Signs of the Times (6/15/12)

Planned Parenthood to Set Up Health Centers in Public Schools

The American Life League reports that “Section 4101 of Obamacare creates ‘school-based health centers’ funded directly by the federal government to the tune of $50,000,000 of our tax dollars every year. Now get this: when you read the description of organizations ‘eligible’ for receiving grants for the creation of these centers it turns out that Planned Parenthood is set up as virtually the only organization to fit the description. It’s no wonder Planned Parenthood just endorsed Obama and launched a $1.4 million ad campaign praising him in swing states.

  • The secular indoctrination centers otherwise known as public schools will be getting even more anti-God and anti-family if this is allowed to proceed

Pentagon Plans June Pride Event for Gay Service Members

The Pentagon plans the military’s first event to formally recognize gay and lesbian troops, the Associated Press says. June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. This will be the first such celebration that will involve the Pentagon since the 1993 “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Friday thanked homosexual military members for their service, as the Pentagon prepares to mark June as “gay pride” month with an official salute.

  • Bad enough to condone deviance, it’s a travesty to celebrate it. A sure sign of end-time godlessness.

U.S. to Stop Deporting Younger Illegal Immigrants

The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies. The policy change will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military

  • It’s always the children who suffer for the sins of their parents, but once again Obama bypasses Congress

Principal Pulls ‘God Bless the USA’ From Graduation

A Coney Island principal’s refusal to let students sing “God Bless the USA” at their graduation has sparked controversy at a school filled with proud immigrants, the New York Post reports. After kindergarteners at PS 90, the Edna Cohen School, spent months learning the patriotic Lee Greenwood ballad and practicing waving tiny American flags, principal Greta Hawkins walked in to a recent rehearsal, ordered a CD playing the song to be shut off, and told teachers to drop the song from the June 20 commencement program. “We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as saying. Hawkins’ edict stunned both staff and parents. “A lot of people fought to move to America to live freely, so that song should be sung with a whole lot of pride,” said Luz Lozada, whose son is in kindergarten. The song has been sung at previous school events, and parents — many of them immigrants from Pakistan, Mexico and Ecuador — “love it,” Lozada said. A teacher agreed: “It makes them a little goosebumpy and teary-eyed. I’ve never come across anyone who felt it insulted their culture.” The Department of Education backed the principal’s decision, saying Hawkins found the lyrics “too grown-up” for 5-year-olds and concurring that the lyrics were “not age-appropriate.”

  • Not an isolated incident, but indicative of the anti-Christ and anti-America spirit infecting our once Christian and proud country

Voter Fraud Rampant in Wisconsin reports that during the Wisconsin recall election against Governor Scott Walker, there was the worst case of VOTER FRAUD seen in quite a while. In spite of voter fraud by his opponents, Gov. Walker was overwhelmingly victorious! Madison is the capital city of Wisconsin. Dane is the County. Voter statistics, verified by a Madison City Clerk, from Dane County, reported that of all registered voters 119% cast ballots! “This is merely a glimpse of voter fraud to come this Fall. We must have total election transparency this year.”

  • The Obama administration opposes voter ID laws because they get the majority of fraudulent votes

Jewish Support for Obama Plummets

In the first significant drop in Jewish support for a Democratic Party candidate in over two decades, President Barack Obama has seen a 10-point plunge in support among Jewish voters, according to the Gallup polling agency. To put the decline in perspective, Obama is pulling in the same support among Jews as Michael Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor who lost to George H. W. Bush in 1988. Gallup notes the 10-point drop is “five points worse than his decline among all registered voters compared with 2008.”

  • It’s about time that Jewish voters woke up to the fact that Obama is the most anti-Israel president in history

Giant U.N. Conference Opens in Rio

The United Nations’ largest-ever conference has kicked off in Rio de Janeiro. The Rio+20 conference on sustainable development is expected to draw an estimated 50,000 participants including delegates, environmental activists, business leaders and members of indigenous groups. The event runs through June 22, with three final days of high-profile talks among about 130 top leaders from nations around the globe. Rio+20 is a follow-up to an environmental summit held in Rio in 1992. Sustainable development aims to find more environmentally healthy ways to achieve economic growth.

