"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hawaii Ice Themes in Alaska New Year

Auckland Rings in 2010

Australia Welcomes in 2010

Paris Rings in New Year

Obama family goes to the movies to see 'Avatar'

KANEOHE, Hawaii – President Barack Obama's family is spending part of the last day of 2009 watching the futuristic adventure film "Avatar."The Obamas visited a movie theater near their rented vacation home in Hawaii on Thursday morning for a screening of the 3-D hit. Officials say the first family and their friends had the theater to themselves to watch director James Cameron's tech-heavy film....

US scanners went unused at Nigeria airport

LAGOS, Nigeria – The U.S. gave Nigeria four full-body scanners for its international airports in 2008 to detect explosives and drugs, but none were used on the man suspected trying to blow up a Detroit-bound flight, Nigerian officials say.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tracked by cameras through the security check, only went through a metal detector and had his bag X-rayed when he arrived at Nigeria's busiest airport to start his journey, the officials say.The Soter RS scanners delivers 3-D images that would have shown something hidden under clothing. But a spokesman for the anti-drug agency, which operates the Nigerian machines, told The Associated Press that the one at Lagos airport is used sporadically and only on potential narcotics smugglers...

Suicide bomber invited on base

WASHINGTON – The suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees at a remote outpost in southeastern Afghanistan had been invited onto the base and had not been searched, two former U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Thursday
A former senior intelligence official says the man was being courted as an informant and that it was the first time he had been brought inside the camp. An experienced CIA debriefer came from Kabul for the meeting, suggesting that the purpose was to gain intelligence, the official said.
The former intelligence official and another former official with knowledge of the attack spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The CIA would not confirm the details, and said it was still gathering evidence on the incident...

TSA subpoenas bloggers, demands names of sources

WASHINGTON – As the government reviews how an alleged terrorist was able to bring a bomb onto a U.S.-bound plane and try to blow it up on Christmas Day, the Transportation Security Administration is going after bloggers who wrote about a directive to increase security after the incident.TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.
Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his lap top computer. Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo."It literally showed up in my box," Frischling told The Associated Press. "I do not know who it came from." He said he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect...

Afghan official: 10 civilians killed in coalition operation

Kabul, Afghanistan-U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan said Monday they are investigating reports that 10 Afghan civilians, including eight students, were killed Saturday in a coalition operation in the Narang district of Kunar province."We will definitely be looking into this," said Col. Wayne Shanks, International Security Assistance Force spokesman. "We take these sort of allegations very seriously."
Said Fazelayallah, governor of Kunar province, told CNN Monday that 10 civilians were killed. Coalition forces said they killed their military targets, he said, but a delegation sent by the governor to investigate reported the civilian casualties.
Shanks said that, from the top down, civilian casualties are of great concern to the coalition, whether they be from military or insurgent action....

Judge tosses Blackwater case,cites government missteps

WASHINGTON – A federal judge dismissed all charges Thursday against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in a crowded Baghdad intersection in 2007.Citing repeated government missteps, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed a case that had been steeped in international politics. The shooting in busy Nisoor Square left 17 Iraqis dead and inflamed anti-American sentiment abroad. The Iraqi government wanted the guards to face trial in Iraq and officials there said they would closely watch how the U.S. judicial system handled the case.
Urbina said the prosecutors ignored the advice of senior Justice Department officials and improperly built their case on sworn statements that had been given under a promise of immunity. Urbina said the government's explanations were "contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility.,,,"
Picture Left:Blackwater Worldwide's headquarters is seen in Moyock, N.C. U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards charged in a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

CIA caught in dirty and secretive war against al-Qaeda on Afghan border

The deaths of seven CIA agents in Khost province have brought into the limelight the secretive and dirty war being fought by America’s intelligence agencies — and the Taleban and al-Qaeda — in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.Forward Operating Base Chapman, and others like it along the border, are the forward edge of American military and intelligence counter-terrorism operations, aimed principally at hunting down senior figures in al-Qaeda and their allies in the Taleban hiding in the lawless tribal belt.
The CIA’s main strike weapons are the drones that loiter over the border areas 24 hours a day, watching and listening to telephone networks. While the drones provide surveillance and electronic intelligence and carry out strikes, human intelligence is far harder to acquire among remote communities suspicious of any outsider.
Then there are the night raids against suspected insurgent and al-Qaeda linked leaders. It was an operation by what are euphemistically called “other government agencies” that was alleged to have killed a number of students in Kunar province on Saturday, causing widespread anger in Afghanistan...

Militants Behead 6 Afghans for Government Cooperation

KABUL-Police say militants have beheaded six Afghans for cooperating with government authorities.Juma Gul Hamit, police chief of Uruzgan province in south-central Afghanistan, says the men were beheaded Thursday near the provincial capital of Tarin Kot.Hamit defended the victims, saying they were not involved in any anti-government activities.He says a seventh Afghan man is being treated for serious neck injuries...

