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The Right of the People to be Secure in their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects,
Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures,
Shall Not Be Violated


Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Woman in a Burqa

When you see a woman in your town wearing a burqa, does it make you feel invaded? If so, does that mean you are an intolerant racist? Does that mean you are a narrow-minded bigot?

Let me ask you another question: If you see a nun in your town wearing a nun's habit, do you feel invaded? If you see a Tibetan Buddhist monk in your town wearing monk robes, do you feel invaded? If not, then "narrow-minded bigot" and "intolerant racist" must miss the mark. Something else is causing you to feel invaded when you see a woman in a burqa.

A burqa is a visible sign indicating that the wearer is following a particular ideology. If we see a Catholic nun in a Catholic nun habit, we can guess with a high degree of certainty what ideology she follows. If we see a Tibetan monk with a shaved head and a saffron robe, we can guess with a high degree of certainty what ideology he is following. If we see a man who has shaved his head and has a swastika tattooed on his neck, we can guess with a high degree of certainty what ideology he follows.

Back to the woman in a burqa. Why are you bothered by seeing a woman in a burqa walking down your local street, but many of your fellow citizens are not the slightest bit bothered by it? Some of your fellow citizens would be much more bothered by the fact that you feel invaded. Why? Because they don't know much about Islamic doctrine. They believe Islam is just like any other religion. They may see the woman in a burqa as a wonderful manifestation of multiculturalism. You see it as an invasion. The only difference is how much you each know about Islam.

If you know someone who is not bothered by a woman in a burqa, talk to them about Islamic doctrine. Do it gently. Think small bits and long campaigns. Use Inquiry Into Islam to help you. It may take awhile for the reality to sink in, but when it does, we are in a better position to marginalize, discredit, and disempower orthodox Islam. The fewer non-Muslims unacquainted with Islam the better off we'll be.
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Joe Zawinul and John McLaughlin
In A Silent Way

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Muslims Turn Kosovo Orthodox Shrine into Public Toilet


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Egyptian Interior Ministry: Muslim Brotherhood Protest Leaders Will Be Executed

The Egyptian Independent reported:
Interior Ministry spokesperson Hani Abdel Latif said in a press statement issued Thursday that the penalty for leading a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration will be the death sentence, even if it is a woman.
The harsh move comes in accordance with yesterday’s declaration of the Broterhood a terrorist organization, which was issued after the car bombing in Mansoura that killed at least 15 people. Though an unaffiliated terrorist group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes, claimed responsibility for the attack, the newly empowered political establishment has decided to ride the wave of fear and take the opportunity to further squash the only viable political opposition to their rule. Meanwhile, the interim government has yet to produce evidence linking the Brotherhood to the attack.
Following the ouster of Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy, his opponents have pushed forward their democratic roadmap, which will supposedly bring the country closer to democracy. The latest move, however, seems to be further evidence that the new path set forth by the interim government is not one of a democracy, but rather a step back to the Mubarak-era police state that ruled with an iron fist and snuffed out all political opposition.
The next step in the roadmap, which is the most challenging one, is to approve the newly amended Constitution in a referendum to be held on 14 and 15 January. In defiance, the Brotherhood has vowed to block the referendum by protesting.
Abdel Latif added that those who take part in such demonstrations or is a part of the group’s leadership will also be imprisoned.

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Obama Claus

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John Coltrane
I'll Wait and Pray

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

US Dept. Of Justice FINALLY Charges Knockout Game Suspect With Hate Crime

But he just happens to be the only white man I have heard of who has committed this kind of attack.

What do you know?

The Washington Times reported:
Federal authorities said Thursday they have arrested and charged a Texas man in connection with the “knockout game,” accusing him of a hate crime for targeting a black man for a vicious street attack.
Most knockout victims that have appeared in news reports have been white, but the Justice Department said in this instance the victim was a 79-year-old black man, and stepped in with federal charges.
“Suspected crimes of this nature will simply not be tolerated,” said Kenneth Magidson, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Texas. “Evidence of hate crimes will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted with the assistance of all our partners to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Justice Department said it filed a criminal complaint against 27-year-old Conrad Alvin Barrett on Tuesday and arrested him on Thursday.
According to Justice officials, Mr. Barrett recorded himself on his cellphone attacking the 79-year-old man, laughing and saying “Knockout” as he runs away.
The 79-year-old man had his jaw broken in the Nov. 24 attack.
“The plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?” Mr. Barrett says in the video, according to the authorities.
Meanwhile, dozens of black on white “knockout” attacks are completely ignored by this administration.
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How is this cheerleader-turned-soldier someone to celebrate if she's also a dhimmi?

