Current Events

Locusts in Egypt Three Weeks Before Passover

The Atlantic Wire reported on March 3, 2013:

“As if we hadn’t already seen enough Biblical events this year, a plague of over 30 million locusts swarmed over Egypt’s cities and farms just three weeks before Passover begins. But put your apocalyptic fears to rest. This happens every year as part of the locusts’ natural migration pattern, though this year’s swarm is especially large. That doesn’t mean Egyptians aren’t freaked… out by millions of nasty bugs buzzing through the air at all hours of day and night, possibly descending upon the agriculture fields where they’re known to destroy entire crops, just like in the actual Passover story.

“The crops are so far safe, Egyptian officials assured the public. As the plague made its way from the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia at the end of last week and this weekend, though, Egyptian Agricultural Minister Salah Abdel Moamen explained the situation to the country in a calmly worded statement… these plagues can be unpredictable. Egyptian officials didn’t expect the plague to pass by the country’s capital, until Sunday when the locusts unexpectedly arrived in Cairo.

“The government denied reports that the locusts had started devastating crops as well as a report from United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that the Ministry of Agriculture cleared 11,000 hectares of land in an attempt to save the harvest. When they get hungry, a one-ton hoard of locusts can eat the same amount of food in one day as 2,500 humans, according to the UN. Egypt knows this too. Less than a decade ago, a plague of locusts nearly 40 miles wide swept over Egypt damaging crops at the majority of the country’s farms…”

The timing is indeed interesting…

Locusts “Kosher”

The Times of Israel wrote on March 3:

“In the last few days, a devastating plague of locusts, numbering in the tens of millions, has been sweeping across Egypt. In Israel, the Ministry of Agriculture is on full alert. A special hotline has been set up, and the pesticides have been prepared. Hopefully, modern agricultural technology will help us avoid disasters such as that of 1915, when a plague of locusts in Israel led to much tragedy…

“It is commonly overlooked that not only does the Torah permit man to eat certain mammals, birds and fish, but it even permits him to eat certain insects – namely, several types of locusts. The identification of the kosher varieties was lost amongst European Jews, who were not exposed to locust swarms. But Jews from North Africa maintained a tradition regarding kosher locusts.

“The expert on identifying kosher species today is my colleague Dr. Zohar Amar… He has identified the species for which there is the most widespread tradition amongst North African Jews as… the Egyptian desert locust. This is by far the most common species of locust, and it is the species currently swarming in Egypt…”

The Telegraph reported on March 8 that the locusts had reached Israel, adding: “Israel’s agriculture ministry battled to contain an infestation of locusts that threatened to destroy thousands of acres of crops after swarming into the south of the country from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.”

… and Other Infestations Feared

Mail On Line added on March 4:

“As swarms of locust devour Egyptian crops, the Middle East is bracing for the destructive bugs to migrate their way ahead of the Passover holiday. A swarm of an estimated 30million insects has been devastating crops in Egypt, fuelling apocalyptic fears because of the infestation’s proximity to the Bible story of Passover in which a swarm of locusts, the eighth of ten plagues, is imposed on Egyptians by God for enslaving and abusing ancient Hebrews…

“The infestation comes as a study warns that yellow-legged Asian hornets that prey on bees are among the latest non-native species threatening UK wildlife, and even people’s health. A growing number of alien species, from killer shrimps to Spanish slugs, are set to soon reach our shores, a Europe-wide study warns. The Asian hornet, which grows to between 2.5cm and 3cm (1-1.2 inches), preys on native honeybees, wasps and other pollinators, potentially devastating hives and threatening honey and crop production.”

Hamas Warns of Visit of Temple Mount

The Times of Israel wrote on February 26:

“Responding to unconfirmed rumors that US President Barack Obama intends to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during his trip to Israel next month, the Hamas terror group warned the American leader against the idea on Tuesday, calling it ‘a diplomatic catastrophe,’ and local Muslim leaders set stiff conditions for a presidential tour there. A statement issued by Hamas called Obama’s potential visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, located at the southern perimeter of the Mount, ‘an imminent danger which the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem have never faced.’

