Signs of the Times (11/10/14)

Public Support Dropping for Same-Sex Marriage?

Americans may be tiring of homosexual activists, a new poll on same-sex “marriage” suggests. A Fox news poll shows more Americans now oppose same-sex “marriage” than support it, though the numbers are still close. The poll found that 47 percent oppose legalizing same-sex marriage while 44 percent support legally redefining it, with nine percent unsure, LifeSiteNews.com reported. LifeSiteNews pointed out that is the second poll in recent months that showed declining support. A poll conducted by Pew Research shows a five-point drop in support since 2010. Matt Barber, a constitutional attorney, says the public is getting tired of unelected judges overturning state constitutional marriage amendments that people had voted for. More than that, he adds, Americans are recognizing that sanctioning “sexual immorality” means pitting the government against the free exercise of religion. Just a few examples are businesses – photographers, bakers, and bed and breakfast owners – who have been punished by government for refusing to accommodate same-gender “marriage.”

  • Activist judges and the globalist elites will continue to push their agenda regardless of what the people want

Obama Orders ‘Mental-Health’ Testing for School Children

Using “gun violence” as its cover, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a cache of federal dollars that will be used for testing students for signs of mental health issues in K-12 schools, reports WorldNetDaily.com. Critics say personal information scooped up in the screenings will be logged into databases that will follow the child throughout his or her academic career and beyond. Public schools, which have increasingly taken on aspects of psychiatric clinics in recent years, will get infused with more than $150 million in federal grants to further this agenda under the auspices of Obama’s 2013 executive action titled “Now is the Time to Do Something About Gun Violence.” The problem is even more concerning in light of recent attempts to create state databases of student information, which will eventually be linked together as part of the DOE’s plans for a nationwide database. Also concerning to privacy rights advocates is that the state of Rhode Island is taking DNA collections from babies without parental consent and linking its education databases to track children from birth to college graduation and beyond.

  • The problem isn’t so much the collecting of data as it is how the data will be used, furthering New World Order goals of identifying and marginalizing dissenters. While mental health is a serious issue, it is best handled at the local level without federal or global intervention.

Obama Threatens Amnesty Executive Action before New Congress Sworn In

President Barack Obama defended his plan to use executive powers to implement some immigration reforms, saying in an interview broadcast on Sunday he had waited long enough for Congress to act. Obama told congressional leaders on Friday he would try to ease some restrictions on undocumented immigrants, despite warnings from Republican leaders that such actions would “poison the well” or would be “a red flag in front of a bull”. In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Obama said he had watched while the U.S. Senate produced a bipartisan immigration reform bill, only to have it not taken up by House Republican Speaker John Boehner. Obama said he had told Boehner if he could not get it done by year’s end, the White House was going to have to take steps to improve the system.

  • King Obama may be more dangerous as a lame-duck president than he has been over the prior six years, as he inflicts retribution upon those who have rejected him and his policies.

Congress Returns for Brief, Post-Election Session

After an extended election-season break, Congress returns to Washington this week with a list of unresolved issues, including passage of a temporary spending bill and whether to approve President Obama’s request for more money to fight the Islamic State group. House and Senate appropriations committees will try to agree on an omnibus spending bill that would keep the federal government running beyond Dec. 11, with little chance either party will fail to negotiate and force a another hugely unpopular, partial-government shutdown. Congress in September granted Obama temporary authorization to arm and train Syrian forces in the U.S.-led coalition fight against ruthless militants of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, who have taken over parts of Syria and Iraq. The authorization, however, expires in early December. The larger issue is how lawmakers will play out the final days of the lame duck session, in which Democrats have control of the Senate only until year’s end. Last week Republicans seized control of the Senate for the first time in eight years while increasing their majority in the House.

HealthCare.gov Opens for Insurance Plan Shoppers

The federal health insurance exchange went live Sunday night for window shopping — a couple days later than some expected — as government officials worked to refine both their technology and their message to one encouraging people to re-enroll to save money when they start buying plans Nov. 15. The Department of Health and Human Services is trying to prevent a repeat of last year’s disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, an experience that many newly insured consumers may want to avoid going through again. The launch comes two days after the Supreme Court announced it would reconsider a lower court ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act’s system of subsidizing the insurance coverage it requires.

