Iowa Congressman Steve King Blasted For Making ‘Racists’ Comments

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF USA NEWS)

Rep. Steve King blasted for “our civilization” tweet

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) sparked controversy on Sunday for a tweet that expressed support for the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Time
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U.S. Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who last July said white Christians have contributed more to Western civilization than any other “subgroup,” on Sunday found himself again the subject of criticism, this time for saying that Muslim children are preventing “our civilization” from being restored.

King, who was retweeting a message endorsing Geert Wilders, a far-right candidate for Dutch prime minister, said Wilders “understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

The original tweet, from the anti-European Union Voice of Europe, media organization, displays a cartoon with an image of Wilders plugging a hole in a wall labeled “Western Civilization.” Nearby, bearded protesters hold signs that say, “Infidels, Know Your Limits” and “Freedom of Speech Go To Hell.”

The caption reads: “Hundreds of Islamists shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Wilders is right for over 10 years.”

King was on the receiving end of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum.

Conservative columnist Bill Kristol tweeted, “Is it worth making the obvious point that what American history has been about is ‘restoring’ ourselves with ‘somebody else’s babies?'”

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean called King “a total ignoramus and no one takes him seriously. He does give off good quotes to outrage people though.”

In a pair of tweets endorsing King’s tweet, former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke said that if Americans were considering moving, “sanity reigns supreme in Iowa’s 4th congressional district,” in the state’s northwest area, which King represents.

The Washington Post last month noted that while just 64% of the U.S. population is white and non-Hispanic, nearly 89% of Iowa’s population describe themselves that way.

Duke on Sunday also tweeted, simply: “GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!! #TruthRISING”

King has often made provocative comments about “civilization” and what he perceives as a declining role in its development for white Christians.

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Meeting last September with Wilders and another anti-immigrant politician, Frauke Petry of Germany, King tweeted a photo with the caption, “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.”

During the Republican National Convention in July, King created an uproar by asserting that white people have contributed more to the advancement of human civilization than any other “sub-group of people.”

Last September, King spoke out against silent protests by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, calling them “activism that’s sympathetic to ISIS.”

The often strident Wilders is sometimes referred to as the “Dutch Trump.” He earned the nickname not just for his love of extreme comments — he has tweeted about “left wing elitist losers,” among others — but also for explicit anti-Muslim views. Wilders has called for the Koran to be banned, and his party’s platform calls for prohibiting new mosques, which he compares to “Nazi Temples.” He has also proposed closing Dutch borders and making “the Netherlands ours again,” The Post reported.

Like Trump, Wilders also sports an outrageous blonde hairdo and is married to a woman of Eastern European descent.

Polls for the Netherlands’ March 15 election have shown Wilders in a close race with incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Follow Greg Toppo on Twitter: @gtoppo

Kansas Shooter’s Actions Cannot And Do Not Speak For How Vast Majority Of Americans Believe

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES NEWS)

Kansas shooter’s actions cannot and do not speak for US

WORLD Updated: Feb 26, 2017 07:05 IST

Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington

Kansas

Srinivas Kuchibhotla (right) with his wife Sunayana Dumala in Iowa. Kuchibhotla was shot at a bar in Olathe, Kansas.(AP File)

Sri Srinivasan’s family moved to Kansas when he was only four. He grew up a basketball fanatic, going to the same high school as a future star of the sport. And eventually went on to become the first Indian-American judge of a court of appeals, roughly like India’s high court, and was a top contender for a vacancy that fell open on the US supreme court bench in 2016, which would have been historic in many ways — as the first Indian-American, the first Asian-American and the first Hindu American named justice to the highest court in the country.Judge Srinivasan, as he is called, grew up in Lawrence, a 30-minute drive from Olathe, where an apparently inebriated US navy veteran killed Srinivas Kuchibotla, an IT engineer from Hyderabad, past Wednesday mistaking him for a Middle-Easterner, and telling him to “get out of my country”. Investigators are still trying to determine the exact motives of the shooter, Adam Purinton, but he will not be the first American to feel that way about people from the Middle-East, specially after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

But does the shooting make the United States less of a destination for anyone with dreams of making it big as Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO from Hyderabad, Sunder Pichai, Google CEO from further south Chennai, or Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems from Delhi? Less safe? After all, how could a drink at a bar with a colleague after work end so badly?

