Archive for December, 2008


Pro-Hamas, Ft. Lauderdale

December 31, 2008
From a friend.

view video:


On Tuesday December 30, 2008 – I took the Concorde jet to Pakistan and videotaped a Pro-Hamas demonstration in downtown Karachi … except, I did not take the Concorde and did not go to Pakistan…but I did tape a Pro-Hamas Demonstration…in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.




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IPT – A Daily Snapshot

December 31, 2008

Daily Terror Alert
Tuesday 23 December 2008

NOTE:  The next Daily Terror Alert will be distributed Monday 29 Dec 2008

Top News

Cheney defends US ‘war on terror’ policies (AFP)
Vice President Dick Cheney has defended controversial interrogation methods in the US “war on terror,” while acknowledging he was not sure if Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was still alive. In an interview on Sunday one month before his eight-year term in office ends, Cheney rejected accusations that the treatment of terror suspects amounted to torture and violated US law, saying the administration’s policies helped prevent another terrorist strike on the country. “Given the kind of conflict we’re faced with today, we find ourselves in a situation where I believe you need strong executive leadership. What we did in this administration is to exert that kind of authority,” Cheney told Fox News.

2. Five Radical Islamist Convicted Of Conspiring To Kill U.S. Soldiers
(IPT News)
A jury … convicted five Muslim immigrants of plotting to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix. Four of the defendants were also convicted of weapons charges, and all five were acquitted of attempted murder charges. Mohamad Shnewer (age 23), Serdar Tatar (age 25), Dritan Duka (age 30), Eljvir Duka (age 25), and Shain Duka (age 27) are expected to be sentenced April 22nd and 23rd for conspiring to kill U.S. military personnel. They could face life in prison. After twelve weeks of trial in a New Jersey courtroom, jurors took less than six days to reach their decision. The men were arrested in May 2007 in Cherry Hill, NJ while two of them attempted to purchase four automatic M-16 rifles and 3 semi-automatic AK-47 rifles to be used in a future attack. The men were not accused of having ties to specific terrorist organizations, but prosecutors presented dozens of video clips featuring jihadist speeches they say the men used as inspiration.

3. The Fort Dix Verdict: A Victory for Pre-emptive Prosecutions (Time)
Technically, the verdict Monday in the Fort Dix terrorism case – in which five defendants were accused of plotting to attack the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey – was mixed. After deliberating for six days, the jury at Federal District Court in Camden, N.J., acquitted the defendants of attempted murder but found them guilty of conspiring to murder members of the U.S. military. “It shows that the portrait that was painted by the U.S. Attorney as a slam dunk case was not accurate,” said Rocco Cipparone Jr., one of the defense attorneys. But in truth the verdict is a significant victory for the federal government, and not just because the conspiracy conviction is likely to put the men away for life, when U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler sentences them in April. It proves that the government can convince a jury to support the idea of pre-emptively prosecuting terrorism cases – a risky strategy that has yielded mixed results in the past.

4. Many Muslims skeptical of Fort Dix verdicts

Yes, they talked tough, fired guns and watched jihadist videos. But the five young Muslims convicted today of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix may not have been guilty of anything more than youthful braggadocio and poor judgment. That was the verdict rendered by Muslim leaders immediately after the guilty verdicts were read in U.S. District Court in Camden. “It seemed to me as if the case was pretty flimsy,” said James Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba who was arrested in 2003 and charged with mishandling classified material and other crimes in a suspected espionage ring. Criminal charges were later dropped against him. “It seems like these guys under normal circumstances weren’t going to do anything until a government informant initiates contact with them and incites them,” said Yee.

5. Maryland man pleads guilty to conspiracy to act as Iraqi agent
(Baltimore Sun),0,3320529.story

IPT NOTE: The gov’t press release is posted at
A 67-year-old Maryland restaurateur, known by the code name “Adam,” pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to spying for the Iraqi government – including Saddam Hussein’s regime – since 1989. According to court documents, Saubhe Jassim Al-Dellemy used his Laurel restaurant to gather information about nearby U.S. agencies and their employees, including where military officers lived. He gave the data to Iraqi Intelligence Service members and officials, who sometimes met at the restaurant. Reached by telephone yesterday at the restaurant, Gourmet Shish Kebab, Al-Dellemy declined to comment. He could face a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and deportation. Sentencing is scheduled for March.

6. Taliban member sentenced to life in 1st US conviction on narcoterror charges (DOJ)
A member of an Afghan Taliban cell was sentenced today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to two terms of life in prison on drug and narco-terrorism charges, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division announced. Khan Mohammed, 38, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to serve the two life sentences concurrently as well as 60 months of supervised release, served consecutively, for each of the two counts of conviction following the prison term. Mohammed was convicted on May 15, 2008, after a seven-day jury trial on one count of distribution of one kilogram or more of heroin knowing and intending that it be imported into the United States and one count of narco-terrorism, or the distribution of a controlled substance (in this case heroin and opium) in order to provide something of pecuniary value to a person or group that has engaged or is engaging in terrorist activity. The conviction represented the first time a defendant had been convicted in U.S. federal court of narco-terrorism since the statute was enacted in March 2006.

7. Executive linked to Iranian probe arrested in NYC (AP)
The president of a foundation that co-owns a Manhattan building allegedly linked to a bank accused of supporting Iran’s nuclear program was arrested Friday. Farshid Jahedi, 54, the president of the Alavi Foundation, was charged with obstruction of justice after he tried on Thursday to throw away documents responsive to a subpoena he received one day earlier, federal prosecutors said. An FBI complaint against Jahedi said he was warned not to destroy documents requested by a grand jury. It said he disobeyed the order when he went home to Ardsley, N.Y., where he dumped papers in a public trash can. The documents referred to Assa Limited, Assa Co. and 650 Fifth Ave. Co., subjects responsive to the subpoena, authorities said. Jahedi’s Alavi Foundation owns 60 percent of the building on Fifth Avenue.

8. Swede who told FBI his son-in-law was linked to Al Qaeda appeals libel conviction
(The Local – Sweden)
A man who told the FBI that his son-in-law had links to al-Qaeda as a way of avenging perceived sleights to his daughter, is appealing his conviction for libel to Sweden’s Supreme Court. The father-in-law, from Lund in southern Sweden, was sentenced to community service and ordered to pay 60,000 kronor damages for getting his estranged son-in-law arrested on his way to a conference in Orlando in 2006. The son-in-law’s arrest followed a tip-off submitted by the father-in-law to the FBI’s website in which the Swede was reported to be “most likely linked to Muslim terror org AQ networks in Sweden and is known to speak about helping Muslim world on US terror.” The man was arrested by armed guards as his plane touched down in Orlando. He was questioned for several
hours and was forbidden from contacting anyone.

9. Exclusive: over 60 per cent of Britain’s Muslim schools have extremist links, says draft report
(Daily Telegraph – London)
Britain’s Muslim schools have been sharply criticised in a controversial draft report commissioned by a leading think tank which suggests that over 60 per cent of them are linked to potentially dangerous Islamic fundamentalists. An early version of the report, entitled When Worlds Collide, alleges that of the 133 Muslim primary and secondary schools it surveyed, 82 (61.6 per cent) have connections or direct affiliations to fundamentalists. The 133 schools are in the private sector but supposedly subject to Ofsted inspection. The report also claims that some of these schools teach “repugnant” beliefs about the wickedness of Western society and Jews.

10. Paris judge charges 3 suspected of terrorist plot
A Paris judge has filed preliminary charges against three men suspected of planning a terrorist attack. A judicial official said late Saturday that a 29-year-old French man was being held while a judge probes charges including terrorism-related criminal conspiracy. Two others were freed pending the investigation and will be monitored by authorities. The judge can order a trial or drop the charges. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in accordance with judicial policy. France’s domestic counterterrorism agency had arrested seven people around Paris Tuesday on suspicion some may have been planning an attack. Four people have already been released.

11. Indian police say terror strike foiled in Kashmir
Indian police said Tuesday they had foiled a major suicide strike in Indian-controlled Kashmir with the arrest of three Islamist militants, including a Pakistani soldier. Under interrogation, the militants said they had been planning to drive a truck laden with explosives into a “vital installation,” Jammu and Kashmir police chief Kuldeep Khuda said. The three were waiting for delivery of the explosives and confirmation of the intended target when they were arrested, Khuda said. The arrests came amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of the attacks in Mumbai, which New Delhi has blamed on a Pakistan-based militant group.

