YouTube Video: Classical Music and Bizet

Dinner Topics for Friday

L’Arlesienne

Pearl Fishers Duet

From Wikipedia

bizetGeorges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875), formally Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer, mainly of operas. In a career cut short by his early death, he achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, became one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertory.

During a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris, Bizet won many prizes, including the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1857. He was recognised as an outstanding pianist, though he chose not to capitalise on this skill and rarely performed in public. Returning to Paris after almost three years in Italy, he found that the main Parisian opera theatres preferred the established classical repertoire to the works of newcomers. His keyboard and orchestral compositions were likewise largely ignored; as a result, his career stalled, and he earned his living mainly by arranging and transcribing the music of others. Restless for success, he began many theatrical projects during the 1860s, most of which were abandoned. Neither of the two operas that reached the stage—Les pêcheurs de perles and La jolie fille de Perth—were immediately successful.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, during which Bizet served in the National Guard, he had little success with his one-act opera Djamileh, though an orchestral suite derived from his incidental music to Alphonse Daudet‘s play L’Arlésienne was instantly popular. The production of Bizet’s final opera Carmen was delayed through fears that its themes of betrayal and murder would offend audiences. After its premiere on 3 March 1875, Bizet was convinced that the work was a failure; he died of a heart attack three months later, unaware that it would prove a spectacular and enduring success.

Bizet’s marriage to Geneviève Halévy was intermittently happy and produced one son. After his death, his work, apart from Carmen, was generally neglected. Manuscripts were given away or lost, and published versions of his works were frequently revised and adapted by other hands. He founded no school and had no obvious disciples or successors. After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more frequently in the 20th century. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre.

Read more about Bizet  from Wikipedia

 

 

Heritage YouTube Video: Real American Update: Tax Abuse vs. Liberty

Michele Bachmann Explains Why the Tea Party Is Important

by Tyler McArthur

The modern Tea Party stands for three very basic things. Number one, we are taxed enough already. Number two, government should not spend more money than what it takes in. Number three, government should live under the constitution. ~Michelle Bachmann

Tea Party Defined—the Voice of Real Americans

YouTube video:

In remarks this week at The Heritage Foundation, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) defended the Tea Party and said its principles are shared by most Americans.

teapartywhatwestandforThis agenda, she said, is hardly extreme. “If these are the principles we stand for, I think whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, they are ones that you would agree with.”

In her 50 minute speech, Bachmann hit on several other conservative themes. Among other proposals, she called for a drastic simplification of the tax code, the termination of the Export-Import Bank, and increased border security.

The Tea Party is close to Bachmann’s heart. She was one of the first in 2010 to identify with the Tea Party’s protest against the growing size of the federal government. She also founded the House Tea Party Caucus.

The speech was one of the last of Bachmann’s congressional career. The four-term Representative and 2012 presidential candidate has elected to not seek re-election next month.

Watch the video above for her whole speech.

Do you belong to the Tea Party or support its mission? Tell us in the comments.

Ebola: What We Know and What We Should Do About It 

Lawmakers and the public are turning to The Heritage Foundation for leadership and answers about Ebola. A new report by Heritage expert David Addington explains the facts about Ebola, what we know about its spread, and what the government can do to contain it.

Read the report here  and please share it with your friends and family so that we can all stay safe.

Obamacare Is Turning Out As Bad As Predicted 

The facts are in. As The Heritage Foundation predicted, Obamacare is turning out to be a disaster. Heritage expert Robert Moffit has more in a new article in the National Interest .

  • Deductibles increased. Average deductibles on employer-based health plans run about $1,000, while average Obamacare deductibles are about $2,000.
  • Premiums increased. The president promised to lower all premiums by $2,500 annually. The opposite happened. Premiums increased by 100 percent for 27-year-olds in some states. They increased by 50 percent for 50-year-olds in others. For employees who get their health insurance through small businesses, 11 million saw premium increases, while just six million saw premium decreases.
  • Competition was reduced. The number of insurers offering coverage on the individual markets in all fifty states declined by 29 percent. Over half of counties in America have only one or two insurance providers.
  • And we still don’t know how many are covered. The Congressional Budget Office reported 6 million had signed up for Exchange plans. The administration said 8 million, then backtracked.

And what about the so-called crucial 18- to 34-year-old demographic, which would determine the health of the program? Well, the administration said 35 percent of enrollees were in that range, which sounds pretty close to their goal of 40 percent. “But thanks to excellent reporting byPolitico,” Moffit notes, “we learned that [this] number included children enrolled in the exchanges. Nice try.”

 

THE POWER TO DESTROY:

Court sides with IRS in tea-party targeting scandal

Bush-appointed judge says ‘no harm done’

judicialtyrannyA federal judge has sided with the Internal Revenue Service and dismissed lawsuits by tea-party groups seeking redress for the secret targeting of their applications for tax-exempt status, which the groups argued were intentionally delayed for political purposes.

The tea party organizations immediately announced they would appeal the decision by Washington, D.C., District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush.

Walton ruled that two lawsuits by Texas-based True the Vote and Linchpins of Liberty, along with 41 other conservative groups, were moot because the IRS took steps to address the scandal and “publicly suspended its targeting scheme.”

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the tea party groups, said he plans to appeal the case.

“The decision by the court is disappointing. However, it does not deter our efforts to seek justice for our clients. We are reviewing the decision and plan to appeal,” Sekulow said in an emailed statement.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/court-sides-with-irs-in-tea-party-targeting-scandal/#X4W9WFEIbj6Yg61j.99

America, History, and Adams

Dinner Topics for Thursday

John Adams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

johnadams2John Adams (October 30 [O.S. October 19] 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the second president of the United States (1797–1801),[2] having earlier served as the first vice president of the United States. An American Founding Father,[3] Adams was a statesman, diplomat, and a leading advocate of American independence from Great Britain. Well educated, he was an Enlightenment political theorist who promoted republicanism, as well as a strong central government, and wrote prolifically about his often seminal ideas, both in published works and in letters to his wife and key adviser Abigail Adams, as well as to other Founding Fathers.

Adams came to prominence in the early stages of the American Revolution. A lawyer and public figure in Boston, as a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was its primary advocate in the Congress. Later, as a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and was responsible for obtaining vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers. A political theorist and historian, Adams largely wrote the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which together with his earlier Thoughts on Government, influenced American political thought. One of his greatest roles was as a judge of character: in 1775, he nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief, and 25 years later nominated John Marshall to be Chief Justice of the United States.

Adams’ revolutionary credentials secured him two terms as George Washington‘s vice president and his own election in 1796 as the second president. During his one term, he encountered ferocious attacks by the Jeffersonian Republicans, as well as the dominant faction in his own Federalist Party led by his bitter enemy Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the army and navy especially in the face of an undeclared naval war (called the “Quasi-War“) with France, 1798–1800. The major accomplishment of his presidency was his peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamilton’s opposition.

