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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Washington and Europe rush headlong towards accepting a nuclear Iran

The Iranian delegation arrived at the UN General Assembly in New York this week to an enthusiastic Western welcome led by the Obama administration, without having rescinded one iota of its aggressive policies or nuclear ambitions.

“We welcome an Iran ready to engage seriously through that (diplomatic) process given that it represents the international community’s commitment to hold Iran accountable, but also being open to a diplomatic resolution.”

This convoluted message was how Ben Rhodes, US Deputy National Security Adviser, referred Monday, Sept. 23, to the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s get-together with Iranian Mohammad Javad Zarif Thursday, along with foreign ministers of the five world powers.

Their acclaimed purpose is to test Tehran’s willingness for progress in nuclear negotiations. But before this test, the Obama administration agreed to the highest-level face-to-face contact between the US and Iran since the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Rhodes did not shut the door on a meeting, even a brief one, between President Barack Obama and President Hassan Rouhani at this week’s annual gathering of world leaders in New York.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and European Union Foreign Executive Catherine Ashton had already met the new Iranian foreign minister Monday, after which Ashton commented that she had found him resolved to go forward with talks (on Iran’s nuclear program) and “many things flow from that.”

How to account for this burst of eagerness in Washington and Europe for a rapprochement with the Revolutionary Republic of Iran?
Has Tehran agreed to give up its nuclear weapon program? The new president and even supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei say their government will never develop a nuclear bomb. So what if they said so? Have their words caused Iran’s nuclear facilities, open and concealed, to suddenly vanish like a desert mirage?

Has Iran announced itself ready to open up all its nuclear facilities to international watchdog inspections? Will Rouhani make this offer when he addresses the UN Assembly Wednesday?
Has Iran promised to stop developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads?
And what about the Islamic Republic’s long sponsorship of state terrorism against Israeli and Jewish targets across the world? Have those death-dealing networks been recalled home?

And has Tehran started pulling its troops out of Syria and terminated its partnership in butchery with Bashar Assad, given up its control of Lebanon or stopped sending rockets to Hizballah?

Has anyone noticed that Iran is building a Red Sea Naval base at Port Sudan facing the coast of Saudi Arabia? Or that a large-scale munitions production and distribution center for supplying Iran’s Middle East allies is going up in Sudan?

And finally, has Iran abandoned its ambition to wipe Israel off the map, or stopped denying the Nazi Holocaust?

The slick new president easily ducked the second question by saying: “I’m not a historian.”
He and members of his regime have suddenly been given free license to fill the op-ed pages of important Western media with smooth propaganda for Western audiences.
But while polishing his civilized aspect towards the West, Rouhani made sure the day before he flew to New York to display Iran’s steel teeth with its largest display ever of missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers. The 30 weapons on show included 12 Sejil and 18 Ghadr missiles which can reach Israel and US Gulf bases - although Rouhani stated with a straight face that they were “for defensive purposes only.”

The turbaned Iranian president has an obvious motive for gulling the West into accepting the Islamic Republic’s conversion from a regime bent on “exporting the Islamic revolution” to a lover of peace: He was elected to end the sanctions crippling the country, without giving up the regime’s objectives.

It is less clear what moves President Obama to swallow the Iranian bait and go for a historic US rapprochement with the revolutionary republic. On every occasion, he protests that Israel’s security is his overriding concern. Yet he is rushing to accept a nuclear Iran whose avowed ambition is to destroy Israel.

Under their slick new façade, the ayatollahs have not changed their spots. Washington has.
Sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu say he is determined to tear the false veil off Iran’s face – even if he is a lone voice, when he addresses the UN later this month.

Last Thursday, Netanyahu tried throwing water on Rouhani’s claims that Iran’s nuclear program was peaceful, calling them fraudulent. He dismissed Iran's offer to engage in diplomacy as false “media spin,” which should not fool anyone.

But no one in the West was listening. And at home, people were asking what happened to Netanyahu’s solemn pre-election pledge to stop Iran attaining a nuclear bomb.

Credit to DEBKAfile

US braces for shutdown a week before budget deadline

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Obama administration warned US federal agencies to prepare for a possible government shutdown that could hobble the US economy, as Congress wrangled over a fast-approaching budget deadline.

The current fiscal year ends September 30 and Congress remains bitterly split over spending, in particular over President Barack Obama's landmark health care law.

The Republican-led House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would prevent a shutdown at the price of defunding what has become known as "Obamacare."

The president has warned that this is a non-starter, and now the House and Senate are left with one week to thrash out a compromise.

Should they fail, several government agencies will close on October 1, placing hundreds of thousands of non-essential staff on unpaid leave.

Agencies are finalizing contingency plans.

The Pentagon said some civilian employees would be ordered to stay home, and Congress would have to ensure retroactive pay for civilians required to come to work.

"Military personnel would be paid but maybe not on time," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer sought to lay blame squarely on Republicans, some of whom he accused of caring "more about scoring political points on Obamacare than keeping the government open and our economy moving forward.

"This kind of up-to-the-final-hour brinksmanship is beyond irresponsible," he said in an email to Obama supporters.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget recently issued a memo on how agencies should plan for a "lapse in appropriations."

The State Department also cautioned employees.

Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy fired off an email warning that a lapse could mean "a number of employees may be temporarily furloughed."

Under a similar threat in 2011, the administration said 800,000 of roughly 2.1 million federal employees and contractors would be affected.

