‘Counterfeit Clergy’ Back DC’s Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Push

The same-sex marriage ordinance in Washington, D.C. was supported by a coalition of area clergy. One of those clergy members, Robert Hardies of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation, says the ordinance “ends harmful discrimination” against homosexual couples.” Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs at Liberty Counsel, hopes the faith community is not fooled by the coalition known as D.C. Clergy United For Marriage Equality. “Well, this is just a cheap political stunt,” he responds. “These are a group of leftist secularists essentially dressed up in the garb of clergy….[W]hat do you do call clergy who abandon the fundamental tenets of their faith and adopt instead the lies of the world? I call them counterfeit clergy.” “They are going to push a leftist political agenda that runs completely counter to biblical principles,” he asserts. “The ridiculous and oxymoronic notion of same-sex marriage flies in the face of every major world religion.”

Maine Churches Targeted by ‘Gay’ Intimidation Campaign

Christian churches in Maine whose leaders encouraged support for a referendum that repealed a law allowing same-sex marriage are being targeted in an intimidation campaign urging homosexuals to file complaints against them with the Internal Revenue Service. A “Maine Marriage Equality” website that lobbied for the same-sex marriage measure is asking its followers to file the complaints: “You are probably already aware of churches that supported and actively promoted a ‘YES’ vote on Question 1. Please take the time to file an IRS complaint against them. Examples of supporting documentation to include with your complaint are pamphlets or other material created and/or distributed by the church or religious organization, photographs that show attempts to influence legislation (see below), witness statements or recordings of individuals who were aware of the campaign activities, and any other evidence that may prove a church or religious organization attempted to influence the public to vote ‘YES’ on Question 1. With your help, we can reaffirm our Constitutional Separation of Church and State and ensure that in the future, nobody’s civil rights are stripped away by religious fanatics attempting to force their religion on all of us.”

  • Church registration as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations will be used more widely in the near future to coerce adherence to unbiblical laws, such as the recent hate-crimes legislation

New Report Details Human Trafficking in Egypt

Christian Newswire reports that Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and the Coptic Foundation for Human Rights yesterday released a pioneering report on human trafficking in Egypt. Researched in Egypt by American anti-trafficking specialist Michele Clark and Egyptian women’s rights activist Nadia Ghaly, the report documents a criminal pattern involving deception, sexual violence, captivity, compulsion to convert to Islam and forced marriage. This phenomenon of violence against Egypt’s Christian women corresponds to internationally recognized definitions of human trafficking. The report includes cases of underage girls, some as young as 15, who were forcibly converted, raped, and married to Muslim men. The report alleges that Egyptian authorities have tacitly allowed these human rights violations to continue due to lack of investigation and enforcement.

111,000 Criminal Migrants ID’d through ICE Program

The first year of a new federal program that lets local police run the fingerprints of crime suspects through immigration databases identified more than 24,000 criminal immigrants in Arizona, the government said Thursday. Nationwide, more than 111,000 criminal immigrants were identified through the program, which for the first time allows authorities to search federal immigration records as well as FBI criminal databases as part of an effort to remove violent immigrants from the country. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials hailed the program as helping make communities safer by identifying immigrants charged with or convicted of crimes and then deporting them. As a result of the program, launched in October 2008, 16,526 foreign-born criminals have been deported, including 4,941 from Arizona.

CO2 pollution Soars in Arizona

The amount of carbon-dioxide pollution in Arizona’s skies grew a breathtaking 61 percent over the past two decades, reflecting a rapid period of expansion in the state and across the West. Just as it led the nation in population growth for many years, Arizona added fossil-fuel pollutants at a faster rate than any other state from 1990 to 2007, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Environment Arizona. The rate of increase was more than three times the national average. The two biggest sources of carbon dioxide, produced when oil, coal or gas are burned, were electric-power generation and automobile exhaust, the report said. Combined, those sources accounted for almost 91 percent of the state’s CO{-2} emissions by 2007. Carbon dioxide contributes to poor air quality and is a component of pollution that can cause respiratory illnesses. It is also the most common of the greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the Earth and changing the climate.

Feds Act to Seize 4 mosques, Tower in Iran-tied Probe

Federal prosecutors took steps Thursday to seize four U.S. mosques and a Fifth Avenue skyscraper owned by a non-profit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government. In what could prove to be one of the biggest counterterrorism seizures in U.S. history, prosecutors filed a civil complaint in federal court against the Alavi Foundation, seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets. The assets include bank accounts; Islamic centers consisting of schools and mosques in New York City and Houston as well as Maryland and California; more than 100 acres in Virginia; and a 36-story office tower in New York. Confiscating the properties would be a sharp blow against Iran, accused by the U.S. government of bankrolling terrorism and trying to build a nuclear bomb. Imams preach jihad and extremism in 10 percent of the 2,000 mosques in the United States, the FBI estimates.