In 1800, Adams was defeated for re-election by Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts. He later resumed his friendship with Jefferson. He and his wife founded an accomplished family line of politicians, diplomats, and historians now referred to as the Adams political family. Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States. His achievements have received greater recognition in modern times, though his contributions were not initially as celebrated as those of other Founders. Adams was the first U.S. president to reside in the executive mansion that eventually became known as the White House.[4]

Career before the Revolution

Opponent of Stamp Act 1765

Adams first rose to prominence as an opponent of the Stamp Act 1765, which was imposed by the British Parliament without consulting the American legislatures. Americans protested vehemently that it violated their traditional rights as Englishmen. Popular resistance, he later observed, was sparked by an oft-reprinted sermon of the Boston minister, Jonathan Mayhew, interpreting Romans 13 to elucidate the principle of just insurrection.[18]

In 1765, Adams drafted the instructions which were sent by the inhabitants of Braintree to its representatives in the Massachusetts legislature, and which served as a model for other towns to draw up instructions to their representatives. In August 1765, he anonymously contributed four notable articles to the Boston Gazette (republished in The London Chronicle in 1768 as True Sentiments of America, also known as A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law). In the letter he suggested that there was a connection between the Protestant ideas that Adams’ Puritan ancestors brought to New England and the ideas behind their resistance to the Stamp Act. In the former he explained that the opposition of the colonies to the Stamp Act was because the Stamp Act deprived the American colonists of two basic rights guaranteed to all Englishmen, and which all free men deserved: rights to be taxed only by consent and to be tried only by a jury of one’s peers.

The “Braintree Instructions” were a succinct and forthright defense of colonial rights and liberties, while the Dissertation was an essay in political education.

In December 1765, he delivered a speech before the governor and council in which he pronounced the Stamp Act invalid on the ground that Massachusetts, being without representation in Parliament, had not assented to it.[19]

Boston Massacre

In 1770, a street confrontation resulted in British soldiers killing five civilians in what became known as the Boston Massacre.[20] The soldiers involved were arrested on criminal charges. Not surprisingly, they had trouble finding legal counsel to represent them. Finally, they asked Adams to organize their defense. He accepted, though he feared it would hurt his reputation. In their defense, Adams made his now famous quote regarding making decisions based on the evidence: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”[21] He also offered a now-famous, detailed defense of Blackstone’s Ratio:

It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.

Six of the soldiers were acquitted. Two who had fired directly into the crowd were charged with murder but were convicted only of manslaughter. Adams was paid eighteen guineas by the British soldiers, or about the cost of a pair of shoes.[22]

Despite his previous misgivings, Adams was elected to the Massachusetts General Court (the colonial legislature) in June 1770, while still in preparation for the trial.[23]

Constitutional ideas

Declaration_independenceMassachusetts’s new constitution, ratified in 1780 and written largely by Adams himself, structured its government most closely on his views of politics and society.[58] It was the first constitution written by a special committee and ratified by the people. It was also the first to feature a bicameral legislature, a clear and distinct executive with a partial (two-thirds) veto (although he was restrained by an executive council), and a distinct judicial branch.

While in London, Adams published a work entitled A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States (1787).[60] In it he repudiated the views of Turgot and other European writers as to the viciousness of the framework of state governments. Turgot argued that countries that lacked aristocracies needn’t have bicameral legislatures. He thought that republican governments feature “all authorities into one center, that of the nation.”[61] In the book, Adams suggested that “the rich, the well-born and the able” should be set apart from other men in a senate—that would prevent them from dominating the lower house. Wood (2006) has maintained that Adams had become intellectually irrelevant by the time the Federal Constitution was ratified. By then, American political thought, transformed by more than a decade of vigorous and searching debate as well as shaping experiential pressures, had abandoned the classical conception of politics which understood government as a mirror of social estates. Americans’ new conception of popular sovereignty now saw the people-at-large as the sole possessors of power in the realm. All agents of the government enjoyed mere portions of the people’s power and only for a limited time. Adams had completely missed this concept and revealed his continued attachment to the older version of politics.[62][25] Yet Wood overlooks Adams’ peculiar definition of the term “republic,” and his support for a constitution ratified by the people.[63] He also underplays Adams’ belief in checks and balances. “Power must be opposed to power, and interest to interest,” Adams wrote; this sentiment would later be echoed by James Madison‘s famous statement that “[a]mbition must be made to counteract ambition” in The Federalist No. 51, in explaining the powers of the branches of the United States federal government under the new Constitution.[64][65] Adams did as much as anyone to put the idea of “checks and balances” on the intellectual map.

Adams’ Defence can be read as an articulation of the classical republican theory of mixed government. Adams contended that social classes exist in every political society, and that a good government must accept that reality. For centuries, dating back to Aristotle, a mixed regime balancing monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy—that is, the king, the nobles, and the people—was required to preserve order and liberty.[66]

Adams never bought a slave and declined on principle to employ slave labor.[67] Abigail Adams opposed slavery and employed free blacks in preference to her father’s two domestic slaves. John Adams spoke out in 1777 against a bill to emancipate slaves in Massachusetts, saying that the issue was presently too divisive, and so the legislation should “sleep for a time.”[68] He also was against use of black soldiers in the Revolution, due to opposition from southerners.[68] Adams generally tried to keep the issue out of national politics, because of the anticipated southern response.[68][69] Though it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date on which slavery was abolished in Massachusetts, a common view is that it was abolished no later than 1780, when it was forbidden by implication in the Declaration of Rights that John Adams wrote into the Massachusetts Constitution.[70]

Correspondence with Jefferson

In early 1812, Adams reconciled with Jefferson. Their mutual friend Benjamin Rush, a fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence who had been corresponding with both, encouraged each man to reach out to the other. On New Year’s Day 1812, Adams sent a brief, friendly note to Jefferson to accompany the delivery of “two pieces of homespun,” a two-volume collection of lectures on rhetoric by John Quincy Adams. Jefferson replied immediately with a warm, friendly letter, and the two men revived their friendship, which they conducted by mail. The correspondence that they resumed in 1812 lasted the rest of their lives, and thereafter has been hailed as one of their greatest legacies and a monument of American literature.[112]

Their letters are rich in insight into both the period and the minds of the two Presidents and revolutionary leaders. Their correspondence lasted fourteen years, and consisted of 158 letters.[112] It was in these years that the two men discussed “natural aristocracy.” Jefferson said, “The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of society. May we not even say that the form of government is best which provides most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government?”[113] Adams wondered if it ever would be so clear who these people were, “Your distinction between natural and artificial aristocracy does not appear to me well founded. Birth and wealth are conferred on some men as imperiously by nature, as genius, strength, or beauty. . . . When aristocracies are established by human laws and honour, wealth, and power are made hereditary by municipal laws and political institutions, then I acknowledge artificial aristocracy to commence.”[114] It would always be true, Adams argued, that fate would bestow influence on some men for reasons other than true wisdom and virtue. That being the way of nature, he thought such “talents” were natural. A good government, therefore, had to account for that reality.

Obama and Liberal Voter Fraud

Surprised? Liberals are convicted of Voter Fraud

Obama Officials Convicted of Voter Fraud

But liberals say we don’t need ID’s since there is no fraud.
Check it out:

voter placing ballotWhy is it only Democrats deal in voter fraud, when it’s they who say it never happens? If this story does not convinced you the entire nation needs strict voter ID laws, nothing will.

