Archive for 02/14/2012

Strong, Shallow 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes off Coast of Oregon

02/14/2012 Leave a comment

Apparently, this was felt as far away as San Francisco, CA. No word of any damages, and no tsunami warning has been issued …

Richter Magnitude 6.0 – OFF THE COAST OF OREGON
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 07:31:20 PM at epicenter
43.536°N, 127.381°W
Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles)

Categories: Earthquakes

Somalia: Children Continue to Suffer from Hunger as Islamists Hinder Food Aid

02/14/2012 Leave a comment

Revelation 6:8, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

Foreign Policy Association – “Children in Somalia continue to suffer needlessly from hunger as politics hinder the much needed distribution of food aid. In Somalia, it is women and children who bear the brunt of the famine. Children are susceptible to malnutrition that decreases their ability to fight off disease, while women are unable to access the services they need and carry the responsibility of caring for their families. Malnutrition is the largest contributor to global child mortality and is the cause of one-third of child deaths, which amounts to some 15 million children dying of hunger each year.  According to UNICEF, 21,000 children die everyday.

In October last year, I published the piece Are Politics to Blame for the Deaths of 30,000 Children in Somalia?  The answer to the question remains the same.  The famine was not only caused by drought and poor harvest,  but was fueled by a lack of political will.  In July, the UN declared a famine in two regions of Southern Somalia; however, Somalia continues to find itself gripped tightly by starvation in many regions.  Many believe the famine is largely a political creation, due to factions that have actively prevented food and other aid from reaching drought victims. However, the political commitment to end the problem remains difficult.  The largest areas of malnutrition and famine are centered in Southern Somalia, where a failing government sits idly by as al-Shabaab, a terrorist group with ties to al-Qa‘ida, controls parts of the country.

In November 2011, al-Shabaab banned 16 aid organizations distributing food, including several UN agencies, from their controlled areas, accusing them of ‘illicit activities and misconduct.’ This political curve ball only served to ensure that not only would the famine continue and the death toll mount, but al-Shabaab would retain their tight reign over the region.

Somalia continues to remain in a major food crisis, classified as famine in some regions, and once again politics are impacting the distribution of food aid. Al-Shabaab has now banned aid distributions by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who was one of the last aid agencies operating in areas under al-Shabab’s control and the only agency bringing in food to those famine-hit areas on a large scale.  In a statement issued by al-Shabaab, they accused ICRC of ‘repeated distribution of expired food and false accusations’ and thus stated that its Office for Supervising the Affairs of Foreign Agencies (OSAFA) ‘has decided to terminate the contract of ICRC permanently.’  The ICRC’s operations were formally suspended in al-Shabaab controlled areas on 12 January.  This major political move has now placed innocent Somalians in the center of what continues to look like a loosing battle; with each gain in the fight against hunger by the international community, al-Shabaab seeks to take control back.Read more.

Flashback: Somalia: Islamist Group Bans Samosas After Deciding They’re Too ‘Christian’ Because … – “Apparently triangles are not halal in Somalia.  These exceptionally deep-thinking Islamists would rather see children starve to death than see them eat a three-sided snack food.  It might remind somebody of the Trinity.  Finally, I understand my addiction to Doritos.  And thank goodness it never snows in Somalia, otherwise Jack Handey bin Laden would have to issue a fatwa against Jack Frost bin Chillin, and we’d never enjoy a White Christmas ever again …” Read more.

Underwear Bomber: Blowing Up Nearly 300 Passengers in the Name of Allah is OK, But Life in Prison is ‘Cruel and Unusual’

02/14/2012 Leave a comment

I can’t make this stuff up. And I just so happen to agree with the government’s position in this case. Apparently, President Obama didn’t get involved. It’s actually reasonable 

Update: Life

By Tresa Baldas – “DETROIT — Confessed underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is challenging his mandatory life in prison sentence, arguing in court documents filed Monday that a life sentence is ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ and unconstitutional.

