Signs of the Times (2/21/17)

Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ of ‘Roe v. Wade’ Dies as Pro-Life Hero

Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion, died Saturday a pro-life convert. “It was the biggest mistake of my life,’ she said recently. McCorvey was just 22 years-old when she stepped into the spotlight as “Jane Roe” in the historic Roe. v. Wade Supreme Court case of 1973. However, while Roe v. Wade officially legalized abortion in America, McCorvey later deeply regretted her role in the case and became a Christian. “Back in 1973, I was a very confused twenty-one-year-old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy,” she says in an ad released nearly 10 years ago. “At the time, I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion. Upon knowing God, I realized that my case, which legalized abortion on demand was the biggest mistake of my life,” she added. “I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie.” McCorvey didn’t want to be remembered as the woman behind the biggest abortion case in America, but as a vocal pro-life activist.

Melania Trump Criticized for Reciting ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ at Campaign Rally

Leftists on social media tore into First Lady Melania Trump, mocking her accent and religion and branding her everything from a hostage to a whore – all for the secular offense of reciting “The Lord’s Prayer.” Melania Trump began President Trump’s rally Saturday in Florida by delivering the prayer, which Christians – many of whom recite the prayer in church each week – believe was first said by Jesus Christ. The crowd at Orlando-Melbourne Airport received the prayer enthusiastically.

  • The-end-time anti-Christ spirit is ramping up to insane levels. Soon it will be a crime to pray in public.

Christian Persecution Watch

A year and half ago, Donald Vander Boon walked into the break room of his family-owned business – Michigan Beef Company, outside Grand Rapids – and found material touting and supporting unnatural marriage. The Christian business owner countered that by placing in the break room a faith-based article describing marriage as defined in the Bible: one man, one woman. Shortly thereafter, meat inspectors with the U.S. Department of Agriculture paid Vander Boon a visit. He explains what happened: “They called me into my own office and took this article that I had printed and put it on the table in my office and proceeded to ask me if I was going to leave that article on the break room table – because if I was, they were going to immediately remove the USDA inspectors from this facility.” Without those inspectors, the doors of his business would have to close – thereby denying him his livelihood and that of his 45 employees. He did not return the article to the break room but also filed a complaint regarding the denial of his rights with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. To date, the business owner has heard nothing from the USDA. According to Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco, the government employees cited a written USDA policy which says “federal bureaucrats can determine what speech is disrespectful and insulting and restrict that speech – and the First Amendment does not allow them to do that,” he adds.

  • So, it’s free speech if you’re supporting gay marriage but hate speech if you’re not? America was founded on free speech for everyone, as the First Amendment makes clear.

Trump: Anti-Semitic Threats Against Jewish Community Centers ‘Horrible, Painful’

President Donald Trump denounced anti-Semitism Tuesday morning, making his most forceful remarks to date about a spate of threats to Jewish community centers around the country. Several Jewish community centers were evacuated for a time on Monday after receiving bomb threats. He spoke after a visit to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture which he said provided a “meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all forms.” “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” he said. Earlier Tuesday, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called the series of threats and attacks against Jews and Jewish groups “so troubling” in a tweet that urged Trump to speak out against them across the U.S.

Millennials View Evangelicals, Muslims, Atheists Equally, Favor Buddhists

Despite the latest round of Islamic terrorism sweeping the United States in recent years, Americans are increasingly warming up to Muslims and atheists in society, with the younger generation viewing them as favorably as they do evangelical Christians – according to a Pew Research Center survey published last week. Millennials gave Muslims 58 percent likeability, with atheists [at] 59 percent – the same as evangelicals and Mainline Protestants, who were also rated at 59 percent. Young Americans liked Buddhists the best, at 66 percent, and Mormons the least, with 54 percent. Over all age groups combined, Americans like Jews and Roman Catholics the most in society, giving them 67 and 66 percent favorability ratings, respectively. Muslims and atheists remained the most distrusted, but compared to their scores in 2014, enjoyed significant gains.

