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Friday, January 27, 2012

Unconstitutional Recess Appointments

By: Phyllis Schlafly eagleforum.orgJanuary 25, 2012
Phyllis Schlafly
Phyllis Schlafly
          Barack Obama's latest unconstitutional action is his attempt to make four so-called recess appointments to high-level, well-paying jobs in the federal bureaucracy when the Senate was NOT in recess. He appointed three people to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), plus Richard Cordray to head the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau even though the Senate had declined to confirm his nomination.          
          Article II gives the President power "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate" to appoint public officials and judges, and also "to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate." That provision was written to cover the long recesses that were common during the horse-and-buggy days, and was certainly not written to enable the President to defy the Senate and appoint persons whom the Senate would not confirm.

          Obama's action is clearly an attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution because the Senate was not in recess when he made these appointments. According to the Constitution, the Senate could not have been in recess when the appointments were made because Article I of the Constitution states that neither House can "adjourn for more than three days without the consent" of the other House, and the House did not consent to a Senate recess.          It seems reasonable that the Senate should have the authority to say whether or not it is in recess. Apparently, President Obama wants to make that a presidential decision.
          Obama claims he can call it a recess because the Senate is merely conducting pro forma sessions (i.e., having brief meetings and not doing anything important). In fact, the Senate did pass a bill on December 23 during one of those brief sessions and the President signed it into law, so it must have been important business.
          Even if anyone accepts Obama's farfetched argument, that doesn't put him in compliance with the constitutional requirement that the Senate cannot be in recess unless the House has agreed. And the House absolutely did not agree to a recess.
We have a law on the books that requires the Attorney General to give the President legal advice on request. Funny thing, Obama won't say whether or not he asked the Justice Department for advice about the constitutional issue before making controversial recess appointments.
          The head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, Virginia Seitz, issued a statement, dated two days after the appointments were made, that presumes to okay the recess appointments. However, it did not refute the case against the legality of the appointments, and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) says this memo is "unconvincing."
          The four positions that Obama filled with recess appointments are important and powerful jobs that should require Senate confirmation. Obama's actions should be struck down by the courts as unconstitutional when presented with legal challenges, and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is considering whether the House should pursue its own legal action.
          The National Federation of Independent Business, the National Right to Work Foundation and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace have already filed a lawsuit challenging Obama's so-called recess appointments. These organizations argue that the men illegally appointed by Obama should not be permitted to issue regulations or take other regulatory actions.
          When we had Republican Presidents, the Democrats were very solicitous to prevent them from abusing the power to make recess appointments. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amicus brief in 2004 with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opposing President George W. Bush's appointment of Judge William Pryor Jr. to that court.
          Kennedy's brief stated that the 10-day recess the Senate took for Presidents Day was not a recess sufficient to qualify under the Recess Appointments Clause in the Constitution.
          Mark Levin summed up the Obama Administration when he told CNS News, "I believe to a great extent we now live in a post-constitutional country, where much of the Constitution is ignored or evaded." It's no wonder Gallup reports that the majority of Americans believe our country is moving in the wrong direction.

Further reading:

The Sower of Seed - By: Moments With The Book

“He spake many things unto them in parables” (Matthew 13:3).

What is a Parable?

Christ’s words were always picturesque. He spoke of camels creeping through the hole in a needle (Matthew 19:24), of people trying to remove specks from another’s eye when a plank was in their own (Matthew 7:5). He referred to a house divided against itself, destined to fall down (Mark 3:25), to tossing children’s bread to dogs (Mark 7:27). Strictly speaking, however, these are not stories. The stories Jesus told fall into a particular category known as parable. A parable is a story taken from a real life situation from which a moral or spiritual truth is drawn. Examples are many: the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14), the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14), and many others.
Parables differ from fables in that a fable is not a real situation. Parables also differ from allegories, since in an allegory each or nearly every detail has meaning. Parables are merely real-life stories from which one or possibly a few basic truths are drawn.

