"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Could Dandelion Tea Cause Cancer Cells to Commit Suicide?

Researchers in Windsor, Ont., have received an additional $157,000 grant for a total of $217,000 to study how effective dandelion root extract is in fighting cancer.

Siyaram Pandey, a biochemist at the University of Windsor, has been studying the anti-cancer potential of dandelion root extract for almost two years.

His team’s first phase of research showed that dandelion root extract forced a very aggressive and drug-resistant type of blood cancer cell, known as chronic monocytic myeloid leukemia, to essentially commit suicide.

Researchers then discovered that repeated treatment with low dose dandelion root extract was effective in killing most of the cancerous cells.

Those initial findings landed the research team a $60,000 grant from Seeds4Hope, which provides money for local cancer research.

Pandey then applied for continued funding from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation. That $157,000 came through earlier this week bringing the total to $217,000.

Pandey admits he was skeptical when he was first approached by local oncologist, Dr. Caroline Hamm, who was curious about cancer patients who had been drinking dandelion tea and seemed to be getting better.

"To be honest I was very pessimistic," Pandey said in a statement. "She said it could be coincidental but it couldn’t hurt to see if there is anything."

Hamm was convinced that the weed contains an active ingredient, but warned earlier this year that "it can harm as well as benefit."

She told CBC News in February that taking dandelion extract tea could interfere with regular chemotherapy, and she urged patients not to mix the natural remedy with other cancer drugs without speaking to a doctor first.

Pandey conducted a literature review and could only find one journal article suggesting dandelions may have cancer-killing properties. But he and his team of graduate students collected a bunch of the weeds anyway, ground them up with a mixture of water in a food processor and developed a simple formula they could experiment with.

They tested the formula on several lines of commercially available leukemia cells and much to their surprise, found that the formula caused those cells to kill themselves, a process called apoptosis.

"It was startling, but it was not that startling until we saw that it was non-toxic to the normal cells," he said.

John DiCarlo, 72, was admitted to hospital three years ago with leukemia. Even after aggressive treatment, he was sent home to put his affairs in order with his wife and four children.

The cancer clinic suggested he try the tea. Four months later, he returned to the clinic in remission. He has been cancer free for three years.

He said his doctor credits the dandelions.

"He said, 'You are doing pretty good, you aren't a sick man anymore'," DiCarlo told CBC News in February.

Iran Just Weeks from Nuclear Bomb Capability

From Joel C Rosenberg's Blog

Former IAEA deputy director Olli Heinonen confirmed to The Times of Israel, a report released last week by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, which stated Iran could muster enough uranium for a bomb by converting all of its 20-percent enriched stockpile within 1 to 1.6 months.

Excerpts from the Times of Israel story:

Earlier on Monday, IAEA Director Yukiya Amano met in Vienna with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, Tehran’s top nuclear negotiator, ahead of two days of technical talks between Iranian representatives and the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Amano described his meeting as important in addressing 'the outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program.'

P5+1 and Iran Meeting in Geneva

Speaking to journalists on a conference call organized by The Israel Project, Heinonen contrived to sound optimistic and pessimistic at the same time."

“They are forward looking,” he said about the Iranian negotiators. “And I think they have realized that they don’t get away from this situation unless they answer properly the questions raised by the IAEA and concerns raised by the international community. So I’m to a certain degree hopeful. But we have to make sure that everything is covered.”

"Asked specifically if Iran had passed the 'point of no return' in its nuclear program, Heinonen, today a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, replied, “Yes, in a certain way. But we have to remember what are the capabilities of Iran. People have slightly different definitions of breakout capability.”

In his assessment, which appears to concur with that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a critical level is reached when the Iranians have enriched enough uranium to weapons grade, in the form of hexafluoride gas enrichment, to create a nuclear bomb.

“But you still don’t have a nuclear weapon,” Heinonen added. Preparing the highly enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb would take another month or two, “assuming that someone has all the knowledge.” After that, assembling an actual nuclear weapon that can be delivered with a ballistic missile would take perhaps another year, he said.

Iran continues to install hundreds of new advanced centrifuges every month, drastically reducing the so-called breakout time it would require in order to produce weapons-grade uranium if it decided to do so, he said.

Israel has called for Iran to be stripped of all enrichment capability, saying even low-grade uranium could be made suitable for a nuclear weapon in a short time with enough centrifuges running.

“Regarding Iran, we are not impressed by the discussion surrounding the issue of 20% enrichment,” Netanyahu said Sunday, referring to reports that Tehran has been insisting on retaining the ability to enrich uranium to that level.

“Its importance is superfluous as a result of the improvements the Iranians have made in the past year, which allow them to jump over the barrier of 20% enrichment and proceed directly from 3.5% enrichment to 90% within weeks, weeks at most.”

Friday, October 25, 2013

No Place for Christian Ethics in Quebec

A group of Christian doctors opposing Quebec’s proposed euthanasia legislation, denied permission to present its views to the committee studying the bill, is warning the bill could require physicians to act against their religious principles.

Quebec Minister for Social Services and Youth Protection Veronique Hivon

The Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada was only told last Thursday morning — the final day of consultations — that its request had been denied.

The Quebec bill controversially proposes “terminal palliative sedation and medical aid in dying” as part of a new set of rules for Quebec healthcare professionals and institutions.

The rejection of the Christian doctors’ bid to join the euthanasia debate comes amid the Quebec government’s aggressive secularism agenda, embodied by its proposed charter of values.

The Christian medical group — which represents 1,500 doctors across Canada and 50 in Quebec — is alarmed that the bill could require physicians in Quebec to betray their principles. The proposed law would force all doctors in the province to refer any patient who wants to end his or her life to a medical board, which the group said is ethically problematic for its members.

Christian ethics, or any religious ethics, are of no importance to the current government of Quebec. The 'Charter of Values' referred to above is proposed legislation that would forbid the wearing of any visible religious symbols by anyone who works for the Province of Quebec. That includes large crosses, hijabs, turbans, etc., etc.

