Is there a microchip implant in your future?

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You can inject one under your skin and no one will ever notice. Using short-range radio frequency identification (RFID) signals, it can transmit your identity as you pass through a security checkpoint or walk into a football stadium. It can help you buy groceries at Wal-Mart. In a worst-case scenario – if you are kidnapped in a foreign country, for example – it could save your life.

Microchip implants like the ones pet owners use to track their dogs and cats could become commonplace in humans in the next decade. Experts are divided on whether they’re appropriate for people, but the implants could offer several advantages. For soldiers and journalists in war zones, an implant could be the difference between life and death. A tracker could also help law enforcement quickly locate a kidnapped child.

“In the long run, chip implants could make it less intrusive than some emerging ID systems which rely on physical biometrics (like your fingerprints or unique eye pattern),” says Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of the book “Distraction Addiction” and visiting scholar at Stanford’s University’s Peace Innovation Lab.

“This should be a matter of individual choice, but fighting crime should be much easier using chips,” adds sci-fi author Larry Niven, who predicted chip implants in the ’70s. Niven said he supports chip implantation for security reasons, provided it is an opt-in measure.

Ramez Naam, who led the early development of Microsoft software projects and is now a popular speaker and author, said he envisions using chip implantation to help monitor the location of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

They could be used to track the activities of felons who have been released from prison.

Chips are being used today to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.

“Those same chips have found their way into RFID devices to activate the gas pump from a key ring and for anti-theft devices in cars,” said Stu Lipoff, an electrical engineer and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers spokesman.

“There have been people who volunteered to use them for opening the door of an apartment as a personalized ID using your arm. It could be used to track criminals targeted for patrol who might wander into a restricted area.”

Possible uses in the future

Implants are normally useful only at short ranges – as you walk through a portal or close to a transponder. So using chip implants to track people would require an infrastructure of transponders scattered around a city that read their identity in public buildings and street corners, Lipoff said.

But consider the possibilities:  People could unlock their homes or cars, gain access to a building, pass through an airport and even unlock their laptops without using a phone or watch. A pin code could be used to activate the chip – or to deactivate it to maintain privacy.

They are easy to install and remove, and, because they are implanted under the skin, they are unobtrusive. The chips, which could be the size of a thumbnail, could be injected into an arm or a hand.

If children were chipped, teachers could take attendance in the classroom. Lipoff said that GPS would not work because skin would block the signal, although new Near Field Communication chips like those in current smartphones could work because of their low-power requirement. However, no-one has yet tried to implant NFC chips.

Police could track cars and read data without needing to scan license plates. At a hospital, administrators could locate a doctor without having to rely on a pager. And if you walked into a donut shop, the owner could read your taste preferences (glazed or not glazed) without needing a loyalty card.

But is it ethical?

Like any tech advancement, there are downsides. Concerns about the wrong people accessing personal information and tracking you via the chips have swirled since the FDA approved the first implantable microchip in 2004.

Naam and Pang both cited potential abuses, from hacking into the infrastructure and stealing your identity to invading your privacy and knowing your driving habits. There are questions about how long a felon would have to use a tracking implant. And, an implant, which has to be small and not use battery power — might not be as secure as a heavily encrypted smartphone.

Troy Dunn, who attempts to locate missing persons on his TNT show “APB with Troy Dunn,” said a chip implant would make his job easier, but he is strongly against the practice for most people. “I only support GPS chip monitoring for convicted felons while in prison and on parole; for sex offenders forever; and for children if parents opt in,” he says. “I am adamantly against the chipping of anyone else.”

Using chip implants to locate abducted children could actually have the opposite effect. Pang says a microchip would make a missing person easier to rescue, but “Kidnappers want ransoms, not dead bodies. The most dangerous time for victims is during rescue attempts or when the kidnappers think the police are closing in.”

And beyond the obvious privacy issues, there’s something strange about injecting a chip in your body, Lipoff says. Yet pacemakers and other embedded devices are commonly used today. “People might find it a bit unsavory, but if it is not used to track you, and apart from the privacy issues, there are many interesting applications,” he says.

At least it’s better than having a barcode stitched onto our foreheads.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/08/30/is-there-microchip-implant-in-your-future/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pope Francis calls priest serving at Iraqi refugee camp

Pope Francis called a priest at a refugee camp in Iraq to express his closeness to the persecuted Christians who have taken refuge there and to promise his continued support.

Pope Francis reportedly called Fr Behnam Benoka on August 19, a day after returning from his apostolic journey to South Korea. Fr Benoka is a priest of Bartella, a small Christian town near Mosul, and the vice-rector of the Catholic seminary in Ankawa. However, he is currently working at a refugee camp in the north of the country, assisting Christians who fled the violence perpetrated against them by Islamic militants.