Two Democratic officials from Indiana have been arrested and convicted of ballot fraud, because Obama truly wasn’t eligible to be on the ballot. They knew it, but they went ahead with it. If you think something was funky about the 2008 and 21012 elections, here’s a little insight:

indianaballotfraudChairman Butch Morgan Jr. from St. Joseph County was convicted of felony conspiracy to commit petition fraud and forgery. Dustin Blyth, who served on the Board of Elections, was charged with felony forgery and several counts of making a false petition. Both men were charged and convicted for submitting fake names and signatures on petitions that were designed to get Obama and Hillary Clinton onto the 2008 primary ballots.

Continue Reading on joeforamerica.com
Read more at http://conservativebyte.com/2014/10/obama-officials-convicted-voter-fraud/

 

Moral Repair Plan: American Character, Law, Health News

1. Reagan’s Timeless ‘A Time for Choosing’ Speech Still Making an Impact

keyThe Time for Choosing speech was a critical moment in Reagan’s career that brought his name and message to a generation looking for answers. Though Goldwater would go on to lose in a landslide defeat, the power or Reagan’s message ignited a spark in Americans. His message would resonate after the failure of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and the malaise of Jimmy Carter’s administration in the 1970s. Fortunately, YAF is bringing Reagan’s message to a new generation, 50 years later.

Moral Repair Plan: The Reagan clip is the most positive here. It is becoming more and more difficult to find simply positive solutions. It is important to note that the way we can repair our country is to keep pushing back and restore good American character. Following clips show courageous people involved in the ongoing freedom fight, taking a stand for what is morally right.

Jarrett Stepman

Breitbart News

Ronald-Reagan-APThis October 27 marks the 50th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” speech, which launched the “Great Communicator” on his incredible political career. This oration on behalf of conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964, put Reagan on the political map and eventually launched him to the presidency.

In order to bring Reagan’s timeless speech to a new generation Young America’s Foundation (YAF) is launching A Time for Choosing: The Next Generation project. YAF will also be releasing a number of short videos this week, juxtaposing present day events with the timeless wisdom of conservatism, in Reagan’s own words. These videos include: national security, limited government, entitlement reform, the importance of the private sector, and self-determination.

YAF is commemorating the anniversary of what is sometimes simply called “The Speech,” with special initiatives reaching young people on college campuses, through conferences and seminars across the country, in the media, and through programs at the Reagan Ranch and Reagan Ranch Center.

Historian Craig Shirley wrote about how Reagan appealed to young voters in his book about the 1980 presidential election, Rendezvous With Destiny. Shirley wrote, “Reagan, the oldest candidate, knew what was on the minds of young Americans: they had been robbed of their future and didn’t like it one bit.” The newest generation, living with the burden of having less prosperity than their parents, needs to hear this message.

Reagan’s half-hour performance in front of a live audience drew from American history–speeches of Abraham Lincoln, John Winthrop, and Franklin Roosevelt in particular–and laid out the deep principles that would become the cornerstone of the conservative movement for the next half century. Channeling the American tradition and ideas stemming from the founding, Reagan proposed to set out a bold, new course for American governance that departed from the mantras of a calcified twentieth century progressivism.

By appealing to patriotism, the American dream, and simple, common-sense ideas Reagan helped lay the groundwork for a resurgent conservative movement. Reagan energized young people, many of whom would help put him in the White House.

Ultimately, Reagan proposed that Americans should have a clear cut choice when they went to the ballot box, one that he believed was clear. Reagan said, “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down.”

According to Reagan every generation has an opportunity to make a choice; embrace freedom and individual liberty as passed down from the founders, or not. Reagan hit this theme again in his 1967 California gubernatorial inauguration speech. “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction,” Reagan continued. “It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

In giving voters a choice, Goldwater and Reagan departed from the “me-too conservatism” that defined the post-New Deal Republican Party. Reagan was asking Americans to do more than vote their interest or simply pick between two “personalities.” Using stirring rhetoric, sunny optimism, and deeply held belief in the American people—reminiscent of a Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson—Reagan inspired a new generation to fight for ideals that had made the nation truly great.

Stephen F. Hayward wrote in The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order:

…Reagan exuded a forward-looking optimism rooted in the latent greatness of America. This was not the non-ideological Chamber of Commerce kind of conservatism, the kind of conservatism that led Richard Nixon to say in the 1960 campaign, “It’s the millions of people that are buying new cars that have faith in America.” That kind of conservatism won’t stir anyone’s soul. For Reagan, faith in America transcended its material accomplishments.

The Time for Choosing speech was a critical moment in Reagan’s career that brought his name and message to a generation looking for answers. Though Goldwater would go on to lose in a landslide defeat, the power or Reagan’s message ignited a spark in Americans. His message would resonate after the failure of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and the malaise of Jimmy Carter’s administration in the 1970s. Fortunately, YAF is bringing Reagan’s message to a new generation, 50 years later.

 

2. Ted Cruz to Introduce Constitutional Amendment Defending Traditional Marriage

Tony Lee

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Monday that he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment barring the federal government or the courts from overturning state marriage laws.

TedCruzCiting the Supreme Court’s “tragic and indefensible” refusal to take up same-sex marriage cases—essentially legalizing same-sex marriage in another 11 states—Cruz announced the proposal in a statement. He said he has already introduced legislation in the Senate to “protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage,” because “marriage is a question for the states.”

“And that is why, when Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws,” the potential 2016 GOP presidential contender announced.

Cruz also accused the Supreme Court of enabling “judicial activism at its worst” by letting rulings by lower court judges that “redefine marriage” stand. He said the “Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution” and declared that “the fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing.”

Cruz said that the Constitution “entrusts state legislatures, elected by the People, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens,” and “unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.” 

He also blasted the Supreme Court for twisting the original meaning of the 14th Amendment.

“The Court is making the preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment,” he continued. “Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the nation. It is for the elected representatives of the People to make the laws of marriage, acting on the basis of their own constitutional authority, and protecting it, if necessary, from usurpation by the courts.”

judicialtyrannyCruz declared that because of the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the gay marriage cases, 11 states–Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming–will likely legalize same-sex marriage. He said this action also “paves the way for laws prohibiting same-sex marriage to be overturned in any state.”

“Traditional marriage is an institution whose integrity and vitality are critical to the health of any society,” Cruz said. “We should remain faithful to our moral heritage and never hesitate to defend it.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/10/06/Ted-Cruz-to-Introduce-Constitutional-Amendment-Defending-Traditional-Marriage?utm_source=e_breitbart_com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Breitbart+News+Roundup%2C+October+7%2C+2014&utm_campaign=20141007_m122483553_Breitbart+News+Roundup%2C+October+7%2C+2014&utm_term=More

 

3. Health News: Private, For-Profit, Company Fighting Ebola Successfully

Mark Horne

Does it surprise me that Firestone Corporation earned this headline for their work fighting Ebola successfully in Liberia?

Yes and no.

I am surprised that the tire-making company is still in Liberia. I was there as a missionary-child and remember the fields of rubber trees that were harvested by the company. I assumed that they were driven out during the coup and then the ensuing years of chaos and bloodshed.

My assumption was wrong. Rubber was still needed by the world market and Firestone managed to stay in the country.