The Democratic-led Senate is expected to amend the House's stopgap bill, which funds government at current levels until December 15, by removing the clause defunding Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid set up a test vote for the bill this Wednesday, insisting he would not let Republican "fanatics" hold the government "hostage to their demands."

"We're not going to bow to Tea Party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law," Reid said.

A handful of Senate Republicans led by upstart Senator Ted Cruz have pledged to try to block Reid, but by Monday their supporters were peeling away.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not support Cruz's blocking tactic nor will number two Senate Republican John Cornyn, their offices said.

If Reid gets his way, and he is likely to, the chamber would send the stripped-down legislation back to the House. What Republican House leaders do with it is an open question.

Pfeiffer said he was looking to "reasonable congressional Republicans" to help avoid a government shutdown or worse, a default on US debt, with Congress needing to increase the nation's legal borrowing limit in coming weeks or face default.

Americans are firmly opposed to shutting down government, polls show, even over an unpopular health law.

A CNBC poll showed 59 percent oppose the idea, while 19 percent would support shutting down government rather than funding Obamacare.

The US government has shut down several times since the mid-1970s, sometimes for as few as three days.

The last two shutdowns happened in November and December of 1995, the second lasting 21 days, when Democrat Bill Clinton was president.

The battle pitted Clinton against Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich, with the president ultimately vetoing a draft spending bill he considered too austere.

At the time, Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress.

"Republicans now are in a much weaker position than they were in 1995," University of Oklahoma history professor Steve Gillon told AFP. "But they're pursuing the same strategy."

In 1995, essential services like military operations, air traffic control and border security were uninterrupted, but programs not considered essential were shut down.

Garbage piled up in Washington, and research at the National Institutes of Health ground to a halt.

One of the most visible effects was on tourism: all 368 National Park Service sites closed, as did Smithsonian museums, disappointing seven million tourists.

When the dust settled, Gingrich was largely blamed for the debacle -- though he argues that the compromise resolution led to four straight years of balanced budgets.

Credit to Yahoo News


While many were fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent letter to the American people, another letter from another Russian leader—this one directly addressed to the U.S. president—was missed.

On September 10, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill issued a letter addressed to “His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama, President, United States.” Whether one wishes to interpret this communique as a product of politics or sincerity, it accurately highlights the plight of Syria’s Christians, especially in the broader context of a larger civilizational struggle.

I repost major portions of the letter below, interspersed with my observations for added context:

Your Excellency, Dear Mr. President,
The tragic events in Syria have raised anxiety and caused pain in the Russian Orthodox Church. We receive information about the situation there not from the news reports but from living evidence coming to us from religious figures, ordinary believers and our compatriots living in that country.

This is an important point: the “news reports” evaluated by the Russian church are from “living evidence coming to us from religious figures, ordinary believers and our compatriots living in that country.” The fact is, outside of America’s biased mainstream media, the evidence concerning what is going on in Syria—namely, that Islamic militants are committing human rights atrocities, including possibly the chemical attacks in question—is overwhelming. Countless eyewitness testimonies, videos, pictures—all those things that rarely make it to the U.S. mainstream media—make this abundantly clear.

Ask the average Syrian about the current turmoil engulfing their land—and I have, as have numerous Russian Orthodox representatives in communion with Syria’s ancient Christian community, as noted by Kirill—and few have any illusions as to its nature: an authoritarian, but secular, Bashar al-Assad vs. radical Islamists and jihadis.

Naturally most Syrians choose Assad.

Only in America, and to a lesser extent Western Europe, is the myth of “freedom fighters” trying to “liberate” Syria still being peddled.

Syria today has become an arena of the armed conflict. Engaged in it are foreign mercenaries and militants linked with international terrorist centres. The war has become an everyday golgotha for millions of civilians.

To be sure, one of the most obvious indicators that this is no “civil war” in the name of “liberty” is the fact that the majority, up to 95 percent, of those fighting Assad are not even Syrian, but rather al-Qaeda linked jihadis—from Chechnya to the Philippines—trying to form an Islamic emirate in Syria as they did in the 1980s-90s in Afghanistan. Back then, foreign jihadis like Saudi Osama bin Laden and Egyptian Ayman Zawahiri—again, also supported by the U.S.—traveled to Afghanistan, “liberated” it from the U.S.S.R, and then gave us 9/11 in return a decade later.

Here, for example are the militants in a conquered Syrian town singing praises in honor of Osama bin Laden: “They called me a terrorist and I said ‘that will be my honor,’ this is a divine call …. We defeated America … the Trade [Center] became a bunch of rubble … Greetings from the Taliban and its leader mullah Omar… Victory is ours, winning is ours, and Allah with all his strength is with us, the infidel masses have come together to defeat us but they will not defeat us.”

We were deeply alarmed to learn about the plans of the U.S. army to strike the territory of Syria. Undoubtedly, it will bring ever greater sufferings to the Syrian people, first of all, to the civilian population. An external military intervention may result in the radical forces coming to power in Syria who will not be able and will not wish to ensure inter-confessional accord in the Syrian society.

U.S. military intervention would undoubtedly lead to even more human rights abuses, first and foremost at the hands of al-Qaeda jihadis—who in fact are on record vowing to slaughter Christians after the U.S. intervenes and overthrows Assad; Obama just waived a U.S. law prohibiting the banning of terrorist organizations simply to arm and ultimately help them realize their ambitions.