General Petraeus 'absolutely certain' that Peter Moore was held in Iran

The former US commander in Iraq is “absolutely certain” that Peter Moore was held secretly in Iran for part of his 31-month kidnap ordeal.General David Petraeus’s claim that the British IT consultant was held captive in Iran is likely to intensify the bitter diplomatic relationship between London and Tehran.
Mr Moore was set free yesterday after the United States handed over an Iraqi insurgent suspected of planning the deaths of five American servicemen.He was released by the League of the Righteous, or Asaib al-Haq (AAH) – an extremist Shia group allied to Iran – and his first night of freedom was spent at the British Embassy in Baghdad
General Petraeus accused Iran of involvement in the kidnapping within three weeks of the men being seized....

DECEPTION WATCH:Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren Asks for Urgent Donations

LAKE FOREST, California-Evangelical pastor Rick Warren appealed to parishioners at his California megachurch Wednesday to help fill a $900,000 deficit by the first of the year.
Warren made the appeal in a letter posted on the Saddleback Church Web site. It begins "Dear Saddleback Family, THIS IS AN URGENT LETTER.""With 10 percent of our church family out of work due to the recession, our expenses in caring for our community in 2009 rose dramatically while our income stagnated," the letter reads.Still, Warren said the church managed to stay within its budget, but "the bottom dropped out" when Christmas donations dropped. "On the last weekend of 2009, our total offerings were less than half of what we normally receive — leaving us $900,000 in the red for the year," the letter reads."It's basically having to do more with less," church spokesman A. Larry Ross said. "The seasonal Christmas offering was down significantly and, commensurately, the need for services the church is expected to provide is up," Ross said.
Warren's appeal presents an opportunity for those who haven't been hit by the recession to step up and help, Ross said....
PS:Could it be that people are finally waking up to the fact of what this "ministry" as many others like this are all about and don't want to give away money to spread more deception...?
I've received many emails asking for money from big megachurches an TV ministries this past week...So far only one of those is actually biblical and I don't see any shady bussiness going on with it and I don't see any deception...I can't say the same for the rest of them.It actually made me upset that they would ask for money when the heads of these ministries themselves live in megahouses,have private jets,move around like Hollywood stars with all their entourage and body guards and MAKE A MERCHANDISE OF THE TRUE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST...!!!
It is time for the Church of the Lord Jesus to stand up and call these "ministries" for what they are....
People seems to have no fear of God at all with what they do and how they duped people!!!!!
May God have mercy of these "preachers" for all the people they have taken from and have deceived and hurt.
Please IF you dont agree with me is fine with me--but please spare me the hate mail!!!!Thank you...
As in the days of Noah...

Pakistan to Seek Terror Charges Against 5 Arrested Americans

ISLAMABAD-Pakistani police say they plan to ask a court to charge five Americans arrested in early December with terrorism, and will seek life imprisonment sentences against them.
The young Muslim men, who are from the Washington, D.C., area, were captured in the eastern Pakistani city of Sargodha. The case spurred fears that Westerners are traveling to Pakistan to join militant groups....
Picture Left:(AP)American Muslims, from left, Waqir Hussain Khan, Ramys Zamzam, Umar Farooq, Ahmad Abdulminni, Aman Hasan Yamer.

Obama Vetoes First Piece of Legislation

HONOLULU-President Barack Obama has rejected his first piece of legislation from Congress, a stopgap spending bill that never had to take effect.The White House on Wednesday said Obama exercised his right to send back to the Congress a temporary appropriations bill that lawmakers passed in case a winter storm about two weeks ago would have prevented them from approving a final measure to fund the Defense Department next year. The Dec. 19 blizzard didn't keep them away from the Capitol and they approved the $626 billion defense spending bill before the previous budget expired.The White House described the move as a technicality that the president took out of an abundance of caution, and that it was his first veto....

Dutch to Use Full Body Scanners for U.S. Flights

AP: The Netherlands announced Wednesday it will immediately begin using full body scanners for flights heading to the United States, saying that could have stopped the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing....

Yemen:"Visa of Nigerian would-be-bomber expired"

SAN'A, Yemen-The Nigerian suspected in the attempted attack on a U.S. airliner had stayed on in Yemen illegally after his visa expired three months ago and should have been stopped by authorities from leaving the country, Yemeni security officials said Thursday.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab spent time in Yemen on two occasions before the attempted Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight.Yemeni officials said Abdulmutallab's student visa for Yemen, where he studied Arabic at a local language institute, was valid from Aug. 4 to Sept. 21.After his visa expired, the 23-year-old stayed on in Yemen until the first week in December, they said, but his whereabouts in the country was unknown...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ron Paul son Rand makes Ky. Senate run official

FRANKFORT, Ky.-Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's son has officially entered the GOP Senate primary in Kentucky.Rand Paul's campaign manager turned in the candidacy papers and a $500 check to the secretary of state's office on Wednesday afternoon.
Rand Paul, a Kentucky eye surgeon, has raised more than $1.7 million for his campaign largely by reaching out to people who had supported his father's unsuccessful presidential bid.He's running for the seat being vacated by fellow Republican Jim Bunning.Kentucky has trended Republican in recent years, with both of its Senate seats and four of six House seats in GOP hands.