“Hamas stated that a visit by the American president to the contested site under the auspices of ‘the Zionist occupation’ would be more dangerous than the relocation of any country’s embassy to Jerusalem, considering the international preeminence of the United States. The Temple Mount, revered by Jews as the site of the first and second temples and by Muslims as the point from which Muhammad ascended to heaven, is administered by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a trust that has governed the site since the 12th century…

“Israel took control of Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Temple Mount, in the 1967 Six Day War…”

It should not be coming as a surprise that especially European powers will pretty soon respond in kind to Hamas’s ongoing provocations. While the Temple Mount is indeed the place where the first and second temples had been built, the idea that Mohammed ascended from there to heaven is a fairy tale, as no one has ascended to heaven except Jesus Christ.

Hugo Chavez Dies

JTA wrote on March 6:

“For more than a decade, Venezuelan Jews have been holding their breath, subject to the whims of a mercurial president who used his bully pulpit to intimidate, rail against Israel and embrace Iran. There was the police raid of a Caracas school in 2004, allegedly to search for evidence in the high-profile murder case of a prosecutor. There were the demands by President Hugo Chavez when war broke out between Israel and Hamas in December 2008 that his country’s Jews rebuke Israel for its conduct in Gaza. There was Chavez’s warm alliance with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There was the use of state radio to spread anti-Semitic canards.

“Most recently, there were revelations that Venezuela’s intelligence service, SEBIN, was spying on the country’s Jewish community. While Chavez never explicitly threatened the Jews of Venezuela, his frequent harassment and staunchly anti-Israel positions kept them continually on edge. Afraid to criticize their president, the Jewish community found itself in a predicament that took on a frightening resemblance to the one faced by Jews in another staunchly anti-Western, anti-Zionist country: Iran.

“But even with Chavez gone, felled by an undisclosed cancer at age 58 just weeks into his fourth term, Venezuelan Jews aren’t quite ready to exhale. For one thing, Chavez leaves behind a country wracked by violent crime and mired in economic turmoil. For another, Chavez played such a commanding role in Venezuelan life and politics that nobody is quite sure what will happen to the country. Perhaps most notably for Venezuela’s Jews, far fewer of them are still around to find out.

“Over the past 14 years, Jews have been leaving the country in droves. When Chavez was elected in 1999, there were more than 20,000 Jews living in Venezuela. Today the community is estimated to have fallen to less than half that number… Jews were not the only ones to take flight from the Chavez regime. Hundreds of thousands of upper- and middle-class Venezuelans left during the Chavez years, seeking to escape Venezuela’s anti-business climate, the government’s nationalization of private companies, economic crises and a soaring crime rate…”

It has been proclaimed that one should not say anything negative about a person who just died, and it is common knowledge that worldly preachers love to preach their sheep into heaven, no matter how evil they might have acted during their lives. The truth is that Hugo Chavez was an unscrupulous dictator and a despot—a radical enemy of the Western World. As the article above points out, he was a totalitarian and an intolerant intimidator.

In addition, as the Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA) reported, “the personal fortune of the Castro brothers [in Cuba] has been estimated at a combined value of around $2 billion. The Chávez Frías family in Venezuela has amassed a fortune of a similar scale since the arrival of Chávez to the presidency in 1999… Cuba is receiving about $5 billion per year from the Venezuelan treasury and in oil shipments and other resources. We believe that organized Bolivarian criminal groups within the Chávez administration have subtracted around $100 billion out of the nearly $1 trillion in oil income…”

In light of these devastating facts, the international comments from Western politicians regarding Chavez’ death are incredible, but then—they are true to spineless political correctness.

Der Spiegel Online wrote on March 6:

“German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued a statement saying Chávez’s death, not unexpected after the leader’s long battle with cancer, was ‘a heavy blow.’ He added that Venezuela would move on to ‘new times,’ and that the country ‘has great potential, and democracy and freedom are the right paths to realize this potential.’ [According to The Local, Westerwelle added: “We feel sympathy for the pain of the deceased’s family and the grief of the Venezuelan people.”] French President François Hollande, a Socialist whose electoral campaign’s focus on social justice was akin to the spirit of Chávez’s message, noted that ‘not everyone shared’ his political views. But he praised the leader’s ‘undeniable will to fight for justice and development.’

