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- Watch “Daniel Guichard – Les ballons rouges (Serge Lama)” on YouTube November 14, 2019
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- Haiku: Blue skies at sunset (© poetic thought by GeorgeB @ euzicasa) November 14, 2019
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- This Day in History: The Apalachin Meeting (1957) November 13, 2019
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- This Day in History: Two Libyans Indicted for Pan Am 103 Attack (1991) November 12, 2019
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- The best pianist of our generation, YouTube generation: Valentina Lisitsa November 12, 2019
- Watch “Rachmaninov/Respighi: 5 Études-tableaux (P. 160) (1930)” on YouTube November 12, 2019
- Horoscope♉: 11/12/2019 November 12, 2019
- Today’s Holiday: Birthday of Sun Yat-sen November 12, 2019
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- Haiku: Blue skies at sunset (© poetic thought by GeorgeB @ euzicasa)
- Watch "Dvorak - String Quintet No 3 In E flat Major, Opus 97, B 180 "American"" on YouTube
- Today's Birthday: Aaron Copland (1900)
- Today's Holiday: Feast of St. Frances Cabrini
- Watch "Mahler: Adagietto Symphony 5 - Karajan*" on YouTube
- ESL: PREPOSITIONS IN ENGLISH (AT, IN, ON)
- This Day in History: The Apalachin Meeting (1957)
- Watch "Khachaturian - Adagio from Spartacus" on YouTube
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The Ascension. Benjamin West. 1801. Denver Art Museum, Colorado, United States.
From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo de Ascensione Domini, Mai 98, 1-2: PLS 2, 494-495)
“No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven”
Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. […] For just as he remained with us even after his ascension, so we too are already in heaven with him, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies. […]
While in heaven he is also with us; and we while on earth are with him. He is here with us by his divinity, his power and his love. We cannot be in heaven, as he is on earth, by divinity, but in him, we can be there by love.
He did not leave heaven when he came down to us; nor did he withdraw from us when he went up again into heaven. The fact that he was in heaven even while he was on earth is borne out by his own statement: No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. […]
These words are explained by our oneness with Christ, for he is our head and we are his body. No one ascended into heaven except Christ because we also are Christ: he is the Son of Man by his union with us, and we by our union with him are the sons of God. So the Apostle says: Just as the human body, which has many members, is a unity, because all the different members make one body, so is it also with Christ. He too has many members, but one body.
The Ascension. Benjamin West. 1801. Denver Art Museum, Colorado, United States.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 17:20-26.
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”
Ascension, les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. By the Limbourg brothers, 15th century. Musée Condé, Chantilly, France
Let the dumping begin…
All summer long… Hannibal will be dumping highly chloraminated water into local creeks, stream and water ways… a serious violation of the Clean Water Act!
Legally, they are supposed to dechloraminate, but they won’t… and they are supposed to capture the debris and sediment… but they won’t. And I guarantee, they won’t be using fire hoses like this false stock photo depicts.
From Erin Brockovich connection on Facebook: Drugs found in Puget Sound salmon from tainted wastewater | The Seattle Times
Puget Sound salmon are on drugs — Prozac, Advil, Benadryl, Lipitor, even cocaine.
Those drugs and dozens of others are showing up in the tissues of juvenile chinook, researchers have found, thanks to tainted wastewater discharge.
The estuary waters near the outfalls of sewage-treatment plants, and effluent sampled at the plants, were cocktails of 81 drugs and personal-care products, with levels detected among the highest in the nation.
The medicine chest of common drugs also included Flonase, Aleve and Tylenol. Paxil, Valium and Zoloft. Tagamet, OxyContin and Darvon. Nicotine and caffeine. Fungicides, antiseptics and anticoagulants. Cipro and other antibiotics galore.
In the past 24-hours, over 2,500 people have signed a petition on change.org seeking my help in a fight against a major polluter… Formosa Plastic Group a Taiwan-United States… an International Conglomeration. http://www.fpcusa.com
While I recognize it will clearly be an international challenge… I will conduct an investigation into how we can help these people. Multinational corporations must be held accountable when they destroy a local industry, and way of life, a culture.
Not sure where to begin… but I will… and with everyone’d help, we can try to give these hard working people some glimmer of hope.