During the morning telephone call, the Pope reportedly said he was deeply moved by the letter he had received from Fr Benoka a day earlier. According to a report published by Zenit, the Pope received the letter from the hands of a journalist, who is a friend of the priest, on the flight back to Rome from South Korea.

The Pope also expressed to Fr Benoka his gratitude for the volunteers working in the refugee camps and reiterated his full support and closeness to the persecuted Christians, promising that he will continue to do his best to bring relief to their suffering.

In his letter to the Pope, the priest expressed gratitude for the Pope’s repeated appeals to end the suffering and persecution of Christians and described the tragic situation faced by thousands of Iraqi Christians: “The situation of your sheep is miserable. They die and they are hungry. Your little ones are scared and cannot do it anymore. We, priests, religious, are few and fear not being able to meet the physical and mental needs of your and our children.”

“Your Holiness,” he continued, “I’m afraid of losing your children, especially infants who every day struggle and weaken more. I’m afraid that death will snatch some away. Send us your blessing so that we may have the strength to go on and maybe we can still resist.”

The Pope granted Fr Benoka’s request, concluding the telephone call by imparting his apostolic blessing and asking the Lord to grant them the gift of perseverance in the faith.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/08/30/pope_francis_calls_priest_serving_at_iraqi_refugee_camp_/1105545

 

 

 

 

 

OBAMA SHOCKINGLY ADMITS “WE DON’T HAVE A PLAN TO DEAL WITH ISIS!!”

obama-admits-confesses-he-has-no-plan-to-deal-with-isis-islamic-state-august-28-2014

No plan. No Hope. Nothing.

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Mr. Obama said of his plans for defeating the Islamic State in Syria. “We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans. As our strategy develops, we will consult with Congress.”

RULING THE WORLD FROM THE GOLF COURSE NOT WORKING SO WELL

“They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.” Job 24:13

Two years ago, President Obama mockingly called ISIS the “JV Team”, and laughed off the idea that they were a real threat. Today, he candidly confessed that neither he or anyone in his entire team had a plan to deal with the ISIS juggernaut.  What does he do besides golf, take vacations and live off the American taxpayer?

President Obama acknowledged Thursday he doesn’t have a plan for defeating Islamist militants in Syria and backed away from imminent military action, while he also downplayed reports of a new Russian invasion in Ukraine.

After a week of speculation that he was about to expand U.S. air strikes against the terrorist group from Iraq into Syria, the president said he has ordered his military advisers to give him “a range of options.” But Mr. Obama tried to tamp down the suggestion that his decision was imminent, saying “folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are.”

“We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them,” Mr. Obama said at a White House news conference. “There’s no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done.”

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=24551

Hours after shocking world with desert execution of 300 Syrian soldiers, ISIS parade captured Kurds then behead one on video

Footage of another fifteen members of Kurdish militia captured by the brutal jihadists has been released

ISIS parade captured Kurds then behead one on video

  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • IS issues second ‘warning’ to the U.S in video showing another decapitation
  • Footage shows captured Kurdish peshmerga dressed in orange boiler suits
  • It then cuts to one of the captives being beheaded before a Mosul mosque
  • They are thought to have been captured while fighting IS in Iraq
  • Comes hours after startling footage of mass summary execution in Syria
  • Men in only their underwear form a long line stretching across the desert
  • Islamic State fighter said men were from Tabqa air base, captured this week

 Islamic State have released a new decapitation video, threatening America for the second time and urging the Kurds to break from their alliance with the West against the caliphate.

Just hours after Islamic State released shocking footage of the mass execution of 300 Syrian national army soldiers in the Syrian desert, Islamic State have issued a second warning to the United States. The grainy video, accompanied by the hashtag ‘2ndAmessagetoAmerica’, shows the vicious beheading of a Kurdish soldier, who was part of a group of 15 fighters likely to have been captured by Islamic State during the fighting in Iraq. The group’s first warning ten days ago was entitled ‘A Message to America’ and showed the decapitation of American journalist James Foley.

Footage of another fifteen members of Kurdish militia captured by the brutal jihadists has been released

Video of the beheading comes hours after footage emerged of the execution of 300 Syrian soldiers

Jihadists issue their warning that the beheadings will continue if the U.S. continues to support the Kurds

In the latest video, the captors first issue a warning they will continue to decapitate prisoners should America continue to support the Kurds in their fight against the Islamic State. They then behead one of the captives on a sandy roadside in Iraq, where the Great Mosque of Mosul can be seen in the background. Kurdish forces have been in fierce fighting with Islamic State since June and their militias have been beginning to receive considerable amounts of armaments from Western powers including the USA and UK. It is the latest front line in a brutal power struggle taking place through Syria and Iraq as the Islamic State attempts to extend its influence and impose Sharia law across the region.

