Washington State to Eliminate ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ on Marriage Certificates
The words “bride” and “groom” are about to become archaic language in Washington state as officials prepare to remove the terms, along with “husband” and “wife,” from marriage and divorce certificates. They will be removing those words in favor of more gender-neutral terms in response to the same-sex marriage law that takes effect in the state December 6. “We’ve been quickly moving ahead to change our marriage certificate to make sure it fits for everyone who is going to be using it,” Church said. The words “bride” and “groom” could be replaced with “Spouse A” and “Spouse B” or “Person A” and “Person B.” The department has been taking public input, but the state’s secretary of health will ultimately decide which terms are used. “We want our form to work for everyone who is getting married,” Church said. Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said: “It is one sort of symbolic indication of how radical a change the legalization of same-sex marriage is. Symbolically, they are doing away with the whole concept of bride and groom, husband and wife — at least in the eyes of the law.”
- Absurd, but another key marker in the advance of end-time unrighteousness
Marijuana Now Legal in Washington State
Crowds of people lit marijuana joints under Seattle’s Space Needle early Thursday morning with nary a police officer in sight. Marijuana is now legal under Washington state law. Hundreds gathered at Seattle Center for a New Year’s Eve-style countdown to 12 a.m., when the legalization measure passed by voters last month took effect. When the clock struck, they cheered and sparked up in unison. Washington and Colorado became the first states to vote to decriminalize the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by adults over 21. Both measures call for setting up state licensing schemes for pot growers, processors and retail stores. Colorado’s law is set to take effect by Jan. 5.
Judge Rules Arizona’s Medical-Marijuana Law is Constitutional
A court ruling that Arizona’s controversial medical-marijuana law does not conflict with federal drug laws cleared the way Tuesday for dispensaries to open and allows patients to legally obtain marijuana from the facilities. The long-awaited decision by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Gordon rejected arguments made by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne that the voter-approved law should be shut down because marijuana is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act and that state employees would be facilitating federal crimes if they issued licenses to medical-marijuana dispensaries. The first dispensary, Arizona Organix, is scheduled to open at 10a.m. Thursday in Glendale, with another to follow in Tucson later this month. Gordon, in his ruling, made clear that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but he wrote that the U.S. Constitution allows Arizona to make different policy choices than the federal government when it comes to decriminalizing and regulating medical marijuana.
- Marijuana itself isn’t the key issue, but rather its role as a pathway to stronger narcotics
California Gay Therapy Ban Temporarily Blocked
A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against a California law that bans counselors from using reparative therapy to help minors combat unwanted same-sex attractions, CBN News reports. U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb said protecting the free speech rights of counselors outweighed concerns that the practice could harm young people. The California legislature had said that therapy helping teens overcome same-sex attraction could lead to depression and even suicide, but Shubb said that claim was based on “questionable and scientifically incomplete studies.” The injunction applies only to three counselors — psychiatrist Anthony Duk, marriage and family therapist Donald Welch, and Aaron Bitzer, a former patient who is studying to become a counselor. The three sought to overturn the law, which will remain in force until a trial.
57% of Mexican Immigrants on Welfare
A report by the Center for Immigration Studies (www.cis.org) reveals some startling figures about welfare use by families headed by immigrants. “In 2010, 36 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one major welfare program (primarily food assistance and Medicaid) compared to 23 percent of native households.” Families headed by immigrants from specific countries or areas of the world range from just over 6 percent for those immigrants from Great Britain to more than 57 percent of those from Mexico using some type of welfare. This comprehensive study suggests there are approximately 40 million immigrants in the United States of which more than a 25 percent of that number, and the largest overall group, originate from Mexico. The study estimates that approximately 28 percent of immigrants, or just over 11 million, are within the United States illegally. The study also suggests that nearly 50 percent of those immigrants originating from Mexico and Central America are here illegally.
- Illegal immigrants are a drain on state and federal budgets and have already caused many hospitals to close (especially in southern California) because they can’t afford to provide so much free emergency service.
Obama Quietly Releases ‘Insider Threat Policy’ Memo
President Obama continues to release important information and executive orders late on Friday afternoons or around the time of holidays so that they are not as noticed by the public, or at least don’t get the media attention they should. Just prior to Thanksgiving, the White House published a memo from Barack Obama, in which he lays out guidelines for executive agencies to establish effective “insider threat programs.” The memorandum was issued on November 21, 2013 and is titled National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs. It was issued to “heads of executive departments and agencies.” While the memo seems to target “potential espionage, violent against the government and unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” it does not distinguish between those things and legitimate whistleblowers who are letting the American people know about corruption within the government.