Abdulmutallab, who is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, is facing a mandatory life in prison sentence after pleading guilty in October to trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner carrying nearly 300 people with a bomb hidden in his underwear. He pleaded guilty to numerous criminal charges, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, and conspiracy to commit terrorism.

The plot was foiled when his bomb malfunctioned.

‘Given the circumstances and what did NOT occur in the instant matter it is fair to say that the mandatory minimum sentence of life is excessive and grossly disproportionate to the conduct,’ Abdulmutallab wrote in court documents Monday. ‘Aside from the defendant no passengers suffered any serious injuries and there were no casualties.’

The government strongly disagrees, and has asked U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds to give him the maximum punishment.

‘Defendant is an unrepentant, would-be mass murderer, who views his crimes as divinely inspired and blessed, and who views himself as under a continuing obligation to carry out such crimes,’ prosecutors wrote Friday in a sentencing memo. ‘He attempted to murder 289 individuals, no sentence other than life. … Could possibly reflect the seriousness of defendant’s conduct.'” Read more.

Joel Rosenberg: The Handwriting is On the Wall, It’s Time to Prepare Churches for the Inevitable

02/14/2012 2 comments

By JONI B. HANNIGAN – “JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—The handwriting is on the wall and war between Iran and Israel is imminent, Joel Rosenberg, an evangelical Christian and New York Times best-selling author, told the last session of the First Baptist Jacksonville Pastors’ Conference Jan. 29.

‘War is coming,’ Rosenberg said. ‘You and I are living in an extraordinary moment in one of the most dangerous moments in the history of our country; one of the most dangerous moments in the history of Israel and the Middle East; and one of the most dangerous moments in the history of the church.’

And the question is, ‘Are we ready for what could be coming?’

The popular writer, who grew up with a Jewish father and a gentile mother, shared lessons from Daniel 5 on the future of America and the coming war in the Middle East.

Rosenberg, whose newest book Implosion: Can American Recover from our Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time is set for release in June, said many pastors are unwilling to speak about the future in terms of Bible prophesy.

For some it’s because prophecy has been ‘sensationalized’ in the past and they resist the ‘cheapening of God’s Word,’ he said. Others might feel unprepared. Some have simply forgotten its power.

‘Prophecy is an intercept from the mind of an all-knowing and all-seeing and all powerful God,’ he said. It is meant to inspire, motivate and encourage. It will lead to repentance, holiness, and prayer and fasting, Rosenberg said, adding that prophecy is about the ‘preaching of the Gospel, making of disciples, planting churches, reaching young people with the Gospel, [and] reaching all people with the Gospel.’

Speaking on ‘The pastor and his future,’ Rosenberg asked pastors, ‘What is it that God is calling you and your congregation to do?’

Sharing examples of escalating tensions in the Middle East and rejecting ‘replacement theology,’ Rosenberg said the physical state of Israel is the Israel about which the Bible refers. ‘God is not done with us, He loves us, He has a plan for us,’ Rosenberg said. ‘God so loves the world, the whole world, that He gave His only begotten Son.’

After a recent trip to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, Rosenberg said he was reminded ‘bombs can do in six minutes what it took Adolph Hitler about six years to do; to kill six million Jews.'” Read more.

Daniel B. Wallace: Seven Early New Testament Papyri Manuscripts Discovered

02/14/2012 Leave a comment

The more manuscripts we discover, the more the Islamic claim that the Bible we have today was corrupted is silenced. When these texts are analyzed in full they will again confirm what Christians have already known:  All Biblical manuscripts and fragments dated even hundreds of years before Mohammed are virtually identical to the canonized Biblical texts we have today.  As I pointed out in “A few Simple Questions for Muslim Visitors“, when Muhammad recited the Qur’an he clearly stated that he did not believe that the Bible was corrupt at that time and called upon Christians to adhere to the Scriptures that they possessed. But manuscript discoveries such as these beg the question: Since the Scriptures we have today are the same Scriptures that Christians had even well before the time of Mohammed, when do they believe the Bible became corrupted, who corrupted it, and how was it corrupted? The silence is deafening …

By Daniel B. Wallace – “On 1 February 2012, I debated Bart Ehrman at UNC Chapel Hill on whether we have the wording of the original New Testament today. This was our third such debate, and it was before a crowd of more than 1000 people. I mentioned that seven New Testament papyri had recently been discovered—six of them probably from the second century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year.