Our special concern is for the fate of the Christian population of Syria, which in that case will come under the threat of total extermination or banishment. It has already happened in the regions of the country seized by militants. An attempt made by the armed groups of the Syrian opposition to seize the town of Ma‘loula whose residents are predominantly Christians has become a new confirmation of our concerns. The militants keep shelling the town in which ancient Christian monasteries are located—the sites of special veneration by the faithful all over the world.

All absolutely true—especially “the threat of total extermination or banishment,” which has been the case wherever and whenever U.S.-backed Islamists come to power:

· Afghanistan: Under U.S. auspices, the supposedly “moderate” Hamid Karzai government still upholds the apostasy law—persecuting those who seek to convert to Christianity, making them just as intolerant as the Taliban—and, under U.S. auspices, destroyed the nation’s last Christian church.

· Iraq: After the U.S. “liberated” the nation from Saddam Hussein, the “chemical-weapon-using-tyrant”—sound familiar?—Christians are still being terrorized into extinction, with more than half leaving their homeland.

· Libya: Since U.S-backed terrorists came to power—giving American the Benghazi consulate attack on the anniversary of 9/11—the tiny Christian community there has been persecuted, including bombed churches and threatened nuns—things unprecedented under the “tyrant” Moammar Gaddafi.

· Egypt: After coming to power, the Obama administration’s Muslim Brotherhood allies enforceddraconian blasphemy codes against Christians and are currently destroying countless churches and in some regions forcing Christians to pay jizya.

· Syria: Atrocities against Christians by the U.S.-backed jihadis know no bounds—such as the recent gang rape and slaughter of a 15-year-old Christian girl by the U.S.-supported “freedom fighters.” And now in Ma‘loula, Christians are being forced to choose between converting to Islam or dying and other atrocities.

The Christian hierarchs of Aleppo, Metropolitans Paul and John Ibrahim, have been held captive by militants since April 22. Nothing is known about their fate despite of the fact that a number of religious figures appealed to the leaders of their states to help to release them.

Indeed, here is yet another example of the nature of the people the U.S. government is supporting. Paul and John Ibrahim were traveling in Syria doing “humanitarian work” when their driver was killed and they were kidnapped. Maybe John McCain can phone his al-Qaeda kidnapping allies and ask them to release them? At any rate, there is no end to the amount of Christians, like Fr. Murad, who have been kidnapped and/or slaughtered by the jihadis in Syria.

I am deeply convinced that the countries which belong to the Christian civilization bear a special responsibility for the fate of Christians in the Middle East.

Here the good patriarch speaks a language that may have once resonated with Americans and Europeans—that is, the people from “the countries which belong to the Christian civilization”—but which is increasingly meaningless to those whose “humanitarian concerns” extend to anyone but those unfashionable Christians, and to some American Protestants who are unaware that Christians actually exist outside of the U.S.

As do all eastern churches, however, the Russia Orthodox Church has centuries long experience with Islamic oppression and violence—beginning with the “Tatar yoke” and continuing to the present—and hence, not only sympathizes with the plight of Near East Christians, many of whom are Orthodox, but, as Putin himself recently asserted in a Russian conference dealing with the plight of Christians under Islam, “Russia has tremendous experience in reaching and maintaining inter-confessional peace and accord, and is ready to share it.”

The Russian Orthodox Church knows the price of human sufferings and losses since in the 20th century our people survived two devastating world wars which claimed millions of lives and ruined many people’s lives. We also regard as our own pain the pain and losses the American people suffered in the terrible terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001.

Alas, some people remember the lessons of history, to their benefit; others forget, to their regret.

Credit to The blaze

Pope expresses good will to Muslims in letter to Sunni imam

Cairo, Egypt, Sep 23, 2013 / 01:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has indicated respect “for Islam and Muslims” in a letter to the head of the main cultural institution of Sunni Islam, marking the end of Ramadan.

Ahmed el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar University, perhaps the highest authority in Sunni thought, received the Pope’s letter at the hands of Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, apostolic nuncio to Egypt, on Sept. 17, Fides News Agency reported.

A statement from the Cairo-based university said that the Holy Father’s letter expressed hope in the attempt to further “understanding among Christians and Muslims in the world” and “to build peace and justice.”

Secretary of the Patriarchate of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts, Fr. Hani Bakhoum, told the agency that the Roman Pontiff’s letter “is a way of expressing the deep sense of respect and affection that the Catholic Church, the Holy See and the Pope have towards all Muslims and especially of al-Azhar, which is the most representative institution of moderate Sunni Islam.”

“Surely this letter will help over time to put aside any misunderstanding and also resume to bilateral dialogue with the Holy See.”

Following an attack on the Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve in 2011, dialogue between the Holy See and al-Azhar was interrupted when, according to Fides, the university “interpreted Pope Benedict XVI’s statements on the need to protect Christians in Egypt and the Middle East as an undue Western interference.”

Credit To Catholic News Agency

Islam Is The Greatest Threat To World Peace

Islamic jihadism continues to cast its dark shadow across the world. The atrocity in the Nairobi shopping centre is a chilling reminder of the global reach of this vile ideology.

The reported death toll now stands at 62, with most of the victims singled out simply because they were not Muslims. That is sectarianism at its most lethal, where every last ounce of humanity is obliterated by a pitiless dogma.

Although the horror is still unfolding at the Westgate mall, it now seems certain that the attack was carried out by the Al-Shabaab group, a Somalian terror cell linked to the Al-Qaeda network.

