Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just Who Is Sponsoring This Research? Doesn't Matter -- I Like It. Chocolat reduces heart disease.

Are you a chocoholic? Good for you, chances are you're reducing your chances of heart disease. And no, it's not just the dark stuff. Take a look. Because we care about the shape you're in.

(But of course, too much chocolat and not enough exercise -- your shape will definitely change.)

I've got to speak to my financial adviser about buying some chocolat stocks.  Can you eat those things?

Chocolate 'cuts heart risk by a third' - Telegraph

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When Does Someone Make a Prediction? With Job Approval at the Lowest Yet, It should be soon.

I only report what I find. And I ask questions: Is the man finished? His job approval is at the lowest it has been. No wonder he's being conciliatory on changing the date for his speech to Congress from the 7th to the 8th to present his economic plan. But let's stick to the ratings for now:

RealClearPolitics - Election Other - President Obama Job Approval

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Help the Libyan Rebels Yes, But Not at the Expense of Israel. Guess who's getting Libyan arms -- cheap?

There's a fire sale on Libyan firearms. No sooner are the rebels turning them in and the NTC is selling the arms to Gaza militants, according to a respectable Reuters report. I mean, after all, a country has got to do what a country has got to do to get rid of its military arms, don't you think?

This is a gap in the post-revolution that neither the U.S. nor Nato even thought of closing. Maybe this particular Arab Spring is indeed, as Michael Coren suggested elsewhere, turning into a "Nuclear winter" -- well, at least a "Firearms warmer winter."

The funny thing about all of this is that the Palestinians keep saying "we want peace" and "let's talk".  Sooner or later, we'll learn to discriminate between "people, their leaders, and what their leaders say."


'Gaza militants have Libyan arms' - Israel News, Ynetnews

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A 7-minute Primer on Sharia Law.

I've written on this before but now you can hear from some much more eloquent personalities. In this video, Michael Coren suggests imam Rauf of Ground Zero is not stupid (even it it sounds that way) but instead is likely lying through his teeth. Take a look.

But let me put it in perspective for you before you do. Here's some background first:

Here's a headline from the U.K.'s MailOnline: (Aug. 31, 2011) -- "

"Father slit throats of three daughters in 'honour killing' after they were raped by Gaddafi's troops." 


Then go to the original story below and it will make more sense. 
 

Adler & Coren on Ground Zero imam Rauf - YouTube

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How Days At the Amusement Park Can Get Ugly . . .

I just don't know what to tell you about this story. It's sad. It's very sad. It takes the fun out of taking your children and family to an amusement park. Take a look at what happened at this one.

And why? It's all over "loose head-gear" and safety. But when that loose headgear is an Islamic woman's head scarf -- things can turn ugly. Then you throw in a bit Islamophobia, some tough cops (or were they?), some sensitive Muslims (perhaps with cause, perhaps not), and maybe some racism (all not good).

Was it also due to poor communication -- outside the park, before people come into the park. Maybe.

But here's what worries me. This is only a sign of more and more such situations to arise all over America and Canada. Not sure I have a solution. But let's start with our governments recognizing the problems and starting to tell people that come to our countries (as they told my parents and me many years ago) -- "we have rules here and you have to obey our rules if you're going to participate in certain things and I don't care what your 'political ideological religion with a cause' says. And we're going to defend our laws fervently.

Take a look and give us your thoughts.

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Muslims, police scuffle at Rye Playland over amusement park’s head scarf ban; 15 arrests made | The New York City Local - Yahoo! News

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The Whole Gaddafi family (father & two sons) is crazy. Saturday shaping up to be a possible blood-bath, and unnecessary.

Here is the latest from Libya, especially the city of Sirte where the old man is supposedly hiding (don't count on it). Two very opposing messages from two of the sons of Gaddafi.

This Saturday shaping up to be deadly in many ways. I've tried to read between the lines of what the rebels are saying about "amnesty". -- Bottom-line of my analysis -- if they catch Gaddafi and sons alive, they won't leabe beyond the time it takes the rebels time to find them guilty of breaking Human Rights big-time. Mark my words.

BBC News - Libya conflict: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi vows resistance

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Challenging the Psychics Big-Time.

I do not believe in psychics at all. So, to them I must be a skeptic. Fine. But if they're genuine, they should prove me wrong especially when someone is offering them $1M to do so.

Yet, one such psychic is not taking the 'bait' and another wants to know all the rules of the test, and then see is she is "available".

I don't know about you, but if I could prove salvation through Jesus Christ to a skeptic (which I cannot -- it's not something one accepts by proof, but rather by faith), and they were willing to offer me, or my cause, $1M to boot, I would sure make myself available.

By the way, they're complaining the person offering the challenge is a skeptic and one of them doesn't like working with skeptics. No kidding. Here's the story. I share it only to hopefully convince some of you how phony this whole thing is. Maybe next I'll tackle "professional wrestling". I still have visions of my long-deceased aunt really getting into this sport (from her living room) and heaven help you if you tried to tell her the guys were professional actors!

'Top' psychics offered $1M to prove powers - Canada - CBC News

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ground Zero imam says we'll get along well if Europe & West use Sharia law.

The man behind the Ground Zero Mosque controversy in New York last year, that Obama gave his blessing to, says everything will be fine and we'll have great multi-culturalism in the world if Europe and the West simply incorporated Sharia law into their legal systems. Really?

Anyway, there you have it folks. We no longer have to worry about how to solve our terrorist problems. Nor do we have any doubt any longer about this Imam's goals for his new mosque near the 9/11 site.

What a wonderful world we will live in. Here's the source of the story.

Ground Zero imam gives Scotland his recipe for successful multiculturalism - Herald Scotland | News | Home News

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Giving the PA Everything They Want Is Not Enough for the PLO.

Do you get the PA and the PLO mixed up?  Well, let's see if this helps.  Even if the PA gets U.N. recognition for statehood along the pre-1967 lines, the PLO will still demand that millions of Palestinians can return to their original homes inside Israel.  PA which represents 4 million in Gaza and the West Bank is only part of the PLO which represents 8 million Palestinians.  The PLO will continue to function until all Palestinian issues are settled.  Guaranteed job security for the PLO indeed.

One international law expert says Palestinians living outside the Gaza Strip and West Bank will lose their U.N. voice if the PA is granted Palestinian statehood, because the PLO has had 'observer' status at the U.N. since 1974.  Not so, says Abbas of the PA.

Abbas says he has 122 countries in the U.N. supporting his request for statehood, and hopes to get as many as 128.  There are now 193 members according to the available data.  Clearly, the PA will get its request except for one thing -- it also requires the approval of the Security Council, and there any member has a veto.  We're in for interesting times.

