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Archive for the ‘Obamination’ Category

from Black Community News:

“and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that thy would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist.” Acts 17:26-28a (NASB)

When commenting recently on the shootings of six police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, three of whom died, veteran journalist Tom Brokaw, in opining that the election of an African-American president was evidence that sufficient racial “progress” had been made in America as to avert such incidents lamented, “I thought we’d be a different country by now.”

Why Tom Brokaw – or anyone else – would presume that President Obama, simply on the basis that his melanin is of a different hue than that of his predecessors, should inherently possess the capacity to bring to fruition this new age of collective racial harmony in our nation is beyond me.

Barack Obama didn’t suddenly become black when he was elected president in 2008, you know?

He has been black his entire life.

Since August 4, 1961 to be exact.

Obama was black during the years he spent as a community organizer in Chicago. Conversely, he remained black while serving as a state senatorfrom Illinois prior to running for president in 2008.

Barack Obama is black even as I type this.

And he will continue to be black until the day he breathes his last.

All that to say that if the skin tone of Barack Obama, or any other person for that matter, were in and of itself sufficient to effectuate the kind of racial unity Brokaw hoped would be a reality in America today, there would be ample evidence to support such a proposition.

There isn’t any.

In reflecting on Brokaw’s sentiments, which I have no reason to doubt are genuine and heartfelt, we are presented with somewhat of a paradox in that the optimism he expresses – that America would be a “different country by now” – intrinsically suggests that such a reality cannot be brought to fruition by external forces as if by osmosis, but must be influenced by an internal transformation from within.

The immediate impact of such an irony is that it permanently shifts the paradigm through which we normally would discuss matters of race relations from one ofsociology to one of theology. For to even suggest that a “different” America is the ideal demands that we consider not only thatpeople need to change but why they need to change.

It is an unavoidable construct that inexorably challenges us to look not to ourselves for answers but to God.

“The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

What Tom Brokaw fails to understand is that the tone of a person’s skin has absolutely no bearing on the tenor of a person’s heart.

Attitudes, for better or worse, are always borne from within, never from without (Mark 7:21-23).

It is naive to suggest that Americans must “come together” to “deal with” these and other matters of national concern, apart from a genuine desire to confront the truth about the real issue we are actually being confronted with.

Namely ourselves and our innately sinful condition (Jeremiah 17:9).

“This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.” – Augustine

Perhaps it has never occurred to Tom Brokaw, or to anyone who happens to share his worldview, that the answer to the problem of deteriorating race relations in America is not to “come together” but to come to Christ.

It could very well be that, sincere though he may be, Brokaw has never truly contemplated that the transformation of a nation’s conscience is achieved only as the gospel of Jesus Christ penetrates the heart of each individual citizen, not by convening yet another town hall or launching yet another series of nationally-televised “conversations on race” (each of which has been tried ad nauseum to no lasting avail).

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

If you and I were inherently capable of bringing ourselves into a right relationship with one another, there be no need for people like Brokaw to plead for us to do so.

The reason Tom Brokaw must plead for Americans to “come together” is because it is not our nature to want to be reconciled to each other.

Why would anyone who is inherently capable of reconciliation ever do anything necessitating reconciliation to begin with? If it were in our power to bring ourselves to love others who are of a different race or ethnicity than we, then, under what circumstances would we ever not love them in the first place?

You see, these and other questions are why the answer to all racial discord – in America and around the world – is Christ and His gospel. For only the gospel sufficiently addresses the question of why we need to change, so that the resulting heart change is both lasting and impacting.

“…acts done in sin and contrary to nature can never honor God. Wherever the human will introduces moral evil we have no longer our innocent and harmless powers as God made them; we have instead an abused and twisted thing, which can never bring glory to its Creator.” – A.W. Tozer, Culture: Living as Citizens of Heaven on Earth

As the Scripture above in Acts 17:26 attests, it is God Himself who intentionally ordained you and I to display the racial and ethnic characteristics we possess. In the text, the Greek word for “nation” is speaking not of geographical boundaries, but is the word ethnos from where we derive the English word ethnicity.

Whoever we are, whatever our skin color, native language, or nationality, we are who we are because of the sovereign wisdom and volitional will of an almighty God who created each of us in His image (Genesis 1:27; Exodus 4:11).

That anyone would have the arrogance or the temerity to judge another person based solely on the color of their skin – an attribute which we had absolutely nothing to do with – is sin and is a direct reflection of the darkness of our own heart (John 8:44).