4,000 U.S. Swine Flu Deaths

Swine flu has swept through about 22 million Americans from April to October, killing an estimated 3,900 people, including 540 children, health officials said Thursday. The new, higher figures include deaths caused by complications related to swine flu, including pneumonia and bacterial infections. Officials said this week they’re working on an even more accurate calculation. Dr. Thomas Frieden, who assumed leadership of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, on June 8 says, “There has been excellent global cooperation with the World Health Organization, with countries around the world,” Frieden said. “This is one of the many conditions that reminds us that we are all connected and many of our decisions in the U.S. will rely on good information from countries in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia, Australia and elsewhere. It’s very important that we confront this jointly.”

  • Keep in mind that these are still just guestimates with little actual testing going on. Politicos want the number as high as possible to encourage greater global government control

Obama’s ‘Cash for Clunkers’ a Boon for Japanese Automakers

The latest study shows that the summer program that consumed $3 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds was fabulous for Japan’s Big 3 automakers, Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Maybe not so good for the U.S. The Japanese trio accounted for only 8% of trade-ins, but 41% of new car purchases, the new study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. By contrast, Detroit’s Three — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler — made up for 85% of the trade-ins, and 39% of new purchases.

  • The ‘law’ of unintended consequences works double-time for government programs (i.e. boondoggles)

Arizona Fiscal Woes 2nd-Worst

Arizona has known for some time that it has a serious budget problem. On Wednesday, it found out just how serious. A new report rated the state as second only to California in terms of its fiscal problems. The report from the Pew Center for the States blames that dismal ranking on Arizona’s high foreclosure rate, its year-over-year drop in tax collections and its yawning budget deficit. “While the national economy may be out of deep water, the states may be drowning,” said Sue Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center, which tracks state policy issues and works on solutions. “The bottom line is state budget problems are likely to get worse before they get better,” Urahn said.

U.S. Deficit Sets More Records

The U.S. government deficit hit a record for October as the new budget year began where the old one ended: with the government awash in red ink. Economists worry that if such deficits continue it could push up interest rates, further dragging on the fragile economic recovery. The Treasury Department said Thursday that the deficit for October totaled $176.4 billion, even higher than the $150 billion imbalance that economists expected. The deficit for the 2009 budget year, which ended on Sept. 30, set an all-time record in dollar terms of $1.42 trillion (over $30,000 for every person). That was $958 billion above the 2008 deficit, the previous record holder. October was the 13th straight month to show a monthly deficit — another record. The imbalance came mostly from lower receipts of individual and corporate taxes. Receipts were $135.3 billion, a 17.9% drop from last October. Spending dipped 2.7% to $311.7 billion.

The total federal government deficit has surpassed $2 trillion, with annual deficits of $1 trillion or more projected over the next decade. In 2008, the interest on the national debt was $451 billion. In addition, The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in September as foreign oil prices rose to the highest level in nearly a year. We now owe foreign entities $3.448 Trillion – 28.2% more than just 12 months ago.

  • This insurmountable, unsustainable debt will soon come crashing down upon us

Economic News

Official figures show that the 16-country euro area has joined the United States and Japan out of recession after the bloc’s economy grew by 0.4% in the third quarter. The United States also returned to growth in the third quarter, growing by a quarterly rate of 0.9%, according to Eurostat, while Japan’s recession ended in the second quarter when its economy grew by 0.2%. However, Asia-Pacific ministers warned on Wednesday that the global economic crisis was far from over and a current upturn was a respite rather than recovery.

  • This will be a small recovery followed by a stronger debt-induced downturn

New claims for unemployment insurance fell more than expected last week, evidence the job market is slowly healing as the economy recovers. The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 502,000 from 514,000 the previous week. That’s the fewest claims since the week ended Jan. 3, and has fallen more than 20% since its peak in the spring. Many analysts estimate that claims must fall to around 450,000 to signal that the economy is adding jobs, with 350,000-400,000 normal. President Obama took time Thursday — before jetting off to Asia for a 10-day tour — to announce a December jobs summit aimed at synching job growth with the massive government spending meant to “break the back” of the recession.

Foreclosures fell for the third-consecutive month in October, another sign the worst of the housing crisis may be past. RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., real estate firm, reported Thursday that foreclosure filings totaled 332,292 last month, down 3% from September but up 19% from a year earlier. The figure means that one of every 385 homes received a foreclosure notice in October. Four states – California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan – accounted for 52% of last month’s foreclosures.

Global gold production is in terminal decline despite record prices and Herculean efforts by mining companies to discover fresh sources of ore in remote spots, according to the world’s top producer Barrick Gold. Aaron Regent, president of the Canadian gold giant, said that global output has been falling by roughly 1 million ounces a year since the start of the decade. “Production peaked around 2000 and it has been in decline ever since, and we forecast that decline to continue. It is increasingly difficult to find ore,” he said.