So, now that I know that… of course I am not surprised at all. To still be in Liberia requires amazing survival abilities. Naturally, these same abilities would be available to combat Ebola.

And that is exactly what is happening.

According to Newser.com: “How Firestone Shut Ebola Down.”

ebola-hose-down-apYou know all the gnashing of teeth about how terrible the global response to the Ebola outbreak has been? Maybe someone should check with Firestone. As NPR reports, the tiremaker runs a rubber plantation and basically the entire town of Harbel, outside Monrovia, Liberia. And when an employee’s wife turned up with the virus on March 30, Firestone Liberia’s managing director says they “went into crisis mode”: Upon discovering that there was nowhere to treat her, the company turned to the Internet for help in treating Ebola itself. Within a day, they had an Ebola ward. Within two, the woman was quarantined. They handed medical workers hazmat suits to prevent the virus’ spread.

“None of us had any Ebola experience,” says the director, but NPR notes that they did have what everywhere else in the region did not: The muscle and resources that a major corporation can harness. The woman died, but not one of Firestone’s roughly 8,500 employees and 71,500 family members contracted the virus. Months passed, and when the virus rampaged through the area in August, Firestone stepped up to the plate: It expanded the isolation ward, built an annex and quarantine centers, and sent out-of-work teachers (schools had been shut down) to go door-to-door and educate. Janitors were taught how to properly bury the dead, notes the Wall Street Journal.

There are some heroic people at Firestone, and there are heroic people working in “public health” for various governments. But if you want to know why Firestone has such success, you only need to think about the difference in motivation and culture. Firestone exists because they make a product that people want. They hire people who can be useful to that end and those people in turn know that their livelihood depends on productive labor.

That is simply not the culture that develops in a government bureaucracy.

So when it comes to dealing with a health crisis, the people of Firestone know they have to do their best to save lives and, in so doing, their livelihoods.

Private companies get things done. The best governments can do is try to imitate them.
Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2014/10/private-profit-company-fighting-ebola-successfully/#fRlWLBHoLLyahqV8.99

 

4. Judge sides with student punished for criticizing lesbians

‘Controversy built right into the syllabus’

Bob Unruh

family3-silhouetteThe University of New Mexico and one of its professors will face trial on a charge of violating the constitutional rights of a student punished for expressing her opinions  about lesbianism in a class described by the instructor as having “controversy built right into the syllabus.”
“The court questions whether a university can have a legitimate pedagogical interest in inviting students to engage in ‘incendiary’ and provocative speech on a topic and then punishing a a student because he or she did just that. Simply because plaintiff expressed views about homosexuality that some people may deem offensive does not deprive her views of First Amendment protection. Plaintiff has made out a plausible case that Hinkley ostracized her because of Hinkley’s personal disagreement with plaintiff’s ideology, and not for legitimate pedogogical purpose.”

The judge concluded that “views opposing homosexuality are protected by the First Amendment and that the government is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/judge-rules-on-student-punished-for-criticizing-lesbians/#YLJpsSh3YTwjdKqY.99

 

5. Crowd Walks Out On Obama

obamayearsPresident Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.

With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election.

Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity.

Not so Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown of Maryland, who is running for governor, and Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, who is running for re-election. Obama plans to appear at an event for Quinn later in the evening.

“You’ve got to vote,” Obama repeated over and over at a rally for Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, near Washington.

Democrats have a history of not turning up to vote in midterm elections.
Read more at http://conservativebyte.com/2014/10/crowd-walks-obama/

 

Truth or Fiction Update: Obama, Muslim, and Internet Services Corruption

Truth or Fiction Update:

Truth-Detectors

magnifying-glass-lightoftruthWith all the media bias against truth, regular truth updates have become necessary to combat the pervasive lies and suppression, and to keep our readers informed.

1. Obama sending aid to Islamic schools

Studies identified as ‘recitation and memorization’ of Quran

I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.’ – page 261 of the paperback edition of “The Audacity of Hope”. By Barack Obama

Steve Peacock

World Net Daily News

muslimobamaA portion of the $120 million the Obama administration is infusing into Nigerian education programs fund Islamic schools that exclusively teach students “the recitation and memorization” of the Quran, government documents reveal.

The Northern Education Initiative Plus, or NEI+, project seeks to broaden access to education while strengthening literacy skills of the predominantly Muslim population of northern Nigeria, according to procurement documents WND located through routine database research.

Obama wants to increase the number of schools that offers an expanded “core” of subjects, including Islamic schools that currently offer little or no academic options.

Among other primary objectives of the five-year program is the modernization of these educational institutions by increasing the quality of teacher training and promoting the use of proven, internationally recognized teaching methods.

Northern Nigeria, however, is home to the Islamic jihadist group Boko Haram, whose name is loosely translated “Western education is sin” or “Western education is forbidden.”

The U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, mentions the role of religious conflict in disrupting regional education efforts yet fails to identify Boko Haram and its violent jihad, such as the group’s kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls earlier this year.

The Obama administration initially declined to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, despite the group’s frequent attacks on government as well as civilian groups.

The attacks included multiple incidents of murdering Christian worshipers during church services.

Propagating extremism
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/09/obama-sending-aid-to-islamic-schools/#1q0QCHgj55VvIptV.99

 

2. Seven ISIS Facts Every American Should Know

Wynton Hall

Breitbart News

MuslimWarriorIn January, President Barack Obama dismissed the Islamic State (ISIS) as merely a “JV team.” Last week, Obama reversed that position and told NBC News ISIS is “not a JV team.” Similarly, two weeks ago Obama said the Islamic State can be shrunk to “a manageable problem.” Then on Friday, as NBC News reported, “The Obama administration said for the first time Friday that the United States is ‘at war’ with ISIS militants.”      

Given the Administration’s contradictory and muddled messages, here, then, are seven ISIS facts:

1. ISIS Began in the 1990s

While the Islamic State may be new to some Americans, as The Atlantic notes, “The group that recently renamed itself simply ‘Islamic State’ has existed under various names and in various shapes since the early 1990s.” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy notes that in its 1999 incarnation, ISIS was known as Jamaat al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad (JTWJ).

2. ISIS is Led by a Man Released from a U.S. Detention Camp in 2009

The leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi was released from the U.S. detention camp named Camp Bucca near the Kuwaiti border in 2009. When he was freed, Baghdadi reportedly told U.S. Army reservists from Long Island, New York, “I’ll see you guys in New York.”

3. ISIS is the Richest Terror Organization in the World

Through its seizure of oilfields, banks, weapons, and other resources, ISIS has amassed a war chest estimated to total $2 billion, according to NBC News. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) warns that “the threat ISIS poses cannot be overstated.” Feinstein, who has criticized President Barack Obama for being “too cautious” in confronting ISIS, calls the terror group “the most vicious, well-funded and militant terrorist organization we have ever seen.”

4. The Number of ISIS Fighters Has Tripled to 31,500

On Friday, a CIA spokesman told CNN that the Islamic State “can muster between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria.” Months prior, U.S. official put the figure at just 10,000.