- The Obama administration has been tougher on legitimate whistleblowers than any other previous administration, notes FreedomOutpost.com.
Senate Rejects UN Disability Treaty
The Senate voted down a United Nations treaty Tuesday that would have compromised parental rights regarding how best to care for children with disabilities. President Obama signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009, and sent it to the Senate in May. The Senate voted 61-38 Tuesday, falling short of the 66 votes needed for ratification. Despite the treaty’s nice-sounding name, it was never really focused on the protection of people with disabilities in the United States, said Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Director of Federal Relations Will Estrada. “This treaty would have surrendered sovereignty and parental decision to the UN instead of leaving it to parents and caregivers,” Estrada told CitizenLink.
68% Prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ Over ‘Happy Holidays’
Most Americans still prefer signs in stores that say “Merry Christmas” rather than ones with “Happy Holidays,” according to a new Rasmussen Reports national survey. The poll found that 68 percent of American adults prefer “Merry Christmas,” while just 23 percent like “Happy Holidays” instead. The survey of 1,000 adults nationwide was conducted November 11-12, 2012, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
- But, of course, our ‘representative’ government and judicial system ignore what the people think or want in order to establish their anti-Christ, secular-humanist agenda
Voyager 1 Enters New Region of Solar System
The unstoppable Voyager 1 spacecraft has sailed into a new realm of the solar system that scientists did not know existed. “We do believe this may be the very last layer between us and interstellar space,” said chief scientist Ed Stone of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Voyager 1 is on track to become the first manmade object to exit the solar system. Exactly when that day will come is unknown, partly because there’s no precedent. Stone estimated Voyager 1 still has two to three years to travel before reaching the boundary that separates the solar system from the rest of space.
- The vastness of the universe shouts of an incredibly powerful Creator: The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
There are now more people receiving government healthcare benefits (119,249,000 on Medicare/Medicaid) that there are full-time workers (112,556,000). In addition, there are just 3 workers paying into Social Security for every retiree drawing benefits – when Social Security was created, there were 46 workers for every recipient.
- This shouts ‘socialism’ and ‘welfare state’ but few are listening
Manufacturing shrank to the lowest level since July 2009, the first month after the recession ended, according to a purchasing managers survey out Monday. The impact of Superstorm Sandy and worries about the “fiscal cliff” — automatic tax increases that could take effect in January — combined to reduce factory orders and manufacturing jobs. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of manufacturing conditions fell to a reading of 49.5. That’s down from 51.7 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
Home prices rose 6.3% in October from a year earlier, marking the biggest increase since June 2006. The gain is the eighth consecutive year-over-year jump in home prices nationally. The biggest gainers were states that were hit hardest during the downturn or those with strong energy sectors. Arizona saw prices increase 21% year-over-year; Hawaii, 13%; Idaho and Nevada, 12%; and North Dakota, 10%. Five states continued to see prices fall. Illinois and Delaware posted declines of 2.7% in October from a year ago. Rhode Island and New Jersey were down 0.6% and Alabama was off 0.3%.
Builders increased spending on construction projects in October by the largest amount in five months, led by a surge in housing. Construction spending rose 1.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $872.1 billion. That is nearly 17% higher than a 12-year low hit in February 2011. It was the largest gain since a 1.7% increase in May. Still, even with the gain, the level of spending remains only about half of what’s considered healthy.
According to a source who served in Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and who recently defected, the Islamic regime has 170 missiles targeted at Tel Aviv from underground silos, some of which are armed with biological warheads, reports WorldNetDaily. The Islamic regime ruling Iran has prepared for the total destruction of Israel as well as a capability to target European capitals, he said. As reported in the Washington Times, the media outlet of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed that the Islamic regime not only has weapons of mass destruction but has armed its terrorist proxies with them, including Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
Palestinians demanded urgent action by the U.N. Security Council and the international community on Wednesday to halt Israel’s “illegal settlement campaign.” Palestinian Charge d’Affaires Feda Abdelhady Nasser said in letters to the council, the General Assembly and the secretary-general that the intensification of the Israeli campaign is clearly part of “Israel’s contemptuous response” to the assembly’s overwhelming vote last week to recognize the state of Palestine. Palestinians called on the council and the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia — “to act immediately to demand an end to Israel’s illegal activities and to salvage the prospects for reviving credible peace negotiations for attainment of the two-state solution of Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.”