These manuscripts now increase our holdings as follows: we have as many as eighteen New Testament manuscripts (all fragmentary, more or less) from the second century and one from the first. Altogether, more than 40% of all New Testament verses are found in these manuscripts. But the most interesting thing is the first-century fragment.

It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the New Testament known to exist. Up until now, no one has discovered any first-century manuscripts of the New Testament. The oldest manuscript of the New Testament has been P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century. It was discovered in 1934.

Not only this, but the first-century fragment is from Mark’s Gospel. Before the discovery of this fragment, the oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was P45, from the early third century (c. 200–250 CE). This new fragment would predate that by 100 to 150 years. Read more…

Syrian Defector: Assad Forces Using Chemical Weapons

02/14/2012 Leave a comment

If true, this would explain activity recently reported near Homs. If Assad is willing to attack his own people with chemical weapons, who else would he be willing to use them against? … Elior Levy – “Non-conventional war in Syria? Security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have been using chemical weapons against Syrian rebels, under the supervision of Iranian and Russian experts, a defecting Syrian officer charged Monday.

The officer, Captain Abd al-Salam Ahmed Abdul Razek, who served in Syrian’s chemical warfare administration, told al-Arabiya that the Syrian military used nerve gas – banned by various international conventions – in order to assist forces in their raid on the restive city of Homs.

The defecting officer added that the Syrian army’s Fourth Division and Republican Guard are expected to use chemical weapons elsewhere. Assad’s forces have access to toxins produced by Russia and a small quantity of them may cause numerous casualties, he said.” Read more.

Assad forces mull use of chemical weapons in Homs, opposition says – “Syria’s military has begun stockpiling chemical weapons and equipping its soldiers with gas masks near the city of Homs, opposition sources reported on Thursday. Opposition activists said they had received reports that the Syrian army had transferred a significant quantity of grenades and mortars containing chemical agents to a school building in Homs. The opposition also reported that gas masks were being distributed to soldiers at roadblocks.” Read more.

William Hague: Joint UN-Arab League Force ‘Urgently’ Needed in Syria – “At Sunday’s Arab League meeting, a UN-Arab team was proposed to replace the 170 Arab observers deployed in December and recalled last month. Mr Hague said it was ‘unacceptable to the world’ that the Assad regime was allowed to continue ‘butchering innocent people’. He added that the UK would play a ‘very active part’ in the new Group of Friends of Syria, which has been established to increase political and financial support to opposition leaders in Syria. The group will meet on February 24.” Source – The Telegraph.

Muslim Brotherhood Warns U.S. Aid Cut May Affect Egypt’s Peace Treaty With Israel

02/14/2012 1 comment

Extortion. Apparently, it’s halal. Even after the Muslim Brotherhood already promised that they would never recognize the “occupying criminal enemy” Israel under any circumstances and vowed to cancel the “Zionist” peace treaty, the very same group that President Obama is perfectly satisfied with leading Egypt is now threatening to hold America responsible for any Egyptian-Israeli war if Obama doesn’t pay up. Give them the aid they want, Mr. President, and they’ll be in a better position to wage war against Israel. Cut it, and they’ll threaten to wage war with Israel. Check. Now it’s your move …

By Patrick Goodenough – “( – A top Muslim Brotherhood official has warned that any cuts in U.S. aid to Egypt could affect Cairo’s peace treaty with Israel – the latest sign that Egypt’s emerging political forces intend to call Washington’s bluff over the diplomatic dispute triggered by a crackdown on non-governmental organizations.