Rachel Washburn, a former cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles, led a career as a soldier in Afghanistan. But what she says in this USA Today interview leaves me with a bad aftertaste:
Prior to her first eight-month tour in Afghanistan in 2011-12, she became part of a new "Cultural Support Team" program to attach women to special ops units to relate to Afghan women.

"I was always seen as somebody they could relate to and not this American imposter who brings my values to that country," said Washburn, who wore a head scarf when amongst the Afghans.

"We kind of noticed that women everywhere share certain similarities. They obviously care about their home, their children. Women everywhere love pretty things. So if we wore a pretty head scarf, it would be like an icebreaker."
Is she saying the values in the USA are junk?!? That's the vibe I'm getting from her comment. Furthermore, I doubt she for one noticed what similarities the women in Afghanistan have, which is submission to men as property. And what's so "pretty" about a burka that isn't so pretty about a colorful dress? The boat she missed is that whether men or women, Muslims are de facto more accepting of women who submit to their beliefs that a woman must wear oppressive clothing.

Some people might think she's someone to celebrate. I strongly disagree, and believe she's a disgrace because she did not think for herself, and trashed American values by legitimizing backwards beliefs and not trying to get through to the Afghans about why there's more to life than living in self-induced poverty and other forms of vile oppression. How can we improve the situation in jihad-stricken war zones we refuse to make it clear to the backwards inhabitants what beliefs they have aren't acceptable?
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Jihadist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev must get the death sentence

In this Fox interview, one of the guests makes clear that the Boston jihadist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has to be given the death penalty for his crimes against thousands of Bostonians who only wanted to enjoy a simple marathon. The judge in the case called on attorney general Eric Holder to make a decision. But who knows if he'll make the right choice?

In related news, a letter writer to the Boston Herald, whose daughter has a fiance who'd been injured in the bombing, asks that victims be put first in focus.
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Russian forensics experts conclude Arafat didn't die from poisoning

Even though he would've deserved every bit of it. Here's what they had to say:
Moscow — Russian forensic experts studying the remains of Yasser Arafat on Thursday said the Palestinian leader died a natural death, ruling out radiation poisoning.

"We have completed all the studies," Vladimir Uiba, head of Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA), told a news conference.

"The person died a natural death and not from radiation."

A Palestinian envoy, however, said the Palestinian authorities will press on with a probe into the 2004 death of Arafat.
Simply put, they're not willing to accept facts on the ground, because hatred for Israel is too much to allow that. This is why they've doubtless rejected the French forensics team's conclusions too. And, to be sure, they're already brewing up more hatemongering amongst their subjects as they have before.
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The US Refuses Children's Christmas Cards To Veterans Because They Say Merry Christmas

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We are BACK in the world

Last Friday morning,  we awoke to a weather forecast on local TV which told us this:

'We are expecting an ICE STORM in which we are CERTAIN there will be widespread and long term outages'

The word outage out here in Maine 15 miles from a town of 26,000, in a town of 2000, on road which we DID build and we maintain and we clear the brush and snow from ... means you are about to get cut off from the world for ..?????

In the event it was sunday until late last night.

So on the day we host our neighborhood Christmas party we decided to go out the next morning and get a 4000 watt generator. That would give us our water pump, just cold water (but toilets!!), and lots of lights, and the ability to use one burner on the stove (and a decision to DITCH the electric range for a gas unit, although out gas grill is right outside the door on the deck, but that turned out not to matter).

Sat came and we ran out to Harbor Freight after I called to be sure they had the generator. They said they had 4. We drove over, a drive of about 25 minutes. ALL GONE. They were carting out 3 of the next larger size, 8750 watts. We asked what was left, and they said they had ONE of those left and THAT WAS IT. Home Depot was out, we knew, and Lowes had about a dozen of a unit that was into 4 figures (not happening). So I ran in and SAT on it while Mrs. Epa waited for the guys helping to load the generator came back and we walked out with a larger generator. The good news is that it was powerful enough for the hot water heater (which we have on a heater timer).

