Signs of the Times (3/20/12)

9/11 Facts Erased from Textbooks

Who perpetrated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – a group of men merely fighting “for a cause,” or a band of radical Muslims bent on violent jihad? According to a new, comprehensive study of 6th-12th grade textbooks used by schools across the country, America’s children are being taught a very different answer to that question than many alive to witness 9/11 remember. The non-profit organization ACT! for America Education studied 38 textbooks from popular publishers like McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin, for example, to determine whether American schoolchildren are being taught the truth about Islam and its role in 9/11. “This report shines a bright light on a pattern of errors, omissions and bias in the textbooks reviewed,” explained ACT! For America Education founder Brigitte Gabriel.

“To give you just one example of the errors our research uncovered, in discussing the 9/11 attacks, the textbooks typically fail to mention the perpetrators were Muslims or that they acted in the cause of Islamic jihad. In one book the terrorists are portrayed as people fighting for a cause. Omitting this vital information, that jihad was the motivation for the attacks, makes it difficult, if not impossible, for today’s young teens, who don’t remember 9/11, to really understand what happened that day – and why.” According to the executive summary of the report, “The full report reveals a pattern of historical revisionism, omissions and bias in the presentation of all aspects devoted to Islam in these textbooks.”

  • How can this be? The New World Order elitists have been revising historical textbooks for decades to promote global socialism and marginalize Christianity and America.

Supreme Court Rules Against Campus Christian Clubs

The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from Christian groups that challenged a discrimination policy at California state universities. The justices on Monday are leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling that found that the policy doesn’t violate the Constitution. The policy says officially recognized campus groups can’t discriminate based on religion or sexual orientation. A Christian fraternity and a sorority at San Diego State University sued in 2005, arguing that the policy violates their religious freedom. The groups are restricted to Christian members. The Christian campus groups have said they have a right to run their organizations according to biblical standards, which include a declaration that homosexuality is a sin.

  • Tolerance continues to extend to all things except Christianity, just as the Bible foresaw

Atheists to Conduct ‘Reason Rally’

Atheists, humanists, skeptics and free thinkers are descending on the hallowed civic ground of the National Mall this Saturday for a Reason Rally. Called together by word-of-Web and social media, they plan to head for Washington just like religious groups do — to strut their strength as a voting block, lobby for public policy and raise their social profile. Organizers expect more than 10,000 people to celebrate unbelief, dance to punk band Bad Religion, hear a score of speakers led by celebrity British atheist Richard Dawkins, and shout out for separation of church and state. Shouting out (quietly) for God will be a small band of Christians from TrueReason.org, says Tom Gilson of Yorktown, Va., who does strategy work for Christian missions. They plan to venture “into the lion’s den” to pass out booklets refuting atheism and water bottles and to “offer a better message … that reason, properly applied, comes from God and leads back to God.”

  • The rapid rise in atheism and secular humanism is a clear end-time sign that the great “falling away” is well underway (2Thess. 2:3)

President Obama Signs Executive Order to Control all Resources

On March 16th, President Obama signed a new Executive Order which expands upon a prior order issued in 1950 for Disaster Preparedness, and gives the office of the President complete control over all the resources in the United States in times of war or emergency. The National Defense Resources Preparedness order gives the Executive Branch the power to control and allocate energy, production, transportation, food, and even water resources by decree under the auspices of national defense and national security.  The order is not limited to wartime implementation, as one of the order’s clauses includes the command and control of resources in peacetime determinations. The Obama administration appears to be preparing for an expected crisis that will require the need to override Constitutional authority and claim dominion over all resources in the United States under the guise of national defense.

  • With the rise in federal disaster preparedness creating increasing controls over both individuals and states, the direction of the nation points strongly towards some event or disaster that the feds will argue requires massive federal oversight on a national as well as local scale. The New World Order has always used manufactured crises as an excuse to further tighten their grip over the masses.