The Parable of the Sower

If a person were to begin reading the New Testament at Matthew 1:1, he would read quite a while before encountering a parable. But with chapter 13 that suddenly changes—here, seven parables are recorded. The first parable deals with the beginnings or origins of the kingdom of God. It is compared to a farmer sowing seed (Matthew 13:3-9). Not all of Christ’s parables are explained, but this one is (vv. 18-23). The seed is the gospel, and the soil is the human heart. The emphasis is on the various kinds of hearts and how they reject or receive Christ’s message.

The hard heart

The first type of soil represents the hard heart, of which there are many today. It is described as soil along the path (v. 4). Such ground has been trampled down by the many feet that have passed that way over years. Because the soil is hard, the seed that falls there merely lies on the path and does not sink in, and the birds (which Christ compares to the devil or the devil’s workers) soon snatch it away. What is it that makes the human heart hard? There can only be one answer: sin. Sin hardens the heart, and the heart that is hardened sins even more.

The shallow heart

The second type of soil stands for the shallow heart. Jesus described it as soil covering rocky ground. When the seed fell there it sank in, but only to a very shallow depth. It sprang up quickly, but it also faded quickly in the sun’s heat because it had no root. Many people fit this description. They are attracted to the joy and excitement of a church where much is happening. They hear the gospel and seem to fit in. Many even make a profession of faith. But then some difficulty comes and just as suddenly as they once seemed to embrace the faith, they fall away, because they were never really born again.

The strangled heart

The third type of soil stands for the strangled heart. “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (v. 22). I do not need to point out how many lives are choked by riches today. It was even true in Jesus’ day (see Matthew 19:23, Mark 10:25, Luke 6:24). Riches do not choke a person all at once. It is a gradual process. Slowly, very slowly, they strangle the buddings of spiritual life within. Beware of that if you either have possessions or are on your way to acquiring them. Above all, beware if you are saying, “I’ll think about spiritual things when I’m older.”

The open heart

The last type of soil is the one to which the entire parable has been heading. It is the open heart, the heart that receives the gospel like good soil receives seed. Is your heart an open heart? Are you receptive to God’s truth? Do you allow it to settle down into your life and thinking so that it turns you from sin, directs your faith to Jesus, and produces the Holy Spirit’s fruit? You may say, “I’m afraid not. I wish my heart was like that, but I’m afraid it is hard or shallow or strangled by this world’s goods. What can I do?”
The answer is that you can do nothing, any more than soil can change its nature. But there is one who can—the divine Gardener. He can break up the hard ground, uproot the rocks, and remove the thorns. Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). In other words, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). They are possible for you. Come to Christ and allow Him to give you a heart that will receive the gospel.
—Condensed from The Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice. Copyright (c) 1983 by the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Look Out Below – The Nightmarish Decline Of The Euro Has Begun