On the way back we stopped at Lowes and bought the NEMA plugs, and 35 feet of 10/4 rubber coated line. They had about 60 feet left. They normally have about a 1000. Significantly the outlets which you wire from your breaker panel to the side of your house were GONE in both Lowes' and home Depot. So I was going to have to wire this plug to the line, and the line to the panel with a 40 amp double pole breaker.

Sunday by noon, DONE.  Generator in place.

Bangor Hydroelectric maintains a live real time outage map whose input is people calling in to report no power. We watched that spread toward us like a tide of radiation on the wind of a nuclear war.

And then flicker, flicker flicker ....GONE.

Fired up the generator!  We have all lights now - those horrific CFL's and some LED's except for the outside halogens, so the lights we no problem wattage wise. All normal total wattage to light the house very low. Toilets, hot water. Wonderful. In the spring, summer and winter we could just get a bucket and fill the toilet tanks, but THIS winter the cold was so intense the ice was already thick enough to walk on NO WORRY. So we were all thrilled. Just keep the generator gas tank filled! I had 25 gallons ready to go. The 6.6 gallon tank ran for about 10-12 hours.

The cable was even working, so we had TV and internet.

And then the next morning, THAT was out, and since there is no phone service without our cell phone network extender, that was that. The world was our little lane, unless we drove into town and had service.

Of course, even with 4 wheel drive, with 3/4 of an inch of ice on the ground OVER snow, and under snow that was somewhat inadvisable, to say the least.

The world disappeared. There is nothing outside yourself and your family and your immediate requirements. No Obama. No Obamacare, no Duck Dynasty, no posting of Tanaka, and the crank powered emergency radio was actually filled with pre recorded shows ..CHRISTMAS, dudes! And shortwave from Russia. In fact the only thing we missed was all the cheesy hallmark Christmas movies we were watching (go figure, Jews love that stuff)

The storm stopped Tuesday AM. Roads just passable enough to get the Titan to the nearest convenience store/gas station which was operating on generators. They powered the gas pumps, the cash register and 1 of every 3 lights. No one was filling their vehicles, everyone was filling 5 gallon gas cans and no one had less than 2.

We were all thankful and in a good mood. Christmas eve day! Everyone there was prepared. Who wasn't? We slowed down as we approached our road and  lowered the windows on the truck. Every single house had a generator running.

Every single house.

Welcome to Maine.

My wife and I usually spend part of this vaca with the grandchildren and by yesterday the roads were great. I could not leave with no power except to feed the thirsty generator and heat available only from the wood stoves during this. So I took the wife to the train which runs from Portland (2.5 hours away) to Boston. On the way we saw CARAVANS of electric company trucks from ALL OVER heading north on I-295. ON CHRISTMAS DAY! A good sign. In the vehicle we had heard Bangor Hydro warning everyone if you did not have power by dawn today you probably were out until THIS COMING TUESDAY. I immediately decided to get more gas cans.

Dropped off Mrs Epa, and decided to enjoy a bit and went to LL Bean's home store in Freeport on the way home, which is open 24x7x365 and there was a BIG HAPPY CROWD there. BIG. The only other place open in town was China Rose, which was mobbed with who I assumed (being one) was the rest of the local members of the TRIBE.

Two hours after leaving LL Bean as I got to the top of the hill near home I was passed by 6 Bangor Hydro trucks honking in the dark as they passed me with drivers waving and shouting something, I waved back with hope. They appeared to me like the liberating forces sweeping through France.

And there at the top of the hill, about 1000 feet above our little vale and ponds I could see all the Christmas lights lit and flashing against the ermine ice and snow.

And the world is back, but I am in a much better mood.

So SORRY I didn't get to email my friends here with a merry Christmas wish so please accept this belated one.

Here it is .... DISCONNECT for a few days and be with those you love.

Until they get on your nerves.

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Nat King Cole
The Christmas Song

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Blackmore's Night
I Saw Three Ships

Good King Wenceslas

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Luke 2:1-20

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.


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Celtic Woman
Adestes Fideles

Blackmore's Night

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What Christmas Is All About

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"Wrongful Birth"?

Should parents suing for “wrongful birth” raise these children?

