"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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"If You Are Reading This, It Means I Have Committed Suicide"

"If you are reading this, it means I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue."

So starts a suicide note written by Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender teenager who died this week in the US state of Ohio. Alcorn scheduled the note to be published several hours after her death.

In the letter posted on Tumblr, she said she killed herself after years of struggling with her strict Christian parents' refusal to acknowledge her true identity as a female.

"There's no winning. There's no way out... People say 'it gets better' but that isn't true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse," Alcorn wrote in the post which has since been reblogged more than 196,000 times. The hashtag #LeelahAlcorn also went viral, with more than 243,000 mentions over two days.

Alcorn ended her note with a plea: "The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was... My death needs to mean something. Fix society. Please."

Many saw the public suicide note as a way to both provide awareness of trans issues and provide Alcorn a final measure of dignity.

"By scheduling tumblr posts, #LeelahAlcorn defeated measures by her parents to defame her legacy, her life, herself," wrote Twitter user @Unit0053.

User @RozeWithaZee tweeted, "Just had an epiphany that #Tumblr saved #LeelahAlcorn's life from being misrepresented entirely. She was able to tell her actual story."

But experts say there are risks to a message of this nature going viral.

"In a way, it's a double-edged sword," said Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Moultier explained that stories like Alcorn's can be used to raise awareness about suicide, transgender issues and mental illness - but that high-profile suicides sometimes come with tragic, unintended consequences.

"It's sensationalised in and of itself," Moultier said of the post, noting that the phenomenon of suicide contagion, where one suicide leads to the death of others, is especially high among troubled teens.

Moultier also notes that while Alcorn's note focuses on the external circumstances that led her to kill herself - what she felt was a lack of acceptance by her religious parents - it only touches on the mental health problems that underlie more than 90% of suicides.

Tumblr could not comment on Leelah Alcorn's post, but the sharing platform's community guidelines seem to reflect the grey area between using social media as a forum to help those who feel alienated and alone, and the danger of providing a place where disturbing messages can be shared globally.

The policy states "don't post content that actively promotes or glorifies self harm," but recognises that the internet is a place where people dealing with suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and cutting look for support.

"Dialogue about these behavours is incredibly important and online communities can be extraordinarily helpful to people struggling with these difficult conditions. We aim for Tumblr to be a place that facilitates awareness, support and recovery, and we will remove only those posts or blogs that cross the line into active promotion or glorification of self-harm."

Whether Alcorn's note is seen as a springboard for change or a trigger for other at-risk youths remains up for debate - but either way, her note has sparked a global conversation.

And it's a conversation I would like to continue here. As a born-again, fairly conservative Christian, I have great difficulty with people who appear to be born gay or transgender as Leelah's parents did. Christians tend to believe that all life is created by God and so God would not create someone with the emotional characteristics of a girl and the physical characteristics of a boy. Yet, it happens!

We can blame it on spiritual attack or invasion but is that realistic? Not that I don't believe in spiritual attacks and invasions, I certainly do, but why would God allow such a thing to happen to an unborn or newborn baby?

Our own adopted daughter was born with Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus; through several surgeries contracted meningitis and lost most of the use of her right hand, and is mentally restricted to the level of a 6 year old. She also has fatal food allergies. Was that God's plan for her? Was she demonized because of her parent's eastern religion?

She's 26 now, knows Jesus, and is personal friends with Christian singer/songwriter Brian Doerksen. She knows the words to every song he ever wrote. Is this a case of "What the devil meant for ill, God turned to good?" Gen 50:20.

I do not believe that God creates sick or broken or sexually confused children; but I do believe such children are born, whether it is a spiritual cause or just the consequences of man's free will and God's unwillingness to usurp that will, as with the sexual abuse of billions of children in the 21st century.

In any case, we as Christians have to respond with more compassion and allow God to do whatever He will do in that child's life. Driving your child to suicide is never right! There is no love in legalism!

Sweden Commits Cultural Suicide by Trashing Parliament

 "Sweden to Opt for Suicide by Immigration?" 
or, How Sweden Trashed Its Parliament
and Embraced National Euthanasia
Daniel Pipes
Woe to anyone in Sweden who dissents from the orthodox view that welcoming large numbers of indigent peoples from such countries as Iraq, Syria, and Somalia is anything but a fine and noble idea. Even to argue against permitting about 1 percent of the existing population to emigrate annually from an alien civilization renders one politically, socially, and even legally beyond the pale. (I know a journalist threatened with arrest for mild dissent on this issue.) To state that there exists a Swedish culture worth preserving meets with puzzlement.
Sweden's Riksdag - Stockholm
And yet, the realities of immigration are apparent for all to see: welfare dependency, violent bigotry against Christians and Jews, and a wide range of social pathologies from unemployment to politically-motivated rape. Accordingly, ever-increasing numbers of Swedes find themselves – despite known hazards – opting out of the consensus and worrying about their country's cultural suicide.

The taboo on such attitudes means that political parties, with only one exception, staunchly support continued immigration. Only the Sweden Democrats (SD) offer an alternative: real efforts to integrate existing immigrants and a 90 percent decrease in future immigration. Despite an unsavory neo-fascist past (not something unique to it, by the way), SD has become increasingly respectable and has been rewarded with electoral success, doubling its parliamentary vote from 3 percent in 2006, to 6 percent in 2010, to 13 percent in 2014. All the Swedes with whom I spoke on a recent visit expect the SD vote to grow further, something recent polls confirm.

The Swedish government has opened the door to Syrian refugees.
If a party or bloc of parties held a large majority in Sweden's unicameral parliament, SD would be virtually irrelevant. But the Riksdag's two blocs are almost equally balanced. Three left-wing parties control 159 of 349 seats, while the "right-wing" (quotation marks to denote that, from an American perspective, it's hardly conservative) Alliance for Sweden, consisting of four parties, has 141 seats. This means that SD, with 49 seats, holds the balance of power.

But SD is deemed anathema, so no party bargains with it to pass legislation, not even indirectly through the media. Both Left and "Right" seek to isolate and discredit it. Nevertheless, SD has played kingmaker on certain crucial legislation, particularly the annual budget. In keeping with its policy to drive from power every government that refuses to reduce immigration, it brought down an Alliance for Sweden government in early 2014. Recent weeks saw a repeat of this scenario, when SD joined the Alliance in opposing the leftist budget, forcing the government to call for elections in March 2015.