U.S., Europe Strike Internet’s Black Markets

U.S. and European law enforcement agencies Friday announced the largest strike ever against the Internet’s thriving black markets, shutting down more than 400 sites and arresting 17 people for allegedly selling drugs, weapons and illegal services to anonymous buyers worldwide. The sweep of the crackdown marked a new level of aggressiveness and coordination by Western governments determined to police shadowy corners of the Internet. Government evidence showed the shuttered sites were offering a remarkable variety of illicit goods, including cocaine, counterfeit money and explosives.

Breakthrough Prize Awards $3 Million to 14 Scientists

The Nobel Prize is prestigious, but in terms of sheer dollars, the Breakthrough Prize is bigger. Begun in 2012 by Silicon Valley’s crème de la crème, the awards bestow $3 million each on researchers who have made fundamental breakthroughs in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics. The Nobel Prize, founded in 1898 by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, awards $1.1 million. The awards began in 2012 when Silicon Valley venture capitalist Yuri Milner launched the Fundamental Physics Prize. The nine inaugural winners received a total of $27 million. The goal is to reward exemplary work and also bring science more to the fore, said Milner. His aim was to bring more attention to the importance of fundamental science. After the first year, Milner mobilized a few friends in tech—Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sergy Brin, 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki and Alibab’s Jack Ma, to donate.

Economic News

Falling gas prices are boosting consumer spending, economists say, heralding a pickup in holiday sales and economic growth. Average regular unleaded prices have plunged to $2.99 a gallon from $3.70 in late June, dipping below $3 for the first time since 2010 last week as a weak overseas economy and U.S. energy boom lower oil prices. A drop in pump prices effectively serves as a tax cut, with consumers using much of the savings on other purchases that cycle back into the economy. The International Council of Shopping Centers said chain-store sales jumped 0.6% last month, reversing September’s decline. And average daily consumer purchases rose by $2 to $89 in October, Gallup says.

Currently, there’s no country in the entire world where a woman earns as much as a man for doing the same job. The gap is narrowing, but very slowly. The U.S., for instance, narrowed its wage gap by one percentage point to 66% in one year “meaning that women earn about two-thirds of what men earn for similar work according to the perception of business leaders,” WEF’s economist Saadia Zahidi said. The U.S. ranks 65th in wage equality among 142 countries in the report. A woman earned only 48% of a man’s salary in Italy and 47% in Israel. Some of the world’s poorest countries lead the equality ranking. Burundi, where four out of five people live below the poverty line, is the top country in women’s pay. Women in the tiny African country earn 83% of salaries of the men in the same jobs.

Oxfam reports that the 85 richest billionaires on the planet, including the likes of Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest people. Oxfam estimates that between March 2013 and March 2014, those same 85 billionaires saw their wealth grow by $668 million every day. “There’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won.” Billionaire investor Warren Buffett made that remark more than three years ago and it still holds true today — only the gap between the richest and the poorest has gotten even wider.

  • The economic clout of the elite rich is funding the shift toward globalism and the coming one-world government prophesied in Revelation 13

Middle East

An IDF soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian youth at the Hahagana train station in Tel Aviv on Monday, extending a string of violent incidents which many analysts said is beginning to look like another Intifada. The soldier was in serious condition at a nearby hospital and his assailant was quickly captured by police. The attack follows a weekend which saw riots in the Galilee village of Kfar Kana, site of the church commemorating a miracle Jesus performed of turning water into wine. The riots there came after police shot and killed an Arab man who had attacked them with a knife. Video of the incident led many Arab activists to declare that the police had acted improperly, leading to a nationwide general strike in the Arab sector and violent protests in several cities and villages

Islamic State

President Barack Obama is sending up to 1,500 more soldiers to Iraq to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight ISIS, in a deployment that would almost double the total number of American troops there to 2,900. The White House said in a statement that it will also ask Congress for another $5.6 billion to fund the fight against ISIS. The troops will not have a combat role, and will operate from bases outside Baghdad and Erbil. “The President took these decisions at the request of the Iraqi Government and upon the recommendation of Secretary Hagel and his military commanders based upon the assessed needs of the Iraqi Security Forces,” the statement said.