Christmas Terror Attempt May Open Door for Military Action in U.S. Cities

A passenger onboard a flight from the Netherlands to the United States allegedly attempted to blow up the aircraft as it was landing at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, according to a source with the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force.Within minutes of the news breaking about the attempt, an NYPD detective told NewsWithViews.com that the suspect-passenger claimed to be acting on behalf of al-Qaeda in the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight #253 from Amsterdam-to-Detroit.The suspect attempted to detonate a device as the plane landed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, according to the official report. While the details are still sketchy, the NYPD detective said that when passengers observed the suspect attempting to detonate the explosive device, they subdued him and held him for law enforcement. Flight #253 was carrying 278 passengers and no one was seriously injured during the incident.The White House immediately labeled the incident “an attempted terrorist act.”Some Obama critics believe the president may attempt this alleged attack as a rationale to increase his power and might within U.S. borders...

White powder in envelope sent to MP triggers Commons terror alert

An envelope containing suspicious white powder was sent to the communities minister, Shahid Malik, at the House of Commons, triggering an anti-terrorist investigation, the Guardian has learned.The envelope sparked a major alert when it was intercepted by security staff, who feared it contained potentially deadly anthrax, on Monday.
Comments on the envelope – which was sent from within the UK – suggest it had been sent by a supporter of the far right or someone purporting to be one.Emergency procedures were activated, but tests proved that the powder was harmless. It is understood that the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, and his most senior officials were kept informed of developments.Detectives are examining the envelope, the written comments and the postmark to try to trace the sender. They want to establish whether this was an isolated incident or the start of a campaign by criminal elements on the far right....
Picture Left: Shahid Malik. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/Reuters

Delta offering vouchers to Flight 253 passengers

ATLANTA-Delta Air Lines Inc. is offering travel credits to passengers on the Amsterstam-to-Detroit flight that a suspected terrorist tried and failed to blow up on Christmas.Spokeswoman Susan Elliott told The Associated Press on Wednesday the world's biggest carrier is notifying passengers about the vouchers. The amount wasn't disclosed.According to authorities, a Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaida tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as the plane was preparing to land in Detroit on Friday. It was carrying 278 passengers and 11 crew members.Delta is offering its gratitude to one of the passengers who subdued the suspect. Elliott declined to say whether that passenger would receive additional compensation beyond the travel voucher....
Picture Left: This picture provided by J.P. Karas shows Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on the runway after arriving at Detroit Metropolitan Airport from Amsterdam on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009.(AP Photo/J.P. Karas)

Nigerians Fear Backlash Following Plane Attack...

Most Carry-Ons Banned On Flights From Canada To U.S

Transport Canada: On December 28, Transport Canada put in place enhanced security measures for passengers on flights bound for the United States. Effective immediately, US bound passengers are not allowed to bring carry on bags into the cabin of the aircraft, with some exceptions. Passengers may carry with them the following items: medication or medical devices, small purses, cameras, coats, items for care of infants, laptop computers, crutches, canes, walkers, containers carrying life sustaining items, a special needs item, musical instruments, or diplomatic or consular bags.
Transport Canada: Update to Security Measures

Lawmakers Spar Over Nominee for TSA Chief in Wake of Terror Attempt

Fox News: "The attempted terror attack in Detroit is a perfect example of why the Obama administration should not unionize the TSA and allow our airline security decisions to be dictated by union bosses," DeMint said in a written statement sent to FoxNews.com.
Fox News: Lawmakers Spar Over Nominee for TSA Chief in Wake of Terror Attempt

NY Lawmaker Wants Ethnic Profiling of Terror Suspects

WNYW: "There is no question that the government has a compelling interest in protecting the lives and safety of its citizenry from terrorist attacks," says Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat of Brooklyn. "The history of modern terrorism has taught us that these attacks are repeatedly executed by young Muslim men of Arab or South Asian origin. This is not a time for political correctness."
WNYW: Lawmaker Wants Ethnic Profiling of Terror Suspects

Full-Body Imaging: Airliner Attack Reopens Privacy vs. Safety Debate

NBC DFW: The scanners are able to detect weapons and explosives in places security screeners are not allowed to touch in physical pat-down searches, such as the groin area and even body cavities where items could be concealed...
NBC DFW: Airports Slow to Receive Whole-Body Imaging Scanners

‘Underwear Bomb’ Packed Enough Explosive to Bring Down Flight 253

"Dogs, if trained, can detect it. But many people have adverse reactions to having dogs sniff their private parts..."

Dem Congresswoman Demands Terrorist Tracking System Changes

"The assessment of behavioral tendencies, that is not profiling, but it is the same misstep that we made in Fort Hood."

Obama Breaks From Vacation to Assure U.S. Will Hunt Failed Plane Attack’s Backers

Reuters: "We will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable," Obama said, interrupting his year-end vacation in Hawaii to assure Americans that his administration was doing all it could to ensure security after a Nigerian man managed to smuggle explosives onto a Detroit-bound flight. "The American people should be assured that we are doing everything in our power to keep you and your family safe and secure during this busy holiday season," he said.
Reuters: Obama says U.S. to hunt failed plane attack's backers

Passenger Records New TSA Regulations in Action on Jet Blue Flight

"Unfortunately, we're not going to have any live TV today..."
•Gawker: JetBlue Pilot's Agonized Announcement: The TSA's Draconian Reactionary Rules

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Does Failed Terror Plot Complicate Obama’s Attempt to Close Gitmo...?

Radio Interview: Witness Says Terrorist Suspect Aided Onto Northwest Flight Sans Passport

MLive.com: While [Umar Farouk Abdul] Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, [passenger Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich.] said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time.....'”


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

GAY AGENDA WATCH:Gay Marriage in Argentina Is First in Latin America

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina-An official in Argentina's southern Tierra del Fuego province says two Argentine men have wed there in Latin America's first gay marriage.
Provincial spokesman Eduardo Porter says the wedding between Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre took place at the civil registry in Ushuaia.Their marriage plans in Buenos Aires earlier this month were thwarted when city officials refused to marry them because of conflicting rulings....

Death Toll From Pakistan Bombing Reaches 43

KARACHI, Pakistan — Authorities appealed for calm Tuesday after a bombing against a Shiite Muslim procession killed 43 in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi, setting off riots and igniting fears of sectarian unrest.Security was tight as thousands of people gathered in central Karachi for funerals of some of those killed in Monday's bombing of a Shiite procession marking the key holy day of Ashoura.The attack sparked riots as people rampaged through the city, setting fire to markets and stores. Firefighters were still battling the flames Tuesday, with authorities calling for reinforcements from the city of Hyderabad, 105 miles north of Karachi, Pakistan's main commercial hub.Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal said the city's largest wholesale market was on fire, and that hundreds of shops had been destroyed, with damages estimated to run into millions of dollars...

USS Cole bombing survivor dies in Fla. home

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Johann Gokool lost his left foot when a bomb ripped a hole in the side of the USS Cole nearly a decade ago, but the injury was nothing compared with the mental torment that ravaged him almost daily.He returned home to Florida suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder and frequent panic attacks so violent he would launch into seizures and even fractured his own wrist several times as he flailed, sister Natala Gokool said Tuesday.One of the brothers he lived with found him dead in their home last Wednesday, just a week after his 31st birthday, Natala Gokool said. His cause of death was unknown, though she said foul play was not suspected. The family believes the seizures just became too much for his body to handle....
Picture Left:In this undated photo provided by the Gokool family, is U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Johann Gokool, who was found dead in his Homestead, Fla. home Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009.(AP Photo)

Surging Steel Prices Continue in China

Steel Advance/Decliner Index Jumps. Our Advance/Decliner Index jumped to 91% from 68% last week, reaching the highest level since June 2008, before the onset of the current global economic rout. While there are fewer price changes in the market in general because of the holidays, the data continue to show broad-based pricing strength led by surging prices in China. Our China index rose for the fourth straight week, climbing to 100% from 91% last week. This is the third time in the last two months our China index has hit 100%, meaning there were no reported price declines. Our ex-China index also strengthened, rising to 87% from 62% the prior week, the highest level since June...

North Korea Says It Has Detained American

SEOUL, South Korea-North Korea announced Tuesday that it has custody of an American who entered the country illegally on Christmas Eve — first possible word from Pyongyang about a 28-year-old Arizona man who activists say sneaked into the reclusive country to raise international attention to its dire human rights situation.
The American was being investigated after "illegally entering" the country through the North Korea-China border last Thursday, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said in a two-line dispatch.
The report did not identify the American, but activists believe he is Christian missionary Robert Park, who they say slipped across the frozen Tumen River into North Korea from China on Christmas Day bearing letters that urged leader Kim Jong Il to resign and free all political prisoners...

Anger as China Executes 'Mentally Ill' Briton

URUMQI,China-China brushed aside international appeals Tuesday and executed by lethal injection a British drug smuggler who relatives say was mentally unstable and unwittingly lured into crime.Britain's prime minister said he was "appalled" at the execution of 53-year old Akmal Shaikh — China's first of a European citizen in nearly 60 years. His government summoned the Chinese ambassador in London to express its anger.
China defended its handling of the case, saying there not been documentary proof Shaikh was mentally ill. Beijing also criticized Gordon Brown's comments, but said it hoped the case would not harm bilateral relations. The Foreign Ministry called on London not to create any "obstacles" to better ties...
Picture Left:Akmal Shaikh is seen in this undated photo taken in Warsaw, Poland.(Luis Belmonte Diaz, Reprieve)

Obamas enjoy private,secure Hawaii vacation...

While President Obama has kept a decidedly low profile during his Hawaii vacation, his security detail has made quite a visual impact in the Kailua neighborhood where he is staying.
Would-be paparazzi hoping to get a shot of Obama and the rest of the first family say they've had to make do with the tolerant if less-than-sunny visages of the Secret Service agents whose job it is to ensure the president's safety and privacy....

Now, Michelle Obama too is sliding in the polls...

She's on vacation now in Hawaii, so...what does she care...?
But as the first calendar year of the new White House regime draws to a close, First Lady Michelle Obama is experiencing the same drop in poll numbers as her husband. She's not elected, of course, and not charged at least officially with making the tough executive decisions that come out of the Oval Office.
As a result, first ladies have typically fared better in different public opinion polls than their more controversial husbands. And now even as the female Harvard lawyer in the family and the one with the famously buff arms, Mrs. O still remains somewhat more popular than her spouse.
(Sarah Palin's favorable poll ratings, btw, have risen steadily in recent months to the mid-40s. But although neither woman holds an elected office, that's something entirely different.)
A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 55% of Americans have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of Mrs. Obama. That's down 7 points, or 11%, since November's survey and it's her lowest approval level since holding the Bible for her Democratic husband, Barack, to take the oath of office on that cold D.C day back on Jan. 20....

Where is Obama going to Church...?

I have a Time.com story up today about Obama's decision to attend church services at the chapel up at Camp David for the time being, rather than join a D.C.-area church. The plan makes a lot of sense for the First Family--it was also how the Bush family chose to worship in semi-privacy for the past eight years. But given the intense lobbying by virtually every Washington church to score the Obamas as new members, this wasn't something the White House was looking to publicize.
In response, the White House has released a statement: "The President and First Family continue to look for a church home. They have enjoyed worshipping at Camp David and several other congregations over the months, and will choose a church at the time that is best for their family..."

No Churchgoing Christmas for the First Family...

The Senate vote on final passage of health reform almost scuttled their plans, but it looks like the First Family will still make it to Hawaii for Christmas. They've had a whirlwind holiday season so far, starting with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, through hosting more than 50,000 people for 27 parties and open houses, and ending with a visit by the First Lady, Malia and Sasha, and the family's dog Bo, to deliver cookies to the Children's National Medical Center. The Obamas have also started their own holiday traditions in their new home, adding a Christmas wishing tree to the decorations festooning the White House.But there's one common Christmas practice not on the First Family's schedule: a visit to Christmas Eve church services...
PS:Up to this point in BHO's term as president it is very clear and manifest that God is not the first thing in his or his family's life at all...So why worrying whether he goes or not to church on Christmas Eve....?
It's kind of like waiting for Stalin,Marx or Mao to go to church to worship the Lord Jesus Christ on Christmas Eve....isn't it....?IT WONT EVER HAPPEN....!!!!!
As in the days of Noah...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The god who was actually born Dec. 25

Volcano Forces Thousands of Filipinos to Mark Christmas as Evacuees

Tens of thousands of Filipinos celebrated Christmas in temporary evacuations centers Friday after having fled their homes in fear of a major volcanic eruption.
With the alert level for the Philippines’ Mayon volcano at the second-highest stage, more than 40,000 evacuees had to stay away from their homes and settle for a Christmas in crowded gymnasiums and schools, where they shared rations of noodles, fried fish and fruit, and where children opened donated presents.
According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council, at least 9,754 families, or 46,655 people, are staying in 26 evacuation centers all over the Philippines’ Albay province as of 8 a.m. Thursday.
Though the weeklong eruption of the 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) Mayon has been moderate to date, volcanologists say it could escalate within days....
Picture Left:(AP Photo/ Aaron Favila)Members of the Philippine Armed Forces hold a dance contest with victims of a recent fire in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines on Christmas day Friday Dec. 25, 2009. Many residents celebrated the day inside tents and evacuation sites as fire gutted hundreds of shanties two days before Christmas leaving thousands homeless.

Not again! Giant Swedish Christmas goat statue gets torched

STOCKHOLM-Arsonists set fire early on Wednesday to a giant straw statue of the Swedish Yule goat, a forerunner to Santa Claus in Sweden, defying security measures for a third year in a row.
Police in Gavle, north of Stockholm, said an unknown number of attackers had torched the goat in the early morning hours, leaving a blackened skeleton standing in the town square.
"It's a tradition to burn it down," Lofberg said. "It's happened an untold number of times since the 1960s ... it's been burned down more years than it's survived."
Burning the goat has been a popular, and illegal, tradition in Gavle since the 1960s when an advertising executive first came up with the idea to endow the city with a giant replica of the goat, a Christmas decoration common in many Swedish homes....
Picture Left:The charred remains of a Christmas straw goat stands in the town center of Gavle, Northern Sweden, on Wednesday Dec. 23, 2009. Torching the goat has become a yuletide tradition, in spite of surveillance cameras and security guards the 43-foot-high (13-meter-high) goat has burned 24 times since it was first set up in 1966 to mark the holiday season.
(AP Photo/Pernilla Wahlman)