Islamic jihadism continues to cast its dark shadow across the world. The atrocity in the Nairobi shopping centre is a chilling reminder of the global reach of this vile ideology

This tragedy has been particularly shocking to me, because Kenya is a country I know extremely well.

I lived in neighbouring Uganda for more than 30 years, and regularly visited Kenya, both for business reasons and because I had developed a large number of friendships there.

I left Africa in the Seventies, and the idea back then that Kenya might be ripped apart by fundamentalism would have seemed laughably absurd. Nairobi was an open, prosperous, cosmopolitan city where all races and religions generally lived happily together.

There was little violence and no religious strife. The creed of the African Muslims, with whom I worked and worshipped, was a moderate one. We were on excellent terms with the local Christian communities, regularly attending functions at their churches.

Tragically, all that has changed. Indeed, I could sense a new, more anxious mood in Nairobi during my recent visits within the past few years there to see old friends. There was a smell of fear on the streets. The easy intermingling of the past had vanished.

Houses in the more affluent areas of the city had become mini-fortresses, complete with security grilles and metal doors. Now, as the corpses are removed from the Westgate centre, all the grimmest forebodings have been realised.

Al-Shabaab’s attack in Nairobi has largely been a murderous reaction to the decision by the Kenyan Government in 2011 to send troops into Somalia, under the umbrella of the African Union, to smash the terror regime there.

But we should not pretend that the loud-voiced grievances of the jihadists throughout the world have a shred of justification. The focus of their supposed victimhood varies — they blame anything from American foreign policy to the plight of the Palestinians — but their real aim is the same.

They want to establish a Muslim caliphate across the world, where Islam and sharia law reign supreme. In this religious empire, there is no room for dissent or democracy, no space for compromise or conciliation.

Fear: Al-Shabaab's attack in Nairobi has largely been a murderous reaction to the decision by the Kenyan Government in 2011 to send troops into Somalia to smash the terror regime there

That is why, wherever they operate, the Muslim hardliners are so intolerant. The goal is totalitarian, their methods pure bigotry.

Only this weekend, while one gang of Islamic terrorists was causing mayhem in Nairobi, another gang was murdering 75 Christians at a church in the city of Peshawar in Pakistan, with another 110 innocent worshippers wounded.

And while we in Britain look on in horror at these appalling events in distant lands, the fact is that we cannot pretend that we are immune from the malevolent impact of the zealots in our own country.

It is not just that we have endured a number of serious terrorist attacks in recent years, most notably the London transport bombings in 2007. It is also the deeply worrying social and cultural influence of Muslim fundamentalism within Britain.

The aim of true multi-racialism should be to promote tolerance, understanding and integration. These are vital qualities if our increasingly diverse society is to function successfully.

But while the vast majority of Muslims are tolerant people, the extremists are pushing in precisely the opposite direction. Their eagerness to impose their fundamentalist, alien values is undermining harmony, with suspicion and division rising in their place.

We have endured a number of serious terrorist attacks in recent years, most notably the London transport bombings in 2007

Only this weekend, this was graphically symbolised by reports of events at the Al-Madinah school in Derby, a free school established last year to cater mainly for Muslim pupils. Sadly, the hardliners appear to have taken over its management already.

It’s claimed that, in defiance of all British traditions of tolerance, girls and boys are segregated at the school; that even non-Muslim staff are required to wear the hijab, the Muslim headscarf; and that stringed instruments, singing, the telling of fairy tales and even the use of the word ‘pig’ have all been banned.

I am a proud Muslim — but I find this appalling. Such superstitious, divisive nonsense should have no place in a British school.

We are not living in rural Pakistan or a Taliban-run region in Afghanistan. Apart from anything else, the pupils are being deprived of a proper, rounded education and therefore will not have the same life chances in adulthood.

That is why I am glad the Ofsted inspectors have been sent in to the school. For far too long, the British authorities have turned a blind eye — out of misguided fear of being seen as racist — to the creeping prevalence of militant Islam in our midst.

Too far: At the Al-Madinah school in Derby, even non-Muslim staff are required to wear the hijab, the Muslim headscarf

We see this same fearful attitude in the official tolerance of informal sharia courts in Muslim areas of urban Britain. Such tribunals should not be allowed to operate. Muslims do not need separate judicial institutions.

Under the great English tradition of justice, we are all meant to be equal before the law, regardless of status, wealth or religion. Indeed, it is exactly that genuine equality under the law that has long attracted many migrants to Britain.

How can people ever integrate if the authorities allow separatist enclaves and customs to take root, as we now see all the time in places like Birmingham, Dewsbury in Yorkshire, or Leicester, where I arrived in 1972 and set up my own business interests, integrating happily into the community and setting up civic and political structures to help others integrate?

One of my relatives, who lives in London, recently visited Birmingham to buy some fabrics for his fiancée. On touring some of the city’s Muslim neighbourhoods for such material, he was astonished at how divorced their atmosphere was from mainstream English society, in dress codes, language, food, even architecture.

Women were wearing the full veil or niqab, men foreign garments and headgear. He admitted to me that, despite his own Muslim faith, he felt like ‘an alien’ in this environment.

Nothing imposes that sense of alienation more powerfully than the full veil, which is at the centre of a furore over whether it should be tolerated at educational colleges, or worn by hospital staff and defendants in court.

I personally dislike the growing fashion for wearing it because I feel it is an outward symbol of segregation. There is certainly no religious requirement to wear it. Indeed, I would argue that in British society it is imprudent to wear it, since one of the guiding principles of Islam is that Muslims have a duty to abide by the laws and customs of whatever country they are living in.