5. ISIS has an Estimated 2,000 Westerners in its Ranks

Through its sophisticated social media recruitment and other means, ISIS has successfully recruited 2,000 Westerners—a key terror asset whose passports could allow re-entry into Western countries to carry out attacks. Intelligence reports indicate that over 100 Americans have enlisted as Islamic State fighters. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican members of Congress have advanced legislation to “revoke their passports and strip them of their U.S. citizenship,” reports the Houston Chronicle. Last week, the Daily Mail reported that at least three Minnesota women have traveled to Syria to assist ISIS fighters. Two American ISIS members have already been killed, both from Minnesota.

6. ISIS Now Controls 35,000 Square Miles in Iraq and Syria

In its drive to expand the caliphate, ISIS now controls 35,000 square miles of territory—an area roughly the size of Indiana. As former Pentagon official Janine Davidson told the New Yorker, “ISIS now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations.”

7. In Addition to Beheadings, ISIS Has Carried Out Mass Executions and Rapes

In addition to ISIS’s videotaped beheading of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines, the terror group has slaughtered innocents in mass killings, raped women, abducted thousands of women and girls for use as sex slaves, and, according to the State Department, has forced parents to watch as ISIS terrorists “beat their children to coerce the women into converting to Islam.”

3. Caught ‘red-handed': News-site deception uncovered

Internet Services Corruption: Alexa is skewing rankings of Conservative News Sites

Leo Hohmann

Statistically, it would seem to be impossible.

alexadeceptionHow could every major alternative website that challenges the mainstream, establishment view of Washington and the world be experiencing a drop-off in readership while their counterparts on the other side of the political spectrum are gaining readers?

It appears unlikely, yet that’s exactly what happened last month, according to Alexa.com, which measures web traffic and ranks websites from the most popular to the least popular.

The Drudge Report, WND, Breitbart, Fox News, the Blaze, Newsmax, CNSNEWS, the Daily Caller, Infowars and Natural News are all plunging in popularity, according to Alexa’s rankings.

At the same time, pro-government sites like the Daily Kos, ThinkProgress, Media Matters, MSNBC, NPR.org and Democracy Now! are all rising in popularity, according to Alexa.

Alexa rankings are important because they are among a handful of measurement tools used by companies when deciding where to spend their advertising dollars.

The San Francisco-based subsidiary of Amazon has refused to return phone calls or emails from WND seeking comment on its latest rankings.

Alexa did post a blog on its website Oct. 1 explaining that it had increased the size of its global traffic panel, which was supposed to make its estimated rankings more accurate.

But alternative news sites aren’t impressed with the results.

Several responded in WND’s first report on the mysterious trend. And more have responded since that article was published, including the head of Breitbart News, who is not buying the new figures released by Alexa.

“Despite increasing traffic on Breitbart.com, the Alexa rankings for Breibart.com dropped significantly in one month. That certainly calls into question Alexa’s newly reported numbers,” Larry Solov, president and CEO of Breitbart News, told WND.

What’s even more surprising is that a top alternative website focusing on health issues, which has been reporting daily on the hottest news topic concerning health in years, Ebola, would also be down in the Alexa rankings.

But that’s exactly what happened to NaturalNews.com, a site operated by Mike Adams, a scientist also known as the “health ranger.”

“Natural News can confirm that in the time period depicted as a sharp drop in traffic by Alexa.com, our unique visitor numbers have actually risen sharply, in part due to the very high level of interest in the uncontrolled Ebola outbreak,” Adams told WND. “To see a rise in traffic depicted as a visual drop on Alexa’s chart is troubling, especially given that this drop primarily appears to be taking place across sites known to be truth-telling news sources like Natural News.”

GRAPH HERE

Note: The higher the number on the graph the lower the ranking, with 1 being the highest and best ranking possible (a spot currently held by Google).

rankingskewedwebsitegraph

NaturalNews.com is among the top 750 websites in the U.S. and among the very top alternative sites focusing on health issues, yet Alexa lowered its ranking during a period when readers were intensely interested in the site’s Ebola coverage.
Besides reporting on Ebola, Natural News has investigated the controversial use of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in the U.S. food supply, and also lists “factory farming and corruption in government” among the topics it covers on its mission statement.

Joseph Farah, editor and CEO of WND, said Alexa appears to be taking sides in the media wars, for the establishment and against those sites that seek to hold government accountable.

freedomofspeech“It’s really infuriating that after two solid days of calling and emailing Alexa about this issue, no one there is responding,” said Farah, who founded WND as the first independent Internet news agency in 1997. “I suppose we should just accept the fact that Alexa has decided corporately, apparently along with its parent Amazon, that it is joining the two-decades-long war on the alternative New Media.”

Readers were also not happy with the latest rankings. Many of them, such as 83-year-old Leigh Lown of Lexington, South Carolina, emailed WND to voice their displeasure.

“There is no way I can watch the ‘mainstream’ press – the ones they claim are way down are the ones I listen to on the radio or Internet,” said Lown. “MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS all say the same thing almost like cloned reporting… The insanity taking place in the country today is mind-boggling, and the sound bytes used in the ‘news’ are just that. I am very disappointed that many Americans seem to have become lost in some other world, not even caring that America is being taken down very quickly now.

“WND is one of the sites I read every day. I hope it will continue to educate all of us on the truth.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/caught-red-handed-news-site-deception-uncovered/#Dcmkx1o6vxtkSGiG.99

 

Abuse Report: Corruption, Liberal Social Media

Abuse of the Vote Process:

1. Touch Screen Voting Machine Turns GOP Vote into Dem Vote

Bob Allen

Why don’t we hear stories where a touch screen voting machine produced Republican votes?

vote-vote-fraudarticle“Calibration error” joins “hard drive crash” in the 2014 Democratic Party lexicon.
Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan went to vote Monday at the Schaumburg Public Library.

“I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” Moynihan said. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

The conservative website Illinois Review reported that “While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race.

Moynihan offered this gracious lesson to his followers on Twitter: “Be careful when you vote in Illinois. Make sure you take the time to check your votes before submitting.”

This was a calibration error of the touch-screen on the machine,” Scalzitti said. “When Mr. Moynihan used the touch-screen, it improperly assigned his votes due to improper calibration.”

They were simply too obvious with their “fix.” They needed to adjust the algorithms tabulating the votes behind-the-scenes, and not let the machine display what it was doing. I’m sure they’ll get it right now, and the accurate vote counts will join Lois Lerner’s emails. Ooops!

[See also, “Democrat Caught on Tape Stuffing Arizona Ballot Box.”]

Vote for a Republican, the vote goes for the Democrat. Nice.

No doubt these machines were maintained and installed by workers for the SEIU—just laboring away for their Democrat overlords.

Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2014/10/touch-screen-voting-machine-turns-gop-vote-dem-vote/#tu00g4E032XBq0pI.99

2. Corruption:

$40 Million for 6 Years of Presidential Vacations

govwasteabounds.

Mark Horne

Barack Obama’s last three Presidential vacations cost $6.2 million.
As a friend made me think, when he sent me this story, if this man ever opens his mouth again about “income inequality” and “economic injustice,” someone needs to tell him to shut up. A Secret Service agent would be perfect. The next two years can’t be over soon enough. I’m sure he’ll add another $5-$10-million to this obscene bill to shove down our throats before he’s done.

