Saturday, October 31, 2009



DANIEL 7:23-24
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADE BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).

John Loeffler Steel on Steel:The States Rights Revolt. Free Speech? Federal Govt out of control? Iran Armageddon?

Merkel and Sarkozy unite to end Blair's European dream-Former prime minister's bid for EU presidency founders as continent's most powerful leaders announce they would prefer candidate from smaller country By Nigel Morris, Deputy political editor and Vanessa Mock in Brussels Saturday, 31 October 2009

Tony Blair's heavy-handed presidential bid may have foundered on a failure of campaigners to secure the backing of key European leaders Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy-Tony Blair's hopes of becoming the first President of Europe have been dealt a potentially lethal blow by France and Germany. The European Union's two most powerful nations appeared to slam the door on a bid by the former prime minister to become President of the European Council.At the end of a two-day EU summit in Brussels, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, suggested they had a different candidate in mind for the prestigious post about to be created by the Lisbon Treaty.

The names that first come out of the hat are not necessarily those that are finally chosen,he told journalists.With Chancellor Merkel, we completely agree that we are going to have the same approach, the same vision and support the same candidate when the time comes. I think it's very important that France and Germany, on a choice that is as important as this one, show their determination to walk hand-in-hand down this road.The two leaders are believed to have thrashed out a common approach to the job at a private meeting on the eve of the summit.Mr Sarkozy's comments were particularly wounding as he is a well-known admirer of Mr Blair and two years ago advocated his candidacy. Britain's absence from both the eurozone and the Schengen open borders area are thought to have counted against Mr Blair in Paris.Although the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has remained inscrutable on the issue, EU diplomats believe she is searching for an alternative to the former prime minister. She indicated that she thought the first President of Europe under the Lisbon Treaty should be from a small member state – and that does not include the UK.A vigorous pro-Blair campaign by UK ministers and diplomats appeared to have backfired as a series of nations indicated they wanted someone with a lower profile for the post. They signalled they wanted the successful candidate to concentrate on the EU and its institutions rather than to be a big personality on the world stage.Even Gordon Brown acknowledged that the chances were not good for Mr Blair, telling his own summit press conference: I recognise that there are many candidates who may come forward but I do believe that Tony Blair will remain an excellent candidate.Two solid frontrunners are Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende – both leaders of small EU states.British attention was switching in Brussels to the prospects of David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, landing the other big post created by the Lisbon Treaty.Mr Miliband again insisted he was not available and not a candidate for the job of EU High Representative, the equivalent of a foreign minister.However, diplomats across the EU suggested a British candidate would be ideal for the post. One source told The Independent: Miliband may be saying no, but he's a perfect fit for the job. He would make a good counterpart to a more low-key President.A source close to Martin Schultz, leader of the Socialist group in the European Parliament, said: Miliband has a good reputation and his standing is good. He is seen as someone who is pro-European and constructive.

EU clears reform-treaty hurdle OCT 31,09

Jean-Claude Juncker is considered a strong contender for the post of EU president [AFP]European Union leaders have reached a deal that could pave the way to ratification of the Lisbon treaty which would see the body elect its first president.

During talks in Brussels on Thursday, leaders approved a proposal to satisfy a demand by Vaclav Klaus, the Czech president, in an effort to persuade his country to ratify the treaty.The road to ratification stands open,Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish prime minister, said. Sweden currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.
The Czech Republic is the only one of the 27 EU nations that has not yet ratified the treaty.Klaus sought an opt-out from the treaty three weeks ago, after Prague's parliament ratified it, in an attempt to ensure the treaty would not allow ethnic Germans expelled from former Czechoslovakia after the second world war to reclaim their property.The only obstacle to the Klaus's signature now is a legal challenge by Czech senators, which the country's constitutional court is expected to dismiss on Tuesday.

Presidential race

EU leaders also moved closer to an agreement on a new president, with former British prime minister Tony Blair's chances of securing the role receding.Blair's hopes faded when his candidacy failed to secure the blessings of European socialists, who are his ruling Labour Party's allies.In depth Possible candidates for the EU presidential role

The post is now more likely to go to a centre-right candidate, with possible contenders including Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, and Paavo Lipponen, the former Finnish prime minister.The president, who needs to be elected unanimously, will serve a two-and-a-half-year term, strengthening the current system of a six-month presidency that states hold in turn.Ratification of the treaty after years of negotiations would encourage the EU in its hopes of increasing its influence on the world stage.It would also streamline decision-making in the bloc, which is unwieldy now that it has grown to 27 member states representing 495 million people.

Dont forget OIL FOR IMMIGRATION.... E.A.D. EUROPEAN ARAB DIALOGUE Baat Yeor and the late Orianna Fallaci.EURABIA-The EU's power is at heart an agreement by the central member states that certain directions will be followed.OCT 31,09

There is no need for coercion, though an underlying fear of larger neighbours, well-taught during the 20th century, certainly motivates many of the smaller nations. The two key members, France and Germany, formalised their very curious alliance at the Elysee Treaty of January 1963.The smaller and poorer original members, Benelux and Italy, were either economically, militarily or diplomatically overshadowed by the Franco-German partnership, which continues to be the heart of the project. The origin of the EU's power lies in the joint recognition of France and Germany, and their establishments, that they cannot manage without each other, that Germany can have power if it exercises it through the EU but not if it does so openly, and that France can have standing, prestige (and considerable economic benefits) if it accepts an unstated but actual German political primacy.


Where does the EU get its power from?
I promised to give some replies to comments on the EU and Jury postings. As usual, there isn't really room to do justice to either of these vast subjects.But let me begin with the EU, I'll concentrate on the contribution from John Davies, which lies outside the usual yes it is, and no it isn't bit of the debate. He says, rather surprisingly, that the EU is not in fact powerful at all. To justify this, he suggests that the power of the EU can be measured by such things as the size of its budget.You might as well measure it by the number of people it directly employs, which is (like the budget) comparatively tiny. Much more significant is the number of people who actually abide by and enforce its decrees, and the quantities of national budgets which are devoted to its ends. The EU depends greatly, at this stage in its development, on keeping up the appearance that nations still have their own governments.

This is specially important here, where national independence is a treasured possession stretching back for unbroken centuries, and in Ireland where it is a hard-won prize. It is startlingly less important in France, invaded and subjugated twice in the past 150 years, in Germany, which learned that it must follow its national interests in more subtle ways after two attempts to impose them by force, and in Italy which only came into existence as a nation very recently and had (like Germany) a bad experience when it sought to assert itself. As I've said elsewhere, Britain is the only virgin in a continent of rape victims. As I haven't said elsewhere, that is why she needs to be drugged by deceit into acquiescence in the current process. But every so often she half wakes up, like poor Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby, to cry out This isn't a dream. This is really happening! And so it is.The EU's power is at heart an agreement by the central member states that certain directions will be followed. There is no need for coercion, though an underlying fear of larger neighbours, well-taught during the 20th century, certainly motivates many of the smaller nations. The two key members, France and Germany, formalised their very curious alliance at the Elysee Treaty of January 1963. The smaller and poorer original members, Benelux and Italy, were either economically, militarily or diplomatically overshadowed by the Franco-German partnership, which continues to be the heart of the project. The origin of the EU's power lies in the joint recognition of France and Germany, and their establishments, that they cannot manage without each other, that Germany can have power if it exercises it through the EU but not if it does so openly, and that France can have standing, prestige (and considerable economic benefits) if it accepts an unstated but actual German political primacy.
This relationship became more one-sided after German reunification, but has survived remarkably well considering the strains it could have imposed. The certainty, among France's elite, that conflict with Germany in future is futile, over-rode traditional French fears of a united Germany. (Arthur Koestler wrote interestingly about the doomed relationship of the two countries, one a land of bread and wine, the other a land of coal and iron, and their unequal populations, in the opening pages of his extraordinary book Scum of the Earth, which I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in the darker corners of European history).

The absorption of Britain was almost certainly a mistake on the EU's terms. They were attracted by the access to British markets it offered, by the possibilities of absorbing our military capability into an all-Europe one, by the fishing grounds, by the large net contributions which we were bound to make. Above all, they wanted to end what they regard as annoying British attempts to prevent a single power dominating the continent, the principle of London's foreign policy since the days of the first Queen Elizabeth. What they didn't anticipate was the depth and strength of the incompatibility between the Continental approach to law, government and regulation, and British traditions.It was undoubtedly a mistake on British terms. We gained nothing economically or politically by it, losing what remained of our special Commonwealth trading links, losing our territorial waters, our foreign policy independence and our ability to make our own arrangements for regulating and subsidising our industry and agriculture. We also lost our political independence, and control over our own borders. I could make a longer list if I thought it would help the argument, but most readers will get my point. British establishment enthusiasm for the European idea was rooted in chagrin, and in mistrust of the USA, following our defeat at Suez.It was in a way a sort of British Vichy mentality, defeatist and self-denigratory. It became clear during the 1980s that we were quite able to recover from the economic and political sickness of the Eden-Macmillan-Home-Wilson-Callaghan era, and were also able to conduct ourselves effectively as a medium sized diplomatic and military power. It was also increasingly clear that the ever-closer union promised in the Treaty of Rome was becoming irksome because of its growing interference with British laws at home and with our freedom of action abroad. Meanwhile, the endless promises of greater access to markets in Europe never seemed to be fulfilled.

It is perfectly true that the EU has no power of any kind to force us to remain within it, and in fact the Lisbon Treaty for the first time codifies the procedure for a country which wishes to leave the EU. We could leave tomorrow, without damage, if we so wished. But the leaderships of all political parties refuse to countenance this. Why? Mr Davies is perfectly correct in saying that the British government and civil service gold-plate EU laws and regulations, because they like them so much and see them as opportunities to do what they wanted to do before. Also on occasion ministers like to claim that the EU is forcing them to do things they wish to do anyway (a very important reason why British politicians, unwilling to reveal or take responsibility for their own real aims, support EU membership so strongly. The Strasbourg Human Rights Court, a non-EU body, often performs the same function, forcing British governments to do things they wanted to do anyway, but couldn't get past the voters. The Strasbourg Court has no power in Britain, except the power the British government wants to give it). But British politicians are not so keen to acknowledge their impotence over such things as Post Office closures, the wrecking of our fisheries, or the current rubbish collection mess, as they don't like admitting how much power they've handed over in return for the general irresponsibility the EU provides.

Iran, climate and treaty top agenda in EU summit Friday, October 30, 2009
BRUSSELS - From wire dispatches

Climate change, Iran’s nuclear program and reform treaty top agenda of EU leaders’ key summit in Brussels. While urging Iran to stick the UN deal, European leaders secure a deal on helping poor nations to tackle climate change. Lisbon treaty will come into force in December, says Sarkozy.European Union leaders on Friday reached a deal on how to help developing nations tackle climate change, but without putting a figure to Europe's contribution, officials said. On Iran and its controversial nuclear program, EU leaders pressed the Islamic Republic to stick by a deal that would limit its uranium enrichment, voicing grave concern over the country's nuclear program.We have an agreement [on climate change],said Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, at the end of a two-day European summit in Brussels.The EU now has a strong negotiating position and the countdown to Copenhagen now has started,he added, referring to international climate talks in Denmark in December.The EU leaders agreed that developing nations would need 100 billion euros ($150 billion) worth of help annually by 2020 to tackle climate change and to deal with its consequences.However, the EU leaders failed to say how much of that money would be coming from Europe, amid strong differences mainly between the poor eastern European nations and the richer west.Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that a working group would now be set up to seek a concrete formula on how the bill is divided up in Europe. Lithuania, Poland and seven other eastern EU nations have been firmly against the idea of linking contributions to polluting levels, which would leave them with a heavy bill.They instead suggested that the burden sharing be divided according to national income, which would put the onus very much on the richer western European nations.