While the captives and executors are dressed in similar fashion to those seen in the James Foley execution 10 days ago, it is unclear if the two incidents were carried out by the same people.The production of the propaganda video also differs – with the beheading shown alongside still images of American and Kurdish officials in an attempt to help convey the executioner’s message. In the six minute video, which has not been independently verified, the prisoners, who are are seen wearing orange boiler suits similar to those worn by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, confirm that they had been fighting for the Peshmerga, and had been captured by the jihadist group. The video includes one earlier shot of the Kurdish soldiers, appearing to still be wearing their Peshmerga uniforms, shortly after they were captured. Speaking in Kurdish, one of the prisoners, Hassan Mohammed Hashin, reads out a carefully pre-prepared statement, lambasting the Kurdish leaders: ‘You have made a huge mistake by joining hands with America.’

A still image taken from the video which purports to show a surrendering Kurdish soldier

It then shows one of the prisoners kneeling in the sandy ground of what appears to be a roadside square near Mosul, believed to be al-Saed. In the background, the Great mosque of Mosul can be seen, where Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, now self-proclaimed caliph Ibrahim, made his speech in early July. Three Islamic State fighters stand behind the Kurdish soldiers wearing an almost identical black uniform to the British jihadist who executed American journalist James Foley last week. Speaking in Arabic, one of the masked fighters standing in the centre begins to deliver his hateful message to the Americans: ‘In the name of God, peace be upon him. I have two messages: the first one is for the dog of Roman, the jerk Obama, how did you send your nation and soldiers again to Iraq, did you forget the thousands of dead Americans who you gave them as a sacrifice for wars. Did you forget thousands of images of corpses, deformed and those people who still suffer? ‘Did the economy of America recovered from its crises to get into a new one? But the second message is for the servant of the Jewish Mas’od, this is the destiny of one of the militant and others who you sent to Muslims unless you finish your work with the Jewish and your allied with the Crusaders.’

The victim is thought to be a member of the Kurdish militia, who have been fighting with Islamic State since June

The captors threaten to continue beheading the prisoners should Obama's (right) assistance continue

The jihadist condemns Obama’s decision for America’s support for the Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State, insisting that ‘by God’s will your intervention and your offence to Muslims will finish you and your America.’ As well as threatening America again, the second part of the jihadist’s speech was to condemn the alliance between Iraqi Kurdistan and America’s military support. Unsheathing a large knife from his belt, the jihadist grabs hold of the prisoner’s dark hair, tilts his head back and begins to cut off the head. Like the terrifying video of James Foley’s execution, the camera cuts away to only later show a brief shot of the decapitation. The Islamic State executor vows to keep beheading more of the prisoners if America and the Iraqi Kurdistan continue to work together, warning ‘this is the destiny of all the other prisoners if you don’t stop your alliance with the crusaders.’ The video ends with Islamic State fighters parading near Mosul in armoured personnel carriers, waving flags and brandishing their weapons in the air. Since the video was released by social media users supporting Islamic State, it has been accompanied by the hashtags ‘2ndAmessagetoAmerica’ and ‘AmessagetoBarzani’.

 SYRIA: THE ISLAMIC STATE SAFE HAVEN

The United States has launched humanitarian aid packages and scores of bombing attacks on Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq in a bid to assist Kurdish and Iraqi forces in their fightback.But discussion has now shifted to whether the strikes should extend into Syria, where the militants have a safe haven and recently executed 300 Syrian soldiers. President Barack Obama at first seemed to largely rule out that option, a decision that came as little surprise, given his long opposition to plunging the U.S. military into Syria, a country ravaged by civil war. But staying out of Syria got more complicated after the extremists announced last week that they had killed American journalist James Foley and threatened to kill additional U.S. hostages in Syria. Joint Chief of Staff chairman Martin Dempsey has said unequivocally that the Islamic State can only be defeated if the U.S. were to go after the group in Syria as well as Iraq. Obama said Thursday that he was weighing the prospect of military action in Syria, but yesterday tamped down any suggestion that such a move was imminent. And he said that even if he were ultimately to authorize strikes, they would have to come in conjunction with a broader regional strategy that addresses political turmoil in both Iraq and Syria. Yesterday it was also being reported that the first soldier fighting for the Lebanese Armed Forces in Syria has been beheaded by Islamic State. Photos on social media have been released by IS, allegedly showing the head of a Lebanese Shiite soldier. Kurdish fighters have been in fierce fighting with Islamic State since last June. Their latest counter attack against the jihadists has forced Islamic State fighters to retreat from the lucrative oil fields of Ain Zalah. The Peshmerga, literally meaning ‘those who face death’, further enhanced these recent successes by regaining control of parts of Zumar and Rab’ia in Ninevah province, bringing them closer to their target of re-taking Sinjar. The Kurdish militias have been beginning to receive considerable amounts of armaments from Western powers including the USA and UK as well as several local neighbours like Iran. Meanwhile, the video released earlier yesterday shows Islamic State militants parading around 300  captured soldiers through the desert in their underwear before they are killed and their bodies piled on the bare earth. An Islamic State fighter claimed the men were from the Syrian government’s Tabqa air base which extremists seized on Sunday, potentially handing them warplanes, tanks, artillery and ammunition. The video, which has not been independently verified, is too graphic to be published in full. It begins by showing dozens of men being marched through the desert wearing only their underwear. It then fades to black, resuming with a pile of bloodied bodies stacked on top of one another.