President Obama Sets Globe-Trotting Record

When President Obama takes off for his Asia trip tomorrow morning, he’ll be adding to a presidential record — most foreign countries visited by a first-year chief executive. After stops in Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea, Obama will have been in 20 countries this year, during eight separate foreign trips. The previous record holder: George H. W. Bush, according to Oval pal Mark Knoller of CBS News. The elder Bush went to 14 countries on seven foreign trips during his first year in office, 1989. Bush’s son, George W., went to 11 countries on five trips in 2001. Bill Clinton did only three countries during two trips his first year in 1993.

  • What we need is quality, not quantity

Terrorist Cell Arrested

Italy’s top security official said Friday that authorities have smashed an international terror cell with the arrest in Italy and elsewhere in Europe of 17 Algerians who were raising money to finance terrorism. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, speaking to reporters in Rome, called the terror cell “significant.” The arrests stemmed from an anti-terrorism investigation in Milan, and anti-terrorist units from Algeria, Austria, Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland cooperated in the probe. Milan police said the investigation, which started in 2007, uncovered an active organization with several international connections. Police said the organization had the aim of sending money to Algeria, and raised an estimated euro1 million ($1.5 million) over the past three years from crimes such as burglaries and thefts.


U.S. and Afghan officials have agreed on a new nationwide strategy that will funnel millions of dollars in foreign aid to villages that organize “neighborhood watch”-like programs to help with security. The plan will provide an incentive for Afghan tribal leaders to form their own militias and guard against Taliban insurgents. President Hamid Karzai ‘s government had previously declined to sponsor such militias on a large scale, fearing they might pose a threat to its authority. By placing more responsibility for security in the hands of villagers, U.S. troops will be able to focus on more urgent matters at a time when the Taliban is on the rise.

The president won’t accept any of the war options before him without changes, a senior administration official said, as concerns soar over the ability of the Afghan government to secure its own country.   After months of deliberating, President Obama opted not to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government. Britain’s prime minister said Friday he could secure commitments for 5,000 more NATO forces in Afghanistan, offering key backing to the U.S. as it weighs increasing troop levels.


Iraq‘s prime minister warned on Wednesday that insurgents will try to undermine the country’s fledgling democracy in the run-up to January’s national elections. “What has been achieved in the field of security needs to be safeguarded since the enemy is continuing to try and undermine the political process, especially now that elections are imminent,” said al-Maliki, who is seeking a second, four-year term. Iraq has seen significant security improvements over the past two years, but attacks blamed by the government on al-Qaeda in Iraq and Saddam Hussein supporters continue to hinder the country’s return to normalcy.


A suicide bomber in a pickup attacked the northwestern regional headquarters of the Pakistani spy agency overseeing a campaign against militancy, killing 10 people Friday. Another suicide assault in the area killed six more. The bombings were the latest in a string of attacks on security forces, civilians and Western targets since the government launched an offensive in mid-October against militants in the border region of South Waziristan, where al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding out.


Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon dropped nearly 46% from August 2008 to July 2009 — the biggest annual decline in two decades, the government said Thursday. Analysis of satellite imagery by the National Institute for Space Research shows an estimated 7,008 square kilometers (2,705 square miles) of forest were cleared during the 12-month period, the lowest rate since the government started monitoring deforestation in 1988. The numbers have been falling since 2004, when they reached a peak of 27,000 square kilometers (10,425 square miles) cleared in one year. The government credited its aggressive monitoring and enforcement measures for the drop, as well as its promotion of sustainable activities in the Amazon region.


Relentless rain swept along much of the Atlantic seaboard Thursday and Friday, triggering coastal flood warnings and watches from North Carolina to Long Island. The downpour marks the track of the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida, which blew ashore in Alabama from the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. Ida lost its tropical-storm strength shortly after coming on land but has drenched a swath from Alabama through Georgia as it meandered toward the Atlantic. Virginia Gov. The storm was blamed for three traffic fatalities in Virginia. In North Carolina, an elderly man standing in his yard was killed when winds toppled a pine tree onto him. Up to 10 inches of rain fell in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle and north to southeastern Virginia.

The nationwide multiyear drought, which was at its worst in 2002 and continued until last year, is over. Across the northwest, formerly parched pastures, dry streams and low reservoirs have been replaced with soggy fields and flooded grasslands. The USA is now in the least amount of drought since monitoring began 10 years ago. Last week, about 75% of the country showed no drought, the largest since the U.S. Drought Monitor was created in 1999, Fuchs said. At the drought’s peak in July 2002, about 72% of the country was in drought, according to the Drought Monitor. Much of the improvement is linked to a summer that was wetter and cooler than usual in much of the country.

  • However, Arizona and California remain in drought. All of Arizona is in drought, with 55% of its area under severe drought, while 98% of California is still suffering from drought conditions, with 18% severe. The only wildfire currently burning is in Arizona and has consumed 6,036 acres, nearly 10 square miles southwest of Alpine.

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