What also strikes me from the statement above is that there are only 50 Christian doctors registered in the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada. 1500 across Canada - 50 in Quebec, the second most populous province in the country. One would expect, based on population, there to be 250 - 300 Christian doctors registered there. Are they afraid to register, or is the number representative of the actual Christian population of Quebec?

Quebec used to be utterly dominated by the Catholic Church until the middle of the last century when people began abandoning the church and rebelling against it's self-proclaimed authority. There is still, I suspect, a lot of anti-religious sentiment in Quebec, and with the frequent revelations of sexual abuse by priests, it's not likely to improve any time soon.

We should be praying for spiritual revival in Quebec and literally sending missionaries to the spiritually third world province.

“We are disappointed that we were not told until the last day of hearings that we were unable to present,” said Larry Worthen, executive director of the group. “We are concerned about the bill’s lack of explicit conscience protection for physicians, pharmacists, and nurses.”

Furthermore, he says rejection by the committee fuels fears held by Christian doctors working in Quebec that their faith-based opinions on medical issues will not be taken seriously. Some doctors are even afraid of identifying themselves as Christian, said Mr. Worthen.

Dr. Liette Pilon, representative for the group’s doctors in Quebec said, “we cannot impose our values on a non-Christian society, but we hope the committee considers very carefully … the universal value of human life.”

Special consultations on the bill began Sept. 17, by invitation only. Groups not invited by the committee were required to submit an invitation request to committee secretary Anik Laplante, who passed requests along to leaders of the committee.

Fifteen uninvited groups submitted requests to present during the consultations, two of which were faith-based, said Ms. Laplante.

Ms. Laplante said information on the denied requests is “not available to the public.”

Briefs submitted to the committee, including those by groups unable to present, can be found on the bill’s webpage, said Laurie Comtois, a government spokesperson.

The National Assembly is “confident to get through the process before Christmas or … the beginning of the next year,” said Ms. Comtois.

National Post

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Decision to Strike Iran's Nuclear Facilities Coming Soon

This is the year for decision on Iran, says former IDF intelligence chief.
by joelcrosenberg

Fmr. IDF intel chief Amos Yadlin
"In a probing interview with New Republic published on Wednesday, former IDF (Isreali Defence Force) intelligence chief Amos Yadlin made his assessment clear: the coming year would be the year of decision for Israel," reports the Times of Israel. "The next several months, he said, would provide the last opportunity for Israel to confidently and effectively strike Iran’s nuclear program, if that’s what it chooses to do."

"Yadlin, now the director of the Tel Aviv-based Institute of National Security Studies, was careful not to advocate for an attack in the interview, and he made clear that Israel also has the option in the coming months to decide to leave the Iranian issue to the Obama administration, or Jerusalem could decide to live with a nuclear-capable Iran," notes the Times. "According to Yadlin, the timetable for an American decision is different, as US capabilities leave the option of a military strike available for longer. 'For the US, because of their capabilities, it is at least a year post-Israel and will depend on many operational parameters that should not be public knowledge,' he told the magazine’s Ben Birnbaum. He assessed, however, that US opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran may lessen depending on the success of ongoing negotiations between the West and the Iranian regime."

“I think in late 2013 or early 2014, especially if America sees that Iran is not serious about reaching an acceptable agreement and only continues to buy time, the US will accept an Israeli attack because a nuclear Iran is absolutely against American vital national security interests,” Yadlin said.

"The negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, which resumed last week in Geneva and left P5+1 representatives upbeat about conditions for a possible deal, are a win-win for Israel, the former military intelligence chief reasoned," reports the Times. "If a deal is reached 'which is reliable and contains intrusive inspections and turns the nuclear clock backwards, it’s better than the dangerous options of the ‘bomb or the bombing.’ And if negotiations fail, then there will be legitimacy to take preventive action to stop Iran,' he said.

Yadlin, who helped persuade then-defense minister Ehud Barak and Netanyahu back in 2010 not to strike Iran, said that the probability for a successful Israeli attack against Tehran’s nuclear program would soon diminish. 'It can be the last quarter of 2013 or the first, second or even third quarter of 2014. There is not a certain deadline, but the probability of success will eventually decrease to a level that may change the decision to launch the attack.'"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Bishop of Bling Suspended

The Vatican has suspended a senior German Church leader dubbed the "bishop of bling" by the media over his alleged lavish spending.

Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is accused of spending more than 31m euros (£26m; $42m) on renovating his official residence.

Bishop's Residence
 The Vatican said it deemed "appropriate... a period of leave from the diocese" for the bishop.

The suspension comes two days after he met the Pope to discuss the matter. Good for you Pope Francis. You have been a long time coming to the Vatican.

"A situation has been created in which the bishop can no longer exercise his episcopal duties", a Vatican statement said.

It said a Church commission would rule on the matter, but did not say where Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, 53, would go or what he would do while the inquiry was held.

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst
The head of Germany's main lay Catholic group, the Central Committee of German Catholics, Alois Glueck, welcomed the Vatican's decision.

He said: "Pope Francis's decision offers the chance of a first step toward a new beginning in the Limburg diocese, because the situation has become an increasing burden for the faithful there, and in all of Germany, over recent weeks."

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst - and his spending habits - had become infamous in Germany, where many people pay Church tax to the state. The tax raised 5.2bn euros for Catholics and 4.6bn euros for Protestants in 2012.

Calls were made for the bishop to resign after he was accused of lying under oath about his spending.

He was criticised for a first-class flight to India to visit the poor. I wonder how much he gave in alms to the poor people of India?

But his official residence is at the heart of the criticism, after renovations were originally costed at 5.5m euros. But overruns increased that cost to  31 million euros - $42 million.