Abbas also says he doesn't want to "a clash with America because", get this, "we're not qualified for such a confrontation".   Seriously.  You think?   If they were, I'm sure they would want such a clash.

And watch for Abbas to be defeated as President once statehood is achieved.  Why?  Well, because he has said as long as he's in charge, there won't be an "armed intifada against Israel".

Read much more of the story here . . .

'UN recognition won't stop PA's d... JPost - Diplomacy & Politics

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Number of Illegal Border Crossings Grows in Canada.

Great, I no longer have to drive down to Arizona-Mexico border to see armed Border guards on ATV's chasing illegals. Soon, I'll be able to catch the action on my next trip to Vancouver.

What I can't figure out is whether the increase in illegal immigration to the Great White North is due to:
a. They really prefer Canada and aren't willing to stay in the U.S. when they get in there illegally, or
b. The Americans are doing such a good job of chasing them, that they get confused and head north, or
c. The Canadians are doing such a bad job of keeping Canada's border safe, or
d. They still think the great Yukon Gold Rush is still paying off big dividends.


If Obama has his way, soon these won't be 'Mexicans' we'll be trying to stop, it will be 'American citizens who were born in Mexico' or maybe just good old American citizens who will do anything to escape a sinking ship.

But for now, let's get serious about Canada's illegal border crossings before they grow to the point we can't afford to stop them.

Mexican pair sneaking into Canada arrested at border - The Globe and Mail


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Air Canada Attendants Reject Deal Over the Pensions of 'Future Employees'

This news item causes me to do two things:

First, let me warn you about some possible Air Canada schedule disruptions later next month after the flight attendants who just turned down a deal, take their strike vote. Even if the Government steps in (assuming the attendants strike) as it threatened to do recently, any possible strike will last several days.  That's not too bad unless those happen to be one of the days you're flying.  So, act accordingly and let the ticket buyer beware!

Secondly, let me talk for a bit about pensions.  But before I do I must declare what some may consider to be an ethical conflict.  Let me admit to you that I do in fact have a "defined benefits" pension plan from an employer with which I had 25 years of service.  It's a pension plan that guarantees me a certain amount of pension each month regardless of how well or how poorly the company's pension investments do.   There, I've said it, and now I feel free to comment.

This type of plan is different from a "defined contributions" plan where the company puts in a set amount into an investment for the employee.  When he/she gets his/her pension, how much they get depends on how well or how poorly the investment has done.  The amount is no longer the company's problem, it's the employee's concern as he/she owns the investment.

While I have such a plan, many of my friends do not, and my children do not.  In fact, those types of plans are going out of style like Kodak Brownie cameras and Ford Edsel cars.  I never asked for that type of plan -- it was given to me in a different economic time and generation, when my company was doing well, at least better than it is now.

Unions that fought hard and got these kind of plans got them when workers of all types were badly needed and they could demand anything in order to keep from striking.  Unemployment was very low and skilled workers were hard to find.  In case no one has noticed, things have changed.

Years ago, living in a more pristine environment, eating our own home- or local farm- grown food, fewer people got cancer.  Now living in the big industrial cities with all the smog and all the additives in our food, as well as a host of other reasons, more seem to be dying from cancer.  We all have to live with it.  I suggest some people learn to do the same thing with the pensions they are fortunate to get.  Many people today don't get a pension plan at all except what the government may offer in the way of social security plans.

Defined benefits pension plans are very expensive, especially given the economy.   Continuing them for some companies may mean, "we have seen the end and it'll be here soon" because they can't afford them.  Unions are being short-sighted in pushing for these plans.  Especially pushing for these plans for employees (or union members) they have never even met.   Air Canada, like other employers, is not killing the 'living' defined benefits plans, it just wants to prevent any more being born.

If Unions want to do something proactive here, let them negotiate some other type of bonus if a company's fortune grows to a certain point, but the day of the "defined benefits pension plan" is over -- if not this collective agreement, certainly the next one.  It is not sustainable in a volatile economic world as we are likely to be facing long into the future.

Air Canada flight attendants turn down labour deal - Business - CBC News

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Promote Islam to Turn Muslims Against Violence. That's the White House thinking.

I did not need this stupidity this morning. I can't believe what I am reading but it's all there and documented. It is the most warp thinking I have ever come across. It is the thinking that will in no time destroy the United States of America if it is not stopped. This article needs to get out to every American before it's too late. Friends, we're in serious trouble not just from the Muslim terrorists but from those that are supposed to look after the country -- the people in the White House. Get the broom. You need to clean House, the White one.

Underpublicized threat deep in White House

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

In Praise of Older -- wait for it, (Grand)Parents. The latest data.

Here's what is happening on a bigger scale as far as grand-parents and grand-children go. If you're living in Washington, D.C. -- it's about the only place in America where the trend is contrary to what's going on everywhere else. Take a look at who's living with your kids.

Grandparents play a bigger role in child-rearing - US news - Life - msnbc.com

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The PA Clarify the Conditions for Not Going to the U.N.

My special thanks to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who today clarified his conditions for withdrawing his bid for statehood recognition this September 20th. And by the way, there are three conditions, not two:
1. Israel accepts a two-state solution (while the P.A. don't have to accept a "Jewish" state, only an Israeli one).
2. The boundaries would be the 1967 ones.
3. Israel stops all Jewish settlement construction in the areas that would be part of the Palestinian statehood.

It's nice to know that some people can still dream in technicolor -- and no, I don't mean like Martin Luther King used to dream. This guy is out of his mind if he thinks Netanyahu will simply say, "yes, Mr. President; I'll do that later today."

And what does Netanyahu and Israel get in exchange:
1. PA won't go to the UN with their request; of course, if Israel accepts these conditions, it won't need to. But that's too obvious for politicians to figure out on their own. So they make the deal they propose sound so great.
2. A promise of peace going forward. Yeah, about as solid as the promise of a ceasefire this past week which was broken at least twice by the Palestinians. Thanks but no thanks.

Finally, notice this scenario on whether or not the United States threatened the PA with punitive measures if the PA pursued their goal to use the U.N. for statehood declaration. The US Consulate denies that. And the PA reinforces the fact that it is true -- the US did promise punitive action. So, either the Americans are lying or the PA is lying. So whom can we trust any more among these two players? Neither. We just have to wait and see what happens.

But I can assure you of this much -- it's very unlikely Israel will say, "hey, thank you so much; I thought you'd never offer that!" Take a look. We're now just 24 days away from the big item going to the big General Assembly.

PA set on UN statehood bid unless... JPost - Diplomacy & Politics

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How God Kept the Israelites Together and Separate - Genesis 46:31-34

Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me; and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’  When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”

As I read this portion, I was truly puzzled as to its purpose.  I felt that all we had to know was what we read in the beginning of the next chapter of Genesis, chapter 47.  So I investigated a little further.