Grave concern on Iran

Meanwhile, EU leaders also expressed grave concern over the development of Iran's nuclear program, and Iran's persistent failure to meet its international obligations,according to a draft statement circulating on the second day of a two-day EU summit in Brussels. Western diplomats said this week that Tehran had rejected a plan proposed by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei at talks involving Iran, the U.S., Russia and France.The plan calls for Iran to export most of its enriched uranium to Russia and then France. Iran missed an initial deadline of last Friday to respond, and instead this week offered to enrich its uranium to a higher level inside the country under U.N. supervision.The statement - obtained by The Associated Press - urged Iran to agree to the U.N. atomic watchdog's proposal for supplying nuclear fuel to Tehran's research reactor, saying such an agreement would contribute to building confidence.The Iranians' counteroffer drew criticism in Europe and Israel. It's the same old tricks,Bildt told the AP. A back-and-forth for further talks.Israeli Lawmaker Tzahi Hanegbi, chairman of parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, speaking to Army Radio on Friday, said reports of Iran's resistance to the deal means, We're back where we started.

Treaty comes into force December

On Thursday, the first day of the summit, EU leaders cleared a major obstacle holding up the massive Lisbon reform treaty, paving the way for a new-look EU with its first-ever president.At talks in Brussels, the leaders approved a proposal to satisfy a last-minute demand by the deeply eurosceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus for his country to win an opt-out from the EU's charter of fundamental rights.French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that the Lisbon Treaty would doubtless come into force on Dec. 1. The Lisbon Treaty will enter into force doubtless as early as December 1,he told reporters at the end of the EU summit.Sarkozy added there could be another summit in mid-November, perhaps to debate nominations for two top jobs created by the treaty, the other being the job of foreign affairs supremo.On Afghanistan and the disputed presidential elections in the war-torn country, EU leaders said the second round of presidential elections must be fair for the new government to win international acceptance.A statement by EU leaders also praised U.N. work in coordinating international efforts in Afghanistan. The U.N. is reeling from a Taliban attack that killed five of its election workers in Kabul this week.

Saturday, 31 October 2009 EU Lisbon Treaty: Trick or treat(y)?
Trick or treat?, asked president Vaclav Klaus, and 27 member state governments (including his own) obliged by granting the Czech Republic an opt-out from the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union.

Presidency conclusions

This is how the Presidency conclusions of the European Council 29 to 30 October 2009 (document 15265/09) settle the issue (page 1 to 2): I. Institutional issues

1. The European Council welcomes the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon by Germany, Ireland and Poland, which means that it has now been approved by the people or the parliaments of all 27 Member States.

2. The European Council recalls that the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon requires ratification by each of the 27 Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. It reaffirms its determination to see the Treaty enter into force by the end of 2009, thus allowing it to develop its effects in the future.On this basis, and taking into account the position taken by the Czech Republic, the Heads of State or Government have agreed that they shall, at the time of the conclusion of the next Accession Treaty and in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, attach the Protocol (in Annex I) to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.In this context, and with regard to legal application of the Treaty of Lisbon and its relation to legal systems of Member States, the European Council confirms that:

a) The Treaty of Lisbon provides that competences not conferred upon the Union in the Treaties remain with the Member States (Art. 5(2) TEU);
b) The Charter is addressed to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law (Art. 51(1) Charter).
Annex I with the text of the protocol appears on page 14 of the presidency conclusions:



The Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States of the European Union, taking note of the wish expressed by the Czech Republic,Having regard to the Conclusions of the European Council,Have agreed on the following Protocol :Article 1

Protocol No 30 on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to Poland and to the United Kingdom shall apply to the Czech Republic.

Article 2

The Title, Preamble and operative part of Protocol No 30 shall be modified in order to refer to the Czech Republic in the same terms as they refer to Poland and to the United Kingdom.

Article 3

This Protocol shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Swedish Council Presidency

Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt thanked his colleagues for clearing the final political hurdle to the Lisbon Treaty: I am pleased to announce that the European Council has this evening agreed to accept the exemption that the President of the Czech Republic has requested in order to be able to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon. We succeeded in reaching this agreement thanks to the many EU leaders who showed leadership and a strong willingness to cooperate.

EU minister Cecilia Malmström noted on her blog:The Lisbon Treaty was moved yet another step closer to its entry into force last night, as European leaders agreed to grant the Czech Republic a clarification, which will satisfy the Czech government and the concerns of the country’s President Vaclav Klaus.While not at all an opt-out from the entire Charter of Fundamental Rights, as it has sometimes been described, EU leaders agreed that the Czech Republic will accede to the protocol previously agreed for Poland and the UK, which clarifies the contents of the Charter and its relation to national legislation.

Vaclav Klaus

Having got his candy, Czech Happenings report that Klaus not to raise further conditions before Lisbon signature (30 October 2009). The article refers to a press release by the president’s spokesman Radim Ochvat.Despite approval by 27 national governments and as many national parliaments, opponents of representative democracy have continued their campaign against the Lisbon Treaty. Yesterday, Kent Ekeroth from the extreme right Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna, SD) handed a petition with some 20,000 signatures to a representative of Klaus.The fascistoid Sverigedemokraterna offers no translation of its name, so it has been called Swedish Democrats and Sweden’s National Democrats in various news items, which inform us that they, together with other nasties, Hungary's Jobbik, France's National Front, Italy's Three-Colour Flame and Belgium's National Front have formed the Alliance of European National Movements on Saturday and say they expect parties from Britain, Austria, Spain and Portugal to join them soon.

No to social and employment rights

The leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Mirek Topolanek, said that the opt-out did not mean any shift in the position on the Benes decrees.The ODS leader, whose party sits in the anti-integrationist European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament, together with the UK Conservatives and the Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS), expresses his satisfaction for a totally different reason. According to ex prime minister Topolanek: We will not be committed to fulfil comprehensive social rights of the third generation. This relates to the increased protection of employees in the event of sacking, higher demands for welfare and conditions of collective bargaining.

Unions and social democrats have been less enthusiastic.

Demonstrations - Yesterday, a group of about 15 demonstrators ─ UKIP, UK Conservatives and others flying Czech colours ─ in Brussels urged president Klaus not to sign the Lisbon Treaty. On Wednesday, about 200 had demonstrated in Prague.

Forward - The Czech Constitutional Court in Brno deals with the Lisbon Treaty Tuesday, 3 November 2009, which is the earliest day for a resolution on the complaints filed by 17 Czech Senators, defeated in the democratic arena.After the substantially unfounded concession, but face-saving for president Vaclav Klaus, the Lisbon Treaty can finally be ratified by the Czech Republic, if the Constitutional Court rejects the complaints.If the ratification instrument is deposited with the Italian government during November, the Lisbon Treaty could enter into force from 1 December 2009.When the following EU Accession Treaty is concluded, the political promise made to the Czech Republic would be formally enshrined, somewhat shamefully distancing the country from the community of values formed around the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The effect – including social and employment principles – is more symbolic than real, but the Czech will find themselves in the company of the United Kingdom and Poland.According to the prime minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Swedish presidency of the EU Council will start consultations on the top jobs (president of the European Council and high representative for foreign affairs and security policy) the day after president Klaus signs the ratification instrument. An extra summit will be convened, most likely in November.In principle, the new Commission should take over tomorrow, 1November 2009, but the Council still needs to agree with the president-elect, José Manuel Barroso, on the list of members. Some member states have not made their proposals yet. The European Parliament then arranges hearings with the proposed commissioners, before giving its consent to the Commission as a body. After that, the European Council makes the formal appointments. Even if the European Parliament does not reject the proposed Commission, 1 January 2010 seems to be the earliest possible date for entry into office.Almost a decade has passed since the European leaders acknowledged that the Treaty of Nice was an unsatisfactory quick fix and that the treaty reform process had to continue, in the Nice declaration (23) on the future of the Union...The Treaty of Lisbon is a step forward, but Europe’s new challenges have emerged and developed much faster than the structure of the European Union.Ralf Grahn

then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.

JAMES 5:1-3
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

REVELATION 18:10,17,19
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM


Thanks to HST, come next July 1, there'll be new taxes on just about everything By JOE WARMINGTON Last Updated: 29th October 2009, 4:06am Toronto Sun online

What are these? .Next they may tax the rain drops.-- Kevin Gaudet of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

How about taxing tears?

Tax fighter Kevin Gaudet wasn't laughing when he made a joke at yesterday's anti-HST rally in the rain. Nobody was.Middle-class people who pay the freight are scared and wonder whether a surtax on people making more than $40,000 a year is next?

Or a special tax on those with more than $100,000 savings?

With this pathetic $25-billion deficit government at the helm, who the hell knows? People do know, however, it is they who have to feed this poorly run, mean and incompetent provincial beast.We also know next July 1, thanks to the harmonization of the GST and PST, there will be new taxes on gas, diesel, propane, heating fuel, insurance, electricity, natural gas, TV, phone and Internet service, haircuts, ballet lessons, rink rental fees, movies, tailoring, periodicals, mutual-fund fees, massages, chiropractors, audiology, train, plane, taxi and bus fares, vitamins, dry-cleaning, grass-cutting, snow removal, camping, firewood, fast food, new homes over $500,000, gym fees, home renovation labour, and real Christmas trees.All that will grow is the size of bureaucracy, the burden on regular people and, of course, the underground, black-market economy. It's actually communism being implemented in the same way you kill someone with 1,000 paper cuts. Slow but lethal.Lorraine Mercer, who owns tiny Cafe Oro along Yonge-Dundas Square and is already contending with tough giant corporate competitors like Starbucks, is also not laughing.Where do they think this extra money is supposed to come from? she asked. When will people just bring their coffee in a Thermos?

There's a joke in all of this. It's this nanny-state, Ontario government about to hit beaten-down taxpayers with this $3-billion tax heist without the courtesy of asking the voters for permission.The 13% HST is a tax on children, seniors and single moms.It's a tax on hard workers whose lot has become to fuel a fat, consultant-ridden, out-of-control bureaucracy.

It's a sick joke.

Just look at the rules, regulations and taxes they have either brought in or increased:The elimination of lawn fertilizer, a host of prohibition-style smoking rules, including banning it publicly with the exception of the state-run casinos, fining truckers for smoking in their own cab, covering up the product behind store counters and yet still collecting billions off their sales.Colourful cigarette packaging at the counter has been replaced by a mini-casino collage of every type of lottery ticket imaginable, but with no gambling can kill you disclaimers. This government frowns on sin yet creates more lotteries and more LCBO stores, which collect up to 85% on every bottle. Meanwhile, tavern owners struggle because you can't smoke, can't afford to drink and if you do, now face the drinking and driving law reduced from 0.08 for a violation to intervention now at 0.05.There's also expensive graduated licensing to contend with, a tire tax, an electronics tax, phony vehicles emissions testing every two years, crazy fines for speeding, parking tickets or even sitting in your car idling. This government allows the City of Toronto to charge you twice for your car registration and twice for your house sale -- not to mention allowing them to fine you 5 cents for every plastic bag you use.