German media are reporting that the residence was fitted with a bath that cost 15,000 euros, a conference table for 25,000 euros and a private chapel that cost 2.9m euros.

The story has attracted heavy coverage and has stoked controversy among Catholics.

It was in Germany that Martin Luther launched the Reformation five centuries ago in response to what he said were excesses and abuses within the Church.

The BBC's Alan Johnston, in Rome, says all this was bound to play badly with the new Pope, who has repeatedly expressed his disapproval of senior clerics whose lifestyles seem a little too lavish.

Pope Francis has also signaled his intention to clean up the Vatican's finances, appointing a commission to advise him on reforms.

There is no surprise in Rome that the Vatican has ordered the bishop's suspension from his duties while the spending row is investigated, our correspondent adds.

Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is the daughter of a Protestant pastor, said that she had expressed "hope that there will be an answer for believers, for people's confidence in their Church".

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mass Shootings have Tripled in US - AG

The average number of mass shootings in the US has tripled in recent years, US Attorney General Eric Holder said at an annual conference of police chiefs on Monday.

US Attorney General Eric Holder
The yearly average of mass shootings has tripled from an average of five per year between the years of 2000 and 2008, the attorney general said. At least 12 mass shootings have taken place in 2013.
I guess that means he expects about 3 more before the year is over.

Holder’s remarks at the annual meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) came the same morning as yet another mass shooting occurrence - this time at a middle school in Sparks, Nevada, where at least two were shot dead early Monday.

The last mass shooting event involving a school occurred in June in Santa Monica, California, when 23-year-old John Zawahri set fire to a home and killed five people near and on the campus of Santa Monica College. Zawahri was killed while exchanging gunfire with police at the school’s library.

From 2009 to 2012, 404 people were shot and 207 killed, according to the US Department of Justice. From 2000 to 2008, 324 people were shot and 145 were killed.

In the past ten years, the Justice Department has assisted in the training of 50,000 front-line officers, over 7,000 on-scene commanders, and more than 3,000 local, state, and federal agency heads on response tactics during active shooting incidents, Holder touted.

Despite the success, Holder cited instances like the Navy Yard shooting in September as proof that new strategies are needed for active shooter situations.

"Although research methods and results vary, it's become clear that new strategies - and aggressive national response protocols - must be employed to stop shooters in their tracks," Holder said.

He alluded to further arming and training for all levels of officers to avoid deaths in fast-moving events like the Navy Yard incident, where despite a seven-minute response time - claimed by DC Chief of Police Cathy Lanier for her force - 12 were ultimately shot and killed.

"To save lives, the first officers to arrive must sometimes be the ones to directly engage an active shooter," Holder said. "That's why all law enforcement officers must have the best equipment and most up-to-date training to confront these situations. We owe these officers nothing less."

The FBI’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Center works with all levels of law enforcement to assess those who could be potentially violent, Holder boasted, claiming hundreds of disrupted incidents by the center since 2011.

Though Holder spoke of ongoing improvement of coordination and success across law enforcement levels, he was chastised by IACP President Craig Steckler before the attorney general’s speech.

Steckler said in his introduction of Holder that his group “profoundly disagrees” with the Justice Department opting not to challenge laws legalizing the sale of marijuana that states like Colorado have passed - or may pass, in the case of California.

"This decision by the US Department of Justice, in our view, will open the floodgates for those who want to legalize marijuana throughout the country, those who have the resources to place initiatives and referendums on state ballots and those who've continued to profit from the sale of this unlawful drug," Steckler said to applause, CNN reported. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Groom Forgets Bride at Gas Station

Yikes! Hope she has a good sense of humour.

The Associated Press, Berlin

A German couple’s marriage got off to a rocky start when the groom forgot his bride at a highway gas station on the way home from their honeymoon, only noticing she was missing after hours had passed.

Police said on Friday the couple was heading home to Berlin from France when the man pulled over near the central town of Bad Hersfeld late Thursday to fill up their van. The woman had been sleeping in the back but got up — unbeknownst to the man — to use the toilets and he drove off before she returned.

Only after 2 hours on the road did he notice she was gone and called police, who said she was patiently waiting.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Unholy Alliance that's Destroying America

Dylan Ratigan is a New York Times best-selling author and former host of MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show. The show was the highest-rated non-prime time show on the network, aimed at critiquing what Ratigan sees as an unholy alliance between big business and government.

I'm delighted to find someone credible who agrees with my observation that big business is controlling government. 

Though his solutions are God-less, they are still promising and probably very necessary. This from his website

"We do not have a debt crisis!

We have a crisis in our dependence on two corrupted political parties, each paid to perpetuate a mass extraction on behalf of those that finance them in unique and sordid ways.

America has a crisis in the way that our government has institutionalized extractive banking, trade, tax, energy, education, and health systems from coast-to-coast.  It is so apparent that it was the underlying premise for my book “Greedy Bastards.”

The political parties, their methods and those who finance them are the root of the problem. And our government perpetuates these systems because our political “leaders” are directly dependent on the few economic beneficiaries of these grossly misaligned systems.

What is commonly referred to as debt is, in reality, what we must pay for the extraction in health or banking or the tax code. This is merely a symptom of the extraction.

As I described in “Greedy Bastards,” we are surrounded by unprecedented new methods all made unique by an ability to provide abundance of health or learning or other core resources for relative pennies. Look no further than people like  Sal Kahn in education, or  Jeffrey Brenner in health care, or Colin Archipley and his hydroponic farming methods.

The consolidated resources of political parties was likely necessary in 1890, when broad communication was nearly impossible for any given candidate.

But today, what is to stop five or ten political aspirants from running in open primaries using transparent financing, absent any political party whatsoever? What indeed, other than blatant stonewalling and subterfuge by the men and women of our two dominant parties who have established a ruling class in a nation that certainly doesn't want one and absolutely doesn't need one?