“British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed condolences to Venezuela and the Chávez family. He said Chávez’s 14 years in the presidency ‘left a lasting impression on the country and more widely.’ European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said they received the news with ‘sadness.’ In a joint statement, the two said: ‘Venezuela has stood out for its social development and for its contribution to South America’s regional integration.’… President Vladimir Putin called Chávez ‘a close friend of Russia’ and ‘an unorthodox and strong person.’…

“The response in the United States… was much more restrained. President Barack Obama issued a statement expressing Washington’s support for the ‘Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government.’ Obama’s statement said the country was now entering a ‘new chapter,’ and that ‘the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law and respect for human rights.’

“Just hours before the announcement of Chávez’s death, Vice President Nicolas Maduro made an angry speech denouncing enemies he said were trying to undermine democracy in Venezuela. Maduro added that two US military attachés had recently been expelled for trying to destabilize the country. In the months leading up to Chávez’s death, Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader, emerged as the all-but-certain successor to the presidency. Polls suggest he maintains a comfortable lead against conservative challenger Henrique Capriles as a new vote looms.

“Chávez beat Capriles just five months ago in elections that were criticized by the West for favoring Chávez from the beginning. New elections are to be held in 30 days, according to the Foreign Ministry in Caracas. Maduro is to assume the role of interim president.”

So it appears that nothing will change, and Venezuela’s anti-Western, anti-Semitic and anti-American politics will continue, despite nice words from European politicians. To add insult to injury, and blasphemy to stupidity, the Guardian reported on March 8 that “Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been… saying that Hugo Chávez will be resurrected along with Jesus Christ in his tribute to the Venezuelan president who died on Tuesday.” Of course, this is total nonsense, insofar as Chavez is concerned, but it also reflects the false teaching of the Koran claiming that Jesus Christ is dead and needs to be resurrected in the future. According to the Bible, such a teaching constitutes blasphemy and as long as such false religious views are embraced, any access to God the Father is blocked.

Sequestration in Place

Deutsche Welle reported on March 2:

“President Barack Obama on Friday signed an order that begins across-the-board budget cuts of $85 billion (65 billion euros) known as the ‘sequester’ after last-ditch talks between Republicans and Democrats failed. The ‘sequestration’ means that government agencies must now begin to hack a total of $85 billion from their budgets between Saturday and October 1. However, Congress can stop them at any time if the two parties agree on how to do so. New US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the cuts, half of which will fall on the Pentagon, put at risk ‘all of our missions.’

“The sequester was passed as a bipartisan solution to an earlier fiscal emergency in 2011. The cuts were meant to be so dire, that it would act as an incentive for the two parties to reach a more better [sic] compromise to reign in the country’s massive debt. On Thursday the Senate voted down two separate proposals that would have replaced existing legislation and prevented the automatic austerity measures from kicking in.

“President Obama’s Democrats presented a bill in the Senate designed to generate more revenue for the government by increasing taxes on high earners. The Republicans’ proposal did not include provisions to raise more tax revenue, but would have given the president the power to determine which spending programs to cut. However, neither proposal got the 60 Senate votes needed to pass, with members of the two parties blaming each other… Washington must now turn to the issue of slashing the budget deficit and the $16 trillion national debt. On March 27 a temporary federal budget, agreed on to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff,’ is due to expire.”

No solutions are in sight, and what might perhaps look like a solution is not even pursued…

USA a Kindergarten?