Commentator David Guzik considers these verses as describing how the people of Israel were to ask for the land of Goshen from Pharaoh.  He believes the Egyptians were agricultural in the sense of farming crops. They considered sheep unclean, and therefore detested anyone who was a shepherd.  He implies, therefore, that Pharaoh would let them take over Goshen and live there, still in Egypt, but out of the mainstream, by themselves.  It appears to me at least that when Joseph told his brothers that they will live in the land of Goshen (Genesis 45:10), he was speaking out of turn without the surety of Pharaoh’s concurrence on this promise.

Bible commentator Robert Jamieson on the other hand sees it in a slightly different light.  He suggests that it was a tribute of respect due to the Pharaoh (or any king) to inform him of one’s arrival.  (I talked about that when commenting on an earlier portion of scripture with respect to my experiences upon entering various parts of Canada that clearly were owned by native Aboriginal chiefs and their tribes.)  Jamieson suggests the instructions which Joseph gave them were worthy of his character both as an affectionate brother (to protect them) and a religious man (to do what was right).

Matthew Henry supports Jamieson’s view.  He sees Joseph as being an knowledgable prudent man, who did know the ropes, and thus could look out for the welfare of his brothers and father.  Henry sees it as only fair to let Pharaoh know how such a colony had come to settle in his dominions.

What is interesting here is that Joseph’s brothers once wanted to get rid of him, now he has to help them settle safely in a new land, his land.  And to protect them, he chose to have them live separately to the extent possible from the native Egyptians.  We also note that Goshen was the land that lay nearest to Canaan, less populated by natives, and lush with pasture for their herds.

Now was it Joseph or God, or both, that wanted the Israelites to be as far away from the influence of Egyptians ungodly practices?  I think both of them had this desire.  God certainly wanted them preserved as “His people” who would one day return to nearby Canaan.  Was not it appropriate then that the Egyptians saw shepherds as an abomination?

Notice that neither Joseph nor God expected the Israelites to change their careers in the new land.  There certainly was nothing wrong with being tenders of sheep and cattle and they weren’t to be ashamed of that.  Joseph understood that and he saw to it that they could continue their work as before.  When God calls us to a particular calling, He may move us, but not change His calling.  Yet as newcomers to someone else’s land, we need to abide by their rules and respect their ways, even if we do not adopt those that contradict God’s laws for ourselves.

Matthew Henry also points out that Joseph could have (had God so willed) employed most if not all of his family in his organization with some nice cushy jobs.  He did not do this because he knew they would become the envy of Egyptians who felt they lost these jobs to ‘foreigners’.  Sounds like much of what many people feel these days with respect to the employment of immigrants, both legal and illegal, in their countries.  That kind of success for the Israelites may also have made them too comfortable to even think about returning to Canaan and the pursuit of the promise that God had made to them.

For all the above reasons, and more, God saw to it that He kept His people separate, and desirous of some day returning to the promised land.  Maybe that is what he is doing for you and me today.   Maybe He is allowing us to live in a way that keeps as content enough to praise Him and yet desirous of our promised home in His presence.

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We Talk About Eroded Christian Rights, It's Happening Regularly. Here's another big example.

Imagine going to a cemetery to lay your loved one to rest or to have a memorial service and you are not allowed to pray to your God. Well, we got word of this recently and then we spotted this article today. You need to be aware of this. Christians are having to fight hard for their rights these days.

The question for us is this: are we helping or just sitting by doing nothing while we lose our rights and our children never even know them?

Cemetery where 'God' banned accused of discrimination

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Someone Asked for Hard, Cool, Calm, and Collected Facts About Obam's Dismal Failure. . . And They Got It.

I didn't write this stuff -- just thought it. But I'm glad someone wrote as clearly and rationally as Peter Wehner has in this blog. Take a look at the "hard facts" that cannot be denied and then render your own judgment.

Answering Jonathan Alter’s Challenge � Commentary Magazine

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

If Just 10% of Population Hold An Unshakable Belief and Push It, the Rest will eventually follow.

Here is some incredible "tipping point" research when it comes to public opinion. It just takes 10% of the population to be fully committed to an idea and it will eventually come to pass.

Think alternative lifestyle acceptance, think evolution when it first started, think abortion, think lots of things. It just takes 10%.

Now think if 10% of the population stood up unshakably for what is moral and good and Godly? Wow. Eventually the rest would follow. (But where are we?)

Finally, think of 10% of the population of a country, a region, a city, a town, a neighborhood (yes, right here in North America) that is unshakably committed to bringing about an Islamic state and Sharia Law. It will come to pass over time -- unless the rest of us say "no blooming (use your own word here) way!"

If you're thinking of moving these days, find out what the demographics are in the place you're thinking of moving to. Just helping you out here with some research that can (no, make that 'will') impact your life sooner than you think.

And by the way, I just report the data -- I don't make it up. Take a look.

RPI: News & Events - Minority Rules: Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas

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Attention All IKEA Shoppers: Our Founder Is Accused of Being a Nazi Sympathizer

What will it take to stop shopping at IKEA? And should you? Even though the British press is raising some important questions based on recent revelations about the founder of the world's largest furniture chain and a very very (did I say very enough?) wealthy man. Take a look at the details.

Yes, I believe in the idea of one being innocent until proven guilty. But the man's personal admissions seem to be self-incriminating to a great extent. Chances are there's fire where there's smoke. Stay tuned.

BBC News - Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's Nazi ties 'went deeper'

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Do you drive a car? Soon, you won't need to.

An excellent article on what's around the corner -- yes, during our lifetimes. This is happening now and it will only become more popular as the research continues. Soon, it won't be research but practice. Take a look. And oh by the way -- don't scream if you see a human-driverless car next to you on the highway.

Google gets behind the wheel - The Globe and Mail

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Pedophiles best seen as "Minor Attracted Adults"

Liberal anti-God movement's greatest & favorite strategy: re-label sin so that it looks like fun and wholesome activity. You won't believe who deceived and deceiving these people and their psychiatrists are. Take a look and scream, for your child's sake. America, wake up and stop this nonsense under a liberal regime that prevails from the White House down.

Psychiatrists seek to destigmatize adult-child sex

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Obamer Continues To Commit Acts of Political Suicide

You would think that with your "job approval" rating the lowest it has ever been since you came on the scene, you would not do things that would tick off the electorate. But hey, this guy would rather gamble on the illegal immigrants voting for him (when he has done nothing else for minorities -- ask the Blacks in America) than in trying to win some who normally would oppose him or to stop some more Democrats from leaving his camp.

These are stupid moves, unpopular, and verging on, if not already there, the illegal. At the very least, they are sneaky.