Firebombed Mosque in Sweden
But then something remarkable occurred: the two major blocs compromised not only on the current budget, but also on future budgets and power-sharing all the way to 2022. The left and "right" alliances worked out trade-offs so that elections need not take place in March, allowing the Left to rule until 2018, with the "Right" possibly taking over from 2018 until 2022. Not only does this political cartel deprive SD of its pivotal role but, short of winning a majority of parliamentary seats in 2018, it has no meaningful legislative role for the next eight years, during which time the immigration issue is off the table.

This is nothing short of astonishing: to stifle debate over the country's most contentious issue, 86 percent of the parliament joined forces to marginalize the 14 percent that disagrees. The two major blocs diluted their already tepid differences to exclude the insurgent, populist party. Mattias Karlsson, the acting SD leader accurately notes that with this deal, his party has become the only real opposition.

A graphic version of the two major parliamentary
blocs' deal (the blue anemone hepatica flower is
the Sweden Democrats' symbol).
In the long term, however, things look good for SD, which will likely gain from this undemocratic sleight of hand. Swedes, long accustomed to democracy, do not appreciate a backroom arrangement that almost surely nullifies their votes in 2018. They don't like its bullying quality. Nor do they take well to removing a highly controversial issue from consideration. And when the time comes to "throw the bums out," as always it does, the Sweden Democrats will offer the only alternative to the tired, fractious coalition that will have been in power for eight long years – during which time immigration problems will alarm yet more voters.

In other words, this blatant act of suppression is spurring the very debate it is intended to quash. Before too long, the supreme issue of national suicide might actually be discussed.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. 

Muslim “Shariah Law Patrols” on the Streets of London

Shariah, coming soon to a country near you

If you have any doubts about what the radical Muslim agenda could mean for civil liberties in Europe and America, this video should cure you of those.

“Ultimately, I want to see every single woman in this country covered from head to toe, I want to see the hand of the thief cut, I want to see adulterers stoned to death,” an Islamist told a reporter in this video posted to YouTube last month.

Unnamed Sharia patrolman
Yes, he was talking about the United Kingdom — or, actually, the whole of Europe — but there would appear to be no reason to assume that the Islamists’ plans for the United States would be any different.

“I want to see Shariah law in Europe,” he said, “and I want to see it in America as well.”

He was speaking about Shariah law patrols instituted in the heavily Muslim East London. The patrols seek to enforce Islamic law on all residents — whether or not they are Muslims.

And while the Muslims speak politely to “violators” when they are accompanied by the reporter and her camera crew, clips from what appear to be cellphone videos posted online tell a very different story.

In one, a woman is apparently referred to as a “prostitute” for the heinous crime of wearing a skirt in public. In another, a man thought by the Muslims to be homosexual is bullied and harassed into leaving the area.
Woman verbally abused by Sharia
patrol for wearing a skirt

And if you have any doubt about where this man’s true loyalties lie, he’ll be happy to clear those up for you, too.

“I identify myself as Muslim,” the patrol member told the reporter. “This is just an island I was born in.”

These “Shariah law patrols” are a perfect example of Muslim intolerance and their lack of respect for democracy and individual rights — as the comments made in the video by two prominent British Muslims make clear.

America must be sure to protect her citizens against these intrusions of Shariah law into our culture better than Great Britain has, or our citizens will suffer the same sorts of confrontations on our public streets, and worse.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ferry Catastrophe: Muslim Men Beat Women and Children to Save Themselves

It's often in a crisis that a person's true character is revealed. In the sinking of the Norman Atlantic, some Muslim men revealed what they are made of, and it wasn't pretty.

December 29, 2014 , by Nicolai Sennels, News 10.DK

Greek soprano Dimitra Theodossiou
"Witnesses report about the hell on the ferry Norman Atlantic and tell of chaos, panic and people fighting for their own survival."

The ferry caught fire Sunday morning at. 6 local time. At that time the ferry was 61 km from the coast near Corfu.

The fire broke out on the deck, and has been impossible to extinguish. And it took 32 hours before the last person had been evacuated from the ferry.

The Norman Atlantic 
The Greek soprano Dimitra Theodossiou was on board the ferry. She told the Italian media that she saw men beat women in order to come first to the rescue helicopter.

“It was hell. I saw some scary scenes. There were men, Iraqis, Turks, Pakistanis on the ship, who were told to sit down to allow rescuers to prioritize children, elderly and women. But they climbed, beat and pulled the people to come first to the rescue helicopter and into safety. I was also beaten. I was so furious. It was really ugly. I will never forget it.”, Said Dimitra Theodossiou.”

Isn't it nice to know that if you are a 13 year old Muslim girl with a baby, that your husband would probably knock you down and step on you to save his own life?

European Media is Blatantly Antisemitic - Example One


There is no mistaking Peter Allen's bias in this report. It's one of the worst pieces of reporting I've ever read. I reproduce it here as an example of the antisemitic bias in the European press.

France's Socialist government provoked outrage today by becoming the first in the world to ban protests against Israeli action in Palestine.

In what is viewed as an outrageous attack on democracy, Socialist Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said mass demonstrations planned for the weekend should be halted.

Mr Cazeneuve said there was a ‘threat to public order’, while opponents said he was ‘criminalising’ popular support of the Palestinian people. Seriously? How is preventing riots criminalizing anyone? Or do the Pro-Palestinians think that rioting is their right?

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to the streets of Paris on Sunday
Thousands were set to march against the ongoing slaughter in Gaza, calling for an immediate end to hostilities in which civilians including many children have been killed.

But Mr Cazeneuve fears there might be a repeat of the fights between ‘ultra’ Jewish vigilantes and pro-Palestinians which happened after a demonstration last Sunday.

Referring to the main Paris march, Mr Cazeneuve said: ‘I consider that the conditions are not right to guarantee security.’

Socialist Interior Minister
Bernard Cazeneuve
He welcomed a legal procedure instigated by the Paris police prefecture to ban the march, despite it already being widely advertised.

Anyone who turns up to an illegal demonstration now faces up to a year in prison, and a 15,000 euro fine.

If they hide their faces to avoid being identified, this sentence can be increased to three years, and a 45,000 fine.

Even those who publish details of an illegal rally on social media face up to a year in prison, and a 15,000 euro fine.

This can be increased to seven years and a 100,000 fine if the postings lead to violence.

Mr Cazeneuve also advised other prefects across France to examine planned marches on a ‘case by case’ basis, and to ban ‘if appropriate’.

But Michele Sibony, of the Jewish Union for Peace, said: ‘By outlawing free speech by pro-Palestinian demonstrators, France puts itself in a unique position in the world and Europe.’ It's quite telling that Jews would actually stand up for the right of pro-Palestinian supporters to demonstrate. I absolutely guarantee that the reverse would never happen in a million years.