In an accompanying article, Deutsche Welle wrote on March 2:

“It makes you shake your head in disbelief. US President Barack Obama was touring the country and repeatedly explained that the automatic budget cuts ‘will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research’ as well as endangering borders and airspace. Criminals would have an easy laugh as FBI staff would be forced to take time off. In short: it would be a national catastrophe. Then, the crucial day arrives: March 1. The president once more faces the press to warn about the consequences of the cuts. But he seems surprisingly relaxed and in the end even goes as far as saying that, in fact, it’s not an apocalypse – but merely stupidity. So it’s not the end of the world after all? Fact is that the cuts of around $85 billion (65 billion euros) this year will only be felt gradually and they can be stopped any time – should there be a deal in Congress. Or should elected representatives decide to spread the cuts in a more sensible way…

“It is, indeed, silly to cut all national expenses by the same percentage without setting any priorities. Sequestering the money was supposed to be a tool to apply some pressure on Democrats and Republicans to find a compromise in the budget debate when the parties got locked in a struggle back in 2011 over the debt ceiling. But one thing’s become clear since then: Setting an ultimatum doesn’t get this Congress to get it to solve the problem, all an ultimatum does is get them to postpone making a decision. The debate on raising the debt ceiling will be back on the agenda in May. And the government will again be unable to pay its bills should Congress fail to agree that the 2012 budget can be transferred to 2013. The reason behind that move? A budget hasn’t been passed in years; the president hasn’t even proposed one for 2013. The deadline for doing so passed on (the) first Tuesday in February. The explanation was that things were too busy with the debate on the fiscal cliff at the end of 2012; it’s not exactly competent leadership skills that the government is showing here…

“And so the country is tumbling from one deadline to the next self-imposed deadline; from one pseudo crisis to the next. But it’s not the arbitrarily fixed debt ceiling of the haircut approach to cuts that is the problem, but the inability of elected officials to come up with a constructive solution. The problem is also the mountain of debt which is far beyond $16 trillion and still growing and the social programs, which without reform will be impossible to finance in the future.

“Although Obama trying to create a bit of panic wasn’t his finest hour, it was still the Republicans who are at fault. They have lost the last presidential vote and again got bogged down with their no-new-taxes policy after they had to make concessions in the fiscal cliff showdown of 2012… Boehner, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, has no authority within his own party, while in the Senate the Republicans have a large enough minority to block the Democrats – a policy they pursue with disregard for the consequences…

“The financial world so far remains unimpressed by the recent theater in Washington. The population, however, believes that the cuts will have massive consequences on the US economy. According to a poll by the Pew Institute, 45 percent of people blame the Republicans in Congress and 32 percent the president. Another 13 percent believe that both sides are to blame. But an increasing number of Americans are simply turning away in frustration. They don’t even follow the debate anymore… Currently though, Congress is like a kindergarten where little kids sit in a sandpit and fight over a shovel while the teacher repeatedly threatens sending everyone to detention but eventually gives up. It’s a sad picture of the oldest democracy and last superpower on the globe.”

Even though one may or may not be ready to agree with every aspect and opinion stated in the above-quoted article, as to who is to be blamed for what, one thing is clear: the picture that the USA is painting of itself for the rest of the world is embarrassing, appalling and self-destructive. Deutsche Welle—which cannot be classified as liberal— is by far not the only news agency with their assessment and conclusion. Note the following excerpts from other news reports.

USA Chooses Not to Govern

On February 28, Newsmax discussed with approval a piece by the Washington Post on the debacle of America’s sequestration:

“The Washington Post on Thursday slammed both Congress and President Barack Obama for choosing ‘not to govern’ and reaching a deal to avert the $85 billion in broad government cuts scheduled to take place on Friday. ‘To govern is to choose,’ The Post said in an editorial. ‘Congress and President Obama have chosen not to govern. Instead, each side has concluded that its interest lies in letting the “sequester” proceed as scheduled — and then trying to win the political blame game. ‘This abdication is bad public policy,’ The Post said. The newspaper attacked the idea of indiscriminate agency cuts — and how these cuts will lead to employee furloughs and loss of pay. In addition, sequestration will do little to solve the nation’s long-term budget issues…

“‘Washington has reached a strange place indeed when the opposition party offers the president more control over spending — and he refuses it,’ The Post continued. ‘A strange place, and a sad one,” The Post concluded.”

A strange and sad place indeed.