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Is President Donald Trump’s America any less safe? While condemning the killings, the White House has dismissed any links to the president’s rhetorics as has been suggested by some, but there are worries and concerns arising out of a surge in ethnic, religious and racial tensions in the aftermath of his election.

But Purinton cannot, and does not speak for Kansas or the United States. Judge Srinivasan has never complained about racial slights he or his family might have faced growing up in Kansas and local news publications had covered his elevation to the appeals court and his possible move to the Supreme Court with unrestrained pride.

Adam Purinton of Olathe, Kansas, who shot Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla. (REUTERS)

He was one of them, and they wanted to celebrate his achievements as they would of anyone else. He might have, as all immigrants, faced stereotyping — Indians are mocked, often by Indian comics — for nodding their head excessively as they listen; their accent, and they may have all faced one time or another intended or unintended slights.

Things can get worse, and have gotten worse for some. Balbir Singh Sandhu, an immigrant from Punjab, became the first victim of the backlash after the September 9, 2001, terrorist attack. He was shot dead at his gas station in Arizona by a man who mistook him for a Middle-Easterner. Six men and women were gunned down by a white supremacist an attack on a Wisconsin gurudwara in 2013. But Sandhu’s relatives chose to stay, and so have those of Wisconsin victims.

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And it may not be pointed out to those feeling uncertain, don’t forget Ian Gillort, the Kansas man who was shot by Purinton trying to save Kuchibotla and his colleague Alok Madasani. “No, it’s not like that,” Grillot said in a vide about being hailed as a hero. “I was just doing what anyone should have done for another human being. It’s not about where he was from or his ethnicity. We’re all humans. I just felt I did what was naturally right to do.” His sister has said he wishes he could have done more.

It is reasonable to feel unsafe and insecure after every such incident, but, as a young immigrant from India, said Friday, “People back home must realize the US is no less safe today than it was yesterday or the day before, or tomorrow.”

52 Years Ago Today Black Muslim Malcolm X Was Assassinated By Black Muslims

 

When Malcolm X was murdered on February 21st 1965 I was only 8 1/2 years old and I had only heard of his name a couple of times, I am guessing it was from the evening news that my Dad used to watch with Walter Cronkite. I was a poor southern white boy living in an area where I do not remember anyone but other white folks were living. People were so dirt poor around there that news from the ‘outside’ world seemed to matter very little. The first time I ever even realized that there was an ‘outside’ world was when the NSA (my personal belief) murdered President Kennedy in November of 1963, I was in second grade at that time. What little I had heard of Malcolm X was that he was a Black man who was very racist against White folks and that he preached a lot of hate and favored violence, that is about all I knew of the man. I do not recall hearing anything at all about him being a Muslim until I was in about 9th grade, quite honestly at that time I had no idea what a Muslim even was. Once I started hearing his name mentioned I remember I started reading what material I could find on him, to get a jest of who the man was.

 

Now I am no expert on the man and I do not claim to have known his mind, all I can go on is the opinions I have formed through what others have written about him. I do remember hearing about his murder on the evening news, at that time the act of murder was quite new to me. Outside of President Kennedy I don’t believe I had ever heard of anyone being murdered. I have learned from reading an article from his daughter about the evening he was shot dead in front of her how her Dad was standing at a podium when three men came into the room shooting toward her Dad and I remember still of hurting for this young girl. She said that the first shot that was fired hit her Dad and he fell straight backwards onto the floor, evidently the first shot killed him instantly. How does a child ever get such a scene out of their mind?

