2 Stories on collusion

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hillary

Steele’s stunning pre-FISA confession: Informant needed to air Trump dirt before election

In a 7 May 2019 article at The Hill, we find that some of Hillary’s dirty laundry has been hiding in the State Department for about 2 1/2 years.

If ever there were an admission that taints the FBI’s secret warrant to surveil Donald Trump’s campaign, it sat buried for more than 2 1/2 years in the files of a high-ranking State Department official.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline.

And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia.

Steele’s client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the date of the 2016 election, Kavalec wrote in a typed summary of her meeting with Steele and Tatyana Duran, a colleague from Steele’s Orbis Security firm. The memos were unearthed a few days ago through open-records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United.

(Read more at The Hill)

Do you wonder why A.G. Barr has been under such pressure by Democrats recently?

Hat tip to the Chris Salcedo Show

Mills-Clinton

State Department pushed ‘false connection’ for Trump-Russia investigation, Andrew McCarthy says

The Washington Examiner comments in a 7 May 2019 article how the State Department led us along the wrong path.

The State Department helped push a false narrative that led to the opening of the Trump-Russia investigation, according to former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy.

In an opinion piece for National Review, McCarthy said a key takeaway from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation relates to a conversation Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had with an Australian diplomat that led to the FBI launching its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

Mueller found Papadopoulos told the diplomat, Alexander Downer, the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival in the 2016 election. But it wasn’t until two months later, in July 2016 when WikiLeaks published stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, that Downer decided to reach out to the U.S. embassy in London about the conversation. This prompted the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation, called Crossfire Hurricane, in July 2016.

But, as McCarthy noted, Papadopoulos never told Downer about emails, and Mueller’s 448-page report “provides no basis” to show Papadopoulos knew the Russians planned to released damaging information about Clinton to boost Trump.

This resulted in the “unfounded inference that the hacked emails must have been what Papadopoulos was talking about” when they met in London in early May, McCarthy said. Despite it being a “flawed assumption,” McCarthy said it was all too eagerly accepted by the Trump-opposed Obama administration, which had been toying around with a theory, thanks to unverified reports from British ex-spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, that the Kremlin was in the tank for Trump.

“Downer’s flawed assumption that Papadopoulos must have been referring to the hacked DNC emails was then inflated into a Trump–Russia conspiracy theory by Clinton partisans in the Obama administration — first at the State Department, and then in the Justice Department, the FBI, and the broader intelligence community — all agencies in which animus against Donald Trump ran deep,” McCarthy wrote.

(Read more at Washington Examiner)

Sounds like Barack and Hillary had their hands in this. I wonder if they also forced Nancy and Jerry to take part in these underhanded dealings — since “insurance” is so popular among Democrats.

12 things that show how the press reports on anti-religious attacks

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srilanka_child

  1. Sri Lanka militants set off bombs during raid, killing 15

According to a 27 April 2019 article at the Christian Broadcasting Network, the terrorists who killed over 250 and wounded over 500 also rigged bombs to explode when police came to raid them.

Militants linked to Easter suicide bombings opened fire and set off explosives during a raid by Sri Lankan security forces on a house in the country’s east, leaving behind a grisly discovery Saturday: 15 bodies, including six children.

The gunbattle that began Friday night and the carnage that followed come amid widespread fear of more attacks as officials hunt for militants with explosives believed to still be at large after the coordinated bombings of churches and luxury hotels that killed more than 250 nearly a week ago.

Raids and police curfews have shut down areas of eastern Sri Lanka, and Catholic leaders have canceled Sunday Masses indefinitely. Officials also urged Muslims to stay home for prayers in an extraordinary call by the clergy to curtail worship.

The gunfight came after police tipped off soldiers about a suspected safe house near the town of Sammanthurai, where authorities said the militants detonated three explosions and opened fire.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said that some of the dead likely were militants who blew themselves up in suicide bombings. Earlier, the military said at least one civilian had been killed in the attack.

(Read more at Christian Broadcasting Network)

So it was not bad enough that the Islamists killed 359 Christians and wounded over 500 at 5 churches and several hotels, now they have to kill an additional 15 people (including children)?

As you may have noticed, this has gone unreported in the mainstream media. I guess it doesn’t fit their pro-Sharia agenda.

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FBI discusses Mark Domingo

  1. Man plotted to bomb white-supremacist rally, retaliating for New Zealand mosque attacks, feds say

A 29 April 2019 Washington Post article outlines how Islamic convert Mark Domingo planned to kill both Jews and White Supremacists.

An Army veteran who allegedly planned to bomb a Los Angeles-area white-supremacist rally has been arrested and his plot foiled, authorities said Monday.

Officials identified the man as Mark Steven Domingo, 26, a recent convert to Islam who, they said, was seeking revenge for the March massacres at two New Zealand mosques that left 50 people dead. The FBI had been tracking the California resident for weeks, law enforcement said, and he had spoken to a confidential informant about other possible attacks against Jews, police officers, churches and the famed Santa Monica Pier, a local landmark and tourist destination.

He wanted to cause “mass casualties,” authorities said.

“The criminal case outlines a chilling terrorism plot that developed over the past two months and targeted innocent Americans,” Nicola T. Hanna, U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said in a Monday news conference.

(Read more at the Washington Post)

For what little anyone heard of this guy through the press, it seems counter-narrative (at least for the mainstream press) to say one word about him. He’s Islamic. He wanted to attack White Nationalists and he wanted to kill Jews.

Now, if he had pulled off an attack against a mosque, we would be hearing about this for weeks.

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  1. Shooting at California synagogue kills 1, wounds 3

A 27 April 2019 Christian Broadcasting Network article gives just the bare facts about the synagogue attack in San Diego.

A 19-year-old man armed with a rifle opened fire inside a synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of Passover, killing a woman and wounding three people Saturday, authorities said.

The man, whose name was not released, fled in a car and called 911 shortly afterward to say he was involved in the shooting at Chabad of Poway, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit told reporters.

When an officer reached the man on a roadway, “the suspect pulled over, jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody,” Nisleit said.

The officer found an AR-type rifle in the front passenger seat.

San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said at a news conference that he had no details on motive. Authorities say they were reviewing copies of his social media posts.

There was no known threat after the man was detained, but authorities boosted patrols at places of worship as a precaution, Nisleit said.

The shooting came exactly six months since a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 people in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.

(Read more at the Christian Broadcasting Network)

Sadly, even almost a week after the attack, it seems that just the bare facts have been released about the attack and attacker. Why?

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  1. One Dead, Several Injured In San Diego Synagogue Shooting

In s 27 April 2019 Daily Caller article, we get scant other details.

Several worshipers were injured at a synagogue in San Diego, California during a shooting on Saturday.

At least four victims have reportedly been hospitalized, and one is dead, according to police. Among the victims was the Rabbi who was holding the service. He and two others remain in stable condition.

The suspect is a 19-year-old man who used an AR-15 style weapon, entered the synagogue, and was engaged by an off-duty border patrol agent, according to police.

San DiegoSheriff Bill Gore tweeted earlier Saturday that his department had detained a suspect and said that the victims had been transported to Palomar Medical Center.


(Read more at the Daily Caller)

Is it possible that law enforcement officials are tracking a larger plot? If so, only time will tell. However, I suspect that the suspect just does not fit the narrative that most of the mainstream media wants to pursue. While the Daily Caller may be able to unearth details released in tweets that the rest of the media ignores, we don’t have a Woodward and Bernstein digging into anything these days. (Not that they didn’t try to manufacture something with the Russian collusion tripe.)

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  1. Poway Rabbi: President Trump Was So Gracious, Generous, Comforting

In a 29 April 2019 Real Clear Politics article, a narrative that you will never hear for more than a blip on the mainstream media leaked out.

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, a survivor from the shooting on Saturday at the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California talks to MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt about his phone call with President Trump.

“He was so gracious and generous with his words. Exceedingly comforting to me, my community. He spoke to me like a friend, like a buddy,” Rabbi Goldstein said.

“And we spoke about anti-Semitism. And I asked him, Mr. President, what are you doing about anti-Semitism in the United States of America? And he was very generous in explaining that he has made it as a priority.”

“He said, listen, I have a son-in-law who’s Jewish, a daughter that’s Jewish, I have grandchildren that are Jewish. I love Israel, we’re going to do whatever we can to protect the Jewish people of the United States of America and abroad,” he said.

(Read more and see the accompanying video at Real Clear Politics)

I am surprised that MSNBC allowed this to air and be recorded by our friends at Real Clear Politics. This was a real fluke.

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#1restrictionsKeyfindings_countries

  1. Key findings on the global rise in religious restrictions

On 21 June 2018, Pew Research issued a report on religious restrictions.

Restrictions on religion increased around the world in 2016, according to Pew Research Center’s ninth annual study on global restrictions on religion. This is the second year in a row that overall restrictions on religion – whether the result of government actions or by individuals or societal groups – increased in the 198 countries included in the study.