Woodward Did Not Exaggerate

Newsmax wrote von March 1:

“Newspaper editor and book author Bob Woodward continued his battle with President Barack Obama’s administration on Thursday, saying the White House is playing the ‘old trick’ of attacking the messenger because he accurately reported the president’s reversal on the upcoming sequester. ‘They got caught and — this is an old trick — make the conduct of the press the issue rather than their conduct,’ Woodward told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday night…  Woodward, an associate editor for The Washington Post, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday that he received an email he interpreted as threatening from a top White House official — since identified as Gene Sperling, economic adviser to the president — regarding Obama’s actions on the upcoming sequester…

“The White House also has been very successful at controlling the press, Woodward said. ‘The barriers have come up,’ he told Hannity. ‘We know less about what’s going on.’”

Newsmax wrote in an accompanying article on March 1 :

“Political analyst Dick Morris believes Bob Woodward was right on the money and not exaggerating about what has been called a threat against him by an Obama Administration official. ‘If there’s one guy in Washington who people can and should trust, and only one guy, he’s Bob Woodward,’’ Morris [said]… ‘This man has written 10 to 15 books … all going out on a limb and identifying confidential stuff that went on in the White House in every administration. He’s always been proven right, he’s never been contradicted successfully, and he’s always sticking his neck out and he’s always correct.’… Morris, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton, said since Woodward’s complaint, the press has ganged up on him… ‘When the chief economic adviser says you will regret having taken that position – that is not an expression of ideological discontent. It’s a threat.’’”

America’s Support of Egypt’s Radical Brotherhood

The Washington Times wrote on March 4:

“Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s release of $250 million in economic and budgetary aid to Egypt added fresh fuel to an already fiery debate in Washington over whether the U.S. should be helping to fund a government run by the Muslim Brotherhood. But while several lawmakers have called for a halt of U.S. assistance to Egypt, most analysts agree Congress lacks the will to divert the roughly $1.3 billion in military aid that Washington continues to sends to Cairo each year.

“With lawmakers caught up in ‘dysfunction and gridlock,’ the Obama administration will ‘probably continue to have broad leeway to continue the current military and economic assistance,’ said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress…

“The issue of U.S. assistance to Egypt has for months driven a foreign policy wedge between the White House and Congress, where several lawmakers have cited concerns about everything from the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government’s handling of security to its treatment of women and opposition groups, to the Islamic party’s relationship with Israel… The United States, according to analysts, has channeled some $71.6 billion in bilateral foreign assistance to Egypt between 1948 and 2011…”

A Wrong Move at the Wrong Time

On March 4, Fox News published an article by Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice:

“Secretary of State John Kerry has made exactly the wrong move. Releasing $250 million in aid to Egypt’s fragile Muslim Brotherhood government — based on nothing more than hopes and promises — is the worst possible course of action and gives a hostile and repressive regime a lifeline at precisely the wrong time. In fact, given the Muslim Brotherhood’s recent record, it’s impossible to believe any promises of ‘reform.’

“As Egypt’s economy continues to crumble, and periodic violence flares in Cairo and in cities along the Suez canal, and Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi’s consistent priority has been pressing his radical anti-American and anti-Israel agenda. The list of the Muslim Brotherhood’s sins is long and growing:

“Egypt is violently persecuting its Coptic Christian minority, even going so far as arresting small children for allegedly defiling the Koran. Its security forces failed in their legal responsibility to protect the American embassy as protestors stormed the embassy, tore down the American flag, and replaced it with the black flag of jihad. Egypt is now becoming not just a source of terrorists but also a launching pad for terror attacks; deadly terror attacks have been launched against Israel from Egyptian soil and Egyptian terrorists were present in the 2012 Benghazi attack and in the recent attack and violence in Algeria.