Health Care Debate Ramps Up

From a Zumba fitness class in Las Vegas to Tea Party rallies on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, health care is about to take the political stage it left two years ago. Proponents and critics of the law signed by President Obama in 2010 will hold rallies and other events, run TV ads, flood the mail and post videos online in an effort to influence a deeply divided public on the eve of the law’s two-year anniversary and ahead of three days of Supreme Court arguments. Since 2010, the landmark health care law has taken a back seat to the economy, taxes, spending and now gas prices in terms of public attention. The next two weeks, however, could be crucial in determining its future. On one side of the debate are the White House, Cabinet officials, the Obama re-election campaign and dozens of liberal groups holding events across the country every day this week. And when the court sessions begin March 26, activists will open a media operations center next door at a United Methodist church. On the other side are Tea Party protesters and conservative groups, along with Republicans in Congress and the Republican National Committee. They plan larger demonstrations, particularly in the days immediately before and during the court’s deliberations.

  • This debate is about more than just health care, but rather the direction of federal government which has been increasingly moving toward socialism and away from individual freedoms and free-market capitalism

Community Colleges Downsize Programs

Community colleges across the USA, faced with tight budgets and competing priorities, are downsizing or shuttering programs that in many cases have been held near and dear for years by students and other local constituents. State funding cuts are one culprit. For instance, state funding for California community colleges has been slashed $809 million, or 12%, since 2007-08. Another driver: a growing emphasis on improving degree-completion rates and retraining displaced workers. President Obama has made both central to his higher education agenda. Two-year schools, established to serve the needs of their local communities, “can’t do it all anymore,” says Suzanne Miles, Pima Community College’s interim president. “The challenge of this decade for community colleges is to make hard choices about whom they will serve, and in what ways,” says Kay McClenney, director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement.

Economic News

The federal government debt has grown more under President Obama in less than one term than it did under President George W. Bush in two terms. Since taking office on Jan. 20, 2009, the federal debt under Obama has increased by $4.93 trillion, according to Treasury Department figures. During the Bush years, the national debt went up by $4.89 trillion. The total federal debt now exceeds $15.5 trillion.

The Commerce Department says builders broke ground at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000 homes last month. That’s down 1.1% from January but up almost 35% from a year earlier. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, jumped 5.1% last month to the highest level in more than a year. Construction of single-family homes, which makes up roughly 70% of housing starts, dipped in February to a 457,000 annual rate after rising four straight months to an 18-month high. A jump in volatile apartment construction offset the decline.

Gasoline prices are continuing their march again this week, rising nearly 4 cents to an average of $3.867 a gallon nationally for self-serve regular. California remained the nation’s highest region for gas, averaging $4.375 a gallon in the weekly survey. Even the refinery-rich Gulf Coast, which usually has some of the lowest gas prices in the nation, saw a nickel-a-gallon rise to $3.698 a gallon.

Used compact-car prices are rising in tandem with the soaring price of gas, and they could go up as much as 20%, according to Kelley Blue Book. Used compact cars rose 0.4% in February but price increases started picking up toward the end of the month, going up 1.3% during the week ended March 2.

Judeo-Christian Persecution

A motorcycle gunman opened fire Monday in front of a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse, killing a rabbi, his two small sons and one other child. It was at least the third motorcycle killing in France in a week, shocking the country and prompting strong emotions and high-level discussions in Israel. French prosecutors were studying possible terrorist links, but the motive for Monday’s attack was unclear.

A text message that circulated by mobile phone in Yemen said that “holy warriors” had killed “a senior missionary” in the central city of Taiz, shortly after the teacher was shot dead Sunday by two gunmen on a motorcycle. A statement from the International Training Development Centre in Taiz identified the victim as Joel Shrum, an American development worker living in Yemen with his wife and two children since 2010.