Article Link at worldviewweekend.com        
          The euro is a dying currency. On Thursday, the EUR/USD fell below 1.28 for the first time since September 2010. In fact, as I write this the EUR/USD is sitting at 1.2791. Back in July, the EUR/USD was over 1.45. But this is just the beginning. The euro is going to go a lot lower. At this point, there are several major European nations that are on the verge of default, the European financial system is overflowing with debt and toxic assets, and most major European banks are leveraged about as badly as Lehman Brothers was when it collapsed. Most Americans simply do not grasp the gravity of what is happening. Just because the Dow is sitting above 12000 and a few U.S. economic numbers have improved slightly does not mean that everything is going to be okay. As I wrote about recently, the EU has a bigger economy than we do and they have a bigger banking system than we do. U.S. banks are massively exposed to European sovereign debt and European banking debt. When the financial system of Europe collapses and the euro falls apart it is going to rock the entire planet. So you better look out below - the euro is coming down and it is coming down hard. After the euro implodes, nothing is every going to be the same again.
          So how far are we going to see the euro decline?
          Julian Jessop of Capital Economics expects the euro to fall much further....
The relative strength of the recent economic data from the US is supporting the dollar more generally, and we expect this divergence to persist as the euro-zone slides into a deep and prolonged recession. Above all, doubts about the very survival of the euro itself are likely to remain a drag on the currency. We therefore continue to expect the euro to fall to around $1.10 by the end of the year.
          Others are even more pessimistic.
          As I have written about previously, the head of global bond portfolio management at PIMCO believes that the euro is going to go even lower than that....
"Parity with the dollar next year is not out of the question"
          Can you imagine that?
1 dollar = 1 euro?
          Don't think that it can't happen.
          But the decline of the euro is just part of the story. The truth is that Europe is on the verge of a financial collapse that could end up dwarfing the financial crisis of 2008.
          Sadly, most Americans have no idea what has been going on in Europe the past few days....
-The stock of the biggest bank in Italy, UniCredit, is absolutely collapsing. Shares of UniCredit fell 14 percent on Wednesday and 17 percent on Thursday.
-Shares of another major Italian bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, fell 7.3 percent on Thursday.
-Shares of three major French banks all fell by at least 5 percent on Thursday.
-Even shares of German banks are falling like a rock. Shares of Commerzbank fell 4.5 percent on Thursday and shares of Deutsche Bank fell 5.6 percent on Thursday.
Click here for complete article:
Distributed by: www.worldviewweekend.com

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Israel In The News – Brotherhood: ‘Kill the Jews’, Bribery at UN, and Congressmen Want Probe – Israel My Glory (Jan./Feb. 2012)

Brotherhood: ‘Kill the Jews’  
            Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood held a “kill the Jews” rally in Cairo in November.  Thousands attended, promising to “one day kill all the Jews” and wage war against Jerusalem’s “Judaization.”
            The rally was held on the anniversary of the 1947 UN partition plan that established the State of Israel and that was immediately followed by a pan-Arab war aimed at annihilating the newborn state.
            The Brotherhood is suddenly promoting itself as a party that favors nonviolent rights for women, but it boasts its hatred of Jewish people and Israel.  “The Muslim Brotherhood (is) very opportunistic.  They don’t care about the Egyptian blood. . . . They only care about taking power,” said Azza Kamal, a political activist.  (IsraelNationalNews.com)
Bribery at UN
          Though there is little need to provide incentives for most nations to vote against Israel at the UN, some Arab states are nevertheless bribing countries that traditionally side with the Jewish state in order to make passage of anti-Israel resolutions more one-sided.
            Johnson Toribiong, president of the Pacific island nation of Palau, told Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently offered him $50 million to start voting against Israel.
            “We told them ‘Forget it. We will not vote against Israel for anything in the world,’” Toribiong said.  Palau, Vanuatu, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and a number of other Pacific micro nations are firm supporters of Israel due to their strong Christian faith.
            When the Solomon Islands, another Pacific island nation, suddenly began voting against Israel in 2009, many wondered why.  Like other Christian island nations, they had always backed the Jewish state.  Later it was discovered that Iran’s foreign ministry had bribed the impoverished Solomon Islands with a $200,000 check and technological aid.  (www.israeltoday.co.il)
Congressmen Want Probe
            Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Steve Israel (D-NY) have asked for an investigation to determine if the Palestinian Authority (PA) is using U.S. aid for terrorists.  They wrote to the Government Accountability Office following news reports that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ordered homes be built for terrorists whom Israel freed in return for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
            They also want to investigate whether Abbas is using U.S. Economic Support Funds for his unilateral move to win UN recognition for the PA, a violation of the Oslo Accords and the death knell of the U.S.-sponsored “peace process.”
            Steve Israel said “We have a foreclosure crisis in the United States, and we’re struggling to keep American families in their homes.  Now we learn that U.S. taxpayer dollars could be going to build homes for terrorists?  This is outrageous.  I’m asking for a full accounting of how U.S. funds are being used by the Palestinian Authority.” (IsraelNationalNews.com)
Palestinian Authority president,
Mahmoud Abbas
Jordan In Trouble
            Refugees from Iraq, the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Syria swarming across the borders to Jordan, along with the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, threaten Jordan’s stability, researchers report.  Also, America’s withdrawal from Iraq may cause anarchy there and increase the flow of Iraqi refugees to Jordan, a report said.
            The violence in Syria already has spread across the Jordanian border.  Syrian soldiers shot at a girl fleeing to Jordan in November 2011, and Jordanian forces rescued her.  Jordanian soldiers also arrested a youth for allegedly helping Syrians but arms; he died in jail, prompting street protests.
            Another huge threat to King Abdullah is the prospect of a PA unity government that would restore Hamas’s status in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley.  Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel.  (IsraelNationalNews.com)
Published in Israel My Glory. A ministry of The Friends Of Israel Gospel Ministry Inc. foi.org