'Another ISIS war crime': Footage and photographs have emerged of Islamic State fighters marching more than 200 soldiers across the desert to their deaths in only their underwear after capturing Syria's Tabqa air base

Horror: The video, too graphic to be published in full, fades to black before revealing a chain of men's bodies

Horror: The video, too graphic to be published in full, fades to black before revealing a chain of men's bodies

Slaughter: A separate image showed masked gunmen preparing to shoot seven men from the same air base. The chilling photograph was released by the Raqqa Media Center yesterday and tallies with other reporting

As the horrific footage progresses it pans slowly across a vast line of men who appear to be dead, and whose bodies have been laid out one by one. The line forms a slow crescent across the desert, seemingly stretching to the horizon as militants stand beside it. Eventually, after more than a minute, the cameraman reaches the end of the line. Its description on Youtube said it showed the execution of Army officers and Nusayri people, a significant minority of Shia Muslims in Syria. A caption to another version of the video said: ‘The 250 shabeeha taken captive by the Islamic State from Tabqa in Raqqa have been executed.’ Shabeeha is the Islamist name for soldiers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. An Islamic State fighter in Raqqa told Reuters: ‘Yes we have executed them all’.

Before they were killed, the men’s captors chanted ‘Islamic State’ – to which they replied: ‘It will remain’. Islamic State won a week-long battle on Sunday to capture the Tabqa base, which is 25 miles from their Syrian stronghold in Raqqa.  Syria’s authorities insisted at the time that their soldiers had ‘successfully regrouped’ – suggesting they were later hunted down by the militants and executed. Despite heavy losses on the Islamic State side, the base’s capture prompted fresh fears that the fighters have got hold of advanced military technology which will allow them to cement their self-declared regime. Video footage has already suggested Islamic State fighters have drones which were used to shoot reconnaissance footage of an army base. Today’s reported mass killing also underscores how the group uses images of violence as much as violence itself to terrorise its opponents, as it sweeps further into Syria and Iraq. Nadim Houry, deputy director of Human Rights Watch for the Middle East, described the video as ‘another ISIS war crime’. And yesterday a UN commission accused the extremist group of committing crimes against humanity in Syria, similar to those it has already committed in Iraq. Yet the extremists are also in touch with modern ideas of PR, releasing glossy magazines in English which feature mutilated bodies to promote their cause in the West. The Home Secretary has sounded fresh warnings over the radicalisation of young Brits, with authorities fearing around 500 have joined an array of jihadi groups in Iraq and Syria.  Extremists have declared a self-styled caliphate, a Sunni regime ordering its subjects to operate under an extreme interpretation of Sharia law. It has opened up three fronts in the fighting in Syria, which is already home to a bloody and long-running civil war between President Assad’s forces and anti-government rebels.

Today CNN claimed the militants in Iraq have also been burning oil wells near the town of Zummar, which is crucial because it is near a road which links Mosul to the Syrian border. The network suggested fighters are attempting to ‘cover their tracks’ as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters draw closer.  The Islamic State extremists now control roughly a third of Syria, mostly areas in the north and east of the country, as the U.S. threatens air strikes similar to those already used in Iraq. But the situation is complicated as Washington has claimed the Syrian government – embroiled in a bloody civil war – is part of the problem despite offering itself as a force against extremism. French President Francois Hollande added today that President Assad, whose forces used brutal force to crush what began as a peaceful uprising three years ago, was no ally in the fight against Islamic State.  Today Syrian warplanes hit Islamic State targets in the eastern stronghold of Deir al-Zor and killed some of the group’s commanders, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Observatory, run by a Syrian emigrant from his terraced house in Coventry, said the planes struck a building used as an Islamic State headquarters during a meeting of its commanders.  Syrian state TV reported that the army ‘eliminated more than 10 terrorists’ in an attack east of Deir al-Zor military airport, including two Islamic State leaders, and destroyed 14 armoured vehicles.  Another video posted online today appeared to show at least one Syrian soldier being interrogated before a group of other captured men in their underwear. The soldier identifies himself as a Shia Muslim officer from the same sect as many high-ranking military officers and President Assad. Islamic State members are Sunni Muslims.  ‘How many have you killed? How many have you raped?’ the interrogator shouts. The soldier replies: ‘None. I’ve been stationed here in the airport.’ The interrogator asks why the soldier had been fighting on behalf of Assad and did not defect, adding: ‘We’re going to send you right back to hell by slaughter’.