“The bloodline of Christ is deeper than the bloodlines of race. The death and resurrection of the Son of God for sinners is the only sufficient power to bring the bloodlines of race into the single bloodline of the cross.” – John Piper, Bloodlines: Race, the Cross, and the Christian

Unless our hatred of one another is placed at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, no amount of human effort or, as Tom Brokaw phrased it, “coming together”, will suffice.

To whatever extent racism – and its consequent effects – is a social issue, it is only because racism is a sin that affects all of society. If there is a conversation to be held on the implications and ramifications of racial reconciliation to our society, it must be within the context of biblical theology not practical sociology.

Because racism is an attitude before it ever is an act.

I pray, by God’s grace, that Tom Brokaw will one day come to understand this for himself.

 

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Everyone in the U.S. have their eyes glued to the tragedy in Oregon. Where it would seem a Muslim convert executed nine Christians! That event is a very loud signal to Christians in the U.S. to WAKE UP! God is telling them, the clock is ticking down and your redemption is drawing near! ARE YOU READY?

Many Christians of today believe that their exit from this world will be via a cushy ride up in the rapture. How many of us are prepared to have our faith tested in the most extreme way imaginable?

I truly believe that God at the moment that those people were asked if they were a Christian, instilled in them a supernatural faith via the Holy Spirit just as the Christians who were thrown to the Lions in the Roman Coliseum! To be a witness and message to Christians today to WAKE UP! PREPARE YOURSELF!

Now on the happenings in the Middle East:

Pieces of a puzzle would seem to be coming together, as the U.S. winds down its role in the Middle East, Russia is expanding it’s role. It was already allied with Iran, and has assisted Iran with not only military weapons and expertise but also assisted Iran in its international political goals as they dovetailed with Russia’s.

Then Russia put military forces in Syria, and now it is getting access to put military forces in Iraq. And China is sending forces to assist Russia in Syria!

Anyone see the picture that is beginning to unfold?:  Israel’s last battle in the Last Days

Many may wonder where the U.S. fits into all of this, if the U.S. may be drawn into a conflict with Russia in the Middle East?

The west may not need to be dealt with Militarily. All international trade in Oil is carried out in U.S. Dollars.During WWII Roosevelt paid a visit to Saudi Arabia, and its first king Ibn Saud. Roosevelt convinced Ibn Saud not to supply Germany and its Axis Allies with oil and instead supply the U.S. and its allies with oil for the war, and in exchange the U.S. would militarily protect Saudi Arabia. And since then the U.S. has been the protector of Middle Eastern Oil producers. This extended to all Middle Eastern oil being traded internationally in U.S. Dollars. This gave the U.S. the position of being the worlds Financial center and allowed the U.S. to print money at will as there was always an international demand for dollars. With the U.S. seeming to exit the Middle East and Russia & possibly China taking over, this could mean the end of the arrangement of Middle Eastern oil being traded in U.S. Dollars. Iran for years has wanted to set up an alterntive international oil exchange in Tehran, and oil traded in a basket of international currencies instead of the dollar.

This has a serious and fundamental impact to the U.S. If the U.S. dollar is no longer used in International trade, it means the U.S. will lose its place as the leader of the global financial system, it would also mean that the U.S. could no longer run huge budget deficits, it means the U.S. government could no longer shovel money into the U.S. Economy to keep it on life support. It would mean an economic contraction in the U.S. like none of us have ever experienced! And the impact to our military would be huge! It would mean that we could no longer afford to field a large military! We would be taken out of the picture in the Middle East!

If you can remember back in History Great Britain was the greatest world power up to WWII. But when WWII began its economy collapsed, as it was heavily indebted and therefore did not have the ability to field a large enough military to defeat Germany, and in stepped the U.S. the rising power, it became the bank to all the countries fighting Germany. If a major war broke out in the Middle East today, The U.S. would be in the same position as Great Britain prior to WWII, we are broke! Who would rescue us?

It is time to awaken from your slumber Christians! God’s Clock is ticking down to midnight, fill your lamps with oil! And be ready for the coming darkness!

From Debka:

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has expanded radically in two directions.DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that China sent word to Moscow Friday, Oct. 2, that J-15 fighter bombers would shortly join the Russian air campaign that was launched Wednesday, Sept. 30. Baghdad has moreover offered Moscow an air base for targeting the Islamic State now occupying large swathes of Iraqi territory

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has five additional participants: China, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizballah.