Why Christianity And Marxism Cannot Co-Exist – By: Brannon S. Howse

          This obsession to obliterate Christianity manifests itself in many ways.  Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was imprisoned for 14 years in Romania for preaching the Gospel while he also railed against Communism.  After his freedom was purchased he found his way to America.
          A month after his arrival in America in 1966, he testified before the United States Senate, and it has been reported that Wurmbrand’s testimony was the most-sold government document for the next three years.  His testimony is available online (http://members.cox.net/wurmbrand/communist.html), and if you read it, you’ll understand why it is so popular.  His testimony warns that Communism cannot tolerate Christianity, and the Communist strategy in America is to infiltrate religious institutions and use them to further the Communist cause.  Wurmbrand pleaded with Americans to oppose Communism in any form:
Karl Marx
“…The church can never have a peaceful coexistence with atheism.  Everybody would laugh if I would say that health can peacefully exist with the microbe of tuberculosis, that the FBI can coexist peacefully with gangsters, that the church can peacefully exist with drunkenness, but communism and atheism is much worse than drug addiction and drunkenness.  You drink a little wine and the next day it passes, but communism poisons youth and our children since 50 years.  How can there be peaceful existence with this on the side of churchmen and the church leadership I cannot understand.”
          Pastor Wurmbrand explained that Communists do not really care whether or not people become Communists per se but only that they do not oppose Communism.  Pointing out the unbiblical ideas and values of Communism leads to cruel and murderous actions against the dissenter.  In outlining the Communist approach, Wurmbrand explained that churches don’t need to teach Communism, only a liberal Christianity that allows for the acceptance of what Communists want to accomplish:
“Rumanian Communists are very interested in the fact that you have here in the States, something like 300,000 [liberal clergy] on their side.  They can’t very well win them for Communism, but they can win them for a leftwing Christianity which supports Communism.”
          In addition to his Congressional testimony, Wurmbrand wrote several books cautioning against embracing Communism.  Unfortunately, Wurmbrand’s warnings have largely gone unheeded, and we are not suffering the consequences.
A Strange Spiritual Partnership
          Leftwing Christianity that rejects a Biblical worldview and proclaims a liberal social gospel is a partner to Communism, whether knowingly or not.  Thus, Communism has many partners in AmericaNeven among some of America’s most popular “Christian” authors and conference speakers.
          FBI founder and director, J. Edgar Hoover, in his 1958 book Masters of Deceit explains why Communists put their people in as the heads of churches and other such organizations:
”To make a known Party member president of a front would immediately label it as “communist.”  But if a sympathizer can be installed, especially a man of prominence, such as an educator, minister, or scientist, the group can operate as an “independent” organization.”
          Even Russia’s once State-controlled Communist newspaper Pravda understands that most of America’s churches are a joke and are partially responsible for America’s demise.  In an April 2009 column, “American Capitalism Gone with a Whimper,” Pravda reports:
“Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more than Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more than happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another.  Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power.  Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.”1
Who’s Behind All This?