From Live Action News: 

Kristi Burton Brown for Live Action News recently reported on Brock and Rhea Wuth being awarded $50 million because their son, Oliver, was born with an “unbalanced chromosome translocation.” Just like the Levys, who won a “wrongful birth” lawsuit because their daughter was born with Down Syndrome, the Wuths would have chosen abortion for their son had they known about his condition. And it seems that the Wuths particularly consider their son to be a burden. Their lawyer mentioned that the child, now five years old, will need “24/7 care for the rest of his life.” 

I will admit that it can be frustrating that, as The Seattle Times reported, there was a mistake with the lab:

According to court papers in the wrongful-birth case, Valley ordered a prenatal test that can be counted on to find this type of chromosomal abnormality only when the lab receives additional information — a “road map,” essentially — showing it where to look for the specific problem. Valley failed to send that information to the lab, and never told Rhea Wuth that without the additional directions, the test results might not answer the crucial question.
Although the lab’s own procedures specify it should follow up with a phone call when such information is missing, that call was not made, said the family’s lawyer, Todd Gardner, of Renton.
The lab missed the translocation. Had the couple known of the genetic defect, they would have ended the pregnancy, according to court filings in the case.
The verdict is the largest individual award in Washington state history, according to Jury Verdicts Northwest, which tracks jury awards.
The piece also concludes with a statement from the parents’ lawyer:
The Wuths, who are both teachers, were “incredibly responsible” in seeking information and testing, Gardner said. “There was nothing else they could have done.”
Despite any kind of unfortunate circumstance of the lab being found of not doing the procedure correctly, it is worth wondering as to if the Wuths are really deserving of $50 million. Also, it is the kind of selfish, pro-abortion viewpoint that regards the Wuths as being “incredibly responsible,” especially considering they would have aborted their child. It also speaks to our society that demands, and wins, such a large sum of money for being wronged.

Kristi’s piece for Live Action News concludes with a relevant piece from Rod Drehar for The American Conservative:
This is a horrible case, no doubt about it. I agree that this family should get something for the expenses they have incurred and will incur in caring for their child. But the only way that is justified is if you accept their belief that the child should not be alive. We mustn’t minimize the emotional pain this couple is going through, but still, I cannot imagine going to court and claiming that I was wronged because I wasn’t given the opportunity to exterminate the disabled child I now care for. It’s gruesome.
I have to ask the Wuths, and the Levys as well, do they love their child? Some may be taken aback at such a question, but when parents sue over their child being disabled, a child they would have aborted, how can they look at that child the same way? Perhaps their disabled children will not be able to understand the concept, but that doesn’t make it any less shameful. Nothing says “you are a burden to me” more so than suing for and winning such large sums of money to ease the pain of having such a child.

There is a way though where the parents wouldn’t have to deal with such a child. If it really was so hard to have to raise a disabled child as the one they conceived, they could have very well placed him or her with a loving family. It may feel strange to give up one’s offspring at first, but it’s a lot less strange than aborting that child or bemoaning to the tune of demanding money. But then again, perhaps adoption does not ease the pain and burden as much as winning $50 million does. What a shameful culture we live in.


I can’t explain why we shouldn’t murder disabled children

I don’t know.

I don’t know how else to explain this. Can I really formulate an argument that will explain why we shouldn’t murder disabled children? If you don’t immediately recognize the eugenic slaughter of handicapped babies as something severely troubling, I’m not sure that I can offer any insights to help you understand.

You see, this is the problem. This is why we can’t come to any agreements. This is why our arguments are fruitless. They don’t have to be — arguing could be a rather worthwhile activity. But a constructive argument, or debate, or dialogue, or whatever you want to call it, requires both parties to have some shared concept of right vs wrong and fact vs fiction. Without that, neither side can appeal to the other, because they both exist in entirely different universes.

So, me personally, I’m livin’ over here in a world where it’s never OK to execute a disabled baby, or any baby, for any reason. In fact, in my universe — a universe we might call “reality” — the murder of children could be, without hyperbole, classified as THE worst thing. It is the worst of all that is bad. It is the lowest of low. It is the ugliest of ugly. It is the Pinnacle of Wrong. If it isn’t wrong to kill children, then it can not be wrong to do anything else.

Let me say that again, because it’s a crucial point:

If it isn’t wrong to kill children, then it can not be wrong to do anything else.

Literally anything else.

Slavery? Genocide? How can they be condemned? Of what sort of moral standard have they fallen short? If the bar has sunken low enough so that infanticide can leap above it, then I doubt that any atrocity could find a way to limbo underneath.