The J-15 warplanes will take off from the Chinese Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier, which reached Syrian shores on Sept. 26 (as DEBKAfile exclusively reported at the time). This will be a landmark event for Beijing: its first military operation in the Middle East as well the carrier’s first taste of action in conditions of real combat.

Thursday night, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, made this comment on the Syrian crisis at a UN Security Council session in New York: “The world cannot afford to stand by and look on with folded arms, but must also not arbitrarily interfere (in the crisis).”

A no less significant development occurred at about the same time when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking to the US PBS NewsHour, said he would welcome a deployment of Russian troops to Iraq to fight ISIS forces in his country too. As an added incentive, he noted that this would also give Moscow the chance to deal with the 2,500 Chechen Muslims whom, he said, are fighting with ISIS in Iraq.

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that Al-Abadi’s words came against the backdrop of two events closely related to Russia’s expanding role in the war arena:

1.  A joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian-Iraqi war room has been working since last week out of the Iraqi Defense Ministry and military staff headquarters in Baghdad to coordinate the passage of Russian and Iranian airlifts to Syria and also Russian air raids. This command center is also organizing the transfer of Iranian and pro-Iranian Shiite forces into Syria.

2.  Baghdad and Moscow have just concluded a deal for the Russian air force to start using the Al Taqaddum Air Base at Habbaniyah, 74 km west of Baghdad, both as a way station for the Russian air corridor to Syria and as a launching-pad for bombing missions against ISIS forces and infrastructure in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

Russia has thus gained a military enclave in Iraq, just as it has in Syria, where it has taken over a base outside Latakia on the western coast of Syria. At the same time, the Habbaniyah air base also serves US forces operating in Iraq, which number an estimated 5,000.

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It’s called the final kick in God’s face and sealing your nations fate! You can expect that the U.S. decline will now accelerate!

“In a blistering dissenting opinion, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said the decision shows the court is a “threat to American democracy.” The ruling “says that my ruler and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,” Scalia added.”

from MSN:

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement.

The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing on behalf of the court, said that the hope of gay people intending to marry “is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, was joined in the majority by the court’s four liberal justices.

Kennedy, appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1988, has now authored all four of the Supreme Court’s major gay rights rulings, with the first coming in 1996. As with his 2013 opinion when the court struck down a federal law that denied benefits to same-sex couples, Kennedy stressed the dignity of marriage.

Kennedy said the hope of gay people intending to marry “is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

“Without the recognition, stability and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” Kennedy wrote.

In a blistering dissenting opinion, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said the decision shows the court is a “threat to American democracy.” The ruling “says that my ruler and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,” Scalia added.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has ever done so in his 10 years on the court. Roberts said although there are strong policy arguments in same-sex marriage, it was not the court’s role to force states to change their marriage laws.

“Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law,” Roberts wrote.

The ruling is the Supreme Court’s most important expansion of marriage rights in the United States since its landmark 1967 ruling in the case Loving v. Virginia that struck down state laws barring interracial marriages.

There are currently 13 state bans in place, while another state, Alabama, has contested a court ruling that lifted the ban there. The decision throws out these bans. Religious institutions would still be able to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

The ruling is the latest milestone in the gay rights movement in recent years. In 2010, Obama signed a law allowing gays to serve openly in the U.S. military. In 2013, the high court ruled unconstitutional a 1996 U.S. law that declared for the purposes of federal benefits marriage was defined as between one man and one woman.

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from Breitbart:

The Obama Administration is poised to require faith-based recipients of federal grants to accept applications from LGBT individuals, according to a report published today by the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam).

By executive order last summer, President Obama amended the Johnson-era federal order on non-discrimination in hiring by federal contractors to include non-discrimination based on “sexual orientation and gender identity.” That order has roiled faith-based groups.

A confidential source tells C-Fam that the White House has directed federal agencies to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected classes in all grant agreements.

What’s more, there are substantially more grant recipients than federal contract recipients. A law professor who works on these issues said, “For every contract recipient there are 50 receiving grants.”

The Johnson-era order was amended in 2002 by President George Bush to include a religious exemption so that faith-based groups would not be forced to hire those in opposition to their teachings. It is unclear whether grant recipients have similar protections. And even those protections are under assault by those who want all such exemptions ended.

According to C-Fam, federal agencies are now being pressured to make this change without a subsequent executive order and that the State Department legal office is telling the White House that this is not a legal matter but a matter of policy.

C-Fam’s source also said that some agencies are hesitant but because of pressure from the White House they are reluctant to object.