Until reforms like transparent financing and open primaries are implemented, however, we are left with two choices. One is to wallow in the tragedy of the dysfunction, which too many of us are selecting. Two, we can choose to embrace the amazing methods blossoming around us outside of the mainstream system.

These methods hold the promise of converting buildings to become energy positive batteries in a distributed power grid. Or to supply abundant food with the absolute minimum amount of water.  Or widespread education for pennies.

I have always believed that the size of the problem equals the size of the opportunity. And considering the obvious size of the problem presented by opaque election financing and extractive core systems, massive opportunities for reform surely surround us.

For me, finding those opportunities begins with deciding what I can do each day to move the ball forward. Setting my intent to shape what is directly in front of me creates the ability to reject political parties altogether. And until I hear discussion of open primaries and transparent election finance, I will remain deaf to the siren’s call of political party-bound screeds luring our nation toward dangerous straits."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Netanyahu says Preemptive Strike (on Iran) is still on the Table

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a thinly veiled defense of a possible Israeli preemptive strike on Iran during a Knesset commemoration Tuesday of the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War," reports the Times of Israel.

"In a speech to MKs [Members of Knesset] about the war, in which Israel was surprised by a coordinated Arab invasion on the northern and southern fronts, Netanyahu explained that IDF soldiers who fought in the bitter battles of that war 'saved us from paying the price of complacency.' In the end we won a great victory, but the lessons of the war have stayed with us these 40 years,'” Netanyahu said.

The first lesson is to never underestimate a threat, never underestimate an enemy, never ignore the signs of danger," Netanyahu said. "We can’t assume the enemy will act in ways that are convenient for us. The enemy can surprise us. Israel will not fall asleep on its watch again."

"The second lesson, he added, was that 'we can’t surrender the option of a preventive strike. It is not necessary in every situation, and it must be weighed carefully and seriously. But there are situations in which paying heed to the international price of such a step is outweighed by the price in blood we will pay if we absorb a strategic strike that will demand a response later on, and perhaps too late.'"

Netanyahu added: “A preventive war, even a preventive strike, is among the most difficult decisions a government can take, because it will never be able to prove what would have happened if it had not acted. But the key difference between the [1967] Six Day War and the [1973] Yom Kippur War lies first of all in the fact that in the Six Day War we launched a preventive strike that broke the chokehold our enemies had placed on us, and on Yom Kippur the government decided, despite all warnings, to absorb the full force of an enemy attack.”

"The prime minister is engaged in a blitz of international meetings and interviews warning against any slackening of international sanctions directed at the Iranian regime over its nuclear enrichment program," the Times reported. "Netanyahu has openly threatened that Israel would unilaterally attack the Iranian nuclear program if it was allowed to advance to the point where Iran was able to develop a nuclear weapon. Sources close to the Prime Minister’s Office suggested the Tuesday speech was directed at the Iranian issue. Netanyahu also offered hints at Israel’s negotiating position in peace talks with the Palestinians."

Search this blog for 'Israel' for other posts on this subject.

“The third lesson” of the war, he said, “is the strategic importance of buffer zones. [Israel’s] control of the Golan [Heights] and the Sinai Peninsula [in 1973] prevented an enemy penetration deep into the country” in the first days of the war.

"Press reports sourced to leaks from the peace talks with the Palestinians have suggested in recent days that Israel seeks to retain security control over the Jordan Valley as a buffer zone to the east," noted the Times.

And, Netanyahu said, “there is a fourth lesson: Peace is attained from a position of strength. In the Yom Kippur War, despite the enemy’s excellent opening position, they learned they could not best us with weapons. Five years later, [Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat and [prime minister Menachem] Begin signed a peace deal, and later [peace accords were signed] with Jordan. Now we are engaged in a serious investment in [making] peace with the Palestinians. Peace was achieved when our neighbors understood we are powerful and will not disappear.”

From Joel C Rosenberg

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Honest, Judge, I'm Only Mostly Dead

Where's Miracle Max when you need him?

An Ohio man is finding out there's no easy way to come back from the dead.

Donald Miller Jr. went to court this week to ask a county judge to reverse a 1994 ruling that declared him legally dead after he had disappeared from his home eight years earlier. But the judge turned down his request, citing a three-year time limit for changing a death ruling.

Hancock County Probate Court Judge Allan Davis called it a "strange, strange situation."

"We've got the obvious here. A man sitting in the courtroom, he appears to be in good health," said Davis, who told Miller the three-year limit was clear.

"I don't know where that leaves you, but you're still deceased as far as the law is concerned," the judge said.

'It kind of went further than I ever expected it to...' said Donald Miller Jr.

Miller resurfaced about eight years ago and went to court so that he could get a driver's license and reinstate his Social Security number.

His ex-wife had opposed the move, saying she doesn't have the money to repay the Social Security benefits that were paid out to her and the couple's two children after Miller was declared dead.

Robin Miller said her former husband vanished because he owed big child support payments and that the overdue payments had totalled $26,000 by 1994, The (Findlay) Courier reported.

Miller, 61, who now lives in the northwest Ohio city of Fostoria, told the judge that he disappeared in the 1980s because he had lost his job and he was an alcoholic. He lived in Florida and Georgia before returning to Ohio around 2005.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pot, Schizophrenia, and The Truth

Since posting 'Does Pot Make You Crazy?" last month, I have had some interesting comments about it. The post lists a number of Psychiatric doctors, leaders in their respective countries, who claim that high potency pot has contributed to a dramatic increase in the incidence of schizophrenia, especially, but not exclusively, among young teens. 

Many readers reject the opinions of these learned and experienced scientists in favour of their own opinion, which they deem to be much superior, regardless of their education or lack of it. I have come to the opinion that these people are users and no amount of 'proof' would convince them that there is any problem with their habit.