  • ‘Sustainable development’ will become another catchall for the New World Order folks to gain global control over national interests

U.S. Lags in Clean Energy

The United States has tripled its production of clean energy in the past decade, but it still lags far behind Europe and Indonesia and is only slightly ahead of Mexico and India in the share of electricity it gets from renewable sources. About 2.7% of U.S. electricity came from wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable sources last year, up from 0.66% in 2002. Germany got four times as much — or 10.7% — of its power from these sources last year, followed by Italy (6.2%), Indonesia (5.7%), United Kingdom (4.2%) and Argentina (2.8%.) Mexico and India came in right behind the U.S. with 2.6% and 2.4%, respectively. China lags behind them, at 1.5%, but it invested more money than any other country last year to boost its clean energy production, which is now 27 times higher than a decade ago.

Global investment in renewable energy reached a record $257 billion last year, with solar attracting more than half the total. Investment in solar energy surged to $147 billion in 2011, a year-on-year increase of 52% thanks to strong demand for rooftop photovoltaic installations in Germany, Italy, China and Britain. China was responsible for almost a fifth of the total investment volume, spending $52 billion on renewable energy last year. The United States was close behind with investments of $51 billion, as developers sought to benefit from government incentive programs before they expired. Germany, Italy and India rounded out the top five.

Coal Use Down, Natural Gas Up

America is shoveling coal to the sidelines. The fuel that powered the U.S. from the industrial revolution into the iPhone era is being pushed aside as utilities switch to cleaner and cheaper alternatives. The share of U.S. electricity that comes from coal is forecast to fall below 40% for the year, its lowest level since World War II. Four years ago, it was 50%. By the end of this decade, it is likely to be near 30%.Utilities are aggressively ditching coal in favor of natural gas, which has become cheaper as supplies grow. Natural gas has other advantages over coal: It produces far fewer emissions of toxic chemicals and gases that contribute to climate change, key attributes as tougher environmental rules go into effect. Natural gas will be used to produce 30% of the country’s electricity this year, up from 20% in 2008. Nuclear accounts for 20%. Hydroelectric, wind, solar and other renewables make up the rest.

Terrorists Advertise Online for Suicide Bombers

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has reportedly begun posting Internet advertisements offering training for prospective suicide bombers to target US, Israeli, British and French targets. Ads have been posted on a number of jihadist forums and websites, asking for volunteers. “The aim of this training is to continue with our brothers who are seeking to carry out operations that make for great killing and slaughtering of the enemies of Islam,” the advertisement says. “It is a complete jihadist operation to be carried out by a single bomber.” The Jerusalem Prayer Team notes, “These people cannot be negotiated or bargained with. And because this is a spiritual battle, it must be fought and won not just with armies and intelligence services, but with the prayers of God’s people.”

Federal Deficit Down But Still High

The federal budget deficit is approaching $1 trillion for a fourth straight year even though the government is collecting more tax revenue than last year. The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the deficit grew by $124.6 billion in May. That put the deficit through the first eight months of the budget year at $844.5 billion, or 8.9% below last year’s imbalance for the same period. Still, the Congressional Budget office forecasts that the deficit for the entire 2012 budget year, which ends Sept. 30, will total $1.17 trillion. That’s only a slight improvement from the $1.3 trillion deficit recorded in fiscal 2011. So far this year, government receipts are running 5.3% higher than a year ago.

U.S. Government’s Single Largest Asset Is Student Loans

The largest asset on Uncle Sam’s balance sheet is not U.S. Official Reserve Assets, nor Total Mortgages, nor Taxes Receivable. The correct answer, as of the latest Flow of Funds report for Q1 2012, is … Student Loans. The loan balance has risen and astonishing 332% over since 2007, most of which dates from after the recession. Private loans make up an even larger amount. Earlier this year the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) posted an article with the attention-grabbing title: Too Big to Fail: Student debt hits a trillion. The details of the private student loan market are not readily available, but CFPB plans to publish its study results on the topic this summer.

Economic News

Falling gasoline prices pulled inflation lower last month, as consumer prices dropped 0.3% after being unchanged in April. The Consumer Price Index was led lower by a 3.9% drop in the price of energy, coupled with a small 1.7% gain in food prices. The so-called core inflation rate climbed 2.3%.

First-time claims for unemployment benefits the week ended June 9 rose 6,000 to 386,000, reflecting a weaker jobs market.The four-week moving average of initial claims for jobless benefits, considered a more reliable gauge of activity in labor markets, rose 3,500 to 382,000. Jobless claims less than 375,000 are required to lower the 8.2% unemployment rate.

Foreclosure filings in May spiked 9% compared with a month earlier. RealtyTrac reported that 205,990 U.S. properties received filings last month, including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, marking the first monthly increase since January. Bank repossessions climbed steeply, up 7% to 54,844, after hitting a four-year low in April.

