to the Grand Jury’s investigation, and issued warnings to the Ferguson police that protests would come.  They also issued nineteen rules of engagement they expected the police to follow when protests started.

In short, the protestors expected the police to discard all riot-gear, armored vehicles, rubber bullets, rifles and tear gas, together with the establishment of ‘safe-houses’ where protestors could retreat safely from police pursuit.  Protestors have convinced themselves that Michael Brown’s death was the malicious act of a racially-motivated police officer, who must be prosecuted.  The liberal media and greedy politicians fanned the racial flames of this incident by siding with protestors criticizing the legal system of our country.

‘The Toss of the Coin’ is a cut on the 1963 album called ‘Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow,’ where Cosby set the stage with two football team captains meeting before a game for a coin-toss to determine which team would kick-off.  He followed that with representatives of the settlers and the British meeting before the Revolutionary War.  Of course the settlers won the coin-toss and established the rules of engagement.  The British would wear red and march in a straight line.  The settlers would wear any color clothes they wanted to and shoot from behind the rocks and trees and everywhere, and this resembles the Ferguson protest organizers’ expectations of the police.  It is a ridiculous requirement, void of any humor.

By mid-November, angry protestors were preparing to demonstrate, anticipating a Grand Jury response not to charge Officer Darren Wilson with anything other than doing his job.  The Missouri Governor called out the National Guard to suppress violence, should the protestors choose that avenue.  Word leaked to the press that the Ferguson Grand Jury decision would be publicized on Monday, November 24th, and external protestors gathered for a showdown.

State Governor Jay Nixon anticipated expanded unrest in Missouri, and declared a thirty-day state of emergency beginning November 17th.  He put state and local police on alert, as well as a call to the National Guard.  The problem with his maneuvers was that he failed to deploy the National Guard to Ferguson ahead of the announcement, allowing rioters to cause considerable damage to the community.  Many feel this was the result of orders from Washington D. C., as it smelled of politics, which only heightened the tension.  Authorities arrested over eighty rioters, who destroyed two police units together with many local businesses.  Michael Brown’s stepfather was taped encouraging demonstrators to burn Ferguson, but authorities did not arrest him.  His comment is tantamount to yelling ‘fire’ in an enclosed public gathering or ‘bomb’ on an airline in flight.

This incident polarized a community and flooded the nation in a tsunami of racial tension.  I certainly am not challenging American’s Right of Free Speech, but no one is benefiting from the protests, except reporters.  It is tragic when anyone dies, but Michael Brown broke the law and resisted legal authority, for which there are penalties.  Not only did Michael Brown disregard Officer Wilson’s command to stop, but also disregarded several bullet wounds until one took his life.  Rioting protestors are pressing this nation closer to anarchy and martial law, a consequence no American should desire.  Oddly enough, the Prophet Samuel wrote of a similar societal climate in his culture…

Judges 17:6 and 21:25 (KJV)

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

And so is America becoming, but the thought that any citizen’s opinion counts in the face of the utter governmental corruption and media bias is utter nonsense!  A chorus of protestors sang the next verse to this song on New York’s Staten Island, December 3rd, after a Grand Jury failed to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of James Garner, who resisted arrest for ‘selling untaxed cigarettes.’  The liberal media claimed the New York Police profiled James Garner because of his skin color, but the fact is that minority business in vicinity complained that he was taking their business unlawfully.  New York Police were simply responding to public complaint. Officer Pantaleo approached James Garner, advised him of the complaint and attempted to handcuff him, but James Garner resisted, and the confrontation ensued.  Had Garner chosen to cooperate and abide within the law, he likely would still be alive.  A litany of individuals including President Obama, Eric Holder, the Mayor of New York and many others claim outrage at the decision.  Here again, we have the media and politicians stoking racial fires on the basis of opinion of a judicial decision on evidence none of them had.  It is unfortunate that anyone, including James Garner dies in criminal activity, but he was breaking the law, and resisted authoritative challenge.  This incident is yet another contributor to the prevailing spirit of division in our country.

Two Pennsylvania State Troopers Ambushed September 12, 2014

Shots from an unknown assailant outside the Blooming Grove Pennsylvania State Trooper Barracks in Pike County rang out around 11:00 P.M. on Friday, September 12, 2014.  The first shots critically wounded thirty-eight-year-old Corporal Bryon Dickson.   When fellow officer, thirty-one-year-old Alex Douglas came to investigate, he was wounded in the hip, but survived his injury. .  Other officers drove a patrol SUV between officer Dickson and the line of fire so they could treat his wounds, but he died on the scene.  The gunman fired four shots in the course of ninety minutes and disappeared into the night.