And Youssef Boussoumah, of the Party of the Indigenous of the Republic (PIR) said: ‘France is criminalising any show of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Don't be absurd! I'm sure there are many ways to show solidarity with the Palestinian people that are not likely to cause rioting and are not illegal.

‘This is an absolute outrage, it is a continuation of attempts to muzzle the Palestinian people and to get them and their supporters in France to surrender absolutely to Israel's oppression.’ Take a pill and calm down, Youssef, you're all wound up and spouting nonsense. Jews are leaving France in droves because of violence from Muslims, and yet you accuse Israel of oppression. 

Gazan's started every conflict with Israel which is just trying to survive - when they defend themselves, you call that oppression.

Check out the conditions of Palestinians in neighbouring Arab countries if you want to see oppression. The refugee camps there are horrendous - the people are not allowed to work, they get no medical care, they live in atrocious conditions, while Palestinians within Israel live far better than most Arabs in most of Islam.

Palestinians in Israel have full citizenship, in Syria, they have the same rights as Syrians but no citizenship while they live in 12 refugee camps. In Lebanon, most Palestinians have full citizenship except 120,000 - all from Gaza. There are 13 refugee camps in Lebanon.

Egypt gives its 50,000 Palestinians no permanent residency or refugee status. UNRWA does not work in Egypt. 2/3rds of the 34,000 Palestinians in Iraq have fled the country or were killed by militant groups - Islamic militant groups.

All told, 2/3rds of all Palestinians - 6.6 million, are refugees. Those who are treated the best are certainly those living in Israel.

Palestinian refugee in Tyre, Lebanon
Antisemitism is a blindness to reality fed by the constant lies of Muslim people who have no compulsion whatsoever to tell the truth. They have no fear of God or of standing before Him in judgment because of the warped and twisted doctrine they are brainwashed with, but Jesus tells us who the father of lies is and where liars end up.

Sylvie Perrot, another pro-Palestine activist from Paris, said: ‘Fascist states stop people demonstrating against wars – it is beyond belief that French Socialists are following their example.’

There were false claims made last week that synagogues in Paris had been targeted by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

In fact videos showed armed vigilantes from a group called the Jewish Defence League (LDJ) baiting demonstrators into fights. Was it the LDJ that started the demonstration?

A protester wearing a gas mask holds a fake rocket
during protests in Paris over the weekend
There were no arrests among the LDJ, despite them fighting and smashing up property in full view of the police. Could it be because the LDJ were simply defending themselves while they were badly outnumbered? That's exactly what Israel has been doing for the past 66 years.

Six pro-Palestine protesters were arrested for a variety of public order offences, but none had been anywhere near Paris synagogues, which remained undamaged. Could it be that they were undamaged because the LDJ defended them by keeping the mob away from the synagogues?

A judicial enquiry is set to be launched into the false allegations made about the synagogue attacks – ones which people claim were made up to demonise supporters of Palestine by associating them with anti-Semitism. What an absurd idea! Pro-Palestinian supporters don't need any plots to demonize them. 

On Friday night lawyers for a number of groups hoping to campaign on behalf of Palestine on Saturday lodged an appeal against the ban in a Paris court.

Monday, December 29, 2014

ISIS Recruiting Rebel Groups in Southern Syria Near Israeli Border

The war against ISIS is taking a dangerous, perhaps inevitable turn

The terror organization has been keen to expand to southern Syria and the Syrian capital of Damascus. Now it says it has recruited three Syrian rebel groups operating in the south of the country in an area bordering the Israeli occupied Golan Heights — that have switched their loyalties to ISIS.

This switch means that Israel, the U.S.’s closest ally in the Middle East, could be threatened from the southwest by the Egyptian ISIS group of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis in Sinai and by ISIS in southern Syria.

Of course, they have tried attacking Israel from two directions before, even from 3 directions, and Israel still stands. 

The ISIS war is not going well at all for the US-led alliance in Syria. ISIS and al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, are still the dominant rebel groups in the country. The U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army is still not a reliable fighting force.

The three rebel groups that just joined ISIS could make that situation even worse. Two of the groups are small in number, but the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade has hundreds of fighters. The Yarmouk Brigades has been at odds with al-Nusra Front and switched now to join what leaders of all thrwee groups believe is the future of Islam.

“If Israel was attacked by ISIS, America would expect a proportionate response by Israel, which is militarily capable of defending itself,” said Geoffrey Levin, a professor at New York University. “America would counsel against sustained Israeli involvement because it could threaten the tacit alliance between America, Iran, Turkey, and several Arab states against ISIS.”

More recent reports indicated a closer alliance with [the Islamic State] due to tensions with JN [al-Nusra Front],” said Jasmine Opperman, a researcher at Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC). She said al-Nusra attacked the headquarters of the Yarmouk Brigade in southern Syria in early December 2014 following clashes between the two groups.

Al-Yarmuk Martyrs Brigade controlled an area near the Jordan-Israel border in March 2013. That same month, the brigade took as hostages some of the United Nations peacekeeping mission soldiers. Even so, Israel reportedly allowed the brigade to have its wounded fighters treated in Israeli hospitals.

ISIS has been known for launching surprise attacks and opening new battlefronts when it seems to be losing. ISIS also has been criticized by many Arabs and Muslims for not taking its fight to Israel and instead fighting fellow Arabs and Muslims. An attack aimed at Israel may boost ISIS’s popularity in the Arab world and refresh its recruitment and funding efforts.

On the other hand, some of ISIS’s top military commanders were former officers in Saddam Hussein’s army, and they may resort to what Saddam did in the 1991 Gulf War when he attacked Israel with mid-range rockets, hoping to drag the Israelis into a conflict that he was losing.

An Israeli retaliation in 1991 could have jeopardized the U.S-led coalition that then included Arab countries like Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia. The same is true now.


Despite some recent tensions between the countries, Israel remains America’s closest ally in the Middle East. Attacks on Israel by ISIS or affiliated groups could further escalate war in the region, or they could further strain ties between the Obama administration and the Israeli government.

“It would be more likely a sign of desperation, as were Saddam’s attempts to lure Israel into the 1991 war as a way of breaking the Arab coalition against him,” said NYU’s Levin. At that time, continuous pressure from the first Bush administration and the installation of the Patriot anti-rocket system convinced the Israelis to refrain from reacting to Saddam’s attack.

Israel could launch a preemptive attack to destroy or significantly damage these ISIS-affiliated units whether by air or by ground forces. Israel used its advanced air force to launch attacks in Syria several times since the beginning of Syrian civil war in 2011.