Una din cele mai importante religii ale omenirii ar putea fi zguduita in urma recentelor descoperiri. Fragmentele celui mai vechi Coran din lume, descoperite in Birmingham, ar putea data dinaintea profetului Mahomed si ar urma „sa rescrie” istoria islamului, au anuntat cercetatorii britanici.Oamenii de stiinta de la Universitatea Oxford stiau deja ca pergamentul este printre cele mai vechi texte coranice cunoscute din intreaga lume. Mai multi istorici sustin insa ca documentul este atat de vechi incat il precede pe profetul Mahomed si contrazice relatarile traditionale privind viata acestuia, asa ca modifica radical „edificiul traditiei islamice”, scrie Breitbart, citat de ziare.com.Datarea cu carbon a documentului releva ca acesta a fost scris intre 568 si 645 era noastra, in conditiile in care, in mod traditional, se considera ca Mohamed a trait intre 570 si 632 era noastra.Asta ar insemna ca documentul a fost scris inainte de momentul oficial cand ar fi fost stranse primele texte oficiale si inainte sau imediat dupa nasterea lui Mahomed.
The executive actions on guns unveiled yesterday by President Obama drew predictable praise from gun control advocates and bile from gun-rights supporters and Republican lawmakers, including some who called his actions “unconstitutional.”But, as some have noted, the actions themselves are extremely modest, raising questions about how much they will really do to stem gun violence.Obama’s most significant step is an attempt to expand the number of gun sellers who conduct background checks on buyers. To do this, he is not changing the requirements for who is required to conduct a background check and who is not. Instead, he is giving a very high level of publicity to new “guidance” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that simply explains what the current law is.Under federal law, licensed firearm dealers have to comply with a set of regulations, including conducting background checks on prospective purchasers to make sure they are not prohibited from owning a gun because of a criminal record or other disqualifying factor. More occasional sellers of guns—one private individual selling to another private individual—do not have to follow these rules.For decades, gun control advocates have decried this gaping loophole in the nation’s federal background check law. After a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, Congressional Democrats tried and failed to close this loophole by passing legislation to require background checks on more gun sales.Obama is now approaching the problem from a different angle: He is focusing on gun sellers who may be operating in a gray area between being an occasional seller and a licensed dealer.According to the ATF, its new guidance breaks down how federal courts have interpreted the somewhat fuzzy line between occasional gun sellers, who are not required to conduct background checks, and people who are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, who must have a federal license, conduct background checks, and comply with other federal regulations on dealers.A father selling off part of his personal collection of high-end firearms to finance his son’s college education does not need a federal firearms license, the ATF explained. But a man who lost his job and is now “buying firearms from friends and reselling them though an internet site” does need a license.Experts say there’s some indication that gun sellers operating in this gray area are a problem, and that they play a role in supplying guns to people with criminal records.Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said sellers whose livelihoods don’t depend on gun sales may exercise prudence beyond what’s required by law when making transactions. When he conducted focus groups with gun owners in Texas, he said, many said they would not sell a gun without voluntarily checking whether a potential buyer had a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon, so they could be sure they were selling to a person who could legally own a gun.But private sellers who are trying to make a profit may be less scrupulous about whether the person who is buying their gun could pass a background check, Webster said.“If you are, on a regular basis, buying and selling a whole lot of guns and are doing that to make money, I think that probably clouds judgment,” he said.Webster cited a November 2015 study by the gun control group Everytownfor Gun Safety, which analyzed a year’s worth of ads posted by unlicensed sellers on Armslist.com, an online gun marketplace. The report found that a small proportion of unlicensed sellers were selling a very large number of guns on the site: “Those offering 25 or more guns accounted for 1 in 500 sellers but offered 1 in 20 guns,” the report found. These private, high-volume sellers should be required to be licensed, the report concluded.It’s not clear how the findings of this one study might reflect the larger online marketplace for guns—or the broader patterns of offline unlicensed sales.“The bottom line: we don’t know how big this is, but we have enough evidence to know that thousands of guns are being sold by individuals who are selling a lot of guns in fairly risky kinds of ways,” Webster said.The Everytown report also concluded that the vague legal definition of who should be a licensed gun seller had undermined efforts to prosecute people for dealing in firearms without a license.Webster said it would be interesting to see if the White House’s attempt to clarify the law resulted in more cases targeting people for selling guns without a license. “Time will tell,” he said, noting that simply putting a spotlight on these sellers should also have “some deterrent effect.”Even if the president succeeds in shrinking this gray area of the gun market, it’s not clear what effect that might have on gun violence overall.Phil Cook, a Duke University gun policy expert, was one of the researchers who recently surveyed 99 inmates at th
#Trump2016 #TrumpTrain @BIGSHOW401 @jimdwrench @lynda1983 @STKnutsen @DrMartyFox @Free_NJ @HindaRifka pic.twitter.com/cCNVCvw7iB
— JKO (@jko417) December 24, 2015
— David Simpson (@davidiansimpso3) December 24, 2015