About two hundred law enforcement officers from various jurisdictions assembled to comb the dense forest geography of northeastern Pennsylvania, not knowing who they were looking for or the motive for the assault.  Three days passed before a man walking his dog reported a 2001 Jeep partially submerged in a swamp two miles from the Blooming Grove Pennsylvania State Trooper Barracks.  Investigators found shell casings matching those retrieved from the crime scene, camouflage face paint, two empty rifle cases, military gear and Eric Matthew Frein’s driver’s license.

Frein had lived with his parents until about two months prior.  Investigators searched the home and found shell casings matching those found at the crime scene, and Frein’s Dad told investigators an AK-47 and a .308 rifle with a scope were missing, and that his son was an accomplished marksman, who rarely missed his target.  While Frein’s motive was still a mystery, investigators learned Frein harbored a hatred for the Pennsylvania State Police and carefully calculated his fatal attack.

Frein is also an accomplished survivalist, who evaded a dragnet of hundreds of law enforcement officers over the Pocono Mountains for forty-eight days, at an approximate cost of ten million dollars, before United States (U. S.) Marshalls arrested Frein October 30, 2014.  While numerous reports of Frein-sighting came in, he remained mobile and difficult to track.  This cat-and-mouse game kept the people of Pennsylvania anxious until officers actually took Frein into custody.  This is the criminal profile being thrust on society.

Moore, Oklahoma Beheading And Subsequent Related Events

Until September 25, 2014, beheadings were elsewhere, but a shocking report told how late in the afternoon, thirty-year-old Alton Alexander Nolen entered the Vaughan Foods processing production plant in Moore, Oklahoma, where he stabbed and decapitated co-worker, fifty-four-year-old Colleen Hufford.  He then attacked forty-three-year-old Traci Johnson, critically wounding her with the same knife, before company owner Mark Vaughan shot and wounded the assailant in his arm and stomach.  Common with such attacks, Alton uttered Muslim religious clichés while committing unconscionable atrocities.

Vaughan Foods had fired Nolen earlier in the afternoon due to employee altercations.  He went home, got a knife, which he concealed in his shoe and returned to Vaughan Foods.  He struck another vehicle in the parking lot before entering the front administrative area where the attack took place.  While Traci Johnson was one of three intended targets, Colleen Hufford was not.  The other two targets were not injured.

Several employees complained Nolen was attempting to convert them to Islam, and Traci Johnson told investigators she had an altercation with him where Nolen told her he didn’t like white people.  The Moore Police charged Nolen with first-degree murder and assault and battery with a deadly weapon.  He may also face federal charges, as well.  Nolen served time in the Oklahoma prison system and is now on probation for assault and battery of a police officer.  He was also arrested for cocaine possession with intent to distribute in 2011.

The Politically Correct (PC) position is to avoid the word TERRORIST, attempting to shield Muslims from any part in the horror the radicals are thrusting on the world.  Contrary to military advisor recommendations, President Obama chose to combat ISIS with selective bombings.  While this may have slowed their advance, it has not deterred their objective, plus the pin prick air strikes only served to anger them.  As a result, ISIS took to the social media to begin recruiting sympathizers in Western nations.  Once America learned their ploy, we began to restrict passports of young people heading for ISIS-held countries.

Not to be outdone, ISIS began appealing to Western youth to be home-grown, lone-wolf terrorists, who would strike military and police personnel without warning or provocation, as well as their families on the American homeland.  The ISIS appeal seems to be most readily accepted by loners, mentally challenged and social outcasts.  Such targets first convert to Islam and then find their way to Muslim Mosques touting hatred for America and Israel, together with jihadist’s ideology.  ISIS recruiters strive to convince converts that it is of no consequence if they are wounded or die, but the greater objective is to defeat America any way possible and have the United States cease our offensive against the Muslim Brotherhood radicals.

The Moore, Oklahoma beheading is the fruit of this initiative, as are the October 22nd Ottawa Canadian War Memorial and Parliament attacks, and the October 23rd Queens, New York hatchet attack on two policemen.

On October 23, 2014, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, operating as a lone-wolf terrorist first murdered Canadian soldier named Corporal Nathan Cirillo in cold blood, as he  guarded a hallowed war memorial, and wounded three others nearby.  Then with gun in hand, Zehaf-Bibeau proceeded to the Parliament building and began shooting again.  Witnesses estimated he fired twenty rounds within approximately ten seconds, wounded a security guard, but killed no one else in the second phase of his attack.