Faith-based groups, still grappling with the contracting question, are being caught off guard by this new policy on grants. None of the groups contacted by C-Fam were aware of the new policy.

The office of Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who also heads the Bishop’s committee on religious freedom, wouldn’t comment. Neither would Anthony Picarello, General Counsel of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference. Catholic agencies would be hit particularly hard by such a change.

At the time of the executive order last summer, two Bishop-Chairmen of the USCCB said the order was “unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed.”

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from Truth Revolt:

A Kuwaiti newspaper is reporting that President Obama, angered at Israeli plans to strike Iran nuclear facilities in 2014, threatened to shoot down Israeli planes before they could reach their targets.

The paper, Al Jarida, cites only anonymous sources and just a handful of other publications have followed the story. But according to israelnationalnews.com, the Arabic newspaper quoted “well-placed” sources as saying Benjamin Netanyahu and two top aides “had decided to carry out air strikes against Iran’s nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders.”

“The Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back,” the website said.

The Al Jarida story says that an Israeli minister with “good ties” to the Obama administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, who passed the word to Obama. The president then threatened to shoot down any planes in order to stop the Israeli attack.

The Ma’an News, a Palestinian news agency, did pick up the Al Jarida story, translating the piece. Their article says: “Netanyahu had to abort the operation and since then relations between Israel and the United States have been declining, according to the sources quoted in the report.”

Several websites were dubious about the Al Jarida. JewishPress.com wrote that “the report seems unbelievable, but the newspaper has an interesting track record.”

Al-Jarida is considered to be a relatively liberal publication whose editor Mohammed al-Sager previously won the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists ‘for courageous reporting on political and human rights issues in the face of government threats of censorship and prosecution.’

He also is a former Kuwaiti parliament member and chairman of the legislature.

And that website concludes by saying the veracity of the story may not be the most important facet. “The report may be fantasy, but the fact that Al Jarida dared to report it says a lot about perceptions of the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama.”

The story was starting to pick up pace on Sunday, with Netanyahu already on his way to Washington, D.C., to deliver a much anticipated speech to Congress.

“I’m going on a crucial and historic mission,” Netanyahu said before his departure from Ben-Gurtion Airport, accompanied by his wife, according to YnetNews.com.

“I feel I am the representative of all Israel, even those who disagree with me. I feel a deep concern for the fate of Israel. I will do everything to guarantee our future.”

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from Breitbart:

Embattled MIT professor Jonathan Gruber has not only gotten in trouble for bragging about helping President Obama put one over on the American people with Obamacare, he’s also been uncovered as an abortion advocate—but not a run-of-the-mill advocate of “women’s rights.”

No, Gruber’s abortion advocacy is of a particularly pungent eugenics variety. He’s on record repeatedly making the case from social science that abortion is a “social good” because it reduces the number of “marginal children,” by which he means urban poor—those he says can be counted on to commit crimes if they were ever born.

Gruber co-authored a paper during the Clinton years which argued that legal abortion had saved the U.S. taxpayer upwards of $14 billion in welfare benefits and that it also lowered crime.

Gruber’s work heavily influenced other researchers, including a paper called The Impact of Legalized Abortion by Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago, whose later bookFreakonomics and whose ongoing work makes the strongest case that abortion legalizations in the 1970s caused a dramatic drop in crime twenty years later.

Pro-lifers have always wondered why the black community has not responded more aggressively to the fact that so many abortion clinics are located in poor neighborhoods and why the black abortion rate is so much higher than whites.

A documentary called Maafa 21 argues that abortion is a part of what they called a “black genocide.”

African-American marketing expert Ryan Scott Bomberger founded an organization calledThe Radiance Foundation that makes commercials for the unborn child with a special emphasis on the high incidence of black abortion. Emmy-wining Bomberger’stoomanyaborted.com campaign looks specifically at black abortion. One meme calls abortion a “civil wrong” and that blacks are “still not free at last” because of abortion. Bomberger is being sued by the NAACP for calling the group “pro-abortion.”

A group called 41 Percent tracks all abortions in New York City, which has an abortion rate at twice the national average, points out that the abortion rate in the largely black borough of The Bronx is an astounding 47%.

These are the types of communities Gruber meant when he referred the “marginal children” who were the most likely to end up on welfare and committing crimes if they were allowed to be born.

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from Fox News:

For more than a decade new military recruits at Maxwell Air Force Base – Gunter Annex in Alabama have received a Bible from Gideons International volunteers. But that tradition has come to an end after volunteers said they were told by the military that they would no longer be allowed to personally distribute the pocket-sized Bibles to recruits.