12. India terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the new Al Qaeda? (NY Daily News)
U.S. intelligence was caught off-guard by Lashkar-e-Taiba’s “highly sophisticated” Mumbai terror strikes last month, which top spies now consider the debut of a new “brand name” to rival Al Qaeda. The Islamist group was formed with Pakistani government help decades ago, but U.S. officials admit underestimating Lashkar’s shift from waging a minor conflict in the Kashmir region to threatening Westerners and Jews. “There is real concern over the fact LeT has raised its profile,” a U.S. counterterror official told the Daily News. “A lot of people are watching closely now to see if they’re plotting new attacks.” The group is as mainstream in Pakistan as its ally Hamas is in the Palestinian territories. Before the mayhem that began Nov. 26, no Lashkar camps in Pakistan’s tribal areas had been targeted during an intense CIA offensive in the fall, a senior intelligence official confirmed.

13. U.S. to Fund Afghan Militias, Applying Iraq Tactic
The Afghan government will formally start a U.S.-funded effort to recruit armed local militias in the battle against the Taliban in remote parts of the country, exporting the tactic to Afghanistan from Iraq. The first militias will be established in Wardak Province, in eastern Afghanistan, in coming weeks, officials said. If the effort in Wardak is successful, U.S. commanders hope to create similar forces in other parts of Afghanistan in early 2009. The militia push is part of a growing American effort to bypass the struggling Afghan central government and funnel resources to Afghan villages and provinces. Senior American officials have stepped up their criticism of Afghan President Hamid Karzai in recent weeks, making clear that they believe his government needs to do more to fight corruption and deliver basic services.

14. Russia denies delivering S-300 missiles to Iran (AFP)
Russia on Monday denied that it was delivering sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran, following reports it was about to supply the weapons to the US arch-foe. “The information on the delivery of S-300 air-defence systems to Iran, which has appeared in certain media outlets, does not correspond to reality,” Russia’s military-technical cooperation agency said in a statement.

15. Hariri says he will not call for negotiations with Israel (eNews 2.0)

The head of the anti-Syrian ruling majority in Lebanon, Saad Hariri, said Tuesday he would not call for negotiations between Lebanon and Israel. “We will never initiate and request any negotiations with Israel, and the cabinet has the sole authority to take this decision,” Hariri was quoted as saying after meeting the head of the Christian community Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir. Hariri was referring to a suggestion made by Christian leader Michel Aoun, a close ally of the pro-Syrian opposition Hezbollah. Aoun has called for negotiating with Israel in Syria’s presence. On May 22, Israel and Syria announced that they were engaged in negotiations for a comprehensive peace treaty through Turkish mediators.

16. Israel developing UAV early warning sensor (Defense Systems)
Faced with a burgeoning nuclear threat from Iran, Israel is looking to develop long-range, high-resolution unmanned vehicles to help in identifying incoming nuclear warheads, RF Design reports. A prototype of the infra-red sensor has already been tested as part of the five-year old Israeli-German program called Bluebird. The Israelis are reportedly proposing a follow-on program called the Airborne Early Warning Sensor, which Pentagon officials are apparently considering for funding under the jointly funded Israeli Upper Tier program. Some $50 million has already been appropriated for that program in 2008 and 2009, RF Design said.

17. Hamas waiting for showdown
At the time of writing this, and as opposed to other Gaza groups, Hamas has not yet fired even one Qassam rocket at Israel since the end of the lull. The group’s military wing, Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades has not fired rockets at Ashkelon or Sderot, instead making do with mortar fire at Gaza-region communities. Mortars can kill too, yet Hamas is using them to send a message: We are still interested in a lull, but under new terms. Israel is closely familiar with Hamas’ demands – a complete opening of the Gaza crossings and significant mitigation of the blockade. Israel does not accept the demands made in Gaza, and therefore Hamas allows other organizations to fire rockets. The return of massive fire enables the group to reclaim the title of “resistance movement,” which had been somewhat forgotten in recent months. In order not to stay out of the cycle of resistance and fire, Hamas is taking part in the armed struggle by using mortars. However, Hamas is saving its rockets for the moment where the possibility of an Israeli military operation shifts from words to actions.

18. Gaza gunmen fire at soldiers near Sufa
(Jerusalem Post)

Gaza gunmen fired at IDF soldiers patrolling the security fence near the Sufa crossing late Monday afternoon, seemingly refuting reports of a 24-hour ceasefire. The troops returned fire. No one was wounded and no damage was reported. In addition, soldiers arrested two Palestinians near Kissufim who had crossed the Gaza fence. They were transferred for interrogation. Also Monday afternoon, three Kassam rockets fired by Gaza terrorists hit southern Israel. One struck the Eshkol region, while two hit the Sha’ar Hanegev area. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.

19. Intensified rocket attacks reignite residents’ anxiety (Jerusalem Post)

Renewed Kassam rocket attacks on Sderot and the western Negev has reignited the extreme trauma and stress experienced by area residents, especially the children, according to professionals who run the Israel Trauma Coalition’s five Resilience Centers. “We have been receiving an increasing number of calls and people coming in for treatment referrals over the past few days,” David Giron, regional coordinator of the Resilience Centers, told The Jerusalem Post Monday. A trained social psychologist, Giron said that the situation had been exacerbated by the “period of relative quiet,” which had seen life in Sderot return to some semblance of normalcy. “Now the pressure has returned at an even higher magnitude than before,” he explained, stressing that the situation reflects a buildup after eight years of attacks.

20. Israel Prepares PR for Gaza Offensive (Israel National News)
Israel’s civilian Public Relations network held a first-of-its-kind drill on Monday. The drill, titled “Maya 2,” was meant to prepare government ministries and spokespeople for the possibility of an escalation in the conflict with Gaza. Dozens of PR workers, IDF spokespeople, security and rescue agency representatives and representatives from Gaza Belt communities took part in the exercise. The goal was to improve coordination between the various bodies and the government, and to present a united front, organizers said.

Commentary / Analysis

1. Robert Spencer: Shilling for the Ft. Dix Six (Front Page Magazine)

2. James Gordon Meek: Murky Intelligence on Obama’s Intel Picks (CT Blog)

3. Walid Phares: Jihad by the Shoe: Who Was Behind it and why?
(CT Blog)


A Rigged Auction Derailed

December 31, 2008

A Rigged Auction Derailed

Team Obama is already meddling with wireless markets.

Using government power to help the powerful is a bipartisan tradition, as we’ve learned watching the brawl over a Federal Communications Commission wireless auction. The good news is that Republican Chairman Kevin Martin’s recent attempt to rig the auction was derailed at the last minute, but the same political forces will be back in the Obama Administration.

We say this with confidence because we’ve learned that one of the politicians lobbying Mr. Martin was none other than Barack Obama’s nominee for Labor Secretary, Congresswoman Hilda Solis of California. In an October 3 letter, she urged Mr. Martin to move ahead quickly with an auction with rules that would have benefited a single company, telecom start-up M2Z, at the expense of other bidders.

She did so by playing the race and class cards, suggesting that the auction would make Internet broadband more affordable for poor Hispanics. “As the first Latina to serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and a Member of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, I am very concerned about our country’s stark broadband divide,” she wrote.

You have to give her credit for nerve. The way to increase Internet access and affordability is to promote competition to spur investment and keep prices falling. Experience shows that a rigged spectrum auction slows the process of getting licenses into the hands of those companies best able to put the airwaves to use. It would also cheat the Treasury out of the higher revenues that a clean auction would garner.

Far from aiding the Hispanic working class, Ms. Solis’s letter was designed to help M2Z, which is backed by John Doerr, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and donor to Democratic politicians. In a December 9 letter to the FCC’s general counsel, M2Z vice president for regulatory affairs Uzoma Onyeije explicitly cited a letter from Ms. Solis to the FCC endorsing the auction.

We’re happy to say Mr. Martin scrapped the proceeding following intervention by others in the Bush Administration. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez sent a pointed letter to Mr. Martin urging the agency to auction off the spectrum to the highest bidder without conditions that favor a single company. But this fight isn’t over. Although Mr. Martin canceled this month’s meeting, he’s left open the option of holding an FCC vote on his proposals before leaving his post next month. And if he fails, Ms. Solis will soon have even more power inside the Obama Administration to assist the rich and well connected at the expense of all Americans.

WSJ 27 Dec. 2008


Hey! It’s my birthday!

December 31, 2008

I know I hear about Christians who are mistreated and abused in Iraq – but we also read about an equal response like this.  Don

Hey! It’s my birthday!

By Ken Joseph Jr.

WASHINGTON/BAGHDAD (ANS) — Walking the streets of Washington DC leading up to Christmas, I have come across a most interesting phenomenon.  Nowhere, and I mean absolutely nowhere, is Jesus to be found! It is truly amazing!

Extensive Christmas decorations are everywhere, in the stores, on the streets, wherever you turn it is Christmas!

I started to talking to people and asking them the simple question, “Isn’t Christmas celebrating the birthday of Jesus?”

The answers I got were quite amazing.

Literally everybody I talked to, paused and said, “You know; you’re right! It is supposed to be His birthday. What happened to Jesus?”

Imagine if you had a birthday. Your friends all came over, they partied, they ate, they exchanged presents and everybody acted if you didn’t even exist.

Well, after a few minutes of that, you would stand up and say, “Hey! It’s my birthday!”

As I began to talk to people, dozens of them, I started to get angry. No matter what faith, creed, color – and you can find just about anything in Washington – they agreed. It just wasn’t right!

Christmas, celebrating the birthday of Jesus and amazingly there appears to be a very studied attempt to completely ignore Him.

Well, contrast that to Baghdad. I am an Assyrian Christian and my family is originally from the Iraqi village of Mahmoudia in Northern Iraq.

I was there during Saddam’s time and remember the sheer terror that reigned 24 hours a day. The constant fear that you could be hauled off by one of his “goons” and never seen again.

Well in Iraq thanks to our failed policies the poor Iraqis have not learned yet that you are supposed to ignore Jesus on Christmas.

Sponsored by the Iraqi Government — no separation of Church and State here — there was a special Christmas Celebration in downtown Baghdad.

Guess what was the main attraction? A huge Christmas tree topped by a Star? A massive Santa Claus? Fake snow?

Nope! They had a huge picture of… you got it, Jesus!

There it was! A huge, beautifully painted color painting of Jesus, the center of the Christmas celebration!

Iraqi Government spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf took it all one step further when he announced on behalf of the Iraqi Government, “All Iraqis are Christians today.”

Did I miss something?

No, I didn’t.

After meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, on behalf of the Assyrian Christians, I paused and said, “Prime Minister, would you mind if I prayed for you?”

He beamed, ordered all his beefy, confused security guards who were surrounding us, to bow their heads and we had a wonderful time of prayer.

Meeting later with Iraqi President Talabani on the same subject, I asked the question again. This time he pointed to his chest and said, “I just had surgery on my heart – pray here!”

I thought to myself what kind of a reception I would get on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, or a dozen other Government Agencies, after a meeting, if I asked, “Would you mind if I prayed for you?”

A cold silence? Mass panic? A straight “no” – with a couple exceptions.

Well, Washington, and all of us this Christmas can learn something from the poor, politically incorrect Iraqis.

By the way, if Iraq is doing so bad, why is it that I can’t seem to book my ticket to get back there, as there are no open seats!

As every Iraqi Government says so proudly they have been “liberated”` and now celebrate Christmas the way it should be with a huge picture of Jesus whose birthday Christmas is!

May God bless them all and may He call us back to our senses before it is too late.

Of all times in the middle of an economic crisis it is not the time to make the birthday guest upset!

Christmas is the birthday of Jesus and the Iraqis got it right – put Him up front and center! The Iraqis at least know that much! They need Him and all the blessings they can get!

Ken Joseph Jr., who was born in Japan, heads up and has written weekly columns in the Asahi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun and currently writes in The Japan Times. He regularly comments on Social Affairs for CNN/Fox TV, BBC, ITN, ABC and in Japan for TV Asahi, NHK, TBS, NTV and others.


Bailing Out Shariah Law

December 31, 2008

Bailing Out Shariah Law


Islamofascism: In bailing out AIG, Uncle Sam may have taken on more than he bargained for, including a constitutional fight over the promotion of religion.

Earlier this month, as the New York-based insurance giant benefited from $153 billion in tax-supported bailout funds, it launched a business unit offering Shariah-compliant insurance products in the U.S.

For the first time, homeowners’ insurance policies “compliant with key Islamic finance tenets” will be marketed to Muslims in America.

We are pleased to offer socially responsible solutions to this segment of the domestic market,” the near-bankrupt AIG announced in a press release, explaining that the Islamic market represents “an important and emerging growth opportunity for AIG.”

But there’s little that is “socially responsible” about Shariah law, which regulates the “takaful” insurance AIG is selling, along with other Islamic finance.

Shariah law authorizes horrific human-rights abuses, including the kind of violence and oppression against women, homosexuals, apostates and non-Muslims seen in Saudi Arabia and earlier under the Taliban in Afghanistan.

To fully comply with Shariah code, AIG has hired a “Shariah Supervisory Board” composed of “Shariah scholars.” Who are these so-called scholars?

One, according to its press release, is Muhammad Imran Usmani, who happens to be the son of Sheik Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, who supports violent jihad against Westerners. The elder Usmani is so radical that Dow Jones & Co. recently removed him from the board of its Islamic market index.

At a minimum, AIG has to do better due diligence if it’s going to use taxpayer money for such a controversial enterprise. But what’s the responsibility of the U.S. government here?

The Thomas More Law Center, a public-interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., argues the U.S. is promoting a religious legal code at odds with democratic values and capitalism. And that makes the bailout unconstitutional. So it’s suing Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the Federal Reserve to stop all bailout funds from going to AIG.

According to the suit, use of taxpayer funds to acquire ownership of a business that intentionally promotes, endorses, supports and funds Shariah-based Islamic religious practices violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

“The U.S. government, through its ownership of AIG, is not only violating the Constitution,” the suits claims, “but also promoting and financing the destruction of America using American tax dollars.”

While that sounds over-the-top, a sizeable share of the profit and any interest earned by AIG’s Islamic subsidiary must be “purified” by investing in Islamic charities. Such transfers will be controlled by Usmani and other Shariah advisers.

Since 9/11, dozens of major Muslim charities around the world, including several based in the U.S., have been tied to terrorism and shut down. So AIG — along with American taxpayers — could unwittingly finance terrorism against the U.S. and its allies.

The potential for terror money laundering deeply concerns two Republican leaders on the Hill, who on the heels of the Thomas More lawsuit fired off a letter to AIG CEO Ed Liddy warning him that the FBI could come knocking.

“We hope you can verify what hands your money passes through, because we would hate to see the FBI visit you one day, look into your books and tell you that money from AIG found its way into terrorist hands,” wrote Reps. Frank Wolf, congressional Human Rights Caucus co-chairman, and Sue Myrick, co-chairwoman of the congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus.

What’s odd is that the Treasury Department is the agency charged with cracking down on terror financing, yet it’s encouraging firms like AIG to go into Islamic finance. In fact, Treasury co-sponsored a seminar in November titled “Islamic Financing 101” to promote Shariah financing to corporate America. [HOLY LAND FOUNDATION]

The seminar was jointly sponsored by Harvard University, which is heavily supported by Saudi petrodollars.

So it’s not just AIG that’s actively helping Shariah gain a foothold in America. It’s also Washington.

Financial crisis or not, it’s hardly in the economic interest of taxpayers or the U.S. to own part of a business that supports a Stone Age legal code championed by the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.

AIG should divest itself from Shariah business practices if it wants to keep its public bailout money.


Cicero – 55 BC

December 31, 2008

So what have we learned in 2 millennia?

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasurycicero1 should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. Cicero – 55 B.C.


Common Sense: California in ’09

December 31, 2008

State fees for divorces, parking fines other services rise Jan.1


Here’s a secret for avoiding higher state fees after New Year’s Day: Drive carefully, park right, wear seat belts, don’t get divorced and stay out of jail.


The Worst Predictions About 2008

December 31, 2008

The Worst Predictions About 2008

U.S. insurer American International Group (AIG) office building is pictured inReuters – U.S. insurer American International Group (AIG) office building is pictured in Tokyo December 24, 2008. …
AIG 1.56 +0.01
C 6.80 +0.23
FNM 0.69 -0.04
FRE 0.69 -0.02
JPM 31.01 +1.23
Editor’s Note: This new version of the “ten worst predictions about 2008” changes three of the ten based on feedback from online readers andBusinessWeek editors. CNBC’s Jim Cramer and President Bush are still on the list, but with different predictions. Author Shelby Steele is off the list, replaced by a pair of BusinessWeek writers.
Here are some of the worst predictions that were made about 2008. Savor them — a crop like this doesn’t come along every year.
1. “A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off. Hold the fort and keep the faith!” —Richard Band, editor, Profitable Investing Letter, Mar. 27, 2008
At the time of the prediction, the Dow Jones industrial average was at 12,300. By late December it was at 8,500.
2. AIG (NYSE:AIGNews) “could have huge gains in the second quarter.” — Bijan Moazami, analyst, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, May 9, 2008
AIG wound up losing $5 billion in that quarter and $25 billion in the next. It was taken over in September by the U.S. government, which will spend or lend $150 billion to keep it afloat.
3. “I think this is a case where Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRENews) and Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNMNews) are fundamentally sound. They’re not in danger of going under I think they are in good shape going forward.” —Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services Committee chairman, July 14, 2008
Two months later, the government forced the mortgage giants into conservatorships and pledged to invest up to $100 billion in each.
4. “I’m not an economist but I do believe that we’re growing.” —President George W. Bush, in a July 15, 2008 press conference
Nope. Gross domestic product shrank at a 0.5% annual rate in the July-September quarter. On Dec. 1, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared that a recession had begun in December 2007.
5. “I think Bob Steel’s the one guy I trust to turn this bank around, which is why I’ve told you on weakness to buy Wachovia.” —Jim Cramer, CNBC commentator, Mar. 11, 2008
Two weeks later, Wachovia came within hours of failure as depositors fled. Steel eventually agreed to a takeover by Wells Fargo. Wachovia shares lost half their value from Sept. 15 to Dec. 29.
6. “Existing-Home Sales to Trend Up in 2008” — Headline of a National Association of Realtors press release, Dec. 9, 2007
On Dec. 23, 2008, the group said November sales were running at an annual rate of 4.5 million — down 11% from a year earlier — in the worst housing slump since the Depression.
7. “I think you’ll see (oil prices at) $150 a barrel by the end of the year” —T. Boone Pickens, June 20, 2008
Oil was then around $135 a barrel. By late December it was below $40.
8. “I expect there will be some failures. I don’t anticipate any serious problems of that sort among the large internationally active banks that make up a very substantial part of our banking system.” — Ben Bernanke,Federal Reserve chairman, Feb. 28, 2008
In September, Washington Mutual became the largest financial institutionin U.S. history to fail. Citigroup (NYSE:CNews) needed an even bigger rescue in November.
9. “In today’s regulatory environment, it’s virtually impossible to violate rules.” — Bernard Madoff, money manager, Oct. 20, 2007
About a year later, Madoff — who once headed the Nasdaq Stock Market — told investigators he had cost his investors $50 billion in an allegedPonzi scheme.
10. “There’s growing evidence that parts of the debt markets…are coming back to life.” —Peter Coy and Mara Der Hovanesian, BusinessWeek, Oct. 1, 2007.

The Outrage – Israel/Hamas

December 31, 2008
The outcry???!!!

The outcry???!!!

I think we know the opinion of the middle east.



December 30, 2008


F2A – Obama Citizenship?

December 30, 2008

From Janet Porter’s Faith 2 Action newsletter:

Barack Obama’s Citizenship?

These are the facts:

The Constitution requires the president to be a natural born citizen.

Obama’s Grandmother said she was there when Barack was born in Kenya.

Obama refuses to release his original birth certificate.

Instead of a birth certificate, Obama’s campaign posted a certificatoin given to those born abroad.

Experts have called even that document an “obvious forgery.”

Obama attended school in Indonesia as Barry Soetoro, when only Indonesian citizens were permitted to attend.

Obama’s school records list his father as Lolo Soetoro and Obama’s citizenship as Indonesian.

Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981 when it was illegal to enter as a U.S. citizen.

Sixteen lawsuits in 12 states and two cases before the Supreme Court now challenge Obama’s citizenship.

Fact: Our Constitution still matters.


See Islam video banned in Detroit

December 30, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

See Islam video banned in Detroit
Free Press rejected paid offer to distribute award-winning film ‘Obsession’

Posted: December 29, 2008
9:32 pm Eastern


How powerful is the video documentary “Obsession” – an exposé of radical Islam’s agenda throughout the world?

So powerful that at least one metro daily newspaper has refused a paid deal to distribute free educational copies of the acclaimed DVD to subscribers.

The Detroit Free Press recently turned down a paid insertion of the video, saying “it would have been potentially divisive and counterproductive to the good work the local Arab and Muslim organizations and individuals are doing to contribute to the rebirth of Detroit and Southeast Michigan.”


“Obsession” is an exposé of the brand of radical Islam that brought down the Twin Towers on 9/11 – not a video tirade against Arabs and Muslim-Americans doing good work in their communities.

Detroit’s censorship follows other attempts to quash “Obsession” that also made headlines, such as when administrators from Pace University attempted to prevent the documentary’s screening, fearing Muslim opposition. Similar incidents occurred at the State University of New York-Stonybrook, Georgia Tech University as well as in the Winnipeg, Manitoba, community.

So what’s so scary about “Obsession”? Using actual video footage from Arabic TV rarely seen in the West, as well as interviews with former terrorists, “Obsession” documents the calls for world domination and global jihad made by Islamic leaders daily. No need to read between the lines here – their message is loud and clear. The undercover footage shows suicide bomber initiations, the indoctrination of young children into hate and violence, secret jihad meetings and public celebrations of 9/11.

(Story continues below)

Due to its vivid exposition of the terrorists’ ideology and methodology, “Obsession” has been used by numerous military and security personnel for educational purposes.

And yet, “Obsession” has become “the movie Hollywood doesn’t want you to see,” due to the fact that despite overwhelming public interest, no distributor was willing to pick up the film for release because of its controversial nature.

Despite all the opposition, the feature-length edition of “Obsession” – which was awarded Best Feature Film at the Liberty Film Festival and a Special Jury Award at the WorldFest Houston – is now being released to the public.

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Israel Vows Fight ‘To The Bitter End’

December 30, 2008

Unsaid in this article from IBD – Israel made 12,000-15,000 cell phone calls to Palestinians – prior to any attack – telling them to leave – that weapons and weapons storage areas will be targeted.*


Israel Continues Assault On Gaza Strip, Vows To Fight Hamas ‘To The Bitter End’

IBD – 30 December 2008

Israel obliterated symbols of Hamas power in the Gaza Strip on the third day of what the Israeli defense minister described Monday as a “war to the bitter end,” striking next to the Hamas premier’s home and devastating a security compound and a university building.

The three-day death toll rose to 364 on Monday, with some 1,400 reported wounded. The U.N. said at least 62 of the dead were civilians, and medics said eight children under the age of 17 were killed in two separate strikes overnight. Israel launched its campaign, the deadliest against Palestinians in decades, on Saturday in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns.

Since then, the number of Israeli troops on the Gaza border has doubled and the Cabinet approved the call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers.

Militants Launch Rockets

The strikes have driven Hamas leaders into hiding, but Palestinians militants continued to battle back. Sirens warning of incoming rockets sent Israelis scrambling for cover throughout the day.

One medium-range rocket fired at the Israeli city of Ashkelon killed an Arab construction worker and wounded several others. He was the second Israeli killed since the beginning of the offensive.

At first light Monday, strong winds blew black smoke from the bombed sites over Gaza City’s deserted streets. The air hummed with the buzz of drone aircraft and the roar of jets, punctuated by airstrike explosions. Palestinian health officials said one strike killed four Islamic Jihad militants and a child.

Some Palestinians ventured outside for mourning. In northern Gaza, a father lifted the body of his 4-year-old during a funeral Monday for five children from the same family killed in an Israeli missile strike.

On Sunday, Hamas missiles struck for the first time near the city of Ashdod, only 25 miles from Israel’s heart in Tel Aviv. Hamas leaders have also threatened to renew suicide attacks inside Israel. A missile from Gaza struck Ashdod again on Monday, seriously wounding two people.

U.S. Backs Israel

The White House released a statement Monday saying “in order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel and agree to respect a sustainable and durable cease-fire.”

But in Damascus, Syria, an exiled Hamas official said there could be no talk of a truce with Israel until the assault ended and Israel reopened the Gaza crossings.

“We need our liberty, we need our freedom, and we need to be independent,” said Abu Marzouk.

A six-month truce between Hamas and Israel expired earlier this month as Hamas refused to extend it, accusing Israel of violating its terms.

Most of those killed since Saturday were members of Hamas security forces, though the precise numbers remain unclear. A Hamas police spokesman, Ehab Ghussen, said 180 members of the Hamas security forces were among the dead, and the U.N. said at least 62 of the dead were civilians. A rise in civilian casualties could intensify international pressure on Israel to end the offensive.

Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, told parliament that Israel was not fighting Gaza residents. “But we have a war to the bitter end against Hamas and its branches,” he said. Barak said the goal was to deal Hamas a “severe blow” and the operation would be “widened and deepened as needed.”

Israel’s intense bombings — more than 300 airstrikes since midday Saturday — reduced dozens of buildings in Gaza to rubble. The military said naval vessels also bombarded targets from the sea.

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused Israel of using excessive force and called for an immediate cease-fire.

One Israeli strike destroyed a five-story building in the women’s wing at Islamic University, one of the most prominent Hamas symbols in Gaza. Other attacks ravaged a compound controlled by Hamas’ chief security forces and destroyed a house next to the residence of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister.

Hospitals Overwhelmed

Gaza’s nine hospitals struggled to care for the injured. Hassanain, who keeps a record for the Gaza Health Ministry, said that some of the over 1,400 wounded were now being taken to private clinics and even homes.

In Israel, 17 people have been killed in attacks from Gaza since the beginning of the year, including nine civilians — six of them killed by rockets — and eight soldiers, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

In Jerusalem, Israel’s Cabinet approved a call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers Sunday in apparent preparation for a ground offensive. Military experts said Israel would need at least 10,000 soldiers for a full-scale invasion.

The conflict inflamed Arabs and Muslims, setting off street protests across the Arab world and in some European cities.


excerpt from:

Cell-phone warnings
Militants often operate against Israel from civilian areas. Late Saturday, *thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.”


Thumbs Down On Bailouts For Autos, Banks And Mortgage Holders

December 29, 2008

Thumbs Down On Bailouts For Autos, Banks And Mortgage Holders”  – Yet the American majority still were overruled by the minority? – Liberals claim we are a democracy – even though our Founding Fathers did all they could do to found America as a republic.  They knew that democracies were dangerous to liberty.

Americans must read history – just go back to Germany at it’s collapse – remember the pictures – wheelbarrows full of Deutchmarks for a loaf of bread!



IBD/TIPP Poll: Thumbs Down On Bailouts For Autos, Banks And Mortgage Holders

IBD 9 Dec. 08

Sixty-three percent of Americans surveyed in the latest IBD/TIPP Poll — including 66% of investors, 59% of Midwesterners and even 53% of Democrats — disapprove of financial aid for U.S. automakers. Respondents also opposed bailouts for banks and other financial institutions by 53% to 45.5%, with only Democrats and Midwesterners in favor. They were more ambivalent, with 50% opposed and 45% in favor, when it comes to mortgage holders. Help for state and local governments won grudging approval. Republicans were opposed across the board.

Click To Enlarge

Click above link for a enlarged view.


Auto Industry Cartoons

December 26, 2008


O, Come All Ye Faithful

December 18, 2008

20 December 1999

18 December 2008

This is something that I’ve passed on to my lists – December 1999. Very much worth repeating.

E. Merrill Root is an acquaintance from years ago – a great poet, a compassionate American from another era. He represented what is best about America – its Christan foundations and heritage and its greatness – the way America used to be.

We, with our Lords help, should realize that we are commanded by God to be the Sale and the Light of this world.

You will be so pleasantly surprised if you take the time to read this wonderful message. I know you don’t need any outside inspiration because our Lord rules your lives – but the thoughts that you read will warm your heart.

Much Love and Affection – In Christ,




O, Come All Ye Faithful!