  • The notion of inclusivity has leveled the religious playing field among our youth, but Jesus says he is the only way to salvation and eternal life in heaven (John 14:6). And yet, Jesus is inclusive because everyone can receive the free gift of salvation from Him. (Romans 6:23).

Global Arms Trade Hits Highest Level Since End of Cold War

The global arms trade has risen to its highest level since the end of the Cold War. The spike was fueled by conflicts in the Middle East, tensions in the South China Sea and the perceived threat from Russia to its neighbors, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The U.S. is by far the world’s biggest arms exporter, accounting for 33% of all weapons exports in the five years through 2016, the SIPRI report said. Russia was the second biggest supplier, with China third. “The U.S. has delivered a lot of weapons in 2016, both very expensive weapons and strategically important weapons — missile systems, surveillance and navigation technology,” SIPRI said. The U.S. has delivered major weapons to at least 100 countries over the five-year period, significantly more than any other exporting country. Of all the weapons the U.S. exported in the last five years, 47% ended up in the Middle East. The main buyers were Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Turkey.

  • Historically, many of these weapons wind up being used against the U.S. (e.g. Iran, Iraq, Yemen, etc.)

VP Pence Reassures NATO and Europe of U.S. Support

Vice President Pence on Saturday worked to assure NATO allies that the United States would be “unwavering” in its commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance. Pence, in his first overseas trip as vice president, told the Munich Security Conference that President Donald Trump intends to “stand with Europe.” However, he also warned European leaders that they must increase spending on defense. Pence sought to calm nervous European allies who remain concerned about Russian aggression and have been alarmed by the U.S. president’s positive statements about his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Pence said the U.S. would demand that Russia honor a 2015 peace deal agreed upon in Minsk, Belarus, to end violence in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russia-backed separatists. “The United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground which as you know President Trump believes can be found,” Pence said. Pence was met with outward skepticism from the bloc’s top leaders on Monday.

Trump Not Wrong about Sweden

President Trump’s comments during a Florida campaign rally on Saturday – which some took as a misstatement about a supposed terror attack – dovetail with what Swedish police investigator Peter Springare has been seeing during a typical week in Orebro, Sweden. Five rapes, three assaults, a pair of extortions, blackmail, an attempted murder, violence against police and a robbery made up Springare’s caseload for a five-day period earlier this month, according to a Feb. 3 Facebook post he wrote. The suspects were all from Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Turkey – save for one Swedish man nabbed in a drug-related case. “Mohammed, Mahmod, Ali, again and again,” Springare wrote of those arrested. On Monday, Riots erupted in a heavily immigrant Stockholm suburb Monday night, as masked looters set cars ablaze and threw rocks at cops, injuring one police officer, Swedish officials said. A photographer from media outlet Dagens Nyheter said a group of 15 people beat him as he tried to document the chaos. Reports of rapes in Sweden jumped 13 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, and reports of sexual assaults were up 20 percent. Recent migration to Sweden hit its peak in 2015 with more than 160,000 asylum applications.

Tove Lifvendahl, a Swedish columnist reports, “Sweden has grown used to refugee-related crime stories, from attacks on asylum centres to gang-related killings. I met a journalist in Stockholm a few days ago who told me that such stories – shootings in Malmö, even suicides of unaccompanied child refugees swallowed up by the burgeoning immigrant underclass – don’t make the news in a way they should because such stories have become commonplace. Thousands of kids show up with no parents, are packed off into understaffed homes then are sold into prostitution or trafficked – and the authorities are hopelessly underequipped. The awful truth is that Trump was right to say they are dealing with problems that they never imagined. Who, for example, would have thought Sweden would be Europe’s greatest exporter of jihadis?”