Let's not forget the egregious market assessment taxing on homes, the violent criminals on firearms prohibitions who violate bail and routinely get bail, and yet you can't have a pit bull to protect yourself because they are banned. If you call to complain while driving, you will face a ticket and if you drive too fast, you could have your car taken way -- even without a trial. Hell, they are even going to tax your funeral.Meanwhile, they have also all but abandoned the idea of using Canadian nuclear expertise in favour of politically correct wind-power, not telling you that horribly polluting coal-fired electricity will still supply a bulk of the energy. They will pay no fine for that but you'll pay heftily for your fishing, boating and hunting licences despite already owning your share of the outdoors! Let's not forget the health tax they grab and the elimination of free eye exams while they lose more than $1 billion on the eHealth plan.All of that tax and we wonder: Are we in the black? Was another highway built? Or transit system? Are streets less congested? Are we creating jobs for the unemployed? Is the environment cleaner? Are our hospital waiting times shorter? Are there new MRI machines? Does everybody have a doctor? Are we safer? Are we healthier? It makes no difference because on July 1 Ontarians will have to pay an extra 8% on many items.And that's no joke.JOE.WARMINGTON@SUNMEDIA.CA

Latest EU climate deal remains vague on funding-Europe is not being schizophrenic on climate financing, says Polish PM Tusk (Photo: Tom Jensen/ PHILLIPS 30.10.2009 @ 18:14 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Another European Union summit has come and gone, yielding only the vaguest of hints on how much cash the bloc is willing to stump up to help the developing world tackle the effects of climate change.EU premiers and presidents meeting in Brussels on Friday (30 October) thrashed out a compromise deal in which the bloc has agreed that industrialised countries should commit between €22 billion and €50 billion a year for climate adaptation and carbon emissions mitigation in the third world.But, under pressure from Germany, what share of this global amount should come from Europe's public coffers - essentially Europe's offer ahead of UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December - remains unmentioned.All that is said in the summit's final communique is that the EU will contribute it's "fair share" of this sum. A commission paper issued in September suggests that such a fair share would lie in a range between €2 and €15 billion a year, but there is no reference to this paper in the summit document.The sums do not compare favourably with the amounts assessed as being necessary by development NGOs and third-world countries themselves: annual flows of €110 billion a year from the global north to south, of which the EU should be offering €35 billion.

Eastern member states under the leadership of Poland also won a major victory in securing a commitment that any climate cash they have to put in to the international kitty will take into account their ability to pay.Poland and other poorer member states had held up movement on climate finance over their worries that if their share of EU climate funds for the third world was based on their carbon emission levels, they would be stuck with a huge bill, as they are very much dependent on coal for their energy and continue to pump out lots of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, a much wealthier France, with its low-carbon nuclear energy sector, would not have to spend very much at all.

No schizophrenia here

The main reason the western states had wanted an EU calculus based on country emissions instead of wealth, is because an internal wealth-based model would expose it to similar claims from developing countries at a global level.This would undermine their position, and that of the US, that even developing countries must contribute to the global climate fund and that the basis of paying into such a fund should be heavily weighted towards levels of carbon emissions.Polish leader Donald Tusk, content with his victory, tried to allay such concerns by saying that what mattered was the EU climate finance commitment as a whole and what happened internally in Europe was not the business of other global powers.There is no schizophrenia here, he said, referring to the potential for others at global talks to accuse the EU of double standards.We're not interested in how various Chinese provinces or US states are going to achieve their climate goals,he told reporters after the summit. It's the EU as a whole that is important and what we are doing is at the forefront of that fight. I don't see any conflict between the two positions.
Under the final compromise, the leaders gave the nod to an internal adjustment mechanism that will be established after Copenhagen, which fully takes into account the ability to pay.A working party will be set up to thrash out the details of this mechanism, details that must then be agreed by consensus by EU leaders - giving Poland and the other eight eastern states a potential veto if it is not to their liking.

Fast track funding and hot air

Separately, the EU agreed that between €5 and €7 billion a year in so-called Fast Track financing - monies that would cover the gap in climate adaptation needs in the third world between now and the start of a post-Kyoto Protocol regime in 2013 - should be paid out following an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen.But again, the EU's share of this sum was left unsaid, although environment commissioner Stavros Dimas ahead of the summit said that a good figure would amount to around €1.5 billion a year. In another significant concession to eastern states, contribution to fast-track projects will only be on a voluntary basis.A third stumbling block was overcome when EU leaders assented to a compromise over the question of so-called unused Assigned Amount Units of carbon emissions - the allocations of CO2 that countries could emit under the outgoing Kyoto Protocol.Countries in the east underwent severe deindustrialisation over the course of the 1990s in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet bloc, producing a sharp drop in emissions without any real carbon mitigation efforts and leaving them with a massive surplus of unused AAUs.The eastern states believe that these unused AAUs - referred to colloquially in Brussels as hot air - should be bankable and carry over from the Kyoto regime to whatever replaces it. The western states for their part argue that the unused AAUs exist in such quantities that to release them into the market would collapse the price of carbon and feel that the unused AAUs should just expire when any post-Kyoto regime enters into force.

Last minute fudge-In a last-minute fudge, the leaders struck a bargain in which AAUs should indeed be done away with, but only if everyone around the world agrees to this, so that eastern EU states do not have to dump their extra AAUs while Ukraine and Russia do not.Green and development NGOs welcomed the fact there was at least some movement on climate financing, but lamented that what figures were mentioned were inadequate and that the EU remained mute on its own commitments.Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the European Climate Foundation said:EU leaders have recognised the critical importance of fast start funding for the developing world but Europe, along with the United States, will need to come to Copenhagen with real money on the table if the process is to succeed.Faith-based development groups APRODEV, Caritas and CIDSE, said: The devil is in the detail, and the reality is that the EU is still evading its responsibilities.

Federal regulators close 9 banks, mostly in West By TIM PARADIS and MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writers - Sat Oct 31, 3:37 am ET

NEW YORK – Regulators have shut California National Bank of Los Angeles and eight smaller related banks as the weak economy continues to produce a stream of loan defaults.The banks closed on Friday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation were in California, Illinois, Texas and Arizona. They were divisions of privately held FBOP Corp., a bank holding company based in Oak Park., Ill.U.S. Bank in Minneapolis, a division of US Bancorp, agreed to assume the deposits and most of the assets of the banks. The banks had combined assets of $19.4 billion and deposits of $15.4 billion at the end of September, the FDIC said.

The nine banks had 153 offices, which will reopen as U.S. Bank branches Saturday.

FBOP Corp., itself wasn't closed under the deal, grew from one bank with assets of $125 million in 1990. From 1990 to 2007 the company acquired 28 banks, according to its Web site.The closing of nine banks in one day was the most the FDIC has shut since the financial crisis began taking down banks last year. The closings boost the number of failed U.S. banks this year to 115. In 1989, during the savings-and-loan crisis, the FDIC closed 534 banks, or about 10 a week.California National Bank had 68 branches. About 100 FDIC employees arrived at the CalNational headquarters in downtown Los Angeles at around 6:15 p.m on Friday. They were seen fanning out into various offices around the building, a squat concrete structure that prominently displays the failed bank's name.The FDIC simultaneously arrived at the bank's other branches, spokeswoman Roberta Valdez said. She said the FDIC would spend the weekend transferring the bank to U.S. Bank.Besides California National Bank, the banks involved in the latest round were Bank USA, NA, in Phoenix; San Diego National Bank; Pacific National Bank in San Francisco; Park National Bank in Chicago; Community Bank of Lemont in Illinois; North Houston Bank, Madisonville State Bank, and Citizens National Bank in Teague, all in Texas.Rick Hartnack, vice chairman of consumer banking for U.S. Bancorp, said the move complements its operations in California, Illinois and Arizona. The deal doubled the company's branches in California so that more than 20 percent of U.S. Bank's branch network will be in the state.

The company will have nearly 3,000 branches in two dozen states.California and Chicago turned out to be two of the most attractive markets in the country where we just didn't have the branch density that we wanted,he said.US Bancorp in October reported a 4.7 percent increase in its third-quarter earnings and said it wasn't seen bad loans grow as fast as they had been earlier this year. The company's stock fell 99 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $23.22 as part of a broad slide in stocks Friday.
As the economy has soured, with unemployment rising, home prices tumbling and loan defaults soaring, bank failures have cascaded and sapped billions out of the deposit insurance fund. It has fallen into the red.The FDIC expects Friday's closings will cost the fund $2.5 billion. The FDIC and U.S. Bank agreed to share losses on about $14.4 billion of the combined purchased assets of $18.2 billion.Failures have been especially concentrated in California, Georgia and Illinois. While the pounding from losses on home mortgages may be nearing an end, delinquencies on commercial real estate loans remain a hot spot of potential trouble, regulators say. If the recession deepens, defaults on the high-risk loans could spike. Many regional banks, especially, hold large concentrations of these loans.Also on Friday, agencies including the FDIC, the Federal Reserve and the Office of Thrift Supervision issued guidelines for banks modifying troubled commercial real estate loans. They emphasize the principle that modifying loans in a prudent manner is often in the best interest of both the bank and the creditworthy commercial borrower.The 115 failures are the most in a year since 1992 at the height of the savings-and-loan crisis. They have cost the federal deposit insurance fund more than $25 billion so far this year, and hundreds more bank failures are expected to raise the cost to around $100 billion through 2013.To replenish the fund, the FDIC wants the roughly 8,100 insured banks and savings institutions to pay in advance about $45 billion in premiums that would have been due over the next three years.Depositors' money — insured up to $250,000 per account — is not at risk, with the FDIC backed by the government. The FDIC still has billions in loss reserves apart from the insurance fund. It can also tap a Treasury Department credit line of up to $500 billion — $100 billion of which does not require Treasury's approval.The Obama administration recently proposed a plan to provide infusions of money to small banks at low interest rates, provided they agree to increase lending to small businesses. Banks and credit unions that serve low-income areas would get aid at even lower rates to help small businesses in the hardest-hit rural and urban areas. The aid would come from money still available in the $700 billion federal bailout fund, which went mostly to large banks.

The 115 bank failures this year compare with 25 last year and three in 2007.Banks have been especially hurt by failed real estate loans. Banks that had lent to seemingly solid businesses are suffering losses as buildings sit vacant. As development projects collapse, builders are defaulting on their loans.The number of banks on the FDIC's confidential problem list jumped to 416 at the end of June from 305 in the first quarter. That's the most since June 1994. About 13 percent of banks on the list generally end up failing, according to the FDIC.Gordon reported from Washington. Thomas Watkins reported from Los Angeles.

Tantamount To Treason 10-31-9

(LPAC) -- Those were Lyndon LaRouche's words on Thursday, describing two of the latest fascist innovations to come from the Obama White House, Treasury Department, and Federal Reserve.On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appeared before Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee, to release a proposed reorganization of the bank regulatory system, that would, in effect, wipe out the use of bankruptcy reorganization, to deal with the hopelessly bankrupt financial system. Under the new swindle, bank holding companies, and other non-banks, would be exempted from bankruptcy court proceedings, and, instead, would be put through reorganization by an Executive Branch Financial Services Oversight Council.There are now minimally $5-6 trillion of worthless toxic waste liabilities on the books of the big banks, and the proposed reform would establish a $10 billion Financial Company Resolution Fund, to deal with these too big to fail institutions. You see the fraud! All of the B.S. aside, the essence of this reform would be to gut the U.S. Federal Constitution's credit system and provisions for bankruptcy reorganization on behalf of the general welfare.Combine this latest swindle with the fact that the Fed has, through its zero-interest rate policy, created a dollar carry trade,which is creating a gigantic new financial bubble.