Here are some of the key findings from the new report:

  1. More than a quarter (28%) of countries had “high” or “very high” levels of government restrictions on religion in 2016, an increase from 25% the year before. …
  2. The share of countries with “high” or “very high” levels of social hostilities involving religion remained stable at 27%. …
  3. A growing share of the incidents of government restrictions or social hostilities in 2016 involved political parties or social groups espousing nationalist positions. …
  4. Overall, the number of countries where various religious groups were harassed either by governments or social groups increased in 2016. …
  5. Among the 25 most populous countries in the world, Egypt, Russia, India, Indonesia and Turkey had the highest overall levels of religious restrictions. …

(Read more at the Pew Research report)

I am thankful that Pew Research has done the leg work to find out how religious people are being repressed worldwide. However, it seems that Pew must be under politically-correct pressure, since you have to drill down into their numbers to see the extent of the acts. Additionally, because the regimes that oppress Christians also oppress other religions (including other sects of Islam for the Middle-Eastern oppressors), the overall picture becomes somewhat blurred.

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anti-Christian

  1. Pew study confirms worldwide Christian persecution

A 7 June 2018 OneNewsNow article shows how the Pew Research report was construed to minimize an increase on attacks on Christians.

While the latest Pew Research Center study confirms what many advocates for persecuted Christians around the world already know – that hostility towards believers is on the rise – the report also finds that harassment of Muslims was nearly on the same level.

The latest study reveals that in 2016, Christian groups were harassed in 144 nations, up from 128 the year before.

This is the ninth annual study conducted by Pew, which reports that China leads the world in government-sponsored restrictions on religious faith, while India leads in social hostilities.

Faith McDonnell, with the Institute on Religion & Democracy, says this is helpful information because Pew is a reputable organization and people are likely to dismiss Christian claims of persecution.

“So it’s good,” she says, “to have a secular group that studies these restrictions on religion.”

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

While this Christian-focused outlet does help, it cannot counter balance the effects of the mainstream media and their bias..

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brokenStarOfDavid

  1. FBI hate crime statistics show anti-Semitic attacks (not anti-Muslim attacks) lead among religiously-motivated hate crimes in the US

Although this resource is not a story, it is something that the FBI releases every year — telling us what hate crimes were committed nationwide two years ago across our nation. Therefore, this annual report acts as a barometer of our ability to function as a pluralistic society.

Thence, it remains a good idea for us to consider the ramifications of the FBI‘s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program and its statistics for 2017 (the most current report as of April 2019).

Religious bias (Based on Table 1.)

Of the 1,749 victims of anti-religious hate crimes:

  • 58.1 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.
  • 18.6 percent were victims of anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias.
  • 4.3 percent were victims of anti-Catholic bias.
  • 3.3 percent were victims of bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).
  • 2.3 percent were victims of anti-Protestant bias.
  • 1.8 percent were victims of anti-Other Christian bias.
  • 1.5 percent were victims of anti-Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Other) bias.
  • 1.5 percent were victims of anti-Sikh bias.
  • 0.9 percent (15 individuals) were victims of anti-Hindu bias.
  • 0.9 percent (15 individuals) were victims of anti-Mormon bias.
  • 0.7 percent (13 individuals) were victims of anti-Jehovah’s Witness bias.
  • 0.7 percent (12 individuals) were victims of anti-Buddhist bias.
  • 0.5 percent (8 individuals) were victims of anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
  • 4.9 percent were victims of bias against other religions (anti-other religion).

To those who attack Jews in America, please answer these questions and consider the accompanying solutions:

  1. Are you doing it because you need attention?

    If so, please consider buying a bullhorn and standing on the corner rather than attacking others.

  2. Do you feel that Jews are controlling your world?

    Save up $150 and join a stock trading club or a local real estate investment club. Work, not pushing other people down, will get you out of the doldrums of debt.

  3. Are you attacking Jews because you think that God has abandoned them?

    If you are an ill-informed Christian, consider Romans 11:1-12. Also, consider that Jesus was a Jew and his disciples were Jews. Although Jesus was put on trial by the Jewish ruling council, Gentiles had a hand in killing Jesus.

    If you are of a religious persuasion that advocates persecution of Jews because they teach that Jews have lost favor with God, what proof do you have that you have not lost favor with God? Consider finding a more loving and faithful God.

.

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And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. (Genesis 12:3 NASB)

Liar

  1. Joy Behar says Trump is ‘the culprit’ in wake of synagogue shooting, as other media points finger at president

As reported by Fox News in a 30 April 2019 article, Joy Behar (who proclaimed Christians mentally-ill if they prayed and who never has condemned Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib) blamed President Trump for the Saturday on the California synagogue.

Anti-Trump TV host Joy Behar has shockingly referred to the president as “the culprit” behind the deadly California synagogue shooting.

During Monday’s “The View“, the panel discussed the shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue on Saturday as worshipers were celebrating the last day of Passover, killing a woman and injuring three others.

“I want to say something about Trump. Last week Biden introduced a video where he brought up Charlottesville. We all saw that. It was very well done. It reminded me we’re losing the soul of America,” Behar said, referencing the show’s recent interview with former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The next day Donald Trump defends Charlottesville once again. Says that these people were historians they were more interested in Robert E. Lee then the fact that they were saying ‘Jews will not replace us,’ they were just historians.”

“Then on Saturday in the morning this assault on the synagogue. Then Saturday afternoon ‘our hearts are with the victims.’ He talks out of both sides of his mouth,” she continued.

“He’s provocative. He gives dog whistles constantly to these people. Then Kellyanne goes out there and defends him and says ‘no no no,’ and he is like ‘no no no.’ Take responsibility for your actions. Mr. President, you are the culprit.”

There is no reason for anyone to watch these opinionated idiots. They need to be off the air..

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NYTcartoon

  1. New York Times publishes anti-Semitic cartoon before Saturday synagogue attack

Then the NYT offers two apologies

As we find in a 30 April 2019 Fox News article, the New York Times has had to face up to its anti-Semitism recently.

After apologizing over the weekend for publishing a syndicated cartoon with “anti-Semitic tropes” in its depiction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump, The New York Times was criticized again Monday over yet another caricature of Netanyahu.

Dan Senor, a former Pentagon aide and advisor to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, called out the “paper of record” for printing another anti-Netanyahu cartoon, this time depicting him as a blind Moses-like figure holding a tablet with the Israeli flag on it instead of the Ten Commandments

“Wait…the @nytimes featured ANOTHER Netanyahu cartoon? This one AFTER the Thursday cartoon depicting Netanyahu as a dog? Am I reading this right? Is the Times obsessed with Israel’s prime minister?” Senor tweeted.

The cartoon appears to have been published this weekend in the international edition of the paper, the same edition that printed Thursday’s cartoon.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the Times to take “immediate action” over the new cartoon.

“This is insensitive, inappropriate, and offensive. It shows once again that the @NYTimes needs to educate its staff about #antiSemitism. We call on them to take immediate action,” Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted Monday.

“Confounded & shocked by another terrible decision by @NYT. As our nation is grieving the deadly attack in #Poway, how did a cartoon like this make it into their paper…again?! We need answers!” Jason Greenblatt tweeted.

Requests for comment were not immediately returned by the Times.

The New York Times Opinion section issued a second apology Sunday over a cartoon of President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which had been criticized.

At one time, the NYT was a source of news with a dollop of opinion. Now, it is a source of opinion (usually anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and anti-American) with a dollop of news.

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WomanReading

  1. Christian Persecution by the Numbers

In a 16 January 2019 article at Open Doors, this organization lays out the degree of persecution that Christians across the world face.

In a year

(from October 31, 2017 to November 1, 2018)

The 2019 World Watch List report is based on comprehensive and investigative research of 150 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith. Each year, our research reveals telling numbers and statistics that give us a glimpse at the depth, prevalence and widespread reach of the persecution believers endure.

Below, we share a quick glance at the numbers during the 2019 reporting period (from Oct. 31, 2017, to November 1, 2018). But by no means do the numbers tell the full story. Each fact and figure represent real people with real lives, families, jobs, churches—fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters—who every day make the dangerous choice to believe in and trust Jesus.

245 Million: In the top 50 World Watch List countries alone, 245 million Christians in the world experience high levels of persecution for their choice to follow Christ.

1 in 9: Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution

14%: The rise in the number of Christians in the top 50 countries on the 2019 World Watch List (WWL) who experience high levels of persecution. (from the 2018 reporting period to 2019’s)

4,136: Christians killed for faith-related reasons in the top 50 WWL countries.

2,625: Christians detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned in the top 50 WWL countries.

1,266: churches or Christian buildings attacked in the top 50 WWL countries.

Every Day

11: Christians killed every day for their faith, in the top 50 WWL countries.

(Read more at Open Doors)

Even with the 300+ who died in Islamic attacks on Easter, most people probably did not hear of this bit of news. That bit of non-reporting just shows the media’s bias.