Trump Drafting New Travel-Ban Order

President Trump’s revised travel ban will target the same seven countries listed in his original executive order, but exempts travelers who already have a visa to travel to the U.S., even if they haven’t used it yet. A senior White House official said the order will target only those same seven Muslim-majority nations, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya. Trump was forced to come up with a second order after federal courts held up his original immigration and refugee ban. The official said the order could come sometime this week. Green-card holders and dual citizens of the U.S. and any of those countries will be exempt. The new draft also no longer directs authorities to single out — and reject — Syrian refugees when processing new visa applications.

‘Immigration Launch’ Announced Tuesday

The White House is planning a “big immigration launch” Tuesday morning that will focus on the implementation of the recent Department of Homeland Security proposal that called for the hiring of thousands of officers and fast-tracking deportations, a senior administration official said. The DHS plan was signed Friday by the agency’s new secretary, John Kelly. It would give federal authorities more power to aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the country and along U.S. borders. Kelly called for 10,000 additional ICE officers and agents and 5,000 new hires at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. “The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” wrote Kelly, citing 10,000 to 15,000 more apprehensions along that border between 2015 and 2016. Under the Obama administration, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were the priority for removal. Now, immigration agents, customs officers and border patrol agents have been directed to remove anyone convicted of any criminal offense.

Trump Determined to Find Leakers

President Trump is setting out to uncover the saboteurs leaking damaging details about his administration, as speculation intensifies over whether current officials or a cabal of Obama lieutenants – or both – are leaking sensitive information. One former senior intelligence official told Fox News he suspects ex-intelligence and other security officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, were in some way involved in revealing details of Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. Those details contradicted what Flynn had told Vice President Pence and other Trump officials, leading to his resignation as national security adviser earlier this week. Trump said during his Thursday news conference he’s called on the Justice Department to “look into the leaks” that have buffeted the start of his White House tenure. “Those are criminal leaks,” Trump said.

‘Day Without Immigrants’ Workers Fired

Jim Serowski, founder of JVS Masonry in Commerce City, Colorado, said his employees told him they planned to skip work on Thursday to participate in “A Day Without Immigrants,” the nationwide day of protest. his message to them was clear and unwavering: “If you’re going to stand up for what you believe in you have to be willing to pay the price.” As promised, when his foreman and some 30 brick layers failed to show up for work he fired them all with “no regrets,” he said. “They were warned, ‘if you do this you’re hurting the company, and if you go against the team you’re not a member of the team.” Bill McNally, owner of “I Don’t Care Bar and Grill” in Catoosa, Oklahoma, said his 12 line cooks gave him no heads up that they planned to participate in the day of action. They didn’t even call to say they were not coming in. Consequently, he said they were fired just like anyone else who’s a no-show for work. “If you’re going to be late call in. If you’re not coming to work call us. That’s the American way,” he said.

Historians Rank Obama 12th Best President in New Survey

C-SPAN released a survey Friday that asked historians to rank past presidents. Former-President Obama was voted the country’s 12th best, behind Woodrow Wilson and in front of James Monroe. Historians were asked to essentially grade the presidents on items like “public persuasion” and “moral authority.”  Politico reported that Obama rated high in the category of “equal justice for all,” but received low marks for his relationship with Congress. However, it is difficult to judge the effectiveness of a presidency so soon after the president left office. Abraham Lincoln retained the top position, and George Washington came in a close second. owHHH

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Lobbies for New World Order

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, wrote in a 5,800-word manifesto his personal vision of recreating the world in his image – an image that includes a true “global community that works for all of us,” he said, in an interview with the Associated Press. The manifesto, entitled “Building Global Community,” was posted on Facebook. “Our greatest opportunities are now global — like spreading prosperity and freedom, promoting peace and understanding, lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science. Our greatest challenges also need global responses — like ending terrorism, fighting climate change, and preventing pandemics. Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community… Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community.”