Lyndon LaRouche commented on these developments by focusing on the criminal intent of these measures.He fully endorsed the denunciation of the Geithner/Frank scheme by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Cal.), who called it TARP on steroids. LaRouche explained, Even though this latest scheme by Geithner, Bernanke, Barney Frank, et al. will not live, it is the criminal intent behind it that must be targeted. If this swindle is allowed to go forward, it will be a recipe for the total collapse of the entire financial system. It must be stopped. It is boiling down to genocide against the American people.The same genocidal swindle was reflected in several other events of the day, including the laughable fake data, coming out of the government, claiming that GDP for the third quarter of 2009 jumped by 3.5 percent! On the basis of past performance,LaRouche immediately reacted,we can presume that the GDP data is fraudulent. Everything this Administration has done with respect to the economy and the financial system has been one big lie. We have not yet carefully reviewed the latest phony data, but we can be certain that the evidence is there of one more lie in the series of wild hoaxes.The same genocide label can be affixed on the Obama Administration's response to the swine flu pandemic, which continues to spread all over the country and around the globe. On Thursday, in its weekly conference call status report, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) once again admitted that the amount of H1N1 vaccine that would be produced this year would fall far short of initial estimates. LaRouche responded, It is so obvious they are lying. This swine flu issue is the hottest issue on the planet, and once again, we hear last-minute announcements of unexpected failure to deliver the adequate supply of vaccine. It is only fair to ask: Did they ever really intend to deliver the vaccine?


LUKE 21:25-26
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

4th typhoon in month lashes Philippines; 7 killed By OLIVER TEVES, Associated Press Writer – OCT 31,09

MANILA, Philippines – The fourth typhoon to whip the Philippines in a month lashed the capital and nearby provinces Saturday, leaving fresh floods and new misery before blowing out of the country. At least seven people were killed and several were missing.Typhoon Mirinae, with winds of 93 miles (150 kilometers) per hour and gusts of up to 115 mph (185 kph), slammed into Quezon province northeast of Manila around midnight Friday. It quickly swept westward out to sea south of the capital and weakened into a tropical storm Saturday afternoon.It is moving away toward the South China Sea,said chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz.That part of our lives with (Mirinae) is over.

Mirinae appeared to be heading next toward Vietnam.

Philippine authorities evacuated more than 115,000 people in nine provinces east and south of Manila in the storm's path on main Luzon island, the National Disaster Coordinating Council reported.Back-to-back storms in late September and early October killed more than 900 people, and a third storm then threatened the northern Philippines before veering toward Japan.Initial reports Saturday from Mirinae indicated more flooding but relatively few deaths.Police said six people, including a 12-year-old girl, drowned in a flash flood in Laguna province's Pagsanjan township, south of Manila. Four others were missing in floodwaters in other towns, regional police chief Perfecto Palad said.A man drowned after being swept away by strong currents as he tried to cross a creek in Rizal province's Pililla township while carrying his 1-year-old child, who remains missing. A man and his son who were in a car on a bridge that collapsed in nearby Batangas province were also missing, said regional disaster officer Fred Bragas.One river in Laguna overflowed, flooding most of lakeside Santa Cruz town and sending residents clambering onto roofs, said Mayor Ariel Magcalas.

We cannot move, this is no joke,Magcalas said.The water is high. We need help,he said in a public address via Radio DZBB.The muddy floodwater receded as rains eased, but was still chest-high in some communities.In Manila, residents hunkered down in their homes overnight as rains beat down on dark, deserted streets. Mirinae passed south of the sprawling city of 12 million.Mirinae tracked the same route as Tropical Storm Ketsana, which in late September dumped the heaviest rains in 40 years in and around Manila. A week later, Typhoon Parma triggered massive landslides in Luzon's mountain region.Nearly 95,000 people who fled during those two earlier storms were still housed in temporary shelters when Mirinae struck, the national disaster agency said.Flights at Manila's international airport were canceled and about 8,000 ferry passengers were stranded as the coast guard grounded all vessels.Manila electric power distributor Meralco said the high winds had forced outages in many areas around the capital, but electricity was restored in most areas by Saturday afternoon.

In Rizal province's Taytay township, about 400 shanties — home to about 2,000 people who had been forced to flee their lakeside homes during Ketsana — were destroyed by strong winds, Mayor Joric Gacula said. In the coastal town of Ternate in Cavite province, where the typhoon exited, a tornado destroyed 25 houses and injured one resident, Bragas said. Ahead of the typhoon, millions of Filipinos had boarded buses heading to home provinces for this weekend's All Saints Day, when people visit cemeteries to pay respects to dead relatives in this devoutly Roman Catholic nation.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro expressed fear that floods and traffic congestion may trap visitors at graveyards, where people traditionally spend a day or even a night, but few heeded his call to scrap this year's commemorations.In some provinces, floodwaters from Ketsana and Parma raged through cemeteries, breaking up tombs and sweeping away caskets and bodies.Associated Press writer Hrvoje Hranjski contributed to this report.

1 dead, steeple falls as tornadoes hit La., Ark. Fri Oct 30, 7:39 am ET

SHREVEPORT, La. – One man is dead and a landmark church steeple toppled onto a car in Louisiana after a line of thunderstorms spawned several tornadoes there and in neighboring Arkansas.Authorities said an unnamed 20-year-old driver died when his car hit a tree felled by the storms Thursday near Shreveport.

At least three tornadoes touched down in northwest Louisiana.

The storms blew the signature steeple off a church in downtown Shreveport. The falling tower hit a car and the 57-year-old driver, Michael Williams, had to be pulled out by rescuers. He suffered broken bones.The storms brought heavy rain and at least two tornadoes in Arkansas, but there were no reports of injuries in that state. Roads were flooded in parts of southwest Arkansas.

Snow lets up in West, Plains; South gets drenched By JILL ZEMAN BLEED, Associated Press Writer – Fri Oct 30, 8:01 pm ET

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – While residents in some Western and Plains states were digging out Friday after an early blast of snow, heavy rain and strong winds that toppled trees, power lines and church steeples lashed parts of the South, leaving three people dead.The rain was forecast to let up Friday, but the National Weather Service cautioned that the ground was so saturated that even a modest amount of additional rain could cause flash flooding from the western Gulf Coast to the mid-Mississippi Valley.Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency after storms caused flooded roads, power outages and wind damage in the northwestern part of the state. A 20-year-old driver was killed Thursday when his car ran under a toppled tree near Shreveport, authorities said.A man in North Little Rock, Ark., was found in a submerged vehicle and was pronounced dead at a hospital, Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper said. Kenny Raines, 50, had driven into the high water Thursday night, police said.In northeast Arkansas, the body of 38-year-old Eric Brashers of Batesville was found Friday morning after he was swept away from his truck by floodwaters, Independence County Sheriff Keith Bowers said.Meanwhile, the snowstorm that walloped Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas earlier in the week tapered off, but some roads across the region remained treacherous.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect for parts of southeast Wyoming and western Nebraska. The weather service says gusts of 50 mph or more will reduce visibility to near zero.Gusty winds and blowing snow kept most major highways in southeast Wyoming shut down. U.S. Highway 20 at the north end of the Nebraska Panhandle reopened into Wyoming. Stretches of Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 30 reopened late Friday afternoon from Big Springs, Neb., north of Colorado's northeast corner, west to the Wyoming state line.Also Friday, transportation officials reopened a 35-mile span of Interstate 25 from Wellington in northern Colorado to Cheyenne. But U.S. 85 north of Cheyenne remained closed.Highways in eastern Colorado and western Kansas, including Interstates 70 and 76, also reopened.The storm, which began Tuesday, had spread 3 feet of snow and left much higher drifts across parts of northern Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.About 15 inches fell in the Deadwood, S.D., area, causing officials to shut down Mount Rushmore National Memorial. It reopened Friday morning.Winter weather advisories remained in effect Friday for southeast Wyoming and western Nebraska.Meanwhile, flood warnings stretch from the western Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, with flash flood warnings in effect for eastern Arkansas, western Tennesseee, western Kentucky and southeast Missouri.Several tornadoes touched down in Louisiana and Arkansas on Thursday. A steeple blew off a church in Shreveport, La., hitting a car. The 57-year-old driver had to be pulled out by rescuers and suffered broken bones, authorities said.

Caddo Parish Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick said a sheriff's substation south of Shreveport flooded with about 8 inches of water Friday. Electrical equipment and personnel were moved to a nearby church. Chadwick said deputies used boats to rescue nearly 40 people from a subdivision with flooded roads and homes Thursday night and Friday. About 20 homes were reported flooded with as much as three feet of water.
Heavy rain across Arkansas stranded an unknown number of people in their homes, while strong winds damaged buildings and knocked over trees and utility lines.In Harrison, Lori Hudson blamed a change in drainage patterns for an ankle-high flood in her home.I've got a river running through my house,Hudson said.In Hardy, in northeast Arkansas, a firefighter had to be rescued after climbing to the top of the fire truck he was driving when the Spring River's waters came up faster than he anticipated overnight, Sharp County Office of Emergency Management Director Gene Moore said.Hardy residents near the Spring River were evacuated overnight as the river rose to 15.9 feet Friday morning, Moore said.In Pine Bluff, part of the roof of a Walmart store blew off during storms Thursday night. Among the damage at the First Assembly of God Church, the steeple was bent over by the strong winds.The steeple almost looked like a witch's hat,Pine Bluff police spokesman Lt. Bob Rawlinson said.


EZEKIEL 38:1-12
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

PSALMS 83:3-7
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they (MUSLIMS) have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,(JORDAN) and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, PALESTINIANS,JORDAN) and the Hagarenes;(EGYPT)
7 Gebal,(HEZZBALLOH,LEBANON) and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA,ARABS,SINAI) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)

DANIEL 11:40-43
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south( EGYPT) push at him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) and the king of the north (RUSSIA AND MUSLIM HORDES OF EZEK 38+39) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.(JORDAN)
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

EZEKIEL 39:1-8
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.

JOEL 2:3,20,30-31
3 A fire(NUCLEAR BOMB) devoureth before them;(RUSSIA-ARABS) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army,(RUSSIA,MUSLIMS) and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.(SIBERIAN DESERT)
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(NUCLEAR BOMB)
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Report: Russia to buy navy ship from France OCT 31,09

MOSCOW – Moscow plans to buy a French amphibious assault ship, the first such purchase from a NATO country, as the Kremlin seeks to reaffirm Russia's global reach, a Russian news agency reported Saturday.The Defense Ministry also plans to license the production of four more ships of the Mistral class in Russia under the guidance of French engineers, Navy Admiral Oleg Burtsev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.A Mistral ship is capable of carrying more than a dozen helicopters along with dozens of tanks and other armored vehicles and is fit for missions intended to project Russian naval power to distant areas.Burtsev said the ships will be part of Russia's Arctic and Pacific fleets.The Kremlin increasingly has sought in recent years to reaffirm Russia's global involvement and prestige in world affairs.It has sent its warships to patrol pirate-infested waters off Somalia, and in the fall of 2008 dispatched a navy squadron to the Caribbean where it took part in joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy and made several port calls.

The Caribbean deployment, aimed at flexing muscles near the United States in a tense period after the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, was the most visible Russian navy deployment since Soviet times.But despite the Kremlin's ambitions, the post-Soviet economic meltdown has left the Russian navy with only a handful of big surface ships in seaworthy condition.Russia currently has only one Soviet-built aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, which is much smaller than the U.S. aircraft carriers and has been plagued by mechanical problems and accidents.The rumors of the purchase have fueled concern in Georgia and other ex-Soviet nations that Russia may use the French-built ship to strong-arm its neighbors.