Egyptian judges have referred 16 Americans and 27 others linked to NGOs for trial, accusing them of using foreign funds to encourage disruptive protests. Among the targeted NGOs whose assets and funds have been seized are the U.S. government-funded International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute…

‘This is only the beginning of the anti-American populism/nationalism/Islamism we are going to be seeing in Egypt from now on,’ Mideast expert Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Israel, wrote in a column Sunday.

‘What’s amazing is that nobody is pointing out that if an Egyptian government is willing to risk U.S. aid and have a confrontation on this small issue, what are they going to do regarding big issues?’ Rubin said. ‘What happens when the Egyptian government moves toward Islamism or helps Hamas fight Israel on some level? We have been told that fear of losing U.S. aid will constrain Egypt. But we are now seeing that this simply isn’t true.'” Read more.

Flashback: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Holds Venomous Anti-Israel Rally, Vows to ‘One Day Kill All Jews’ – “Arab hate: A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to ‘one day kill all Jews.’ Some 5,000 people joined the rally, called to promote the ‘battle against Jerusalem’s Judaization.’ The event coincided with the anniversary of the United Nations’ partition plan in 1947, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state… Speakers at the event delivered impassioned, hateful speeches against Israel, slamming the ‘Zionist occupiers’ and the ‘treacherous Jews.’” Read more.

Iran: Church Elder Seized and Detained After Agents Raid Workplace, Held Incommunicado

02/14/2012 Leave a comment

FCNN – “Agents of Ministry of State Security of the Islamic Regime raided Mr. Maasis Mosesian’s work place and took him to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. As yet his family and friends have not been informed of charges against him, and or reasons for the sudden arrest.

Maasis was able to inform the church members, although denied contacting his family until Sat.11th Feb, some three days after his abduction.

Even then he was only able to use the phone just long enough to let them know where he was being held. His wife and son drove to the prison the following day, Sun 12th Feb; in the hope of meeting their husband and father. They were denied the right to see him and forced to leave.

Apart from an admission of his detention in Rajai Shahr Prison, as usual there is a noticeable lack of legal documentation or even verbal reasons for the sudden arrest.

Unlike the civilised world, in the Islamic Republic burden of proof rests with the accused. However, accusations are only levelled after lengthy interrogations, frequently under torture,.

Maasis is Armenian and married with two children and works in a private company as State Jobs are denied to non-muslims. He is a well known, long standing Christian and an Elder of Naarmak Church in Tehran.

Active in church, popular, and highly respected leader, He is known for his calm and quiet manner.

The news of his sudden arrest has been met with disbelief and apprehension amongst the membership.” Read more.

Thailand: Iranian Bomber Tosses Grenade At Police, Grenade Bounces Off Tree, Lands At His Feet and Blows Off His Legs

02/14/2012 6 comments

Israel must have planted the tree. And in all likelihood it was a “Gharqad” tree or one of its sympathizers …

By Lee Moran – “A bungling Iranian bomber blew off his own legs when he hurled a grenade at Thai police outside a Bangkok school – which bounced off a tree and then exploded at his feet.

It came after he had blown up his own home and then hurled a grenade at a taxi driver who would not accept him as a passenger, the Bangkok Post reports.

Police allegedly found an Iranian ID card in a satchel close to the blast in the Thai capital, and unconfirmed reports suggest he is called Saeid Moradi.

Four people, three men and one woman, were injured in the explosions which come the day after Israeli diplomats were targeted in simultaneous car bombings, also believed to have been carried out by Iran.

It is not yet known if yesterday’s and today’s attacks are linked – but Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said: ‘We can’t rule out any possibility.’

More explosives were found at Moradi’s house, in the Ekamai area of central Bangkok, which police say he had been renting with two other unidentified foreigners.

He is believed to have arrived in Bangkok, from the southern Thai resort of Phuket, on February 8.

Thailand has rarely been a target for foreign terrorists, although a domestic Muslim insurgency in the country’s south has involved bombings of civilian targets.” Read more.

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