  • A one-world government will come to pass because the Bible tells us so. Unfortunately, anti-Christ humanism and Satan will be in charge. (Revelation 13)

Hundreds in Texas Voted Improperly

Officials in Texas acknowledge that hundreds of people were able to bypass voter ID laws and improperly cast ballots in the presidential election. Voters were able to sign a sworn statement instead of showing ID. The chief election officers in two of Texas’ largest counties are considering whether to refer cases to prosecutors for possible charges. Officials in many other areas say they will let the mistakes go, adding that there was widespread confusion among workers and voters. The law requires voters to show one of seven approved forms of identification. The affidavit process was adopted after an appeals court ruled that the voter ID law discriminated against minorities. The change was intended to help voters who could not obtain identification for a variety of reasons, including disability or illness, lack of transportation or conflicts with work schedules.

Economic News

Small business optimism rose again in January to its highest level since December 2004, suggesting that the post-election surge has staying power, according to the monthly National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism, released last week. “The stunning climb in optimism after the election was significantly improved in December and confirmed in January,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Small business owners like what they see so far from Washington.”

After a painful two-year price war with OPEC, the worst may finally be over for the American oil industry. U.S. oil companies didn’t merely survive OPEC’s attempt to drown them in low prices. The energy industry is emerging from this dark period of bankruptcies and job cuts much leaner and ready to thrive, even at prices that were once too low. OPEC’s decision in November to abandon its strategy of flooding the world with excess supply allowed oil prices to stabilize above $50 a barrel. That bottom in prices has allowed the U.S. shale oil producers that have driven the boom in American oil production over the past decade to once again start pumping more oil. And many have even started to rehire some of the thousands of workers laid off during the downturn.

Israel

Terrorists fired two missiles at Israel from the Sinai Peninsula on Monday. The missiles exploded in an open space in the Eshkol Region, causing no casualties or damage. The Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in the Sinai is suspected of being behind the attack. It occurred a day after ISIS said that the IDF had killed five of its operatives in the Sinai Peninsula who were responsible for a missile attack on the southern city of Eilat 10 days ago. The ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency reported that that an Israel Air Force (IAF) drone fired at the terror cell as it was traveling in a vehicle. The strike occurred on Saturday near the village of Shibana.

Islamic State

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces launched a large-scale military operation on Sunday to retake the western half of Mosul and dislodge Islamic State militants. It is the latest phase in a 4-month-old offensive to retake Iraq’s second largest city. Iraqi forces declared eastern Mosul “fully liberated” last month, however ISIS militants continued to launch attacks there. Hours after the latest operation was announced, suicide bombers struck troops and pro-government Sunni militiamen in eastern Mosul. Plumes of smoke were seen rising into the sky early Sunday morning as U.S.-led coalition jets struck militant positions southwest of Mosul and militarized Iraqi police fired artillery toward the city. The battle for western Mosul promises to be the most daunting yet, as the half of the city west of the Tigris River has older, narrower streets and is still home to hundreds of thousands of civilians, who have been told to shelter in place.

Saudi Arabia

Women are breaking the glass ceiling in Saudi finance. Three top jobs in banking and financial markets have been filled by women within the last week. One of Saudi Arabia’s top banks, Samba Financial Group, appointed Rania Nashar as chief executive officer on Sunday. Saudi-owned Al Arabyia TV reported Monday that another bank, Arab National Bank, has appointed Latifa Al Sabhan as its chief financial officer. The two banking picks follow an announcement last Thursday that the country’s stock exchange would be lead by a women — Sarah Al Suhaimi — for the first time. Some Saudi women have taken leading roles in family businesses but they have not been as prominent in the corporate world. While the Saudi executives promoted in the past few days will occupy influential positions, there are still serious obstacles to women working in the kingdom. They’re not allowed to drive and need permission from a male guardian to travel abroad.