There was an old Christian teacher, one time, who declared, "morality dictates theology". In other words, we construct our image of God and His requirements according to what will allow us to continue with the habits that we enjoy. This is certainly true for some but others diligently seek the truth and eventually find it, even though it comes at some cost.

Pot smokers have a similar standing. They construct the truth to meet their own desires disregarding scientific fact or reality. Paul Simon wrote in his wonderful song, 'The Boxer', "Still a man he hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest". This selective hearing has nothing to do with the truth and everything to do with the 'will'. 

Our will overpowers our common sense, our ability to hear the truth, and rejects anything that comes with a cost. I'm not talking money here, I'm talking having to give up something - sacrifice. You can only really know the truth when you are willing to sacrifice whatever it is that gets in the way of it. You don't actually have to sacrifice it to know the truth, but you have to be willing to sacrifice it.

Once you know the truth, it is up to you whether you want to continue with your habit. You can play Russian Roulette with your sanity if you so choose, but don't pretend that there is no risk involved - that gun has a bullet in it!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Self-Immolation of the Republican Party of the US

When I think of the Republican in the US, I envision a dirt-poor, idiotic hillbilly sitting on the ground with a rifle happily shooting his toes off one by one. His demented brain thinks the pain is actually fun. That he will soon bleed to death never occurs to him; he's having fun.

As a born-again, right-wing, conservative Christian, I have a certain empathy for the Tea-Partiers and share many of their beliefs, but their methods are repulsive. The Tea Party has forced Speaker Boehner into the corner that he's in - a corner with no possible way out with dignity, and no  possible way out without losing a great deal of political collateral.

The Tea Party, though small in numbers is steering the Republican Party like a rudder steers a ship. It is using threats to less conservative Republicans to support their plans or they will be challenged in the next election. Tea Partiers wave the Stars and Stripes, ask God to bless America, and generally appeal to Christians because of their stance against abortion, gay rights, big government, etc. They are also against universal health care which they have convinced Christians is a bad thing.

Here are the problems with Tea Partiers and their supporters:

Refusing health care for some people is completely unChrist-like. The Bible says that we will be judged on our attitudes and actions toward the sick and the poor. Being a Christian will not exempt you from that judgement.

You cannot set up a theocracy in the US! It will result in absolute anarchy and will make the Gospel impossible to share with anyone who isn't already a Christian.

Fighting against the government in an effort to destroy it is also anti-Biblical. Neither Jesus, nor any of the Apostles, fought against the governments of their day. They taught respect for authority, not contempt. In the first century the Biblical world was run by Romans. During the latter days of Paul and John, Nero was Caesar. Nero used to turn Christians into living candles to light his garden at night. Yet, not one word has been written by either disciple against him.

The only people for which Jesus showed contempt were the religious hypocrites. The people who were so dogmatic they didn't recognize God when He stood in their midst. In today's world, that might be the Tea Partiers. Do they not realize that God appoints rulers? Can they not see that President Obama won the last election because of his reaction to Hurricane Sandy? Do you think hurricane Sandy was not ordained by God? If so, you don't know your Bible, and you don't really know God.

Christians, you are being manipulated, used and abused by people who think they can run the US better than the man God appointed. If your attitude is one of contempt toward Barack Obama, then you are expressing contempt for God Who chose him. You should be very uncomfortable with that.

You cannot hate someone you are truly praying for. Real prayer will result in loving the person who is the focus of your prayer. If you hate Obama it is because you are not genuinely praying for him - for him, not for his views to line up with yours - that is praying for yourself. Pray for God to meet his needs and for him to turn to God often and to hear His voice.

Stop the political nonsense and concentrate on the spiritual, on prayer, on the Gospel, on helping those in need wherever they are, and on glorifying God by acting in a manner consistent with the character of Jesus every moment of every day, in every situation. Do that and you will change the world.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sir Bob Geldof Predicts Apocalypse Before 2030

'We’re facing a mass extinction event,' claims Bob Geldof

Live Aid founder and activist Bob Geldof has warned that the human race may be extinct within 15 years because of climate change.

Perhaps Sir Bob is not keeping up with the latest trend in Global warming. See http://northwoodsministries.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-pause-in-global-warming.html

“The world can decide in a fit of madness to kill itself,” announced Bob Geldof at the launch of the One Young World summit in Johannesburg. “Sometimes progress may not be possible.

“We're in a very fraught time,” he added. “There will be a mass extinction event. That could happen on your watch. The signs are that it will happen and soon.”

Sir Bob, wearing his trademark sunglasses, addressed 8,000 One Young World delegates from 190 nations across the world in Soccer City, Johannesburg last night. He is a counsellor for the organisation, which hopes to inspire and create the next generation of global leaders.

The Live Aid founder and one-time Boomtown rat announced that his generation has let down the young people of today. “My generation has failed more than others. You cannot let your generation fail. The next war will not be a World War 1 or a World War 2, it will be the end.

Attendees shouted and blew on thousands of vuvuzelas as Sir Bob added: " We may not get to 2030. We need to address the problem of climate change urgently. What are you going to do about it? Get serious. Some of the nations that arrived here so proudly will not be there to meet us."

However, the singer tried to inject a note of positivism into his gloomy predictions. “Just because you may not believe that progress is possible, that should not prevent you from trying for it,” he said. “The alternative is finality.

“We need to be more human. Less Irish. Less Cameroonian. Less Chinese. Less Russian. More human.”
However, Sir Bob then disappeared down a philosophical route that baffled most of the audience, many of whom do not count English as a first language. “The ordinary trouble of ordinary days doesn't seem to matter much,” he sighed. “We are in the great existential age of our humanity. We somehow feel we've missed something's that’s greater than ourselves and we don't know what it is or how to find it.”

He finished his address apologizing for being "bloody miserable". "Just get on with it," he told delegates, before leaving the stage.

Sir Bob needs to spend more time with his friend and Live Aid partner Bono. Bono hasn't missed the bigger Something.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Was the Sun too Weak for Life to Begin?