MOREby Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.17 Dec 2015373Evidence has been uncovered corroborating the site of one of Jesus’ most powerful and dramatic miracles: the casting out of demons into a herd of swine in the land of the Gadarenes (or Gerasenes). Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a 1,500-year-old marble slab with Hebrew inscriptions near Kursi, the spot traditionally associated with the miracle of Christ’s banishment of demons into a herd of swine. Archeologists believe the slab to be a commemoration tablet dating from around 500 AD. The inscription in Hebrew begins with the words “Remembered for good. ”The biblical description of the miracle is one of the most evocative in the entire Gospel. Recounted by Matthew, Mark, and Luke with different nuances, the Gospels depict Jesus in one of His most direct confrontations with Satan. Mark describes the possessed man as fiercely strong and dangerous. Local citizens had tried in vain to restrain him with shackles and chains, but he broke them to pieces. The man lived among the tombs, howling night and day and gashing himself with stones. He terrified the people so much that no one dared go near. On seeing Jesus approach, the man ran and bowed down before him, while the demons inside him howled and begged Jesus not to torment them.Jesus, meanwhile, was ordering them, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit! ”When Jesus commanded the demons to identify themselves, they replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many. ”Jesus then cast the demons into a herd of about 2,000 swine grazing on a nearby hillside. The pigs rushed headlong down the steep bank into the sea, where they drowned, to the utter amazement and shock of the townspeople.The healed demoniac, now clothed and in his full senses, begged Jesus to take him back with him, but Jesus told him to stay and proclaim the mercy of God to his family and friends. The University of Haifa researchers found the marble on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee, in Kursi, the historically Gentile district of the Decapolis. On the slab, scientists also identified the words “amen” and “marmaria,” which could refer to marble or to Mary, Jesus’ mother.Kursi has been identified in Christian tradition with Gadarenes, where the Miracle of the Swine took place. In the fifth and sixth centuries, a Christian church was built to mark the spot of the biblical location but was destroyed by invading Persians in 614 AD and, after being rebuilt, was demolished by fire shortly afterward. The site remained abandoned for most of the following 1,300 years. The church was lost to history until it was uncovered by accident during the building of a new road in 1970. Archaeological excavations continued at the site from 1970-74. Around the vicinity of the church, caves are still visible, and there is a mountain that drops down into the sea, such as described in the biblical account.Christ’s trip to the land of the Gadarenes (Kursi) was one of his rare visits to Gentile territory, which also explains the presence of the herd of pigs, which was forbidden to the Jews. Jesus Himself had said that He was sent only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”Celebrated Christian apologist Steve Ray, a frequent visitor to Kursi who often leads groups through biblical sites in the Holy Land, told Breitbart News that since Kursi had the largest monastery in Israel, it was obviously held in high esteem by the first Christians. “The early Judeo-Christians remembered the places and events surrounding the life of Christ, and as soon as Christianity was legalized, churches were built on these different sites,” he said. “The more archaeology uncovers,” Ray said, “the more the Bible is confirmed.”Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.Read More Stories About:Big Government, National Security, Faith, Israel, Bible, satan, Jesus Christ, exorcism, demons, Kursi, archeology, Gadarenes, Gerasenes
this pressed for our spirit!: Orthodox Rabbis Issue Groundbreaking Declaration Affirming ‘Partnership’ With Christianity
MOREA group of prominent Orthodox rabbis in Israel, the United States and Europe have issued a historic public statement affirming that Christianity is “the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations” and urging Jews and Christians to “work together as partners to address the moral challenges of our era.”“Jesus brought a double goodness to the world,” the statement reads. “On the one hand he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically” and on the other hand “he removed idols from the nations,” instilling them “firmly with moral traits.
”This year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the declaration issued in 1965 by the Second Vatican Council, which marked a watershed in Jewish-Christian relations.In language unusual for its day, Nostra Aetate stated that “God holds the Jews most dear,” stressed the great “spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews,” and condemned “hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.”Now, a group of Jewish leaders has responded in kind, expressing their desire to accept “the hand offered to us by our Christian brothers and sisters.”
“Christians are congregations that work for the sake of heaven who are destined to endure, whose intent is for the sake of heaven and whose reward will not denied,” the text reads. The statement bears the title, “To Do the Will of Our Father in Heaven: Toward a Partnership between Jews and Christians,” and is signed by over 25 prominent Orthodox rabbis, who invite fellow Orthodox rabbis to join in signing the statement. “Now that the Catholic Church has acknowledged the eternal Covenant between G-d and Israel, we Jews can acknowledge the ongoing constructive validity of Christianity as our partner in world redemption, without any fear that this will be exploited for missionary purposes,” it says.
Echoing recent words by Pope Francis, the document states:
“We are no longer enemies, but unequivocal partners in articulating the essential moral values for the survival and welfare of humanity.”“Neither of us can achieve G-d’s mission in this world alone,” it says.