China

The United States deployed the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the disputed waters of the South China Sea on Saturday as part of maritime “routine operations.” Sailing with the 97,000-ton Vinson is the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer, the Navy said in a statement. The Vinson carries a flight group of more than 60 aircraft, including F/A-18 jet fighters. The operation comes amid growing tensions between the United States and China over territory and trade, and as the Trump administration looks set to take a more confrontational stance toward China than his predecessor. During his confirmation hearing, new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said China should be blocked from accessing the artificial islands it’s built, setting the stage for a potential showdown. China’s Foreign Ministry warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty.

Ukraine

Earlier this month, bombs rained down, rocket systems cracked the air and heavy shelling ripped through eastern Ukraine — marking the heaviest level of violence the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) had experienced since a peace agreement was signed in 2015. A tentative ceasefire brokered between the pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine’s army began on Monday, but civilians are not very optimistic that it will hold. The area has seen an uptick in violence the past two weeks, and Russia allegedly brought in heavy-duty armaments — such as the Buk missile system, which is so strong it brought down airliner MH17. Officials speculate that the surge in violence could be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s provocative way of testing President Trump to determine whether the new commander in chief will turn a blind eye to the escalation — or whether he will take action.

Somalia

At least 30 people were killed in a car-bomb blast at a market Sunday. Medina Hospital medics said more than 50 people were injured, some critically. Those injured were mostly traders and customers at the market. The death toll was likely to rise because of the number of seriously injured. The dead included soldiers and civilians. The blast occurred at the Kawo-Godey market in Mogadishu’s Wadajir district. The attack was the first in the capital since the February 8 election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a Somali-American citizen from Buffalo, New York. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast. Previously, Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the country.

Wildfires

Due to record warmth, there have been a greater number of large wildfires so far this year. Through 2/18, there have been 5,087 wildfires that have consumed 127,218 acres compared to the average over the past ten years of 3,445 fires burning 72,203 acres. Most of the large (over 100 acres) wildfires have occurred in Oklahoma which has been unseasonably warm and dry. Currently, there are nine large wildfires burning in Oklahoma which have consumed over 39,000 acres. Thirteen previous wildfires in the Sooner state have been fully contained.

Weather

Officials warned residents in northern California to be ready to evacuate again as a second round of storms is already causing issues in Northern and Central California. At least seven people have been killed by a slow-moving Pacific storm that pounded California with torrential rain and damaging winds as up to 8 inches of rain fell in some parts of the region. A sinkhole opened up last Friday near Studio City, California, swallowing two cars. A second sinkhole opened on southbound Interstate 15, catching a fire truck. Multiple vehicles were swept away Friday night from a road in San Bernardino County, prompting the helicopter rescued of one person from the roof of their car. Winds gusting to 70 mph or more lashed parts of the region, while heavy rains turned creeks and rivers into brown torrents, releasing slews of mud from hillsides burned barren by wildfires. In Marin County, a mudslide on Monday dropped debris and a large tree onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, briefly, closing the roadway in both directions. For the first time since 1997, the spillway gates of the Don Pedro Reservoir were opened Tuesday morning..

Severe storms rolled through Texas Monday morning, and a confirmed tornado left widespread damage in northern San Antonio. More than 100 structures were damaged when a severe storm hit just south of San Antonio International Airport. Most of the damaged buildings were homes, but an elementary school was also damaged. At the height of the outages, CPS Energy reported nearly 40,000 customers without power due to the storms. The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado was spawned near Linda Drive and Interstate 281.

The central and eastern U.S. will continue to experience spring fever through much of this week. The warmer-than-average temperatures have already broken numerous records, and dozens more are likely to be set in the days ahead. Numerous record highs were toppled Thursday-Monday in the Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes and East. Monday marked the fourth-consecutive day that daily-record highs were set in Chicago. Minneapolis/St. Paul set a daily record high for three-consecutive days Friday-Sunday. Monday’s 70-degree record-high temperature in Chicago was only the fifth time in recorded history the Windy City has reached 70 degrees or higher in February. It has been a warm February for the vast majority of Americans living in the central and eastern states, and the vegetation surrounding us is in full response, sprouting much earlier than usual.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: