The Cost of Freedom

The Cost of Freedom
Vol: 102 Issue: 31 Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No parent should ever have to bury his child.  It is unnatural.  For most parents, children are the culmination of a lifetime of sacrifice and sweat and hopes and dreams. 

Parents vicariously relive their lives through the children, carefully instructing them about life’s pitfalls, praying they won’t make the same mistakes their parents did.  

The death of child therefore robs a person’s life of much of its meaning.  The sacrifice of one’s child is a tragedy so incomprehensible that only a parent who has made such a sacrifice can understand its depth. L/Cpl Matt Snyder, USMC

Albert Snyder’s son Matthew Snyder was just twenty years old when he was killed in Iraq in the service of his country.  

The funeral of L/Cpl Matthew Snyder, USMC was one of the many picketed by the reprehensible Phelps family-run “Westboro Baptist Church.”

The Westboro Baptist Church is, in reality, a hate-group masquerading as a Christian ‘church’.   Among its website addresses is ‘godhatesfags.com’ and ‘godhatesamerica.com’.  

(I only listed the web addresses to support my assessment that they are a hate group – please don’t support them by clicking through.)

Under the 2nd Amendment, a person is a ‘minister’ when he declares himself one, and a church is a church when it starts calling itself a church. There is no doctrinal standard – and that is as it should be.

If the government could set a doctrinal standard it actually would violate the ‘separation doctrine’ – but as we know, (or should) freedom isn’t free.  There is always a price.  In this case, part of the price is the existence of such abominations as the Westboro Baptist Church.

Westboro’s ‘pastor’ is a former lawyer; disbarred in 1979 by the Kansas Supreme Court, ruling that Fred Phelps had ‘little regard for the ethics of his profession’.   Phelps has, in the years since, proved beyond all doubt that has even less regard for the ethics of ministry.

The Westboro Baptist Church is almost entirely made up of Phelps family members, many of whom are also lawyers who, unlike daddy, managed to keep their law licenses.  They support themselves by staging the most offensive protests imaginable and then suing for having their rights violated when their protests are shut down.

In 2007, Albert Snyder turned the tables on them, successfully suing the group after they disrupted his son’s funeral, carrying signs Westboro Group ''protestor'' and shouting such things as “Thank God for IED’s” and “God hates your tears”. 

The court decision found that the Westboro group had intentionally set out to inflict emotional damages (duh) and awarded Albert Snyder $5 million in damages.  

The Westboro group successfully appealed and the Court of Appeals for the Fourth District overturned the verdict against them.  

The appeals court essentially ruled that the Westboro group’s right to free speech had been violated by Albert Snyder — and ordered Snyder to pay the Westboro Group’s legal fees, totalling more than $16,000.00.

It is a difficult verdict to stomach, but it is in some weird but defining way, a victory for freedom of speech and a hard lesson on the real costs of freedom  (Don’t bail on me just yet — hear me out first and then cancel your subscription.)

The Phelps family’s conduct is reprehensible beyond description and the insult inflicted by the court on Albert Snyder, compounded by the injury of making him a debtor to his tormentors in unconscionable.

Moreover, I have every confidence that had the Westboro Baptist Church been a genuine Christian church picket an abortion clinic instead of an obviously deranged family of haters picketing the funeral of a patriot, the appeal would likely have failed.

I would be hesitant to put down in writing my own opinion of the Westboro group or how I’d like to see the situation with them handled. 

But I will risk saying that my fantasy remedy wouldn’t involve the government. And it probably would provide the (surviving) members with solid grounds for legal action.  

And it would make me feel better. 

Assessment:

One of the things about truth is that it is often distasteful.  But the truth here is that if Fred Phelps and his unbalanced family haven’t the right to free speech under the Constitution — no matter how hateful –then neither does anybody else.

What is ‘hate speech?”  It is a subjective term that has no force in law under the Constitution — the Constituion protects opinions, but it doesn’t express them.  

In a Constitutional Republic, “hate speech” describes speech that some people hate, not speech that the government hates. Or even speech that the majority hates.  

America is NOT a democracy – it is a representative republic. The majority doesn’t rule — the Constitution does.

In America’s representative Constitutional republic, individual rights take precedence over the rights of the majority. 

The individual has the Constitutionally-guaranteed right to offend the majority without fear of government interference.  Other individuals have the individual right to call them jerks. 

The government isn’t permitted opinions.

Let me explain the distinction, using the recent Ann Coulter debacle in Ottawa as an illustration.

Canada is a parliamentary democracy.  In a parliamentary democracy, the majority is supreme, not the Constitution. 

When Quebec’s language laws were ruled unconstitutional by the courts, Quebec invoked what is called the “notwithstanding clause”. 

Quebec said, in effect; “Constitution notwithstanding, the majority rules” – and so, therefore, does Quebec’s self-proclaimed exception to Canada’s Constitutionally-mandated bilingual requirements that still bind the other nine provinces.

In Canada, individual rights are extended by the government, not by the Creator.  What the government grants, the government has the authority to restrict.

Coulter was warned by university officials that Canada’s ‘hate speech’ laws could subject her to criminal prosecution, effectively using the government to silence her — before she said a word. That the effort succeeded is evidenced by the fact the event was canceled before her speech.

The problem is that ‘hate’ is subjective – it depends on the perspective of the beholder.  “Hate speech” is speech that offends.  Freedom is objective — it MUST include the freedom TO offend — or all opinion is subject to legal sanction.  

By definition, freedom is the absence of restrictions and ‘hate speech’ is a matter of subjective individual opinion, not subject to regulation by Constitutionally-objective and impartial law.

Imposing restrictions on speech subject to selective interpretation dependent on a particular perspective means speech is not free.  The liberals in Ottawa didn’t like Ann Coulter’s perspective – that was all it took to silence her.

Limited freedom is like limited pregnancy  — one can be a little bit free the way one can be a little bit pregnant.

Like being ‘a little bit pregnant’ being a ‘little bit free’ only lasts a little while.  Once freedom has been compromised a little bit, what’s left is equally subject to compromise according to selective interpretation. 