Believe it or not, even politically incorrect comments about homosexuality have to be excused if we are to believe that baby killing is a moral act.

I’m often told that I need to be more understanding on this topic, but this is an unfair request. There are people — millions of them, in fact — who think it should be legal to murder babies, but then illegal to, say, pay a fast food worker less than minimum wage, or refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. How could I possibly understand this mentality? How could I wrap my head around the thought process that leads one to conclude that the latter cases are so atrocious — so dehumanizing — that they ought to be outlawed, but the former case is so acceptable that it ought to be vigorously defended, and even funded, by the federal government?

Understanding? No. I do not understand. I do not. And I hope that I never do. CS Lewis wrote about the Abolition of Man, and reading his book is the closest I can come to understanding a society that has devolved into this kind of murderous insanity. He wrote:

“The Tao, which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or ideologies all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they posses.”
We have arbitrarily wrenched certain values from the One Source of all values, and they have now swollen to madness in their isolation.

I say all of this because my initial intention was to sit down and write about the couple in Washington who just won a 50 million dollar “wrongful birth” settlement. Brock and Rhea Wuth sued a hospital because their son was born severely disabled. No, they were not alleging that the hospital caused the disability; they alleged that the hospital (and a lab testing facility) did not run the correct tests that would have detected the genetic defects while the child was still in the womb. Had they been given the correct tests, they would have known that the baby was “defective,” and then killed it. Tragically, they were robbed of the opportunity to abort their son, so the hospital must pay for the son’s care — for the rest of his life.

Oh, but don’t judge them: they still “love” their child. They wish he was dead, they wish they had killed him, but they still “love” him. Make no judgments. Offer no stern words. They sued a hospital for not giving them the chance to kill their child, but do not think yourself qualified to condemn such a thing.

Or that’s what I’ve been told, anyway.

So I sat down and intended to write about this case. I was going to explore all of the angles. I was going to point out, as a secondary issue, how these “wrongful birth lawsuits” (this one is hardly the first) will serve to make it even more expensive to have a baby at a hospital. Think of the liability issues involved if medical establishments can now be sued for not killing your baby. I was going to explain how this story is an inevitable side effect of the death cult philosophy which tells us that human life is worthless, and a parent’s right to convenience and comfort can trump a child’s right to the life God gave it. I was going to point out how the Nazis also murdered the disabled for the same reason we do: to rid society of those who might be considered a “burden.”

Here’s an excerpt from Hitler’s Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring:

Since the National Revolution public opinion has become increasingly preoccupied with questions of demographic policy and the continuing decline in the birthrate. However, it is not only the decline in population which is a cause for serious concern but equally the increasingly evident genetic composition of our people. Whereas the hereditarily healthy families have for the most part adopted a policy of having only one or two children, countless numbers of inferiors and those suffering from hereditary conditions are reproducing unrestrainedly while their sick and asocial offspring burden the community.

I was going to say that abortion apologists have, in more than one way, aligned themselves with one of the most wicked political regimes in the history of mankind.

I was going to explain why this is not a good thing.

I was going to explain why disabled children shouldn’t be murdered.

I was going to explain why all children, disabled or not, should be protected.

I was going to, but I can’t. These facts are self evident, and I can’t explain a self evident fact. I’m not that good.

If you don’t understand, I can’t make you. All I can do is pray for your soul.

And I will. I promise.


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Palestinians Cheer Local ‘Hitler’: “We Are All Hitler! We Are With You Even to Death!”

Of course they did. 
The people above are their elected leaders.

From Gateway Pundit:

Jamal Abu Al-Rub, known in his hometown as ‘Hitler,’ is a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He doesn’t look that much like Adolf Hitler but he does have a mustache – and he wants to annihilate the Jews. (Frontpage)

Palestinian terrorist leader and politician Jamal Abu Al-Rub, or ‘Hitler,’ is gaining support in the West Back for his radical policies. The local Hitler will represent his district in the Fatah government.
Frontpage reported:
A terrorist known in his hometown as “Hitler” – both for his physical resemblance to the German dictator and for his policies – has swept local primaries and will represent his district for the ruling Fatah party in upcoming Palestinian legislative elections, according to Palestinian sources.
Jamal Abu Al-Rub, a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, won the Fatah primaries in the northern Samarian village of Qabatya, just outside Jenin, election officials say. He was one of dozens of terrorists and militant leaders to dominate the local elections.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, founded in 2000, is a terrorist group responsible for dozens of deadly suicide bombings and hundreds of shooting attacks against Israeli civilians.
…Abu al Rub has since won the admiration of many Palestinians for daring to assault one of the most powerful figures in Fatah.
“Oh Hitler, you have brought pride to the homeland and Allah,” wrote on of Abu al Rub’s fans on Facebook.
Another fan wrote: “We are all Hitler. We are with you even to death!”
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Merry Christmas Infidels!