According to the Washington Examiner, “Taxpayers get stuck with $6.2 million tab for just 3 Obama vacations; $40m over 6 years.”

Three recent and lavish vacations by the first family cost taxpayers more than $6.2 million just for transportation and security, bringing the pleasure price for President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s trips to tens of millions of dollars since taking office, according to federal documents.

Taxpayer watchdog group Judicial Watch told Secrets that new cost calculations for security showed that the first family’s 2012-2013 vacation to Honolulu and the first lady’s 2014 ski trip to Aspen, Colo., reached nearly $1 million.
Has the President or the First Lady ever shown any interest in the plight of the poor other than in their campaign rhetoric? Barack Obama telling us that America needs a raise sounds so hollow because nothing in his life or his actions shows that he has ever cared about such people.

[See also, “Obama Blissfully Unaware of His Own Class Envy Campaign.”]
Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2014/10/40-million-6-years-presidential-vacations/#yEqbbhEQbkuWrR4z.99

Here’s what happens when you don’t stand up to bullies:

3. Christian School Forced to Have Islamist Lead Assembly or be Closed

Tim Brown
Well America, all you have to do to see what Islam is going to be attempting in America, and have attempted and gotten in America, is to look across the pond to the United Kingdom. In the UK, they have appeased the Muslims and have kowtowed to them now to the point where a British Christian school is being threatened with closure if they do not allow a Muslim imam to lead their assemblies.
America is following in the footsteps of those that she broke away from for independence. She is embracing multiculturalism, sodomy, and socialism. One cannot take fire in their bosom and not get burned, but modern Americans are doing just that. They watch the Brits set themselves on fire with such nonsense and yet are happily led to the slaughter without even a peep being heard. America, Britain is your future if you do not take a stand now while you are still free!
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/10/christian-school-forced-islamist-lead-assembly-closed/#movPrmjDbVZTWMe5.99

 

4. Liberal Intolerance Proven from Social Media

Mark Horne

RushSocialMedia2PIXYou’ve noticed that the liberal intolerance is showing up all over the culture. A CEO gets kicked out of his own company for supporting a winning California vote to define marriage as one man and one woman many years earlier. In other words, he held the stated position of Barack Obama at the same time that Obama held it. A state college system ends all Christian campus groups. A newspaper man is fired for disagreeing with homosexual mockery of Christianity. A Christian college loses a city contract and has its accreditation threatened.
All of this is entirely un-American and sickeningly intolerant. Where is that intolerance coming from?

I think the only answer is psychological. We have a semblance of a political perspective in this nation that now goes by the name of “Liberalism.” (That name was stolen from the real Liberals who were anti-war and pro-free-market. It was a bait-and-switch propaganda strategy.) This political perspective won’t explain much. But, for whatever reason, it is held by people who are, as a matter of personal psychology, more likely to be close-minded and intolerant. What we see in the political arena is simply the manifestation of their own psychological limitations.

They do in public life what they have always done in their personal lives.

Here is what I mean: CNS News reports, “Liberals More Likely to Unfriend Because of Opposing Views on Politics.”
Those at both the left and right ends of the spectrum, the ‘consistent liberals’ and the ‘consistent conservatives,’ comprise about 20 percent of the public overall, and according to Pew, “have a greater impact on the political process than do those with more mixed ideological views,” because they are more likely to vote, donate to campaigns and participate in politics.

When it comes to social media, consistent conservatives and consistent liberals vary in the way they consume the media as well as how they react to it.

According to the study, 44 percent of consistently liberal Facebook users have hidden, blocked or defriended, or stopped following someone on social media because they disagreed with a political post. In contrast, 31 percent of consistently conservative individuals did the same.

In the end, the disciplines of tolerating dissenting views and trying to engage in reasoned conversation are not just needed for the sake of personal character. They are needed because the lack of that tolerance results in a repressive political system.

Comments

In my town, one fears to have Republican stickers on our cars, as the liberals will KEY the paint jobs.

Don R Sherwood

John Gallion ·

Leftists are what they are because they are emotionally and mentally ill. They should be treated that way. They make decisions in life based fully on emotions. Reason has nothing at all to do with the Leftist world view. If confronted with facts that contradict their points they resort to name calling and childish breath-holding and even violence. And I’ve had a fire-breathing feminist Leftist I knew in grade and high school completely wig out at me (and others from her past) and De-friend all of us on Facebook because we disagreed with her views. Everyone knows who the crazy lady is: the feminist leftist!
Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2014/10/liberal-intolerance-proven-social-media/#hQAKdVUPIrHZFlsd.99

 

5. Administration Freed Illegal Immigrants Charged With Violent Crimes

Melanie Batley

crimeIllegal immigrants charged with violent crimes and serious felonies were among the hundreds of criminals the Obama administration released from jails across the country in February 2013, newly released documents show.

According to records obtained by USA Today, the government released inmates charged with offenses ranging from kidnapping and sexual assault to drug trafficking, armed assault, and homicide.

The evidence contradicts previous assurances by the administration that the 617 criminals who were released as part of a cost-cutting exercise were low-risk offenders charged with misdemeanors “or other criminals whose prior conviction did not pose a violent threat to public safety,” USA Today reported.
Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.Newsmax.com/Newsfront/Illegal-immigrants-obama-administration/2014/10/23/id/602647/#ixzz3H0cDFlrA
Commentary:

6. Using a Double Standard on Hate Crimes to Bash Israel

Evelyn Gordon

israelmourns2Hateful graffiti targeting a minority have repeatedly been scrawled on cars and buildings, including houses of worship, yet police frequently fail to arrest the culprits. Innocent people have been viciously attacked and occasionally even murdered just because they belong to this minority. Clearly, this is a country awash in racism and prejudice that it’s making no real effort to stem, so it deserves harsh condemnation from anyone who cares about such fundamental liberal values as tolerance and nonviolence, right?

That’s certainly the conclusion many liberals leaped to about a similar wave of anti-Arab attacks in Israel. But what I actually just described is the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks in the United States, and there has–quite properly–been no similar rush to denounce America. Since the American government and people overwhelmingly condemn such attacks, and America remains one of the best places in the world to live openly as a Jew, liberals correctly treat such incidents as exceptions rather than proof that the U.S. is irredeemably anti-Semitic. But somehow, Israel never merits a similarly nuanced analysis.

Consider just a few of the attacks I referenced in the first paragraph: This past weekend–on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year–swastikas were spray-painted on a Jewish fraternity at Emory University in Atlanta, and also on a synagogue in Spokane, Washington, on the other side of the country. In August, a Jewish couple was attacked in New York by thugs who shouted anti-Semitic slogans, threw a water bottle at the woman, and punched her skullcap-wearing husband. In July, pro-Israel demonstrators were attacked by stick-wielding thugs in Los Angeles. On August 9, an Orthodox rabbi was murdered in Miami while walking to synagogue on the Sabbath; police insist this wasn’t a hate crime, though they haven’t yet arrested any suspects, but local Jews are unconvinced, as a synagogue and a Jewish-owned car on the same street were vandalized with anti-Semitic slogans just two weeks earlier. And in April, a white supremacist killed three people at two Jewish institutions near Kansas City, Kansas.