Everything about the Westboro group sickens me.  But my freedom of speech depends on theirs.   Freedom isn’t free.  But that doesn’t mean Albert Snyder should bear the physical costs of our freedom alone. 

He’s already paid far more than anyone had a right to ask. 

NoteIf you feel led of the Lord to help Al Snyder bear the financial sacrifice that freedom now demands of him,  you can send a contribution to his lawyer, (who is representing him pro-bono) Contact Barley Snyder LLC  Attn: Al Snyder Fund,  PO Box 15012, York, PA 17405-7012 or visit Matthew Snyder’s website.

The Gaza Wall Where s The Outrage?

The Gaza Wall Where s The Outrage?
Vol: 102 Issue: 30 Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Last year the Egyptian government began quietly constructing a 90-foot wall along its border with the Gaza Strip.   But the Gaza Wall doesn’t go up – it cuts straight down into the ground.

The Gaza Wall is designed to prevent cross-border traffic via tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.  The official line from Egypt is that it is honoring its peace treaty with Israel by aiding the blockade of Gaza, thereby earning points with Washington as a ‘reliable peace partner’.

There are two sides to the story – how one sees it depends on one’s perspective.

The same tunnels that carry contraband into Gaza allows Gaza refugees into Egypt — not to mention facilitating the terror networks that equally threaten the Mubarak government.

Mubarak became president after his predecessor; Anwar Sadat was assassinated by members of a group founded by al-Qaeda #2 Ayman al Zawahiri.  If al-Qaeda is in Gaza, that’s what Mubarak would like to keep them.

Additionally, Egypt has no intention of absorbing tens of thousands, if not more, Gazan refugees that would flood Egypt to escape the grinding poverty and oppressive rule of radical Islamic Hamas.

When you think of smuggler’s tunnels underneath the border, what mental image comes to mind?   A hole in the ground and a dark passageway, say, about the size of a hallway?  Those are the tunnels Americans are shown on CNN. 

Usually they open into somebody’s kitchen and the smuggler’s cargo is stuff like food, medicine, goats. . . I saw one report where a kid was smuggling a rocking chair.

Even among pro-Israel Americans, those images evoke a kind of grudging respect.  Americans respect ingenuity and it is our nature to root for the underdog – even when it’s an enemy.  

The tunnels that CNN doesn’t show you are the ones that are big enough to accommodate railway cars.    

Some reach a depth of sixty feet — and are reportedly equipped with electricity and sophisticated cable car systems.  Some are used to import trucks, heavy military equipment, rockets, trucks, weapons and ammunition.  

Israel’s Operation Cast Lead invasion of Gaza in 2008 was aimed primarily at closing some of these tunnels, and only secondarily at destroying weapons caches and taking out the rocketeers.

Israel attempted to justify the invasion by pointing to the barrage of over six thousand rockets fired from Gaza into Israeli cities and towns over the course of three years but that was deemed insufficient provocation by the international community

Palestinian fighters positioned themselves near civilian shelters, hospital emergency rooms, mosques, schools, from which they fired on Israeli tanks, hoping to draw return fire. 

That is not just Israeli propaganda – the tactics were witnessed and reported by numerous independent witnesses, including those attached to the UN.  

The UN Human Rights Commission took time away from condemning Israel for its ‘apartheid wall’ that divides Israel from the West Bank to order Human Rights Watch Board Member Judge Richard Goldstone to investigate Israel’s conduct.

When the UN’s Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead was issued, it was, as expected, a long and merciless indictment of Israeli ‘aggression against the citizens of Gaza’ — as if Israel’s invasion was unprovoked.

The Goldstone Report accused Israel of targeting civilians.  It ignored Palestinian use of human shields. It accused Israel of deliberately attacking hospitals, schools, shelters, etc.

The Goldstone Report was immediately endorsed by all the usual suspects; the EU, the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, etc.

But when it comes to Egypt’s tactics, the silence is deafening.

Assessment:

For the record, I’ve no problem with border fences.  I’m of the perspective that good fences make good neighbors.

I like all my neighbors, but we have a privacy fence all the way around our yard.  

And I wouldn’t complain if my neighbor put up a privacy fence around his yard, either.  It only serves to enhance my security — at his expense.  (Thanks, neighbor!)

Having said that, when Egyptian forces encounter a tunnel on their side, they either demolish it immediately with explosives or they fill it with gas – often with people still inside them.  Palestinian casualties inside the tunnels over the past several years are at least as high as those from Operation Cast Lead.  

Some of them are terrorists.  Some of them are civilians.  Nobody knows for sure how many are buried in collapsed tunnels and the Hamas government doesn’t keep track.

The steel 90 foot wall Egypt is burying along its border with Gaza, (like Israel’s alleged “apartheid fence”) stops the flow of weapons into Gaza for use by Palestinian terrorists.   

The Egyptians have been at it for more than a year – with nary a peep from the international community, the UN, the EU, the Arab League or any of the rest of the usual suspects.

Even the mainstream liberal media is largely taking a pass on the story.  What relatively few reports there are, (compared to, say, the Goldstone Report more than a year after its initial publication)  focus on Egypt’s [substantial] justification for building the wall.

Any evident sympathy for the plight of the Gaza Palestinians is generally saved for reports of Israeli counter-smuggling efforts.

“During a recent visit to Gaza, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told Palestinians living under an Israeli blockade that the “[United Nations] stands with you.”

Why is Bunky Moon railing against the “Israeli Blockade” and NOT about the 90 foot steel wall being buried along the Egyptian border?  Until 1967, Gaza was part of Egypt!  Now Egypt is walling them off and Bunky is blaming Israel!

For the past forty years, the Palestinians justified terrorism by claiming it was aimed at ending the ‘Israeli occupation’ so in 2005, Israel withdrew, ending the ‘occupation’ unilaterally.  

Egypt posted border guards to keep the former Egyptians from coming “home”.  The UN was ok with that. 

Then the Egyptians started blowing up or gassing tunnels with used-to-be Egyptians (and now down-trodden, oppressed Palestinian victims of Israeli territorial ambitions/and or Israeli abandonment) and the UN is ok with that.

Now Egypt has almost completed an apartheid wall to keep used-to-be Egyptians (and down-trodden, oppressed Palestinian victims of Israeli territorial ambitions/and or Israeli abandonment) from obtaining vital food and medicine denied them by their ‘Israeli oppressors’ (and victims of Gaza’s indiscriminate rocket barrages) and the UN is ok with that, too.

There have been, oh, about a gazillion terrorist attacks on Israel emanating from either Gaza or the West Bank.  So Israel fenced itself in (or fenced Gaza and the West Bank out –depending on your perspective). 

In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled:

 “Israel cannot rely on the right of self defense or on a state of necessity to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall.  Construction of the barrier is contrary to international law.”

But the International Court of Justice is ok with Egypt’s wall keeping used-to-be Egyptians out.  Or in — where they can keep on fighting against Israel. 

It all depends on your perspective.

Brits Abandon ‘Special Relationship’ with America

Brits Abandon ‘Special Relationship’ with America
Vol: 102 Issue: 29 Monday, March 29, 2010

In the 18th century, the thirteen British colonies along the coast of North America rebelled against the King of England in the long, bloody war that gave birth to the United States of America.

Relations between the Crown and its former colonies remained strained throughout the 19th century. 

The War of 1812 ended in a decisive draw that formalized the border between the US and Canada. During the Civil War, the Crown backed the Confederacy over the Union.

But the 20th century marked a new era in US-British relations.  The two nations were almost as one for the better part of the century. 

In a 1946 speech entitled “The Sinews of Peace” delivered at Westminster College, Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared the existence of a ‘special relationship’ between the British and American people.

“Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States. . .

. . . The United States has already a Permanent Defense Agreement with the Dominion of Canada, which is so devotedly attached to the British Commonwealth and Empire. This Agreement is more effective than many of those which have often been made under formal alliances. This principle should be extended to all British Commonwealths with full reciprocity. . .

. . . There is however an important question we must ask ourselves. Would a special relationship between the United States and the British Commonwealth be inconsistent with our over-riding loyalties to the World Organization? I reply that, on the contrary, it is probably the only means by which that organization will achieve its full stature and strength.”

It was during that same speech that Churchill coined the phrase “Iron Curtain” to describe those nations of the Soviet bloc.  

The “Iron Curtain” that Churchill so eloquently described has fallen. The British Empire is no more.  Burma, Britain’s last colonial holding, declared independence in 1948.    

And now, as of this week, according to the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, the ‘special relationship’ between the British and the United States no longer exists. 

The report blames George W. Bush and Tony Blair. 

“British and European politicians have been guilty of over-optimism about the extent of influence they have over the US,” said committee chairman Mike Gapes.

“We must be realistic and accept that globalization, structural changes and shifts in geopolitical power will inevitably affect the UK-US relationship”.

In the report itself, the committee of members of parliament said there were “many lessons to be learned” from Britain’s approach to the United States over the 2003 Iraq war.

Then-Premier Tony Blair stood shoulder-to-shoulder with President George W. Bush over the invasion despite a lack of wider international support.

“The perception that the British government was a subservient ‘poodle’ to the US administration leading up to the period of the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” it said.

“This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the UK.”

Britain’s Labor Party is center-left Socialist so it is unsurprising that the committee would blame George Bush for the rift between the two countries.

But according to Prime Minister Gordon Blair, that ‘special relationship’ survived the Bush administration.

It was Gordon Brown that Obama snubbed last September, following Obama’s earlier expression of respect for the British allies by gifting the Prime Minister with a Wal-Mart DVD gift box during their first meeting in March of ‘08.

That event was also widely characterized as a ‘snub’ by Obama in the British media.

Indeed, the New York Daily News headline that day read, “London Aghast at President Obama Over Gifts Given to Prime Minister Brown.

Nonetheless, insisted Brown as recently as last September, “I do say that the special relationship is strong, it continues to strengthen.”

“No 10 denied there had been any hint of a snub, saying Obama and Brown had plenty of chances to talk as they sat next to one another at the summits. . .

But as the Guardian noted dryly;

. . . But Obama has held bilateral meetings in New York with the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and the new Japanese prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama.”

It is difficult to imagine there NOT being a ‘special relationship’ between Great Britain and the United States — and in particular between the Brown administration and the Obama administration. They are political kindred spirits.  

One might blame George Bush and the Iraq War for sowing the seeds of discord among the British ruling Left.

But it was Obama that reaped the harvest.

Assessment:

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)

In 1492, the Spanish ordered the forced conversion or expulsion of all Jews from Spain, at the time, the world’s most powerful empire. 

Most of them went to England, which was at the time very welcoming of Jews.   One hundred years later, the British destroyed the Spanish Armada and for the next three hundred years, the sun never set on the British Empire.

In 1917 when the British government looked favorably upon the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine, the British Empire was at the peak of its power and influence.

In 1921, the British flag flew over a quarter of the earth’s surface and the Crown ruled over a quarter of the world’s population. 

In March, 1921, Foreign Secretary Winston Churchill severed what was to become Transjordan from the land promised by the Balfour Declaration.

“Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

In other words, the Crown was for a Jewish homeland before it was against it.

The British restricted Jewish emigration into the promised “Jewish” homeland, before and even during and after the Holocaust, sending uncounted thousands of Jews to their eventual deaths at the hands of Hitler’s henchmen. 

By the time the British Mandate ended in 1948, the mighty British Empire had literally been cut into pieces, replaced by the nominal British Commonwealth of independent nations. 

In 1993, the United States burdened itself with Jerusalem when it forced Israel into the land for peace formula formalized in the Oslo Accords.

At the time, the United States was as the zenith of its power, wealth and international prestige. 

The US had just led the largest international alliance since World War II in a successful war against Iraq to secure the liberation of Kuwait, winning the Cold War in the process.

By 2000, Israel had lost everything it had gained in the five preceding wars and was prepared to trade away Jerusalem when Yasser Arafat invoked a new uprising.  The following year, the United States was attacked by the forces of radical Islam and has been steadily cut into pieces since. 

All America’s traditional alliances are crumbling before our eyes.

We are dependent upon hostile countries for our financial health, our energy needs and, as in the case of international support for sanctions on Iran, for our security needs. 

What few genuine friends America had in the world, like Britain and (especially) Israel have openly rejected any special relationship status with the United States, overturning virtually all of the political alliances of the 20th century and leaving America to face the 21st century alone.

According to the Bible, the fate of the nations in the last days will be directly related to the manner in which they treat Israel.  God promised Abraham,

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

The Bible is filled with promises of Divine retribution against those who would stand against His people.

“Therefore saith the LORD, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge Me of Mine enemies:” (Isaiah 1:24)

“And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?” (Luke 18:7)

“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left . . ” (Matthew 25:32-33)

The Bible makes no mention of any superpower resembling the United States.  Russia is there, China is there, Europe is there, Israel is there, but there is no mention of anything resembling the world’s representative Christian country.

It isn’t that God didn’t anticipate the existence of the United States — He did.  He provided a detailed description of America’s post-Christian social and political model during the last days through the Apostle Paul’s 2nd Letter to Timothy 3:1-5. 

What I want to highlight in this briefing is the incredible accuracy of Bible prophecy, down to the tiniest detail. 

World events continue to follow the outline of Bible prophecy as if it were the script to an unfolding movie — each new element falling into place at exactly the right time to advance the plotline until you can tell what should happen next.

According to that script, the next major event on the prophetic timeline should be the Rapture of the Church.  

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  (2nd Thessalonians 4:18)

The New Blood Libel

The New Blood Libel
Vol: 102 Issue: 27 Saturday, March 27, 2010

In April, 1948, as the Jews of Israel made preparations to declare the existence of an independent Jewish State, the Grand Mufti of Egypt issued a fatwa declaring jihad in Palestine as an obligation for all Muslims worldwide.

In 1956, the new grand mufti of Egypt elaborated the key points of the fatwa. Because all Palestine had been conquered by jihad, it was now a permanent possession of the global Muslim Umma, Palestine was “fay territory” (booty) to be governed by Islamic law.

Quoting directly from the text written by Sheikh Hasan Ma’moun, and signed by the leading members of the Fatwa Committee of Al Azhar;

“Muslims cannot conclude peace with those Jews who have usurped the territory of Palestine and the tactics people and their property in any manner which allows the Jews to continue as a state in that sacred Muslim territory.”

On May 16, 2008 Osama bin Laden issued an audio message proclaiming that “is a duty to free Palestine…is the most important issue for the Islamic nation,” and he urged “iron and fire” to end Israel’s self-defensive blockade of Gaza.

The root of the word Jihad, appears 40 times in the Koran and in subsequent Islamic understanding — from the greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam (including Abu Yusuf, Averroes, Ibn Khaldun, and Al Ghazzali), to ordinary people means “he fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and the like.”

As described by the Arabic lexicographer E.W Lane, “Jihad came to be used by the Muslims to signify wag[ing] war, against unbelievers.”

The Fourth International Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research at Al Azhar, Cairo, upheld the contemporary understanding of jihad in 1968.  

Muhammad al-Sobki ruled:  

…the words Al Jihad, Al Mojahadah, or even “striving against enemies” are equivalents and they do not mean especially fighting with the atheists…they mean fighting in the general sense…” (Jewcy.com)

TownHall columnist Diana West notes in her column,  “A Sudden Turn Against Israel” that General David Petraeus, together with a host of other alleged Middle East ‘experts’  continues to advance the Arab League’s contention that “Arab anger over Palestine” is what is behind the war with al-Qaeda.

West quotes from an email she received from “a prominent conservative commentator” over Petraeus written statement to the Senate. 

“I would think that Jewish leaders would be appalled by Petraeus’ statement (‘The Jews are protecting their property with the blood from the bodies of our dead young men!!!’)

“It is about 95 percent the way to the ‘blood libel’ that, I hate to admit, Christians used in the Middle Ages against the Jewish people.”

The only place where I might disagree is that I don’t see as, “95%” of the way to the historical Jewish ‘blood libel.’   That would mean it’s five percent true.  

Assessment:

Blaming Israel for the jihad against the Christian West is not much different than blaming the Jews of medieval Europe for the bubonic plague. 

The jihad against Western Christendom predate Israel’s restoration in 1948 by about 1400 years. Islam’s first efforts to conquer Europe by force date back to the Battle of Tours in October, 732. 

The Battle of Vienna ended the Islamic Ottoman Empire’s effort to conquer Christian Europe that began under Suleiman the Magnificent on September 11, 1683.  

That is why Osama bin Laden chose September 11 as the date of his big attack against America and not May 14th.  It wasn’t in revenge for Israel’s restoration, it was in revenge for Islam’s defeat at Vienna 300 years earlier.

The existence of Israel as the roots of jihad against the West is a smokescreen.   If Israel was conquered by Islam and every single Jew were either murdered or expelled, it wouldn’t mean the end of jihad against the Christian West. 

It would simply create a new front from which they would continue the jihad. 

The Obama administration’s dangerously naïve foreign policy perspective is nowhere more obvious than in its handling of the Arab-Israeli ‘peace’ process. 

It has been clear from the start that Obama sees Israel as the obstacle to peace, demonstrating one of two possible and equally dangerous possible worldviews.   Either he has zero understanding of Islam, or he has zero understanding of Judaism.

Israel cannot surrender Temple Mount without denying their historical reason for existence.  Hamas cannot make peace with Israel without denying its chartered goal of Israel’s destruction and its replacement with an Islamic state. 

World-wide Islam cannot surrender al Aqsa without abandoning the doctrine of fay territory.  

For either side to make peace means abandoning the basic doctrines of their respective religions.

The Obama administration’s fury at Israel’s construction projects ongoing in undisputed Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem seems to have baffled the Netanyahu government. 

As Jerusalem sees things, it is much too much anger over far too little provocation. 

Consequently, Netanyahu was totally blindsided by the diplomatic humiliation dumped on him during last week’s visit to Washington.  Had he known Obama planned to use the trip to weaken him politically back home, it’s unlikely he would have made the trip.

The administration appears to have made a conscious decision to appease Islam by turning away from Israel.   It is clear that the government is seeking out provocations, either real or imagined, that it can use to distance itself from the Jewish State.

US efforts to appease Islam have been tried before.  They didn’t work.

The First Barbary war ended in 1805 when the US began quietly paying a dhimmi tax to the Ottoman Empire to prevent attacks on its shipping.   A  Second Barbary War was authorized by President Madison ten years later, since paying tribute only encouraged more attacks.

(It was the Second Barbary War that is immortalized in the first line of the Marines Corps Hymn, “to the shores of Tripoli.”)

Turning away from Israel won’t appease Osama bin Laden and his merry band of terrorists and end the jihad against the West.   The jihadist war isn’t against Israel.  It isn’t against America. 

It is against Israel’s and America’s God.  

Ready To Rebuild?

Ready To Rebuild?
Vol: 102 Issue: 26 Friday, March 26, 2010

“For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of.

Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.

The above account is not from an Israeli source, but rather, from the British.  

The view from Israel?  “The Prime Minister leaves America disgraced, isolated and altogether weaker than when he came,” the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz said. 

The meeting comes in the wake of a UN Human Rights Council decision that calls on Israel to pay reparations to Palestinians in Gaza for damages inflicted during “Operation Cast Lead” in late 2008.

The proposal by Pakistan was passed by a vote of 29-6, with 11 abstentions.  It also calls on the International Committee of the Red Cross to investigate Israel’s suspected use of white phosphorous during that offensive, which ended in January 2009.

Significantly, the Council did not call on Palestinians to make similar reparations payments to Israel.  Why is that significant? 

Because Israel did not launch its offensive against Gaza in a vacuum.  Over the course of three years, more than 6,000 Hamas rockets rained down on Israel before the Israelis launched the Gaza invasion.

It is as absurd as demanding that the British pay war reparations to Hitler for damages done to Germany — while ignoring the London Blitzkrieg.  It is the absurdity of the situation that makes it noteworthy.

The rift, as we’ve discussed in previous briefs, is an invention with no substance. 

Obama was said to be “livid” over Israel’s plan to construct new housing in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem.  But both sides have already agreed the neighborhood would remain on the Israeli side of any eventual settlement over Jerusalem.

So it is much ado about nothing.  But for some reason, the White House has elected to make nothing into something.  And the Palestinian side is only too happy to cooperate.

They want regime change in Israel as much as Obama does.

Netanyahu’s humiliation in Washington was compounded by the Palestinian “Day of Rage” on March 17th. Incited by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups, masked rioters torched tires, stoned Israeli border police and stormed Temple Mount.

Israeli Arab MK Talab El-Sana incited more rioting during a broadcast he made from inside the al Aqsa Mosque. (El-Sana is a full Israeli citizen and member of its parliament!)

“The Netanyahu government is dangerous and irresponsible, and is leading the region to a third intifada . .  . There is a renewed occupation of east Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque, gunshots can be heard in every direction.”

The rioting came two days after the rededication of the Hurva Synagogue.  The Hurva Synagogue is located about 800 yards from the Temple Mount.  

The Hurva Synagogue was founded in the early 1700’s by followers of Rabbi Judah the Pious, but was destroyed a few years later in 1721.

The Jewish sage Eliajah ben Shlomo Zalman (aka the “Vilna Gaon” or “genius of Vilna”) prophesied that the synagogue would be destroyed and rebuilt twice and that when the Hurva was rebuilt for the third time, construction on the Third Temple would begin.

The site laid in ruins for 140 years, hence the name “Hurva” (the ruin).

It was rebuilt in 1864 and was Jerusalem’s main Ashkenazi synagogue until it was again destroyed in 1948 by the Arab Legion during Israel’s War of Independence.

In 2000, the government of Israel granted permission to rebuild the Hurva and on March 15th, the Hurva was officially rededicated.

Two days later, citing the Hurva prophecy, the Palestinians kicked off their “Day of Rage” claiming an imminent reoccupation of the al Aqsa Mosque.

Ironically, the Palestinians accuse Israel is planning to build a Third Temple while resting their territorial aspirations on the claim that the First and Second Temples never existed, therefore, it belongs to them.

Yasser Arafat reputedly denied any pre-existing Jewish presence on Temple Mount during the Camp David negotiations, infuriating Bill Clinton and prompting Israeli PM Ehud Barak to ask sarcastically, “Where did Jesus drive the money-changers from?  The mosque?”

Assessment:

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed:” (Genesis 12:3)

In 1993 when Bill Clinton prompted a reluctant Yitzhak Rabin to take the blood-stained hand of Yasser Arafat following the Oslo signing at the Rose Garden, America was at the pinnacle of its power and prestige.

Do you remember?  The Berlin Wall had just come down. American military superiority put to the test in the Gulf War had so overwhelmed the Soviet-equipped Iraqi Army (then the fifth-largest in the world) that the Soviet Union collapsed, ending the Cold War.

The economy was well into a recovery that would lead to a balanced budget before the end of the decade.  Few people in America had heard of al-Qaeda.  America was healthy, wealthy, vibrant and basking in the glow of peace and safety.

The Oslo Agreement was rooted in the principle of “land for peace” or, as the Prophet Daniel put it, “dividing the land for gain.” 

It purported to trade the miraculous gains made by Israel during the 1967 and 1973 wars that recovered Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria from Arab occupation in exchange for peace with the Palestinian terrorists led by Yasser Arafat who conducted the 1989-93 intifada against Israeli civilian targets.

By 1999, Israel had traded away all of its miraculous gains in exchange for empty promises of peace.  Ehud Barak agreed to 95% of Arafat’s territorial demands and stunned the world by agreeing to the division of Jerusalem. 

Faced with the prospect of his own irrelevancy as a terrorist without a cause, Arafat turned the deal down cold.  Then, on September 13, 2000, exactly seven years after the Rose Garden ceremony, Yasser Arafat declared Oslo ‘dead’ and called for a renewal of the intifada from the steps of the Temple Mount.

Two days short of one year later, America was ‘cut in pieces’ when 19 terrorists destroyed New York’s Twin Towers and the outer ring of the Pentagon, killing more than 3,000 innocents in the process.

According to the latest Jerusalem Post polls, only 9% of Israelis view Barack Obama as “a friend” to Israel.

And according to a CNN poll conducted in the US only 39% of Americans see Israel as “an ally.” Nearly one in five Americans views Israel as either “unfriendly” or “an enemy.”

Here’s where it all comes together.   The prophet Zechariah prophesied that in the days of  the Messiah, Jerusalem would become a burdensome stone to all peoples, and that all who burden themselves with Jerusalem’s problems “will be cut in pieces.”  

Further, Zechariah prophesied Israel would stand alone and friendless.  The image of Israel alone against the whole world is a recurrent theme in Bible prophecy. 

Both Zechariah and Ezekiel say that it isn’t until Israel stands alone and friendless and without a champion that the Lord reveals Himself to Israel (and to the nations) by fighting on Israel’s behalf.  

The Palestinians, if not Israel itself, are convinced that the rededication of Hurva means that preparations for the laying of the cornerstone for the Third Temple are underway.

The Apostle Paul says that during the Tribulation, a third Temple will stand on Temple Mount.  Paul calls it the “Temple of God” and Jesus prophesies that the antichrist will desecrate it committing what Jesus Himself calls an ‘abomination of desolation.’

We’re sitting on the cusp of all these events being fulfilled at almost the same time.  All that is necessary is the catalyst to get things moving.  

With that in mind, look back to Paul’s description of the Third Temple as the “Temple of God” and the Lord’s statement that the Temple can be desecrated – and is therefore regarded – by Him– as sacred.

During the Church Age, the Temple of God consists of individual believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  (1st Corinthians 3:17)   

During the Tribulation, the Jewish Temple on Temple Mount is not only operational (Daniel 9:27) but both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul declare it ‘legitimate’.

The Tribulation Period is the last of Daniel’s 70 Weeks.  It is the time of “Jacob’s Trouble,” when the Lord turns His full attention to the national redemption of Israel.   It therefore operates according to the Old Testament economy (the Law).

Under the Law, a properly consecrated, rebuilt Jewish Third Temple on Temple Mount would be as legitimate and as sacred as either the First or Second Temples were.  And the New Testament concurs.

Paul hints at the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant being in the Holy of Holies (2nd Thessalonians 2:4).

Jesus Christ says the antichrist’s presence there is “the abomination that maketh desolate” an event that can only occur in a legitimate, operational Jewish Third Temple.

The theological problem here is that the Jewish Temple cannot be legitimate during the Age of Grace without conflicting with the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone. 

The only satisfactory solution to the theological problem is the conclusion that the Age of Grace has already concluded and that the living Temples of God have been withdrawn, together with the Restrainer that indwells them, at the Rapture of the Church.

Everything is in place – all that remains is to kick over that first domino poised to start the inevitable chain reaction.   It could be the Rapture itself.  Or it could be something else.

But whatever starts it, I believe the Scriptures make it clear that we’ll be gone long before the last domino falls.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.”  (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)

I can think of no more comforting words than those.

The Tolerant Left

The Tolerant Left
Vol: 102 Issue: 25 Thursday, March 25, 2010

Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Democrat Rep. James Clyburn held a press conference to complain that they have received at least ten threats against Democrat House members in the wake of their passage of ObamaCare.

Hoyer gave no specifics about who was threatened or what the nature of the threats are – indeed, they can’t even say for certain that there were ten threats.  Hoyer repeatedly insinuated that Republican leaders need to speak out in their defense and condemn violence. 

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver complained that he was spat upon and abused by protestors (dubbed “Tea Partiers” – actual affiliation unknown) but there were no arrests.  

Cleaver says he told police he didn’t want to press charges.  There is no independent confirmation the event even occurred.  But if it had, why wouldn’t he press charges?  A crime is a crime, is it not?  Is Cleaver protecting the ‘tea partiers’?     

Why would he do that?  If it was so serious that he filed a complaint with the House leadership, why not file a complaint with the cops?  

One might almost think Cleaver didn’t actually want the incident investigated. But that would be strange – unless either the incident never really happened – or the protestor was from the Far Left — who were also represented among the protestors and also opposed the bill, albeit for different reasons.

The righteous indignation expressed by the Democrat side has a hollow ring: 

Minority Leader John Boehner already has condemned threats of violence — and sought to explain why people are so angry.

“I know many Americans are angry over this health care bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening,” Boehner said. “But, as I’ve said, violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change. Call your congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, make your voice heard — but let’s do it the right way.”

A Republican aide also pointed out that over the years Republican members of Congress received their fair share of death threats during volatile times. Newt Gingrich after the 1994 Republican revolution and the late Henry Hyde during the Clinton impeachment in 1998 both received numerous death threats. And just last month, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) received death threats after his filibuster of unemployment benefits, according to a report in Roll Call

It isn’t that Hoyer wasn’t aware of it – there have been more condemnations coming from the Right over the alleged death threats than there have been complaints from the Left. 

Does anybody seriously believe that, had the vote gone the other way, that there wouldn’t have been rioting in the streets?   Does anyone else remember the violence during the campaign?  The jack-booted thugs carrying nightsticks outside polling places?  

More typical are these incidents from the campaign trail when Obama was trying to build support for the controversial ‘card check’ measure that would force workers to reveal whether they vote in favor of unionizing  — or if they voted against it. 

◦In St. Louis, Missouri six were arrested for assault, resisting arrest, or suspicion of committing peace disturbances. At the same town-hall meeting, a black conservative activist was hospitalized and subjected to racial slurs. 

◦In Tampa, Florida a fistfight broke out after constituents were barred from entering their town-hall meeting by union workers. 

◦Looking to circumvent violence, police in Memphis, Tennessee were called to breakup several yelling matches. 

There’ve been Tea Party rallies in practically every state in the Union.  Literally millions of Americans have turned out en masse.  The Tea Party rallies have received virtually no major media coverage.   Why? 

No violence.  No angry ‘mobs’. There’s lots of anger, make no mistake about it.   But no mobs.  To my knowledge, out of all those millions of protestors in those hundreds, if not thousands of rallies,  there has yet to be a single Tea Partier arrested for disorderly conduct. 

It would be amusing if it were not so pathetic.  

The Left is all about ‘tolerance’.   Typical of the Left’s version of tolerance is this headline from the Huffington Post:  “Racism and the Tea Party.” 

In it, writer Melissa Webster relates the time she let a little black boy drown because she was too racist to perform CPR.   

“Could I have saved him? I don’t know. I don’t know if it was already too late. All I know is I didn’t even try, and in that moment I knew, “You don’t kiss a black boy,” was wrong. It was all wrong, everything I had been taught, the bigotry, the intolerance, the superiority was just wrong. My profound moment came at a heavy price I wish for no one, because at eleven years old innocence shouldn’t be shattered by confronting racism, even when it is within one’s self. The racism shouldn’t have existed at all.” 

The moral of the story is that Webster is qualified to pronounce judgment on all members of the Tea Party because they are as racist as she,  and as a consequence, “somebody else could end up dead.”. 

I’m not making this up: 

“Because this Tea Party group, which has taken over conservative politics, has no sense of humility, no concept of the Constitution or the legislative process, and no flexibility in their ideology, my fear is this is just the beginning. At some point we’ll all be shocked because the violence gets worse, and as that eleven year old girl, raised in ignorance and fear, learned the hard way, someone could end up dead.”

(Perhaps one day, Mellissa Webster will move beyond her ignorance and fear — but for now, all we can do is pray for her.)

 Meanwhile, the real world,  in terms of provable acts of ‘violence’ committed by Tea Partiers,  the only thing the Dems can cite is that a coffin was placed on a Missouri Democrat’s lawn, which Politico calls  “another in a string of incidents against lawmakers after their vote Sunday on a health care overhaul.” 

That ‘violent incident’ added to the list of those committed “against lawmakers” was a prayer vigil!   

Carnahan spokesman Jim Hubbard told POLITICO Wednesday evening “We can disagree on important issues facing our country without resorting to this kind of thing. Russ Carnahan isn’t going to shy away from the importance of reform when 45,000 fellow Americans died last year due to a lack of health insurance.” 

How dare they pray so violently!  Oh, those murderously violent and intolerant Tea Partiers! 

Assessment:

One can take lessons in what the Left considers ‘tolerance’ from the reaction of the Canadian Left to a planned speech by Ann Coulter at the University of Ottawa.  

Canada’s international reputation is because it leans center-left politically,  is much more open-minded and tolerant than it’s center-right American neighbors.  But Canada defines ‘open-minded and tolerant’ in exactly the same way as does the American Left. 

To be fair, most Canadians only know what they read in the Canadian media. What US news they do get comes primarily from CNN.  So there is at least some excuse for their reaction. Since the liberals in government control almost all of what they see, hear and read, they don’t know any better. 

For example,   Fox News was barred from broadcasting in Canada until 2004 because the CRTC objected to its perceived “right wing bias”.  

It wasn’t until the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) approved al Jazeera’s broadcast license that the CRTC approved Fox News – but only on premium digital cable. 

For example, if a Canadian wanted to subscribe to Fox News, it comes as part of a ‘bundle’ called “Fact And Fiction.”   (Click on ‘theme pack’)    CNN, on the other hand, is on basic cable and has been carried in Canada since its first broadcast. 

So when Ann Coulter was booked to speak at the University of Ottawa, there were threats of riots.  The Canadian newspapers were filled with invectives about Coulter, most of which opened by saying, “we believe in free speech, but. . . .” 

A typical letter to the editor is this one to the Calgary Sun:  

“Ann Coulter should not even be allowed into our country, let alone speak to our youth. I saw a CNN clip and was disturbed. According to her, we Canadians should be grateful they (Americans) allow us to live on the same continent. (They tried to take our country once and got their butts kicked.) We all live in igloos, we all ride dog sleds! Not to mention she hates all French people! Change French to blacks and what do you have? The same thing, a racist pig! If the U of C allows her to speak, they should allow the Aryan Guard to speak.” 

Well, the University of Ottawa did NOT allow Coulter speak.  (I’ve no doubt the Aryan Guard would have encountered less opposition.) 

Canadians say that they “believe in free speech”, but only such speech as is approved by the government.   Canada’s liberal censorship laws are a cautionary tale for the US – but more than that, they reveal the true nature of liberal ‘tolerance.’ 

Canadian liberals aren’t any different than their American cousins.  They want the same things; tolerance for themselves, censorship of opposing perspectives, kindness for all, provided they hold the ‘correct’ perspective, as evidenced by the “Ann Coulter is a racist pig” headline. 

It isn’t just Canadians or American liberal Democrats.  One finds the same kind of liberal ‘tolerance’ in most socialist countries – France, Germany, Holland, etc.  

Geert Wilders is on trial in Holland for making provable statements of fact regarding Islam.   In Germany, speech the government considers intolerant isn’t tolerated.  The ‘intolerant’ speaker can be jailed in the name of tolerance.   

Speech is either free, or it is not.  Ideas are either tolerated, or they are not.   

When somebody says, “I believe in free speech but . . .” it is as absurd as calling someone a ‘little bit pregnant’.    

Claiming to be tolerant, but then imposing limits on what is tolerable sets the parameters for intolerance, not the other way around. 

The hypocrisy on display here would stagger previous generations of both Americans and Canadians.

Freedom cannot exist on a sliding scale in which some people are more free than others.

Liberal Canadian newspapers today are filled with hate-filled invectives against Ann Coulter – accusing her of being an intolerant purveyor of hate.  

Because Ann Coulter is not as open-minded and unprejudiced as they are.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.. . .” (2nd Timothy 3:1-4)

Toyota: ”Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”

Toyota: ”Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”
Vol: 102 Issue: 24 Wednesday, March 24, 2010

For most of the past forty years, Toyota’s been a synonym for quality and dependability.  Over the years, I’ve owned a number of them.   My first was a 1983 Toyota SR-5. 

I drove it into the ground.  When I passed it down to my son, it had almost 300K miles on it and the engine was as tight as it was when I bought it. 

My last Toyota was a 2003 Toyota Echo.  We towed it across the country and back twice behind our motorhome.  Like every other Toyota I ever had, it was a flawless little car. It would still be in my driveway if a tree hadn’t squashed it there a couple of winter storms ago. 

A couple of years ago, my eldest son got a job at as a new car salesman at a local GM dealer — just shortly after the tree squashed our car.  I’ve never been particularly fond of GM products, but GM sells the Vibe, which is essentially a Toyota Matrix with a Pontiac emblem that comes equipped with On Star’s talking rear-view mirror. 

I needed a new car and my son was a salesman at a new car dealership . . . what choice did I really have?  

Shortly after I bought the car, GM folded.  The dealership I bought it from was closed, my son was laid off, and I’m not really sure where to take it should it need warranty service. And it turns out it is really a Toyota — I got a recall notice recently telling me to take it back to my dealer (??) for repairs.  

A couple of months ago, my middle daughter asked me to help her pick out a new car. We settled on a particularly clean, low mileage 2001 Toyota Camry.   

I never felt particularly disloyal buying Toyotas.  Toyota has manufacturing plants in Huntsville  AL, Long Beach  CA,  Princeton IN, San Antonio TX, Buffalo WVa and has broken ground for a new plant in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Up until recently, the worst thing one could say about Toyota’s American-built cars is that non-union employees build them. 

And until about six months ago, I never heard anything about Toyota’s acceleration problems or accusations of shoddy manufacturing.  Not until shortly after GM was rebranded “Government Motors” and turned over to the United Auto Workers union.    

Suddenly, Toyota is all over the media.  Its executives are portrayed as crooks that have been covering up similar defects for years.   In response to complaints, Toyota has recalled more than a million cars for sticky accelerator problems. 

The problem apparently surfaced in 2007 when Toyota began investigating reports of unintended acceleration. But the recalls go back more than a decade. 

To listen to the US media, the various lawmakers that have weighed in on the subject, and even the White House, buying a Toyota is not just dangerous, it’s disloyal.    

Let’s look at the danger, first.  There’ve been something over 2200 complaints of unexpected acceleration out of 22 million cars.  That’s something like 1/100th of one percent of the total.  Of those, 274 resulted in crashes.  

Last month, the influential automotive website, Edmunds.com, obtained the entire complaint database from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a nine-year period ending Feb. 3, 2010. It then set about calculating the overall number of complaints per vehicle sold. 

When ranked by the number of complaints per vehicle sold, however, Toyota came in 17th – behind GM, Ford, Chrysler, Volvo, etc.  The car that came in first in owner dissatisfaction was the British Land Rover, a vehicle that starts at around $73,000 and goes up from there. 

So how did Toyota go from being the most reliable American-built car on the road to earning a reputation as the country’s most dangerous ‘import’?  

Part of the reason is because Toyota is now directly competing with the US government for your business.   Since GM belongs to the government, the only ones hearing about the Pontiac Matrix recall are Pontiac owners.

 But it’s the second reason that is worthy of our attention.

Assessment:

The reason for Toyota’s rapid acceleration problem is still pretty much a mystery.  Some of the affected Toyotas were on the road for years before the problem appeared. 

Toyota has already tried replacing floor mats and fixing sticky accelerator pedals as possible mechanical remedies, but the complaints seem to be continuing. 

It’s possible that the more recent complaints are fabricated, exaggerated, or imagined, but it’s also possible that there are electronic issues in these situations. 

Whatever the issue, Toyota’s engineers say they’ve been unable to duplicate the problem.   But a professor at the University of Nebraska has a theory that might explain it.   Physics and astronomy professor Dan Claes blames cosmic rays. 

He said as microprocessors and computer chips become smaller and smaller, like the ones in automobiles, cosmic rays can cause them to malfunction.  

“They can flip a bit of memory and corrupt a piece of data,” said Claes. 

He said the rays have probably affected smart phones or computers without their owners even knowing it. 

“Occasionally a computer hangs or crashes inexplicably. Cosmic rays can be responsible,” Claes said. 

Cosmic rays aren’t really ‘rays’ – they are cosmic particles given off by the sun.  One of the 2012 Doomsday scenarios has the earth moving directly into the path of cosmic rays on December 23rd that will destroy all life on earth.  

Sunspot activity, or solar ‘flares’ have been measured by scientists for about 300 years.  Sunspot numbers over the past 11,400 years have been reconstructed using dendrochronologically dated radiocarbon concentrations.  

Scientists say that the level of solar activity over the past seventy years has been exceptional. The last period of similar magnitude, scientists say, occurred 8,000 years ago.  

It peaked at around 2000, but since 2004, sunspot activity has dropped to the lowest level measured since the Maunder Minimum that occurred between 1645 and 1710. 

Weakening of the Sun’s magnetic field increases the number of interstellar cosmic rays that reach Earth’s atmosphere, altering the types of particles reaching the surface. 

Scientists continue to be baffled by the sudden changes in the sun since the turn of the century.  “It turns out that none of our models were totally correct,” says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA’s lead representative on a panel studying the phenomenon. “The sun is behaving in an unexpected and very interesting way.” 

Ok. So the sun started to go haywire about seventy years ago.  Ten years ago, it peaked, giving us some of the warmest weather seen in decades and spawning a multi-trillion dollar industry to combat global warming.   

Then the sun went into remission, resulting in rapidly cooling temperatures and throwing the global warming alarmists into a tailspin.  

Since then, unexpected, unanticipated solar storms have knocked out satellites, fried unshielded communications equipment, and otherwise periodically wreaked unexpected havoc on terrestrial electronics. 

And now sunspots are telling Toyotas to kill their drivers?  

Let’s look at the chronology of Luke Chapter 21 for a moment.  Wars, rumors of wars,  earthquakes, false Christs, persecution,  fearful and great signs in the heavens,  the encompassing of Jerusalem by armies, the city to be trodden down ‘until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled’ in Luke 21:24. 

All these signs correspond perfectly with the events of the past seventy years.    The next verses, Luke 21:25-26 give the following warning: 

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” 

Signs in the sun, moon and stars causing the “distress of nations”  (fear) with “perplexity” (confusion).   Like when cosmic rays cause Toyotas to suddenly speed up and kill their owners? 

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory,” the next verse tells us.

 Chronologically speaking, we’re coming down to the end of the His discourse – we’re running out of signs to watch for.    

 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)