The story of Ebenezer Scrooge is my favorite Christmas tale and this version my favorite Christmas movie. We watch it as a family every year after decorating the tree.

When our oldest daughters moved out I made sure they had a copy at Christmas for themselves.



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Army Tells Soldiers Not to Say “Christmas”

FOX News reported:
Don’t say Christmas.
That’s the message that was conveyed to a group of soldiers at Camp Shelby by an equal opportunity officer from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, according to a soldier who attended a recent briefing.
“It’s unbelievable that the Army would ban ‘Christmas’ like it’s a bad word,” said Michael Berry, an attorney with the Liberty Institute, a legal firm representing the unidentified soldier.
Two weeks ago, a routine meeting was held at the Mississippi base with various leaders of the 158th Infantry Brigade. During the meeting, they discussed an upcoming Christmas football tournament. The equal opportunity officer immediately objected to the usage of the word “Christmas.”
“Our equal opportunity representative stopped the briefing and told us that we can’t say Christmas,” the soldier told me. “Almost the entire room blew up. Everybody was frustrated. The equal opportunity rep told our commander that not everyone celebrates Christmas and we couldn’t say Christmas celebration. It had to be holiday celebration.”
The soldier said there was a brief, but heated discussion about political correctness. At one point, the equal opportunity representative tried to deflect the criticism by pointing out it was the Army’s rules – not hers.
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Egypt Brands Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization

Keep in mind, Barack Oscuma supports the Muslim Brotherhood.

From the AP:
A powerful explosion believed to be caused by a car bomb rocked a police headquarters in a Nile Delta city north of Cairo early Tuesday, killing at least 14 people and injuring scores, according to the state news agency and a security official.
The interim government accused the Muslim Brotherhood of orchestrating the attack, branding it a “terrorist organization.”
The Middle East News Agency quoted Cabinet spokesman Sherif Shawki as saying that the Muslim Brotherhood showed its “ugly face as a terrorist organization shedding blood and messing with Egypt’s security.”
The attack came a day after an al-Qaeda-inspired group called on police and army personnel to desert or face death at the hands of its fighters.
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Celtic Woman
The Little Drummer Boy

Carol Of The Bells

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"Moderate" Iran Rejects Reuters Report on Rouhani’s Willingness to Mend Ties with West 

 From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

"Moderate" Iran Rejects Reuters Report on Rouhani’s Willingness to Mend Ties with West.(Fars).

Senior Iranian officials on Monday dismissed as “completely untrue” a Reuters report alleging that President Hassan Rouhani has underlined his willingness to improve ties with the West in an article in the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, stressing that such an article basically never existed.
Reuters claimed in a Monday morning news report that the Iranian president has written “a contribution for the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper” and said that “we want to rebuild and improve our relations to European and North American countries on a basis of mutual respect”.

We are striving to avoid new burdens on relations between Iran and the United States and also to remove the tensions that we have inherited,” Reuters quoted the Iranian president as saying in Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

In response, Iran’s Presidential Advisor Mohammad Reza Sadeq strongly rejected the Reuters report, saying President Rouhani has not at all sent any note or article to Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

“Irrespective of the content, Dr. Rouhani has not sent any note or piece of writing to this German publication and attributing this contribution to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s President is a lie,” Sadeq told FNA Monday evening.

The Iranian media wired or released similar reports on the basis of the Reuters news item today, and Sadeq urged the Iranian media to contact the presidential office in such cases and avoid giving out news on the basis of foreign media reports on Iranian officials.
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Marks and Spencer apologizes over Muslim staff policy

 From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

Marks and Spencer apologizes over Muslim staff policy.(Telegraph).
Marks and Spencer says shoppers won't be refused alcohol by staff as it claims a failure to follow internal policy led to a shopper being told to queue elsewhere because a Muslim worker couldn't serve them alcohol.