- A two-state solution requiring a shared Jerusalem will never be accepted by Israel
The Egyptian army deployed tanks outside the presidential palace Thursday following fierce street battles between supporters and opponents of Mohammed Morsi that left five people dead and more than 600 injured in the worst outbreak of violence between the two sides since the Islamist leader’s election. The intensity of the overnight violence, with Morsi’s Islamist backers and largely secular protesters lobbing firebombs and rocks at each other, signaled a turning point in the 2-week-old crisis over the president’s assumption of near-absolute powers and the hurried adoption of a draft constitution.
Given just two weeks to consider a draft constitution that will be put to a national referendum Dec. 15, Egyptians took to the streets in large numbers to protest the latest development in their country’s chaotic political transition, More than 100,000 Egyptians protested outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Tuesday. Morsi’s opponents, long fractured by bickering and competing egos, have been re-energized since he announced decrees last month that place him above oversight of any kind, including by the courts, and provide immunity to two key bodies dominated by his allies: The 100-member panel drafting the constitution and parliament’s upper chamber.
Syrian forces fired artillery at rebel targets in and around Damascus on Tuesday as the country’s civil war closed in on President Bashar Assad’s seat of power and the international community grew increasingly alarmed about the regime’s chemical weapons stocks. U.S. intelligence has detected signs the regime was moving chemical weapons components around within several sites in recent days. NBC News reports that Syria’s military has loaded nerve-gas chemicals into bombs and is awaiting final orders from President Bashar Assad. Syrian rebels have made gains in recent weeks, overrunning military bases and bringing the fight to Damascus, killing scores of people, forcing international flights to turn back or cancel flights and prompting the United Nations to withdraw most of its international staff.
Residents in parts of southern Yemen experienced a “human rights catastrophe” when an al-Qaeda affiliate took control of the country’s Abyan province for 14 months, according to Amnesty International. In a new report entitled “Conflict in Yemen: Abyan’s Darkest Hour”, the rights group catalogs “a raft of gross and deeply disturbing” punishments carried out by Ansar al-Sharia, including crucifixions, public executions, amputations and floggings. “They committed horrific abuses,” said Cilina Nasser, of Amnesty International. “They set up courts, their own courts and claimed to apply Islamic law.”
Suspected Islamist militants killed 10 Christians in an overnight machete and gun attack in the remote village of Chibok in Nigeria’s Borno state on Dec. 2, BBC News reports. Residents said a group of men went from house to house in a largely Christian area of Chibok, setting people’s houses on fire before slitting the throats of 10 people. Later, gunmen attacked government targets and churches near the border with Cameroon, killing five policemen. It is still unclear who is behind the attacks, but the army suspects the Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has targeted churches and government establishments in the region in the last few years, killing more than 3,000. The group is fighting to overthrow the government and impose a strict form of sharia, or Islamic law.
- Ah, yes, Islam, the ‘peaceful’ religion
A strong earthquake Monday was felt over a 175-mile swath of Alaska, including the state’s largest city, Anchorage. But there were no immediate reports of damage beyond items knocked off shelves. the magnitude-5.8 earthquake occurred at about 4:45 p.m. and was centered about 30 miles northwest of Anchorage.
December is starting out very warm for much of the U.S., with one large exception…Alaska. This current cold snap is impressive, even by Alaskan standards for late fall. Fairbanks just recorded its 6th coldest November in 108 years of records. Seventeen days featured daily low temperatures in the -20s or colder. Only one other November had more frigid lows. However, snow was rather paltry in the interior, with only 4.2″ of November snow measured in Fairbanks.
A record warm spring coupled with a slow start to snowfall this season is sending some Midwest cities into snowless streaks that are nearing record territory. Chicago has seen 275 days without measurable snow, nearing its all-time record of 280 days. Similarly, Omaha has not had snow in 284 days, just short of its record of 285 days.
One of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines this year barreled across the Philippines Tuesday, killing at least 350 people. Another 400 are still missing. Officials fear more bodies may be found as rescuers reach hard-hit areas that were isolated by landslides, floods and downed communications. Typhoon Bopha slammed into the Davao region at dawn, its ferocious winds ripping roofs from homes and its 311-mile wide rain-band flooding low-lying farmland. The storm, packing winds of 160 mph with gusts up to 195 mph, toppled trees, triggered landslides and sent flash floods surging across the region’s mountains and valleys.
An unusually destructive tornado swept through neighborhoods around New Zealand’s largest city Thursday, killing three people and forcing 250 more to evacuate damaged and powerless homes. Seven people suffering a range of injuries were admitted to hospitals. The tornado was the deadliest in New Zealand in more than 60 years. Although the country reports about seven tornados on average each year, most are small, mild and do little damage.