UN PEACEKEEPERS CAPTURED

Some 43 UN peacekeepers have been detained by gunmen in the Golan Heights, near Syria’s border with Israel, where fighting has raged between rebels and government forces. The identity of the armed group is not known. Several rebel groups operate in the Golan, but the Islamic State group has no known presence there. The UN said another 81 peacekeepers are ‘currently being restricted to their positions’ as the Syrian government denounced the ‘kidnapping’. In a statement issued by the Syrian Foreign Ministry, the government said it holds ‘the terrorist groups and those who support them fully responsible for the safety of the UN peacekeepers, and calls for their immediate release.’ The troops are part of UNDOF, the mission that has been monitoring a 1974 disengagement accord between Syria and Israel after their 1973 war. As of July, UNDOF had 1,223 troops.

Videos (WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT) – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2737344/2ndAmessagetoAmerica-Hours-marching-300-Syrian-soldiers-desert-execution-ISIS-releases-chilling-new-beheading-video-captured-Kurdish-soldiers-orange-boiler-suits.html#ixzz3BtF16otA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why does Satan Appear More Frequently in the New Testament than in the Old?

Satan Before The LordSatan Before the Lord, Corrado Giaquinto, circa 1750

Why does Satan Appear More Frequently in the New Testament?

The term Satan appears eighteen times in the Old Testament and thirty-five in the New. The devil can be found thirty-six times. The term demon appears twenty-one times in the New Testament, while the Old Testament’s equivalent terms for demon (Lilith, etc.) appear much less. The New Testament is shorter than the Old, yet the demons appear more frequently. Why is this?

I believe that this is because the Lord did not want to infuse fear into His chosen people. Also, He wanted to prevent false, dualistic beliefs about good and evil from taking root among them – i.e., the belief in a “god of good” and a “god of evil.” That is why God gives the demons a lower profile in the Old Testament than in the New. God Himself is the central figure of the Old Testament, and the angelic world only appears on a certain number of occasions so as not to encourage idolatry. Nevertheless, in the New Testament, divine revelation is completed and the existence of this spiritual world is shown in a more profound way. With the coming of Jesus, the kingdom of God was at hand; He was reclaiming the world from slavery to sin and the temptations of the devil.

 

http://spiritualdirection.com/blog/2014/08/29/satan-appear-frequently-new-testament-old#ixzz3BtAPk0hA

 

 

 

 

 

Locust Swarm ‘Like the Plagues of Egypt’ Descends Upon Madagascar’s Capital

A swarm of millions of locusts descended upon Madagascar’s capital of Antananarivo on Aug. 28, slowing traffic and blotting out the skies over the city.

Fully-formed clouds of the insects, which have plagued the African nation for more than two years, whizzed through the city’s streets after an urban heat wave attracted the bugs away from their usual rural surroundings.

“It reminds us of the 10 plagues of Egypt,” said Ronald Miller, a missionary working in Madagascar with his family.

Miller captured video of the incident and posted it to his Facebook page.

gty locust invasion madagascar jc 140829 16x9 608 Locust Swarm Like the Plagues of Egypt Descends Upon Madagascars Capital

The current plague began in April 2012, leading to a national disaster declaration in Madagascar in November of that year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The island nation’s government announced a three-year emergency plan in September 2013, when the locusts threatened food security of more than 13 million people, almost 60 percent of Madagascar’s population.

But while the images are alarming, FAO officer Annie Monard told Voice of America that the locust swarms in the city were caused by unusually high temperatures, not a new surge in the pest population. So far, the FAO and Madagascar’s government have succeeded in controlling the pests in over 4,600 square miles of agricultural land. Madagascar’s emergency plan will continue until 2016 and is expected to cost more than $41 million.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/locust-swarm-like-the-plagues-of-egypt-descends-upon-madagascars-capital/

Rome’s Nightmare: ISIS Plot to Kill Pope!

Italy Steps Up Security Over Alleged ISIS Plot to Kill The Pope

“Our goal is to make sure that even the Vatican will be Muslim.”

 

Vatican scoffs at threats that Pope Francis is “in the crosshairs” of ISIS as Italy issues a terrorist threat and tightens security.

VATICAN CITY — As Pope Francis continues to straddle the fine line between calling for the end of persecution of Christians in Iraq and blessing American airstrikes against the Islamic State (also known as the “Caliphate,” ISIS, or ISIL), there is increasing concern for the pontiff’s—and the public’s—safety. 

Earlier this week, the Roman newspaper Il Tempo published a disturbing report that Francis is “in the crosshairs” of ISIS for “bearing false witness” against Islam.  Citing anonymous sources within Italy’s intelligence community and pointing to notable heightened security in Rome, the paper went on to say that ISIS plans to heat things up by “raising the level of confrontation” with Europe, Italy and very specifically Pope Francis, the “greatest exponent of the Christian religions.” The Vatican downplayed the concerns, calling them unfounded despite growing concern in Italy that it is not just the Pope who is under threat.  “There is nothing serious to this,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told Catholic News Agency.  “There is no particular concern in the Vatican.”