“Despite getting credit for brokering the Israel/Hamas cease fire last November, Egypt loudly and publicly backed Hamas, a terrorist organization and a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt has passed a Shariah-based constitution that restricts religious freedom and provides a legal basis for continued persecution of Egypt’s embattled Christian minority… Egyptian authorities denied the U.S. direct access to a Benghazi terrorist suspect, a shocking act from an alleged ‘ally.’ Finally, let’s not forget that Egypt’s president is a blatant and outspoken anti-Semite who calls Jews the ‘descendants of apes and pigs’ and said that Egyptian children should be ‘nursed’ on ‘hatred’ for Israel.

“Egypt’s repressive failures have become so obvious that even the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman has begun to sour on Egypt’s version of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ (more like an Islamist Winter). The Muslim Brotherhood’s ruthlessness is matched only by its own economic incompetence. As the people grow restless, the Morsi government is looking for something, anything, to validate and consolidate its hold on power. Fortunately for (the) Mohammed Morsi, the U.S. State Department is there to lend a hand. In addition to this recent infusion of cash – courtesy of the American taxpayer – the U.S. has given the Brotherhood something more valuable than cash: modern weaponry.

“Just as Egypt seethed with unrest, the Muslim Brotherhood and American embassy staff celebrated the delivery of four new American-made F-16 fighter jets, the first batch of 20 new jets – a $213 million gift from American taxpayers. The celebration reportedly even included glossy American photos of the deadly and agile jets staged under a huge Egyptian flag. Some have justified this delivery on the basis that the Egyptian military is a force for moderation, but it is now firmly under President Morsi’s control after he fired its Mubarak-era leadership. Others claim that we’re obligated to deliver the weapons under the terms of the Camp David accords, yet Egypt has breached the Accords repeatedly since the Arab Spring – even to the point of moving tanks into the Sinai.

“Every new F-16 or tank delivered to Egypt is another weapon that can be used to consolidate the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip on power. Every new dollar of economic aid buys the Brotherhood more time. For Mohammed Morsi, this aid represents far more than a marginal increase in military and economic strength, it also represents an American seal of approval and a stamp of legitimacy on his repressive regime. Every F-16 is a propaganda victory for the Morsi regime…”

And so, the USA is creating and financing another Frankenstein monster which will in time turn against its master…

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” – Killing of US Citizens Permitted on American Soil Through Drones?

The Telegraph reported on March 7:

“President Barack Obama has the authority to use an unmanned drone strike to kill US citizens on American soil, his attorney general [Mr Holder] has said… His statement was described as ‘more than frightening’ by Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, who had demanded to know the Obama administration’s position on the subject. ‘It is an affront the constitutional due process rights of all Americans,’ said Mr Paul, a 50-year-old favourite of the anti-government Tea Party movement, who is expected to run for president in 2016…

“Mr Paul on Wednesday evening took to the floor of the Senate to launch an old-fashioned filibuster in an effort to delay a vote on the approval of Mr Brennan for CIA director. ‘I won’t be able to speak forever, but I’m going to speak as long as I can,’ he said, before embarking on several hours of criticism of Mr Obama’s compliance with the US constitution. Mr Obama has been sharply criticised for the secrecy surrounding his extension of America’s ‘targeted killing’ campaign against al-Qaeda terrorist suspects using missile strikes by unmanned drones.

“The secret campaign has killed an estimated 4,700 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. A quarter are estimated to have been civilians prompting anger among human rights campaigners. According to research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone strikes killed between 474 and 881 civilians – including 176 children – in Pakistan between 2004 and last year. Criticism within the US has focused on the implications for terror suspects who are also US citizens, after Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical cleric born and educated in the US, was killed in Yemen in 2011.

“The administration claims it has the legal authority to assassinate Americans provided that they are a senior al-Qaeda operative posing an imminent threat and it would be ‘infeasible’ to capture them. This justification emerged only last month in a leaked memo from Mr Holder’s department of justice. Mr Obama this week agreed to give Congress his full set of classified legal memos on the targeting of Americans.”