Iran lawmakers reject UN-drafted uranium plan By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer – OCT 31,09

TEHRAN, Iran – Senior Iranian lawmakers rejected on Saturday a U.N.-backed plan to ship much of the country's uranium abroad for further enrichment, raising further doubts about the likelihood Tehran will finally approve the deal.The UN-brokered plan requires Iran to send 1.2 tons (1,100 kilograms) of low-enriched uranium — around 70 percent of its stockpile — to Russia in one batch by the end of the year, easing concerns the material would be used for a bomb.After further enrichment in Russia, France would convert the uranium into fuel rods that would be returned to Iran for use in a reactor in Tehran that produces medical isotopes.Iran has indicated that it may agree to send only part of its stockpile in several shipments. Should the talks fail to help Iran obtain the fuel from abroad, Iran has threatened to enrich uranium to the higher level needed to power the research reactor itself domestically.The Tehran reactor needs uranium enriched to about 20 percent, higher than the 3.5 percent-enriched uranium Iran is producing for a nuclear power plant it plans to build in southwestern Iran. Enriching uranium to even higher levels can produce weapons-grade materials.We are totally opposed to the proposal to send 3.5 percent enriched uranium in return for 20 percent enriched fuel, senior lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi was quoted by the semiofficial ISNA news agency as saying.

Boroujerdi, who heads the parliament's National Security Committee, said the priority for Iran was to buy nuclear fuel and hold on to its own uranium. He also said there was no guarantee that Russia or France will keep to the deal and supply nuclear fuel to Iran if Tehran ships them its enriched uranium.The preferred option is to buy fuel ... there is no guarantee that they will give us fuel ... in return for enriched uranium. We can't trust the West,ISNA quoted Boroujerdi as saying.

Kazem Jalali, another senior lawmaker, said Iran wants nuclear fuel first before agreeing to ship its enriched uranium stocks to Russia and France even if it decides to strike a deal.They need to deliver nuclear fuel to Iran first ... the West is not trustworthy,the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.Jalali said Iran needs fuel and putting conditions to deliver it for the research reactor is unacceptable.Countries possessing fuel are required, under international rules, to provide fuel for such reactors. Putting conditions is basically wrong,he said.Jalali said these conditions for the fuel was teaching Iran new lessons.Western approach toward Iran's demand for fuel is only straightening Iran's resolve to continue its peaceful nuclear program,he added.The lawmaker said France has reneged on previous agreements and that Tehran doesn't trust Paris.He said Iran holds a 10 percent share in a Eurodif nuclear plant in France purchased more then three decades earlier but is not allowed to get a gram of the uranium it produces as an example that Iran can't trust the West.Tehran says it has paid for 50 tons of UF-6 gas, which can be turned into enriched uranium, in Eurodif's plant but has not been allowed to use it.

Iran is a shareholder in Eurodif but doesn't enjoy its rights. This shows the French are not reliable,Jalali said.Areva, the state-run French nuclear company, has described Iran as a sleeping partner in Eurodif.The U.S. and its allies have been pushing the U.N.-backed agreement as a way to ease their concerns that Iran is using its nuclear program as a way to covertly develop weapons capability.

A less than united front Thursday, 29th October 2009

This weekend there is to be a demonstration in London organised by the Islamists of the re-formed al Muhajiroun calling for sharia law to be enforced in Britain.When they heard about this, various moderate, anti-Islamist Muslims started suggesting on Facebook and elsewhere that a counter demonstration be held. Within a short space of time, the moderate anti-Islamist British Muslims for a Secular Democracy decided to hold a counter-protest of their own. It was great news that reformist British Muslims were now getting it together to oppose the Islamists like this. But then things got a little bit complicated.Alarmed by the threat that such moderate Muslims pose to the Islamist stranglehold over public discourse, the Muslim Brotherhood moved swiftly to try to neutralise them. Thus a surprising article appeared on the Guardian’s Comment is free blog by Inayat Bunglawala of the Brotherhood’s British arm, the Muslim Council of Britain – which, having been briefly given the cold shoulder by the former Communities Secretary Hazel Blears who is one of the very few British politicians to understand the threat that it poses, has now disgracefully been welcomed back into the government fold. Bunglawala called for Muslims to mount a counter-demonstration against al Muhajiroun in support of

a multi-faith, multicultural democracy where people are free to practise their faith or not to if they so choose.How heart-warming! This is the same Bunglawala who, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, Islam in Britain, wrote that the genocidal Hamas, whose aim is to eradicate Israel and all Jews from the face of the earth and impose an Islamic theocracy in the Middle East, was an

authentically Islamic movement and a source of comfort for Muslims all over the world.The report went on:In the same article, Bunglawala supported the radical Wahabbi Muslim clerics in Saudi Arabia, Salman al-Awadh and Safar al-Hawali (later linked to Osama bin Laden) and the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria. In other issues of Trends he attacked the Bin-Ali regime in Tunisia while supporting the Islamist Egyptian cleric Umar Abd al-Rahman, spiritual leader of the Egyptian Islamic jihad terrorist group, who was arrested by the US authorities for alleged links to the first bombing of the Twin Towers. Bunglawala claimed Umar was simply calling on Muslims to fulfil their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere. This looks like clear agreement with the violent Islamist call for jihad by terror anywhere and at any time.

As the Telegraph also reported:In January 1993, Mr Bunglawala wrote a letter to Private Eye, the satirical magazine, in which he called the blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman courageous - just a month before he bombed the World Trade Center in New York. After Rahman’s arrest in July that year, Mr Bunglawala said that it was probably only because of his calling on Muslims to fulfil their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere. Five months before 9/11, Mr Bunglawala also circulated writings of Osama bin Laden, who he regarded as a freedom fighter, to hundreds of Muslims in Britain.And as I reported here, Bunglawala told me on Radio Four’s The Moral Maze that he was certainly committed to turning Britain into an Islamic state. By peaceful means, of course.Hilariously Bunglawala now even poses as an apostle of gay rights, suggesting here that the MCB might have a gay Muslim support group as an affiliate.It would be interesting to know whether he and the MCB (which two years ago backed the new sexual orientation regulations) therefore renounce their mentor Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi who has said homosexuals should be put to death. In his attempt to reposition himself as a liberal, Bunglawala is surely the mirror image of Nick Griffin in his attempt to reposition the BNP as a non-racist party – and about as plausible. The BNP and EDL are of course a gift to the MCB, which can cynically and grotesquely parade its opposition to such groups as evidence of its own anti-fascism and anti-racism and thus insulate itself from precisely such charges. Bunglawala's Cif article should be seen in that strategic context. But I digress.

Two days after Bunglawala's call for a protest against al Muhajiroun, Shaaz Mahboob of BMSD fought back with another article on Comment is free against this threat by the Brotherhood to pose as the Muslim anti-Islamist resistance and thus destroy that resistance. In the course of this article, Mahboob welcomed Bunglawala’s apparent conversion to the cause of liberalism -- a plaudit offered maybe through strategic tactfulness or perhaps with tongue firmly in cheek.Other Muslim groups, both reformist and reactionary, are now also getting in on the counter-demo act -- so much so that al Muhajiroun’s Sharia Now! demo will be opposed by a number of different protests by genuinely anti-Islamist Muslims, the pro-sharia Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Islamists/anti-Muslims of the English Defence League. As of a few days ago, the plan was to corral all the counter-demonstrators in separate pens from each other, let alone from al Muhajiroun.The prospect of a clear anti-extremist message being delivered this weekend does not look altogether promising.

Islam: at war within itself Published: 2009-10-29

Dear Reader, I have been asked by a number of Barnabas supporters to try to look at how to make sense of what is currently happening in the Islamic world. I do hope the article below will be helpful. Dr Patrick Sookhdeo
International Director, Barnabas Fund

Recent months have seen a number of unexpected and extremely encouraging statements coming out of the Muslim world. Respected, mainstream Muslim leaders in a variety of countries have voiced opinions which are at odds with traditional, conservative Islam. They have challenged aspects of shari‘a and are calling for a liberal, modernist, enlightened Islam compatible with Western norms. Perhaps the most significant of all is a comment by a group of British Muslims calling for an end to the apostasy law and for full freedom in all religious matters.Since modernisation first impacted the Muslim world following the imposition of secular laws and education systems by Western colonial empires, there have been tensions between Muslim conservatives and liberal intellectuals. Islamic traditionalists and Islamists have on the whole gained the dominant voice within Islam, especially since the Islamic resurgence which began in the 1970s and has swept all before it. These conservatives saw shari‘a as divinely inspired and unchangeable, valid for all times and places, and attacked the few liberal voices seeking to reinterpret the Muslim sources in line with modern contexts and human rights.A small minority of marginalised Muslim progressives has been bravely defying traditional and Islamist pressures by reinterpreting Islam in a way compatible with modern concepts of secularity, individual human rights, religious freedom and gender equality. However, recently some significant cracks seem to be forming within the mainstream Islam. Important mainstream leaders are coming out against long-held key traditional views and Wahhabi-Salafi doctrines and practices, openly supporting ideas compatible with modernity. It would seem that the reformist teachings of Ahmad Khan (1817 - 1898) and Muhammad ‘Abduh (1849 -1905), which had been suppressed, are now resurfacing within mainstream Islam. As some experts on Islam have always been saying, the really decisive battle is taking place within Muslim civilization, where ultraconservatives compete against moderates and democrats for the soul of the Muslim public.[1]

Some examples: Kuwaiti Women MPs refuse to wear hijab

Two Kuwaiti women Members of Parliament, among the first four women to be elected to Kuwait`s National Assembly in May 2009, have refused to wear the Islamic headscarf (hijab) in parliament. They demanded the annulment of an amendment to electoral regulations, introduced by Islamists, that enforces the observation of sharia in parliament.[2]

Tantawi and the niqab at al-Azhar

During a recent tour of a Cairo secondary school, Sheikh Muhammad Tantawi, the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar University in Cairo (the most important Sunni theological centre in the world), was angered by the sight of a girl wearing the niqab (the full veil which covers the face with only slits for the eyes). He instructed her to remove the niqab, saying The niqab is a tradition; it has no connection with religion. Ironically, the girl claimed to have worn the niqab in honour of his visit.[3] Tantawi angrily told the girl that the niqab has nothing to do with Islam and is only a custom and ordered her to take it off. He also announced that he would soon issue a formal order (fatwa) banning girls from entering al-Azhar institutions wearing the niqab. Niqab has nothing to do with Islam, it is just a habit. I know more about religion than you and your parents,he told the student.[4]

Dr. Mahmoud Hamdi Zarqouq, Egyptian Minister of Religious Affairs, went further than Tantawi declaring his utter opposition to the niqab, stressing that it is just a habit that has nothing to do with religion . . . niqab is an invention that has nothing to do with religion, for the religious men agree that the women`s face and jaws are not improper [to show].[5]

Imam condemns Church passivity in face of Muslim persecution of Christians [6]

In an interview with Premier Christian Radio earlier this year, Sheikh Dr Muhammad al-Hussaini, founder of Scripture Reasoning and Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Leo Beck Rabbinical College, blamed the church hierarchy in the UK for not protesting vociferously and actively at Christian persecution around the world. Al-Hussaini mentioned specifically horrendous machete attacks on Christians in Nigeria, Iraqi Christians being burned out of their homes and Christians in Pakistan being stoned or attacked on the slightest pretext. He highlighted Barnabas Fund`s efforts on behalf of persecuted Christians as an example of how concerned Christians ought to respond to the plight of their fellow Christians.While Muslims are hypersensitive to any ill-treatment of Muslims anywhere in the world, he added, they remain silent about the persecution of Christians in their midst. Many Muslims are simply looking for scapegoats to punish for their own troubles. They know that churches in the West will not do more than utter a whimper, as this issue is not sufficiently important to them, mainly because those suffering are neither white nor wealthy, so they can go on with impunity blaming Crusader-Zionist conspiracies for everything.He called upon the church to be a voice for justice for persecuted minorities, which he claims would speak into the heart of the Muslim community.