The Italian government apparently begs to differ.  Earlier this week, Italy’s deputy interior minister Filippo Bubbico said that Italy and the Vatican are equally at risk after authorities issued a terrorism alert, warning ISIS could launch terrorist attacks on what they referred to as “sensitive targets” in Rome and elsewhere, specifically pinpointing embassies to both Italy and the Holy See, Catholic churches, bus and train stations, sea ports, airports and travel agencies. Other security measures include restricting air space above Vatican City and Italy’s foreign ministry, in addition to stepped up police presence in public transportation hubs and busy tourist sites like the Coliseum, the Spanish Steps and St. Peter’s Square.  “ISIS poses an international and European security threat and we in Italy feel particularly exposed,” Bubbico told Italian SKY news.

The terrorism alert came the day after Italy’s parliament approved a measure to start shipping weapons to help arm Kurdish peshmerga troops fighting ISIS—a promise made by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi on a state visit to Iraq earlier this month.  Sicilian seaports that will facilitate the shipment have already stepped up security measures, especially on incoming vessels.

Read more – http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/italy-steps-up-security-over-alleged-isis-plot-against-the-pope.html

 

 

 

SAUDI KING WARNS AMERICA AND THE WEST TO STOP ISIS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

saudi-king-warns-america-to-stop-isis-before-its-too-late“Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East,” said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States.

AMERICAN AND WESTERN WORLD STANDING AT CROSSROADS

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9

History is now repeating itself, and America and the Western world find themselves in an uncomfortable but familiar place. ISIS and the Islamic State war machine has ramped up to the point where it has begun to irrevocably change the balance of power in nations like Iraq and Syria. American and the West in  2014 have become Germany in 1932. Horrific, momentous change is knocking at the door, and the leadership and resolve needed to answer that call is no where to be seen.

 If American and the Allied nations would act decisively now, the forward movement of ISIS could be stopped dead in it’s tracks. But no one is acting in any meaningful full outside of soundbites and press conferences. ISIS is advancing because the powers that be are have allowed for them to advance. Eventually, the Islamic State will garner enough money, enough weapons and enough support from nations like Iran that something cataclysmic will take place. A collective apathy has settled down on the world’s leaders, rendering them powerless. Hitler could have easily been stopped, but he wasn’t. By the time America and the West woke up, it was already too late and 55,000,000 people died because one man was allowed to proceed unchecked. One man.

 WWIII is at the door, America, and the clock is ticking. What sayest thou?

 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is “rapid” action. “If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.

 The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group has prompted widespread concern as it advances in both Syria and Iraq, killing hundreds of people, including in gruesome beheadings and mass executions. Lack of action would be “unacceptable” in the face of the phenomenon, King Abdullah said.

 “You see how they (jihadists) carry out beheadings and make children show the severed heads in the street,” he said, condemning the “cruelty” of such acts. “It is no secret to you, what they have done and what they have yet to do. I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: ‘Fight terrorism with force, reason and necessary speed’.”

 President Barack Obama has yet to decide whether the United States should launch raids against positions held by the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria to follow US air strikes on IS activities in Iraq.

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=24575

O.J. Simpson plans to convert to Islam!!

converted to Islam

O.J. Simpson is set to convert to Islam!

The former American footballer and movie star has been imprisoned in Nevada since 2008 on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery in relation to an armed robbery that took place at the Palace Station hotel-and-casino in Las Vegas in which sports memorabilia was taken.

After seeing his appeal for a re-trial quashed last and being informed in July 2013 he will serve at least another four years, Simpson has embraced the religion in a bid to change his life.

A source told National Enquirer magazine: ”O.J. really thought that he was going to be successful in a bid for a new trial and eventually be released from prison.

”But now he’s not eligible for parole until late 2017, which has angered him.”

The disgraced 67-year-old star has become interested in the religion through his friendship with former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, who was imprisoned in the early 1990s and is a devout Muslim.

Simpson has been studying the Koran but failed to successfully fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

An insider said: ”O.J. didn’t quite make it through the entire fasting process.

”He cheated during the day, and bought snacks from the prison canteen. But he’s really serious about converting to Islam. O.J. even made himself a prayer rug for his prison cell. He really likes the idea that upon converting to Islam, all of his previous sins are forgiven. O.J. has a lot to be forgiven for.”

http://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/people/2014/08/27/oj-simpson-plans-to-convert-to-islam/14676769/

 

 

 

 

San Romero of America: Pope Confirms El Salvador Bishop’s Cause Moving Forward

Archbishop Óscar Romero timeline

 

Archbishop Oscar Romero (Communist sympathizer) is favored by Pope Francis. Pope said he was hoping for a swift beatification process. “For me Romero is a man of God,” the pontiff told journalists on the plane bringing him back from a trip to South Korea. “There are no doctrinal problems and it is very important that [the beatification] is done quickly!”