Under Mandated DREAM Act, Obama Eyes Amnesty, Halting Most Deportations

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1.65 million Muslim deaths by Muslims

There is something fundamentally wrong here. This article clearly paints a good picture of the problem. But what's the solution? Surely to goodness, assuming these statistics are even slightly right, that given the fact that Islam is not just a religion, but also a political ideology -- then surely to goodness, these results are not the intended goal of any jihadic pursuits. But yet they are happening. The question is why? And once we know why are we prepared to discover what can be done about it? And finally, are we prepared to do what it takes to stop this? Tough questions.

But first, let's get a good handle of the problem. Surely, by now, whoever is providing the "beautiful virgins" that Muslim martyrs believe they'll get when they die in jihad, surely the supplier must be running out. I think that even their wisest Imams would know that, wouldn't they?  But maybe I have it all wrong.   Anyway, here's the article.

Why Golda Meir was right - Hurriyet Daily News: 1.65 million Muslim deaths by Muslims

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Going to Europe? Stay out of "No-Go"' Zones for Non-Muslims

I've been to Chinatown and Little Italy and Greektown in many Canadian and American cities. Yes, the people there are mainly Chinese, Italian, and Greek respectively, but hey I can still go and take whatever American, Canadian, and other WASP's I want to take with me, not to mention my Black friends.

But now in Europe we have, in several countries, the development of areas and even cities that are becoming and are called or known as "no-go zones" for "non-Muslims".

So, all I want to tell you is be careful where you "tour" when you go across the Pond next. You won't be treated as a much-desired tourist, that's for sure. Take a look.

European 'No-Go' Zones for Non-Muslims Proliferating: "Occupation Without Tanks or Soldiers" :: Hudson New York

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Why 'Son of Sam' serial killer David Berkowitz won't seek parole

Imbedded in this article if you click on the link below is a question: "Do you believe David Berkowitz sincerely has found God and regrets his crimes?" You get a chance to reply if you want. I didn't like the choices, so I didn't. But here's my answer to the question:

"You can never determine this with 100% certainty -- not for the Son of Sam or for anyone else for that matter. It is something that is known only by God and His Son, Jesus Christ. What you can do is increase your knowledge of what the truth may be by knowing more about Berkowitz (or any person) from those that work and/or live with him daily, by observing what he does, how he relates to others, how he deals with personal challenges, and how he does or does not cultivate his personal relationship with Christ and God. That may help you."

Now it's your turn to read the article and answer the question for us here on this blog or on FB.  And while you're at it tell us what you think, "Should spiritual freedom negate an life inmate's desire for physical freedom?

'Son of Sam' serial killer David Berkowitz: I won't seek parole, Jesus already made me 'free man': Do you believe David Berkowitz sincerely has found God and regrets his crimes?

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'd Like To Help the Democrats Launch a "Write-In" Candidate for 2012. Here's my part.

I'm sharing as much as I can about the "elephant in the room". Read on and see what some key Democrats are saying and thinking -- and it's not Obama for 2012.

Steffen Schmidt: Some Dems think the unthinkable: Not Obama | The Des Moines Register | DesMoinesRegister.com

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The Temple Mount: Finally the 'Heradim' Are Visiting, But Why Now?

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Haredim Jews or the Haredi, complete with more links to Wikipedia information:


Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox.  A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi (Haredim in the plural).
Haredi Jews, like other Orthodox Jews, consider their belief system and religious practices to extend in an unbroken chain back to Moses and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. As a result, they regard non-Orthodox, and to an extent Modern Orthodox, streams of Judaism to be deviations from authentic Judaism. Haredi Judaism comprises a diversity of spiritual and cultural orientations, generally divided into Hasidic and Lithuanian-Yeshiva streams from Eastern Europe, and Oriental Sephardic Haredim. Its historical rejection of Jewish secularism distinguishes it from Western European-derived Modern Orthodox Judaism.

Well, it appears that for years Haredim were not allowed, by their own authorities to visit the Temple Mount.  More recently their visits were frowned upon by other Israeli factions, fearing they being extra-conservative, might also be extreme in their thinking and possible actions -- which in turn could result in trouble for those trying to keep the 'peace' up on the Temple Mount.

But more recently the Haredi authorities have stopped preaching against such visits, although still not encouraging them.  In addition, the authorities are treating such visitors much better when they do visit.

The link below provides us with some great insight into life in modern Israel today, especially Jerusalem.  For those of you that are Christians, well, you'll have to work this into your own thinking and understanding of history, the present, and the future.

Visits to Temple Mount by h... JPost - Jewish World - Jewish News

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The Verdict is Still Out For the Airlines' Giant Step

I had to really think about the value of all this. I'm very progressive when it comes to technology. And I fly a lot.

While my comfort to fly comes from being assured of my destination through my faith, it was also nice to know that pilots up front had manuals they could refer to when they needed to know something that would address any challenge to the plane being able to perform well, especially once up in the air.

Now along comes United and they tell me they're throwing out the manuals. They've replaced them with iPads (11,000 of them) -- one for each pilot and co-pilot. Bottom line is that this is supposed to save the environment and require less fuel. I get it. But it is also supposed to be 'safer' because it will be 'faster' to look up things on an iPad rather than through thousands of pages in several manuals. OK, I get that too.

But here's the "But". What happens when the iPad crashes (no, I don't mean with the plane). I mean when it has a system failure of its own. Wait, there's a back-up system. The co-pilot can search for what is needed.

Maybe this is a big positive Giant Step for mankind. And wow, with that extra fuel available, maybe we can reach the moon -- again. Overall, a good move unless any of you out there can find a fault I missed.  At the very least they're going with an Apple product rather than a PC.  (Sorry, I had to get that in there.)

United Airlines Launches Paperless Flight Deck With iPad - MarketWatch

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Father and Son Meet - Genesis 46:29-30

And Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time.  Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.”

There is obviously a gap between Genesis 46:28 and vs. 29.  Judah had found Joseph, or at least had seen that word got to him, but nothing is recorded about such a meeting or discussion.  Now Joseph prepares to go and greet his new guests.  What strikes me with the opening phrase of this section is how easily it is for someone to find potential fault with Scriptures.  It is unlikely, but not inconceivable, for example, that Joseph actually “prepared his (own) chariot”.  It is more likely that he had it prepared for him, given who he had become in Egypt.  As always, we have to approach Scripture believing it is accurate and truthful and then searching for explanations which make its content possible.  If we seek it, God will reveal it.  The non-believer takes the opposite approach.  He assumes it is not true and seeks ways to prove it.  He too finds what he is looking for sufficient to satisfy himself.