Contextualising Islam in Britain report [7]

This report, published in October 2009, is the work of several prominent British Muslim academics and religious leaders. It has broken new ground in coming out with plain statements on key issues, avoiding the ambiguous statements customarily offered by mainline Muslim leaders. It calls for a Muslim worldview based not exclusively on jurisprudence but including Islamic philosophy (falsafah), theology (kalam) and literature (adab).For Muslims living as a minority in a secular liberal democracy, applying sharia is a matter of personal conscience and communal suasion rather than legal sanction, says the report. Muslims are not obliged to implement full sharia against the wishes of their non-Muslim neighbours.[8] Sharia is not a detailed code of things forbidden and permitted but an ethical system of moral and spiritual education. There are commonalities between the underlying objectives (maqasid) of shari‘a and human rights declarations.[9]

The paper opposes the traditional view of divine sovereignty only implemented in an Islamic state under sharia. It states that this system engenders a lack of democratic checks and balance, a lack of accountability, and may lead to tyranny. An Islamic state is not necessary for Islam to thrive and be practised. Secular democracy as practised in Britain is legitimate because it holds power to account and upholds fundamental freedoms and non-interference in the religious lives of its citizens.[10]

British Muslims, say the authors, are perfectly happy with the British form of procedural secularism (in contrast to ideological secularism) and support its accommodative tradition. The separation of religion from the state and the principle of non-discrimination by the state between religions guarantee freedom and equality for all, giving Muslims the freedom to practise Islam without interference in an atmosphere of respect, security and dignity. [11]

The authors clearly oppose the concepts of takfir [12] and al-wala wal-bara [13] which differentiate sharply between perceived true believers and all others, demanding hostility and enmity. Distinctions between believers and non-believers are important only in matters of doctrine and worship, not in matters of social interaction and of seeking the common good of society.In these matters it is important to have friendly relationships with non-Muslims, treating them as equals, and to focus on commonalities and shared values. [14]

The paper states that Islam teaches the equality of all humans regardless of gender and that it forbids forced marriages, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and honour killings.[15]

Muslims should campaign against injustices and oppression inflicted by Muslims on other Muslims and on non-Muslims. [16]

On suicide terrorism and bombings they state that there are many ways to oppose oppression other than fighting (jihad). These include lobbying, activism, and writing. Foreign conflicts cannot justify violence in Britain.[17] They add that Islam is opposed to all forms of terrorism, regardless of who sponsors them . . . Both suicide and suicide bombings are absolutely forbidden (haram) in Islam as is the killing of innocent people. [18]

The authors adopt the modern Christian principle of differentiating between religious sin and state-legislated crime. Thus on apostasy they explain that Islam dislikes apostasy but prohibits discrimination against apostates, adding that: It is important to say quite simply that people have the freedom to enter the Islamic faith and the freedom to leave it". Similarly on homosexuality they state that the Qur`an forbids both the practice of homosexual acts, and discrimination against homosexuals. [19]

The declaration on apostasy is especially important because it goes clearly against the shari‘a law of apostasy, accepted by all Islamic schools of law, which lays down a death sentence for those who leave Islam. The authors explain that in early Islam apostasy was conflated with treason in times of war. It was treason that merited the death penalty, not the apostasy. Therefore today there is no compulsion and people cannot be coerced into a religious commitment. [20] Other Muslim leaders dealing with apostasy had not dared question the validity of the classical apostasy law, but had either asked for the repentance phase (usually 3 days) to be lengthened indefinitely (for example, Ali Gomaa, Chief Mufti of Egypt) or for a moratorium until the time was deemed ripe for the full implementation of shari‘a (for example, Tariq Ramadan).

There is now a powerful struggle going on for the soul of Islam. It would seem that under the combined pressure of extremist Islamist terrorism, the war on terror and the dangers to Muslim regimes and societies, new voices are emerging within mainstream Islamic leadership embracing a new ijtihad [21] compatible with modernity and human rights. They would seem to accept the liberal reformist view of prioritising the core values of Islam, distilled from the Islamic source texts, as spiritual and moral norms that override literalist, coercive, political and social interpretations. They seem to be willing to ignore traditional Islamic concepts that contradict modern humanistic values of pluralism, freedom and equality.

France has forbidden the wearing of the hijab in public places and recently its highest constitutional authority, the Constitutional Council, has refused the introduction of Islamic finance on the grounds that a secular state must not allow principles of shari‘a to be recognised in its legislation.[22] In contrast, the governments of the USA and of the UK have consistently sided with the more repressive, conservative and traditional sections within their Muslim communities, apparently hoping to placate, accommodate and appease them by accepting their demands for sharia implementation in multiple spheres. At the same time they have ignored the more progressive and liberal voices in the Muslim community implying that they are too weak and marginal to be viable interlocutors for governments. Arab liberals have criticised President Obama`s tendency to endorse conservative and radical forms of Islam while ignoring liberal Muslim trends. A Yemeni liberal journalist accused Obama of appointing Muslim advisors who do not represent the diversity of Muslim opinion and who want to implement oppressive sharia rules.[23] Others have criticised Obama`s overtures to the Taliban and Iran as strengthening the radicals and weakening the reformists and liberals.[24]

A similar trend is visible in liberal and mainline Christian denominations whose leaders prefer to deal with Islamic traditionalists and hardliners in interfaith dialogue while ignoring the liberal reformist voices emerging within Islam. It is time Western governments and Christian Churches implemented a policy of rejecting traditional Muslim and Islamist demands and that they shifted to a position of active support for the new voices of reason and moderation within Islam.Barnabas Fund applauds these encouraging moves and the courageous Muslims advocating them.Barnabas Fund, 29 October 2009

[1] Robert W. Hefner, September 11 and the Struggle for Islam, in Craig Calhoun, Paul Price, and Ashley Timmer, eds., Understanding September 11, Project coordinated by the Social Science Research Council, New York: The New Press., 2002, pp. 41-52.

[2] Richard Spencer, Kuwaiti women MPs refuse to wear hijab in parliament, Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2009.

[3] Adrian Blomfield, Egypt purges niqab from schools and colleges, Daily Telegraph, 5 October 2009.

[4] Sheikh al-Azhar forces a student to remove her Niqab, Mideastwire, 5 October 2009, quoting Al-Masry al-Yawm, Egypt`s Top Cleric Plans Face Veil Ban in Schools, Asharq Alawsat, 6 October 2009.

[5] Sheikh al-Azhar: I`m not against Niqab and 80% of religious men..., Mideastwire, 13 October 2009, quoting Al-Masry al-Yawm.

[6] Imam blames Christian leaders for the Persecution of Christians, Christian Concern for our Nation, 28 August 2009,, accessed 20 October 2009.

[7] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, University of Cambridge in Association with the Universities of Exeter and Westminster, Centre of Islamic Studies: Cambridge, October 2009.

[8] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, pp. 10-11.

[9] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, pp. 10-11, 54.

[10] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, pp. 10-11, 32-33.

[11] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, pp. 28, 33.

[12] takfir - the process of declaring someone to be an apostate from Islam, a process which has been revived by radical contemporary jihadi groups.

[13] Al-wala wal bara - Friendship and Distinguishing, a doctrine applied by radical groups to differentiate and separate between real and false Muslims. True Islam is defined by a love for Muslims and a hatred for non-Muslims.

[14] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, pp. 11-12.

[15] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, pp. 12-13.

[16] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, p. 65.

[17] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, p. 14.

[18] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, pp. 71, 78.

[19] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, p. 75.

[20] Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives, p. 47.

[21] ijtihad - the process of individual effort by a jurist at logical deduction on a legal question, using the Qur`an and hadith as sources.Ijtihad allows fresh interpretations made from the two sources.

[22] France court quashes Islamic Finance measure, Al-Arabiya News Channel, 15 October 2009.

[23] Yemeni Liberal Criticizes Appointment of Dalia Mogahed as Obama`s Advisor on Islam, MEMRI Special Dispatch, No. 2518, 4 September 2009.

[24] Criticism in the Arab Press of the US Administration`s Initiative to Reach Out to Moderates in the Taliban, MEMRI Special Dispatch, No. 2353, 12 May 2009; Arab Liberals Eight Years After 9-11: Obama`s Overtures Towards Iran Extremists Seen as a Sign of Weakness, MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis, No. 551, 29 September 2009.


8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood:(bitter,Poisoned) and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.(poisoned)

3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.(enviromentalists won't like this result)
4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
6 For they(False World Church and Dictator) have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

Dead fish drifting in Indonesia after oil leak By NINIEK KARMINI, Associated Press Writer – Fri Oct 30, 8:00 am ET

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Thousands of dead fish and clumps of oil have been found drifting near Indonesia's coastline more than two months after an underwater well began leaking in the Timor Sea, officials and fishermen said.An estimated 400 barrels a day of oil has been leaking from a fissure that erupted on Aug. 21 at a rig about 150 miles (250 kilometers) off the Australian coast. PTTEP Australasia, a branch of Thai-owned PTT Exploration and Production Co. Ltd., has failed repeatedly to stop the leak but says it is still trying.The head of the World Wildlife Fund Australia, Gilly Llewellyn, said Friday that the early impact of the spill is beginning to become clear.This is shaping up to be one of the largest (spills) in Australian history,Llewellyn said in an interview.It is one of the most diverse marine habitats in the world. The impact could be over weeks, months, years.It is still unclear how far the spill has actually spread because much of it may be undersea, Llewellyn said.But a slick has drifted hundreds of miles (kilometers) toward the impoverished Indonesian province of East Nusatenggara, where fishermen say they have seen thousands of dead fish drifting.Residents in the seaside villages of Nunkolo and Bandi, located on small islands off the coast of West Timor, were suffering skin problems and acute diarrhea after eating contaminated fish, local environmental groups said.

Fishermen have been facing serious difficulties for the past month,Ferdi Tanoni, chairman of the West Timor Care Foundation, said. Villagers' income dropped by 80 percent because many fish died or smelled oily.If estimates of the amount of oil leakage per day are accurate, the current size of the spill would have reached nearly 1.2 million gallons (more than 5.3 million liters).There are fears it could harm whales, turtles and dolphins — some of them rare — living in the deep waters.
Several dead sea snakes and birds have been found in oil and are believed to have been killed by the slick, although tests have not yet determined the cause of death, Llewellyn said.Samples taken by West Timor's Regional Environmental Agency in waters roughly 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the coast found high concentrations of oil and, in one out of every four tests, dead fish.AP writers Irwan Firdaus and Anthony Deutsch contributed to this article.

Vatican: pope to meet Anglican chief By FRANCES D'EMILIO, Associated Press Writer – Fri Oct 30, 2:29 pm ET

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI will meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury next month in the leaders' first encounter since the Catholic church moved to make it easier for disenchanted Anglicans to convert to Catholicism, a Vatican spokesman said Friday.Archbishop Rowan Williams, the Anglican leader, was already due to visit Rome in November for ceremonies at a pontifical university to honor a late cardinal who worked for Christian unity, said the spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. Taking advantage of the archbishop's presence in Rome, Benedict will receive Williams on Nov. 21 at the Vatican, Lombardi said in a telephone interview.The Vatican's move, announced last week, to ease Anglican conversions to Catholicism is designed to entice traditionalists opposed to women bishops, openly gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions in the church headed by Williams.Given the surprise overture to potential converts, the talks between Benedict and Williams take on a particularly important significance,said Lombardi. But he stressed that Williams has met with the pontiff during past trips to Rome and indicated that the two would have likely met even without the recent developments.