 

By what I have learned about the life and times of Malcolm X was that he was quite the radical spouting hate toward White folks and demanding equality for Black folks by ‘any means necessary’, including violence. His doctrine at the time was one that I am sure scared a lot of White folks and just downright angered many more. He was not a man in the mold of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr who preached peaceful resistance for obtaining equality through morality. Not long before Mr. X was killed he took a tour of the Arab Nations and when he returned to the States his message had mellowed out, he was not preaching hate anymore. To me one of the things that is sad about the whole issue is that when his message turned to peaceful resistance he was murdered because of that change in philosophy. You see the Black Muslim men who murdered him did so because he had been their poster boy for hate and violence so when he changed his ideals on how to obtain equal rights for America’s Black Folks, they murdered him.  I am glad that the evil men who pulled the trigger on him were also Black or there would have been even more innocent people killed here in this country, all because of racism. Malcolm X was killed in 1965, Dr. King in 1968, I can’t help but wonder what each man would think of the America of today.

Jakarta Indonesia: Hardline Muslims Protest There Being A Chinese Christian Governor

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

Jakarta vote: Indonesia hardliners call for Muslim governor

  • 8 hours ago
  • From the section Asia
Islamic hardliners demonstrate against Basuki Tjahaja PurnamaImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption Hardline Muslims have been marching against Jakarta’s ethnic Chinese Christian governor for months

Tens of thousands of Indonesians have gathered in Jakarta to urge people to vote for a Muslim candidate to be the capital city’s next governor.

The incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, is an ethnic Chinese Christian currently on trial after being accused of insulting Islam.

Despite the court case, Mr Purnama is still expected to win Wednesday’s vote.

The campaign against him has been led by Muslim hardliners, stoking fears of growing religious intolerance.

Crowds gathered for mass prayers around the city’s Istiqlal Mosque on Saturday, urging people to cast their ballots for Muslim leaders.

Supporters of several Islamic groups held posters with messages such as “I’d prefer if my leader is a Muslim” and “It is forbidden to pick an infidel leader”.

Hardline protesterImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption Hardliners insist that the city should be governed by a Muslim
mass prayer at Istiqlal mosqueImage copyright EPA
Image caption The event centred on the Istiqlal Mosque drew tens of thousands of people

The action follows big protests against Mr Purnama in December and a rally that turned violent in November, leaving one man dead and dozens of police and demonstrators injured.

Mr Purnama became Jakarta’s first non-Muslim governor for 50 years and the first ethnic Chinese to hold the position when he took over from Joko Widodo – now the president – in 2014.

He won popularity for his no-nonsense style, as well as his stances against corruption and in favour of public transport and greater access to healthcare and education.

But some Islamists rejected him from the outset because of both his religion and ethnicity.

His position has been undermined by the court case against him, with prosecutors arguing that he insulted Islam by misusing a Koranic verse.

Mr Purnama had said that Islamic groups using a passage of the Koran to urge people not to support him were deceiving voters.

The verse is interpreted by some as prohibiting Muslims from living under the leadership of a non-Muslim.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Purnama wept as his trial opened in December

Mr Purnama insisted his comments were aimed at politicians “incorrectly” using the verse against him, not at the verse itself.

Rights groups say the authorities have set a dangerous precedent in which a noisy hardline Islamic minority can influence the legal process.

Mr Purnama is facing two prominent Muslim challengers for the Jakarta governorship.

If none of the contenders gets more than 50%, a run-off election between the two top candidates will take place in April.

Christians represent less than 10% of the country’s 250 million people, and ethnic Chinese about 1%.

In 1998, a wave of anti-Chinese sentiment led to mobs looting and burning Chinese-owned shops and houses, leaving more than 1,000 people dead.

However, Muslims in Indonesia are largely moderate and the country’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, had advised its members not to take part in the recent anti-Ahok protests.

Fury Rises in France Over Accusations Police Beat and Raped a Black Man

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Photo

The remains of a car on Tuesday after it was burned the night before by protesters in Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris. CreditAlex Turnball/Associated Press

PARIS — Youths set cars and trash bins ablaze and vandalized buildings in suburbs around Paris on Wednesday, venting rage for the fourth straight day over accusations that police officers had beaten and raped a young black man they arrested last week.

The police have used tear gas several times over the four days to disperse angry crowds, and in one instance officers fired live rounds into the air as warning shots, a rare occurrence in France. Five people were convicted on Wednesday evening of “ambushing” police forces. But there have also been peaceful marches in and around Paris to protest the arrest, and the violent unrest has waned.