According to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, one of the statement’s initiators, the “real importance of this Orthodox statement is that it calls for fraternal partnership between Jewish and Christian religious leaders, while also acknowledging the positive theological status of the Christian faith.”“This proclamation’s breakthrough is that influential Orthodox rabbis across all centers of Jewish life have finally acknowledged that Christianity and Judaism are no longer engaged in a theological duel to the death and that Christianity and Judaism have much in common spiritually and practically. Given our toxic history, this is unprecedented in Orthodoxy.” said Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, Academic Director of CJCUC.Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsromeRead More Stories About:National Security, Faith, Breitbart Jerusalem, Vatican, Pope Francis, Christianity, Catholic Church, Judaism, Nostra Aetate, Jewish-Christian relations, orthodox rabbis
this pressed: How Enrique Marquez fit into the San Bernardino killers’ network of interest — Post Graphics (@PostGraphics) December 18, 2015
How Enrique Marquez fit into the San Bernardino killers’ network of interest https://t.co/XDmM8NzPNd pic.twitter.com/QWXmccmrht
— Post Graphics (@PostGraphics) December 18, 2015
this pressed For our confusing: The Fed Should Clean Up Excess Reserve Rather Than Raise Rates | Foreign Affairs
For the Fed, Mop Not HikeCleaning Up Excess Reserves Rather Than Raising RatesBy Richard C. KooBy the most recent forecast, the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to raise interet rates on December 16. That it’s happening in the midst of a global economic slowdown is bad news for markets and economies around the world. Even China’s yuan, which had remained stable alongside the strengthening U.S. dollar until recently, had to decouple from it in August to bolster the country’s faltering export industries; it was another decision that shook markets worldwide.Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has been warning of the coming interest rate hike for some time now. She wanted to sound the alarm sooner rather than later because the Fed has injected some $2.5 trillion in excess reserves—17.6 times more than the statutory reserves needed to support the present level of U.S. money supply and lending activity. When a central bank has created such an unprecedented degree of liquidity, particularly with the U.S. economy doing relatively well, inflation could accelerate much sooner than in the past once the private sector is ready to borrow money again. That could force the Fed into an abrupt tightening, which could be very damaging to the market and the economy. The Fed must also avoid creating the impression of being behind the curve on inflation lest it trigger a bond market crash that could send long-term interest rates rocketing.Kevin Lamarque / ReutersU.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 15, 2014.In spite of the United States’ relatively strong economy, inflation remained subdued because the private sector still maintained a financial surplus of over six percent of GDP, at least through the year ending in the third quarter of 2015, according to the flow of funds data. This is worrying because it means that the private sector continued to save in spite of zero interest rates, a disturbing trend that began when Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. It also indicates that businesses and households are still recovering their balance sheets, which may have been hurt when the housing bubble burst in 2008. Their refusal to borrow means that the liquidity injected by the Fed remained with the financial institutions that received them and has not entered the real economy.The fact that the private sector as a whole is still saving money at zero interest rates is worrying because both Japan in 2000 and Europe in 2011 tried to raise rates under similar conditions but were ultimately forced to take them back to zero. In both cases, the economies turned out to be much weaker than some macro indicators had suggested.The Fed’s need to appear vigilant against inflation while facing a still weak global economy suggests that it should reverse the order of monetary policy normalization set forth in September 2014. At that time, it was decided to raise interest rates first before draining excess reserves because the market is more familiar with rate hikes, while a reserve-draining operation would be the first in history and might create unpredictable disruptions.Since the Fed’s September announcement, however, the dollar has skyrocketed and oil prices have collapsed. This means that inflation is likely to stay subdued, undermining the rationale behind rate hikes.Toru Hanai / ReutersA man is reflected on an electronic board displaying exchange rates, August 11, 2010.Meanwhile, reserve-draining operations generally require the Fed to sell bonds. Although that would tend to push bond prices lower and yields higher, the Bank of Japan’s decision in October 2014 to expand its liquidity injections and the European Central Bank’s decision to do so earlier this year have pushed interest rates in many countries to zero or subzero levels. That move boosted Japanese and European investors’ demand for higher-yielding dollar bonds.This means the Fed has the perfect opportunity right now to sell bonds to drain excess reserves—there is robust overseas demand for U.S. bonds, plenty of domestic savings (at least according to the flow of funds data) to absorb the bonds unloaded by the Fed, and a strong dollar and cheap oil keeping inflation concerns in check. These factors all suggest that any pressures that drive down bond prices and drive up bond yields from a reserve mop-up operation are likely to be modest.In other words, the Fed should drain excess reserves first before raising interest rates. If bond yields do climb excessively because the Fed unloads the bonds, the Fed could always calm the markets by announcing an extension of the zero interest rate policy. When the market realizes that the Fed has this fallback option to keep short-term rates low, long-term interest rates (that is, bond yields) are not likely to go that much higher.Enjoy this free article from Foreign AffairsAll visitors get access to one full-length article each month. Register for free to continue readi
This Pressed for Reality Check: Turkish MP reveals that ISIS used Turkey to access sarin gas for chemical attack— David Icke (@davidicke) December 16, 2015
Turkish MP reveals that ISIS used Turkey to access sarin gas for chemical attack: https://t.co/ZY8qt6a6Kr pic.twitter.com/gBNkhs6LxL
— David Icke (@davidicke) December 16, 2015
this pressed for remembering: 10 Rankings That Tell Us Everything We Need to Know About Los Angeles in 2015 — L.A. Weekly (@LAWeekly) December 16, 2015
10 Rankings That Tell Us Everything We Need to Know About Los Angeles in 2015 https://t.co/coBzgZLRT4 pic.twitter.com/ReQRXaYj35
— L.A. Weekly (@LAWeekly) December 16, 2015
this pressed for our mind: Anti-Christian persecution isn’t all about Islam, @JohnLAllenJr writes — Crux (@Crux) December 16, 2015
Anti-Christian persecution isn’t all about Islam, @JohnLAllenJr writes https://t.co/oLigp6PilA pic.twitter.com/uu0NQwAZZY
— Crux (@Crux) December 16, 2015
this pressed: Rusia avertizează că poate distruge elementele antibalistice NATO din România şi Polonia | adevarul.ro
Rusia deţine rachete care pot distruge orice element antibalistic instalat de Statele Unite, avertizează generalul rus Serghei Karakaiev, şeful Forţelor strategice ruse, referindu-se la sistemele antirachetă montate de NATO în România şi Polonia, relatează Mediafax.Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă Un general avertizează că Rusia a instalat rachete intercontinentale c… Ambasador rus: Toate ţările participante la sistemul antirachetă NATO … Vladimir Putin: Rusia intenţionează să-şi consolideze arsenalul nuclea…„Evaluările specialiştilor arată că sistemele antirachetă americane aflate în curs de instalare nu vor putea rezista unui atac intens efectuat de unităţi strategice ruse“, a declarat Serghei Karakaiev, citat de agenţii de ştiri ruse, potrivit Mediafax.Oficialul militar a dat asigurări că pe teritoriul Rusiei există sisteme moderne de rachete balistice ale căror poziţii nu sunt cunoscute de „inamici“.„Există sisteme de rachete pe teritoriul Rusiei – din regiunea centrală Tver până în Irkuţk, Siberia – care sunt ascunse de atacurile inamice“, a subliniat Karakaiev.„Rusia nu intenţionează să monteze rachete strategice în regiunea Arctica; nu sunt necesare“, a explicat şeful Forţelor strategice ruse.General rus: Moscova a mobilizat elemente ce pot distruge orice sistem de apărare antirachetăAcum câteva zile, un general a anunţat că armata rusă a instalat sisteme de rachete intercontinentale de tip Iars (SS-27 Mod 2, potrivit terminologiei NATO) la sud-vest de oraşul Moscova. Sistemele au fost instalate în localitatea Kozelsk, situată la circa 200 de kilometri sud-vest de Moscova.„Regimentul de rachete de la Kozelsk a fost plasat în stare deplină de luptă“, a declarat generalul Serghei Siver, comandantul Unităţii de rachete Vladimir.„Principala caracteristică a acestui sistem este capacitatea de a distruge orice sistem de apărare antirachetă şi producerea de daune ample inamicului“, a subliniat oficialul militar rus.Rachetele termonucleare intercontinentale RS-24 Iars (SS-27 Mod 2, potrivit terminologiei NATO) au o rază de acţiune de circa 11.000 de kilometri, atingând viteze de 24.500 de km/h.Vladimir Putin: Apropierea NATO, un scenariu „foarte periculos“Moscova a criticat dur, în ultimul timp, planul Alianţei Nord-Atlantice de a instala sisteme antibalistice în România şi Polonia.Preşedintele Vladimir Putin avertiza, în urmă cu o lună, că Rusia va consolida capacităţile nucleare strategice ca reacţie la sistemele antirachetă instalate de Statele Unite în Europa de Est, precizând că armata rusă a dezvoltat armament care poate distruge orice instalaţie antibalistică. „Rusia va lua măsuri de retorsiune în sensul consolidării capacităţilor forţelor nucleare. De asemenea, vom dezvolta propriile sisteme antirachetă. Am spus de la început că vom dezvolta sisteme de atac pentru distrugerea oricăror instalaţii antibalistice“, declara Vladimir Putin pe 10 noiembrie. Potrivit liderului de la Kremlin, pretextele conform cărora sistemele antirachetă din Europa de Est ar viza ameninţările balistice din partea Iranului şi Coreei de Nord ascund adevăratele intenţii ale Statelor Unite, de a dobândi superioritate militară. „Adevăratul scop este neutralizarea potenţialului nuclear al altor state, inclusiv al Rusiei şi al aliaţilor ei“, a subliniat Vladimir Putin.La sfârşitul lunii octombrie, Vladimir Putin atrăgea atenţia că extinderea sistemului antirachetă al Statelor Unite în Europa de Est reprezintă o ameninţare la adresa capacităţilor nucleare ruse, exprimând preocupare că infrastructura ofensivă a NATO se apropie de frontierele ruse şi evocând un scenariu „foarte periculos“. Rusia a avertizat că elementele antirachetă care urmează să fie instalate la Deveselu reprezintă încălcări ale Tratatului forţelor nucleare intermediare (INF), cerând României şi SUA să conştientizeze „responsabilitatea“ montării acestor sisteme şi să renunţe la plan „cât nu este prea târziu“.Decizia de instalare a sistemelor de tip MK-41 (n.red. – Aegis, conform terminologiei NATO) „riscă să devină o provocare gravă la adresa securităţii internaţionale“, declara recent şi Mihail Ulianov, director al Departamentului pentru neproliferare şi controlul armamentului din cadrul Ministerului rus de Externe. „Acest pas va fi o nouă încălcare flagrantă de către Statele Unite a Tratatului forţelor nucleare intermediare“, a acuzat oficialul rus. „Statele Unite şi România trebuie să înţeleagă amploarea reală a responsabilităţii acestui sistem şi să îşi dea seama că pot renunţa la acest plan cât nu este prea târziu“, adăuga Mihail Ulianov.Moscova acuză că sistemele antirachetă din România şi Polonia încalcă INFMoscova a acuzat de multe ori că sistemele antirachetă care urmează să fie instalate în România şi Polonia reprezintă încălcări ale prevederilor Tratatului forţelor nucleare intermediare (INF). În martie, Serghei Riabkov, adjunctul ministrului rus de Externe, afirma că sistemele MK-41 (Aegis) sunt utilizate pentru rachete cu rază medie şi lungă de ac
this pressed: 1 Dead and Multiple Wounded in Shooting Near L.A. Hotel: Reports #ShootingVictims https://t.co/whIqoD7jf4 pic.twitter.com/IWOgFSjuU3 — Melody Rigo (@Melody407000) December 14, 2015
1 Dead and Multiple Wounded in Shooting Near L.A. Hotel: Reports #ShootingVictims https://t.co/whIqoD7jf4 pic.twitter.com/IWOgFSjuU3
— Melody Rigo (@Melody407000) December 14, 2015
this pressed for our future: Donald Trump’s Muslim ban proposal throws Republican party into chaos | US news | The Guardian
Tom McCarthy in New York, Ben Jacobs in Washington, Ryan Felton in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Kate Lamb in Jakarta, Indonesia
Tuesday 8 December 2015 15.19 EST
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was disowned by his own party’s top leadership on Tuesday and faced calls to drop his White House bid as the world reacted with outrage to his plan for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
The billionaire frontrunner’s plan tipped the Republican presidential race into chaos, with party leaders from the chairman of the Republican National Committee to former US vice-president Dick Cheney condemning the idea as “un-American”.
How does Trump do it? Understanding the psychology of a demagogue’s rally
Trump toured the US television studios in unrepentant form, unmoved by the gale of criticism that followed his speech aboard an aircraft carrier on Monday evening. Speaking aboard the USS Yorktown, he acknowledged that his proposal was “probably not politically correct”, before whipping up a cheering crowd and adding: “But. I. Don’t. Care.”
“We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on,” Trump said. “We are out of control.”
But for perhaps the first time of the election cycle, Trump seemed at risk of being drowned out by voices raised on all sides in protest against him.
Horrified Muslims in the United States heard in Trump’s rhetoric an echo of Nazism, and they joined the Republican condemnation of Trump as un-American.
“He’s trampling on our constitution and packaging it as a snake oil cure for our security concerns,” said Kassem Allie, executive administrator of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, one of the largest mosques in the US. “He’s using fear-mongering reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Stalin.”
A significant silence that had followed past outrageous statements by Trump – in which Republican elders have declined direct confrontation, and the targets of his remarks have seemed humiliated or intimidated – seemed finally shattered at the billionaire’s latest offense.
Republican establishment figures from Cheney to rivals like Jeb Bush and RNC chairman Reince Priebus ramped up their condemnations.
“Well, I think this whole notion that somehow we need to say no more Muslims and just ban a whole religion goes against everything we stand for and believe in,” Cheney told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I mean, religious freedom’s been a very important part of our, our history.”