Creation Without God, or Anything Else, a Musical Adventure

Some physicists think our entire cosmos 
may have sprung out of nothing at all

In the post immediately below, Eric Metaxes makes a case for God by using recent scientific findings. In the interest of fair play and the search for the ultimate truth, below is a presentation by BBC's Robert Adler using recent scientific findings, or theories, to explain how the universe(s) came into being from absolutely nothing.

I invite you to read both articles and compare them, then draw your own conclusions if you wish. I suggest humming Air Supply's 'Making Love out of Nothing at All' while reading this.

People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. Pretty much every ancient culture came up with its own creation story - most of them leaving the matter in the hands of the gods - and philosophers have written reams on the subject. But science has had little to say about this ultimate question. Just want to point out that this statement presupposes that man created God, not the other way about.

However, in recent years a few physicists and cosmologists have started to tackle it. They point out that we now have an understanding of the history of the universe, and of the physical laws that describe how it works. That information, they say, should give us a clue about how and why the cosmos exists.

Their admittedly controversial answer is that the entire universe, from the fireball of the Big Bang to the star-studded cosmos we now inhabit, popped into existence from nothing at all. It had to happen, they say, because "nothing" is inherently unstable. 

I'm trying to be fair here, but doesn't that strike you as being a most ridiculous statement? Nothing is nothing! For something to have the characteristic of instability, it would have to be 'something', surely. Nothing, by definition, can have no characteristics!

Wikipedia - Nothingness is the state of being nothing, the state of nonexistence of anything, or the property of having nothing.

This idea may sound bizarre, or just another fanciful creation story. But the physicists argue that it follows naturally from science's two most powerful and successful theories: quantum mechanics and general relativity.

Here, then, is how everything could have come from nothing.

Particles from empty space

First we have to take a look at the realm of quantum mechanics. This is the branch of physics that deals with very small things: atoms and even tinier particles. It is an immensely successful theory, and it underpins most modern electronic gadgets.

Quantum mechanics tells us that there is no such thing as empty space. Even the most perfect vacuum is actually filled by a roiling cloud of particles and antiparticles, which flare into existence and almost instantaneously fade back into nothingness.

These so-called virtual particles don't last long enough to be observed directly, but we know they exist by their effects. But where do they come from? If these invisible particles exist, then nothing is no longer nothing and you are no longer dealing with the creation of the universe. You have to deal with where those sub-atomic particles came from to get to the genesis of the universe.

Space-time, from no space and no time

From tiny things like atoms, to really big things like galaxies. Our best theory for describing such large-scale structures is general relativity, Albert Einstein's crowning achievement, which sets out how space, time and gravity work.

Relativity is very different from quantum mechanics, and so far nobody has been able to combine the two seamlessly. However, some theorists have been able to bring the two theories to bear on particular problems by using carefully chosen approximations. For instance, this approach was used by Stephen Hawking at the University of Cambridge to describe black holes.

In quantum physics, if something is not forbidden, it necessarily happens

One thing they have found is that, when quantum theory is applied to space at the smallest possible scale, space itself becomes unstable. Rather than remaining perfectly smooth and continuous, space and time destabilize, churning and frothing into a foam of space-time bubbles.
Here, again, we are no longer dealing with nothing, but 'space' that is filled with 'a roiling cloud of particles and antiparticles'.

In other words, little bubbles of space and time can form spontaneously. "If space and time are quantized, they can fluctuate," says Lawrence Krauss at Arizona State University in Tempe. "So you can create virtual space-times just as you can create virtual particles."

What's more, if it's possible for these bubbles to form, you can guarantee that they will. "In quantum physics, if something is not forbidden, it necessarily happens with some non-zero probability," says Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.

A universe from a bubble

OK, time to change songs to Don Ho's 'Tiny Bubbles'

So it's not just particles and antiparticles that can snap in and out of nothingness: bubbles of space-time can do the same. Still, it seems like a big leap from an infinitesimal space-time bubble to a massive universe that hosts 100 billion galaxies. Surely, even if a bubble formed, it would be doomed to disappear again in the blink of an eye?

If all the galaxies are flying apart, they must once have been close together

Actually, it is possible for the bubble to survive. But for that we need another trick: cosmic inflation.

"Tiny bubbles in the wine"
Most physicists now think that the universe began with the Big Bang. At first all the matter and energy in the universe was crammed together in one unimaginably small dot, and this exploded. This follows from the discovery, in the early 20th century, that the universe is expanding. If all the galaxies are flying apart, they must once have been close together.

Inflation theory proposes that in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang, the universe expanded much faster than it did later. This seemingly outlandish notion was put forward in the 1980s by Alan Guth at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and refined by Andrei Linde, now at Stanford University.

As weird as it seems, inflation fits the facts

The idea is that, a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, the quantum-sized bubble of space expanded stupendously fast. In an incredibly brief moment, it went from being smaller than the nucleus of an atom to the size of a grain of sand. When the expansion finally slowed, the force field that had powered it was transformed into the matter and energy that fill the universe today. Guth calls inflation "the ultimate free lunch".

As weird as it seems, inflation fits the facts rather well. In particular, it neatly explains why the cosmic microwave background, the faint remnant of radiation left over from the Big Bang, is almost perfectly uniform across the sky. If the universe had not expanded so rapidly, we would expect the radiation to be patchier than it is.

cosmic gravity
The universe is flat and why that's important

Where's Columbus when you need him?

Inflation also gave cosmologists the measuring tool they needed to determine the underlying geometry of the universe. It turns out this is also crucial for understanding how the cosmos came from nothing.

Einstein's theory of general relativity tells us that the space-time we live in could take three different forms. It could be as flat as a table top. It could curve back on itself like the surface of a sphere, in which case if you travel far enough in the same direction you would end up back where you started. Alternatively, space-time could curve outward like a saddle. So which is it?

There is a way to tell. You might remember from maths class that the three angles of a triangle add up to exactly 180 degrees. Actually your teachers left out a crucial point: this is only true on a flat surface. If you draw a triangle on the surface of a balloon, its three angles will add up to more than 180 degrees. Alternatively, if you draw a triangle on a surface that curves outward like a saddle, its angles will add up to less than 180 degrees.

So to find out if the universe is flat, we need to measure the angles of a really big triangle. That's where inflation comes in. It determined the average size of the warmer and cooler patches in the cosmic microwave background. Those patches were measured in 2003, and that gave astronomers a selection of triangles. As a result, we know that on the largest observable scale our universe is flat.

It may not look flat...

It turns out that a flat universe is crucial. That's because only a flat universe is likely to have come from nothing.