Crucially, to me, the veil is a highly politicised refutation of Western values. Its supporters talk about ‘choice’, but there is no choice for schoolchildren or teenage girls from patriarchal families whose parents force them to wear it.

Just as there is no choice for girls who want to mix with boys, or play stringed instruments in Al-Madinah school in Derby, if we are to believe the weekend reports.

My great worry is that, if the British authorities continue to allow the Islamic hardliners to have their way in the name of choice when it comes to segregating boys from girls in schools, or sharia courts, or insisting that women should be allowed to wear veils in all circumstances, then those hardliners will feel they are pushing at an open door.

We must, sadly, accept that there are people in our midst who want to see a hardline Islamist caliphate in Britain. And while the security and intelligence services are nothing less than heroic in their fight against Islamic extremists, continuing to foil terror plots on a regular basis, our civic institutions have in contrast been far too cowardly in their reluctance to challenge fundamentalism.

The shocking slaughter in Nairobi is the true face of Islamic fundamentalism. And we in Britain should never appease such a mentality.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2430179/MANZOOR-MOGHAL-Veils-segregated-schools-risk-sowing-seeds-Islamic-terror-Britain.html#ixzz2fora2uoL

The US Food and Drug Administration will consider allowing Genetically Modified Babies

In October 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration will hold a two-day public meeting to discuss genetic modification within the human egg, which changes will be passed on generationally. The United Kingdom is also moving to allow GM babies.

Human gene therapy has been ongoing since 1990, but most of that involved non-heritable genes, called somatic (non-sex cell) gene therapy. Somatic modifications only affect the individual and are not passed on, and so do not affect the human genome.

The game changed with the successful birth of at least 30 genetically modified babies by 2001. Half of the babies engineered from one clinic developed defects, so the FDA stepped in and asserted jurisdiction over “the use of human cells that receive genetic material by means other than the union of gamete nuclei” (sperm and egg nuclei).

Now the FDA is considering going forward with “oocyte modification” which involves genetic material from a second woman, whereby offspring will carry the DNA from three parents. These kinds of genetic changes (“germline modification”) alter the human genome.

With ooplasmic transfer, the technique injects healthy mitochondrial DNA from a donor into the egg of an infertile woman. Mitochondrial DNA floats outside a cell’s nucleus which contains the regular DNA, and is only inherited from the mother.

This is the first such meeting ever to be held in public by the FDA, reports Biopolitical Times (BPT), speculating that the meeting will likely include discussing a mitochondrial replacement technique developed by Shoukhrat Mitalipov at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).

Notes the BPT, “mitochondrial replacement is a form of inheritable genetic modification.” This type of gene therapy is the source of much controversy, because it permanently changes the human genome and risks unforeseeable changes in growth and development, and aging.

As late as 2008, all germline modification therapies and enhancements were banned in 83% of the 30 nations making up the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), including the US and UK, reports the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS).

In June of this year, the United Kingdom reversed its long-standing policy against germline modification, and decided to go ahead with three-parent babies. Regulations on the procedure are now being drafted and Members of Parliament are expected to vote on the issue in 2014.

Testifying before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade in 2008, CGS Executive Director Richard Hayes advised:

“Most people strongly support therapeutic applications of genetic science, but they also realize that the manipulation of inheritable genetic traits crosses a consequential barrier. In the great majority of instances, couples at risk of passing on a serious genetic disease can ensure that their child is disease-free by means of medically-related trait selection, thus obviating the need for the far more complex and risk-prone intervention that germline modification would entail.”

Making humans better, smarter, stronger has long been the goal of eugenicists. Hayes warns:

“Germline enhancement has also been seriously proposed as a means of creating people with such novel cognitive, psychological, and behavioral traits that they would constitute a new, ‘post-human’ species, incapable of interbreeding with ‘normal’ humans.”

Paul Knoepfler, Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, commented that:

“Moving one oocyte nucleus into the enucleated oocyte of another person could trigger all kinds of devastating problems (most likely through epigenetic changes) that might not manifest until you try to make a human being out of it. Then it’s too late.”

BPT shares in this opposition:

“If the FDA gives the OHSU researchers a green light to move towards human clinical trials, it will be the first instance of regulatory approval for human germline modification ever, anywhere in the world.

”Given the current regulatory void in the United States and the paucity of safety data, allowing scientists to experiment with creating permanent changes to the human genome is a genie that must be kept in the bottle.”

As with genetically modified crops, a host of unforeseen and deleterious consequences may develop when we begin modifying humans with genes their children will inherit. GM feed is linked with infertility and spontaneous abortions in livestock, and crops modified to be insecticidal are linked to declining pollinator populations, especially bees, moths and bats.

But another argument against germline modification is that it will lead to designer babies and a new class of underdogs – those who cannot afford genetic enhancement.

Eugenicists and futurists like Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity Is Near, 2006) foresee and welcome the convergence of the NBIC fields that can improve human performance: nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science.

In 2001, over 50 policy makers and scientists from a range of fields contributed to a National Science Foundation-sponsored workshop on converging NBIC technologies. Within the individual, group and societal level discussions, they addressed key areas of human activity: working, learning, aging, group interaction and human evolution. The consensus reached was to focus a national R&D priority on human enhancement.

In re-opening the allowance for GM babies, whose genetic changes will be passed on to future generations, the FDA is taking the next steps toward toeing the line on genetic human enhancement.