This very interesting post was written by another blogger named Ben RichmondHe does not appear to be a Christian, and the column is completely undocumented, nevertheless he makes an excellent point about how little evolutionists understand about the beginning of life and how often a new discovery or theory throws old theories right out the window.

You don’t have to be a creationist to know there are plenty of questions about the origin of life remaining to be answered. Even when an answer seems to be coming together, new evidence can undermine it, rule out a possible solution, and cloud what appeared to be clearing. That happened this week with the faint young Sun paradox, and it’s made the question of “how did life happen on Earth?” that much more daunting.

The faint young Sun paradox is this: Stars get warmer as they age, and the Sun is no exception. It used to be cooler, it’s getting hotter, and eventually the Sun is going to boil away our oceans.

Between 3.8 and 2.4 billion years ago, the Archean eon, life evolved on Earth. At the same time the Sun was only running at about 70 percent of what it does now. At that rate, the Earth shouldn't have had any liquid water, and consequently should not have had life. However, that’s not what the record shows.

“The Earth should have been permanently glaciated but geological evidence suggests there were no global glaciations before the end of the Archean and that liquid water was widespread," said Ray Burgess, from the University of Manchester. This is the paradox of the faint young Sun.

So how was the Earth wet wild and full of life, when the Sun was just a cool young star? Some believe that solar wind was stronger. Up until this last week, researchers believed that it was possible that greenhouse gases kept the Earth sufficiently warm enough to keep that primordial ooze flowing. But researchers from the University of Manchester and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris demonstrated, in a paper published in Science, why this wasn't the case.

"To counter the effect of the weaker Sun, carbon dioxide concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere would need to have been 1,000 times higher than present," said lead author Bernard Marty, from the CRPG-CNRS University of Lorraine. "However, ancient fossil soils—the best indicators of ancient carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere—suggest only modest levels during the Archean. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases were also present, in particular ammonia and methane, but these gases are fragile and easily destroyed by ultraviolet solar radiation, so are unlikely to have had any effect."

But carbon dioxide isn't the only greenhouse gas. Marty and his team looked at old and “exceptionally well-preserved rocks,” from northern Australia to test for argon and nitrogen. If nitrogen levels were high enough it would amplify carbon dioxide’s effect. But there wasn't enough nitrogen in the Archean atmosphere for this to work either.

Their deductions from the argon and nitrogen tests did allow for higher levels of carbon dioxide that were “at odds with the estimates based on fossil soils,” according to Burgess, “which could be high enough to counteract the effects of the faint young Sun and will require further investigation."

So we don’t know as much as we thought we did, and we may not even know as much as we need to know how little that we know. Science marches on, pursuing how it is that, to paraphrase a great scientist, life found a way. Really?!!! that sounds scientific!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Daughter of Ravi Shankar Reveals Childhood Sexual Abuse

Musician Anoushka Shankar says she was prompted to reveal her experience of sexual abuse after learning of the gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi. (See Rape and Murder on a Delhi Bus at:

Shankar, daughter of legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, said in February she had been abused by "a man my parents trusted" in her childhood.

Her revelation followed the fatal attack on an Indian student, for which four men have been sentenced to death.

"Her story is the apex of millions of stories," Shankar told BBC Radio 4.

Speaking on the Front Row programme, she said: "No-one I knew could help being affected by the gravity and intensity of that attack - and if it resonates with something in our experience then obviously it doubles the impact of hearing a story like that.

"I felt quite conscious as an Indian woman that there was a very unique moment happening where the entire world's attention was on sexual violence and on the role and position of women in India.

"I felt almost an obligation [to talk about my experience]. It didn't feel dragged out of me. If I was ever going to talk about my story, that felt like the right moment."

Anoushka Shankar

The musician has used her new album to express her concerns over the attack.

Shankar, 32, took the decision to talk about her experiences in a video, recorded in her London home, in which she appealed for people to support a campaign in memory of the gang rape victim.

"As a child I suffered sexual and emotional abuse for several years at the hands of a man my parents trusted implicitly," she said.

She added the attacks had included "groping, touching and verbal abuse".

Reflecting on the statement, the musician told Front Row's John Wilson: "It was something I never spoke to the media about.

"It had never felt like something relevant in a public context until this moment where I thought 'hang on, it's important for people to realize that this kind of thing can happen to anyone, anywhere'.

"I think there's a class issue in India where there can be an assumption that things like this don't happen to people from upper classes or who are privileged. I think part of what shocked people within India was that [the victim] was a middle-class girl. It's so ridiculous."

The musician has responded to the attack, and tried to address its causes, with a track on her new album, Traces Of You.

She said the song, which references the 23-year-old victim's name in its title, tries to capture a sense of the horror of the attack.

The album, recorded with producer Nitin Sawhney and her sister Norah Jones, also addresses the death of her father last year.

Shankar said her experiences had informed the spirit of the record, and brought a sense of "resilience" to the music.

"It's not necessarily about the passing of my father, it's about me passing through the passing of my father.

"There's a way that we all go through horrible and painful things and I'm not nullifying it in any way when I say we do go on.

"My childhood experiences were one of the big experiences for me [but] I know as a woman I've come through that.

"At some cost, but I've come through it."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Saudi Youth Gets 10 years and 2,000 Lashes for Naked Dancing

Manama: A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a young man to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for dancing naked on the roof of a car.

File picture from Los Angeles - not sure what happened to this lunatic
The defendant was also ordered to pay a 50,000 Saudi riyal (Dh48,956) fine for his “indecent act” committed in winter at a camp where young men gathered over the weekend, local Arabic daily Okaz reported on Thursday.

The public had expressed outrage at the “open immoral and decadent behaviour” after a video clip of the rowdy dance was widely circulated on the internet.