Everything that exists, from stars and galaxies to the light we see them by, must have sprung from somewhere. We already know that particles spring into existence at the quantum level, so we might expect the universe to contain a few odds and ends. But it takes a huge amount of energy to make all those stars and planets.

The energy of matter is exactly balanced by the energy of the gravity the mass creates

Where did the universe get all this energy? Bizarrely, it may not have had to get any. That's because every object in the universe creates gravity, pulling other objects toward it. This balances the energy needed to create the matter in the first place.

Ummm! Doesn't the creation of 'every object' have to precede the gravity it creates? Therefore the energy to create has to precede gravity, and gravity cannot be used as a function of creation, but rather is a consequence of it.

It's a bit like an old-fashioned measuring scale. You can put a heavy weight on one side, so long as it is balanced by an equal weight on the other. In the case of the universe, the matter goes on one side of the scale, and has to be balanced by gravity.

Physicists have calculated that in a flat universe the energy of matter is exactly balanced by the energy of the gravity the mass creates. But this is only true in a flat universe. If the universe had been curved, the two sums would not cancel out.

Universe or multiverse?

At this point, making a universe looks almost easy. Quantum mechanics tells us that "nothing" is inherently unstable, so the initial leap from nothing to something may have been inevitable. Then the resulting tiny bubble of space-time could have burgeoned into a massive, busy universe, thanks to inflation. As Krauss puts it, "The laws of physics as we understand them make it eminently plausible that our universe arose from nothing - no space, no time, no particles, nothing that we now know of."

So why did it only happen once? If one space-time bubble popped into existence and inflated to form our universe, what kept other bubbles from doing the same?

There could be a mind-boggling smorgasbord of universes

Linde offers a simple but mind-bending answer. He thinks universes have always been springing into existence, and that this process will continue forever.

When a new universe stops inflating, says Linde, it is still surrounded by space that is continuing to inflate. That inflating space can spawn more universes, with yet more inflating space around them. So once inflation starts it should make an endless cascade of universes, which Linde calls eternal inflation. Our universe may be just one grain of sand on an endless beach.

OK, cue the Beachboys...
Stephen's Quartet
Those universes might be profoundly different to ours. The universe next door might have five dimensions of space rather than the three – length, breadth and height – that ours does. Gravity might be ten times stronger or a thousand times weaker, or not exist at all. Matter might be built out of utterly different particles.

So there could be a mind-boggling smorgasbord of universes. Linde says eternal inflation is not just the ultimate free lunch: it is the only one at which all possible dishes are available.

As yet we don't have hard evidence that other universes exist. But either way, these ideas give a whole new meaning to the phrase "Thanks for nothing".

We hope you've enjoyed the concert. If the rest of it makes any sense to you, I would like to know why.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God

Dec. 25, 2014 4:56 p.m. ET

In 1966 Time magazine ran a cover story asking: Is God Dead? Many have accepted the cultural narrative that he’s obsolete—that as science progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe. Yet it turns out that the rumors of God’s death were premature. More amazing is that the relatively recent case for his existence comes from a surprising place—science itself.

Here’s the story: The same year Time featured the now-famous headline, the astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion—1 followed by 24 zeros—planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion—1 followed by 21 zeros—planets capable of supporting life.

With such spectacular odds, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, a large, expensive collection of private and publicly funded projects launched in the 1960s, was sure to turn up something soon. Scientists listened with a vast radio telescopic network for signals that resembled coded intelligence and were not merely random. But as years passed, the silence from the rest of the universe was deafening. Congress defunded SETI in 1993, but the search continues with private funds. As of 2014, researches have discovered precisely bubkis—0 followed by nothing.

What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. The number dropped to a few thousand planets and kept on plummeting.

Even SETI proponents acknowledged the problem. Peter Schenkel wrote in a 2006 piece for Skeptical Inquirer magazine: “In light of new findings and insights, it seems appropriate to put excessive euphoria to rest . . . . We should quietly admit that the early estimates . . . may no longer be tenable.”

As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going. In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. Probability said that even we shouldn’t be here.

Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life—every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing.

Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?

There’s more. The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all. For example, astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces—gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces—were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction—by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000—then no stars could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp.

Milky Way, artist's conception
Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really?

Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology . . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator . . . gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”

The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe. It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something—or Someone—beyond itself.

Mr. Metaxas is the author, most recently, of “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life” ( Dutton Adult, 2014).

Pulmonary Hypertension - The Monster Claims Another

Another Facebook PHriend gone! And 2 little girls fighting for their lives. They need your prayers and they need a cure.

Patricia McFarland-Myers

I don't mean to go all PH on you today. But we've just lost another beautiful phriend to this monster. RIP Lori Rodriguez. Lord we need a cure!

Lori Sobrowski Rodriguez - beautiful, happy, young woman passed away yesterday from PH-related heart failure. This photo is stunning in that it was taken Christmas Day, 2014.

Right - the last photo that she posted. How poignant an you get?

Breathe For Riley
Yesterday at 13:57 ·

Had to call Dr Hanna today. Always glad when he is the one that answers the pulmonary hypertension emergency cell phone for CHOP families.

Riley looked funny (extremely pale, dark nails) this morning so I put her monitor on and her oxygen level was only 65% on 4 liters. He told me to give her extra lasix and keep him posted.

I ran out and bought a scale and she put on over a pound since coming home (all fluid). She then got her dose of steroids and came up to about 80% on 5 liters.

She hasn't really left the couch since coming home. Most of her toys haven't even been taken out of boxes because she hasn't had much interest in anything but laying down.

We have tickets tomorrow for Disney on Ice, and I'm hoping we can have her stable enough to go because she is really looking forward to it.

Riley Buchanan is 6 years old and awaiting a lung transplant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


Hope PHor Aubrie Starr

Sunday morning Prayers for Aubrey please.
Aubrie still has a fever, no word on her test. She still will not eat and sleeping a lot :-(

Hope PHor Aubrie Starr
Yesterday at 04:47 ·

Aubrie is back in the hospital again. Fever was up to 103.5 last night so we brought her to the ER. Aubrie has an infection in her lungs, they are testing to find out why. It could possibly be the Flu, if that comes back negative then it's on to the next test. We are also waiting on blood cultures taken last night. Fever was down last night but back up this morning.

Hope PHor Aubrie Starr
18 December at 20:10 · Edited ·

Today I received a call, Aubrie's case was denied by the specialty center at Chapel Hill. Now I will begin working with her team to find her a good out of state lung transplant specialty center.

Then we will have to send them her case and pray we find someone experienced enough to agree to guide us in her care.