The Anglican church is grappling with deep doctrinal divisions that threaten to cause a permanent schism among its faithful.The Vatican move means conservative Anglicans worldwide can become Catholics while maintaining aspects of Anglican liturgy and identify, including married priests.Before the announcement, disaffected Anglicans had come over to Catholicism on a case-by-case basis, but the Vatican decision set up a formal structure to make it easier for Anglicans to convert. The Vatican says it is responding to many requests over the years from Anglicans disillusioned with the progressive turn of the Anglican Communion.Anglicans split with Rome win 1534 when English King Henry VIII was denied a marriage annulment by the Vatican. The Anglican Communion includes the Episcopalian Church in the United States.For decades, the Anglican church has been divided over how to interpret the Bible on many issues, including ordination of women, and the rift was widened with the consecration in 2003 of V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.Benedict has made efforts aimed at Christian unity a priority of his pontificate.When the pope and Williams held private talks at the Vatican in November 2006, they acknowledged there were serious obstacles to closer ties between their churches, a blunt reference to Vatican disapproval of gay bishops, women priests and blessings of same-sex unions in the Anglican church.

ISAIAH 9:6-7
6 For unto us a child is born,(JESUS 1ST COMING AS A CHILD) unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:(2ND COMING OF JESUS TO EARTH AS RULING KING FOREVER,NEVER ENDING) and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,(IN JERUSALEM) and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


2013: Or, What to Do When the Apocalypse Doesn’t Arrive
by Gary Lachman

The belief in a coming end of the world as we know it may seem understandable to people living in the first decade of the twenty-first century, but a look at history shows that it has been part of Western psychology from the beginning.The central figure of Western religion, Jesus Christ, told his followers that the end was nigh, and most people who accepted Jesus believed that the cosmic last call would come in their lifetime. Yet Jesus worked within an age-old Jewish tradition that looked to the coming of the Messiah, a religious and political leader who would set the world to rights and, incidentally, free the Chosen People from whomever it was who had conquered them at the time. As Jesus didn’t free the Jews from the Romans—nor seemed able to free himself from them either—the Jews who denied him seem justified in their disbelief. To them, and to the Romans, the Christians who preached a coming Day of Judgment were rather like the urban oracles who inhabit most major cities today, ranting on street corners and pestering passersby to repent.

Post-Jesus, the Jews didn’t give up their anticipation of a Messiah. They merely pushed back the date of his arrival, a tactic the Christians soon adopted as well when it became clear that Jesus’ Second Coming—after his crucifixion and resurrection—was delayed. The last major claimant to Messiahdom was the Turkish Jew Sabbatai Zevi, who, after gathering a huge following, ignominiously abandoned his call in 1666 when threatened with impalement by Sultan Mehmet IV. As did later students of eschatology (the study of the end times), the early Christian theorists were adept in cooking the books and explaining why their own final curtain hadn’t yet fallen. Nevertheless, against all the evidence, the belief in some once-and-for-all denouement remained strong. In 156 AD, for example, a Phrygian named Montanus declared that he was the incarnation of the Holy Spirit and that, in accordance with the Fourth Gospel, he would reveal things to come,such as the imminent arrival of Christ’s kingdom, which would physically descend from the heavens and transform Phrygia into a land of saints. Understandably, thousands of Christians flocked to Phrygia to await the Second Coming. Yet again, the expected kingdom’s failure to arrive did little to dampen the belief that it would eventually show up. After Montanus, there were several other false alarms, all of which ended in the same way.

Ironically, the Church itself soon became a strong inhibitor of apocalyptic thought. By the time it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, with the emperor Constantine in the early fourth century, the idea of a coming apocalypse was more of a threat than a promise. The Church was the second most powerful organization in the empire, and that it would lose this status because of the end of the world wasn’t appealing. Drawing on the work of the third-century theologian Origen, it shifted the emphasis from a historical apocalypse to a spiritual one and developed an eschatology of the individual soul. This idea caught on with the more educated and socially well-situated Christians, but the more spectacular theme of a real-life apocalypse remained part of the common people’s worldview and has been so ever since, as anyone aware of the enormous popularity of the Left Behind series of apocalyptic novels, based on a selective reading of the Book of Revelations, knows. Titles like The Rapture, Tribulation Force, andThe Mark don’t show up on the New York Times bestseller list, but millions of readers with a taste for Christian fundamentalism buy and read these books—well—religiously, as page-turning guides to the coming end times. The overarching theme of Left Behind is the fate of those who are not right with the Lord and who face a gory retribution come the last days. A gateway to paradise for the faithful few, for the disbelieving many, the millennium is their worst nightmare.

As the historian Norman Cohn argues in The Pursuit of the Millennium, millenarian scenarios share some basic ideas. Salvation is collective, involving everyone, although not everyone will be saved; it is to be experienced here on Earth, not in some afterlife; it is on its way and will arrive suddenly; it will be total, effecting a complete transformation of life as we know it; and it is to be achieved through supernatural forces. As Cohn argues, by the Middle Ages, grassroots expectation of the millennium was rampant. With a corrupt Church, the common folk sought salvation through a cleansing apocalypse. This led to some remarkable developments, like the Brethren of the Free Spirit, a loose community of radical Christians circa 1200 who, because of the coming end times, believed they had become free of sin and acted accordingly. Wandering from village to village, they rejected private property—which meant they took whatever they wanted—and devoted themselves to hedonistic pleasures, including “free love” and drunkenness, rather like medieval hippies. Less driven by theology, this and other millenarian sects sought to escape the deprivations of their lives by envisioning a coming cosmic reversal that would set the righteous lowly at the head of the table, with the worldly powerful at best receiving scraps.The motivation for many of these sects isn’t difficult to grasp. Socially and economically disenfranchised, they resented the generally fine living many monks and priests enjoyed, and understandably wanted some for themselves. If it took an apocalypse to bring this about, so be it. This aspect of millenarianism informed the secular varieties familiar to the modern period, and while the French and Russian revolutions lacked the supernatural forces common to most millenarian movements, they both shared the other criteria admirably. The storming of the Bastille inaugurated the Age of Reason, and the Bolshevik murder of the Romanovs announced the dictatorship of the proletariat. Hitler’s National Socialism was perhaps the most millenarian modern movement of them all, celebrating a Third Reich that would, it claimed, last a thousand years. (Thankfully, all it managed was twelve.) Yet just as the Church did, the leaders of these secular apocalypses soon clamped down on any who felt these events weren’t quite apocalyptic enough; and in all three cases, for many the end times only brought new oppression. Another example of secular millenarian belief was the hoopla in Europe that accompanied the outbreak of the First World War. Many believed that by the end of the nineteenth century Western civilization had become rotten, and they looked to war as a way of clearing away the old world in preparation for the new. It was not until the reality of trench warfare took hold that those expectations dimmed and the war was seen as yet another example of the very thing it was supposed to eliminate.

While I’ve been lucky enough to have missed anything like the French or Russian revolution and the First World War, my own lifetime has been peppered with quite a few millennial expectations. Growing up in the 1960s, through the media I was aware of the modern Brethren of the Free Spirit in places like Greenwich Village and Haight-Ashbury. I was also aware that something called the Age of Aquarius either was on its way or had already arrived (the jury is still out on this). Linked to this was the idea that the fabled lost continent of Atlantis-—which I read about in comic books and fantasy paperbacks—was due to surface sometime in 1969. Both were heralds of a coming golden age, when peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.By the early seventies such anticipations had fizzled, but in 1974 they were briefly revived when comet Kohoutek sparked new interest in apocalyptic beliefs. A Christian group called the Children of God—who, incidentally, advocated revolutionary lovemaking (read: promiscuity)—distributed leaflets announcing doomsday for January of that year, which my friends and I read with interest. Predictably, Kohoutek fizzled as well. That same year, the science writers John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann published The Jupiter Effect, a bestseller predicting the devastating results (earthquakes, tidal waves, etc.) of a curious alignment of the planets on one side of the sun. When the alignment took place and nothing happened, they wrote a second book, The Jupiter Effect Reconsidered,explaining what went wrong. Not surprisingly, this sequel didn’t sell as well.There were other millennial dates too. Remember the solar eclipse of 1999 and Y2K, the millennium bug? But the most significant millennial date so far in my lifetime surely was 1987, the year of the Harmonic Convergence—another planetary alignment—which was seen as the kickoff for the most anticipated apocalyptic event in recent years, the year 2012. For those unaware, proponents of 2012 argue that an ancient Mayan calendar—combined with permutations of the I Ching—predicts that tremendous changes will take place in that year and that, as one advocate expresses it, a singularity,an event of unprecedented ontological character, will take place and, as the saying goes, transform life as we know it. Recalling Norman Cohn’s criteria for millenarian belief, from everything I’ve heard about 2012, it fits the bill nicely.

I first heard of the Harmonic Convergence in 1987 when I was working at a well-known New Age bookshop in Los Angeles. Although items like crystals and other spiritual accessories were already big sellers, I was intrigued by the flood of people gathering metaphysical paraphernalia in preparation for some major event. I was informed that like Kohoutek, Atlantis, and the Aquarian Age, the Harmonic Convergence marked the end of the old world and the beginning of the new. There would be some disturbance, yes, the Harmonic Convergers I spoke with informed me; the shift into the new time would not be smooth, but I shouldn’t worry. Apparently, the bookshop was one of the safest places on the planet and I would be protected. This was, I admit, a relief, and as my apartment was just a block away from the shop, I wondered just how far the protection would reach.The sources about the coming event were José Argüelles’s The Mayan Factor and, later, Terence McKenna’s writings on his time wave theory in The Archaic Revival and other books. I read Argüelles but wasn’t impressed, and when a later book, Surfers of the Zuvuya, appeared, it just seemed silly. I was also not taken with his apparent adoption of the role of avatar, an identity other proponents of 2012 seem to embrace easily. (I did, however, find an earlier book, The Transformative Vision, to be a profitable study in cultural philosophy.) I found McKenna more interesting and a better writer, but I still wasn’t sold on the idea. I heard McKenna speak, and without doubt the man had kissed the Blarney Stone, but after an entertaining ninety minutes I left the lecture no more convinced than when I arrived. The fact that he banked a great deal on a liberal indulgence in hallucinogens also made me question his seriousness. I had had my own experiences with psychedelics, and while some were interesting, for the most part they seemed more a distraction than anything else.

Much has been written about 2012, pointing out both the value and the flaws in Argüelles’s and McKenna’s interpretations. I don’t intend to repeat those here. The strangeness of the ideas did not repel me. At the time that I came across them, I was reading Rudolf Steiner, who had his own prophecies concerning the third millennium, which, to be honest, were rather vague. I had also already spent some years in the Gurdjieff work, so odd ideas were not a threat. What troubled me then and today is what I call the apocalyptic gesture, a point I raised recently on the Reality Sandwich website, much of which is dedicated to the 2012 scenario. The desire for some once-and-for-all break with the given conditions of life seems, to me at least, to be embedded in our psyche and is a form of historical or evolutionary impatience. Social, political, or cultural conditions may trigger it, but in essence it’s the same reaction as losing patience with some annoying, mundane business and, in frustration, knocking it aside with the intent to make a clean start. While in our personal lives this may result in nothing more than a string of false beginnings and a lack of staying power, on the broader social and political scale it can mean something far more serious.In essays like The Destructive Character,Critique of Violence, and Theologico-Political Fragment, the German-Jewish cultural thinker Walter Benjamin, who combined an idiosyncratic Marxism with an equally eccentric understanding of the Kabbalah, argued for the need for apocalyptic violence in order to bring about the Messianic Age. Whether it was the class war or Jehovah’s righteous wrath, Benjamin believed in the necessity for some final conclusive event that would restore the fallen world to paradise. The violence of divine intervention and a sudden eschatological change informed Benjamin’s view of history, which he famously saw as a single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage.This hunger for some decisive action to clear away the detritus of the postlapsarian world informed Benjamin’s personal life too, and in 1940, trying to escape from the Nazis, he committed suicide, enacting upon himself an apocalyptic violence he had long contemplated.