The unrest has not approached the scale of violence that shook France for weeks in 2005. But even so, it reflects persistent tensions between the police and residents in suburbs where people from immigrant backgrounds are often concentrated and where unemployment is high, especially among young people.

The arrest last Thursday took place in one such suburb, Aulnay-sous-Bois, which is not far from where the 2005 trouble started: Clichy-sous-Bois, where two teenagers died fleeing the police. Youths in the area complain about frequent racial profiling by the police, who in turn cite the difficulties and dangers they face working in hostile neighborhoods.

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A similar case in August, when Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man, died of asphyxiation in custody after fleeing a police identification check, set off days of violent clashes in another town north of Paris, Beaumont-sur-Oise.
Photo

President François Hollande on Tuesday with the 22-year-old man whose arrest last week ignited the protests.CreditArnaud Journois/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In a sign that the authorities were eager to defuse this week’s unrest, President François Hollande paid a hospital visit on Tuesday to the 22-year-old man whose arrest ignited the protests. In video filmed by the newspaper Le Parisien, Mr. Hollande said the young man was known by the local authorities for his “exemplary conduct.”

“The judiciary has taken up the matter; it must be trusted,” Mr. Hollande said, adding that it would “ensure that the truth is known.”

The young man and his family have urged protesters to avoid violence.

Police officers arrested him as they were checking the identification of a dozen young men they suspected of dealing drugs; there is security camera footage of part of the encounter. Speaking to the BFM TV news channel in the days that followed, the young man said that the police officers had insulted and hit him and that one of them “took his baton and shoved it into my buttocks.”

The man was hospitalized with serious injuries to his rectum and bruises on his face and skull.

The four officers, all in their 20s and 30s, were suspended and placed under formal investigation, but were not detained. All four were charged with assault, and one was charged with rape.

Advocacy groups say the authorities have been slow to prosecute police officers accused of using excessive violence. According to a report published by one group last year, 63 people were injured and 26 died from police violence in France from 2005 to 2015, but only seven officers were convicted in those cases.

France’s defender of rights, an independent ombudsman whose office monitors civil and human rights, has also opened an investigation of the episode last week.

Photo

Demonstrators marched on Monday in the streets of Aulnay-sous-Bois. CreditMilos Krivokapic/Associated Press

The defender’s office and civil rights groups have complained for years that the police conduct ID checks without keeping records to show whether they were done for “objective and verifiable reasons.” In a recent study, the defender’s office found that the probability of being stopped by the police for an ID check was 20 times as high for young men who were “perceived as black or Arab” as it was for the general population. Advocates have called for making the police more accountable, and are angry that the Socialist government has dropped one promised measure, to have officers issue receipts when they check IDs.

Luc Poignant, a police union spokesman, said that it had become difficult for officers to work effectively in neighborhoods where they no longer have normal day-to-day interactions with residents. “When we go back there, it’s felt as an intrusion,” he said.

Still, he said, if the investigation finds that the four officers involved in the arrest last week deliberately did what they are accused of, they have no place on the police force. The officers have said that the young man’s injuries were accidental.

Bruno Beschizza, the right-wing mayor of Aulnay-sous-Bois, told France Info radio on Wednesday that it was crucial to “rebuild trust” between residents and the police, in light of what he called a “serious, intolerable, unacceptable act.” Mr. Beschizza, a former police officer and police union representative, said he would install more security cameras around his city.

The arrest last week and the unrest in the days since comes at a time when tensions have also been rising between the police and the government.

Thousands of officers protested across the country in October after two officers were seriously burned by firebombs in Viry-Châtillon, a struggling suburb south of Paris. A bill introduced after that episode to give officers more leeway to use firearms in self-defense was discussed in Parliament on Wednesday.

Police unions have repeatedly called for increased police budgets and have complained of difficult working conditions, especially when dealing with protests or with terrorist attacks.

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The Right To Wear Beards And Turbans In The U.S. Military Is A Victory For More Than Sikhs

 

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The change to grooming standards for religious minorities is a victory for all Americans and will strengthen the armed forces.