Customers at Marks and Spencer will not be refused alcohol or pork by Muslim staff after the store reacted to a massive backlash by customers.

Thousands of shoppers threatened to boycott the retailer after Marks and Spencer said it would allow Muslim staff to refuse to sell pork and alcohol because it was against their religious beliefs.

But now Marks and Spencer has apologised and said that Muslim staff who did not want to handle these products would not man tills and would work in other roles such as in clothing or in the bakery.

The issue was revealed after customers at a London branch of Marks and Spencer were told they would have to use another till because the assistant would not be able to serve them pork or alcohol.

At the time Marks and Spencer said staff could refuse to sell these items, based on their religious beliefs. This led to a huge backlash by thousands of customers who threatened to boycott the store.

Marks and Spencer last night apologised and said it had made a mistake and was not following its internal policies.

In a statement, Marks and Spencer said: “Where we have an employee whose religious beliefs restrict food or drink they can handle, we work closely with our member of staff to place them in suitable role, such as in our clothing department or bakery in foods.

“We regret that in the case highlighted today we were not following our own internal policy.”

Angry customers created a Facebook page, calling on others to boycott the retailer. Some claimed it was creating “division” in communities while others said if this policy was followed they would have to allow Christians who opposed homosexuality to refuse to serve gay customers.
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God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

We infidels have good cause to be dismayed. But not at Christmastide, a time to be merry for the Best Reason.

About King's College Choir:
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge is one of today's most accomplished and renowned representatives of the great British choral tradition. It was created by King Henry VI [6 December 1421 – 21 May 1471], who founded King's College, Cambridge, in 1441, to provide daily singing in his Chapel, which remains the main task of the choir to this day....

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Luke Chapter 1

Dedication to Theophilus

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled[a] among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.

John’s Birth Announced to Zacharias

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’[b] and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.
23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”[c]
29 But when she saw him,[d] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

The Song of Mary

46 And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.

Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.

Circumcision of John the Baptist

59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.”
61 But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zacharias’ Prophecy

67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited and redeemed His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David,
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began,
71 That we should be saved from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us,
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
74 To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited[e] us;
79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.


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Susan Rice on Benghazi: 'I don't have time to think about false controversy'

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Yes, Christopher, There Still is a Santa Claus

Many years ago, I wrote an article for my son at Christmas time. It was picked up by several newspapers in my city.  It was entitled "Yes, Christopher, There Still is a Santa Claus."

Here it is. Merry Christmas everyone!

The values of Christmas have been handed down by our culture from generation to generation and celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and the values that he stood for. In it’s more modern form, Christmas is represented by Santa Claus. And as you know, Santa is considered the most beloved person of children all over the world. Many children believe in him. You did too. And I hope you still do. But, as you are about to enter your teen years, Christopher, you probably are having your doubts on whether Santa Clause exists.

There will be a time - soon in fact - when your peers will tell you that belief in such things as Santa Claus is 'childish' and not the 'adult' thing to do. But little do these 'realists' know that adults are merely children who owe money.

So you ask me, "Is there a Santa Claus, Dad?"

And I reply, "Yes, Christopher, there still is a Santa Claus and you need him now more than ever before" - it’s just that he's harder to find as you grow older. Santa

Claus does exist - as surely as our hopes, our wishes and our dreams exist. He's the embodiment of the values of family, home and community. Like Christmas Eve itself, he's magic - not because there's magic in the world but because children see the world as magic. He's all that's good, unselfish and generous in the world, and, in his own way, he is Christmas.

When you were young, you received from Santa the explicit gifts of Christmas - toys, candy, and the obligatory sweater. But you also received the implicit gifts of family, home and love. Will you continue to receive Santa's gifts? Yes, you will.

But as you grow older, Christopher, you'll have to work harder to get them. When you were younger, you had to work to be good. As you grow older you'll have to work to create good. When you were younger, he found you. As you grow older you'll have to work to find him.

The times we live in suggest logic, cynicism and distrust are the 'values' of survival these days and that the intangibles of love, faith and hope are fast disappearing from our communal landscape. But you'll find that in the final analysis, those abstract intangibles are the only things worth having. But are they real? Ah, Christopher, there is nothing more real and abiding in this world. Hold strong the intangibles. Ignore the skeptics. These intangibles do serve a practical purpose.