House speaker Paul Ryan said Trump’s remarks violated the constitution and were “not who we are as a party”.
“This is not conservatism,” the Wisconsin representative said, adding: “Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam terror are Muslims.”
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, backed Ryan, his former running mate, adding on Twitter: “On Muslims, @realDonaldTrump fired before aiming…@SpeakerRyan is on target.”
Party chairman Preibus said of Trump’s remarks: “I don’t agree. We need to aggressively take on radical Islamic terrorism but not at the expense of our American values.”
There were signs that Trump was not deaf to the Republican insurrection. He appeared to make a veiled threat on Twitter on Tuesday to run as an independent. “A new poll indicates that 68% of my supporters would vote for me if I departed the GOP & ran as an independent,” he wrote.
While such a bid would face logistical barriers that differ from state to state, experts have said an independent run would be possible for a candidate with money to spend on lawyers and signature-collection campaigns. Such a move would have a potentially disastrous effect on Republican hopes of winning back the White House.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest called Trump’s remarks “incendiary” and “morally reprehensible”, adding: “What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president.”
In Congress, a Florida Republican spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to make a passionate demand for Trump to quit the presidential race.
“It should be heartbreaking to every American that we have a frontrunner in the presidential race that suggests there will be a religious test for anybody who wishes to come to our shores,” said Representative David Jolly. “It is an affront to the principles upon which our nation was founded.”
Bush, a would-be presidential rival of Trump who has been trailing him badly in the polls, said the real estate mogul was “unhinged”. An outside political group supporting Bush, meanwhile, announced a $3.7m ad campaign featuring a video calling Trump “impulsive and reckless”.
The outrage was not limited to the United States. British prime minister David Cameron issued a statement that said he “completely disagrees” with Trump’s comments and regards them as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage released a statement saying Trump had “gone too far”.
Muslim groups around the world expressing outrage at Trump’s proposal included Dar al-Ifta, the state religious body in Egypt.
“Such hostile attitudes towards Islam and Muslims will increase tensions within the American society of which Muslims represent around 8 million peaceful and loyal American citizens,” the group said in a statement.
The call was echoed by Muslims in the United States.
“This statement is pretty much un-American, and goes against every value and principle that we hold dear as American citizens,” said Adam Soltani, executive of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Oklahoma. “And it’s not a stance we should be taking as a country, and it’s definitely not a stance that an individual running for the highest office in our country should adopt.”
Trump followed up the speech with a media blitz Tuesday morning, in which he claimed the mantle of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, citing the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war as precedent for his policy.
“This is a president highly respected by all, he did the same thing,” Trump said on ABC News. “If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse.”
However, Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist who has been a vocal critic of Trump, told the Guardian: “There was a whiff of fascism around this guy. Now there’s a reek of fascism”.
‘I. Don’t. Care’: Trump brushes off horrified reaction to his Muslim ban
Wilson noted with horror that Trump has been evasive on whether his ban applies to American citizens, something which would be grotesquely unconstitutional. “I wanted to hear that explicitly stated,” Wilson said. “American citizens are exempted from this, and in order to satisfy his supporters, he can’t and won’t say that.”
Wilson thought that Trump posed a profound challenge for the future of the Republican party. “We are going to end up having a point where there’s going to be a ‘come to Jesus’ moment about whether this party can survive Donald Trump.” Wilson also noted: “A lot of Trump’s fans and supporters don’t want the party to survive. They want to form a populist, nationalist party that isn’t about limited government and the constitution.”
When the point comes, Wilson said, “we have to decide if this going to be the troll party or the Republican party”.
Reactions elsewhere in the national politics ranged from amused to exasperated. The Philadelphia Daily News put a picture of Trump delivering a stiff wave on its cover, with the caption “The New Furor”.
The Democratic mayor of St Petersburg, Florida, Rick Kriseman, tweeted that Trump was not welcome in the city. “I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St. Petersburg until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps,” he wrote.
In a meeting with local church groups in Baltimore, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders expressed general frustration with the conversation around Trump.
Sanders was questioned in a press conference about why his staff had instructed journalists not to ask him about him about Islamic State.
“What about Isis, guys?” Sanders asked as he laughed and he turned to the black church leaders standing next to him. “How often are these people talking about the issues that we talked about today?”
Source: Donald Trump’s Muslim ban proposal throws Republican party into chaos | US news | The Guardian
Christians as “Soft Targets”
The gun lobby and their sympathizers (and some cartoonists) have recently been bringing public attention to the fact that “gun-free” signs on the entrances of museums, schools, churches, shopping malls, etc. can be an unintended invitation to homicidal maniacs or suicidal nihilists who want to take as many possible souls with them in exiting the world.