A Martian looking at this list, devoid of any context, might well conclude that America is a deeply anti-Semitic country. And of course, he’d be wrong. Context–the fact that these incidents are exceptions to the overwhelmingly positive picture of Jewish life in America–matters greatly.

Yet that’s no less true for anti-Arab attacks in Israel. As in America, both the government and the public have almost unanimously condemned such attacks.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/10/08/using-a-double-standard-on-hate-crimes-to-bash-israel/

 

Young People Stand for Faith, Moral Standard

Standing Up for What We Believe

keyWe live in a world where many see evil as good and good as evil, and we must take a stand for good. Following are testimonies from young people who stood up for what they believe—their faith and their moral standard. They did not argue or react with anger or unkindness. They showed “both courage and courtesy”1 and, as a result, strengthened others (see 3 Nephi 12:44–45).

My Brother Refused to Drink Champagne

liquorrefusewine-glasses-roseslIn France, military service is obligatory. My 20-year-old younger brother, Loïc, decided to go to reserve officers’ school to become a lieutenant. At the end of his schooling, there was a swearing-in ceremony for new officers. Each in turn is to recite the regimental slogan. Then he is to drink a glass of champagne containing a rose—consuming both. This tradition started with Napoléon Bonaparte, and no officer since then had failed to participate.

Loïc told the colonel that his religious principles did not allow him to drink alcohol. An icy silence followed Loïc’s request for an exemption. The colonel stood up. Instead of forcing Loïc to drink the champagne, he congratulated him for keeping his principles despite the pressure, saying he was proud to welcome this man of integrity into his regiment. They replaced the champagne, and Loïc participated in the swearing-in ceremony.

Pierre Anthian, France

I Was Invited to a Wild Party

After college my sister Grace and I worked for a company with several other Latter-day Saints. Our employers were not members of the Church. When my sister became engaged, our employer planned a surprise bridal shower for her. I hoped she would respect our standards, but instead she ordered liquor, a male dancer, and a scandalous video.

Before the bridal shower, I felt the whispering of the Holy Ghost within me encouraging me to remind my boss of our standards. I grasped my Young Women medallion and thought of all the effort and sacrifices I had made when I was in Young Women to complete my Personal Progress. I prayed that I would be guided to stand a little taller at this time. I texted my employer my concerns, thinking that she might become offended. Nevertheless, my greatest desire was to please Heavenly Father.

When the party began, my boss didn’t talk to me or even smile at me. However, she did cancel the dancer and the video.

In the days following the party, my boss didn’t talk and laugh with me like she had before the party. However, I felt comfortable because I knew God was pleased with what I had done. About a week later, my relationship with my boss went back to normal. I know God softened her heart and helped her realize that I lived what I believed.

Lemy Labitag, Cagayan Valley, Philippines

I Heard Offensive Language in Class

high-school-sewing-class-young-women_When I was about 18, I took a sewing class. One day three girls a few feet away from me started using offensive language. I didn’t know if I should ignore them to avoid a conflict or if I should stand up for my standards and ask them to stop. Eventually, I said as nicely as possible, “Excuse me, but could you please watch your language?”

The biggest of the girls glared at me and said, “We’ll talk however we want.”

I said, “But do you really have to swear? It really offends me.”

She said, “Then just don’t listen.”

I was starting to get upset and said, “It’s hard not to listen when you’re talking so loudly.”

She said, “Get over it.”

I gave up. I was frustrated with the girls, but even more frustrated with myself. I couldn’t believe I’d let my tone get confrontational. The girls were still swearing, and now we were all angry.

After I’d calmed down, I saw that the girls were having trouble with their sewing machine. I knew what was wrong because I’d had the same problem earlier. So I showed them how to fix it. I saw the expression change on the biggest girl’s face. “Hey,” she said, “we’re sorry.” I couldn’t believe it—she was apologizing. “I’m sorry too,” I told her. “I shouldn’t have gotten angry like that.”

I went back to my sewing machine and didn’t hear another swear word. That experience taught me that our words might not change others’ attitudes, but kindness and service often can.

Katie Pike, Utah, USA

I Defended Serving a Mission

I joined the Church when I was 19, the second of three sons and the only Latter-day Saint in my family. Shortly after being baptized, I began to feel the desire to serve a mission. After a year, the Spirit told me I should go. I talked with my mother, who felt it was not right that I go. I deferred for another year, but the desire to serve a mission never left me. During that year, I studied the scriptures, saved my money, prepared my papers, had all the medical exams, and—after everything else was completed—I waited on the Lord. Before long, I received a call to serve in the Brazil Campinas Mission.

My parents were still opposed. I fasted and prayed openly, telling Heavenly Father about all my fears. I asked Him to touch the heart of my earthly father. He did. To my surprise, my father attended the farewell party that my friends had prepared for me on the Saturday prior to my departure. And that Monday, my dad took me to the airport.

During my mission, I felt the love of God as I preached the gospel. My mom did not stop being a mother, and when I returned home, she was the first person to hug me.

I learned that serving a mission is much more than a duty; it is a privilege and a marvelous time of growth and learning.

Cleison Wellington Amorim Brito, Paraíba, Brazil

I Bore Testimony of God

godwitnessinclassAs a freshman in our country’s best university, I felt pressure to do my best. Persecution came, and I started to question my belief in the gospel as many of my professors expounded on what they professed to be “reality.” Many of my classmates were affected. This environment made it difficult to uphold Christian values. I thought of quitting but decided it was better to stay. I reasoned that if there were only a few who qualified to enter this university, and among those few were only a few Latter-day Saints, then I should stay and stand for truth.

My biology professor, a self-professed atheist, taught science without any belief in a Supreme Creator. Yet the more I heard, the more it reinforced to me that there is a Supreme Being—God, our Father—who created all these things. Others argued that this idea didn’t make any sense. Our discussions got more intense. I was anxious to raise my hand and explain I believe in God as the Creator.

The time came to give comments. At my school, it was normal for people to applaud, yell, or boo at those who presented their ideas. I stood boldly and said plainly to the opposing side: “Believing in God may not make any sense to you at the moment, but the day will come when it will all make sense to you as clearly as it does to me now.”

Since that time, I’ve never received any boos when standing up for my beliefs. From that time forward, I progressed academically, socially, and spiritually. I started to become active in student activities, and I was elected to several school offices.

I learned that standing for truth even once greatly affects our future decisions.

Vince A. Molejan Jr., Mindanao, Philippines

Discover ways you can stand up for your beliefs: lds.org/go/standE1014.

Book Report: World War 2, Adolf Hitler, and Christian Survival

Book Report: Surviving Hitler

The Unlikely True Story of an SS Soldier and a Jewish Woman

Hakan Palm

A powerful story of the courage and faith of a noble couple’s survival of World War 2 and Adolf Hitler’s atrocities

Surviving_HitlerTold in their own words …

 

Agnes

In the cattle car on the journey to Auschwitz, Father laid his hands upon my head and in the Hungarian language put into words his patriarchal blessing. In the blessing he said that Mother’s life and his days of torment would soon be over. They would be killed and be with God, but they would not suffer. Father continued his blessing and told me that in spite of much suffering, I would survive. I was young and of a pure heart. Father’s spirit would protect me so that I would eventually find the truth. He assured me that we would be reunited with God.