Iraq

A torrent of bombings and shootings ripped across eight Iraqi cities on Tuesday, targeting police and Shiite pilgrims and killing 46 people. The deadly wave undermined the government’s hopes for stability ahead of next week’s meeting of the Arab world’s top leaders. Authorities have feared al-Qaeda or its Sunni sympathizers would try to thwart this year’s Arab League summit. The gathering is to be held in Iraq for the first time in a generation. Plans for Baghdad to host the meeting last year were postponed, in part because of concerns about Iraq’s security. In all, eight cities were hit Tuesday in what appeared to be coordinated attacks against police and government officials.

  • Hopes that Iraq and Afghanistan can be peacefully resolved are illusory, because the Bible has already told us that this people group would be wild and murderous (Gen. 16:12). Islam is an unstable religion that promotes violence and lawlessness because it comes from Satan.

Syria

Syrian security forces clashed Monday with gunmen in an upscale neighborhood of the capital Damascus that is home to embassies and senior officials in one of the worst confrontations in the tightly-controlled city center in the country’s yearlong uprising. At least three people were killed. Damascus has been largely free of the daily shootings and deaths reported across the country since the uprising against Assad began in March last year. But the capital has witnessed several major bomb attacks targeting security facilities, most recently on Saturday.

A Russian military unit has arrived in Syria, according to Russian news reports, a development that a United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was “a bomb” certain to have serious repercussions. Russia, one of President Bashar al-Assad’s strongest allies despite international condemnation of the government’s violent crackdown on the country’s uprising, has repeatedly blocked the United Nations Security Council’s attempts to halt the violence, accusing the U.S. and its allies of trying to start another war.

  • A Russian/Persian alliance is a key end-time sign (Ezek. 38-39)

Pakistan

A Pakistani parliamentary commission demanded on Tuesday an end to American drone attacks inside the country as part of proposed new terms of engagement with the United States. The demand could complicate efforts to rebuild U.S.-Pakistani ties that were all but severed by U.S. airstrikes in November along the Afghan border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The attack also led to Pakistan’s closure of NATO supply lines to Afghanistan. Washington wants to rebuild its relationship with Pakistan, which is important to the success of striking a deal with insurgents in neighboring Afghanistan. But U.S. officials also say the drone strikes are key to success against al-Qaida and the Taliban, and has kept up the attacks despite public opposition by the Pakistani army and government.

Cuba

The White House is protesting the detention of a dissident group in Cuba in advance of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the communist-run island. Members of Damas de Blanca — the “Ladies in White” — had asked to meet with the pope; the group consists of family members of dissidents who have been in Cuban jails for years. Cuban authorities detained about 70 members of the Ladies in White over the weekend, including 18 who staged its weekly Sunday march in the Cuban capital. Ladies in White member Magaly Norvis Otero Suarez told Reuters that 16 of the women were arrested Saturday evening when they attempted to stage a march in central Havana and another 36 were detained Sunday morning as they prepared to go to Mass at Santa Rita Catholic Church, then stage their silent march along 5th Avenue, Miramar’s main boulevard.

Weather

Residents and businesses from southeast Texas north through western Missouri braced for flooding Tuesday after a violent band of storms brought heavy rain, hail and at least one tornado, with more of the same forecast for the next several days. The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down Monday evening about 25 miles southwest of San Antonio. The twister damaged several homes, trapping some people inside their mobile homes, but no fatalities were reported. The fresh crop of storms comes after two tornadoes damaged homes and railcars in North Platte, Neb., on Sunday. The EF3 twister with winds up to 165 mph injured four people. Flooding remains a serious concern across the affected areas.

Winter may “officially” end early Tuesday, but for much of the central and eastern USA, spring is already feeling more like summer. Temperatures have climbed into the 70s and 80s across much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation over the past few days — including an all-time March record of 79 degrees in International Falls, Minn., on Sunday. Albany, N.Y., and Concord, N.H., set record-low snowfall totals for the winter season. In the contiguous 48 states, only a few cities in the Western mountains and in the Southwest — such as Denver, Flagstaff and Albuquerque — saw more snow this winter than last. Nationally, it was the third-least-snowy winter in 46 years of snow records.

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