“They kicked us out,” Gideon’s volunteer Michael Fredenburg told me in a telephone interview from his home in Montgomery, Ala. “They told us, ‘get your Bibles out.’”

Gaylan Johnson, is a public affairs officer for the Military Entrance Processing Command. He told me the Gideons’ side of the story is “not strictly true.”

“They can place their literature within our facility, but they are not allowed to stand there and talk with applicants or hand them (the Bibles) out,” he told me.

Fredenburg said his father started the tradition of giving Bibles to new military recruits at the Military Entrance Processing Command center more than 10 years ago. He assumed leadership of the group when his father died last July.

For years the Gideons had distributed Bibles to new recruits four days a week. After they finished their paperwork, the recruits would pass by Gideon volunteers who shook their hands and offered them a pocket-sized Bible.

The Gideon volunteers had military identification cards and had been allowed to store Bibles on the base, Fredenburg said.

“It worked beautifully,” he said.

But that changed last week when Fredenburg said a sergeant informed the Gideons that the Bible distribution program was about to come to a end.

“I tried to get a hold of the colonel but he would not return my call,” he said.

So Fredenburg instructed the volunteers to continue distributing the Bibles until they received official orders. Those orders came on Wednesday. The Gideons would no longer be allowed to give the recruits God’s Word, he said.

“I contacted one of my guys and asked him to get the Bibles out,” he told me. “He went over and got all the Bibles – and we’re out.”

Just like that. The Gideons were never told why.

Johnson said there is a command-wide policy regulating any organization that’s not a member of the federal government. Those organizations are referred to as non-federal entities.

“The policy says non-federal entities shall not be permitted to post or station a member within the premises of any MEPCS including outdoor areas under the exclusive control of the MEPCS for purposes of distributing literature,” he said.

Johnson said the Gideons are allowed to have a literature display rack which they are welcome to replenish on a recurring basis.

“They were informed they couldn’t stand within the premises any more and hand them out,” he said. “The Bibles are on a table. Applicants at their own free will can pick one up if they like.”

Word of the ouster of the internationally-known Christian community spread like wildfire among Fredenburg and his friends. All were in a state of disbelief.

“They were happy my dad wasn’t alive to see it,” Fredenburg said. “If he would’ve seen that happen, it probably would’ve killed him.”

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from Conservative Tribune:

It’s official. In a landmark 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in a huge victory forreligious liberty.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito. As usual, Justice Anthony Kennedy was the deciding vote in the case.

This is a massive blow to Obama and the liberals who think religious liberty should only operate on their terms.

The Court held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to closely-held for-profit corporations and thus they could not be forced to violate their religious beliefs by the government.

The contraceptive mandate placed a “substantial burden” on Hobby Lobby’s exercise of religion, making it a violation of RFRA.

RFRA was passed with three dissenting votes in all of Congress.

You can read the Court’s opinion here.

Fantastic. We agree completely with the Court’s decision. Obama continues to lose big time at our nation’s highest court, showing that he really has zero regard for what the Constitution says.

This sets a clear precedent: The federal government must respect the individual consciences of business owners. Forcing them to pay for things that they consider deeply immoral is abhorrent… it’s exactly what the Framers wanted to keep from happening when the First Amendment was ratified.

 

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There is an epic battle in the Middle East, no not the battle between Islam and Israel, it is the battle between Shi’ite Islam Iran, and Sunni Islam Saudi Arabia. And the eventual victor will be Shi’ite Islam Iran!

Barack Obama has pulled the U.S. back from open and unconditional support for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, what this means is that Saudi Arabia is now attempting to support those countries and forces in the Middle East that are against Iran. Shi’ite Iran will triumph in this battle setting the stage for the end of the age!

Saudi Arabia was supporting Turkey with Loans, however now that Turkey is allying itself with Iran. Saudi Arabia has stopped loaning them money.

“Goldman argues that part of Turkey’s credit crisis owes to its apparent reliance on interbank loans from Saudi Arabia. In part due to their anger at Erdogan for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis have apparently stopped loaning to Turkish banks. 

The Saudis’ action has pushed Erdogan into the waiting arms of Iran’s ayatollahs. In an interview with Business Insider, Australia, terror financing expert Jonathan Schanzer said Turkey and Iran were able to minimize the impact of the international sanctions on Iran’s energy sector. Between June 2012 and June 2013, the Turkish-Iranian “gas for gold” sanctions-busting scheme brought Iran $13 billion in hard currency.”

from Caroline Glick:

Last Thursday, two Turkish businessmen stopped for lunch in a fish restaurant during a business trip to Edirne in the Babaeski region.