U.S. warplanes attacked a convoy near Mosul in Iraq this weekend in an attempt to kill ISIS leaders, said a spokesman for U.S. Central Command. Col. Patrick Ryder, in a statement Saturday, said he could not confirm that top ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in the convoy in response to news reports indicating the ISIS leader may have died or been injured.

Ukraine

Amid rising tensions and fresh violence, Ukrainian authorities on Friday accused Russia of sending dozens of its military vehicles into its territory — though the Kremlin have knocked down such reports as unfounded and “provocative.” At a briefing Friday, Ukrainian defense spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that 32 tanks, 16 D-30 howitzers and 30 KamAZ heavy trucks crossed past a border checkpoint and headed toward the volatile Luhansk region on Thursday. Another Ukrainian official, Dmytro Tymchuk, alleged the “armored column” consisted of “a battalion tactical group of the Russian Armed Forces.” Associated Press reporters saw more than 80 unmarked military vehicles on the move Saturday in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, indicating that intensified hostilities may lie ahead.

Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin could be facing a full-blown currency crisis. The ruble has fallen by about 30% since the start of the year to a record low against the dollar. It plunged by about 10% last week alone, after the Russian central bank said it would reduce its support for the currency, allowing the ruble to trade more freely. Pressure on Putin is mounting as tumbling oil prices, a sanctions stand-off with the West and continued tensions with Ukraine weigh heavily on the currency. The central bank said Friday that the rapid plunge in recent days could threaten Russia’s financial stability, and it was ready to sell dollars again “at any moment” to steady the ruble. It burned through $30 billion alone last month, buying rubles to brake the fall.

Iran

An Iranian opposition group claimed to have information showing the country is still working toward nuclear weapons. The National Council of Resistance of Iran released information in a Washington press conference saying there were two explosive chambers build by AzarAb industries as part of a highly classified project that only two senior Iranian officials knew about. The two chambers were reportedly used for high explosive tests as part of the program.

Nigeria

Several dozen people were killed Monday when a suicide bomber detonated an explosion at a school in northeast Nigeria. The Associated Press reported the bomber was disguised in a school uniform. The incident occurred at the Government Technical Science College in the city of Potiskum, the capital of Yobe state. Some 47 people are reported to have died in the explosion with another 79 injured. National police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwusaid the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram was believed to be responsible.

North Korea

U.S. citizens Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller are back on American soil after being detained in North Korea. The pair arrived at Joint Base Lewis McChord near Seattle on Saturday night. They were accompanied by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Bae was held captive in North Korea for two years and Miller was detained for seven months. Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary, called the time he spent in captivity “amazing,” noting that he “learned a lot, grew a lot, lost a lot of weight.” Bae noted that health-wise, he is “recovering.” He was moved to a hospital last summer because of poor health. Miller, of Bakersfield, Calif., was detained when he tried to enter the country in April. The big question now is why did North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agree to their release?

China

Authorities here are taking drastic measures to limit smog, traffic and dissent ahead of an annual economic summit that includes President Obama and 20 other world leaders. For a 10-day period, only half the city’s cars can hit the roads each day, polluting factories in neighboring provinces have shut down or scaled back operations, schools are closed, some hospitals work only half-days, no new marriages can be registered, government workers received a six-day holiday and students shiver in college dorms after central heating was suspended. Hefty security measures are also in place. About 800,000 civilians have been mobilized to patrol neighborhoods in red armbands, and 1,000 high-definition surveillance cameras with facial recognition were installed in Huairou District, where world leaders will gather Tuesday.

Romania

Thousands of people have protested against the government saying it was making it difficult for Romanians abroad to vote, a week before a presidential runoff. Romanians in Paris, London, Vienna and elsewhere have said they were unable to vote in the Nov. 2 first round of the presidential race because of long lines. In response, the government said Friday it would open more polling booths, and other measures to speed up the process, but protesters said it wasn’t enough. Prime Minister Victor Ponta faces Sibiu Mayor Klaus Iohannis in the Nov. 16 runoff, which Ponta is favored to win. Around 2 million Romanians live abroad.