Those who no longer wish, no longer dream. And those who lose their dreams lose their hopes. And those who lose hope are easy to control.  The freedom to live comes directly from the freedom to dream. And now, just as you have begun to internalize the values of your parents, you'll have to internalize the values of Christmas. Your journey of self-discovery has just begun and the wonder, awe and magic of life will always be there if you see and not just look, if you feel and not just touch, if you listen and not just hear.

Yes, Christopher, Santa Claus is harder to find when you grow up. But he does exist.

Where, you ask?

As Tinkerbell said to Peter Pan, you’ll find him in between the time you are asleep and the time you are awake - the time when you can still remember your dreams.


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White House Tries To Prevent Judge From Ruling On The Constitutionality Of NSA Surveillance

They say it's Constitutional, but they don't want Judges to consider it's Constitutionality.

Executive Branch Privilege, I guess.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration moved late Friday to prevent a federal judge in California from ruling on the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance programs authorized during the Bush administration, telling a court that recent disclosures about National Security Agency spying were not enough to undermine its claim that litigating the case would jeopardize state secrets. 
In a set of filings in the two long-running cases in the Northern District of California, the government acknowledged for the first time that the N.S.A. started systematically collecting data about Americans’ emails and phone calls in 2001, alongside its program of wiretapping certain calls without warrants. 
The government had long argued that disclosure of these and other secrets would put the country at risk if they came out in court. But the government said that despite recent leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, that made public a fuller scope of the surveillance and data collection programs put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, sensitive secrets remained at risk in any courtroom discussion of their details — like whether the plaintiffs were targets of intelligence collection or whether particular telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon had helped the agency. 
“Disclosure of this still-classified information regarding the scope and operational details of N.S.A. intelligence activities implicated by plaintiffs’ allegations could be expected to cause extremely grave damage to the national security of the United States,” wrote the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr. 
So, he said, he was continuing to assert the state secrets privilege, which allows the government to seek to block information from being used in court even if that means the case must be dismissed. 
The Justice Department wants the judge to dismiss the matter without ruling on whether the programs violated the First or Fourth Amendment.
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British Grocery Store Chain Tells Muslim Employees They Can Refuse To Serve Shoppers Buying Alcohol Or Pork


From the Daily Mail:
Marks and Spencer has told Muslim staff they can refuse to serve shoppers buying alcohol or pork, it has been revealed. 
The chain has granted checkout workers in more than 700 stores permission to politely decline to serve customers for religious reasons. Instead, shoppers are being asked to wait to pay for certain items at a different till. 
The policy highlights a divide among the mainstream food retailers over whether religious staff should be excused from certain tasks. 
In contrast to M and S, Sainsbury’s has told Muslim staff that there is no reason why they cannot handle goods such as alcohol and pork – even if they are not allowed to eat or drink the products. 
A spokesman said the retailer’s official guidelines – which see everyone treated ‘fairly’ – were written following consultations with religious groups, according to The Sunday Telegraph. 
However, Morrisons – which is based in Bradford, where there is a large Muslim population – said it had a long-standing commitment to ‘respecting and working around’ workers’ wishes not to handle certain products for religious or cultural reasons.

British Retail Giant Faces Boycott After It Gives Muslim Staff Permission to Not Sell Pork or Alcohol

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Ian Anderson
A Christmas Song

& Greg Lake
I Believe In Father Christmas

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

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Robert Spencer: Why Are Christians Persecuted in the Middle East?

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Republican Congressman: Obama is "Going Beyond Constitutional Powers", “Setting The Stage For Something Very Dangerous In The Future”

From the Daily Caller:
Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan believes that Congress must correct the dangerous path upon which President Barack Obama has set the nation. It is the job of Congress to “step up and take charge and point out when the President is going beyond his constitutional powers,” said Amash during an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller. 
He described the direction that the country is going is “scary” and accused President Obama of “setting the stage for some thing very dangerous in the future.” 
“I think it’s scary the direction the government is going, regardless of wether you have a Republican President or a Democratic President,” Amash said. 
“We have an executive branch that is getting way to powerful, and President Obama is setting the stage for something very dangerous in the future.” 
Amash also criticized the current Congress for failing to thwart Obama’s agenda. 
“I think as a Congress we need to step up and point out and take charge and point out when the President is going beyond his constitutional powers, which is frequent, and we have got to do something about it and we haven’t done that as a Congress,” he said.
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