At some point during their meal, the restaurant owner figured out that they were Jews.

Rather than show them the hospitality Turkey is renowned for, he said he won’t serve Jews, and began cursing them and the Torah. He then took a long knife off the counter and threatened to kill them.

The men ran for their lives.

Anti-Semitic attacks have become regular events in Turkey. In December, after leaving an anti-corruption rally in Istanbul, a young woman was attacked by 10 to 15 supporters of Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan who had just left a support rally for the premier.

They accused her of being a Jew, as they beat her up.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Turkish opposition MP Ayken Kerdemir said that Erdogan has cultivated Turkish anti-Semitism. “He is not only capitalizing on the existing sentiments, Kerdemir explained. Erdogan is “fueling some of that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic feeling… with his rhetoric, conspiracy theories, campaign slogans and actions.”

Kerdemir explained that Erdogan’s cultivation of anti-Semitism in Turkish society will continue to affect Turkey’s behavior and social values long after he is gone. “Even after Erdogan and AKP are gone, even if [the opposition party] CHP comes to power, it will take us quite some time to mend inter-societal relations through dialogue, awareness raising and sensitivity training.”

Once you let that genie out of the bottle, it is very hard to stuff it back inside.

Erdogan’s anti-Semitism is not opportunistic. He isn’t simply exploiting a popular prejudice for his own benefit. He is an anti-Semite. And his anti-Semitism informs his behavior toward Israel.

In Kerdemir’s view, Erdogan’s uncontrollable hatred of Jews makes it impossible for him to agree to reconcile Turkey’s relations with Israel.

As he put it, “Erdogan’s core values vis-à-vis Jews and Israel prevent him from dealing with this issue in a tolerant, embracing and sustainable way.”

Against this backdrop it should surprise no one that this week Erdogan sunk prospects for a renewal of Turkish ties with Israel.

Immediately after he took office 10 years ago, Erdogan began systematically downgrading Turkey’s strategic alliance with Israel. This process, which began gradually and accelerated after Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian elections, reached its peak in 2010.

In May 2010, Erdogan sponsored the pro-Hamas flotilla to Gaza whose aim was to undermine Israel’s lawful maritime blockade of the terrorist-controlled Gaza coast. The flotilla’s flagship, theMavi Marmara, was controlled by the al-Qaida-aligned IHH organization. Its passengers included terrorists who, armed with iron bars, knives and other weaponry tried to kill IDF naval commandos when they boarded the Gaza-bound ship to enforce the blockade. In the ensuing battle, the commandos killed nine IHH terrorists.

Erdogan used the incident on the Mavi Marmara as a means of ending what remained of Turkey’s ties to Israel. For three years, he insisted that he would only restore full diplomatic relations if Israel ended its blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza, apologized for its forces’ actions on board the Mavi Marmara, and paid reparations to the families of the IHH terrorists killed in their assault on the IDF commandos.

In March 2013, Erdogan relented in his demand that Israel end the blockade and acceded to a reconciliation deal offered by US President Barack Obama in a three-way telephone call with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that took place during Obama’s visit to Israel.

Following the phone call, Netanyahu apologized for “operational errors,” by IDF sailors aboard theMavi Marmara and offered to compensate the families.

Negotiations toward the reinstatement of diplomatic relations were to ensue immediately. But just after Netanyahu made his required gesture of appeasement, Erdogan began delaying the talks, while continuing his anti-Semitic assaults.

Talks eventually did start. And according to Israeli sources, they were about to conclude this week. Netanyahu was beginning to build political support for his decision to agree to Turkey’s demand for a massive $20 million settlement of claims against Israel by the dead terrorists’ families.

But then Erdogan walked away.

On Tuesday, Erdogan reinstated his initial demand that Israel must end its lawful naval blockade of terrorist-controlled Gaza before he restores ties to the Jewish state.

In many quarters of the Israeli media, Erdogan’s action was met with surprise. Reporters who for years have insisted that Israel can make the problem go away by bowing to Erdogan’s demands are stumped by his behavior.

But they shouldn’t have been.

It isn’t simply that Erdogan cannot reconcile with Israel because he hates Jews. As is almost always the case with anti-Semites, Erdogan’s anti-Semitism is part of his general authoritarian outlook informed by a paranoid mindset.