Michael Zehaf-Bi beau, born in 1982 had drug-related arrests on his police record for ten years.  Canadian authorities added his name to a watch-list after he converted to Islam and manifest jihadist support, then confiscated his passport when they learned he planned to join with ISIS as a combatant.  Security Guard, Sergeant Kevin Vickers shot and killed the gunman before he wounded or killed anyone else.

The next day while this story was still unfolding, another lone-wolf terrorist, struck in Queens, New York.  Four New York City Police officers were posing for a photograph, when thirty-two-year-old Zale Thompson pulled an eighteen-inch hatchet from his backpack, struck twenty-five-year-old Officer Taylor Kraft in the head and twenty-four-year-old Officer Joseph Meeker in the arm.  The unwounded officers drew their service weapons and killed their attacker.  Investigators learned Thompson was a self-radicalized Muslim loner extremist, disturbed about the oppression of blacks in the United States.  Thompson had been arrested several times in California for assault and domestic violence.  Using the Ferguson protestor logic, New York Police should arrest the unwounded officers for violating Zale Thompson’s civil rights and restricting his free expression!  The bottom line is that the spirit of division is busy in all levels of contemporary society, so that the public must develop consistent awareness of everyone in your environment.

The next verse of this song aired November 18th, when two Arab men from East Jerusalem attacked worshippers in a Jewish Synagogue with axes, meat cleavers and a gun, killing four dual-nationality worshippers and critically wounding an Israeli Police Officer, who later died of his wounds.  They also wounded seven other worshippers, who were treated and released.  Jewish Police shot and killed the two attackers before they could inflict any more injuries, but I suppose these two Arab bubbas’ civil rights were violated also!

This was the deadliest attack called an intifada, in Jerusalem since 2008.  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility for the attack, and a spokesman for the group awarded the attackers ‘hero’ status.  The attackers screamed “Allahu Akbar”, classifying them as Muslim terrorists, who worked at a grocery store near the Synagogue.  East Jerusalem authorities served the widow of one of the attackers a demolition order for her property, and carried out the destruction of her home.  Of course, she claimed complete ignorance of her husband’s involvements, but her protest did not halt the destruction order.  East Jerusalem Arab Muslims were dancing in the streets and handing out candy to passersby when the story broke, demonstrating the depravity of this ideology.

Ebola Crisis

Thomas Eric Duncan catapulted the United States into the Ebola arena September 30, 2014.  Duncan complained of strange and worsening symptoms while visiting Dallas, Texas from Monrovia, Liberia.  Concerned family members sought medical assistance for him at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Room in the late evening of September 24, 2014.  The head nurse questioned Duncan about his travel and exposure to infectious disease, but Duncan only admitted he was from Monrovia, Liberia, and when treated, the attending physician was unaware of Duncan’s origin or possibility of Ebola exposure. Based on his testimony and his symptoms at time of initial admission, the attending physician believed his discomfort was caused by a low-grade, common viral disease, prescribed a general anti-biotic and released him.

Duncan had been a personal driver for the general manager of a FED-EX contractor in Liberia, but had resigned without cause September 4, 2014.  Duncan’s sister visited him from the United States in August, and helped him get a U. S. visa while she was there.  He planned to visit Louise Troh and his estranged teenage son she had borne to him, who were then living in Dallas.  One story indicated Duncan helped his sick and pregnant female landlord to search for treatment, who later died from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)?  Duncan later testified that he thought the woman was having a miscarriage, but helped transport her to an EVD ward.  The dots just do not connect on this picture!

On September 19th, Duncan proceeded to the Liberian airport with airline tickets to Dallas, Texas through Brussels, Belgium and Washington D. C.’s Dulles Airport… officials claimed Duncan denied having contact with anyone with an infectious disease.  His physical condition beginning September 20th deteriorated over the next few days, prompting Louise Troh to take him to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 24th.  The antibiotic did not improve Duncan’s condition and he started vomiting, so Louise Troh took him back to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital September 28th.  The hospital staff realized they initially underestimated his plight and isolated him.  Two days later, the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital publicized the presence of EVD in the United States.  Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital contacted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia for guidance, but got the run-around.

The publicity forced Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC to get involved, but his recommendations proved to be ineffectual and he lost all credibility, as have President Obama and the White House Press Corps.  .The tragic collateral damage is that the medical team assigned to Duncan had been treating him without the HAZardous MATerial (HAZMAT) suits.  Despite treatment, Duncan’s condition continued to deteriorate.  On October 4th, the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital reported Duncan’s condition as ‘serious, but stable’, but he died four days later.  The consequence to this short coming was that two nurses assigned to Duncan contracted EVD, and now officials call this the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

Of course, Duncan’s family attempted to play the race-card, claiming his skin color caused the medical team at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to give him inferior care, despite all the people he deceived about exposure to the deadly disease.  Had Duncan survived, he would have faced felony prosecution in Liberia for his actions!