Christianity is in a sense a “gun-free” zone. The Christian religion is so devoted to peace that it could incite similar agressive responses in malevolent persons or systems.
There are, of course, violent Christians and Christian leaders. But in all of the New Testament, there is not one sentence that could reasonably incite a Christian to violence or to forced conversions.
Quakers and other Christian pacifists are in part justified for interpreting Christianity as going even further than Buddhism in avoiding all types of violence. They focus on Jesus’ messages to “turn the other cheek” (Mt. 5:39), “go the extra mile” (Mt. 5:41), “forgive seventy times seven times” (Mt. 18:22), “lend without expecting repayment” (Lk. 6:35), “give them your coat also” (Lk. 6:29), and “put away the sword (Mt. 26:52).” Ethicists now would call such rules “supererogatory” – going far beyond the basic requirements of duty and justice.
There is nothing in the New Testament about the basic rights of self-defense. St. Augustine and other theologians thus needed to wrestle with questions about the justification of wars. They came up with the strict criteria of “just war theory,” requiring multiple conditions for declaring wars and multiple restrictions of conduct when engaging in wars.
Just war theory is rational. The New Testament goes beyond, but does not abrogate, the natural law of self-preservation and its corollaries. An individual may go over and above duty in certain cases to “turn the other cheek,” but social and political duties of those in authority may call for use of force to preserve lives and sustenance.
There is, however, a special problem for a “soft-target” religion: it could be a proverbial “sitting duck” – not only for unscrupulous cultures and governments, but also for a militant political religious cult. As I mentioned in a previous column, the Islam we are dealing with in the contemporary world harbors no supererogatory exhortations to non-violence. The fact that Islam is constantly referred to as a “religion of peace” is an anomaly, a species of Orwellian “new-speak” – in the same way that murdering the unborn is called a “reproductive right,” institutionalized sodomy is called “marriage,” and sex has been replaced with “gender.”
The stark difference between the concept of martyrdom in Christianity and Islam helps to bring out the dangers for “soft targets.” For Christianity, the martyr deserving of eternal bliss through the vision of God is one willing to suffer and die as a witness for his faith. For Islam, the martyr deserving of an eternal bliss of sensual pleasure is one who is killed while killing “unbelievers” (Quran 9:111) – even unknown crowds of men, women, and children – thus advancing the jihadist movement in the world.
New Testament apocalyptic passages in the Book of Revelation about final battles between the powers of good and evil are hard to interpret, but Christians may be faced with the possibility of a strange “Armageddon.” Instead of (as usually depicted) two massive armies facing each other in a final decisive battle, another scenario in which billions of sincere Christians, the greatest “soft target” ever produced in the world, are abandoned to the devices of billions of Muslims. Indeed, Muslim eschatology involves the destruction and subjugation of all “unbelievers” in a final battle in which the rather far-fetched Muslim version of Jesus (Isa, the son of Maryam, the sister of Moses’ brother, Aaron [Quran 19:27-28]) would come and break all Christian crosses, exterminate pigs as the supply of pork, and grant the laurels of victory to Islam.
But events during the last hundred years make such a lopsided Armageddon scenario less fantastic – millions of Christians massacred in Armenia, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere; a million killed in just the first thirteen years of the 21st century; more martyrdoms than in all previous centuries – not to mention the pillaging and destruction of hundreds of churches in Iraq, Egypt, and Nigeria in the last few years; in formerly tolerant Indonesia, according to a report of the Gatestone Institute, more than 1,000 Christian churches have been shut down, torn down or burned down since 2006. (If you follow only the mainstream media, you may be excused for not knowing about such things.)
At present, with the “Islamic State” (ISIS), we have the advent of a new “caliph,” Caliph Ibrahim (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi). For most Muslims, the caliph, if he manages to survive threats from alternative claimants, is not just a figurehead. His existence could dramatically change the eschatological views of obedient and traditional Muslims. While “defensive” war is always permitted to Muslims, only the Caliph has the authority to order an offensive war of conquest and destruction. This is being done now, with tens of thousands of young Muslims rushing to join ISIS in Syria and other strongholds.
Catholics call themselves the “Church Militant,” but this is just a metaphor, and meant spiritually. The days when a pope could order or bless a crusade are long gone, especially in view of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, which offer fulsome praises of Islam as an “Abrahamic” religion which adores the same God and submits to His hidden decrees. And it goes without saying, that no nation now would be willing to defend the Christians being murdered or exiled by Islamists, since for “enlightened” moderns this would be a “religious war,” repeating pre-Enlightenment mistakes of the past.
The combination of the surrender to modernism in the “developed world” and Christians’ helpless exposure to violence and subjugation in Muslim-dominated regions leads to a possible alternative vision of Armageddon and victory: a final martyrdom of the Church.