Three other men were given prison terms and fines for taking part in the dance. One was sentenced to seven years in prison and 2,000 lashes and the other two to five years and 1,200 lashes each.

 The car had been confiscated. The four defendants have the right to appeal the verdict.

According to the daily, the public prosecutor said that he would challenge the ruling, saying that it was “too lenient.” Crazy. they could go and rape some little girl or murder their sister and get much less a penalty.

11 Students Suspended for a Semester after Smoking Pot on School Trip

The Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada school district says it's planning a policy review after 11 students who admitted to smoking marijuana on a school trip were suspended for the semester.

On Monday morning, 12 students from Sardis Secondary were called to the principal's office to discuss the allegations of drug use, which apparently took place last month during an overnight soccer trip to Surrey.

Eleven of those students admitted to smoking pot, as well as breaking curfew, and were consequently kicked out of school for the entire semester.

The parent of one of the suspended students, however, felt the punishment went too far.

Derek Middleton met with school officials and eventually had his son's suspension overturned, though the teen must now complete community service and participate in a course that explore the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

"To me, with today's system — even in the justice system — restorative justice is a better system. I think that plan can also be in the school in a situation like this," Middleton said.

Evelyn Novak, superintendent of the Chilliwack school district, said a review is necessary following harsh criticisms from parents who felt the punishment was too extreme.  But she said a policy change is not necessarily assured. No wonder their kids were smoking pot.

"When we talk review, we're not necessarily going to change our regulation or policy. But we are trying to look at making sure we do reflect our community and that we do listen to parents," she said.

British Columbia's lower Fraser Valley
The 10 students removed from Sardis Secondary will finish out the semester at another school in the Chilliwack district.

The review is planned for early next year.

The punishment seemed, at first, to be severe until you read that the students can finish the semester at another school. So the only real punishment is having to go to a different school. If they all go to the same school, they are not even separated from their friends. It appears the new school is the one who is being punished more than the miscreants.

But, more importantly, the effect of marijuana on young teens is just starting to come to light. High potency pot is believed by many experts in psychiatry to be responsible for irreversible insanity in one out of six kids under 16. The number decreases with age but even adult users are vulnerable to schizophrenia, paranoia, hallucinations, and the inability to discern reality from fantasy. See the science behind this.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Biblical Prophecies are being Realized, Now - Netanyahu

Netanyahu declares to world leaders: “In our time the Biblical prophecies are being realized.”
by joelcrosenberg

The Israeli PM address the UN General Assembly

(Washington, D.C.) -- “In our time the Biblical prophecies are being realized,” Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu declared before world leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

“As the prophet Amos said, they shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them," Netanyahu said. "They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine. They shall till gardens and eat their fruit. And I will plant them upon their soil never to be uprooted again. Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel have come home never to be uprooted again.”

I don't personally recall a single other Israeli leader in the modern era who has spoken so clearly of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Perhaps David Ben Gurion did, for the first Israeli premier had a great interest in the Scriptures. But Netanyahu's own interest in the Scriptures has been growing significantly in recent years, as I have noted on the blog, and increasingly pronounced in his public statements. At a speech at the Auschwitz death camp in 2009, for example, Netanyahu declared that the prophecies of Ezekiel 37 -- the dry bones of the Jewish people coming back together miraculously to form the State of Israel -- had come to pass in his lifetime.

Netanyahu also alluded in the speech to the Biblical prophecies of a Persian king named "Cyrus" would rise up one day and set the Jewish people free from captivity.

“The Jewish people’s odyssey through time has taught us two things: Never give up hope, always remain vigilant. Hope charts the future. Vigilance protects it,” Netanyahu said. “Today our hope for the future is challenged by a nuclear-armed Iran that seeks our destruction. But I want you to know, that wasn’t always the case. Some 2,500 years ago the great Persian king Cyrus ended the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people. He issued a famous edict in which he proclaimed the right of the Jews to return to the land of Israel and rebuild the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. That’s a Persian decree. And thus began an historic friendship between the Jews and the Persians that lasted until modern times.”

Isaiah was a Hebrew prophet who prophesied that a great Persian king named “Cyrus” would emerge one day to bless the Jewish people, release them from captivity, send them back to the land of Israel, and rebuild the city of Jerusalem. (See Isaiah 44:28 through 45:13.)

A Persian king named “Cyrus” did, in fact, emerge to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecies.

 See 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 – “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia – in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah – the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord His God be with him, and let him go up!”’”
See the Book of Ezra – “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia – in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah – the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may His God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem. Every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:1-4)

Is the US Playing into the Hands of Iran?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's stern warning on Iran, made from the rostrum of the UN General Assembly, comes on the heels of the recent charm offensive by new Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani in New York.

Search 'Rouhani' in this blog for further articles exploring the dangerous situation for Israel and the possibility that the US will abandon it at it's moment of greatest need.

President Rouhani's “historic” telephone conversation with President Obama was the first personal encounter between the two countries’ leaders since the breakup of US-Iranian relations in 1979.

Under such circumstances, Netanyahu is desperate to make his voice heard - but will it work? How credible are his arguments? And isn't Bibi – who is too late in New York – missing the point? These are the questions which will determine the future of the stick-and-carrot policy, adopted by the West towards the enigmatic and stubborn regime in Tehran. The answers will shape up the world diplomacy agenda on the Iranian nuclear crisis in coming days, weeks, and months.

The rapidly changing relationship in the Obama-Rouhani-Netanyahu triangle makes this year's UN gathering of world leaders one of the most dramatic moments in years, spent in the East River UN building in New York, along with the recent UNSC resolution passed on Syria. As the new Iranian gamble is gaining momentum, the 68th session of the UN General Assembly is looking strikingly different from the previous UN sessions, with plenty of empty seats which made the participants and journalists yawn.