We will begin trying to setup fund raisers to help pay for traveling and extended stay expenses soon. Once we are with a specialty center and she is listed for transplant it is possible we may have to completely relocate until she has her transplant and completes all recovery. Please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Hope PHor Aubrie Starr
2 December at 20:01 ·
Update: Aubrie's breathing has been so much better!!! She is playing again and happy as ever. So glad that tomorrow on my day off I will be able to spend some time with her having fun and not at any appts or with her feeling bad, tomorrow's mommy and me time is going to be great!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Boko Haram Knockoff in Ghana Beats Woman for Buying from a Christian

“VIDEO: Ghana’s ‘Boko Haram’ group tortures lady for buying from a Christian,” VibeGhana, December 26, 2014 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Starrfmonline.com is in possession of a mind-boggling video revealing how a vigilante group in Ghana that has named itself after Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorist set, tortured a young lady for buying food from a Christian.

The Police have refuted claims that the group is an offshoot of the dreaded Boko Haram of Nigeria, but their modus operandi based on Starrfmonline’s investigations is akin to the terrorist entity.

In the disturbing video, which was taken with a mobile phone, a group of about eight young men were seen flogging a helpless lady on her butt and back on a bench in the open with a grown woman standing in the background watching. The men revelled in her agony as she wails and begs for mercy.

The police confirmed to Starrfmonline.com that the incident actually happened in the Eastern region.

The police have since arrested over 12 suspects of the Islamic group operating in Akyem Ofoase Zongo in the Akyemanso District of the Eastern Region.

Source: Starrfmonline

Don't Look Now but Huffington Post UK's Anti-Semitism is Showing

The political director of the Huffington Post UK wrote a column earlier this week envisioning that if Joseph and Mary had traveled to Bethlehem today, they would have been stopped at an Israeli military checkpoint.

In response, a contributor to the Washington Post’s libertarian legal blog Volokh Conspiracy penned a piece challenging Hasan’s premise, a column titled “If Joseph and Mary tried to reach Bethlehem today, they might get murdered by Palestinian terrorists.”

The argument presented by the Huffington Post’s Mehdi Hasan followed a tradition of Palestinian efforts to frame Jesus as a Palestinian Arab, a theme that increases in volume around Christmastime. For example, in his Christmas message last year, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Jesus a “Palestinian messenger.”

Hasan wrote on Monday, “How would that carpenter and his pregnant wife have circumnavigated the Kafkaesque network of Israeli settlements, roadblocks and closed military zones in the occupied West Bank? Would Mary have had to experience labor or childbirth at a checkpoint, as one in ten pregnant Palestinian women did between 2000 and 2007?”

(Note: serious questions have been raised about the validity of the “one in ten” figure cited by Hasan, as explained below.)

Mehdi Hasan
In response to the column, George Mason University law professor David Bernstein wrote, “Well, since Joseph and Mary were Judeans, i.e., Jews, from Nazareth, they wouldn’t need to be afraid of Israeli roadblocks needed to combat Palestinian terrorism, but of being murdered by terrorists from Hamas or Fatah.”

“Seriously, this sort of historical revisionism, treating ancient Jewish Judeans as if they were Palestinian Arabs, and then analogizing modern Israel to the oppressors of Jesus and his family, a common trope in the UK, would be laughable if it were not so pernicious,” Bernstein wrote.

“Pernicious not simply because it’s a ridiculous distortion of history, and not simply because it’s often accompanied by a large dose of anti-Semitism, with Palestinians playing the role of Jesus and the Israelis being the foreign oppressors crucifying him.  But pernicious because it goes to the true heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict–the failure of the Arab side to recognize that the ‘Zionists’ are not the ‘European settler-colonialists”’of Third Worldist imagination, but a people with a three thousand year plus tie to the Land of Israel, whose religion was born there, who ruled two separate kingdoms there, who have prayed toward Jerusalem for two thousand years in their ancient Hebrew language, and so on,” the law professor added.

That denial of Jewish history, Bernstein noted, includes statements from Palestinian officials across the political spectrum questioning any Jewish link to the Holy Land and Jerusalem.

David Bernstein

In a later update to his post, Bernstein added, “[A]s a woman pregnant out of wedlock, if Mary was a Palestinian she’d have a lot more to fear from a potential honor killing than she would from having to traverse and Israeli checkpoint; twenty-seven Palestinian women were victims of honor killings in the West Bank and Gaza in 2013 alone.” See 'Honor Killings in Gaza'.

The Israeli media watchdog Presspectiva Wednesday pointed out that Hasan’s statistic that one in ten pregnant Palestinian women went into labor or gave birth at an Israeli checkpoint between 2000 and 2007 came from a subsequently discredited 2011 article in the medical journal Lancet.

Dr. Arthur Eidelman, former head of pediatrics at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, in 2011 wrote a letter to Lancet questioning the validity of the data and noted that the statistics presented in the article actually contradicted data published a year earlier in the Lancet.

Other problems in the article included “unsubstantiated” data contradicting official Palestinian Authority health figures, the use of data from years not included in the time frame that the author declared he was examining, and the lack of wider population statistics needed for proper mathematical calculations.

Eidelman wrote that according to Palestinian Health Ministry statistics, the number of births at checkpoints was 0.016% of the births. This number is far lower than the 10 percent the Huffington Post political director noted.

Palestinians like many Muslims, have little compulsion to tell the truth.

This is the third story today on anti-Semitic bias in the media indicting several wire services and very popular news outlets. It seems obvious that there is little compulsion in the media to tell the truth either. 

News reports are no longer news reports but opinion pieces disguised as new reports; opinion pieces meant to twist the thinking of unsuspecting readers, listeners, or watchers into thinking the same way the editors think. Since the editors are less than unbiased in what they choose to report or not report, thinking like them would be a downgrade for most of us.

Wire Services and News Outlets Perpetuate Anti-Semitism

“The Mosque That Wasn’t Torched,” 
By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, December 26, 2014,

Remember that “arson attack” last month by “Jewish extremists” against a West Bank mosque? Remember how that outrageous assault made headline news around the world? Remember how it showed that “both sides” –not just the Arabs– are guilty of violence, and “both sides” –not only Israelis– are suffering?

Well, guess what: it was a lie.

The period from late October through late November was a time of escalating Palestinian terrorism against Israelis. On Oct. 22, a terrorist (or, according to the Palestinian Authority, a “hero”) drove his car into a Jerusalem railway station, murdering two innocent civilians–one was 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, an American citizen–and injuring eight others.

A week later, a terrorist attempted to murder an American-Israeli rabbi in Jerusalem. Then on Nov. 5, another Palestinian “martyr” rammed his car into a Jerusalem train station, killing two and wounding 13. That same day, in Gush Etzion, another car-terrorist drove into and severely wounded a group of Israeli soldiers.