The Washington Times added on March 6:

“After years in the shadows, the administration’s secret drone program burst into very public view Wednesday with lawmakers grilling the attorney general over legal justification for targeted killings and Sen. Rand Paul launching an old-style one-man filibuster to demand answers from President Obama. The Kentucky Republican held the floor for hours, effectively blocking a vote on the nomination of John O. Brennan, whom Mr. Obama has tapped to be CIA director. He said he would relent only if the administration publicly vowed not to target Americans on U.S. soil… ‘This is a long, drawn-out day, but it’s to try to get some answers,’ Mr. Paul said after he crossed the eight-hour mark late Wednesday evening. ‘It’s to try to shame the president into doing the right thing.’

“Democrats, who control the chamber, were forced to delay a vote on the Brennan nomination until at least Thursday, and it could go into the weekend, depending on what other blockades Republicans erect. At issue is the administration’s argument that it can kill those it suspects have ties to terrorism, including U.S. citizens, without having to put them on trial.

“The fulcrum of the debate is the drone program, started under President George W. Bush and expanded by Mr. Obama, which many lawmakers said gives too much power to the executive branch — and raises tricky questions about whether drones could be used to execute Americans in the United States. The administration has only recently acknowledged the drone program…

“Mr. Paul described the legal situation as one in which one person — the president — holds the power to be the accuser, the judge and the executioner, since terrorist-designation proceedings are all contained within the executive branch and conducted generally in secret. ‘Are we so afraid of terrorism, are we so afraid of terrorists that we’re willing to just throw out our rights and freedom?’ he said…

“Mr. Brennan’s nomination cleared the Senate intelligence committee on a 12-3 vote Tuesday, but the full Senate had just begun its debate when Mr. Paul grabbed the floor at 11:47 a.m. Wednesday and refused to relinquish it. ‘“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak,’ he began.”

After almost thirteen hours, Rand Paul sat down. Maybe some will listen to Rand Paul’s very legitimate legal and practical concerns. To even contemplate such clearly unconstitutional violations, justifying executions of US citizens without any charges or trial, is indeed “beyond frightening”… (Italics) Subsequently, as the Washington Examiner reported on March 8, Attorney General Eric Holder completely changed his position. He “wrote Sen. Rand Paul… to confirm that President Obama does not have the authority to kill an American on U.S. soil in a non-combat situation, Obama’s spokesman announced today.” So, Rand Paul’s action did accomplish something. It is with utter amazement to hear that some in the Republican Party, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, openly disagreed with Rand Paul, calling his action “unfounded and ridiculous.” Incredibly, they even went further. As reported, they “took to the Senate floor this morning to defend killing American citizens at presidential discretion.”

Canada Not Happy with USA and Europe

BBC News wrote on March 1:

“The European Union and the US announced this month that they will soon begin talks on the biggest free-trade deal in history. This news was not greeted with joy in Canada, which launched its own, so far inconclusive, trade talks with the EU some four years ago… The press release said the group, the Council of Canadians, wanted to ‘put Ceta on ice’ – Ceta being the planned Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Ceta is the biggest bilateral trade deal that Canada has negotiated since the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement in 1988.

“Back then, there were vociferous protests across the country. The 1988 election was fought entirely on this one issue… The writer Margaret Atwood said the deal would ‘kill Canada’, and other public intellectuals lamented it would turn us all into Americans…

“Canada may be on the brink of a massive trade agreement with Europe that some feel could have negative repercussions for the country. Health costs could rise because the Europeans are looking for an extension on pharmaceutical patents – meaning Canadians couldn’t access cheaper generic drugs. An influx of European cheese could destabilise the heavily-protected dairy industry here.  And city councils would no longer be able to prefer local firms over international bidders. But, unlike 25 years ago, most Canadians don’t seem worried…

“The protesters in the 1980s were wrong, but in some ways they were also right. After the agreement came into force, Canada was thrown into a recession, partly because of free trade. Two hundred thousand manufacturing jobs were lost in the first two years. And while trade with the US has more than tripled, some analysts still think the deal didn’t encourage Canadian companies to become more productive, or to invest in research and development the way it was predicted they would…

“Laura Dawson is an expert on Canada-US trade… But now she is worried about the Americans again… Trade negotiations with both Korea and Central America failed when Canada’s would-be partners noticed the big guy from next door walk on to the dance floor. Laura thinks the fact that Europe is batting its eyelashes at the US spells trouble for Canada. And Nafta’s (North America Free Trade Agreement) chief negotiator agrees with her… So, in one respect, Canada’s attitude to free trade is exactly the same as it was in the 1980s… In the meantime, Ceta negotiators haven’t come to an agreement yet and so the talks will continue to wobble along…”

Is Canada losing the game of free trade agreements… signaling a downward trend? Biblically speaking, such a development IS prophesied.