TNA Vol. 15, No. 26 pp. 22-27

by E. Merrill Root*
The Christmas message, as timeless as the stars in the Bethlehem sky yet as new every year as the sunrise each morning, beckons the believer to come and adore the Light of the World.
The great theme of Christmas is an ancient one; it lies, indeed, at the root of our years, for it brought a before and after to the centuries.
Some may ask if we can write anything new about so old a theme. But let us remember the sunrise. It is the oldest of all things in history, for with it came the dawn of creation; and it is also the newest thing we shall ever know, for with it dawns every tomorrow. What, moreover, can inspire us to new words as can the timeless and new-born light? To ponder the dawn is forever an inspiration to the poet, or to any truly living man — the orange blossom of the sun opening in splendor upon the ever-amazed horizon of the world! Compare it with “novel” things of yesterday; with the neon light, with the Mazda bulb. They are new, they even contain poetry, they are worthy of appreciative words; but how soon they grow old and dated, how soon we have said what should be said — at least as compared with the perennial sunrise.
To choose a theme that is ever new, we must choose the first fire that warmed the ancient days, and not the atoms seething today in the reactor. So it is with Christmas, an ancient theme also … but ever new because it is more central than time.
As I consider Christmas, I forever find in it some new revelation of truth. For here, in that ancient story, are the timeless needs and the eternal truths of man’s life. Here lay the primal need — four walls and a roof to shelter the Mother and the Child. How fundamental! And how right that for the Creator of the world there should be no place in His world amid the “beautiful people” or the “jet set.” Only a stable, where there was no central heating, nor even a fireplace, but the steamy warmth of animal bodies, warming not only themselves but their habitation.
I am fortunate enough to have lived, as a boy, in the country; and therefore I know that in a tight barn or stable the steaming cows give forth their own animal heat and keep their shelter as warm as a house. So it was here. God, born by miracle of a Virgin human Mother, was kept warm in His swaddling clothes and His cradle of straw by the good warmth of those humble creatures He had made — the ox, the cow, the sheep, the little donkey. How simple. How fitting! How right! In visiting His world the living God, become the living human Child, descended not into the purple of palaces, but into that “deprivation” that was His riches and His right; into the stable, into the straw of=2 0the manger, into the companionship of the animals whose simple lives lie trustingly in His hands and who partake of His beneficence with obedience and love. On this great night — the second birthday of the world — they embraced their Creator by warming Him.
It was as it should have been. I know because I still live very close to the good animals; I love them and find in them a companionship and a friendship that is very dear. If I know anything, I know that they love God, and that God loves them, and I think that the infant Christ, born among them, was nobly at home.
And in all the factual imagery of that great night, we find reality — in the true sense of the Latin from which our word comes. Here were foursquare and solid things, not the thinspun “intellectuality” of the cerebral mind. Birth, as it always is, was hard; death, as it always is, was near. Close were the ultimate and elemental realities, the beginning and the end of our earthly pilgrimage. Close, very close, closer than ever before, were the Syrian stars, the stars of the universe, that naturally partook of this epic of the cosmos.
And the actors who shared the scene were real and elemental. In Rome, and in Greece, and in India, there were “intellectuals” — but not here. Here the simple shepherds came, men close to need and hunger and danger and discomfort, bringing their shepherd’s crooks to be blessed by the great Shepherd of t he world. And when the Wise Men came, they were indeed wise men and not wise guys, who had not theorized their way into the birth of God, but who had a mystical insight, a vision, a dream of the soul. And the Angels who sang of blessing and beatitude were not brain-spun figures, but the abiding servants of God — only a little higher than man, and yet gifted with an obedience and a power that man does not know — the shining figures that had sung together with the morning stars at the creation of the world. Nor should we forget the tax-mongers of Caesar who occasioned the trip, nor the soldiers of Herod. We know them well. All this, from the beatitude of God to the brutality of man, was real.
To be real means to be not merely theoretic, intellectual, brain-spun, but to come from experience, from living, from the spirit and the soul, from the objective world of shape and form, and the subjective world of reason and passion and imagination. What comes from such sources is forever true. It is not like “scientific” discoveries that soon are superseded by some other new interpretation of the reality that never changes, but the truth that in any age, and in all ages, and forever, remains and abides. World without end, until we enter Heaven, genius and revelation will find no room in the world’s inns, and the highest will be relegated to the lowest; the stars and the shepherds and the Wise Men and the animals and the tax-gatherers and the mer cenaries will belong to the reality of life; birth and death, need and love and shelter will be true.
Yet the mood of Christmas is that mystical mood of joy — “Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!” — which transcends the world because it comes from beyond the world. Even today, in the day of the unfaithful, the timeless and deathless descends at Christmas for an hour, for a day, to bless us. The true children of Christmas — Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton — fully knew that joy. And hundreds of simple, true, real men and women, who cannot express it in words, experience it in their lives. Beyond all gestures of gifts, all the commercialism and vulgarity which disfigure our world, abides the pure and magical joy that the carols and the candles and the holly symbolize. Something great, potent, real abides and touches earth and man with the joy and wonder of Christmas.
And, as I have said, it is the joy of a birthday. The world’s first birthday was the dawn of creation — the outward birthday of the world. But Christmas is the inward birthday, the birthday of the triumphant reunion of creation and Creator. Here a new dimension is opened, a new experience and a new mood are made real. Here life is re-established in its origin. Here life becomes, in the one true sense, original again. For to be original, always, is not to invent the novel, but to return to the eternally primal. The brook or stream or river may become20broad (and coarse) and massive; but its life is always one with the strong unfailing springs that rise from the heart of the deep earth to be its water of life. In Christmas, man who had strayed far from God, from inspiration, from the Holy Spirit, is restored to the source and the origin. That is the basis of the joy of Christmas; and while we feel that, and share that sense of reunion with our origin, we shall know that joy and be reborn into that experience.
Only a few men, here and there, can hold that joy and preserve it. Man is not pure enough, not brave enough, not steadfast enough — genius is a great and a terrible, and a too beautiful, thing. But the flying Light of joy and genius visits us at Christmas, and touches our lives, and makes us wistful with a joyous nostalgia for Heaven. It is at least a transient salvation. Christmas wakens a mood that should be, and might be, a steadfast climate of the soul.
Yet this joy is nothing sentimental or thin or false. It is a part of a Divine Tragedy, of a tragic sense of life and yet also, in Dante’s great sense, of a Divine Comedy. God knew the terrible climax even in the joyous beginning; in His beginning lay His ending … that was never an end but forever a beginning: “Before Abraham was, I am.” The shadow of the Cross fell already over Bethlehem; the great words “It is Finished!” were implicit in the songs of the Angels; but the joy is a ll the greater because the climax, which is tragedy (accepted), is so implicitly real. If men shut Him out of the Inn, will they not eventually shut Him out of their lives, out of His world? Even in the baby hands, like rose-petals, lay implicit the nail-prints; even in the newborn’s side lay implicit the touch of the Roman spear. And in the great vision of Christianity, this does not destroy the joy, it makes it all the greater. Here God was born that He might share with us the woe of the world and find within it, for us, the joy that transcends the world. The brightest halo was to be the shadow of the Cross; the road to the highest joy was to be the via dolorosa that led to Golgotha. Christmas faces the worst that it may bring us the best.
Too seldom do we realize the paradox and the marvel of very God become very man. God took upon Himself the limitations of time and space, of the flesh, of the mortal life shut between the covers of a birth and a death. Here — O marvelous, O tragic and yet most comforting, God, like all of us, knew the pain of the first breath, the fright of the alien world. Let us, when we suffer and when we fear, remember this: He too, even God, even the Creator, took upon Himself what He asks us, His creatures, to bear. He who alone is consciousness forever and fully awake, came into the world of the animals where the mind is half mixed with sleep, and into the world of men where sleep is half mixed with the mind. He shared with us all the strange and tragic and joyous circumstances of our lives, yet (being very God) He preserved, ever more purely and absolutely than we ever can, the introstance of the essential being of Life.
Those who suffer from the somnolence called sophistication cannot understand this. But the poor and simple of the earth, the Shepherds too near to hunger and need and work to be conned by the world’s illusions and lendings, and the rich yet sanely simple of the earth, the Wise Men, too awake with genius to be blinded by cleverness; these equally felt the wonder of that hour. Here, they knew, was the Creator entering His creation, to renew from within the world that He had made from without. O marvel, O miracle! O greatest event in history since the primal creation of the world!
And too seldom do we realize what this miracle means. We speak of the “teachings” of Christ; we concentrate on His “ideas.” That is to misread entirely what lies here. Christ was a poet and a poem, the essential poem of being; He was true because He was beauty incarnate, great as music and imagery. He was the Savior of the world not because He brought a theory and a plan, a philosophical theorem or a mathematical equation or a scientific formula; He is the Savior because of what He is, because of the sheer being of His life, because He is a poem.
That men should love each other, that an integrity of conduct should pervade=2 0their lives, is not an aim but an effect — an effect that comes when time is seen in terms of Eternity. The tone of our lives in Christ is the great truth of right and good, of character and conduct. We experience the cosmos as a mystery and a miracle, a symphony where (in Beethoven’s words) we find “through sorrow, joy.” We see life as life ever more abundant because it is Life Everlasting, because around and underneath us are the Everlasting Arms. We live and grow as the lilies of the field do, their roots, through earth, touching what is beyond earth.
Many good yet stern and grave men see (and even follow) ethical patterns — the Pharisee, the Stoic, the Puritan — and yet they do not dwell in the Kingdom, they do not experience or express the sounding joy. Francis in his “Canticle Of The Sun,” Roland at Roncesvalles, Joan dying into Life within the white flame, the modern Christian witnessing the faith in the brutality of the Communist prison — these are those who have found the Kingdom; they are and they know.
If we would know Christ, let us know that men will most surely give the cup of cold water when they forget all rigid schemes and let their eyes embrace the beauty of the roadside flower. Does the sun “teach”? — the sun gives light! Does Spring follow a code? — the Spring is the beatitude of beauty.
The world has grown old and gray with the Pharisees of the hour who pass laws and formulate codes hideous with initials. Their “facts” stamp on the face of truth; their rationalistic scalpels let the blood out of the arteries of love; they “adjust” immortal longings to social temporalities. They have lost all sense of the many mansions, and so they constrict genius and true simple men into the many concentration camps or the many insane wards for the sane. They deny the Living Vine, because they grind out rigidities from the Code-Factory, and so the branches die, and we bear no fruit. They think they know all things, and so they are ignorant of everything; they think they can win the Pearl of Great Price by a “War on Poverty,” and so they become the paupers of the soul; they think that they have won the moon, and so they ignore the moonlight over the tossing tides. They never learn what Christ has to do with the sea-lifting moon and the day-giving sun of the inexorable aeons. They never learn that the center of the Gospel is wonder, mystery, romance, Eternity. We are saved not by the “words” of Jesus, great and eternal though they are, but by the being of Christ.
The modern “church leader,” the contemporary “theologian,” is a wordmonger, a purveyor of “ideology” and “platforms” and “programs” — all a brain-stirred smog between us and reality. The “mind” of Marx, the “mind” of Sartre, do not know=2 0that ginger in the mouth is hot, or a knife in the heart is a thorn of pain; do not know that the golden daffodil or the good wheat grow from the will and the gift of God. They are artificial, theoretic, like the usual mine-run sociologist; not primal and real, like the poet and the saint. Reality comes from res, the thing — a substance; the new born child, yonder ox with the brown eyes, the straw that pricks the hands and gleams to the eye, the star that dances nearer earth tonight in a robe of flame. Here is — tangible, real — the birth of God as man that came to bring the birthday of man nearer to God.
Christ came to save the world not by changing the fiats of Caesar, but by His own life and death, by a miracle of sheer being, by the truth that is beauty and the beauty that is truth. He did not bring any “revolution,” but rather a return to primal and first things that had been, and will be, because they are. His birth was not an overthrowing, but a fulfillment of Eden. He was the heart of creation, and He reawakened the heart of man to beat once more with that primal rhythm. He reaffirmed all changeless things that forever are — the tonal scale, the seven-hued spectrum, the beauty of all holy and noble creation — the Parthenon, the Taj Mahal, the cathedrals of Chartres and Rouen that (in Him) were born this night, the stars and the seas, the forests of redwood and the splendid dandelion proclaiming that the heart of earth is gold, the Dante who was being born in Him, the Bach whose music came into being with His birth.
And this Christ, born in the stable, proclaimed that the heart of things lies there — and not in the Cadillac or the private yacht or plane. The sons of Lucifer are endowed by all the great Foundations, but the Son of God does not dwell in the Manhattan Penthouse, nor is His picture on the cover of Time. For He dwells in the Inner Kingdom whose heart is Eternity — where a Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not….
Christ, He said, came not to destroy the law — but to fulfill it. He Himself fulfilled all that truly is in the will of God: the granite that is sturdy and strong; the rainbow that shimmers in the equally strong areas of the air; the snowflake and the rose and the butterfly at the pinnacle of the breeze; the eternal Mother; the wholesome clichés that grass is green and that two plus two are four.
Our Lord would not seize this noble scheme of things entire, and shatter it to bits, and remould it nearer to the idiot’s whim. He does not revolutionize the colors into new fantastic vibrations — lest He prevent a Turner from painting His gorgeous chaos of sunset . . . or a humble Merrill Root from driving safely through the Boston traffic. He did not come as the politician, that dealer in lies; He saw the Hell toward where even whited s epulchres of the world journey, and the Heaven where even the repentant thief may come this night; He knew that in no world of essential reality is the crooked straight, or the rattlesnake a rose, or green a casual relativity of red.
Surely at Christmas, if at any time, we should see all this. The great daylight of death will reveal it to us; but in the grace and revelation of Christmas, we may see it even while we live. Let us then, at Christmas, repeat the great lines of Francis Thompson:
The angels keep their ancient places;—
Turn but a stone, and start a wing!
’Tis ye, ’tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.
Miracle? Christ came not to perform miracles, save incidentally, but to show that the world and earth and life are one eternal miracle. Men had forgotten the miracle of creation; Christ came to reaffirm and to restore it.
The character, the being, the great I am of Christ, born here at Christmas, was in itself the message and the meaning of God’s birth into the world. I once tried to express this in a poem, “Thief Upon The Right.” I quote it here, hoping that it may express what I believe is the secret and the essence:
Lord of Love, and Heart of Light,
With two thieves to left and right!
What desert had either thief
Thus to share God’s mortal grief?
On the left the one thief said:
“Thorns are crown upon thine head!— “If thou art a God indeed,
Why dost hang on wood and bleed?
“If thou art a God, command
The nails to loose from out thine hand!”
On the right, the other cried:
“Justly we are crucified —
“We for hate, but He for love!
Master in Thy realm above,
“Stoop in mercy, and recall, —
’Tis Thy word! — the sparrow’s fall.”
Christ from off the sanguine wood
Where upon the nails He stood:
“Thou past this brief agony
Shalt sup in Paradise with me.”
(In His eyes the thrust of pain
Was red lightning through grey rain.)
Then the neighbor of His death,
Mid the torture that was breath,
“By what mercy, grave and broad,
Do we share the life of God?”
That was the Gospel. That was the work and the wonder of Christ. Let us never forget that, in the innocence and the joy of Christmas, it was the Lord of Love who had come into the world to touch and change the souls of men, to forgive and to welcome them into Eternal Life. The Child of Bethlehem was the Lord of the Cross, and all the mystery and the greatness that were to come were implicit here.
That is why Christmas turns all wise souls from the surface which is time to the center which is Eternity. Does Christmas mean all that it should to you? Then you see in it, you find through it, the living seed; and it will=2 0affect the very bread you eat and the very stars you follow. In Christmas you touch the first act of the greatest drama in all history. The great fruitful creative eras of earth are those that have loved Christmas as the seed of Christendom. Dante and Bach, Michelangelo (not the women who in the London salon go to and fro talking of him!), Francis and Bernard and Joan, Rembrandt and G.K. Chesterton, Dickens and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, these are multi-flowers and multi-grain from that living seed.
And where Christmas is scorned and denied, we find the dry eras, the withered flowers and the sterile grain, Ionesco, Sartre, Genet, Mailer, and all their ilk, and the gentler yet very bitter fruit of Camus. As the late [American author] Joseph Wood Krutch said of these: “Hence the truest picture of life [that they give] consists almost exclusively of unhappy, but usually cruel and debauched people, behaving irrationally in an irrational universe.”
It is not that these Dead Sea Apes have suffered more than the Child of Bethlehem. So far as I know they have never hung upon the Roman cross; most of them have done very well at the hands of men and even of Caesar. The reason that, to them, “The universe is meaningless, without rhyme or reason; or as their endlessly repeated shibboleth has it, is absurd,” is that they have never found the center of life, the root of Eternity. And that center and that root lie in the Christmas that they know not of.