Gustav

I knew nothing about the fate of my comrades in arms, but I had survived my baptism of fire. Noise, bangs, and explosions had been unspeakably violent. As sure as I lived, I could have been dead. I clearly remembered feeling ordered by someone during the attack to take a step to the right. I had done so. That kept the bullet from hitting me straight on in the face. It had just nicked my left cheek.

Gustav and Agnes

Gustav Palm kept his secret for more than forty years. He’d been a young man when Hitler invaded his native Norway. After being forced to guard a Nazi prison camp, however, Gustav took his only option for escape: he volunteered for the Waffen-SS to fight at the front.

Agnes Erdős grew up in privilege and prosperity as a child in Hungary. She and her parents were practicing Roman Catholics, but they were ethnic Jews, and after the Nazis invaded her country, Agnes and her parents were sent to the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Miraculously, both Agnes and Gustav survived. And after the war, they found each other.

Told in their own words, Surviving Hitler is the story of two indomitable spirits who built on their life-altering experiences to overcome the past, help each other heal, and embrace a common faith in God that led them to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

Available at DeseretBook.com

Real World News: History of Palestine vs. Israel

The lies in world news notwithstanding, here is the real history about the Islam-caused ethnic cleansing —

With anti-Semitism rising around the world, Jews need a homeland more than ever

keyCan we all agree on one simple premise? Ethnic and religious cleansing is morally wrong. That recognition should be enough to put to rest the heckling for Israel to stop building houses for Jews—anywhere, anytime. ~Joseph Farah

Truth-Detectors

Never Again: Why Israel must not ever cede Judea and Samaria

Joseph Farah,

A former Middle East correspondent, is founder, editor and CEO of Word Net Daily.

http://www.wnd.com

Widely recognized for his Middle East reporting, he is a recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Outstanding Journalism in the Middle East, presented annually by the Zionist Organization of America.

 

“So how can you expect me—a Jewish prime minister of the Jewish state, who heads a cabinet of 15 Jews—to forbid fellow Jews from acquiring a piece of land and building a home in the original Shiloh, in the original Beth El, in the original Bethlehem, and in the original Hebron from where our Jewish forefathers originally came? Would that not be scandalous?”~Menachem Begin

 

israelmapIsrael’s military response to thousands of rocket attacks from Gaza and infiltrations by terrorists through a maze of Hamas-built tunnels, has, somewhat predictably, prompted its enemies and many others around the world to demand the Jewish state stop building what they call “settlements” in areas on the West Bank of the Jordan River, or, more accurately, Judea and Samaria.

As a former Middle East correspondent and an Arab-American, let me explain why Israel must never allow pressure from its enemies or foreigners to deter the building of “settlements” or consider ceding any more land to Palestinian Arab control.

Israel dismantled similar “settlements” in Gaza in exchange for promises of peace. But “settlements” is a loaded word. What the world calls “settlements” are Jewish communities built on historically Jewish land—territory desperately needed by Israel to protect itself from the kind of attacks being perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs in Gaza. In fact, some 9,000 Jews were forcibly removed from Gaza by the Israeli military in 2005.

How did that work out for Israel?

Not so good.

Now the focus of the world’s attention is on so-called “settlements” in and around Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria. Even the U.S. has, at various times, called for Israel to stop construction of houses—and sometimes even repairs on existing structures—in East Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria.

Why do I put quotes around the word “settlements”? Because it’s an ugly word. If Jews don’t have the right to live and build communities in historically Jewish lands, where do they have a right to live?

israel_flagIt may be too late for Gaza, but with anti-Semitism rising around the world, Jews need a homeland more than ever. Israel’s population is growing, both from immigration, rising birth rates and increased longevity.

In addition, Israel has experimented with land giveaways, and they have resulted only in more attacks on its population centers. In other words, the land-for-peace gambit has failed miserably.

What’s the solution? Israel needs to do what is right for the Jewish people.

But these communities are a thorn in the side of Arab Palestinians. Why? Simply because they don’t accept the idea that Jews have a right to live there. In fact, polls show most Arab Palestinians don’t believe Jews have a right to live anywhere in Israel—not even Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

That’s not just the overwhelming opinion of the Arab people in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority, it’s the opinion of the leadership. The official position of the Palestinian Authority, including those supposedly negotiating “peace” terms with Israel, is that no Jews should be permitted to live there.

In other words, the Palestinian Arabs believe I religious and ethnic cleansing of their land.

Back in 1977, when Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was negotiating a peace deal with Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, then-resident Jimmy Carter was already pressuring Israel to halt Jewish “settlements” in Judea and Samaria.

In a meeting with Carter, National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Carter raised the issue with Begin.

According to a new book called “Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Shneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History” by Joseph Telushkin, [the following exchange took place].

Menachem Begin: “Mr. President, here in the United states of America, there are 11 places named Hebron, five places named Shiloh, four places named Bethel and six places named Bethlehem.”

Carter: “Indeed there are. Within 20 miles of my home there is a Bethel and a Shiloh.”

Begin: “May I be permitted to visit them one day?”

Carter: “Of course, with pleasure! There are three good Baptist churches there.”

Begin: “In that case, I shall bring along our chief rabbi to protect me. Allow me to put to you a hypothetical question. Imagine one day that the governors of the states in which these Hebrons and Shilohs and Bethels and Bethlehems were located were to issue a decree declaring that any citizen of the Untied States was free to settle in any one of these places except for one category—the Jews. Jews are forbidden to build homes in the Shilohs and the Hebrons and the Bethels and the Bethlehems of America—so it should be decreed. Oh dear! Everybody is welcome to settle in any of these cities whose names derive from the Book of Books except for the people of the Book. Good women and men everywhere would cry from the rooftops—‘Scandalous! Discrimination! Bigotry! Am I not right?”

Carter: “Hypothetically.”

Begin: “So how can you expect me—a Jewish prime minister of the Jewish state, who heads a cabinet of 15 Jews—to forbid fellow Jews from acquiring a piece of land and building a home in the original Shiloh, in the original Beth El, in the original Bethlehem, and in the original Hebron from where our Jewish forefathers originally came? Would that not be scandalous?”

Indeed it would be scandalous. In fact, it is scandalous for anyone to suggest that Jews don’t have a God-given right to live wherever they choose to live—but especially in those communities.

Today, as a result of this continuing, unrelenting, unwarranted and immoral international pressure on Israel to cede more territory to its sworn enemies—people who still call for the destruction of the Jewish state—Bethlehem is already devoid of a Jewish community. And this town once dominated by Christians—the little town where Jesus was born—is nearly devoid of Christians.

Tired of religious persecution, the payment of jizya taxes imposed by the new Muslim majority and getting caught in the crossfire of Palestinian Muslim attacks on Israel and the predictable responses, the small Christian community represents less than 10 percent of the population.

This proves Begin’s instincts were right—not only for Jews, but for the Christian Palestinian minority as well.

Can we all agree on one simple premise? Ethnic and religious cleansing is morally wrong. That recognition should be enough to put to rest the heckling for Israel to stop building houses for Jews—anywhere, anytime.

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