In spite of controversy, Oscar Romero stood by his motto, “To be of one mind with the Church.”

In 1970, Father Oscar Romero was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Upon his consecration as a bishop, Romero adopted “To be of one mind with the Church” as his episcopal motto.
Today, 34 years after his assassination at the altar and 17 years after Pope St. John Paul II approved his cause for canonization, bestowing upon him the title “Servant of God,” the Church has decided that Romero was indeed “of one mind with the Church.”
During his plane ride home from South Korea on August 18, Pope Francis confirmed that he had lifted a prudential block on Romero’s cause, paving the way for his beatification in the near future.  

“There are no doctrinal problems and it is very important that it is done quickly,” said the Holy Father. “For me, he is a man of God.”
Pope Francis was actualy confirming news that had come out last year, though that may have not been noticed by most of the Catholic world. In April 2013, during a Mass honoring the 20th anniversary of the death of Bishop Antonio “Tonino” Bello, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, prefect of the Pontifical Council for the Family and postulator of Romero’s cause, declared that, “Just today … the cause of the beatification of Monsignor Romero has been unblocked.”

A few months later, in July, Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), announced that an examination of Romero’s doctrinal orthodoxy had been completed and that the CDF had no objection to the cause moving forward.

“I see Oscar Arnulfo Romero as a great witness of the faith and a man who was thirsty for social justice,” said Cardinal Müller at the time, noting that as early as 2007 Pope Benedict XVI said he thought Romero “worthy of beatification.”

These developments are of particular importance to Catholics in Central and South America, especially the poor, who view Romero as a champion of their cause for social, political and economic justice.  Devotion to Romero has flourished among El Salvador’s poor since his assassination, and he is frequently referred to throughout Latin America as San Romero de América: Saint Romero of America.

Romero was born in 1917 in El Salvador’s district of San Miguel. He was educated in a minor seminary in San Miguel, the Salvadoran national seminary in San Salvador, and at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he was ordained in 1942. For the first 25 years of his priesthood, Romero served in ordinary roles, mostly in the Diocese of San Miguel: parish priest, pastor, and seminary rector. He also served as secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of El Salvador, and editor of the archdiocesan newspaper, Orientación in San Salvador.

But in 1970, with his appointment as an auxiliary bishop, Romero’s life and priestly career got on the fast track. In 1974, he was appointed as bishop of Santiago de Maria, a remote diocese in an impoverished rural part of the country. Then, in 1977, Romero was made Archbishop of San Salvador. At the time, his elevation was cheered by elites, who viewed him as a traditional cleric likely to defend their political and economic domination of the country. It is easy to see why El Salvador’s power elites were inclined to trust Romero. He had staked out a reputation as a traditional churchman who avoided direct involvement in politics and vigorously defended the magisterial teaching of the Church.

But the murder of Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande, a friend of Romero’s who had been working to organize the rural poor, changed something in Romero. Grande was shot and killed along with two others less than a month after Romero assumed the chair of San Salvador. An official statement put out by Romero’s Archdiocese said, “The true reason for his death was his prophetic and pastoral efforts to raise the consciousness of the people throughout his parish. Father Grande…was only slowly forming a genuine community of faith, hope and love among them, he was making them aware of their dignity as individuals … It is work that disturbs many; and to end it, it was necessary to liquidate its proponent.”

Barack Obama, Jose Luis EscobarPresident Obama made an unannounced visit to the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Then, as now, El Salvador was a desperately poor, densely populated country marked by grotesque economic inequality. For generations, a tiny elite class of landowners had conspired with the government and foreign corporations to appropriate the natural wealth of the country while keeping the majority of Salvadorans poor. Attempts at reform in the 1960’s and 70’s resulted in a ferocious backlash by the landowners and their allies in government and the military. That backlash included brutal repression of the Church whenever it spoke out against injustice and violence.
This was the political environment in which Oscar Romero assumed his responsibilities as Archbishop of San Salvador. He began to speak out on behalf of the poor, decrying the violence of death squads and private militias, calling for political and economic reforms that would bring some measure of dignity to both campesinos – rural peasants – and the urban poor. For his efforts, the government redoubled its persecution of the Church. As Romero wrote in 1980:

In less than three years, more than 50 priests have been attacked, threatened, calumniated. Six are already martyrs—they were murdered. Some have been tortured and others expelled [from the country]. Nuns have also been persecuted. The archdiocesan radio station and educational institutions that are Catholic or of a Christian inspiration have been attacked, threatened, intimidated, even bombed. Several parish communities have been raided. If all this has happened to persons who are the most evident representatives of the Church, you can guess what has happened to ordinary Christians, to the campesinos, catechists, lay ministers, and to the ecclesial base communities. There have been threats, arrests, tortures, murders, numbering in the hundreds and thousands …

A key date in the evolution of events was October 14, 1979. On that day a group of current and former military officers called the Revolutionary Government Junta (JRG) deposed the president and took power in a coup d’etat. The coup was welcomed by, among others, the United States Government, which immediately began providing the new government with military aid, much of which found its way into the hands of private death squads and paramilitary groups. Romero famously wrote a letter to US President Jimmy Carter, begging him to stop supporting the JRG. His pleas were ignored.