Italy’s Future Within the EU

The EUobserver wrote on March 4:

“While seemingly a threat to EU stability and at the heart of possible contagion, Italy is historically used to navigating through uncertainty, short-lived governments and catastrophic economic forecasts… Undoubtedly, Italy’s elections have produced an uncertain political situation, but the world should be aware by now that uncertainty is the norm, not the exception for Italy.

“Italy’s case has time and again struck foreign observers. How is it possible that such a dysfunctional system, ineffective institutions, widespread corruption and generalised limited care for rules would allow the country to become the eighth economy worldwide? Italy has developed in a constant state of emergency, short-term planning and flexible interpretation of laws. However inexplicable, this is the way it works in the peninsula…

“Italy indeed is a difficult beast to understand – let alone tame – for the other European countries, but it is an anchor, not an iceberg, for the European integration process… Italy will deal with its domestic uncertainties…”

Indeed, a beast it is, and Italy will become one of the ten core European nations or groups of nations, comprising the final revival of the ancient Roman Empire.

Rome Founded in Worship of Jupiter, “King of the Gods”

The website of archaeology. tumblr. com wrote on February 28:

“The temple built by Romulus to celebrate the hand of Jupiter giving Roman troops their unstoppable force has been found at the foot of the Palatine Hill, Italian archaeologists say. The ruins of the shrine to Jupiter Stator (Jupiter the Stayer), believed to date to 750 BC, were found by a Rome University team led by Andrea Carandini. ‘We believe this is the temple that legend says Romulus erected to the king of the gods after the Romans held their ground against the furious Sabines fighting to get their women back after the famous Rape (abduction),’ Carandini said in the Archeologia Viva (Living Archaeology) journal.

“According to myth, Romulus founded Rome in 753 BC and the wifeless first generation of Roman men raided nearby Sabine tribes for their womenfolk, an event that has been illustrated in art down the centuries. Carandini added: ‘It is also noteworthy that the temple appears to be shoring up the Palatine, as if in defence’. Rome’s great and good including imperial families lived on the Palatine, overlooking the Forum. Long after its legendary institution by Romulus, the cult of Jupiter the Stayer fuelled Roman troops in battle, forging the irresistible military might that conquered most of the ancient known world. In the article in Archeologia Viva, Carandini’s team said they might also have discovered the ruins of the last Palatine house Julius Caesar lived in – the one he left on the Ides of March, 44BC, on his way to death in the Senate.”

Ancient Rome worshipped Jupiter, a pagan god of war. Modern Rome—the modern revival of the ancient Roman Empire—will also worship a pagan god, called in Scripture the “god of fortresses” (Daniel 11:38).

… And Now Taco Bell Guilty of Selling Horsemeat for Beef

The Associated Press reported on March 1:

“Taco Bell is the latest restaurant chain to acknowledge that its food has been adulterated with horse meat, yanking a variety of ground beef products from its three British outlets and issuing an apology to its patrons Friday. Meanwhile, in Iceland, a food official said his team had found a beef product which contained no meat at all… Taco Bell joins a long list of food providers — Nestle, Burger King, Tesco, Birds Eye, Findus and even Ikea — that have had to remove products amid horse meat revelations…

“Taco Bell stressed that its U.S. restaurants do not use meat from Europe and are not affected… the company said it would not reveal the information as the matter was being investigated by Britain’s Food Standards Agency. A spokesman could not immediately say how long the supplier had been providing food to Taco Bell, or how many customers were thought to have been affected…”

…and the revelations keep on coming… because nothing is hidden that will not be revealed…

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