There is a lovely picture here of Joseph, the son, going to meet Jacob, the father.  Altogether there are three ‘reunion’ scenarios in Scripture that often come mind when one is considering ‘reunions’.  One occurs in the New Testament and is part of what we have come to know as the story of the Prodigal Son.  Another one had already occurred prior to this point in Genesis and that is the reunion between Jacob and Esau in Genesis 33.  And the third one is this one between Jacob and Joseph.

The first reunion mentioned above, and clearly meant as a story to get across a point, certainly has interpretations that would instruct us on how God rejoices when we are reunited with Him, as well as provides us with some guidelines on the role of fatherhood or parenthood.  It is a picture of how the older and wiser are to treat the younger.  The second reunion, that of Jacob and Esau, is an example of how brothers (and by inference us) should treat each other.  It is a picture of how mankind should get along.  In this third reunion described here of Joseph and Jacob is an example of how the young should treat their elders, especially parents.  Through these three reunions the whole gamut of life’s basic relationships are addressed: old to young; peer to peer; and young to old.

It was Joseph who now appeared before the aged Jacob.  The grand patriarch had done his part.  He had raised his family for all these years to love and serve God.  He had taken one more step of faith, and at a very late stage in his life, to transition his whole world to Egypt, a new land.  Now it was his son’s turn to come to him and Joseph did just that.

And when he saw his father, Joseph fell on his neck and weeped a long time.  Can you imagine the emotion in that scene?  Can you imagine the memories that were going back and forth like crazy in the minds of both father and son?  Joseph last saw his father when he was a lad.  He had left the comfort of his father’s protection at home to go in obedience to him to see his brothers far off in their fields tending flocks and he never saw his father again.  In fact, he had been sold to slavery, moved to Egypt, and ended up spending years in jail.  Now he had risen to be the second in command of all Egypt and yet he had longed for his father.  Jacob on the other hand, had missed his son and had thought of him as dead for years, and now he once again saw him face-to-face.  It all called for a long embrace soaked with tears of joy and unbelief.

As I read about this encounter, I thought of what it would be like for me to again see my aged father whom I lost to cancer just over four and a half years ago, or my mother whom I lost to heart failure now twenty-nine years ago.  There would be embraces and weeping that last a long time.  But that, as in the case of Joseph and Jacob, is premised on a characteristic that God has bestowed on mankind as He made us “in His image” -- the characteristic of love.  Without love, there would only be disdain as we once again see those we do not care for or even hate.

Jacob then utters his famous words, “let me die now, since I have seen you, and know that you are alive.”  This is proof that since losing Joseph, Jacob yearned for this day.  That is the major thing for which he lived all the years in between.  I understand that.  I know my mother’s wish was to see me married and to see grandchildren.  She got her wish and died.  My father just wanted to see his youngest grandchild get married as his two older sisters had done.  That he lived for and talked about constantly.  He saw our son do just that, participated actively in his wedding, and then shortly afterwards, he passed away.  And now comes our turn (my turn and your turn) next.  What are you yearning to see in your lifetime that afterwards you can say, “let me die now”?   For me, I must admit, it is something similar to what my dad wished for -- to see, by the will of God, my grandchildren married.  But I am also ready to go much before that.  While the weddings of my grandchildren will be filled with joyful tears, the greatest joy comes in knowing that my Heavenly Father knows the perfect time to take me home.  I trust that is true of you.  If not, you can make that the case.       

Before leaving this section, I feel compelled to make the following observation.  I am amazed at how poorly many of today’s ‘children’ treat their parents, especially as they become old.  I have seen neglect of the worse kind -- simple ‘absence’ from their lives.  I do not understand it.  I find it hard to accept.  I believe those that exercise such absence from their parents will indeed reap what they sow many years later.  In the meantime, they are contributing to making this world a colder, lonelier place for a human being to exist in.  God did not intend it that way, and He is not amused.  That’s why He said, “Honor they mother and they father.”  It is never too late to follow such advice.

Yes, I know it takes two to tango.  There are many young and adult children out there that would love to have a relationship with their mother or father, but life has dealt them a different card through divorce or anger.   If you are the ‘missing parent’ in that kind of situation, I urge you to take it upon yourself, as Jacob did, and find your way to your son’s, or daughter’s, Egypt, and let them know “you’re coming”.

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Did The Media Blow The Approach to Layton's Death?

I think so and I have the "call them as she sees them" journalist, Christie Blatchford, to back me up. Here's the second of two articles I promised in an earlier blog on the "over-reaction and emotion" to Jack Layton's death.

My point in all this is that we need to discern carefully between what most of the world praises and thinks is great, and what our gut feel says. Yes, Layton was a smart politician. He did wonders for a party that really has no chance in forming a government these days in Canada. It's great rise in the last election was due primarily to an anti-Liberal vote in Quebec, and nothing more.

Christians at least cannot get all excited about the death of a man who supported many things we stand against -- like abortion and homosexuality.   I wanted to draw this perspective to your attention, "Lest we forget."   I'd be happy to here your view.

Christie Blatchford: Layton’s death turns into a thoroughly public spectacle | Full Comment | National Post

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Why I Didn't Get on the "Poor Jack Layton" Bandwagon.

I was sorry to see Jack Layton die. I had nothing against the man personally. He certainly added color to Canadian politics. But he was in my opinion a "weasel of a politician" especially in front of the cameras.

For some reason, I could not get very rapt up in his death. There are many good (and better) men and women that die every day and we hardly hear about them. Perhaps Canada needed a new hero this month and the best they could do was to latch on to a leader that had passed on.

As I read his deathbed manifesto, the letter he supposedly wrote to so many, I could not get excited about it. He talked about hope but unfortunately without any reference to God there cannot be any real hope -- there can be a false security in some other form of human hope (which so far has got us nowhere), but not in real hope with potential to become reality.

And then today, two articles came out in the mass media expressing exactly how I felt. Here is the first one. You read it and decide for yourself. But remember, you at least heard it first right here from me -- the layman often gets it right before the professionals get to craft their words carefully and legally.

Jonathan Kay: Who has the guts to call out Layton’s cynical manifesto? Blatchford, of course | Full Comment | National Post

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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Role of Religious Accommodation in Rising Cost of Food, Goods, & Services.

The story you will read if you click on the link below is only one of hundreds, if not thousands, like it. It is presented in a most positive, and politically correct way, but deep down, the bottom-line is that striving and struggling to accommodate the requirements of various religions does add a lot of dollars to the bottom-line -- and we all end up paying for it.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I believe something fair would be that "your religion is your business" -- after all, haven't we separated state and religion long ago?

Fort Morgan meatpacking plant strives, struggles to accommodate Muslim workforce - The Denver Post

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Libyan Draft Constitution: Sharia is 'Principal Source' of Laws

Western leaders, led by Obama, refused to see it coming in Egypt. Now, they're getting an advanced heads up in Libya -- but are they listening? No.