The median U.S. household lost nearly 39% of its wealth from 2007 to 2010, the Federal Reserve said Monday, emphasizing anew the impact of the financial crisis and the recession on ordinary Americans. Middle-class families took the biggest hit to their net worth during the crunch because much of their wealth was in their homes, whose values plunged during the recession and in its aftermath. Median incomes among the richest 10% of Americans fell 5.3%, compared with 7.7% for all Americans.

Retail sales fell in April and May, pulled down by a sharp drop in gas prices. But even after excluding volatile gasoline sales, consumers barely increased their spending. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that retail sales dipped 0.2% in May. That followed a revised 0.2% decline April. The back-to-back declines were the first in two years. The weakness reflected a 2.2% plunge in gasoline station sales. Still, excluding gas station sales, retail spending rose just 0.1% in May. And it dropped 0.1% in April.

Squeezed by state budgets cutbacks, the Los Angeles County court system is launching massive job layoffs, pay cuts and transfers. Cutbacks that will be implemented Friday will affect 431 court employees and 56 courtrooms throughout the nation’s largest superior court system.

The average tuition at a four-year public university climbed 15% between 2008 and 2010, fueled by state budget cuts for higher education and increases of 40% and more at universities in states like Georgia, Arizona and California. The U.S. Department of Education’s annual look at college affordability also found significant price increases at the nation’s private universities


Angry and despairing Greek voters head to the polls Sunday for the second election in six weeks, a make-or-break poll that may decide Greece’s economic future and whether it remains in the eurozone. Voters dealt a heavy blow to the ruling coalition May 6 as they flocked to fringe parties that oppose the budget cuts demanded by European finance ministers in return for help paying off Greece’s massive debt. Because no party won enough seats in the Parliament to form a government, elections are being held Sunday to see whether any party can achieve control. Polls indicate the anti-austerity fringe parties may prevail.

European leaders were facing increasing pressure on Thursday to respond to the euro crisis, as Spanish 10-year bond yields hit the 7 percent level that has served to trigger full international bailouts of other euro zone members, and Italian borrowing costs rose sharply at a debt auction. Spain’s borrowing costs soared after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the country’s bond rating late Wednesday, with the yield on the 10-year bond touching 7 percent for the first time in the euro era. For both Spain and Italy, rising yields endanger hopes that the countries will be able to overcome their problems without full bailouts, because high interest rates make refinancing unsustainably expensive.


Egypt’s highest court on Thursday declared the parliament invalid, and the country’s interim military rulers declared full legislative authority, triggering a new level of chaos and confusion in the country’s leadership. The court found that all articles making up the law that regulated parliamentary elections are invalid. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in control of the country since Mubarak’s ouster, announced that it now has full legislative power and will announce a 100-person assembly that will write the country’s new constitution. The Supreme Constitutional Court also ruled that a former member of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime may run in a presidential election runoff this weekend. The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that dominates the Parliament, has said it disputes the court’s ruling and its authority to dissolve the legislature.


A suicide bomber detonated his van packed with explosives in a Damascus suburb on Thursday, wounding 14 people and damaging one of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines. Car bombs and suicide bombings have become common in Syria as the 15-month uprising against President Bashar Assad becomes increasingly militarized. But most have targeted security buildings and police buses, symbols of Assad’s regime. As the violence grows more chaotic, it is difficult to assign blame for much of the bloodshed. Western officials say there is little doubt that Islamist extremists, some associated with al-Qaeda, have made inroads in Syria as instability has spread.

The United Nations says members of its observer team in Syria were attacked by angry crowds as they tried to reach an embattled mountain village near President Bashar Assad’s hometown. The U.N. says the crowds hurled stones and metal rods at the vehicles, which then turned back. The vehicles also were later shot at. None of the observers were injured.


The Jerusalem Prayer Team reports, “The ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons program with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have broken down again. One IAEA official called it “disappointing,” but it can hardly be a surprise to anyone who has paid the least bit of attention to Iran’s track record. They delay and stall and agree to talk only to change their minds. It is obvious that they are simply playing for time, hoping to prevent any serious steps being taken to stop their evil work.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s oil exports have fallen by an estimated 40 percent since the start of the year as Western sanctions tear into the country’s vital oil industry, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday. Oil exports – the lifeblood of Iran’s economy – fell to 1.5 million barrels per day in April-May from 2.5 million at end 2011.


Car bombs ripped through Shiite and Kurdish targets in Baghdad and other cities Wednesday, killing at least 66 people, wounding more than 200 and feeding growing doubts that Iraq will emerge as a stable democracy after decades of war and dictatorship. Coordinated car bombs struck mainly Shiite pilgrims in several Iraqi cities, in one of the deadliest attacks since U.S. troops withdrew from the country. The bloodshed was a stark reminder of the political tensions threatening to provoke a new round of sectarian violence that once pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.