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a disease caused by one, or more of five different Ebola viruses, four of which cause severe illness which can lead to death in both humans and animals and the fifth which causes severe illness in animals, but not humans.  It was first diagnosed in 1976 in two African regions, one in northern Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and  the other in south Sudan (now South Sudan).  The virus is named for the Ebola River where it originated.  EVD is considered extremely infectious, but not extremely contagious because a small amount can cause illness.  Laboratory experiments on nonhuman primates suggest that even a single virus may be enough to trigger a fatal infection.  Initially the CDC claimed EVD is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, but then recanted and warned the uninfected not to get any closer than three feet of someone manifesting Ebola symptoms, fearing mutation.  While the exact origin of the Ebola virus remains a mystery, the most likely natural hosts are fruit bats.  Symptoms of Ebola typically include: weakness, fever, aches, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain, rash, red eyes, chest pain, throat soreness, difficulty breathing or swallowing and bleeding (including internal).The symptoms are similar to those of malaria, which prompted health-care workers to treat early cases of the disease with quinine.  Typically, symptoms appear eight to ten days after exposure, although the incubation period can span two to 21 days.

Midterm Elections – November 4 2014

The general feeling of the people I know is that the United States is headed in the wrong direction at an alarming rate, and that the elected representatives in Washington D. C. are corrupt, regardless of what party a person favors.  Published polls indicated respondents disfavor the President and a greater percentage disfavor Congress.  Of course the party in power reported that all is well and projected that the 2014 midterm election would validate their assertions, but the facts did not uphold their claims.  The 2014 midterm election altered the majority party in Congress, hoping to end the log-jam in Washington D. C.  The apathy of the voting public is the response to America’s national government corruption.  The liberal news media has hammered political-correctness enough to disgust the voter into avoidance behavior.

People remember the last time Republicans had a majority, when they accomplished very little of what they promised.  They were more interested in ‘reaching across the aisle’ than upholding their campaign promises.  President Barack Obama has demonstrated more interest in golf and his personal idealized agenda than national security.  Prior to November 4th, the President proclaimed that his policies were on the ballot, and they were, but the election results demonstrated how the public felt about his leadership.  Rather than recognize the will of the people, President Obama made it clear that if the Republican majority does not support his agenda, he will go around them, as he has in the past.  The American public seems to pin our hopes on the performance of a demonstrated broken political system, rather than confessing our sin before the Lord in repentance and asking His forgiveness.

The sad fact is that America has turned away from the Lord to the gods of money, sports and entertainment; the contemporary American trinity.  This incremental process started after World War II, when we took credit for winning the war, instead of thanking the Lord for His enablement.  This was the first verse of the American self-esteem doxology.  The second verse celebrated the Lord’s release of America to the sexual revolution of the 1960’s according to Romans 1:24.  Couples began cohabitating rather than marrying, and the collateral damage was the detonation of the family, the bedrock of any society.  In the third verse, we celebrated the Lord’s release of America to sexual perversion ‘coming out of the closet’ in the 1980’saccording to Romans 1:26.  This included Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a litany of new Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) strains, new graphics of deviant pornography using animals and children, and an explosion of public nudity as a norm.

For the record, Scripture equates public nudity with shame approximately one hundred times.  In the fourth verse, America publicized perversion in the White House in the 1990’s, as ‘Baby-Boomers’ began being released from careers and unable to find another job of equal pay, retirement accounts got decimated, and then America elected Barack Obama.  The principles behind these steps align with the Lord turning one over to a reprobate mind, or lunacy, as stated in Romans 1:28.  As per public educators, America’s knowledge base is ever expanding, but our wisdom and discernment are conspicuous by their absence!  A friend sent me the following article about America and President Obama.

Former Premier of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus said:  ‘obviously, we have a lot of work to do to repair the damage they’ve (the Democrats) done.  The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency, than to restore the necessary commonsense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their leader.  The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president’.

The Truth About Obamacare Revealed

As Obamacare drew nigh to reality, many Americans felt it was a scam, but were powerless to overt the evident.  The liberal news media condemned the American medical system, as it touted the many benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Governmental transparency disappeared as agents of doom legalized it in secret, and when challenged, the Supreme Court upheld the beast, as respondent after respondent complained of increased premiums and deductibles and the loss of established doctors.  A cover-up seemed evident, but the corrupt Washington-Insiders held a steady course, for a number of years, until Jonathan Holmes Gruber committed a speak-o, the verbal equivalent of a type-o on Monday, November 10, 2014.

Gruber is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) educated, elitist and Washington-Insider, who was one of the ACA architects.  He achieved that elevated status through a litany of liberal accolades.  Three videos appeared of Gruber talking at different events in 2012 and 2013 about his involvement in the ACA.  He described how the ACA was carefully structured for political reasons to take advantage of what Gruber called ‘’the stupidity of American voters.’  In the first and most widely publicized video, taken at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, Gruber stated that the bill was deliberately written in ‘a tortured way’ to disguise the fact that it created a system in which healthy people ‘pay in’, while sick people ‘get money.’

He stated that this obfuscation was necessary because of the ‘stupidity of the American voter, or whatever.’  Gruber further stated that the lack of transparency was a huge political advantage.  Gruber blamed John Kerry for crafting the bill to tax insurance companies, rather than policy-holders.  He said it was essentially the same thing, as insurance companies would pass the cost on to policy-holders, but more palatable politically.  Gruber claimed the American voter is too stupid to understand the difference between the two approaches.  In the third video, Gruber claimed the switch worked because of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.

To be blunt, Gruber is as bold as bad breath.  Democrat insiders contend that the ACA has enough pieces in place that opponents cannot dismantle or overturn it without a major upheaval.  We will just have to wait and see how much commitment the Republican incumbency has.  What is interesting about this development is that a growing number of big-money institutions, which had sizable retainer contracts with Gruber are withdrawing relations with him because of his lack of credibility.  Gruber is now radio-active!

Rich Weinstein is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania investment advisor, whose health insurance policy got cancelled because of the ACA and a replacement policy premiums are now twice the cost.  Rich Weinstein is one incensed citizen who believed something was awry and spent hours watching videos before he learned that Jonathan Holmes Gruber is at the apex of the scenario, and gloating about his deceptive accomplishments.  Not only  did Rich Weinstein spend many frustrating hours in research, but having obtained it, spent more frustrating hours trying to get some news outlet to run the story.  Rich is not interested in any pay or recognition for his discovery, but hopes his efforts will benefit the American voters who are being hurt by Obamacare.  It would not surprise me to learn the IRS targeting him for some sort of trumped-up tax-evasion charge!

The facts of the matter are that most Americans are consumed trying to make ends meet.  The average citizen does not have the time or resources to attempt any checkmate move of corrupt Washington bureaucrats, whose activities are endorsed by the liberal news media.  After the news broke about the IRS targeting of conservative groups in opposition to Washington D.C.’s anti-Constitution conduct, many Americans are not willing to stake their holdings and family against the overwhelming corruption, with no representation or judicial system to back them in their efforts.

The John F. Kennedy Assassination

NEWSMAX cable television aired a two-hour documentary of the involved plot to end John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s life on Friday evening, November 21st, the anniversary eve of his Dallas, Texas assassination in 1963. Readers doubted the Warren Commission Report credibility from the outset, and it catalyzed countless conspiracy theories. While the story NEWSMAX aired was first presented in 1994 with many critics, there are two points about it worth noting.

The first deals with the interviewee, James Files, the confessed grassy-knoll gunman is serving time in the Illinois Statesville penitentiary for killing two State Police Officers.  This in itself diminishes his credibility, having nothing to lose and much to gain, but he is not seeking remuneration, and has received multiple death threats to silence him.  The assassin was Oakman, Alabama-born James Early Sutton, January 24, 1942, where he lived until he joined the Army’s 82nd Airborne to serve in Viet Nam and Laos in 1959 and 1960.   Following his discharge, Sutton returned to Chicago, to race stock cars.  An up-and-coming Chicago Mafia mogul named Charlie Nicoletti took notice of Sutton’s driving skills and brought him into his criminal organization as his personal ‘wheel-man’. Sutton soon learned locals recognized Nicoletti as a hit-man, and confessed in a later interview that in his opinion, “Nicoletti was the best that ever lived!”  This placed Sutton in an ever-expanding circle of criminal contacts.  At the time, Nicoletti worked for a Chicago Family Mob Boss named Tony Accardo, a lieutenant in Chicago mafia mogul Sam Giancano’s organization.

Charlie Nicoletti took Sutton to Miami to meet another gangster named Johnny Roselli and David Atlee Philips, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative, both integral players in John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Organized crime takes on a whole new meaning as one examines the vast array of participants in John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s death.  Conspiracy theories surfaced quickly after November 22, 1963, and many have been legitimately invalidated, but what has remained consistent in the time since is that Chicago mob boss Sam Giancano authorized John F. Kennedy’s death, and tasked his organization to carry out his request, but why?

The elder Kennedy, Joe had a gentleman’s agreement with the Chicago mafia to get his son John elected to the Presidency, and the mob delivered.  As one examines the JFK Presidency, you find a morass of scandals, but they were not as widely publicized as current counterparts, but JFK stepped over the line of mafia tolerance when he released his brother Robert to reel-in organized crime.  ‘The straw that broke the camel’s back’ was Robert Kennedy’s plan to profile mafia leadership on national television.  This camellia group functioned as legitimate business proprietors publically, but used their businesses to front an array of illegal activities, and felt the Kennedy’s had double-crossed them.

The cast in this sinister plot included the Chicago Mob, the New York Mob, the White House, the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Dallas Police and a host of less significant support actors.  The original stage was Chicago, but moved to Dallas to camouflage the script-writers.  While Lee Harvey Oswald was part of the organization, he was only a patsy the plot called to die before Jack Ruby actually shot him.

According to James Files, the players took respective places the morning of November 22nd with specific orders to just kill John F. Kennedy and no one else, and specifically do not hurt Jacqueline.  Twenty-one-year-old James Sutton took his place on the grassy knoll; Nicoletti took his place in the Dal-Tex building, an unidentified shooter move to a west window of the Texas Book Depository and a fourth waited on the driver’s side of Elm Street with an automatic hand gun, where Kennedy’s motorcade would pass.  Lee Harvey Oswald was to place the Mannlicher-Carcano near a window on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository Building, and then walk to the movie theater when the action commenced.  The city planners altered the Dallas Presidential Motorcade route at the last minute to take Kennedy through a planned death zone.

As it happened, Charlie Nicoletti fired first from the Dal-Tex Building, but less than a tenth of a second ahead of James Files on the grassy knoll.  Nicoletti’s round struck the President in the back, passed through his body and eventually hit John Connolly.  James Files’ round hit the President in the right temple behind his eye and exited the left rear of his skull.  While researchers claim four shots were fired, Nicoletti and Files fired only once each, leaving some question about the other two shots.

Sam Giancano’s plot sent Oswald to a local movie theater where GaryMarlow would shoot him, and the plan was moving according to the plot until Officer Tippet mistook Gary Marlow for Lee Harvey Oswald and tried to apprehend him, but the young officer was no match for a professional killer, and he died.  This unfortunate twist left Oswald to be arrested, and at risk to talk.  Jack Ruby became a second-string hit-man, who silenced Oswald permanently, before he could expose more than he did.  One of the benefits extended to James Sutton was admission into the Witness Protection Program under the name of James Files., the name by which he married, sired children and lived a low-keyed life until his conflict with two Illinois State Police Officers, who died by his hand.  Here we have more evidence of politically-correct double standards, where Presidential assassin James Sutton was protected by the witness protection program, but Officer Darren Wilson was denied similar support.

The second point is the certification of a divisive spirit already at work in the United States government in the early 1960’s that manifested itself in a complex governmental scandal and cover-up for decades that has only fermented in the years since.

Diane Feinstein’s CIA Interrogation Reportr

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, outgoing Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, delivered a politically-correct, but willfully, unnecessary and gratuitously destructive speech describing the one-sided interrogation report of captured militant terrorists.  Senator Feinstein’s White-House-backed verbiage provided aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime, together with a propaganda windfall for Islamic fanatics.  The report exposed allies that took great risks to help the United States in the wake of the September 11, 2011 terrorist attack, and distorts the record in the interest of political-correctness for short-term political advantage.  Such a tragedy, what Senator Feinstein and her party have done to the people of this great nation.  Senator Feinstein’s speech was irresponsible and self-serving, and moved her into the company of Tokyo Rose of World War II!

President Obama’s Cuban Resolution

President Obama’s decision to exchange prisoners with Cuba, and restore diplomatic relations with the island communist regime, hit the December 17th news.  As in the negotiations to release Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the United States came out losing once again, agreeing to release three Cuban spies in exchange for the release of intelligence asset Alan Gross, held in Cuba on spy charges for nearly twenty years.  Cuban born, Florida Senator Marco Rubio commented in a press conference saying, “This president is the single worst negotiator we have had in the White House in my lifetime, who has basically given the Cuban government everything it asks for and receive no assurances of any advances in democracy and freedom in return,”  Rubio continued, “Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naiveté during his final two years in office,”

Conversely, President Obama believes the new deal marks the beginning of ‘a new approach’ in United States relations with Cuba, to expand economic and travel opportunities as we open a United States embassy in Havana.  The President believes that the past fifty years of isolation from the island nation have failed to yield any democratic progress in the Communism prevalent there.  While the jury continues to deliberate on this matter, the facts are that President Obama has done precious little to heighten the security of the United States, as he strives to reduce this nation to a Third-World entity.

Two New York City Police Officers Executed

On Saturday afternoon, December 20, 2014, Ismaaiy Brinsley ambushed and executed New York City Police Officers Rafael Ramos and William Liu in their patrol car.  The gunman’s barbarous action heightened nationwide concern for the safety of law enforcement officers.  Investigators learned that Brinsley had numerous legal confrontations, including fifteen arrests in Georgia and four arrests in Ohio for assorted crimes.  He expressed discouragement with self in life on social media and ranted about his anger with authority figures.  Brinsley vowed on social media to ‘put wings on pigs’ in retaliation for his perceived slayings of black men by white police.  Just prior to the officers’ execution, Brinsley asked two strangers if they were gang-affiliated, urged them to follow him on social media and ended the conversation telling them ‘ watch what I’m going to do!’.  While Brinsley was black, his two victims were Hispanic and Asian, all three ethnic minorities in the political sense, but souls having reached their eternal disposition in the Lord’s economy.  It is unlikely either of the two officers expected their lives would end that afternoon.  Investigators sought to determine if Brinsley had taken part in any of the Michael Brown or Eric Garner demonstrations, both of whose names he invoked in his social media threat.

According to Brinsley’s mother, he was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he spent a troubled childhood.  She feared her son’s violent behavior, mentioned his attempted suicide in 2013, believed her son had a diagnosed mental problem and suspected he may have been on prescription medication.  While he lived in Brooklyn, New York, where he fathered a child with Shaneka Thompson, who he shot in her Baltimore, Marilyn home, only hours before killing the officers, he traveled frequently to the South.  Following Brinsley’s execution of the two officers, he fled to a nearby subway station, where he died by his own hand with the same handgun he shot others with.

Politically-correct national, state and local government talking-heads has heightened racial tensions with inflammatory rhetoric, is a major contributor to the nearly sixty percent increase in uniformed officer executions similar to the two mentioned above.  Naïve citizenry reasons that if government officials no longer respect law enforcement, then there is no need for citizens to respect them either.

Here, we have another tragic instance of the spirit of division working to destroy those in its grasp, but there is another troubling aspect of this story.  There is no evidence of a Christian father in Ismaaiy Brinsley’s childhood to uphold the office of prophet, priest and king.  As a reminder, the prophet represents God to his children, the priest represents his children before the Lord through intercessory prayer, and the king provides spiritual leadership.  The Scriptural charge of this office is to teach Scriptural precepts and demonstrate Scriptural principles through his conduct in action and reaction.  No parent must teach their child to sin, but rather must demonstrate how to live in harmony with the Lord through obedience to His Word.  In the absence of a Christian man to occupy this office, the god of this world (Ephesians 2:1-2) will provide willing substitutes to beckon the children to the lust  of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life (I John 2:16).  Most men can sire children, but diminishing numbers of men demonstrate willingness to step up to the responsibility of being Godly fathers.  Failure in this office, be it occupied or otherwise causes serious collateral damage to many in the vicinity.

The Pope Blasts Vatican Bureaucrats

On Monday, December 22, 2014, Pope Francis smiled as he met with the Vatican Curia Cardinals and Bishops in Clementine Hall, to exchange traditional Christmas greetings, but delivered a searing denouncement of their bureaucracy instead.  He accused an unidentified subset of lusting for power at all cost, wallowing in hypocrisy, and suffering from “spiritual Alzheimer’s” that draws them away from their responsibilities.  The Pope proceeded to identify fifteen specific transgressions present at the Vatican that must cease and desist!  Needless to say, the addressees were not amused, responding at the conclusion with tepid applause.  Pope Francis is the first Latin American Pontiff, having no experience in the Italian-dominated Vatican culture before his election, but has aggressively dealt with the gossiping, careerism, and bureaucratic power struggles that shame the organization.

Here again, we see a spirit of division manifesting itself, that has been working incrementally for an extended period of time.  Pope Francis and his nine key, Cardinal advisors are developing plans to revamp the entire bureaucratic structure to increase efficiency and responsiveness.