On Nov. 10, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed an Israeli soldier to death in Tel Aviv. Elsewhere that day, another Palestinian stabbed a young Israeli woman to death at a Gush Etzion bus stop and wounded two others.

At the same time, there were almost daily rock-throwing attacks by Arab mobs against Israeli police or soldiers in Jerusalem and various towns in the Judea-Samaria territories.

And it was all incited by a constant wave of radio and television broadcasts by Palestinian Authority officials praising the terrorists in these attacks and urging more “days of rage” against the Jews.

The wave of incitement and violence made clear that the Palestinians were the aggressors, and the Israelis were the victims. No wonder Israel’s critics in the international news media seemed almost gleeful when they heard the news of a fire-bombing at a West Bank mosque. Here was the ammunition they needed to construct a new narrative — a chance to “prove” that the Palestinians weren’t the only violent aggressors.

A major article in the international news section of The New York Times on Nov. 12 announced: “Further charging the atmosphere at a time of heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions and religious friction, a mosque in a village in the West Bank was damaged overnight in what was said to be an arson attack, and a firebomb was thrown at an old synagogue in an Arab town in northern Israel, the police said.”

“Said to be an arson attack?” Said by whom? Well, actually it was the mayor of Ramallah, Faraj al-Naassaneh, whose sole basis for calling it arson was that “only Jewish settlers would do this.”

The attack on the ancient synagogue in Shfaram, by contrast, was caused by a firebomb–meaning that anyone who thought it was the work of Arabs weren’t just speculating that “only Arabs would do this.” A firebomb is concrete evidence that somebody intended to burn the synagogue. The fire at the synagogue could not have been caused, for example, by an electrical problem.

Like the electrical problem that it now turns out caused the fire in the mosque.

On Dec. 15, the Israeli police announced that following an investigation aided by the fire department, the Shin Bet security agency, and, yes, Palestinian Authority investigators, the mystery of the fire had been solved: a malfunction in an electric heater.

The mosque was not “torched,” as NBC News reported. It was not an “arson attack,” as Reuters claimed. No evidence of a flammable liquid was discovered. The claim by United Press International that “anti-Arab graffiti was applied to the mosque” was false.

Interestingly enough, it also turned out that someone in the mosque moved the faulty heater from its original place just before the investigators arrived. So apparently it was not true that “only Jewish settlers would do this,” a sentiment that numerous media outlets reported as if it was an obvious fact. Apparently a faulty heater would do it, and a mosque staff member who wanted to avoid culpability and smear Israel was capable of trying to cover up the evidence.

How did The New York Times report this stunning revelation? One paragraph in its “News Briefs” section. The disproportion between the space and prominence allotted to the original “Jews Burn Mosque” story and that given to the “Jews Didn’t Burn Mosque, After All” story is stunning.

But better than nothing. The Washington Post hasn’t reported the follow-up story at all. Will NBC News, Reuters, or United Press International do the right thing?

Would they dare admit facts that would shatter the false narrative of “both sides foment violence?” Don’t count on it. As a wise man (variously attributed to Twain, or to Churchill) once put it: “A lie gets half-way around the world, before the truth has a chance to pull its boots on.”

Friday, December 26, 2014

Chilean Vigilantes Have Sense of Humor

Mob justice ruled Santiago, Chile Wednesday as a thief was seized, stripped and trussed up by residents of the capital.

The young male was in the process of robbing an elderly man at knifepoint when nearby Santiague├▒os intervened and took a peculiar form of revenge.

In scenes recalling the public stocks of old, social media was abuzz with pictures of the unfortunate robber, branded “flaite” (“white trash”) by Twitter users. Stripped near-naked, he was tied to a lamppost and exposed to the mockery of passersby.

“This ‘flaite’ assaulted and put a knife to an old man’s neck. He struggled, but a group of men grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground,” one witness told press.

“They took the knife off him, slashed his clothes and tied him to a pole with plastic,” she added.

A crowd soon assembled and tweeted triumphant photos and jibes, with the Carabineros — Chile’s uniformed police — taking over 20 minutes to arrive on the scene.

“I feel proud of people today,” tweeted one witness. “The ‘flaite’ of Banderas and Agustinas was pretty well-bruised.”

Just in time for the US holiday of Thanksgiving, social media users were also treated to pictures of the would-be thief’s plastic-wrapped rear end, oddly reminiscent of a prize turkey.

Citizens may have good reason to deal out rough justice by themselves. Although levels of public confidence in the Carabineros, at 56 percent, far outstrip their trust in Chile’s political class, recent police figures reveal that some 93 percent of robberies in the first half of 2014 — some 166,000 cases in total — went without any resulting arrests.

France: Conviction Overturned of Woman Prosecuted for Insulting Islam

The French decline to adopt Sharia — at least for now. The jihadis will keep trying to persuade them.

A French woman who protested a temporary tent-abattoir set up in a car-park near a hospital to ritually slaughter animals for Eid has had her conviction overturned, after she appealed a €4,500 fine and three month jail sentence for calling Islam a “cesspit”.

Retired school-teacher Christine Tasin, 58, was convicted under an 1881 law after the prosecution argued criticism of Islam was the equivalent of inciting violence against Muslims, and that in addition to the normal punishment of a fine and imprisonment, Tasin should also be stripped of the right to hold public office.

Her subsequent appeal was supported by Dr. Daniel Pipes’ American-based Legal Project, an advisory and funding body established to “protect the right in the West to freely discuss Islam, radical Islam, terrorism, and terrorist funding”, who have also backed Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders after his prosecution for criticising Islam.

Overturning the conviction last week, the court confirmed that Islamophobia and blasphemy was not a crime in France, despite the claims made by some Muslim groups after her initial conviction in August.

Speaking exclusively to Breitbart London, Tasin said of the verdict: “Last Thursday was a great day for freedom of expression in France. I said, in Belfort, in 2013, before the mobile Eid abattoir that “Islam is sh*t” to Muslims who had recognized me and attacking me because I claim my Islamophobia.

“I was sentenced to a fine of €3,000 including €1,500 suspended after the Belfort court considered that I had incited hatred against Muslims. The [appeal] court in Besan├žon has now acknowledged that one has the right to express opinions and I did not encourage hatred against Muslims, and I can think and say that Islam is a threat to France, that it is a freedom of expression.

“The Resistance to Islam and all those who, in France, fear that freedom of expression is disappearing, and that blasphemy has become a crime again are relieved”.