Erdogan sees a Jewish conspiracy behind every independent power base in Turkey. And his rejection of Israel is an integral part of his rejection of all forces in Turkey that are not dependent on his good offices.
Over the past 10 years, and with ever increasing brutality, paranoia and intensity, Erdogan has sought to destroy all independent power bases in the country. He purged the military by placing hundreds of generals in prison in his delusional Ergenekon conspiracy in which they were accused of seeking to overthrow his Islamist government.

He has destroyed most of the independent media in the country and sent hundreds of journalists and editors to prison.

The same is the case with independent businessmen.

Over the past year, Erdogan destroyed whatever remained of the plausible deniability he initially fostered between himself and the systematic abrogation of civil rights and the rule of law in Turkey.

This week, 17 people were sentenced to two years each in prison for “deliberately insulting the premier and not regretting their actions,” during a small demonstration in 2012 protesting the government’s health policy.

Also this week, Erdogan acknowledged that he calls television broadcasters in the middle of news shows and orders them to stop the broadcast of information he doesn’t want the public to know. This has included ending the live broadcast of a speech in parliament by the opposition leader, ending coverage of the mass anti-government demonstrations last summer, and removing a news ticker that reported on the corruption scandals surrounding Erdogan and his cronies.

Erdogan has also reacted to the corruption investigations of his cronies by firing the public prosecutors and police officers involved in the investigations.

To maintain the public’s support for his burgeoning dictatorship, Erdogan has adopted populist economic policies that have sunk the Turkish economy. To buy the public’s allegiance, Erdogan has borrowed heavily internationally and artificially lowered Turkey’s interest rates, even as the local currency dropped in value in international markets and Turkey’s current accounts deficits outpaced Greece’s on the eve of its economic meltdown.

As David Goldman explained last week in a financial analysis of Turkey’s incipient economic meltdown in The Asia Times, rather than raise consumer interests rates, Erdogan has blamed the Jews by railing against “the interest rate lobby.”

Indeed, since he first invoked the term during the anti-government demonstrations last August, Erdogan has taken to blaming the interest rate cabal for all of Turkey’s woes.

Goldman argues that part of Turkey’s credit crisis owes to its apparent reliance on interbank loans from Saudi Arabia. In part due to their anger at Erdogan for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis have apparently stopped loaning to Turkish banks.

The Saudis’ action has pushed Erdogan into the waiting arms of Iran’s ayatollahs. In an interviewwith Business Insider, Australia, terror financing expert Jonathan Schanzer said Turkey and Iran were able to minimize the impact of the international sanctions on Iran’s energy sector. Between June 2012 and June 2013, the Turkish-Iranian “gas for gold” sanctions-busting scheme brought Iran $13 billion in hard currency.

Erdogan’s hatred of Jews, his authoritarian mindset and his Islamist ideology informed his decision to transform Turkey into one of the leading sponsors of terrorism. In addition to its massive support for Hamas, beginning in the 2006 First Lebanon War Turkey began providing assistance to Hezbollah.

Then there is al-Qaida. Turkey has long harbored al-Qaida financiers. And according to IDF Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Turkey hosts three al-Qaida bases on its territory that enable terrorists to transit between Europe and Syria.

Erdogan’s ideological underpinning directs his embrace of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaida. But his decimation of Turkey’s economy has made him view Iran as Turkey’s economic savior. And that in turn pushes Turkey even deeper into the jihadist camp.

Obviously in this situation, the chance that Turkey will agree to reconcile with Israel, at any price, is nil.

The surprise that many Israeli journalists have expressed over Erdogan’s seeming about-face on the reconciliation deal brings us to the larger lesson of his transformation of Turkey.

These journalists believe that Israel’s bilateral relations with other countries are based on tit for tat. If I do something to upset you, you will get upset. If I apologize and try to make things right, then you will be satisfied and everything will go back to normal.

This simplistic view of the world is attractive because it places Israel in a position of power. If the only reason that Turkey is mad at Israel is that Israel will not apologize for its response to Turkey’s illegal aggression, then Israel should apologize and pay whatever damages Erdogan demands.

Moreover, Israel should make Erdogan believe the sincerity of its apology by maintaining faith with the myth that he is a responsible actor on the world stage, rather than a prominent sponsor of terrorism and the hangman of Turkish democracy and economic prosperity.

Appeasement is a seductive policy because it is gives its purveyors a sense of empowerment. And at times, when faced with a simple, limited dispute it can work.