Analysis & Application

Reflecting on American life in the autumn years from a culture that once acknowledged the Lord and recognized the evidence of His Hand to establish, empower and bless the people of America in countless ways, I remain dismayed at where we are now, and the part my generation contributed to our current condition.  This is not to say that the United States was ever a Christian nation, because it was never intended to be a theocracy, but the founding fathers crafted the articles of our government on Biblical principles for religious freedom.  While there remains a remnant of Americans who have not capitulated to the socially-elite propaganda, the nation, as a whole is pursuing the gods of money, sports and entertainment.  Some say that America is under the Lord’s judgment, but I would disagree.  Because of our idolatry, the Lord removed His protective Hand to allow us to destroy ourselves, and we are doing a commendable job at it, but when the Lord’s judgment falls on America, there will be no doubt of its origin.  Even now while America spends vast sums of money entertaining ourselves, life has become very stressful and a diminishing minority claims to still enjoy life in America as it has come to be.  Increasing numbers of sporting events are now the platform of assault between team (s) and/or fans.  While the Lord is always faithful, the fact is that the American gods of money, sports and entertainment are failing to deliver the pleasure they once did.  According to the Lord Jesus Christ, the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45).  It is becoming increasingly important for the Christian to walk by faith, wholly submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (James 4:7).  If you choose against that, you are constrained to live on luck, and luck is in short supply these days, but then Christians do not live on luck anyway.  I would remind the reader that idolatry is incremental and will gain control of you unless you remain alert to the danger of your own depraved fleshly propensities (Jeremiah 17:9 and Romans 3:10-18).

The number of self-proclaimed judges, who believe their judicial insight takes precedent over an established judicial system, is rising geometrically.  The origin of this thinking is the press to increase one’s self-esteem.  Published opinion-polls and media public talk shows that encourage outspoken individuals to express their thoughts only energize this flawed logic.  This is not to suggest that America’s judicial system is flawless, but anarchy is not the solution, because everyone is right in their opinion.

Domestic terror attacks rose out of politically-protected sleeper cells, strategically scheming to maim or kill Americans, or by youth brainwashed by liberal historical revisionists that traditional American heritage came at the expense of others, rather than through legitimate, hard work.  The fruit of this initiative is the basis of anxiety, arriving on the wings of discouragement, depression and suicide.  Stephen Stills wrote a popular protest song he called ‘For What It’s Worth’ in 1966 that Buffalo Springfield recorded and released in 1967, which included the lines…

‘Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep.

It starts when you’re always afraid. Step out of line, the man come, and take you away.

You better stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.’

Paranoia blended with indifference is the new cultural norm. The public not knowing whether a passer-by is a knife-wielding terrorist, or an IRS agent sent to target you for resisting the politically-correct agenda.  This new cultural norm increased gun sales, the demand for counseling services and security systems.  The freedoms Americans once enjoyed are dying, as did Phil Everly, while the cost of living escalates at phenomenal rates.  Ronald Regan is as close to a statesman Washington D. C. has hosted in the last century, and now America’s legal system is by the polycrats, of the polycrats and for the polycrats, who exempt themselves from the laws they pass.  The Left Coast ‘flower children’ of the 1960’s have migrated to leadership positions in America’s national and state capitols, our judicial system the media and our education system, united to inflict their liberal ideology on defenseless citizens, who have no recourse but to pay their tab.  Wow!

An entitlement mentality superseded the American Dream.  Work ethics by both employers and employees is in the ditch.  Employers expect remaining employees to do more for less pay and benefits, which offends remaining employees, who do as little as possible to keep from getting fired.  My, how far we have come!  America, as older Americans knew it is imploding, as did the Roman, Grecian and Babylonian Empires, and for the same reasons.  Those who fail to learn from history are doomed and damned to repeat it!

Personal Update

As some of you know, I moved from the Left Coast to the Midwest, which presented a litany of challenges.  When Sarah died in Hebron, Abraham approached the locals for a grave site, and made the following comment in dialogue with them…

Genesis 23:4

I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.

I can relate to Abraham’s sentiment of being a sojourner!  While I still consider anything outside Texas state lines as foreign territory, the Lord has already opened several ministry doors, led us to a good church, and answered prayer in dramatic ways, which I still find to be most humbling!  In closing, I thank those of you who intercede for me, as I covet your prayers.

While the previous text records peril over the previous year, Scripture exhorts the Christian to thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:20 and I Thessalonians 5:18) and joy (Romans 5:11), regardless of personal circumstances.  The eminent psychologist, Joseph Kreisler, wrote, “If you wish to be miserable, think about yourself and what you want, what you like, what attention other people ought to pay to you, and then you will find nothing will satisfy you.  You will spoil everything you touch, and finally, you will make pain and misery out of everything God sent you.”  The events of the previous year heighten the need for discernment, which unfortunately is conspicuous by its absence in the contemporary Christian community.

Advertisements