A video of Tasin, taken by a group supporting the abattoir, formed part of the evidence brought against her in the original trial. In it she criticises the slaughterhouse, erected to enable Muslim men to cut the throats of goats and sheep for the Islamic religious festival, for being cruel and unsanitary, but is accused of being an “Islamophobe” for her comments.

Rather than backing down, she wears the label with apparent pride, replying: “Yes I am an Islamophobe, so what? It’s Normal! I’m against Islam that causes problems. I don’t find it normal to torture animals, I don’t find it normal to veil women. I’m talking about a serious problem.

“This must not happen in a public space, it is outrageous that everyone has to eat Halal without knowing it… sixty percent of animals killed in France are killed ritually in line with Islam, and people eat Halal without knowing it”….

Halal food must come from a supplier that uses halal practices. Specifically, the slaughter must be performed by a Muslim, who must precede the slaughter by invoking the name of Allah, most commonly by saying "Bismillah" ("In the name of God") and then three times "Allahu akbar" (God is the greatest). Then, the animal must be slaughtered with a sharp knife by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck, causing the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord. Lastly, the blood from the veins must be drained.

If, indeed, they were dedicating the meat to God, this would not be a problem. But Islam's Allah is not the Christian nor Hebrew God of the Bible. The Bible warns of eating food dedicated to idols.

Furthermore, the Christian God stopped all sacrifice of animals when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, the perfect and final sacrifice. Islam is a step back into the first millenium BC.

By lobbying and insisting that most meats sold in France are Halal, many Frenchmen have been put out of work in the meat industry.

Arsonist Sets Fire to Swedish Mosque, Injuring Five

'A witness saw somebody throw an object through the window of the building, which serves as a mosque, after which a violent fire began,' police say.

Building served as a mosque.
An arsonist set fire to a mosque in the Swedish town of Eskilstuna on Thursday, injuring five people, police said, an incident which comes amid an intense debate over immigration.

The immigration debate has pitted the far right, which wants to cut the number of asylum seekers allowed into Sweden by 90 percent, against mainstream parties intent on preserving the Nordic country's liberal policy.

Between 15 and 20 people were in the mosque, located in the ground floor of a building in a mainly residential area, when the fire erupted. Local media footage showed smoke and flames billowing from the windows.

"A witness saw somebody throw an object through the window of the building, which serves as a mosque, after which a violent fire began," police spokesman Lars Franzell said.

The five injured people were taken to hospital for treatment of injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to lacerations. No suspect has been apprehended yet, Franzell added.

Fire-bombing a building, especially while people are inside is a horrible, criminal act that cannot be tolerated. However, I suspect that such acts will only increase as more and more Muslims are invited into the country by blind, liberal politicians who cannot see the writing on the wall. Those who can read will just get more and more desperate the longer it goes on.

Pakistani Judge Orders Arrest of Jihadist Imam

A judge in Pakistan has issued an arrest warrant for a cleric at a radical mosque in Islamabad who has refused to condemn the massacre of children at an army-run school.

Imam Abdul Aziz has been accused of threatening protesters outside the Red Mosque.

Imam Abdul Aziz
The cleric said the charge against him was insignificant.

Last week, Taliban fighters attacked the school in Peshawar, killing 152 people, including 133 children.

Mr Aziz said that the authorities should focus on arresting people accused of more serious crimes.

"My case is very small and even a sub-inspector can grant me bail," he said.

The BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan says that Mr Aziz is well known for his pro-Taliban views.

Earlier this year, a school run by the cleric renamed its library in honour of the former al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden.

A spokesman for the Red Mosque said they would resist the arrest of Mr Aziz.

A man holds a sign during a protest near the Red Mosque in Islamabad
Civil society activists had lodged the complaint against Mr Aziz, saying that they had been threatened by mosque employees during a protest about his refusal to condemn the school massacre.

The demonstrators are also being investigated for holding an unlawful protest.

Pakistan has stepped up its anti-terror operations since the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on 16 December.

Earlier this week, the government announced new measures to tackle terrorism, including the establishment of military courts to hear terrorism-related cases.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday that there was "changed Pakistan" since the tragedy and that there would be "no place for terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and intolerance."

That doesn't sound like Pakistan. Watch your back PM Sharif you are messing with centuries of insanity.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Saudis Increase Security at Jeddah Stadium for Fear That a Woman Might Sneak In

Authorities have intensified security around a stadium in the Red Sea city of Jeddah to ensure no woman could sneak in to watch a football match.

Jeddah Stadium - no room for women
Manama, Bahrain: Saudi Arabian authorities have intensified security around a stadium in the Red Sea city of Jeddah to ensure no woman could sneak in to watch a football match.

The much-awaited match between local team Al Ittihad and the Riyadh-based squad of Al Hilal in the Crown Prince Cup competition was a crowd puller, but the authorities wanted to make sure no woman could enter the 60,000-seat Jawhara Stadium at the King Abdullah Sports City.

Security was beefed up at the main gates and spectators had to show their identity cards to be allowed inside, Saudi daily Makkah reported on Wednesday.

The unusual step was taken after a woman was able this month to sneak past stadium guards to watch a match between Al Ittihad and Al Shabab before she was spotted and referred to the police for questioning. Actually, she was arrested, and, I believe, is still in jail.

Woman in disguise watching soccer. Heaven forbid!
She told investigators that she was not aware of any ban on women attending games.

The woman, in her 20s, said she did not have any problem buying her ticket online and that she arrived early and chose a place where she would not be in the middle of a crowd.

Police spokesman Atti al-Qurashi said security spotted her at the stadium "deliberately disguised" in male attire to avoid detection, reported the state-linked news website Twasul.

Okaz reported Sunday that police questioned the woman, who is in her twenties, for "impersonating" a man by wearing pants, a long-sleeve top, a hat and sunglasses. Most women in Saudi Arabia cover their hair and face with a veil known as the niqab and all women are required to wear a loose black dress known as the abaya in public.

The paper said the woman has been in police custody since Friday and is being held at a center for girls in the western province of Mecca. No charges have been raised so far.

City of Jeddah on the Red Sea
Ultraconservative Saudi clerics shun female access to exercise and women's teams are not part of the kingdom's federation that oversees sports. Women often struggle to find facilities to train and are not allowed to attend matches in stadiums.

Saudi Arabia has a very strict policy regarding female attendance at sports matches. Permissions are needed to allow foreign women to watch the matches in which their home teams play. There is talk of assigning a section of the stadium for 'families'. This would be a good time for that to happen.

Football is highly popular in the kingdom and fans follow with great interest the British, Italian and Spanish leagues.