In addition to accepting written comments, the FDA, in collaboration with the Office of Cellular Tissue and Gene Therapies Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, will also provide a free webcast of the two-day discussion. The meeting may be rescheduled without notice, the FDA warns.

- See more at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/genetically-modified-babies/5350370#sthash.f2waA4Rr.dpuf

Welcome to Bizarro America! The World of Liberalism and the Left

What happened to the America we all once knew and loved? The land of - baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. The land of the free and the home of the brave. 

A country where its citizens felt safe and happy and proud to proclaim, “God bless America!” It seems like those noble ideals which made our country strong and great are rapidly slipping away and being replaced by the strange and bizarre. As some of our readers may recall, the Bizarro World was a fictitious planet in the DC comics universe, first appearing in the early 1960s. 

In the world of "Htrae" ("Earth" spelled backwards), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states, "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!”

So without any further ado we say,

Welcome to Bizarro America (or "Acirema”)....

- Where our country was founded by Fascists, Socialists, and Secular Materialists.

- Where abortion, godless immorality, slothfulness and base secularism are called virtuous and protected as constitutional rights.

- Where the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Pro - Choice, the Gay Lobby, and Leftist College Professors are called righteous advocates, noble and just.

- Where Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, Barack H. Obama, John Kerry, Hillary and Bill Clinton are great and virtuous statesmen.

- Where Hollywood, The Kardashians, Lady Gaga, Madonna,  Kanya West, MTV and the mother who has an abortion or a child out of wedlock are virtuous role models for our youth.

- Where the American flag, capitalism, the Tea Party and private enterprise, personal morality and Judeo/ Christian values are viewed as evil hate and abhorred.

- Where people like Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln,Rush LimbaughJim Vicevich, and the Lord Jesus Christ (Who is Almighty God the Son) are wicked and evil haters (Isa 5:20).

Political Correctness has destroyed this great nation and has made right and wrong obsolete.

This is the delusional world of the reprobate mindset of the secular liberals in America today. They slander and vilify any and all that do not line up with their Bizarro American vision for this country (Rom. 1:18-32, Jude 1:10). They label by slanderous accusations those who practice morality and believe in Divine absolutes (e.g., natural and spiritual laws), going so far as brading them as haters, cold-hearted, evil, intolerant, racist and their always favorite tag: Nazis. They are extremely motivated by envy, desperately and defensively driven to push their Bizarro ideology on the will of the American people. They are “180 degrees backwards” in all of their ideology and rationale, which are devoid of any truth. Their subjective, sensual, carnally dominated ideology rejects the concept of absolute truth in all forms (spiritual, moral and natural). Thus, these secular Leftists deny and distort facts that are proven, information that is clear-cut and conclusions that are obvious to any reasonably minded individual. Slander and defamation is their only recourse in any discussion much like their fallen spiritual father (Psalm 49:20; 92:6; 1 Cor. 1:27-28; Philip. 3:18-19; James 3:14-16; 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 1:10).

This is the delusional world of the reprobate mindset of the secular liberals in America today. They slander and vilify any and all that do not line up with their Bizarro American vision for this country.

This thinking is nothing new today; this ideology has dominated the world even before the creation of the World. It appeared first in Almighty God’s RIGHTEOUS Heaven where Lucifer and his angels rebelled against pure (undefiled) REALITY, thus abandoning ETERNAL (spiritual) absolutes for a godlessdelusion (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8). It next appeared in the Garden of Eden(Genesis 3); then in the days of Noah (Genesis 7-8); after that at Babel where its inhabitants rejected Divine revelation for a delusion, which continues until this day (Gen. 11:1-9; John 3:19; Rom. 1:18-32).

The grand conclusion of this madness is coming up in the near future and will be the apex of the upside down, “Bizarro” mindset under Lucifer’s global fascist, the Anti-Christ (2 Thess. 2:7-12). Lucifer and his lawless minion will institute a secular lawless movement of global proportions in “the Abomination of Desolation” or “The Image of the Beast” (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 13:14-15)and “the Mark of the Beast” (Rev. 13:16-18). This apocalyptic movement will be the pinnacle of the abandonment of absolute reality and truth. The end result of this delusion will be the eternal ruin and damnation of billions (Rev. 19:19-21; 20:11-15)(Chart link)

Hear what Almighty God - the Author, Designer and Creator of the cosmos and all spiritual and natural laws governing Heaven and Earth - has to say about these reprobates:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20).

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness(Rom. 1:18).

He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination (a vile stench) to the LORD (Proverbs 17:15).

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, andmen loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19).

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it (John 8:44).

The liberal, secular movement of today is and has been accelerating at an exponential rate. It now dominates all facets of government, the media and the entertainment industry in the U.S.A. It is going to dominate the world coming up very soon under Lucifer’s Anti – Christ (The Man of Lawlessness) The social and cultural landscape in America today is a wasteland polluted with the refuse of "Bizarro” thinking and ideology. How can we as a nation survive?

In the midst of godless social engineering and a nation on the verge of collapse, the God of TRUTH is the only TRUE refuge today. Do your part as an Founding Father American with all your heart but do not trust in the end results.

My dear friend, Conservatives also need to possess a saving faith in Almighty God. A life that is morally upright and socially upstanding still falls short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:8-9). Even conservatives can possess a "bizarro" thinking mindset when it comes to the RIGHTEOUSNESS demanded by Almighty God and a saving faith to Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:2-4, Gal. 1:4, Eph. 2:8-9).

In these days of truly "Bizarro” thinking and backward values, may you be sure that you know the God of TRUTH, and if you do already, may we all allow Him to guard and keep our hearts and minds in His perfect and wondrous peace (Philip. 4:7).

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock(Matt 7:24-25).

Build wisely my dear friends and see rightly!

The Kingdom of heaven is truly at hand!


Credit to the Ignorant Fishermen Blog

QE Worked For The Weimar Republic For A Little While Too

There is a reason why every fiat currency in the history of the world has eventually failed. 

At some point, those issuing fiat currencies always find themselves giving in to the temptation to wildly print more money.  Sometimes, the motivation for doing this is good.  When an economy is really struggling, those that have been entrusted with the management of that economy can easily fall for the lie that things would be better if people just had "more money".  Today, the Federal Reserve finds itself faced with a scenario that is very similar to what the Weimar Republic was facing nearly 100 years ago. 
Like the Weimar Republic, the U.S. economy is also struggling and like the Weimar Republic, the U.S. government is absolutely drowning in debt.  Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve has decided to adopt the same solution that the Weimar Republic chose.  The Federal Reserve is recklessly printing money out of thin air, and in the short-term some positive things have come out of it.  But quantitative easing worked for the Weimar Republic for a little while too. 
At first, more money caused economic activity to increase and unemployment was low.  But all of that money printing destroyed faith in German currency and in the German financial system and ultimately Germany experienced an economic meltdown that the world is still talking about today.  This is the path that the Federal Reserve is taking America down, but most Americans have absolutely no idea what is happening.
It is really easy to start printing money, but it is incredibly hard to stop.  Like any addict, the Fed is promising that they can quit at any time, but this month they refused to even start tapering their money printing a little bit.  The behavior of the Fed is so shameful that even CNBC is comparing it to a drug addict at this point...
The danger with addictions is they tend to become increasingly compulsive. That might be one moral of this week's events.

A few days ago, expectations were sky-high that the Federal Reserve was about to reduce its current $85 billion monthly bond purchases. But then the Fed blinked, partly because it is worried that markets have already over-reacted to the mere thought of a policy shift.

Faced with a choice of curbing the addiction or providing more hits of the QE drug, in other words, it chose the latter.
So why won't the Fed cut back on the reckless money printing?
Well, as Peter Schiff recently noted, Fed officials seem to be convinced that any "tapering" could result in the bursting of the massive financial bubbles that they have created...
The Fed understands, as the market seems not to, that the current "recovery" could not survive without continuation of massive monetary stimulus. Mainstream economists have mistaken the symptoms of the Fed's monetary expansion, most notably rising stock and real estate prices, as signs of real and sustainable growth. But the current asset price bubbles have nothing to do with the real economy. To the contrary, they are setting up for a painful correction that will likely be worse than the one we experienced five years ago.
As I have written about previously, the Federal Reserve is usually very careful not to do anything which will hurt the short-term interests of the financial markets and the big banks.
But at this point the Fed is caught in a trap.  If it continues to pump, the financial bubbles that it has created will get even worse.  If it stops, those bubbles will burst.  But as Doug Kass noted recently, it is inevitable that these financial bubbles will burst at some point one way or another...
"Getting in was easy. Getting out—not so much. The Fed is trapped and can't end tapering or else the bond and stock markets will blow up. The longer this continues the bigger the inevitable burst."
In essence, we can have disaster now or disaster later.
But most Americans don't care much about what is happening on Wall Street.  They just want economic conditions to get better for them and for those around them.  And to this day, the mainstream media continues to sell quantitative easing to the American people as an "economic stimulus" program by the Federal Reserve.
So has quantitative easing actually been good for the U.S. economy?
Not really.
For example, while the Fed has been recklessly printing money out of thin air, household incomes have actually been going down for five years in a row...
Real Median Household Income
What about employment?
Don't more Americans have jobs now?
Actually, that is not the case at all.  Posted below is a chart that shows how the percentage of working age Americans with a job has changed since the year 2000.  As you can see, the employment to population ratio fell from about 63 percent before the last recession down to underneath 59 percent at the end of 2009 and it has stayed there ever since...
Employment-Population Ratio 2013
So where is the "employment recovery"?
Can you point it out to me?  Because I have been staring at this chart for a long time and I still can't find it.
So if quantitative easing has not been good for average Americans, who has it been good for?
The wealthy, of course.
Just check out what billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller told CNBC about quantitative easing the other day...
"This is fantastic for every rich person," he said Thursday, a day after the Fed's stunning decision to delay tightening its monetary policy. "This is the biggest redistribution of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the rich ever."

"Who owns assets—the rich, the billionaires. You think Warren Buffett hates this stuff? You think I hate this stuff? I had a very good day yesterday."

Druckenmiller, whose net worth is estimated at more than $2 billion, said that the implication of the Fed's policy is that the rich will spend their wealth and create jobs—essentially betting on "trickle-down economics."

"I mean, maybe this trickle-down monetary policy that gives money to billionaires and hopefully we go spend it is going to work," he said. "But it hasn't worked for five years."
Sadly, Druckenmiller is exactly correct.
Since the end of the last recession, the Dow has been on an unprecedented tear...
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Of course these stock prices have nothing to do with economic reality at this point, but for the moment those that are making giant piles of cash on Wall Street don't really care.
Sadly, what very few people seem to understand is that what the Fed is doing is going to absolutely destroy confidence in our currency and in our financial system in the long-term.  Yeah, many investors have been raking in huge gobs of cash right now, but in the long run this is going to be bad for everybody.
We have now entered a money printing spiral from which there is no easy exit.  According to Graham Summers, the Fed has "crossed the Rubicon" and we are now "in the End Game"...
If tapering even $10-15 billion per month from $85 billion month QE programs would damage the economy, then we’re all up you know what creek without a paddle.

Put it this way… here we are, five years after 2008, and the Fed is stating point blank that the economy would absolutely collapse if it spent any less than $85 billion per month. This admission has proven just how long ago we crossed the Rubicon. We’re already in the End Game. Period.
Most Americans don't really understand what quantitative easing is, and most don't really try to understand it because "quantitative easing" sounds very complicated.
But it really isn't that complicated.
The Federal Reserve is creating gigantic mountains of money out of thin air every month, and the Fed is using all of that newly created money to buy government debt and mortgage-backed securities.  Over the past several years, the value of the financial securities that the Fed has accumulated is greater than the total amount of publicly held debt that the U.S. government accumulated from the presidency of George Washington though the end of the presidency of Bill Clinton...
The same day that the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee announced last week that the Fed would continue to buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and $45 billion in U.S. Treasury securities per month, the Fed also released its latest weekly accounting sheet indicating that it had already accumulated more Treasuries and MBS than the total value of the publicly held U.S. government debt amassed by all U.S. presidents from George Washington though Bill Clinton.
To say that this is a desperate move by the Fed would be a massive understatement.  We have never seen anything like this before in U.S. history.
And look at what all of this wild money printing has done to our money supply...
M1 Money Supply
In many ways, the chart above is reminiscent of what the Weimar Republic did during the early years of their hyperinflationary spiral...
Hyperinflation Weimar Republic
Just like the Weimar Republic, our money supply is beginning to grow at an exponential pace.
So far, complete and total disaster has not struck, so most people think that everything must be okay.
But it is not.
In a previous article, I included an outstanding illustration from Simon Black that I think would be extremely helpful here as well…
Let’s say you’re at a party in a small apartment that’s about 500 square feet in size. Then suddenly, at 11pm, a pipe bursts, starting a trickle into the living room.

Aside from the petty annoyance, would you feel like you were in danger? Probably not. This is a linear problem– the rate at which the water is leaking is more or less constant, so the guests can keep partying through the night without worry.

But let’s assume that it’s an exponential leak.

At first, there’s just one drop of water. But each minute, the rate doubles. So by 11:01pm, there’s 2 drops. By 11:02, 4 drops. And so forth.

By 11:27pm, there’s only six inches of standing water. Yet by 11:31pm, just four minutes later, the entire room is under nearly 8 feet of water. And the party’s over.

For nearly half an hour, it all seemed safe and manageable. People had all the time in the world to leave, right up until the bitter end. 11:27, 11:28, 11:29. Then it all went from benign to deadly in a matter of minutes.
Are you starting to get the picture?
What the Federal Reserve is doing is systematically destroying the U.S. dollar, and the rest of the world is starting to take notice.
Why should they continue to lend us trillions of dollars at super low interest rates when we are exploding the size of our money supply?
It is simply not rational for other nations to continue to lend us money at less than 3 percent a year when the real rate of inflation is somewhere around 8 to 10 percent and reckless money printing by the Fed threatens to greatly accelerate the devaluation of our currency.
When QE first started, the added demand for U.S. government debt by the Federal Reserve helped drive long-term interest rates down to record low levels.
But in the long-term, the only rational response by all other buyers of U.S. government debt will be to demand a much higher rate of return because of the rapid devaluation of U.S. currency.
So QE drives down long-term interest rates in the short-term, but in the long-term the only rational direction for long-term interest rates to go is much, much higher and in recent months we have already started to see this.
The only way that the Fed can stop this is by increasing the amount of quantitative easing.
Right now, the Fed is buying roughly half a trillion dollars worth of U.S. Treasuries a year, but the U.S. government issues close to a trillion dollars of new debt and must roll over about 3 trillion dollars of existing debt each year.
If the Federal Reserve eventually decides to buy all of the debt, then interest rates won't be a major problem.  But if the Fed goes that far our financial system would be regarded as a total joke by the remainder of the globe and we would reach hyperinflation much more rapidly.
If the Federal Reserve stops buying debt completely, the financial bubbles that they have created will burst and we will rapidly be facing a financial crisis even worse than what we experienced back in 2008.
But almost whatever the Fed does at this point, the rest of the world will probably continue to start to move away from the U.S. dollar as the de facto reserve currency of the planet.  This move is just beginning, but it is going to have major implications for us in the years ahead.  This is a topic that I will be addressing extensively in future articles.
Most of the debate about quantitative easing has focused on the impact that it will have on the U.S. economy in the short-term.
That is a huge mistake.
Of much greatest importance is what quantitative easing means for the long-term.
The rest of the world is losing confidence in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. debt because of the reckless money printing that the Fed has been doing.
But we desperately need the rest of the world to use "the petrodollar" and to lend us the money that we need to pay our bills.
As the rest of the planet starts to reject the U.S. dollar and starts to demand a much higher rate of return to lend us money, the U.S. economy is going to experience a tremendous amount of pain.
It is hard to put into words how foolish the Federal Reserve has been.  The Fed is systematically destroying what was once the strongest financial system in the world, and in the end we are all going to pay the price.
Credit to Zero Hedge