Location of U.S. Christian Missionary In North Korea Unknown

SEOUL, South Korea — An American Christian missionary slipped into isolated North Korea on Christmas Day, shouting that he brought God's love and carrying a letter urging leader Kim Jong Il to step down and free all political prisoners, an activist said Saturday.
Robert Park, 28, crossed a poorly guarded stretch of the frozen Tumen River that separates North Korea from China, according to a member of the Seoul-based group Pax Koreana, which promotes human rights in the North. Two other activists apparently watched and filmed the entry.
"I am an American citizen. I brought God's love. God loves you and God bless you," Park reportedly said in fluent Korean as he crossed over Friday near the northeastern city of Hoeryong, according to the activist, citing the two who witnessed the scene. Pax Koreana planned to release the footage Sunday in Seoul, he said. He spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
No information has emerged about what happened next to Park, who is of Korean descent. The communist country's state-run media was silent. The State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said they were aware of the incident but had no details...

Poll: Fewer Americans May Be Celebrating Christmas This Year

A new poll by Gallup confirms earlier reports that fewer Americans are identifying with Christianity and more are claiming no religious affiliation.
Survey results, released Thursday, show that 56 percent of Americans say they are Protestant or some non-Catholic Christian, down from 69 percent in 1948. And 22 percent identify as Catholic.
Meanwhile the percentage of American adults who don't identify with any specific religion has risen from only 2 percent 60 years ago to 13 percent today.
Notably, more Americans identify with a religion that is not specifically classified as Christian. Currently, 9 percent of adults place themselves in this non-Christian religion category, up from 4 percent six decades ago.
The Gallup findings parallel with results from the widely cited and publicized American Religious Identification Survey, which was released in March. ARIS revealed that Americans claiming no religion, or "Nones," grew from 8.2 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2008. It also showed that Christianity was declining with 76 percent saying they are Christian, down from 86.2 percent in the 1990s. ARIS results were based on over 54,000 interviews in 2008.
With the decrease in religious identity in America, Gallup also found a drop in the percentage of those who say they are a member of a church or synagogue. Only 63 percent say they are a member, down from 73 percent in 1937....

Gay Activists Crash Christmas Party of Politician Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage

N.Y. School District Reverses Ban on Christmas

A New York school district is bringing Christmas back to its schools after reversing an earlier decision to ban Christmas programs from school events.
In its latest move, the East Syracuse-Minoa School District decided to incorporate both Christian and Jewish songs into a holiday musical and permit teachers to welcome Santa into the classroom.
Prior to the reversal, even Santa Claus was allegedly not allowed on campus because he originated from the story of St. Nicholas.
"We are pleased that the spirit of Christmas has returned to the school district,” commented Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, which is defending Christmas celebrations for the seventh year.“It is not only constitutional but also reasonable to acknowledge Christmas in the public schools."
Earlier this month, parents in the district received a letter notifying them that "programs that involve singular traditions" can only take place in schools if the celebrations are voluntary, occur outside of school hours and are not sponsored by the school district. The letter expressed the district's desire to honor "diverse cultural and religious traditions."
In response to the decision, parents criticized the district and requested that Christmas return to the schools....

Cowboy Pastor Fasts Thru Christmas to Feed the Poor

In a noticeable dull voice, Pastor Jason Norton said he has not eaten for the past 15 days.
Beginning at midnight on Dec. 1, Norton stopped eating altogether and has subsisted on drinking liquids such as Gatorade, V8, coconut juice, water and coffee. His plan is to fast for 25 days, including Christmas day.
“I feel good. God is keeping me strong, most definitely,” Norton told The Christian Post this week. “The weird thing is from day three to five it seems like your body is really not agreeing with what you’re doing. It’s like putting up the last fight. But around day six it literally is like the body gives up and says, ‘alright, I guess you want to do this.’”
Norton, who pastors the King’s Trail Cowboy Church in Van Alstyne, Texas, is calling his 25-day fast Project G6:2. The idea for Project G6:2 came from a fellow Texas pastor Norton knows who went on a food strike to collect 30,000 non-perishable food items. That pastor had also helped Norton plan Project G6:2.
G6:2 is a reference to Galatians 6:2, which reads, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”...

AN OBAMA KINDA CHRISTMAS:Video Tour Explores Obama’s ‘Winter White House’ in Hawaii

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Copenhagen climate summit: Tony Blair calls on world leaders to ‘get moving’

Following the ‘climategate scandal’, Mr Blair said the science may not be “as certain as its proponents allege”.
But he said the world should act as a precaution against floods, droughts and mass extinction caused by climate change, in fact it would be “grossly irresponsible” not to
The first week of key UN negotiations on climate change saw clashes between the rich and poor world over the failure of countries like the US to commit to strict cuts in carbon dioxide.
Later this week world leaders, including Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama, will arrive.
Mr Blair admitted that the talks are “one of the toughest negotiations that international leaders will ever have been involved in.”
But despite sceptics claiming emails stolen from the University of East Anglia question the science, he said it was urgent to act now.
“It is said that the science around climate change is not as certain as its proponents allege. It doesn’t need to be. What is beyond debate, however, is that there is a huge amount of scientific support for the view that the climate is changing and as a result of human activity,” he said.
“Therefore, even purely as a matter of precaution, given the seriousness of the consequences if such a view is correct, and the time it will take for action to take effect, we should act. Not to do so would be grossly irresponsible.”