In mentioning Benjamin, I’m not suggesting that believers in 2012 advocate violence. I am saying that the anticipation of a singularity associated with 2012 is a manifestation of what may very well be a Jungian archetype, the archetype of the apocalypse. And while violence may not be part of the prophecy, it can easily become part of the anticlimax when the apocalypse doesn’t arrive and disappointment sets in. Recent history suggests this. The Summer of Love in 1967—which by many accounts wasn’t as groovy as believed—quickly became the year of Street Fighting Man in 1968, when the generation gap promised to turn into something like revolution, and dangerous slogans like If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem promoted a simplistic us-or-them scenario. Yet by 1969 the hopes of an Aquarian Age had been severely battered by the gruesome Charles Manson murders and the Rolling Stones’ disastrous concert at Altamont, when Hell’s Angels murdered one man and terrorized hundreds of others, including the Stones themselves. (I tell the story in Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius.) Exorbitantly high hopes can often lead to very deep depressions, and in a microcosmic popular sense, within a few years the peace and love unreservedly embraced by the flower generation became the no future of the punks. Cynicism, jadedness, and pessimism often constitute the hangover from the intoxication of excessively high expectations. No one rejects ideals more vigorously than a bruised romantic.Again, in mentioning this I’m not saying that the many crises that lead some to look to 2012 as a solution are not real. Clearly they are. We all know them, and it would be tedious for me to roll off a list. But anticipating an apocalypse or singularity is only one response to crises. There are others. And a radical shift in the nature of things is only one possibility.The philosopher Jean Gebser, who argued very persuasively that we are experiencing what he called a breakdown in our structure of consciousness,likewise saw significant changes on the historical horizon. Gebser did not, however, tie himself to a deadline and didn’t anticipate a golden age.The world will not become much better,Gebser wrote, merely a little different, and perhaps somewhat more appreciative of the things that really matter. To those expecting some unprecedented alteration in the conditions of existence, this probably seems a bit tame. To me, it is more than enough of a goal to work toward, and if only a handful of people become more appreciative of the things that really matter,then the Life Force, evolution, or whatever you want to call it is getting the job done.

In his Study of History, an account of the rise and fall of civilizations, the historian Arnold Toynbee argues that there are two stereotypical responses to what he calls a time of troubles, the crisis points that make or break a civilization. One is the archaist,a desire to return to some previous happy time or golden age. The other is the futurist,an urge to accelerate time and leap into a dazzling future. That both offerings are embraced today is, I think, clear. The belief that a saving grace may come from indigenous non-Western people untouched by modernity’s sins is part of a very popular archaic revival.Likewise, the trans- or posthumanism that sees salvation in some form of technological marriage between man and computer is equally fashionable. The 2012 scenario seems to partake of both camps: It proposes a return to the beliefs of an ancient civilization in order to make a leap into an unimaginable future. What both strategies share, however, is a desire to escape the present. Given our own time of troubles, this seems understandable enough.

Toynbee also believed in what I call the Goldilocks theory of history, and to me it makes a lot of sense. If a challenge facing it is too great, he argued, a civilization smashes. If it isn’t great enough, the civilization overcomes it too easily, becomes decadent, and decays. But if the challenge is just right—not too great and not too small—it forces the civilization to make sufficient effort to advance creatively.Sadly, most of the civilizations Toynbee studied either cracked or went soft. The verdict has yet to come in on our own, and as everyone knows, there are no guarantees. But I’m willing to make a bet. There are still a few years left, and, of course, things can change. But I’m willing to wager that with any luck, 2013 will show that we got it just right. If nothing else, trying to meet our challenges successfully will give us all something to do when the apocalypse doesn’t arrive.

Three Possible Futures

An interview with Joel Garreau, author of Radical Evolution-According to Joel Garreau, Washington Post reporter and author of Radical Evolution, humans are at a precipitous turning point in history, one in which our accelerating technological capacity has made us the first species to have significant control over our own evolution. Citing trends in four major technology sectors—genetic, robotic, informational, and nanotech—Garreau says that the world could look very different in the not-too-distant future. The unanswered question is: Will it be utopian, dystopian, or something in between? We asked Garreau to give us his vision for our technological destiny.The way I see it, there are three scenarios: heaven, hell, and prevail. In the first, heaven, all of these marvelous technologies come online rapidly. We conquer pain, suffering, stupidity, ignorance, and even death. Essentially, it looks indistinguishable from the Christian version of heaven. And it could happen. You see amazing headlines in the paper every day.

The second is the hell scenario. That’s the one in which these new technologies get into the hands of madmen or fools. Believers in this outcome suggest that if these technologies are used for ill, the whole human race could be wiped out within the next twenty years. And this is also a credible scenario.The trouble with both the heaven and hell scenarios is that they are technodeterministic. In other words, both perspectives hold that technology drives history. They say that humans are pretty much along for the ride, and there’s not much we can do about it.As a humanist, I’m pulling for a third scenario, which I call prevail. To understand this scenario, imagine a graph with two curves on it. One curve represents society’s increasing challenges; the second represents our potential for adaptive response. If our response curve stays more or less flat while our challenges rise exponentially, then we’re obviously in trouble, because the gap just keeps on getting wider and wider. But suppose our responses are also going up at a similar clip. That’s at the heart of the prevail scenario.You can see an example of this in the Middle Ages. Looking at the future of the human race from the perspective of that time, you could be forgiven for thinking that we were pretty much toast. You’d be seeing marauding hordes and plagues and all sorts of evil stuff. You’d probably be thinking, God, this isn’t going to end up well.Then all of a sudden, in 1450, along came the printing press, and there was a new way of storing, sharing, collecting, and distributing ideas that was previously unimaginable. This led to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, which gave birth to science, democracy, and eventually to the world we have today. What’s interesting is that all of this change was beyond the imagination of any one king or country. It was the collective action of millions of humans organizing themselves in a bottom-up way. They didn’t wait for the leaders to tell them what to do but changed their world to produce things as best they could. We see this prevail scenario again on 9/11 with the fourth airplane that never made it to its intended target. A couple dozen people onboard, empowered by their cell phone technology, diagnosed and cured their society’s ills in a little under an hour. Was it a perfect solution? Obviously not, because they all died. But it was good enough. They were ordinary humans who didn’t wait for their leaders to come up with a solution but did it themselves. So the heart of the prevail scenario is the idea that humans can act collectively to produce astonishing change . . . and we’ve been doing this for a very long time.

Clinton continues push for Mideast peace By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer – OCT 31,09

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is making a new push to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, holding talks Saturday in this Persian Gulf city with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and later in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Clinton was to make a personal plea for the two sides to resume peace talks even as U.S. officials acknowledged they saw little prospect for an immediate breakthrough.Over the course of the summer, President Barack Obama had hoped for a fast track to renewed peace negotiations, but Clinton reported to him on Oct. 22 that neither side had taken sufficient steps toward resuming the dialogue.Clinton arrived in Abu Dhabi in the early hours Saturday after completing a three-day visit to Pakistan.Obama held a three-way meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas in New York in September, hoping it would prod them to relaunch talks that broke off more than a year ago. But in her report to the president in October, Clinton indicated that while the Palestinians had strengthened security efforts and reforms of Palestinian institutions, more needed to be done to prevent terror and to stop those who carry out or encourage attacks on Israel.

On the Israeli side, Clinton has indicated that they have eased Palestinians' freedom of movement and expressed a willingness to curtail the building of Jewish settlements in the Palestinian areas. The Obama administration, however, is demanding an end to all new settlement construction, something which the Israelis have refused.Clinton intends to consult with a range of Arab foreign ministers on the Israel-Palestinian stalemate when she attends an international conference in Morocco on Monday and Tuesday.After her meeting with Abbas in Abu Dhabi, Clinton was headed for Jerusalem for talks that were expected to include not only Netanyahu but also his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman.Lieberman suggested recently the Israelis and Palestinians come up with a long-term interim arrangement that would ensure stability, while at the same time putting off a final deal.He has recommended leaving the toughest issues — such as the status of disputed Jerusalem and a solution for Palestinian refugees who lost homes in the conflict — to a much later stage.

Clinton also was expected to meet with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack.In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. before leaving Islamabad on Friday, Clinton downplayed the prospects for a quick breakthrough, while stating that former Sen. George Mitchell, the administration's special envoy on Mideast peace, was still pushing.We knew it would be a process,she said.We knew that it would be challenging. I think the fact that I'm in the region, I'm able to meet Senator Mitchell and have these conversations, reinforces the seriousness with which we are approaching our desire to get the parties to begin a serious negotiation that can lead to a two-state solution.The effort to get Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table has been further complicated by responses to international calls for an independent inquiry into Israel's fierce offensive against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip last winter. A U.N. report by respected South African jurist Richard Goldstone, accused Israel and Palestinian militants of committing war crimes during the three-week operation.The report, which was adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council earlier this month, recommends war crimes proceedings if the sides do not conduct credible independent investigations into their actions.Gaza's rulers, the Islamic militant group Hamas, dismissed Clinton's visit as destined to fail.Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the U.S. could not effectively engage in peacemaking while ignoring Hamas, which came to power in Palestinian elections in 2006 and then seized power in Gaza in 2007. The Obama administration says it won't engage with Hamas until it drops its refusal to accept Israel's right to exist and meets other preconditions.


When Clocks Change, Body May Need Time to Adjust Fri Oct 30, 11:49 pm ET

FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- That extra hour of sleep you'll get in most parts of the country on Sunday might be restful, but the end of Daylight Saving Time could spell trouble for your body clock, a sleep expert says.Dr. Atul Malhotra, medical director of the sleep disorders research program in the division of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, explained in a hospital news release that there are ways to prevent the time change from disrupting your sleep habits.For most people, the time shift in the spring is more problematic because an hour is lost rather than gained, but for those who are disrupted by any change in schedule, Malhotra offered these coping tips:Stay away from caffeine and other stimulants, especially during the days before and after the time shift, and avoid napping for a few days because it can disrupt your sleeping at night. Sleep through that extra hour if you can instead of trying to get things done. Don't drive if you feel sleepy because of the time shift. Consider taking public transportation for a few days to give your body time to adjust.Relax, avoid stress and remember to take your regular medications over the weekend of the time change.

For those who have trouble sleeping overall, Malhotra suggested the following:

Go to bed and wake up at the same times, even on weekends. No sleeping in.
Avoid food and drinks with caffeine after lunch, including coffee, tea, soda and chocolate.Take 15 to 30 minutes to wind down before heading off to bed. Keep your room dark, quiet and cool; ear plugs and eye masks can help.Keep in mind that time in front of screens -- the computer or television varieties -- before bedtime can disrupt sleep.Don't work or study right before bedtime, in order to allow yourself to relax.Don't exercise strenuously right before bedtime.


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