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Nigeria-Deaths

  1. Nigerian Muslim Militants Kill 120 Christians in Three Weeks

A 16 March 2019 Breitbart article points out how villages have been wiped out from Nigeria while we slept.

The recent death toll of Christians in Nigeria has reached 120 with this week’s slaughter of more than 50 by Fulani Muslim militants in the Kaduna state of Nigeria, the Christian Post reported.

The Fulani jihadists, who have become a greater threat to Nigerian Christians than the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, stormed the villages of Inkirimi, Dogonnoma, and Ungwan Gora in the Kajuru Local Government Area last Monday, destroying 143 homes, killing 52 people, and wounding dozens more.

The assailants reportedly split into three groups, the first of which fired upon the people, the second set fire to buildings, and the third chased down people fleeing from the scene. Victims of the assault included women and children.

Monday’s incident followed an attack the day before in the Ungwan Barde village in Kajuru, where 17 Christians were killed and dozens of homes were burned.

In the first week of March, Muslim extremists massacred more than 30 Christians in Karamar village, setting fire to several houses and a church. The terrorists reportedly shot at families trying to escape the fire, killing 32.

The spate of recent attacks against communities has taken place within the predominantly Christian Adara chiefdom of southern Kaduna.

The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the Kajuru Local Government Area to try to contain the violence.

In late February, militants attacked the Maro village, killing 38 Christians and torching homes as well as a Christian church.

(Read more at Breitbart)

God help our Christian family in Africa. The only way the American media would report on Africa would be if there were mass carnage that they could blame on Christians.

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A petition to hold Obama administration law breakers to task

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It’s Time to Bring Accountability to Obama Era Government

Strzok

Please consider supporting the rule of law by signing a White House petition urging the investigation of law breakers from the Obama administration. Although I did not originate this petition, I wholeheartedly support its goals (which are stated below in the preamble to the petition).

“We the People,” are calling on elected officials, from both parties, to dedicate the same effort, resources and attention to bringing accountability to the Obama Administration, that was used in the Mueller probe and investigations in the House and Senate. We believe, unlike the fake predicate used to justify the Mueller probe, there is actually evidence of law breaking in the previous administration. We also believe the malfeasance ensnares both appointed and elected Democrats. We the people DO NOT WANT TO MOVE ON. Those who worked to divide this country because they lost an election MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

Please help by signing this petition (linked above).

News Surrounding Venezuela

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Soldiers lob tear gas at protesters

Soldiers unleash tear gas amid tension on Venezuela’s border

The Associated Press tells us through a 23 February 2019 article how Venezuelan soldiers shot tear gas at the border

A U.S.-backed campaign to force President Nicolas Maduro from power met strong resistance Saturday from Venezuelan security forces who fired tear gas on protesters trying to deliver humanitarian aid from Colombia and Brazil, leaving two people dead and some 300 injured.

Throughout the turbulent day, as police and protesters squared off on two bridges connecting Venezuela to Colombia, opposition leader Juan Guaido made repeated calls for the military to join him in the fight against Maduro’s “dictatorship.” Colombian authorities said more than 60 soldiers answered his call, deserting their posts in often-gripping fashion, though most were lower in rank and didn’t appear to dent the higher command’s continued loyalty to Maduro’s socialist government.

In one dramatic high point, a group of activists led by exiled lawmakers managed to escort three flatbed trucks of aid past the halfway point into Venezuela when they were repelled by security forces. In a flash the cargo caught fire, with some eyewitnesses claiming the National Guardsmen doused a tarp covering the boxes with gas before setting it on fire. As a black cloud rose above, the activists — protecting their faces from the fumes with vinegar-soaked cloths — unloaded the boxes by hand in a human chain stretching back to the Colombian side of the bridge.

“They burned the aid and fired on their own people,” said 39-year-old David Hernandez, who was hit in the forehead with a tear gas canister that left a bloody wound and growing welt. “That’s the definition of dictatorship.”

(Read more at the Associated Press)

When the socialist leader of Venezuela will not allow starving citizens to get to food and medicine, that shows him to be a dictator.

Aid shipments cross border as soldiers abandon posts

Venezuelan troops abandon posts amid violent clashes with protesters at Colombian border

Fox News reports in a 23 February 2019 article how Venezuelan troops have abandoned their posts in the middle of clashes with protesters.

At least five Venezuelan troops have abandoned their posts at the country’s border with Colombia as confrontations with protesters over incoming humanitarian aid grow more violent by the day.

The soldiers abandoned their watch on Saturday near the Simon Bolivar International Bridge at the Venezuela-Colombian border and reportedly requested assistance from Colombian immigration officials. In nearby Urena, the Venezuelan National Guard fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters attempting to cross the border in order to work, BBC reports. Protesters were seen throwing rocks at troops and attacking buses.

At the country’s other border in Brazil, four people have been killed as of Friday, and an additional 18 have been injured by colectivos — armed gang members who support President Nicolas Maduro, according to Alfredo Romero, the director and president of the Venezuelan human rights association Foro Penal.

Rising tensions have erupted amid opposition leader and self-declared President Juan Guaido’s decision to lead a caravan with thousands of volunteers to the Colombian border to collect at least 200 tons of humanitarian aid, primarily food and medicine. On Saturday, Guaido announced that the first shipment of aid had crossed the border from Brazil, calling it a “great achievement.” That statement, however, has been refuted by news that two trucks carrying aid from Brazil are stuck at the Venezuelan border.

(Read more at Fox News)

It is heartening to hear that at least some of the soldiers had compassion on the starving citizens and abandoned their posts. While it is understandable (since Maduro’s military holds the families of the soldiers), it is sad that some soldiers would fire on civilians trying to reach food and medicine.

Venezuela humanitarian aid met with tear gas and gunfire on borders

Venezuela humanitarian aid met with tear gas and gunfire on borders

Reuters reports in a 23 February 2019 article how Maduro deals with protestors.

Troops loyal to President Nicolas Maduro turned back foreign aid convoys from Venezuela’s border using tear gas and rubber bullets on Saturday, killing two protestors and putting his socialist government on a collision course with Washington.

Trucks laden with U.S. food and medicine for Venezuela returned to warehouses in Colombia after opposition supporters failed to break through lines of troops, who fired rubber rounds to disperse them, injuring dozens of people.

Angered by the Colombian government’s support for opposition leader Juan Guaido, Maduro said he was breaking diplomatic relations with Bogota and gave its diplomatic staff 24 hours to leave the country.

Guaido, who most Western nations recognize as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, had given a personal send-off to Saturday’s convoy carrying aid from the Colombian city of Cucuta.

The opposition had hoped Venezuelan soldiers would baulk at turning back supplies desperately needed in the country, where a growing number of its 30 million people suffer from malnutrition and treatable diseases.

(Read more at Reuters)

Two killed and 12 injured in clash at border with Brazil

Two people killed in Venezuelan town near Brazil in clashes over aid

Reuters reports in a 23 February 2019 news release how Maduro deals with those who try to get aid.

Two people were killed on Saturday in the Venezuelan town of Santa Elena de Uairen in clashes with security forces over the opposition’s plan to bring in aid from nearby Brazil, a doctor at the hospital where they were taken said.

We must all pray for the families of those who were shot.

Maduro meets with US envoy

Maduro reveals secret meetings with US envoy

AP News reports from a 15 February 2019 interview how Maduro has been meeting with a US envoy.

A month into Venezuela’s high-stakes political crisis, President Nicolas Maduro revealed in an Associated Press interview that his government has held secret talks with the Trump administration. He also predicted he would survive an unprecedented global campaign to force his resignation.

While harshly criticizing President Donald Trump’s confrontational stance toward his socialist government, Maduro said Thursday that he holds out hope of meeting the U.S. president soon to resolve a crisis triggered by America’s recognition of his opponent, Juan Guaido, as Venezuela’s rightful leader.

Maduro said that during two meetings in New York, his foreign minister invited the Washington-based special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, to visit “privately, publicly or secretly.”

“If he wants to meet, just tell me when, where and how and I’ll be there,” Maduro said without providing more details. He said both New York meetings lasted several hours.

U.S. officials have not denied Maduro’s claim of talks.

A senior administration official in Washington who was not authorized to speak publicly said U.S. officials were willing to meet with “former Venezuela officials, including Maduro himself, to discuss their exit plans.”

(Read more at >AP News)

Since we are to pray for our leaders, we should pray for the work of this envoy and the Venezuelan diplomats. Hopefully, Maduro will allow a regime change in what was once the most prosperous country of South America.

Russia's Gazprombank freezes PDVSA accounts

Russia’s Gazprombank freezes accounts of Venezuela’s PDVSA

We read in a 17 February 2019 Reueters article that Russian bank Gazprombank froze Venezuela’s PDVSA.

Russian lender Gazprombank has decided to freeze the accounts of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and halted transactions with the firm to reduce the risk of the bank falling under U.S. sanctions, a Gazprombank source told Reuters on Sunday.

While many foreign firms have been cutting their exposure to PDVSA since the sanctions were imposed, the fact that a lender closely aligned with the Russian state is following suit is significant because the Kremlin has been among Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s staunchest supporters.

“PDVSA’s accounts are currently frozen. As you’ll understand, operations cannot be carried out,” the source said. Gazprombank did not reply to a Reuters request for a comment.

PDVSA brandished the story as “fake news” on its Twitter account in capital red letters, but did not reply to a request for comment.

(Read more at Reueters)

Like the saying goes, “There is no free lunch.” Someone will pay in the end.

It is just too bad that Venezuela’s banks have been emptied, its riches made near worthless, and its peoples starved all while Maduro gets fatter.

Colombia leader urges China to back Maduro foes

Colombia leader urges China to back Maduro foes

Seeking a more stable neighbor, Columbia has urged China to support the foes of Maduro — as reported in a 14 February 2019 Associated Press article

The president of Colombia says China’s role in Latin America would be stronger if the Asian country recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president instead of backing President Nicolas Maduro.

Speaking during a visit to Washington, Ivan Duque said Thursday: “I really would advise China to make that decision.”

China is one of 16 countries that have publicly supported Maduro during the recent resurgence of Venezuela’s political crisis. The United States, Canada, most Latin American nations and many European countries are siding with Guaido.

The Colombian leader is also urging the international community to cooperate so humanitarian aid can be taken into Venezuela on Feb. 23 as Guaido is planning. Venezuelans have been suffering with severe shortages of food and medicine amid their country’s economic collapse.

Duque says that “February 23 has to be the day in which everybody mobilizes and tells the dictatorship: ‘That’s it. Allow the humanitarian aid.’”

(Read more at the Associated Press)

Venezuela shifts oil ventures' accounts to Russian bank

Venezuela shifts oil ventures’ accounts to Russian bank

Reuters reports in a 9 February 2019 article how Venezuela has shifted their monies to a Russian bank.

Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters on Saturday.

PDVSA’s move comes after the United States imposed tough, new financial sanctions on Jan. 28 aimed at blocking Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s access to the country’s oil revenue.

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido said recently that a fund would be established to accept proceeds from sales of Venezuelan oil.

The United States and dozens of other countries have recognized Guaido as the nation’s legitimate head of state. Maduro has denounced Guaido as a U.S. puppet seeking to foment a coup.

(Read more at Reuters)

Oil workers flee Venezuela's crisis for a better life

Oil workers flee Venezuela’s crisis for a better life

According to one Associated Press article dated 8 February 2019, Venezuelan oil workers have been fleeing the regime as they seek a better life.

Nieves Ribullen, a Venezuelan oil worker sick of struggling to get by as his country falls apart, is betting it all on Iraq’s far-away Kurdish region to give his family a better life.

Over the years he’s watched dozens of co-workers abandon poverty wages and dangerous working conditions at the rundown complex of refineries in Punto Fijo on Venezuela’s Caribbean coast for jobs in far-flung places like Kuwait, Angola and Chile.

Now it’s his turn. Leaving his wife and three children behind, he’ll soon ship out to Iraq’s semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, where he expects to earn more than $3,500 a month — a fortune compared to the less than $20 he brings home monthly in increasingly unstable Venezuela.

“I only earn enough to buy a kilo (2 pounds) of meat and one chicken each month,” Ribullen said. “We’re in chaos.”

Opposition leader Juan Guaido has rallied support from distraught Venezuelans and roughly 40 countries that now recognize him as Venezuela’s rightful president.

But the accelerating exodus of oil workers means that Venezuela’s crude production — already at a seven-decade low — is unlikely to rebound anytime soon, even if recently-imposed U.S. sanctions are lifted and a business-friendly government replaces the increasingly wobbly President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela was once one of the world’s top five oil exporters, pumping 3.5 million barrels a day in 1998 when President Hugo Chavez was elected and launched Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution. Today, the state-run oil company PDVSA produces less than a third of that. Critics blame corruption and years of mismanagement by the socialist government.

Even worse, production is about to sink even further due to fresh sanctions by the Trump administration targeting PDVSA that have essentially cut off Venezuela from its Houston-based cash-cow, Citgo, with the aim of depriving Maduro of more than $11 billion in exports this year.

Despite the short-term pain they will bring Venezuela, Guaido said the sanctions are a critical part of stopping Maduro from consolidating power in what he calls a “dictatorship.”

(Read more at the Associated Press)

As for myself, I work for a oil-industry company. If the government of my country had changed to the extent that it threatened my family’s life and my life, I would take the action taken by these workers.

‘I Am Just Another Soldier’: Maduro Trains to Fight U.S. Troops

A 7 February 2019 Breitbart article shows how a coward Venezuelan who lost the election now pretends to be a common man and a protector.

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro once again posted videos of himself Wednesday appearing to train with his armed forces to prepare for an allegedly incoming U.S. invasion, this time participating in what appear to be cardiovascular exercises and training with the national air force.

Maduro has managed to retain control of much of the military since the nation’s legislature, the National Assembly, deposed him and replaced him with current President Juan Guaidó, as mandated by the Venezuelan constitution. The Air Force, however, has been among the least loyal. Last week, one of the highest ranking soldiers to defect to Guaidó, Air Force General Francisco Esteban Yánez Rodríguez posted a video on social media claiming “90 percent of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces are not with the dictator” and urging more to defect.

Maduro’s visit to air force training appears to be an attempt to dispel the perception of abandonment that Yánez’s video created.

(Read more at Breitbart)

Yeah. Maduro is “just another soldier.” Only thing is that his family is not starving, he is twice as fat as any soldier, and he has about 200 Russian mercenaries around him. But otherwise …

How Venezuela turns its useless bank notes into gold

According to a 10 February 2019 Reuters article, Maduro has found another way to extract money out of a bankrupt society where people eat pets.

Venezuela’s most successful financial operations in recent years have not taken place on Wall Street, but in primitive gold-mining camps in the nation’s southern reaches.

With the country’s economy in meltdown, an estimated 300,000 fortune hunters have descended on this mineral-rich jungle area to earn a living pulling gold-flecked earth from makeshift mines.

Their picks and shovels are helping to prop up the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro. Since 2016, his administration has purchased 17 tonnes of the metal worth around $650 million from so-called artisan miners, according to the most recent data from the nation’s central bank.

Paid with the country’s near-worthless bank notes, these amateurs in turn supply the government with hard currency to purchase badly needed imports of food and hygiene products. This gold trade is a blip on international markets. Still, the United States is using sanctions and intimidation in an effort to stop Maduro from using his nation’s gold to stay afloat.

The Trump administration is pressuring the United Kingdom not to release $1.2 billion in gold reserves Venezuela has stored in the Bank of England. U.S. officials recently castigated an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm for its Venezuela gold purchases, and have warned other potential foreign buyers to back off.

The existence of Maduro’s gold program is well-known. How it functions is not.

To get a glimpse inside, Reuters tracked Venezuela’s gold from steamy jungle mines, through the central bank in the capital of Caracas to gold refineries and food exporters abroad, speaking with more than 30 people with knowledge of the trade. They included miners, intermediaries, merchants, academic researchers, diplomats and government officials. Almost all requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, or because they feared retribution from Venezuelan or U.S. authorities.

(Read more at Reuters)

If you look at how the rich in Venezuela have taken the near-worthless notes and turned them into gold, think about the poor Venezuelans under the boot of socialism. Think about how they have been starving. Think about how their money has been made worthless. Think about how they have been bartering for what they need for years.

US emergency aid for Venezuela arrives at Colombian border

US emergency aid for Venezuela arrives at Colombian border

An Associated Press article dated 8 February 2019 tells us that US aid for the citizens of Venezuela arrived at the Columbian border.

Trucks carrying U.S. humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela arrived Thursday at the Colombian border, where opposition leaders vowed to bring them into their troubled nation despite objections from embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

Two semi-trailers loaded with boxed emergency food and medicine rolled into the Colombian border city of Cucuta, which is just across the river from Venezuela.

“The United States is prepositioning relief items — including food, nutritional supplements, hygiene kits and medical supplies — in Colombia so they are available to reach those most in need in Venezuela, as soon as possible,” said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.

The focus of Venezuela’s political fight now hinges on whether Maduro will allow the aid to enter the country, a move anticipated in coming days.

Maduro denies a humanitarian crisis exists and says Venezuela is not a country of beggars. The Venezuelan military has barricaded a bridge between the two nations with a tanker and two cargo trailers in an apparent attempt to block the aid.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who requested the international assistance, said it is necessary in a country racked by shortages of food and medicines.

Guaido, who has the backing of some 40 countries, including the United States, is seeking to oust Maduro following a 2018 election that many have denounced as a sham. Long-time allies Russia and China and several other countries continue to support Maduro.

About a dozen human rights activists stood at the gated entrance to the Tienditas International Bridge on Colombia’s side, demanding Maduro allow the emergency aid to cross into Venezuela. They waved flags while Colombian police trucks carrying armed officers and other authorities drove by throughout the day.

(Read more at the Associated Press)

So America gives to the Venezuelan people and Maduro has his troops set the trucks on fire. The only vehicles that survive are those that stay out of Venezuela.

Could women in white sway soldiers who block aid?

Could women in white sway Venezuelan soldiers blocking aid

In a 8 February 2019 Associated Press article, we are told how the women in white might sway the soldiers.

The soldiers blocking humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela look unlikely to give any ground, but Maria Acevedo thinks she knows how to make them let the shipments through.

Acevedo, 26, wants to join together with fellow Venezuelan women and escort the food and medicine across the border from Colombia.

Her bet is that a group of hungry and suffering mothers, sisters and daughters can convince the soldiers to break with President Nicolas Maduro and let the US aid shipments pass.

Maduro, who is locked in a power struggle with opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido, refuses to let the aid through. He calls it a “show” and says Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis has been manufactured by Washington to justify a “coup.”

What happens to the sea of shiny white plastic bags filled with vital supplies — and to Venezuela itself — now hinges on the military, which has so far stood by Maduro.

But Acevedo, who has three children, thinks she and her fellow Venezuelan women can change that.

She should know — she comes from a family of soldiers.

“I come from a military family, too. And my family is against this, against the army blocking humanitarian aid.

“But my family can’t do anything. Only the top brass,” Acevedo told AFP in Cucuta, on the Colombian side of the border.

(Read more at the Associated Press)

The answer is, “No.”

Internet censors hit the Venezuelan opposition

Venezuelan opposition targeted by internet censors

The Associated Press reports in a 3 February 2019 article that Maduro’s opposition has experienced targeting by Internet censors.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido’s calls for Venezuelans to abandon Nicolas Maduro’s government are booming across the world outside, but the self-declared interim president is having a harder time delivering his message at home.

Watchdog groups in Venezuela and abroad say Guaido’s efforts to reach citizens via the internet have been hindered by the dominant provider — state-run CANTV — in a country where critical newspapers and broadcast media already have been muzzled.

Since Jan. 23, when Guaido proclaimed himself interim president and when protests against Maduro’s rule broke out, CANTV has blocked access to social media sites at least four times, according to the monitoring groups.

Those disruptions have coincided with politically significant events, including a rally attended by thousands of people last week and a Jan. 27 night speech that Guaido livestreamed on Periscope to call for a new round of protests and urge members of the military to defect.

CANTV accounts for about 70 percent of Venezuela’s fixed internet connections and 50 percent of mobile, and Netblocks, a non-government group based in Europe that monitors internet censorship, found that the government provider blocked Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube during 12 of the 13 minutes that Guaido’s speech lasted, so the stream could only be seen without interruptions by people using privately run internet providers.

The organization runs tests from its headquarters with software that captures evidence of connection failures. It also has designed a scanner app that volunteers in affected countries can use to run tests from their own phones or computers.

(Read more at the Associated Press)

You can always count on Facebook, Google, Twitter, and tech companies to be on the side of tyranny.

Chavez-era ex-officials turn backs on Venezuela’s Maduro

A 2 February 2019 France24 article points out how the old guard Socialists in Venezuela have started to abandon Maduro.

They embraced the socialist revolution of late leader Hugo Chavez along with millions of other Venezuelans, but four former officials have now been left disillusioned by Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

These officials from the Chavez era consider Maduro “illegitimate,” but they are torn between supporting self-proclaimed president-elect Juan Guaido and looking for another way out of the political crisis.

Maduro, with the backing of the powerful military, is desperately trying to hold onto power in the face of opposition leader Guaido’s audacious challenge, supported by the United States.

Twenty years after Chavez came to power, the country is in the grip of economic and political crises, and the four “Chavistas” have turned their back on his hand-picked successor.

(Read more at France24)

Mutiny Breaks Out At Venezuela’s Central Bank

According to a 2 February 2019 blog post at Zero Hedge, Venezuela’s central bank has started to revolt.

While the world obsesses how much longer Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro can remain in power before he loses the support of the local military or the US deploys yet another “humanitarian mission” to depose him, forcing the embattled dictator to place several tons of the country’s dwindling gold on a cargo plane to a non-extradition destination as he takes one final trip abroad, the ongoing “soft coup” is also playing out within the halls of the central bank, where in addition to a lot of currency printing in recent years, Bloomberg reports that staffers are waging a small mutiny and refusing to sign-off on key bank transactions.

(Read more at Zero Hedge)

Russian mercenaries reportedly in Venezuela to protect Maduro

Russian mercenaries reportedly in Venezuela to protect Maduro

The Guardian reports in a 25 January 2019 article that Maduro does not trust Venezuelan troops enough to use them in his protection detail.

Russian private security contractors have travelled to Venezuela to provide security to the embattled president Nicolás Maduro, the Reuters news agency has reported.

Citing three sources, the news agency said that the mercenaries are linked to the Wagner group, which has carried out missions in Ukraine and Syria and is now reportedly active in countries in Africa, too.

If it is confirmed that contractors from the group traveled to Venezuela, this would be their first known deployment in the western hemisphere.

“The order came down on Monday to form a group to go to Venezuela. They are there to protect those at the highest levels of the government,” Yevgeny Shabaev, a Cossack leader with ties to military contractors, told the Guardian by telephone.

Shabaev, one of the sources cited by Reuters, is a campaigner for the rights of veterans, a group that overlaps heavily with those who join mercenary groups in Russia. He said he had been told about the trip by the relatives of the military contractors. A government spokesman did not immediately respond for comment about the report, although he had earlier told Reuters that the Kremlin had “no such information”.

(Read more at the Guardian)

Let’s see, Russian mercenaries protect Venezuelan President Maduro and Senators Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders are adamant about keeping American troops out of Venezuela. If there are Russian mercenary companies there, does anyone suppose that they have no connection to the Russian military?

Are the American socialists opposing any intervention in Venezuela because they don’t want to have both the Russian socialists and Venezuelan socialists bested?

Pirates of the Caribbean: Venezuelans stalking open seas as economy collapses

Britian’s Telegraph reports in a 30 December 2019 article that Venezuelans have started acting as pirates.

With rich Caribbean fishing grounds on their doorstep, the villagers of Cedros in Trinidad are never short of fishermen’s tales to tell.

The latest stories to do the rounds though, are not about record-breaking hauls of kingfish. Today the fishermen themselves have become the catch.

“I was out picking up my nets late one afternoon when a boatload of armed men came at me at full speed,” said Brian Austin, 54. “From about 200 metres away they started firing shots around my boat – it was terrifying. Luckily, I have a high-powered engine, so I managed to speed off, but they took my nets and all the fish in them.”

(Read more at the Telegraph)

Venezuela & Russia are setting up a nuclear bomber base on idyllic Caribbean island

According to a 26 December 2018 article in The Sun, there is a cooperation between Venezuelan and Russian forces on a certain Caribbean island.

Venezuela’s socialist president Nicolas Maduro did not object to the proposals, according to Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

The deployment will represent the one of the largest postings of the Russian military in the region since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Under Venezuelan law, military bases cannot be established by foreign nations in the country, but a temporary deployment of warplanes is possible.

Maduro and his left-wing administration has an acrimonious relationship with Washington.

(Read more at The Sun)

Oil output goes AWOL in Venezuela as soldiers run PDVSA

Reuters reports in a 26 December 2018 article that tells us how the Venezuelan military has taken over the oil industry of the country.

Last July 6, Major General Manuel Quevedo joined his wife, a Catholic priest and a gathering of oil workers in prayer in a conference room at the headquarters of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA.

The career military officer, who for the past year has been boss at the troubled state-owned oil company, was at no ordinary mass. The gathering, rather, was a ceremony at which he and other senior oil ministry officials asked God to boost oil output.

“This place of peace and spirituality,” read a release by the Oil Ministry that was later scrubbed from its web site, “was the site of prayer by workers for the recovery of production of the industry.”

President Nicolas Maduro turned heads in November 2017 when he named a National Guard general with no oil experience to lead PDVSA [PDVSA.UL]. Quevedo’s actions since have raised even more doubts that he and the other military brass now running the company have a viable plan to rescue it from crushing debt, an exodus of workers and withering production now at its lowest in almost seven decades.

(Read more at Reuters)

Russian/Venezuelan cooperation in the Caribbean

A 14 December 2018 post at Tsarizm claims that Russia is in the process of setting up a military post on a Venezuelan island.

Russia has decided to develop a long-term military presence in the Caribbean in conjunction with the socialist nation of Venezuela, on one of its islands in the Caribbean Sea. The move seems to be a response to the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The recent flights of Russian Tu-160 long-range nuclear bombers are part of this effort.

“According to military envoys, Russian authorities have made a decision (and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not object) to deploy strategic aircraft to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea, which has a naval base and a military airfield. Ten years ago, Russian experts and Armed Forces commanders had already visited the island of La Orchila, located 200 kilometers northeast of Caracas. Venezuelan laws prohibit the setup of military bases in the country, but a temporary deployment of warplanes is possible,” reported Russian state news agency TASS.

(Read more at Tsarizm)

German Media Suggests Venezuela Might Become Russia’s ‘New Cuba in US Backyard’

A 15 December 2018 post at Sputnik News points out that Venezuela has lined up to become Russia’s “new Cuba.”

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine has alleged that the disturbance in US government circles, which was incited by the visit of Russian Tu-160s to Venezuela, is caused by the fact that while the US grip on the region weakens, especially on Venezuela itself, Russia is continuing to cement its positions in the Latin American country. The newspaper even suggested that Venezuela might become a “new Cuba in the US backyard” for Russia.

(Read more at Sputnik News)

Fleeing Venezuela, migrants flood Colombia amid region’s worst humanitarian crisis in decades

USA Today reports in a 19 November 2018 article how Venezuelans flooded the Columbian border rather than starve.

Lis Torrealba, a teenage mother from Venezuela, is perched on the edge of a milling street in downtown Medellin, Colombia, the same way she came to the country: alone, with her one-year-old daughter swaddled in the crook of her arm.

Once a student, Torrealba fled across the Venezuelan border three months ago with no prospects of a visa, a job or a future in Colombia.

“The money in our country, I couldn’t even buy candy if I wanted to,” she said. “I can’t buy anything, if there’s something you need. You would need a stack of money to even pay for a tomato. You would need a big stack of money.”

Now, Torrealba is among more than 1 million Venezuelans who crossed into Colombia fleeing widespread food and medicine shortages, rampant hyperinflation and violence by the regime of President Nicolás Maduro.

United Nations refugee officials said last week that the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants who have fled their South American homeland has topped 3 million people. More than 1 million are in Colombia and almost 500,000 are in Peru, while the rest are in Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Venezuela is home to about 32 million people.

(Read more at USA Today)

Venezuelan firefighters jailed for mocking Maduro

Reuters reports in a 26 September 2018 article how Venezuelan firefighters have been jailed for mocking Maduro.

Two Venezuelan firefighters were detained by military officers this week as suspects behind the making of a viral video that mocked unpopular President Nicolas Maduro by likening him to a donkey touring a fire station, two rights groups said on Friday.

Government critics, who say former bus driver and union leader Maduro is to blame for oil-rich Venezuela’s brutal five-year recession, have long nicknamed him “Maburro,” a play on the Spanish word for donkey, “burro.”

The video showed a man using a rope to lead a donkey through a fire station in the Andean state of Merida. A narrator feigns guiding the president on an official visit in a style that seemed to make fun of fawning coverage on state television.

“Good evening comrades, as you can see we are receiving the visit of President Maduro. He is doing an inspection,” the man filming says in the video, as the donkey slowly walks through a dimly lit, spartan fire station.

As the donkey chews on a verdant patch overlooking a valley, the narrator says, “He is checking whether the grass is in a good state or not.”

(Read more at Reuters)

One point of division & one point of agreement on the Syrian withdrawal


The point of division

I’m with Trump on most policies, just not on the abandonment of Syrian Kurds, Christians, and Yazidis

As evidenced by my previous posts, I support the safety and livelihood of Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. As evidenced by my posts, I have agreed with most of Trump’s actions in Syria. Recently, one strong point of agreement centers on the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018 that promises to fund relief of Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq.

Problem is that this law does not provide protection for the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. Additionally, since it provides no protection, we know from prior experience what will happen when the current protection moves out. During Obama’s tenure, his abandonment of Iraq resulted in the birth of ISIS. Therefore, I (like the IDF reservist quoted below) oppose this policy of pulling out of Syria.

IDF reserve officer warns of Iran inroads

Former IDF officer: Withdrawal from Syria means Iran wins

As outlined in a 20 December 2018 OneNewsNow article, Israeli Defense Force Lt. Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi suggests that America’s withdrawal from Syria will result in a win for Iran.

Wednesday’s announcement for the U.S. to withdraw all its military forces from Syria marks an abrupt end to America’s strategy in the region – and sparks major concern from Israel, one of America’s greatest allies.

OneNewsNow spoke with Lt. Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi about the announcement. Zehavi, a former intelligence officer with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) within the IDF Northern Command, contends the move to extract a few thousand forces from Syria “will give Iran the ability to gain a massive stronghold in the region.”

As founder of the ALMA Research and Development Center in Israel, she attests that “a ground corridor to transfer weapons and soldiers from Tehran to Damascus and Beirut” will finally be established.

Zehavi says the efforts of Iran “to build a ground corridor – consisting of highways, roads and railways – began upon the regime change” in Iraq in 2003. However, the Syrian civil war put Iran’s efforts on hold.

Although ISIS was vastly incapacitated in Iraq and the greater majority of its territories were captured in Syria, Zehavi explains “[these] circumstances actually allowed Iranians to develop a ground corridor from Tehran to Damascus, through Iraq.” It is through this corridor, she says, that the Iranians will be “enabled to transfer weapons beyond Damascus” and all the way “to Israel’s northern border – into the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon.” The former IDF officer identifies three potential routes that would provide a “continuous road-link” connecting Iran with Syria and Lebanon.

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

Not only will Iran flow their tools of power into the void created by an American exit, other bad actors like the Turks, Russians, and Chinese will take advantage of the situation.

To this date, I have supported all of Trump’s stances toward the state of Israel. However, this retreat from Syria will likely create a power void that will be very detrimental to Israel.

Putin welcomes US pullout from Syria

Putin welcomes US pullout from Syria

As proof that bad actors welcome our exit from Syria, a 20 December 2018 Associated Press article discusses how Putin has applauded the potential exit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the U.S. decision to pull its troops out of Syria, saying Thursday that “Donald is right.”

Speaking at Thursday’s annual marathon news conference, Putin said he agrees with U.S. President Donald Trump that the Islamic State group has been defeated, making the U.S. presence in Syria unnecessary. He also argued that the U.S. troops shouldn’t have been there to start with.

“I agree with the U.S. president, we have made significant progress in fighting terrorism on that territory and dealt serious blows to IS in Syria,” the Russian leader said.

He noted that there is still a danger that IS militants could flee from Syria to their home countries and other regions.

“It’s a big threat to all of us, including Russia, the United States, Europe and Asian countries,” Putin said. “Donald is right about that, I agree with him.”

(Read more at the Associated Press)

Considering that Russia has invaded Ukraine, taken Crimea, buzzed our Naval ships, and supplied the nuclear effort of Iran — we cannot consider this anything but a warning.

Syrian Kurds protest news of Turkish planned attacks

The Latest: Syrians protest Turkish threats of offensive

In addition to the bad actors like the Russians, threats from the Turks against the Kurds surface in a 20 December 2018 Associated Press article.

Thousands of Syrians have gathered outside the headquarters for the U.S.-led coalition in northern Syria to protest Turkish threats of an imminent offensive.

The protesters congregating in Jalabiya southeast of Kobani city are demanding a clear stance from the coalition on threats by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to strike at U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

Turkey views the main Kurdish militia in Syria as a terrorist group and an extension of the insurgency within its borders. U.S. support for the group has strained ties between the two NATO allies.

(Read more at the Associated Press)

As mentioned previously, there are numerous bad actors in the area that would attack our current allies as soon as we leave the area.

Stand with Trump

Democrats, don’t hyperventilate. I’m not abandoning Trump

Democrats cannot count on my changing over to their socialist ranks. However, RINOs (like John Cornyn, Republican Senator from Texas) might consider bringing their voting record back in line with the campaign promises of most Republicans. For example, most Republicans (even the reprobate John McCain) campaigned on repealing Obamacare. Additionally, most Republicans campaigned on some form of border security.

Republicans, I stand with Trump. If you want my vote, your voting history had better align with my desires as expressed by Trump’s campaign promises.

Nonetheless, if I could bend Trump’s ear, I would bend it to protect the lives of the religious minorities of Syria and Iraq. These groups will come under great persecution as soon as the Russians, Turks, and Syrian government can start.

A point of agreement

We need to be out of Afghanistan

Trump pulling out of Syria. Might Afghanistan be next?

The Associated Press asked in a 20 December 2018 article whether Trump would pull out of Afghanistan next, now that he has decided to pull out of Syria.

Against the advice of many in his own administration, President Donald Trump is pulling U.S. troops out of Syria. Could a withdrawal from Afghanistan be far behind?

Trump has said his instinct is to quit Afghanistan as a lost cause, but more recently he’s suggested a willingness to stay in search of peace with the Taliban. However, the abruptness with which he turned the page on Syria raises questions about whether combat partners like Iraq and Afghanistan should feel confident that he will not pull the plug on them, too.

“If he’s willing to walk away from Syria, I think we should be concerned about whether Afghanistan is next,” Jennifer Cafarella, the director of intelligence planning at the Institute for the Study of War, said in an interview Wednesday.

(Read more, if you can stand the anti-Trump moralizing, at the Associated Press)

Although the article primarily consists of editorial comment and moralizing, it does raise a good question. In opposition to the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan seems to be little but a monoculture of Muslims. As opposed to the approximately 2,000 American troops in Syria that have seen few attacks from Muslim trainees, the 7,000 troops in Afghanistan (where our soldiers have been for 17 years) have seen numerous Muslim attacks.

So why should we continue to send young Americans to Afghanistan to die at the hands supposed allies? There must be some method of cleaning out garbage pails that does not involve splashing the rotten remnants in our faces.

Do we want to be there forever?

Donald Trump Dismisses Critics of Syria Withdrawal: ‘Do We Want to Be There Forever?’

According to one 20 December 2018 Breitbart article, President Trump dismissed critics of the Syria withdrawal by asking “Do we want to be there forever?”

President Donald Trump defended his decision to withdraw American troops from Syria on Thursday.

“Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing?” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Do we want to be there forever?”

Foreign policy hawks such as Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham adamantly criticized the president on Wednesday for ordering the withdrawal of forces in Syria.

(Read more at Breitbart)

Here, I am I complete agreement with President Trump. While the job of a soldier is dangerous, we should not have to endure attacks from our “allies.”

If Black lives matter, why haven’t we heard of these Black empowerment meetings and movements?


The meeting of the leaders of the Young Black Leadership Summit with President Trump

Although most of us would not have known it from the reporting of the main stream media, the leaders of the Young Black Leadership Summit were meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump when he announced the capture of the mail bombing suspect.

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Candice Owens speaks to the Black Leadership Conference

Of course, one CNN lackey noticed and had to put a negative spin on it

It seems that Al Sharpton not only heard of the meeting of the Young Black Leadership Summit, but also found a way to put a negative spin on it. Thankfully, Candice Owens straightened out the issue.

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The Black Leadership conference moves to stand in front of the White House

In order that the news gets out, the Black Leadership conference stood in front of the White House. From that vantage point, they told the history of Blacks being under the thumbs of White liberals.

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David Harris

David Harris celebrates the Black community and BLexit

In the following video, David Harris presents the following inspiring message to American Blacks.

I am part of something absolutely amazing and beutiful: the Black community. The Black community in this country shares a camaraderie and a bond where I can travel almost anywhere in the country and, just seeing another Black American, I can get a head nod and give one in return. That just says, “You’re m brother. You’re my sister.”

That bond has been under attack. I believe that we have allowed something to creep into the hearts and minds of Black Americans around this country that chooses to say, “If you don’t think the way I do, you’re no longer my brother. You’re no longer my sister.”

That saddens me. It saddens me to think that Black Americans have allowed ourselves to divide ourselves and ostracize ourselves based on our beliefs.

I am a conservative. And I’m not a conservative because my mother or my father told me to be. I’m a conservative because of what conservative values stand for and I am so excited to see so many other Black Americans wake up to the revelation that they don’t have to think the way their mothers, their fathers, their aunts, their uncles, or their cousins all told them that they had to think: that they can choose to think for themselves.

I’m part of Blexit, which is a family of Black Americans that choose to say, “I can think for myself and I will love my Black brothers and sisters regardless of what their political beliefs are. Blexit is an awakening of the minds of Black Americans that I think that I believe will change the face of America forever.

It’s a movement of love and of understanding and of thought. It’s a movement that says, “I can choose to think and believe how I want based on my own research and will choose to love my brothers and sisters, regardless. I am so excited for what I see taking place in the hearts and minds of Black Americans around the country.

An awakening has stared and Blacks are exiting from the monolithic thought that has kept us in chains and bondage for far too long.

I am David J. Harris, Junior, and I am part of Blexit.

Relevant Verses

Although I know that not all Blacks are Christian (any more than all Whites are Christian), I supply the following verses for encouragement of my Black Christian brothers and sisters.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36 NASB)

The small and the great are there, And the slave is free from his master. (Job 3:19 NASB)

The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. (Psalms 103:6 NASB)

Let not the oppressed return dishonored; Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name. (Psalms 74:21 NASB)

Strong statements by Christians


Pope Francis says walls, occupation, and fundamentalism hamper Mideast peace

Reuters quotes the Pope in a 7 July 2018 article regarding the pontif’s opinion that walls, occupation, and fundamentalism hamper Middle Eastern peace.

Pope Francis led a summit of Christian leaders on how to promote peace in the Middle East on Saturday and said building walls, occupying territories and religious fanaticism would not resolve conflict in the region.

Francis also repeated his view that the “status quo” of the contested city of Jerusalem should be respected, and backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Francis convened the summit in the southern Italian city of Bari that for centuries has been a gateway to the Middle East and home to the relics of St. Nicholas, a figure venerated in both the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity.

“Truces maintained by walls and displays of power will not lead to peace, but only the concrete desire to listen and to engage in dialogue will,” he said in his second speech of the day, after a private meeting among the religious leaders.

“Let there be an end to the few profiting from the sufferings of many. No more occupying territories and thus tearing people apart,” he said.

(Read more at Reuters)

Considering the liberality of the pope, one has to wonder if this and similar statements have been made to discourage the conservative Christians that he sees across the world.

In response to that thought, all I can say is, “Lead by example, Pope Francis. Tear down the walls around the Vatican — all of them.”

Pope Francis pulls the death penalty from acceptable means of punishment

Crux explains in a 2 August 2018 article the edict of Pope Francis.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the death penalty now is no longer admissible under any circumstances.

The Vatican announced on Thursday Pope Francis approved changes to the compendium of Catholic teaching published under Pope John Paul II.

“The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” reads the Catechism of the Catholic Church now on the death penalty, with the addition that the Church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

This is a departure from what the document, approved under Pope John Paul II in 1992, says on the matter: “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”

The former formula does stipulate that if non-lethal means are sufficient to protect people’s safety from the aggressor, then authority must limit itself to it, as these “are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.”

In 1997, the Catechism was changed to reflect John Paul’s 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae.

The addition said that the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”

The statement released by the Vatican’s press office on Thursday says that Francis approved the new changes to point number 2267 of the Catechism on May 11, 2018, during a meeting with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Spanish Cardinal Luis Ladaria.

As it’s been re-written, the Catechism now also says that “Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.”

Yet today, “there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state.”

“Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption,” reads the Catechism now, as it was approved by Francis.

It’s for this reason, and “in light of the Gospel,” that the Church teaches that the practice is now inadmissible.

Together with the revised number 2267 of the Catechism, the Vatican released a letter by Ladaria addressed to the bishops.

(Read more at Crux)

While I am inclined to agree that Christians should forgive those who have offended them, we cannot force this standard on the world. If God does not force his gift of forgiveness on the world, but allows us to choose to believe in him (John 3:16) — then I doubt that God expects us to not coerce forgiveness by eliminating this death penalty. Additionally, if you see that God gave the government the sword (Romans 13:3-4), then you should realize that the sword constitutes an instrument of death — not a paddle.

Since God directs us to speak for the voiceless (Proverbs 31:8; Psalm 82:4; and other verses). Since the murder victim cannot speak for themselves, we must.

As mentioned with the previous article referencing a ruling of the pope, one has to wonder how much the liberality of the pope and the conservatism of certain Christian movements have influenced this statement.

Oddly, after reviewing all of this, I ran across a web page explaining the pope’s position on the death penalty and it starts with:

The Church’s teaching has not changed, nor has the Pope said that it has. The Catechism and the Pope state that the state has the right to exact the death penalty.

 

‘Deny Trump to prove your love for Jesus’? I’m not playing that game

A 6 July 2018 OneNewsNow article discusses a ludicrous idea that Christians should deny a leader to prove their love for Jesus.

It’s utterly ridiculous to make the denouncing of Donald Trump a litmus test of Christian orthodoxy – yet that’s what we’re hearing from the same scoundrels who didn’t take our faith seriously before. We don’t have to prove our morality by giving our “Amen” to the left’s latest cause.

We hear this on a daily, if not hourly basis: Evangelicals have hurt their witness by voting for Trump. Evangelicals have lost their credibility by supporting Trump. Evangelicals can no longer be taken seriously because they’re in bed with Trump – and on and on it goes.

It doesn’t matter who he appoints to the Supreme Court. It doesn’t matter if he improves the economy. Or strengthens the military. Or helps stabilize the Middle East.

Not at all. Trump is a heartless, misogynistic, immoral, narcissistic, xenophobic monster, and whoever voted for him (or continues to support him) is not worthy of the name “Christian.”

This has almost become the new orthodoxy: Prove your allegiance to Jesus by denouncing Trump. Failure to denounce him is proof positive that you have compromised your witness.

Sorry, but I’m not playing this game. In fact, I refuse the premise of this game.

First, the very ones driving this narrative are the ones who didn’t take our faith seriously before. They branded us bigots and homophobes. They criticized us as Bible-bashers and rightwing extremists. And they’re the ones now saying, “We would take you more seriously if you denounced Trump.”

I don’t think so. They didn’t take us seriously before. Why should they suddenly say, “Now that you’ve put a distance between yourselves and that crazy man in the White House, we’d love to hear your views on abortion and homosexuality. Yes, please tell us why abortion is murder and why same-sex marriage is illegitimate in God’s sight. You have so much to offer us.”

Not quite!

This reminds me of some criticism I got for our video “Can You Be Gay and Christian?” A lot of hateful viewers vilified me as an “old man” (and much worse, of course). This prompted me to ask, “So, if I was a cool-looking young guy, would you like what I had to say?” I think not.

It’s the position we take that primarily brings us rejection, not our age or appearance.

Second, there are plenty of evangelicals and conservatives who didn’t vote for Trump (some were Never Trumpers), yet they still get hated and ridiculed by the left for their conservative views. Did journalists like Ben Shapiro and David French earn the respect of the liberal world by not voting for Trump? Have they become less hated? Are liberal campuses opening their doors saying, “Please speak to us, now that you’ve proved your credibility by not voting for Trump”?

Third, many of us who did vote for Trump said from the start that we had grave concerns about his character. That we thought he could be very divisive. That some of his rhetoric could be dangerous. And plenty of us have expressed our disagreement with the president since he was elected.

How, then, does our vote for him impinge on our faith?

I’ve said repeatedly that Donald Trump didn’t die for my sins and that he’s not my savior. And I will not sell my soul in support of him.

But you better believe I’d vote for him against Hillary Clinton any day of the week. I’d far rather have him picking Supreme Court nominees than Hillary. Or standing against LGBT extremism. Or protecting our religious freedoms. Or standing with Israel. Or facing down Iran.

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

I wonder why this challenge never surfaced during the years that so many were singing the praises of Obama. Nonetheless, I have to give Dr. Brown kudos for publishing this.

In addition to Dr. Brown’s musings regarding the metaphorical tug-of-war set up by the Never-Trumpers and liberals in order to confound those who support the President and conservatives, why not just follow the words of Christ where he said, “… render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”

A substantial part of the things that should have been reported on Trump (the good news that most of America’s press wants to ignore) is not being reported. Thence, the things (the honor and respect) that are due to Donald Trump are not being given by some segments of America.

Christians: Let’s discuss both immigration & Trump’s wall, too

OneNewsNow points out through a 6 July 2018 article how Pastor Jeffres has tried to bring sides together in the immigration debate.

“Never Trump” evangelicals included their names on a New York Times ad to promote immigration and blast President Trump, but a defender of the President says the ad blatantly ignores our borders and rule of law.

The ad, entitled “Immigrants and Immigration Strengthen Us,” was timed with the July 4th holiday.

It asks fellow Americans to “engage in a constructive conversation that respects the human dignity of all of our neighbors and welcomes people of all faiths, no matter where you were born.”

“I didn’t find anything objectionable about the ad at all. I think most Americans would agree with it,” responds Dr. Robert Jeffress. “But the issue is not immigration. The real issue is illegal immigration.”

The ad was sponsored by the National Immigration Forum, which advocates for the “value of immigrants and immigration” in the United States according to its own website.

Much like the newspaper ad fails to directly address illegal immigration, the NIF website repeatedly refers to “migrants” even when it’s criticizing the U.S. Border Patrol’s “catch and release” program that is apprehending illegal aliens.

Elsewhere the ad states that “America can be great only if we are good,” which Jeffress views as a veiled swipe at President Trump himself.

A vocal segment of “Never Trump” evangelicals is continually criticizing Trump for his views and policies that affect illegal aliens. One ongoing example is Russell Moore, who signed his name to the New York Times ad and has been given op-ed space in prominent newspapers to bash Trump on behalf of Southern Baptists. 

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

As Christians, we must be the ones to try to bring groups together; however, we must recognize that God does not force himself on the world. Therefore, we cannot force groups into harmony. We cannot force people who have broken the law in order to improve their lot in life (which includes just about everyone who has broken the law) to change their ways.

At the same time, we must be on guard against two forms of a new Pharisaicalism:

  1. We need to guard against being so seemingly spiritually-focused as to forget the real-world laws around us (as the NIF seem to forget).
  2. We need to guard against staying in our own little secluded groups. That is, Christians need to visit those in jail (Matthew 25:31-46) and rub shoulders with the rest of the world (John 17:16-18). Although Jesus was sinless, he associated with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 15:1). We should do the same.

Limited specifics on the Pennsylvania Catholic church sex abuse report

A 23 August 2018 article from the Philadelphia Inquirer seems to be on the way to providing more details to the Pennsylvania report on abusive priests.

A state grand jury report released last week revealed decades of allegations of child sex abuse at the hands of more than 300 priests in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses.

The report presented accounts by victims and actions taken by church officials, and detailed the parish assignments of more than 250 of the accused clergy. This search tool catalogs the thousands of records detailing where they lived and worked in the dioceses, including some in the Philadelphia region.

Beyond these two paragraphs, the article only provides a set of links that first expands into a list of names of priests and then expands to show where each selected priest has served.

While I am certain that abuses occurred, those abuses do not appear here. And though I am certain that the mercy of God comes available to all humans, a number of things should be pointed out about how God works in the real world.

  • First, Jesus promised the thief that he would be in paradise that day — but Christ did not exempt him from his punishment on the cross.
  • Second, all of the people who Jesus healed (even the ones he raised from the dead) eventually died physically. Hopefully, they saw the message that Jesus offered and attained spiritual life; however, as John 21:22 points out, we should follow Christ ourselves.
  • Third, Jesus guarantees the believer a life-and-death struggle against the world in Luke 10:3 (where Christians are the lambs).

Therefore, for the Catholic church to shield these priests from prosecution works as an anti-evangelism that stifles the true message of the church.

Along the stream of thought that points out some acts work to stifle the true message of the church, might these acts be a continuation of the push by liberals regarding the gaying of the priesthood? While we all have sins, it seems an extreme mistake to include people into the priesthood who have specific problems with any of the 10 sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Of course, this means that some Protestant churches will have to follow the directive to show judicious decision-making skills as outlined in Matthew 7:1-5 and not put the former thief in charge of the year’s collection for the orphans.

On the other hand, the lack of dates of offenses (and, thence, the already-served convictions) seems to point toward the possibility that this Pennsylvania report includes issues that have already been adjudicated. The concept of proven offense and punishment as given in the Bible comes up here. Once someone has been punished for one offense, the state does not continue to punish for that one occurrence.

With all of this being said, could this be a ploy by Pennsylvania Democrats to discourage Catholics and other Christians? Since discouraged people are less likely to vote, could this be a covert method of cutting votes?

LifeZette exposes the recurring issues in the Catholic heirarchy

In a 28 August 2018 article of LifeZette, some of the truth peeks out.

It appears as though there’s some division in the Catholic Church — with news breaking that Pope Francis may have covered up sexual misconduct.

Former Vatican ambassador to the United States (from 2011 to 2016) and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published an open letter on a pair of Catholic websites — The National Catholic Register and LifeSiteNews — claiming the pope knew of allegations made against the former Archbishop of Washington (2001 to 2006), Theodore McCarrick. The ex-Cardinal was reportedly sexually active with seminarians and punished by Pope Benedict XVI.

Archbishop Viganò claimed that Pope Francis was aware of this situation, ignored it and reinstated Cardinal McCarrick as a high-ranking member of the U.S. Catholic Church.

“The pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him,” Archbishop Viganò wrote. “He did not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him and made him his trusted counselor.”

“Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” Archbishop Viganò added.

On Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday night, Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo joined host Laura Ingraham to discuss the matter. Arroyo, who is also the managing editor of EWTN, a Catholic television network, explained that Archbishop Viganò is not the kind of person who would fabricate such a claim..

“He’s very well-respected,” Arroyo said of Viganò. “He’s a man of integrity … and he’s been a whistleblower in the past. In 2011, he wrote letters to Pope Benedict about corruption in the Vatican. Those were leaked and became the Vatileak scandal. It was his exposes, only meant for the pope’s eyes.”.

The VatiLeaks scandal Arroyo referenced occurred in 2012 when Viganò sent letters that Pope Benedict XVI leaked; in them, Viganò asked to not be transferred after exposing Vatican corruption — which cost the church millions of dollars..

(Read more at LifeZette)

Saying that “the statement speaks for itself — reach your own conclusions” sounds so much like Obama’s saying “I read about in the paper” regarding the IRS scandal, spying on AP reporters, Hillary’s email server (even with his emails in the mix), and other scandals.