Inconvenient Truth for Gore as Arctic Ice Claims Don't Add Up

There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was hit by an inconvenient one yesterday.The former vice president, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," became entangled in a new climate change row.Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.
In his speech, Gore told the conference: "These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr. [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years."
However, the climatologist whose work Gore was relying upon dropped the former vice president in the water with an icy blast.
"It's unclear to me how this figure was arrived at," Dr. Maslowski said. "I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this."
Gore's office later admitted that the 75 percent figure was one used by Dr. Maslowski as a "ballpark figure" several years ago in a conversation with Gore....

British, German, French leaders to discuss climate change by phone

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday he will discuss issues related to climate change with his counterparts in the United States, Britain and Germany over the telephone ahead of Friday's summit-level talks at the ongoing U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen.
According to the French president, the telephone talks will be held later in the day...

White House Hanukkah Party Spawns Anger

At the White House, as the Obama administration is learning all too well, a party is never a simple affair. (Just ask the Salahi-stricken Secret Service.)
The latest kerfuffle, the New York Times reports, involves the Obama administration's first Hanukkah party, to be held Wednesday.One bone of contention has been the guest list: Administration officials told the Times they are inviting 550 people, just 50 less than President Bush invited to his White House Hanukkah parties. But the Israeli press reported that the Obama White House was only inviting 400 people (they may have expanded the guest list since those reports) – and Bush White House officials told reporters they had actually invited twice that number. It was, some suggested, a snub – and one that critics said should not come as a surprise...

Druids,pagans mark shortest day of year

LONDON-Hundreds of people have celebrated the winter solstice at Stonehenge, braving snowy travel conditions and a morning fog. About 700 people - including pagans and druids - saw the sun rise at the ancient rocks near Salisbury, England.Peter Carson, Stonehenge's director, said it "was really looking picture-postcard perfect".Carson said winter solstice can fall between Dec. 20 and 23. He said this year, winter solstice came after the sun set on Dec. 21, making Tuesday the shortest day of the year.
Summer solstice is also observed at the site, but Carson said the winter celebrations are increasingly popular....

Prince William to share Queen's duties: Treasury document reveals secret plan to make him the 'Shadow King'

The Queen is to hand over a substantial part of her public duties to Prince William to help him prepare for the day when he becomes King, according to a confidential document obtained by The Mail on Sunday.
Secret papers reveal that plans to ease the strain on the 83-year-old monarch and her 88-year-old husband, Prince Philip, are at an advanced stage.The disclosures come despite months of denials from the Palace that the Queen was planning to step back from her official work in favour of her 27-year-old grandson.The information is contained in a briefing note written by Chancellor Alistair Darling’s Treasury officials about new financial arrangements for Prince Charles and his sons.Key paragraphs, disclosing the reason for the changes, are blacked out.

Report: UN-backed Congo troops killing civilians

JOHANNESBURG-A U.N.-backed Congolese military operation to oust rebels from eastern Congo has caused more civilian casualties than damage to rebels, with more than 1,400 people deliberately killed over a nine-month period, human rights groups said Monday.
Human Rights Watch said it had documented "vicious and widespread" attacks against civilians by soldiers and rebels between January and September. Soldiers being fed and supplied with ammunition by the United Nations have killed civilians, gang-raped girls and cut the heads off some young men they accuse of being rebels or supporting the enemy, groups said.
"For every rebel combatant disarmed, one civilian has been killed, seven women and girls have been raped, six houses have been burned and destroyed and 900 people have been forced to flee their homes," British-based organization Oxfam said.
Human Rights Watch said it documented the killings of 732 civilians between January and September by the Congolese army and troops from neighboring Rwanda fighting alongside it. In the same period, it counted 701 civilians killed by the rebels they are fighting.
"Some victims were tied together before their throats were, according to one witness, 'slit like chickens.' The majority of the victims were women, children, and the elderly," the group said....

Santa Claus banned from visiting locked-up children in UK asylum detention centre

Santa Claus was prevented from giving presents to the imprisoned children of asylum seekers at the notorious Yarl's Wood detention centre by private security guards. Yarl's Wood is a privately run prison whose inmates are UK immigrants who arrived seeking asylum, but whose claims have been denied. They are dragged out of bed in the dead of night and stuck in mesh-windowed vans without their belongings and without the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones, and then detained in terrible conditions that have been decried by human rights advocates, doctors, psychiatrists and other experts. Their "crime" is trying to escape torture, privation, and disaster. The rent-a-cops at Yarl's Wood told the Anglican church's leading expert on Father Christmas (dressed in a Santa costume) that he couldn't enter the centre to give the children presents. They also blocked the canon theologian at Westminster Abbey. Then they cancelled a later scheduled visit with detained families at the centre.
And the whole mess is on video...

Copenhagen climate summit:"Global Warming caused by sun's radiation"

As the world gathered in the Danish capital for the UN Climate Change Conference, more than 50 scientists, businessmen and lobby groups met to discuss the arguments against man made global warming.
Although the meeting was considerably smaller than the official gathering of 15,000 people meeting down the road, the organisers claimed it could change the course of negotiations
Professor Henrik Svensmark, a physicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen, said the recent warming period was caused by solar activity.He said the last time the world experienced such high temperatures, during the medieval warming period, the Sun and the Earth were in a similar cycle.
Professor Nils-Axel Morner, a geologist from Stockholm University, said sea level rise has also been exaggerated by the “climate alarmists” using computer models.He said observational data from lake sediments, coast lines and trees show sea levels have remained stable....

Shock Video: Skeptical Scientist Has Apparent Heart Attack During Live UN Climate Debate

AlterNet: The 41-year-old Henrik Svensmark made an awkward spasm/shudder and burst out a strange noise, sounding like a cough. The other participants in the debate looked baffled and he mumbled: "It's my heart," and fell to the ground and the pacemaker kicked in once more and you could hear him scream.
Note: Svensmark has been presenting evidence at the climate conference that recent warming cycles are caused by solar activity.
For more information see the related links below.

•AlterNet: Copendenier Henrik Svensmark collapses on Danish TV
Copenhagen climate summit: global warming 'caused by sun's radiation'

Lord Monckton Debates Greenpeace Activist on Streets of Copenhagen

Top Economic Adviser:"Of Course Recession Isn’t Over"....

Politico: Asked by moderator David Gregory if the recession were over, [White House economic adviser Christina] Romer shot back: "Of course not. For the people on Main Street and throughout this country, they are still suffering, the unemployment rate is still 10 percent." However, on 'This Week' Sunday morning, Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council, said, "Today, everybody agrees that the recession is over, and the question is what the pace of the expansion is going to be."

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Top Economic Adviser:"Recession is Over"

"Today, everybody agrees that the recession is over, and the question is what the pace of the expansion is going to be," Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council, said.

Top economic advisers offer mixed message on recession

Houston Elects First Openly Gay Mayor

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Build-A-Bear Warns Kids Christmas May Be Cancelled Due to Global Warming....

Build-A-Climate-Scare: Why You Should Boycott Build-A-Bear
Build-A-Bear Warns Kids Santa Claus May Cancel Christmas Because of Global Warming...

‘Welcome to Obamaville’ Sign Marks Colorado Homeless Tent City

KRDO-TV: 'Obamaville' Sign Explained, Then Replaced
Gateway Pundit: This Fits: Obama Sign Posted In Front of Homeless Camp

‘Fistgate’: Massachusetts Teacher Speaks Out About Infamous GLSEN Conference

After years of silence a traumatized Massachusetts teacher spoke out in an interview about what she witnessed at GLSEN’s Fistgate Conference in 2000. She also describes Barack Obama’s Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings’ role at the infamous conference that discussed “fisting” and “watersports” with children.
The Massachusetts teacher in this interview attended the conference and actually took the photo of Obama’s Safe School Czar Kevin Jennings sitting and holding a conference program during a break. Jennings was the keynote speaker at the conference.
The teacher claims that there is “no way” that Obama’s Safe School Czar did not know about the pornographic and sexually explicit material that was presented and discussed at the conference. Kevin Jennings is the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).


Big Brother Can Spy on Me If I Work for Him...?

Everybody’s up in arms about the lack of online privacy these days, but it seems like if you work for the U.S. government, you ought to be more worried than most. The Supreme Court said today that it’s considering a case involving monitored text messages from a government worker that could have big implications for workers’ online rights. It comes on the heels of a suit filed against numerous government agencies over their surveillance of social networking sites....

Foreign Ministry outraged over U.K. arrest warrant against Livni

The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called for an end to the "absurd situation" in which arrest warrants were being issued to Israeli officials over alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip.
"Only actions can put an end to this absurd situation, which would have seemed a comedy of errors were it not so serious," said the Foreign Ministry, a day after it emerged that opposition leader Tzipi Livni had canceled her trip to Britain after a warrant was issued for her arrest...

Africa’s Culture War:"The Fight Over Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill"

ABC's Dana Hughes reports from Nairobi:
A lot of attention has been paid to the proposed anti-homosexuality legislation in Uganda. And rightfully so, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 would sentence HIV positive homosexuals to death for having sex, and severely punish any homosexual with up to life imprisonment. Any Ugandan, gay or straight, who knows a homosexual and fails to report him or her to the authorities could face up to seven years in prison. There is intense international pressure on Uganda to withdrawal the bill, Hillary Clinton highlighted the bill today in a speech on human rights saying that “law should not become an instrument of oppression.” Even President Obama said in a statement over the weekend that the law “moves against the tide of history”...