Welcome to Obama's strategy -- "negotiating with relationships" -- or "plant Islamic seeds and get a full crop of Islamic states during the Arab Spring."

And when one of these states turns into a second or third Iran, then what? Take a look at what's coming down in Libya . . .

Libyan Draft Constitution: Sharia is 'Principal Source' of Laws

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U.S. Thickens the Plot In Egypt

Here's the bottom-line for you:
Kay Granger, Congresswoman chairs the US House appropriations committee -- they're the ones that decide who gets what foreign aid, when. Anyway, she has warned the Egyptians that if they break the 30-year old treaty with Israel, the aid will stop.

It appears from what I also read, that the aid will slow down in inverse relation to the role the Muslim Brotherhood plays in Egypt after their elections.

Now, isn't that all so very nice. Oh, and did I tell you that Granger is a Republican from Texas. So what is the real position of the U.S. and who gets to call the shots on it? Who knows these days. Certainly Obama is not doing very much of any successful calling of any shots -- including his latest attempt to call for a "peaceful transition of power" in Libya earlier today. But that's another story.

Back to Egypt -- first, Obama tells us not to worry about the Muslim Brotherhood's role in Egypt. Now, a chair of the foreign aid committee tells us the amount of aid Egypt gets does depend on the Muslim Brotherhood inversely.

We'll leave it to you and time to untangle this web for us that has been woven due to a lack of a plan one can stick to when it comes to foreign policy, especially when dealing with a terrorist ideology that has as its goal to "wipe you of the face of the earth".

US: Aid to Egypt conditional on p... JPost - Diplomacy & Politics: conditional

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Arriving in Goshen - Genesis 46:28

Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.

As old as he was, Jacob was still in charge of his family’s travels to Egypt.  As they approached the new land God was sending them to, Jacob sent Judah ahead to go before Joseph and finalize the preparations for the family’s arrival.  Judah was born to Jacob by his first wife, Leah.  He was Jacob’s fourth son, after Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, also born to Jacob by Leah.  Son number one, Reuben, had already played a significant role in getting Jacob to allow Benjamin to go with the brothers to Egypt on their second trip to Egypt.  Simeon, son number two, had been held hostage by Joseph when he sent the brothers back after their first trip to get Benjamin.  Neither were selected by Jacob for these events.

Next in line was Levi who might well have been chosen for this special assignment except you will remember his part in dealing so barbarically with Hamor and Shechem and their men after they had defiled their sister, Dinah (Genesis 34).  It is possible that he had lost his credibility with Jacob as one who would act appropriately in any given situation.  So the responsibility of going ahead to meet Joseph fell to son number four, Judah.  On the positive side, Judah was the brother that did not want to allow the others to kill Joseph many years earlier when he visited them with his coat of many colors, but rather to throw him in a pit with the intention of rescuing him later (Genesis 37).  Judah was also the one who ended up having sex with his daughter-in-law whom he mistook for a prostitute after he had dealt unfairly with her when her husbands had died (Genesis 38).

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the selection of Judah for this task.  I am reminded somewhat of God’s use of His sons and daughters for special assignments.  Many of us often wonder why ‘so and so’ was chosen to do something, and why not some other person we know, including sometimes, ourselves.  And we try to figure it out.  We try to find the rationale that God may have used for His choice.  And we fail miserably for His ways are not our ways.  We would do well to simply accept the fact that He is indeed the Grand Master Chess Player and He moves His men (and women) about His board in His own way.

There are many reasons why Jacob may have sent Judah on ahead to meet with Joseph.  Jacob may have wanted to announce to his host that they had arrived.  He did not want Joseph to be taken by surprise.  He wanted protection in the land of the Egyptians.  He may have even wanted permission, even though he was invited, to actually enter the land.  This reminds me of my experiences in some parts of Canada today, where Aboriginal people are the original owners of the land.  In those parts, visitors coming in must first be welcomed by the host Indian Chief or his representatives before they enter, so they can be officially welcomed, and then can go about their business.  Jacob wanted to be sure he was doing the right thing as he entered Egypt.

And of course there is the very obvious reason for sending Judah ahead and that is, as the text suggests, that Jacob’s caravan needed directions to get to that part of Egypt known as Goshen.  This was indeed a new land for Jacob and his family.  There was no point in pretending to be fully capable of knowing their way about.  He wanted his family to start their new life on the right foot.  We would do well to remember Jacob’s first approach to Egypt and the Egyptians whenever we tread into new territories that God has sent us to.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Concise Review: Core Conservative Belief vs. Progressive Belief on 13 Key Issues.

This article is well worth your time.  You can use it to figure out who you are. . .  Then act accordingly and also pass it on.

Archived-Articles: Core Conservative Beliefs

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An Economist & Supporter, on MSNBC no less, Slams Obama

Why I keep swinging with these guys. It's not about race. It's about lousy economics and terrible leadership. Read it for yourself but remember this guy is supposed to be on Obama's team, not to mention the network itself -- it's one of the most liberal, and pro- Democratic party around, competing only with CNN. But eventually the truth needs to come out.

Now the only thing left to finish this Administration is someone from within the party to have the guts, for the sake of the country, to run against him in 2012.

Economist Sachs Hits Obama: "There's Never Been A Plan" | RealClearPolitics

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

"The Fear of Criticizing a Religion" -- They Have Us Exactly Where They Want Us.

Once in a while along comes a writer that has great insight. Richard Landes is that kind of writer. And he has guts. This is a very well-written report on how our journalists and intellectuals (read professors) are facing a new kind of Islamaphobia: the fear of criticizing Islam.

His insight into why that is and why Islamists cannot tolerate criticism is well worth reading and should be passed along. Enjoy. Some of it is a little heavy, but deserves getting to the end.

Liberal intellectuals are frightened of confronting Islam's honour-shame culture – Telegraph Blogs

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And Just What Is the "View" From a 'High-Security' Prison Supposed to Look Like?

I'm a little tired of 'bleeding hearts' who work for our western governments and get paid from the tax dollars of good, law-abiding, citizens. This is a prime example and it's ridiculously inane.

The following story you are about to read (if you click on the link below) is all about the complaint of jihadist terrorists that have been caught, are now in prison; who complain about their "view" and the U.K. inspectors who agree with them. Wild.

(Meanwhile in a separate story Somalian Islamic officials are said to be not feeding any Somalians that are Christian or have friends who are Christian. As you read the story below, consider the irony of how we treat "them" and how they treat "us". And yes, when it comes to this -- no matte what B.O. and his boys say, it is "us" and "them" when it comes to the jihadist extremists.

Prison walls are too high to look over, moan terror suspects | Mail Online

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Why Muslim Mayor Blocks Christian Church.

This is unbelievable but very much expected.  Of course, in the free lands of North America, we could never argue like this.  (Remember the Mosque issue at the 9/11 site.)

This story is wild.  A Christian group buys a building to use as a church but the Mayor of this Indonesia town says they can't open.  Wait until you read the reason.   Beside the main reason (you'll get it when you pursue the link below), they also said they have to consider "peace and security" -- not only for the all the city's citizens but also for the "Christians".   How thoughtful.

I'm sure there will be a big call now for certain types of streets (at least as far as their names go) from now on.  (You'll get that when you read the story below.)   Also, what is the distance between between a street, a neighborhood, a region, and a country?   Not much on this continuum, and in no time, all churches will be banned from Muslim states.

Maybe we could try saying, "no mosques" on anywhere Judaism or Christianity has/have a hold.  From one perspective, that would be all of America (and Canada) that was established on those principles.   On another, "go ahead and build your mosque" wherever you like -- we're North Americans."

Churches Can’t Be Built in Streets with Islamic Names: Bogor Mayor | The Jakarta Globe

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You Didn't Hear About Lebanon's Veto at Security Council on CNN, did you?

By the way, when September 20 comes and the U.S. vetoes the Statehood declaration of the PA at the United Nations' Security Council as they indicated they would some time ago (although very silent about that lately), will anyone remember how the other side uses its vetoes. Anyway, here's one you may enjoy that's very recent.

The interesting thing is we do not hear about these readily on the mainstream media. But we dig them out for you right here on Epistoli. (All this to say "here's more reason for a strong alternative media that's not only right in accuracy, but it's also 'right' in perspective.)

Lebanon prevents UN condemnation of terror attack - Israel News, Ynetnews

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First Mubarak falls, then Muslim Brotherhood becomes more influential, now 30-year peace treaty beween Egypt & Israel threatened.

Did you really expect anything else.  Why is it that ordinary laypersons can predict all this, but our western politicians have no clue?  Are they blind intentionally or just plain blind?  (No offense meant at all to those that are truly blind physically.  You folks are heroes.  And with your experiences in life you are way more sensitive than all our politicians and many of us who have all our physical senses.)

In any case, getting back to politicians -- whatever their reason for their blindness -- it is not excusable.  No wonder there's a good chance now for another cowboy from Texas to take over the White House in 2012 -- at least he has both eyes open for now.

But back to our Egypt and Israel relations story.  Here are the details.   And don't forget how wonderfully all this will play out on September 20th when the PA goes for statehood at the U.N.

BBC News - Egypt to recall Israel envoy over Sinai shootings

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You Can Do Something About Osteoporosis

Because we care about your health, we're providing this link to an interesting article about osteoporosis and diet.  Take a look. 

No Bones About It: Eating Dried Plums Helps Prevent Fractures and Osteoporosis

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Family Head Count - Genesis 46:8-27

These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt: . . . All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives—numbered sixty-six persons.  With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

I have not included all the words of the passage above because they simply were a list of all of Jacob’s family.  But I did check out all the mathematics and as one would expect, the totals are exactly right.   Here’s perhaps an easier way to took at this “gang of 70”:

vs. 8 -- Jacob (1)
vs. 9 -- Reuben & family (4), running total: (5)
vs. 10 -- Simeon & family (7), running total: (12)
vs. 11 -- Levi & family (4), running total: (16)
vs. 12 -- Judah & family not counting two sons that had died in Canaan (5), running total (21)
vs. 13 -- Issachar & family (5), running total (26)
vs. 14 -- Zebulun & family (4), running total (30)
vs. 15 -- add Dinah, and the two grandsons that died in Canaan (vs. 12), running total (33) which nicely checks out with vs. 15’s total number if you count Jacob (which would make sense to count him with his children from his first wife, Leah).

vs. 16 -- Gad & family (8) new sub-total (8)
vs. 17 -- Asher & family including 1 granddaughter (8) sub-total (16) which nicely checks out with vs. 18’s total number (from Zilpah, Leah’s handmaiden).

vs. 19 -- Joseph & Benjamin (Rachel’s sons) (2) new sub-total (2)
vs. 20 -- Joseph’s two sons born in Egypt (2) sub-total (4)
vs. 21 -- Benjamin’s sons (10) sub-total (14) which nicely checks out with vs. 22’s total number (from Rachel).

vs. 23 -- Dan & family (2) new sub-total (2)
vs. 24 -- Naphtali & sons (5) sub-total (7) which nicely checks out with vs. 25’s total number (from Bilbah, Rachel’s maid).

vs. 26 tells us that a total of sixty-six (66) people came with Jacob to Egypt.  When we add up all our sub-totals above we get 70 but if we subtract Joseph, his two sons, and Jacob himself that takes the number to 66 -- providing we leave in there the two deceased sons of Judah who had died in Canaan.  I believe it was traditional and perhaps an act of showing respect to include in the count of Jacob’s family those that had died, thus the number totals as provided by scripture.   Our total count of 70 thus also matches with the count given to us in vs. 27.

It is also important to note that the total number given does include direct blood-related females of Jacob’s family, that is, his daughter in vs. 15, and his grand-daughter in vs. 17.  However, females related by marriage, the wives of his sons (and perhaps also of any of his grandsons’ wives) are not included as per vs. 26.  The emphasis here was clearly on the family of Jacob.

If we simply add 11 more females to this group (one wife for each of Jacob’s eleven sons traveling with him), we get a grand total of 77 travelers (assuming none of the grandchildren were married which is unlikely).  Either way, this a quite a “wagon train” making its way to Egypt.  Here is a man with all of his accumulated wealth and more importantly his entire family, leaving all of his past behind and risking everything in the future in order to obey God.  What a model for us.  I pray we can all be that committed, that willing, that obedient when God asks us to “move on down” or “up”, or “across”.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Nations That Wouldn’t Trade Places with the U.S. - 24/7 Wall St.

B.O. forgets to do his homework again. The experts say he's dead wrong when he said recently that "there isn't a country in the world that wouldn't trade places with us (U.S.)." Well, look again B.O.

Nations That Wouldn’t Trade Places with the U.S. - 24/7 Wall St.

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We Now Have a Date for Possible Palestinian Statehood (Operative Word is Possible) and What Happens the Morning After.

Here two very interesting articles from the Jerusalem Post on the issue of Palestinian Statehood. The first gives you the background of the chosen date and who will say what and do what on that date. The current consensus is that the United States will still veto the move at the Security Council. But if the General Assembly votes highly in favor of the declaration, then the U.S. will continue to look bad and become even more hated by the enemy (and I use that word intentionally). It's not a good situation unless the majority of the western world and many others vote against the resolution. Mark your calendars for September 20th. Here are the details in the link immediately below and then check out my comment on the second link. . . .