On Sunday, March 23, 1980, Romero preached a sermon at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior in which he called upon Salvadoran soldiers to fulfill their responsibilities as Christians and refuse orders that violated the human rights of the people.

I would like to make a special appeal to the men of the army, and specifically to the ranks of the National Guard, the police and the military. Brothers, you come from our own people. You are killing your own brother peasants when any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God which says, “Thou shalt not kill.” No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you recovered your consciences and obeyed your consciences rather than a sinful order. The church, the defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, of the person, cannot remain silent before such an abomination. We want the government to face the fact that reforms are valueless if they are to be carried out at the cost of so much blood. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression.

The following day, March 24, Romero celebrated Mass in the chapel of Divine Providence Hospital. Most of those attending were nuns from a nursing order. As he elevated a chalice filled with the just-confected Precious Blood, a gunman shot Romero from the back of the chapel. He died almost immediately. At his funeral Mass six days later, nearly a quarter of a million people crowded the area around the cathedral, which apparently enraged the JRG, which opened fire on the crowd, killing between 30 and 50 mourners and wounding scores of others.

Almost immediately, Romero’s legacy was the subject of dispute, both within and outside the Church. Those on the political right charged him with being a Marxist and a supporter of violent revolution. Those on the left appropriated his memory as an apostle of liberation theology.

In fact, he was neither. As the writer Filip Mazurczak has said, “While the left has come to glorify Romero, right-wing politicians in El Salvador have accused him of inspiring leftist guerrilla violence. In reality, Romero sought a peaceful solution to El Salvador’s troubles. In his third pastoral letter, written in 1978, Romero condemned leftist guerrilla violence as ‘terrorist’ and ‘seditious.’ In the fourth letter written one year later, the archbishop of San Salvador reminded the nation that violence was justifiable only in extreme situations when all other alternatives have been exhausted, citing Catholic just war theory.”

Romero’s own words buttress Mazurczak’s assertion. “Marxism is a complex phenomenon,” wrote Romero in a pastoral letter. “It has to be studied from various points of view: economic, scientific, political, philosophical and religious. One has, moreover, to study Marxism in terms of its own history. What the church asserts … is that insofar as Marxism is an atheistic ideology it is incompatible with the Christian faith. That conviction has never changed in the Church’s history. In that sense, the church cannot be Marxist.”

In the same letter, Romero also noted that the charge of Marxism is often cast at contemporary Christians merely seeking justice. “Worldly interests try to make the Church’s position seem Marxist,” he wrote, “when it is in fact insisting on fundamental human rights and when it is placing the whole weight of its institutional and prophetic authority at the service of the dispossessed and weak.”

For all his focus on the poor, Romero rejected Marxism’s crude taxonomy of class division. “We are not demagogically in favor of one social class,” he said, “we are in favor of God’s reign, and we want to promote justice, love, and understanding, wherever there is a heart well disposed.”

Far from being a Marxist, Romero was in fact a Catholic priest with a deep commitment to the magisterial teaching of the Church and a deep, thoroughly orthodox spirituality. He came late to the struggle of El Salvador’s impoverished majority because his abiding concerns were spiritual and ecclesial, not economic or political.

Romero was first and always a follower of Jesus Christ, and that discipleship characterized his life as a pastor, as well as his martyrdom. Three weeks before he was gunned down, Romero composed the following prayer during an Ignatian retreat. Not only is it prescient regarding the brutality of his death, it reveals in Whom he placed his confidence and love:

Thus do I express my consecration to the heart of Jesus, who was ever a source of inspiration and joy in my life. Thus also I place under his loving providence all my life, and I accept with faith in him my death, however hard it be. I do not want to express an intention to him, such as that my death be for my country’s peace or our Church’s flourishing. Christ’s heart will know how to direct it to the purpose he wishes. For me to be happy and confident, it is sufficient to know with assurance that in him is my life and my death, that in spite of my sins I have placed my trust in him and I shall not be confounded, and others will carry on with greater wisdom and holiness the works of the Church and the nation.

http://www.aleteia.org/en/religion/article/san-romero-of-america-pope-confirms-el-salvador-bishops-cause-moving-forward