Krutch goes on to say: “All this, so they tell me, is inevitable. Nihilism is the only possible modern philosophy. For the first time in history we know the facts and we have the courage to face them. The literature of the absurd is the only literature the future will tolerate and despair the only mood intelligent men can ever know.”
Such ignorance!
The world of antiquity knew as much of sorrow, and evil, and despair, and sophistication, as any world has ever known. And the “facts” are no different now than they ever were, and the anguish of the crown of thorns and the nails was as terrible then as it can be now in any Communist prison, and yet here God came to bear all of this with us — and to find it not “absurd,” but full of meaning. Unlike these sick whiners of a modern dry-as-dust sophistication, the Child born in Bethlehem bid men to be of good cheer, “For I have overcome the world.”
So, rest ye merry. And let nothing you dismay! The Child for whom the world found no room has indeed overcome the world. The Good Tidings had come to a world grown old, and cold, and dreary (even as ours), and recreated that world. It may do so to our world, if we will listen and heed. The Child in the Manger was to say: “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” He was to say: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one of my words shall20pass away.” He was to say: “Father, into Thy hands!”
In 1957 I wrote an article on Christmas for Human Events. I venture to quote from it the conclusion that I reached then, which in these last days of 1973 is the conclusion that I reach now. It is this:
“As long as Christmas renews the world — as long as we ask and receive, and knock and it is opened — as long as we see the Many Mansions and the Living Vine of which we are the branches — the positivists rage in vain. Let nothing you dismay! ‘Christ’s own renaissance’ shall come, the candles and the holly shall glow, the carols shall ring. There is no room in the academic inn, and the children of this world, like Herod, hold the sword. But the children of men can never prevail against the Child who is God.”
And therefore, my friends, today as always — Merry Christmas
… and good night!


“His Name Shall be Wonderful Counselor”

December 18, 2008

“His Name Shall be Wonderful Counselor”

It seems like yesterday it was Christmas, and now it is Christmas time again.

When I think of Christmas, I always think of that amazing prophecy written 750 years  before that first Christmas. Isaiah 9:6 speaks in glowing terms of the One who makes Christmas.  “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The Hebrew concept of “name,” the name of this “Son is given” is very significant – for the name spoke of the nature of his character.   To know His name is to know who He was and is. The first of the names is that “His name shall be called wonderful counselor” and as with the other names in this text, this is a compound name made up of two Hebrew words.

The Hebrew word translated “wonderful” means incomprehensible – used exclusively to describe the works of God—things unusual and beyond human capabilities. The One who is coming does things beyond the ability of even the most talented and gifted human being. Example: Psalm 77:14  “You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.”The Real Messiah

In Psalm 139:6 we read David describing his response to the revelation of God’s omniscience (His being all-knowing) in these words. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.”

Finally, listen to Moses in Exodus 15 sing of the glory of the LORD!  “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

The Son who is given, the child who is born is called “wonderful” because He will do the wonders that only God can do. We do not have to look far in the Gospels to see those wonders. The cap stone of His miracles is the raising of Lazarus from the dead. In John 11, John records how Jesus walked into a cemetery four days after Lazarus was buried and called him forth from the dead. Only God could do such wonders.

The second part of His name is a Hebrew word that means to “advise, purpose, devise, plan.” This One who is coming as a baby, who is God’s own Son given to us, is One whose plans, purposed, designs, and decrees for His people are marvelous. The center piece of this plan is the unfolding drama of redemption.

God created us in innocence, but in Adam and Eve we all sinned. If God did not have a plan, we would be doomed. But God did have a plan. Remember the penalty for our sin is set. In Romans 6:23 we read. “For the wages of sin is death.” If a righteous God was going to forgive sinful man someone had to bear that penalty. Someone had to pay for our sin.  Here is the rest of the verse “but the gift of God is eternal life.”

Jesus came that He might carry out that plan – pay for our sin. Galatians 4:4,5 tell us, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Jesus came into the world that He might die in our place. In one of the greatest verses of scripture in the Bible we read, “[God, the Father] made [the Lord Jesus], who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The question is, do you know this person whose birth announcement we are reading today? Have you received the first and greatest Christmas gift ever given?

I have taken much of this message from Dr. Don Gommesen, Pastor, First Baptist of Enfield, CT


CHRISTMAS – Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

December 18, 2008

Most of the civilized world finds Christmas a time of great joy and celebration.  What is the real source of this seasonal joy that has covered our earth for over two millenniums?

It is “glory”.  “God’s glory,” expressed in the Latin phrase, Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

God revealed his glory in many ways, but on no occasion more wonderfully than on that first Christmas morning.  Remember?  “Angels from the realm of glory” who brought to those shepherds the joyful tidings.  The same glory that had come down on Mount Sinai requiring Moses’ face to be veiled, (covered from the radiating light! radiation?) and that had filled the temple at its dedication by King Solomon, had now entered a humble stable in the little town of Bethlehem.  Some of heaven’s glory could actually be seen in the face of the baby Jesus.

Paul expressed it this way a few years later:  “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  That’s why Jesus was to be called Emmanu-El – “God with us.”