Spain

Euphoria reigned in many parts of Barcelona and the surrounding region of Catalonia on Monday, a day after 1.6 million people there cast symbolic votes to secede from Spain. But the sentiment for Catalan independence was not shared in Madrid, where there was skepticism, as Spain’s Justice Minister called the straw vote a “farce” without any democratic validity. Even after more than 2 million Catalans voted on Sunday, defying two decisions by Spain’s highest court that it was illegal to cast a ballot on independence, the two entrenched sides seemed no closer to solving the thorny issue. Catalan secessionists have staged massive street demonstrations in recent years, and they picked up more steam in September around Scotland’s referendum on independence. Although Scots voted to remain in the United Kingdom, many Catalans insisted Madrid should let them vote, too, as London had done for Scotland. But the Spanish government insists that the constitution does not permit just one of Spain’s 17 regions, such as Catalonia, to unilaterally secede.

Mexico

The 43 students missing for more than six weeks are believed dead after charred human remains were fished from a river and its banks, Mexico’s attorney general said Friday. The announcement came after confessions by members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel accused of burning the victims’ bodies using gasoline, kindling and tires to keep the fire going, Murillo Karam said. Municipal police handed over the students — some dead, some unconscious — to the gang after a Sept. 26 attack in Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero, he said. Officials said Wednesday that the drug gang implicated in the disappearance of 43 students in a southern city essentially ran the town, paying the mayor hundreds of thousands of dollars a month out of its profits from making opium paste to fuel the U.S. heroin market. The Guerreros Unidos cartel’s deep connections with local officials in the city of Iguala came to a head Sept. 26 when the mayor ordered municipal police to detain protesting students, who were then turned over to the drug gang.

Earthquakes

Hundreds of small earthquakes have rumbled under northwestern Nevada like a seismic drumroll since midsummer, and in recent days, they have built to a crescendo. Though this does not necessarily mean a big one will come, state seismologists said that it’s good to be prepared, just in case. Seismologists refer to such quake groupings as swarms, and the U.S. Geological Survey has detected them regularly. They can produce thousands of small tremors. But the Nevada swarm buzzing in and around the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge has gone on since July 12. In recent days — since October 30 — they have grown stronger, with three over magnitude 4.0. The strongest one weighed in Tuesday at magnitude 4.6 — approaching the threshold of a lightly damaging quake.

Weather

A Bering Sea Superstorm has developed from the remnants of Super Typhoon Nuri and is now weakening, but not after breaking a minimum pressure record held in the 1970s. As a result, the Bering Sea storm whipped up hurricane-force winds in parts of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands as well as giant waves in the Bering Sea over the weekend. On Saturday morning, U.S. time, the low was analyzed to have a pressure of 924 millibars, which makes it the strongest low-pressure system ever observed in or near Alaska since October 25, 1977, when a 925 millibar pressure reading was recorded. For reference, the lowest central pressure of Hurricane Andrew (1992) was 922 millibars.. On Saturday morning, sustained winds of more than 50 mph were reported in the far western Aleutians, with gusts over 65 mph.

A monstrous storm system will roll south and east in the next few days, bringing a big chill to more than 200 million people. The system ripped across parts of Alaska with hurricane-force winds and drove bitter cold temperatures and snow toward the contiguous United States yesterday — bringing back not-so-fond memories of last winter’s iconic polar vortex. The remnants of Typhoon Nuri were in part to blame for the frigid air sweeping into Montana and the Dakotas. The coldest readings Monday morning were in northern Montana, where a temperature of -1 degree was recorded in tiny Harlem. Only the Southwest, and South Florida will escape the grip of the upcoming arctic blast.

Winter Storm Astro has begun, and by the time it winds down early Wednesday, it will have put down a swath of heavy snow from Montana to Michigan. Up to 7 inches of snow blanketed parts of southern and eastern Montana. Winter Storm Astro dumped the season’s first snow in Bismarck, North Dakota Sunday, with 1.4 inches measured through midnight Sunday night. This first snow in North Dakota’s capital city arrived about two weeks later than average. Snow-covered roads were reported as far east as northwest Wisconsin Monday morning, including the Twin Cities metro area Monday morning.

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