But Turkey’s rejection of Israel is not a linear response to a specific Israeli action. It is a consequence of the nature of Erdogan’s regime, and due to his anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement, it is increasingly a consequence of the nature of Turkish society.

Kerdemir argued that Turkish anti-Semitism does not necessitate a rejection of Jews and Israel. And that’s true.

The problem is that when anti-Semitism is tied to several other political and economic pathologies, as it is in the case of Turkey, it is impossible as a practical matter for any accommodation to be reached.

THE SWORD-WIELDING restaurateur who responded to the mere presence of Jewish diners in his establishment with murderous rage is no more exceptional than lynch mobs in Ramallah. And as Turkey’s economic plight worsens and Erdogan’s embrace of Iran and jihadist groups tightens, Turkey’s behavior will only become more extreme, unappeasable and dangerous.

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from Worldview Weekend:

The media are currently filled with reports that U.S. students are scoring poorly on international tests. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which compares 15-year-olds in most industrialized countries, reported that U.S. students dropped from 25th to 31st in math, 11th to 21st in reading, and 20th to 24th in science.

The solution offered for these low rankings is always that we should spend more money on schooling. But numerous studies of the billions of dollars we’ve spent on education in the last decade show that money has not improved U.S. student performance, and higher scoring foreign countries spend far less per pupil than we do.

Now we are told we need a new national system called Common Core (CC) standards, but this has provoked a grassroots uprising. Parents don’t want federal control or a federal curriculum, and teachers don’t like the CC tests.

Common Core advocates loudly proclaim that there isn’t any CC curriculum, there are only standards based on which the local schools can write their own curriculum. But the CC tests (usually called assessments) are the mechanism of federal control over the curriculum because teachers must teach to the test.

As Common Core is beginning to be implemented by the states, parents and teachers are discovering many things they don’t like. An Oak Forest, Illinois high school government class required students and their parents to fill out a questionnaire that identifies their positions on controversial political issues and then places themselves on a “political spectrum.”

The best way to describe the leftwing bias of this curriculum is to quote some of the questions assigned to the students, all of which are ideologically slanted. Students are instructed to “put a check in front of each statement with which you agree.”

Here are two of the pro-big government statements: “The government has an obligation to regulate businesses in order to preserve the environment for future generations.” “Unregulated free enterprise benefits the rich at the expense of the poor.”

Here are two more slanted statements: “The government should guarantee medical care for all citizens.” “The federal government should guarantee the rights of homosexuals.”

Common Core then requires the students to self-identify their political philosophy: “I consider myself A. liberal, B. conservative, C. don’t know.”

Here is one of the “outcomes” specified as the objective of this biased survey. “Students will be familiar with: 1. Fascism as an historical example of a reactionary group. 2. American Revolution as an historical example of a revolutionary viewpoint.”

After checking all the statements with which the students agree, students are given a so-called “Performance Task” to “Conduct a Political Spectrum Interview with someone 40 years or older” using this same survey.

It’s no wonder that parents are upset about this assignment, which asks for information that is none of the school’s business. This survey, published by “The Center for Learning,” is from a textbook called “U.S. Government 2,” which is part of the Common Core curriculum used by Oak Forest High School.

A Common Core-approved history textbook, “The American Experience” published by Prentice-Hall, gives an account of World War II that the “greatest generation” would not recognize. World War II is presented primarily by photos of the devastation of Hiroshima with text from John Hersey’s article on “Hiroshima.”

The Washington Post published a letter from a Delaware teacher who is highly critical of Common Core because she was instructed that she is required “to teach the curriculum word-for-word.” Also, she must “stop teaching for 6 weeks in the spring to make sure our students pass that test.”

New Mexico Senator Tim Keller described in a recent editorial the complaints he hears from parents who “stress deep objection to the continuing trend of out-of-state, for-profit testing companies’ intrusion into the classroom.” There’s just too much testing driven by those with a nefarious “incentive to make the case for more testing.”

Of course, tests are important to measure performance. But Common Core tests are a big money-making industry and are used by the Obama Administration to control the content of the curriculum.

And some of the tests sound downright ridiculous. Here is how a New York City high school principal reported one question on a Common Core first-grade math test:

“Take a look at question No. 1, which shows students five pennies, under which it says ‘part I know,’ and then a full coffee cup labeled with a ’6′ and, under it, the word ‘Whole.’ Students are asked to find ‘the missing part’ from a list of four numbers. My assistant principal for mathematics was not sure what the question was asking. How could pennies be part of a cup?”

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