'Palestinians set date for stateh... JPost - Diplomacy & Politics

The second article I have linked my blog to is one about what happens as soon (and if) the Palestinians are granted statehood by the United Nations on September 20th.  By any account, it may not be a pretty picture.   But at least we all know the key date we have to look forward to (well, not exactly, but what will be will be and what must come to pass, will come to pass).  How far all of this will move God's Eternal Clock forward, I do not know, but I can assure you that nothing will take place without His awareness and His allowing it, and nothing will be contrary to His Master Plan.   Here's the second the link:

Preparing the worst, hoping for the best.

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The "Other" Conflict that could Explode Any Time. . .

I must admit I had forgotten about Kashmir. But it is a keg of dynamite waiting to explode yet again. And you thought the Middle East was the only show in town. The Kashmir battle is between India and Pakistan, with a little bit of a Chinese flavor thrown in for good measure (certainly not taste).

Once again the common denominator seems to be religion, only this time it's between Muslims and Hindus for the most part. Oh, wait, aren't Muslims involved in the other big conflict? I thought so. Not a good resume for a so-called peaceful religion. But hey I'm only an observer calling them as I see them

Could this struggle here overshadow the Middle East one any time soon?  While this one may be re-ignited any time, it is not likely to overshadow the one in the Middle East because of who the players are.  The West is likely to be less involved or even concerned about this one (the British gave the area up long ago; and there's no oil there that I know about).  They're more interested in the oil in the Middle East and how their own Jewish voters back home (especially in the United States) will vote and react.   Still, the struggle over Kashmir is critical because of its potential for hosting and training and spreading terrorism.


After you look at the introductory overview by Al Jazeera writer below, take a stab at what Wikipedia (not to be confused with Wikileaks) has to say on this whole thing, you'll find it fascinating and it's right here: Kashmir conflict from Wikipedia.

Now here's the Al Jazeera article:

Kashmir in the collective imagination - Kashmir: The forgotten conflict - Al Jazeera English

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Jacob and All His Descendants Travel to Egypt - Genesis 46:5-7

Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.  They took their livestock and their property, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him: his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

He said he would go, God reassured him on the way, and once again Jacob gets up and leaves Beersheba this time to head for Egypt.  No longer able to walk or travel easily, we are told his sons carried him in the wagons that Joseph had sent for them to ride back to Egypt in.  What a trip that must have been for Jacob.  His desire to both see Joseph and also to obey God  gave him the strength to make it.  With the right motivation, the human body can both suffer and accomplish much.  And throughout the journey to Egypt, perhaps the grand patriarch enjoyed his daughter-in-laws and his grandchildren who were with him in one of the wagons.  Or maybe they took turns visiting in his private wagon as different younger ones would want to “ride with grandpa”.

The Bible says they took their livestock as well as other possessions to Egypt.  You will remember back in Genesis 45:20, Pharaoh himself had told them, “And do not concern yourselves with your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.”  Some believe that there was a deep desire by Jacob not to be a burden on his new hosts, both Joseph and Pharaoh, and I can certainly understand that.  It’s funny though how, even when we are promised that we’ll have everything we need to live where we are going, we still want to bring along everything we’ve accumulated if possible.  And we do that even though we know they may slow our journey down, or make it difficult for us to accommodate in our new environment.  It is possible that sometimes we may even be hindering God’s best for us by doing so.  Many of us also never want to be perceived as being dependent on others at all.  Such an attitude must be examined in light of whether it is a matter of ease for us to provide for ourselves or a matter of pride that we do so.  I am also reminded that there is nothing we brought on our journey to this world and nothing we will take with us when we leave it.

For some reason, the text goes to great length to record that Jacob’s entire family went with him to Egypt and that no one was left behind.  There is no doubt that Jacob was still seen as their ‘tribal chief’, their common leader or head of the family, and someone for whom they had great respect as an elder and father.  In addition, since they had all likely lived together in what today might be considered a compound, the probability of moving as a single unit was increased, unlike our living apart from relatives today where when one relocates, another does not normally follow.  Add to this that the whole family had heard of the wealth of Egypt, and couple that with the fact that life in Canaan was not yet experienced as the blessing that the promised land was supposed to provide, the willingness to head out was easily forthcoming.  At the same time this collective journey may have also indicated Jacob’s great faith in that he knew, because of God’s promise and reassurances, that they would all return some day and thus no one had to be left behind.

What can we learn from this passage?  For starters, we need to be ready (no matter what our age is) to “move” for God.  I am almost 64 years old and fairly comfortable in my life’s routine but at the back of my mind is this constant awareness that God can change it all any time He wishes to and if I am a true believer, I will obey and accept it.  While many of us may reach the point where we are ready for death, we have to also be ready for what is in store for us between now and then.

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A Monumental Example of How Drugs Can Affect a Nation's Mind

As I read this account from the BBC this morning, I realized how trapped the world has become by its own making.  Here was a large protest against, of all things -- "the government's war on drugs" -- something that you would think all would welcome.  But not if you are a parent of teenagers getting killed because the military sent in by the government keeps killing the country's youth involved in drugs.  So what is a national leader to do?  It seems one cannot win.

We have failed as a society when we've allowed our freedoms to become our worst prisons; when we have allowed the devaluation of the family and God to be replaced by the pursuit of pleasure and the dollar; and when we step in, we find it is far too late for a solution that doesn't cost even more lives, if a solution can be found at all outside of the very things we discarded in the first place.


BBC News - Protest march in Mexico City against drug war

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thinking Abt. Christians & Syrian President's Future

Here's a different side to the story regarding Syria and what to wish for with respect to the current President.

Syria Christians Support Embattled President; Obama Sanctions al-Assad, Christian News

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Is This the Better Egypt They All Wanted? Well, Yes and No.

So, Egypt had its Arab Spring and now we're into Sordid Summer as the chips fall exactly where many predicted they would. Take a look at what's happening in Egypt politically right now and how that will play out in the future.

And by the way, that outcome in turn will have great impact on Israel and ultimately all of us. And you will remember that the man in the White House and his gang told us not to worry at all about the peaceful agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt's Islamists challenge military rulers - Yahoo! News

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Muslims Stopped From Taking Over King Saul's Palace and the Capital of the Tribe of Benjamin

It's amazing what you can find if you look hard enough. Here's a story of how Muslims were hoping to take over the ownership of a Biblical archeological site. Thankfully they were stopped. At least the Jews are looking after the preservation of Old Testament sites in Israel. But who's doing it elsewhere in the region?

And who's protecting historical Christian sites in North America? Something to think about.

Work halted on King Hussein's old summer v... JPost - Middle East: "King Saul’s ancient palace and the capital of the tribe of Benjamin"

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Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.