The source of Yuletide joy?  The glory in the presence of the Babe of Bethlehem that is the everlasting source of what we know as Christmas from that first happy morning right down to Christmas 2008.
Martin Luther was thinking these very thoughts four centuries ago: “Ah, what wretched people we are!  To think, that we are so cold and slothful in our attitude toward this great joy, which after all happened for us, this great benefaction, which is far, far superior to all other works of creation.  And yet how hard it is for us to believe, though the Good News was preached and sung for us by angels who are heavenly theologians, and have rejoiced in our behalf!  Their song is most glorious.  It contains that whole Christian faith, for the Gloria in Excelsis is supreme worship.  They wish us such worship, and they bring it to us in Christ.”

That is the real Christmas spirit – the genuine article.  Jesus said “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”  Before your Christmas cards and gifts, let your priority be thanks to God for His unspeakable gift.  Merry Christmas!


Twas The Night Jesus Came

December 18, 2008

Twas The Night Jesus Cametwasthenite

Twas the night Jesus came – when all through the house

Not a person was praying, not one in the house.
The Bible was left on the shelf without care,
For no one thought Jesus would be coming there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker – baby on her lap,
Was watching the Late Show as I took a nap.

When out of the east there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my feet to see what’s the matter!
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and lifted the sash!

When to my wondering eyes should appear,
Angels proclaiming! Jesus was here!!
The light of His face made me cover my head,
It was Jesus returning, just as He said!

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life that He held in His hand,
Was written the name of every saved man.

He spoke not a word as He searched for my name,
He said, “It’s not here”, my head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written with love,
He gathered to take to His Father above.

With those who were ready He rose without sound
All the rest of us were left standing around.
I fell to my knees – but it was too late,
I’d waited too long and thus sealed my fate!

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight
If only I’d known that THIS was the night!
In the words of this poem, the meaning is clear
The coming of Jesus is now drawing near.

There’s only one life and when comes the last call,
We’ll find out the Bible was true after all.


Christmas Poem – Today’s Christmas

December 18, 2008

Dear friends,

This was sent to me – but I’ve added and revised it a little – well actually a lot.

In Christ,


‘Twas the month before Christmas
and all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
or even taking a stand.
The PC Police had taken away,
the only reason there is for a Christmas.
Children were told by their schools not to sing
about Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and  things.
It might hurt some feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just “a holiday”.

But the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an iPod.

But something was changing, something quite odd!
Stores were promoting Ramadan and Kwanzaa? (for Christmas?)
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda (I suppose)
And Targets were hanging their trees upside down.
At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was nowhere to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears
you won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.

But inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty and mul ti cult u ral ism?
Were words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Pelosi, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
Boxer, or Hairy Reid(?) or Kerry, or Clinton!
To the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter –
Let’s eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

And we spoke not a word as they took away God.
We’re forbidden to speak of salvation and His grace –
the true Gift of Christmas exchanged and discarded –
the reason for the season stopped before it started.

So when you celebrate “Winterbreak” under your “Dream Tree”
sipping your Starbucks, please listen to me.
Choose your words carefully – choose what you say


Dr. D. James Kennedy sermon – Jesus and Christmas

December 18, 2008

Dear friends,

You might enjoy a few of my notes taken during one of Jim Kennedy’s sermon several years ago at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

In Christ,



“And Jesus went on to the Mount of Olives” John 8:1

He had no home – most everything He had was borrowed.

The Crown (of thorns) and the Cross that He carried were not His own.

They borrowed everything else – the cross was not His – It was ours.  The sin that He carried on that cross was ours – not His – and when He died on that borrowed cross – that was our sin.  Even the tomb was borrowed – but He only used it for a few days.

Just think for a moment about the awesome gift that Jesus gave to each one of us – at such a great cost to Him!

So, Don’t send me, (if you care about my favor) a Christmas card that omits the name of Jesus Christ.  Please don’t send me one of those cards.

The Inn – and where was “the manager”? – probably just ignorance – but he didn’t know who these guests were – he didn’t know – didn’t have a clue.

Jesus Christ wasn’t a “good” man – there was only one good.  God! Jesus!  There are none ‘good’ – no man can redeem his brother.  Only Jesus Christ could redeem us – only Christ could pay the cost for our salvation – our redemption.  He paid it all.

God hates sin with an infinite hatred – as much as He loves sinners but He just said to: “Come unto Me and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28

“Think about these things” “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phil. 4:8

“Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Phil. 4:9

A voice from Heaven responded – saying: “here am I, take me”.  Jesus freely gave Himself.

Sheep have to be driven – but the goats…

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6


Christmas Love

December 18, 2008


My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s “Winter Pageant.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production.

Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there’d be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.jesus_manger

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in 10 minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

The public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas”, I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment – songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

When my son’s class rose to sing their song “Christmas Love”, I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweater, and bright snowcaps.

Those in the front row – center stage – would hold up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing “C is for Christmas”, a child would hold up the letter C. Then, “H is for Happy”, and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love”.

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her – a small, quiet little girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down – totally unaware her letter  “M” appeared as a “W”.

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”.

Although teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together.

A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood – the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:


And, I believe, He still is.

— Candy Chand


Refiners Cut Back on Gasoline

December 17, 2008


Oil refiners are putting assets on the block, delaying expansion and scouring for ways to cut costs and increase profits as they grapple with the industry’s biggest challenges in decades.[Refiner Valero has cut gasoline output 30%.]

Cutbacks aren’t likely to have a major impact outside the industry as long as the global economy remains weak. But once growth picks up and fuel consumption rises, lower refining capacity could create bottlenecks and push prices higher for oil and refined products.

Oil prices have plummeted from their record close of $145.29 a barrel in July, lowering raw material and energy costs for refiners. On Tuesday, oil futures prices dropped 2.04% to $43.60 a barrel.

Wall Street Journal – 17 Dec. 2008


OPEC Closes In on Making Biggest Cuts in Decades

December 17, 2008

OPEC Closes In on Making Biggest Cuts in Decades


Saudi Oil Minister Calls for Group to Reduce Production by Two Million Barrels a Day as Global Demand Wanes

ORAN, Algeria — Saudi Arabia opened the door for OPEC’s most dramatic output reduction since the 1970s, calling for the group to slash world oil supplies by at least another two million barrels a day to keep abreast of faltering demand.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi, arriving for a summit here of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said a cut of that size was the only way for OPEC, which supplies more than 40% of the world’s oil, “to bring things into balance.”


Shoe-Fly Liberty

December 17, 2008

Shoe-Fly Liberty


Middle East: President Bush’s thanks for ousting Saddam Hussein is to have abush-shoe pair of shoes thrown at him. If Arabs are so ungrateful for our sacrifices in ridding them of tyranny, should we even bother?

There has apparently been a groundswell of support among Arabs after Muntazer al-Zaidi, a 29-year-old Iraqi TV journalist for the Cairo-based satellite channel Al-Baghdadia, threw his shoes at President Bush on Sunday during the press conference for his trip to Iraq.

Yelling that it was the “farewell kiss” of Iraqis, and calling the president a dog, al-Zaidi committed an act considered to be the supreme insult in Arab culture.

Al-Zaidi reportedly got a good roughing up for his deed from Iraqi police and remains in custody, facing up to seven years if convicted of attacking a foreign leader.

But while the Iraqi government called on his employers to apologize for the act, apparently planned for months, the Al-Baghdadia news agency responded with a statement demanding al-Zaidi’s release “in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people.”

It added: “Any measures against Muntazer will be considered the acts of a dictatorial regime.”

What an indication of how little Arabs understand the connection between freedom and the rule of law. Jailing someone for an act of physical violence against a visiting head of state makes the Baghdad government a dictatorship?

In Libya, Muammar Qaddafi’s daughter announced an “order of courage” award for al-Zaidi. But would he have had the courage to throw his shoes at Saddam Hussein? The brutal tyrant President Bush removed from power would have had one shoe shoved down al-Zaida’s throat, and the other shoved . . . well, you get the idea.

Speaking of Saddam, the dictator’s former lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, is heading al-Zaidi’s legal defense. Meantime, al-Zaidi has been catapulted to celebrity status across the Mideast. In Sammara, Sadr City and elsewhere in Iraq, anti-American demonstrations were held in support of his act; viewers of Al-Baghdadia and the state TV station in Syria were phoning-in lauding him.

This is how America is thanked for sacrificing thousands of its sons and daughters to give an Arab country the chance for freedom. Were we wrong? Not if, as the president declared in his Second Inaugural, “the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.”

In that address on the steps of the Capitol, the newly reelected commander in chief called freedom “the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul” and “an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled.” He said, “America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

The question is, however: What about the inhabitants of those darkest places on our globe, where jihadists recruit and plot, who are ungrateful to their liberators — and who won’t accept the responsibilities of their newfound freedom?