Pakistan demanded an “unconditional apology” Thursday from the United States over a NATO strike that resulted in the death of 24 Pakistani troops — an apology that supposedly would be in exchange for reopening supply routes into Afghanistan closed since the incident. The demand from Pakistan’s foreign minister underscored the calcifying impasse between the two countries, one that is costing the United States millions of dollars every day. The closure of the supply routes forces U.S. troops to use a different transit route in order to both draw forces out of Afghanistan and re-supply forces inside Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday that the different route is costing about $100 million a month.


Yemen says government troops have killed 40 militants in a push to rout al-Qaeda fighters from the last town under militant control in the southern Abyan province. The offensive on Shoqra comes just days after Yemeni forces regained control of Zinjibar and the town of Jaar, which have been under al-Qaeda’s control for more than a year. Yemen military officials also said nine al-Qaeda fighters have been killed in a missile attack on a house in Shabwa province, a hotbed for al-Qaeda militants. Some militants who fled the town of Jaar, which was recaptured by government troops and tribal fighters on Tuesday, had taken refuge in Azan. Tuesday’s operation also routed militants from Zinjibar, another al-Qaeda stronghold.

The U.S. military is expanding its secret intelligence operations across Africa, establishing a network of small air bases to spy on terrorist hideouts from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator. About a dozen air bases have been established in Africa since 2007. Most are small operations run out of secluded hangars at African military bases or civilian airports, according to the Washington Post. The operations have intensified in recent months, part of a growing shadow war against al-Qaeda affiliates and other militant groups.

  • Such ‘missile attacks’ are actually conducted by U.S. drones from some these bases


A moderate earthquake shook southeastern Turkey on Thursday, damaging a mosque’s minarets and injuring a handful of people who jumped off buildings in panic. The Kandilli Observatory seismology center said a magnitude 5.5 quake struck at a depth of 3.3 miles. The epicenter of the quake was in the village of Pinaronu in Sirnak province, close to the borders of Syria and Iraq.

Afghan officials say they are halting efforts to dig out more than 60 bodies from the site of a devastating landslide that followed earthquakes in northern Afghanistan earlier this week. The government has said 71 people were buried in Monday’s landslide, but the police chief of Baghlan province’s Burka district says they have pulled out only five bodies in four days of digging. He says that religious leaders in the area recommended that they leave the bodies buried under the hill and rename it “Martyrs Hill.”


Nationally, about 4,000 firefighters battled at least 19 large wildfires in nine U.S. states, the National Interagency Fire Center reported Tuesday afternoon. Fires in the worst-hit states of Colorado and New Mexico have destroyed hundreds of structures and forced thousands of people to flee their homes. A northern Colorado wildfire 60 miles away wrapped Denver in a pungent cloud of smoke for several hours Tuesday and complicated the aerial offensive against the spreading mountain blaze, which has killed one person and destroyed more than 100 structures. It has now burned over 49,760 acres, or about 77 square miles. More residents had to leave their homes near the large wildfire because it jumped the Poudre River.


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In southern New Mexico, a 56-square-mile wildfire threatening the village of Ruidoso damaged or destroyed at least 324 homes and cabins, and that number was expected to increase. With at least 19 large fires burning in nine states, President Barack Obama called Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to assure him that the federal government stood ready to provide personnel, equipment and emergency grants for Colorado and other states battling fire.

The government is bolstering the nation’s rundown aerial firefighting fleet by taking steps to add seven large tanker planes. But the aircraft likely won’t be available soon and several other firefighting planes are grounded. President Obama signed a bill Wednesday hastening the addition of those aircraft at a cost of $24 million. The same day, two firefighting C-130 military transport planes sat on a tarmac in Cheyenne, shrouded in an eye-watering haze from a Colorado wildfire just a 15-minute flight away. Starting in the 1970s, C-130s were fitted with Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems — devices that carry 3,000 gallons of fire-retardant slurry. But the Wyoming MAFFS can’t fly from Cheyenne, where the Wyoming Air National Guard is based. The airport is not among those designated as official staging area for attacking wildfires —— and it lacks built-in infrastructure for reloading planes with retardant.


Powerful storm Carlotta has intensified into a hurricane off the western coast of Mexico. The storm was about 120 miles southeast of Puerto Angel, Mexico, and 330 miles from the resort town of Acapulco early Friday. The storm, with sustained winds near 80 mph, was moving toward the northwest at 12 mph.

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