While Obama is basking in the publicity as a new peacemaker - four years after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize - and is fascinated with the bold idea to tame the Islamic regime and trim its nuclear programs, Netanyahu sees the situation in a quite different way. His message to Obama and the world is crystal clear: while abandoning the former hard rhetoric of Rouhani's predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran is cutting corners in its efforts to win time and build nuclear weapons.

According to the Israeli leader, in its dealing with the world, Tehran is following the same policy of deception and cheap diplomacy tricks which was followed by North Korea at a time when it was not yet a nuclear power, but rather a threshold state. With all its talk of nuclear proliferation, the “hermit state” on the Korean peninsula has succeeded in acquiring a nuclear bomb.So, Iran wants to get its own nuclear big stick the way North Korea did it, and the world – not Israel alone – should ultimately prevent it, says Netanyahu.

Judging by Netanyahu's logic, by hobnobbing with the new Iranian leader, President Obama proves that his Iranian policy is idealistic, naive and inconsistent – and thus, detriment to regional peace and dangerous enough, regardless of whatever Obama’s intentions and rosy expectations might be. In fact, Netanyahu was never a fan of Obama – it is an open secret that during the 2012 US presidential race, the Israeli leader voiced his support to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Then, after a long period of somehow awkward - if not frosty - relations between the two leaders, President Obama paid his first visit to Israel this March and the two sides have experienced something similar to a delayed reset.

However, six month later, the US-Israeli reset has come under critical test by another reset – the unimaginable Washington-Tehran honeymoon. Visiting President Rouhani - who is smart enough not to lash out at the “American big Satan” and “Zionist enemy” - has stolen the show in New York. And this is what makes Mr. Netanyahu so unhappy. It looks like he has to start from a scratch to win President Obama’s ear on Iran again.

Will Netanyahu this time succeed? Obviously not. There is more than one reason for that. First, President Obama has already invested heavily into his new Iranian gamble and probably wants to prove that his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize by no means was a bad joke, as some say. So there is no need for Obama to rush to reverse the whole process, following Netanyahu's desperate pledge to address hard-boiled facts, even if by doing so he puts his reset with Israel at risk.

Secondly, with this week's US government partial shutdown, uncertainty over Obamacare, and the looming default threat, President Obama will be preoccupied with his domestic agenda in the immediate future, sticking to the point that “all politics are domestic.” So with one Washington-made crisis over US budget, Obama can hardly afford himself another crisis and is resorting to a notorious “last option” scenario which envisages use of military force.

So, Netanyahu's major problem at this UN General Assembly session is not the strength of his main argument - that what matters is hundreds and hundreds of Iranian centrifuges enriching uranium - but the polite language of Rouhani. His problem is not the lack of communicative skills, but the lack of will on the part of the White House to listen to him at this point and, finally, the lack of an audience at the East River building - which could have helped Netanyahu make his 2013 UN address a game-changer on Iran. This is a very untimely moment for him and this round of the battle over Iran he has lost, no doubt about it. That doesn't mean, however, that he has lost the whole battle.

The recent US-Israeli controversy over what to do with Tehran showed that there is not any pre-set “anti-Iranian axis” as portrayed by US and Israeli-hates. Each side – Washington and Tel Aviv - has its own agenda, its own priorities, and its own “red line” in evaluating the Iranian nuclear crisis, so even closest allies like the US and Israel can squabble seriously and lock horns.This year’s UN General Assembly showed that while Obama has chosen to act like a good cop, Netanyahu never hesitates to be a bad one.

Netanyahu is more and more facing a painful dilemma – to throw his weight to support world diplomacy efforts or to look for a moment when his arguments over the “paralysis of diplomacy” will be found credible enough. However, this moment may never come. 

Assisted Suicide for a Depressed Transsexual in Belgium

A transsexual has been helped to die by doctors in Belgium, after a series of failed sex-change operations.

Nathan Verhelst, born a woman, asked for help to end his life on grounds of psychological suffering. He died in a Brussels hospital on Monday.

Cases of recorded deaths from euthanasia on psychological grounds have risen in Belgium

Two doctors concluded he did not have temporary depression. His case received scant media coverage.

Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002. There were 52 cases of euthanasia on psychological grounds last year.

"He died in all serenity," doctor Wim Distlemans told the Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws.

Nathan Verhelst, 44, was born Nancy into a family of three boys. The newspaper, which said it had spoken to him on the eve of his death, reported that he had been rejected by his parents who had wanted another son.

He had three operations to change sex between 2009 and 2012.

"The first time I saw myself in the mirror I felt an aversion for my new body," he was quoted as saying.

First of all, if all 3 sex change operations failed, then 'he' must still be a 'she'. It makes no sense that a person can simply call himself the opposite sex to what he actually is physically.

Second, the parents would appear to be to blame for Nancy's screwed-up view of herself. Surely, some psychological counselling could have corrected that attitude - but that's not politically correct any more is it?

Third, there is no room for God in this story, anywhere. God made Nancy, not Nathan. God can completely change one's attitude of self worth by allowing that person to see how much God loves them. And, there is no opportunity for that person to turn to God and fulfill the purpose of his being here - which is to prepare for eternity. He/she is lost forever thanks to a Godless government!

The hospital said there was an "extremely rigorous procedure" in place before any patient was put to death. "When we have a case which is... complicated, we ask ourselves more questions in order to be certain about the diagnosis," Dr Jean-Michel Thomas said.

The BBC's Matthew Price in Brussels says the number of people opting for euthanasia in Belgium has risen steadily since legalization. Most candidates are over 60 years old and have cancer.

Voluntary euthanasia for those over 18 is relatively uncontroversial in Belgium. Parliament is now considering expanding the law to under 18s as well.

Patients must be capable of deciding for themselves. They must be conscious and have to give a "voluntary, considered and repeated" request to die.

There were 1,432 recorded cases of euthanasia in Belgium in 2012; a 25% increase on the previous year's figure. They represented 2% of all deaths, the AFP news agency reported.