          Like many communist/socialist radicals of today – and like Alice Bailey – Marx, as a teenager, wrote about his Christian faith and his Christian convictions.  As a young student, he claimed that Christ was in his heart.  But it is clear that Marx-the-adult held to nothing remotely like true faith and repentance in Jesus Christ.  No, his worldview was quite opposite that.
          After Richard Wurmbrand offered his gripping testimony to Congress, he went on to found Voice of the Martyrs in support of Christians suffering for their faith.  He also wrote several books about Karl Marx in which he documents the satanic influence underlying Marxism.  He clearly reveals that Karl Marx was involved in Satanism.
In one of his poems, Marx declares:
“Thus heaven I’ve forfeited,
I know it full well.
My soul, once true to God,
Is chosen for hell.”2
In another, he exclaims:
“I wish to avenge myself against the One who rules above.”3
Marx also proclaimed:
“My object in life is to dethrone God  and destroy capitalism.”
          Elsewhere, Marx claimed to have a pact with the devil, as Max’s biographer explains:
“He had the Devil’s view of the world, and Devil’s malignity.  Sometimes he seemed to know that he was accomplishing works of evil.”4
          A letter to Karl from his own father dated March 2, 1837 reveals that his own father was fearful that his son was under demonic influence.5
The End-Game of Communism
          Satan has used socialism, communism, and Marxism in an attempt to build his “new order” – his own kingdom – by seeking to destroy Christianity, free nations, national sovereignty, and law based on the character and nature of God.  The devil has used dictators committed to Marxist/Leninist philosophies to kill countless Christians.  Why?  Because, in the end, it is only committed Christians who build God’s Kingdom, making them Satan’s greatest obstacle.
          Satan encourages in every way possible the violation of the Ten Commandments.  The obliteration (stealing) of private property, for instance, forces service the State alone in order to survive.  This fulfills the enemy’s plan that people ultimately are not really serving the state but the one who stands behind the State – Satan himself.  Jesus Christ points out in John 10:10 that “the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”  Satan – and his tool of the Communist State – is a thief.  He loves communism, socialism, and Marxism because any version of such a government does, indeed, steal, kill and destroy.
          Later in John 10:10 Jesus offers the good news: He came so we would have eternal life.  This is a precious promise for the untold numbers of Christians and Jews who have refused to worship at the altar of Satan – and serve the State – with the result that they have been imprisoned or murdered.
          Christians can take hope that God’s Kingdom will come and crush Satan’s dominion as foretold in the book of Daniel.  Until that day, believers must realize that to not oppose socialism, communism, and Marxism is to agree with a satanic plan that fuels injustice, cruelty, anti-family values, and anti-Christian worldviews.
          One final quote captures the essence of what Marx believed and what he thought should be done about it: “The idea of God is keynote of a perverted civilization.  It must be destroyed.”6  He may have been dead wrong, but that doesn’t change the reality that the worldview of Marx is alive and well in America and around the world.  The influence of Marx’s ideas is overwhelming, and his vile legacy lives on despite the indisputable failure of his atheistic, communistic worldview wherever it has been tried.
From the Worldview Weekend Digest – Summer/Fall 2010 – Volume 9
For more information on this topic order Brannon’s book Grave Influence at www.worldviewweekend.com.
1 “American Capitalism Gone with a Whimper,” Pravda, April 27, 2009.
2 Karl Marx, “Das Bleiche Madchen” (The Pale Maiden), 55-57.
3 Richard Wurmbrand, Marx and Satan (Bartlesville, OK: Living Sacrifice Book Company, 1986), 18.
4 Robert Payne, Marx (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1968), 317.
5 Heinrich Marx, letter of March 2, 1837, to Karl Marx quoted in Wurmbrand, Marx and Satan, 21.
6 Wurmbrand, Marx and Satan.