In 1675, Tegh Bahadur, the ninth spiritual master of the Sikhs and a brilliant military leader, was actively pushing back against the Mughal empire’s intolerant policies of forced religious conversion. After Hindus from the Kashmir region implored him for help, Tegh Bahadur sent the Moghul emperor, Aurangzeb, a challenge: “If you can convert me to Islam, then all of the Hindus in Kashmir will also convert to Islam. But if you can not convert me, then you must let them practice their religion in peace.”

The Mughals tortured Tegh Bahadur’s followers and killed them in order to compel him to convert. Ultimately, they beheaded Tegh Bahadur when he refused to give up his Sikh identity, and with that sacrifice the Kashmiri Hindus were spared forced religious conversion.

This is a story that Sikh children grow up listening to. It teaches us lessons of sacrifice, bravery, and social justice. It taught me to stand up for the practice of all religions.

Ever since 9/11, Sikhs, Muslims and other minorities that appear “Middle Eastern” have been targeted in hate crimes, workplace discrimination, and bullying. As a Sikh, I fought back against that hate and intolerance by working to fix discriminatory policies that institutionalize these divides. If one of the largest employers in the United States, our military, can discriminate against my religiously mandated turban and beard, then that gives cover to every employer to do the same.

Sikhs served honorably in the U.S. military for most of the 20th century, but in the early 1980s the military changed grooming and uniform regulations, essentially barring all Sikhs with turbans and beards from service. But it wasn’t just Sikhs who were pushed out. Muslims, Native Americans, Rastafarians, some Jewish sects, and several other religious minorities were also told that their religious observances would no longer be allowed in uniform.

RELATED: A MARINE SAYS HER RELIGION EXEMPTED HER FROM CERTAIN RULES. HERE’S WHY SHE’S WRONG »

In 2009, I became the first Sikh in a generation to be granted a religious accommodation for my turban and beard by the Pentagon, and on Jan. 3, 2017, the Pentagon released Army Directive 2017-03. It is a policy that addresses the most commonly requested religious accommodations and is a monumental achievement for not only Army Sec. Eric Fanning but also for those Sikhs who had pushed this issue for nearly a decade.

It is also a victory for America. We show our strength when we recognize the civil rights of small minorities. And when we do, we also gain in our fight with our enemies. ISIS tolerates no dissent, no disagreement, no difference. Our acceptance brings new people to our side, just as ISIS’ intolerance pushes many away.

The new directive allows brigade-level accommodation approval; that is, religious accommodations will no longer clutter desks at the office of the deputy chief of staff for personnel at the Pentagon. Once the religious accommodations have been made, they will continue throughout the soldiers’ careers. They can not be revoked or modified unless authorized by the service secretary or his/her designee. These soldiers can change duty stations and deploy, all without having to reapply for their religious waivers.

The directive also sets forth changes to AR 670-1 that specifically establish guidelines for the wear of turban, beard and hijabs in uniform. And just in case I wanted to wear my pink turban in uniform, the policy change states that the turban and hijab must be of subdued color or pattern that matches the camouflage of the uniform. All soldiers must still be able to wear a helmet and other “protective headgear.” Personally, I have never had any issue establishing a seal with a protective mask even with my turban and beard. The directive acknowledges that there are powered protective mask systems that our military currently uses which will form a good seal for all soldiers with facial hair. Furthermore, the Army will look to acquire and develop more protective masks that will function with facial hair.

This makes sense. Utilizing the Pentagon to grant individual religious accommodations is expensive, wasteful, and just plain silly. I want the Pentagon to focus on important issues like improving military transition, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues, sexual assault, and cyber attacks.

Sikhs have been fighting against violent extremism and religious intolerance for centuries. A good friend of mine, Lt. Col. Claude Brittain, served as a Pentagon chaplain before he passed away last year. He always supported our efforts to help open doors for religious minorities. Bluntly, I asked him one day why he continues to stick his neck out for us. He told me that in order for him to be a good Christian, he felt compelled to stand up for Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and others. I shared the story of Tegh Bahadur with him and he teared up.

This is how we counter threats like ISIS. ISIS doesn’t believe in diversity or religious freedom. That’s their weakness and we have to learn to exploit it if we’re to have any chance of defeating their underlying ideology. You don’t have to go back too far in history to see that the Nazis were way more “uniform” than we were, and that’s why we fought them. We can fight wars with bullets and tanks, but it’s our American ideals that will ultimately win the day. America’s military should look like the people it serves.

Ezra 9-Lamentation Of The Man: Ezra

 

Lamentation of the Man: Ezra

 

When he heard The Royal Seed, dirtied

Hair from his head and his beard he pulled

Astonished and confused by the people’s lost faith

The Holy Seed contaminated, defiled, mixed blood

We have taken of their daughters and they our sons

 

Trying to get the faithless to understand and to see

Grace from G-d, His promise: to save some of us

Do we have a nail hold in understanding of the Holy Crown

Great Grace has been given to us: yet we mostly choose to fail

Hebrew Theology the Lamentation of Ezra: The Man, Chapter 9

For Many on Chicago’s South Side, Obama’s Farewell Will Be Personal

 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

The chair President Obama used to sit in to get his haircut at the Hyde Park Hair Salon. An Obama cut, at $24, remains popular.Credit David Kasnic for The New York Times

CHICAGO — If the metal barricades, “Do Not Enter” signs and lurking Secret Service agents were a bother the past eight years in the Hyde Park-Kenwood area — the South Side neighborhood where President Obama still owns a house, but rarely has been home — residents are not complaining.

“All that’s been fine, really. You get used to it,” said Adela Cepeda, who like many people on Mr. Obama’s block of Greenwood Avenue met him before he was president, or a senator, or elected to anything at all. “To me, it’s just too bad his time will be over. This has been fabulous for Chicago in a certain way. I think that all things being equal, we came first. But I guess all good things must end.”

As Mr. Obama prepared to give his farewell address on Tuesday from McCormick Place, the cavernous convention center beside Lake Michigan, people in his hometown sounded by turns possessive, proud, anxious and wistful. With his election in 2008, this city — and its heavily African-American South Side in particular — had suddenly been thrust to the forefront of the national political conversation. And so early Saturday, in temperatures barely above zero, thousands waited outside for the chance to receive free tickets to witness the end of that story. By Sunday, tickets were being hawked online for as much as $5,000.

Lining Up for Obama’s Farewell Address

People waited in long lines in sub-zero wind chill temperatures outside McCormick Place to get tickets for President Obama’s farewell speech.

By REUTERS on Publish Date January 10, 2017. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images. Watch in Times Video »

Near the Obamas’ red brick Georgian, not far from the University of Chicago, some wondered gloomily whether his legacy might now be erased by his successor, Donald J. Trump, who received just 12 percent of the vote in Chicago and only single-digit slivers in the wards near Mr. Obama’s house.

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“I guess I feel sad,” said Antonio Coye, a barber at the Hyde Park Hair Salon, where the plain black chair Mr. Obama used to sit in for his trims is now preserved under glass. Not long ago, a crew of Lycra-clad bicyclists peered at the chair from the foyer of the small shop, where a line of men forms on Saturdays and “the Obama cut,” a professional-looking taper on the side and the back for $24, remains popular.

Photo

Icelia Crouse and her sister Stephanie inside of Valois, a restaurant in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood that President Obama used to frequent. Credit David Kasnic for The New York Times

“This was really something unique that happened,” Mr. Coye said as he worked on a customer with a razor over the weekend. “It was the first time somebody really different became president, and he did a really good job. To me, the person in office after him is going to make his time in office stand out even more than it did already.”

Full-size tour buses, once an oddity, cruise down Hyde Park Boulevard with some frequency now. People can occasionally be seen pulling over with cameras outside a nondescript shopping center along 53rd Street, where an easy-to-overlook plaque notes the Obamas’ first date, during which Barack Obama bought Michelle Robinson ice cream from a Baskin-Robbins shop that has since become a Subway.

For a place that has not forgotten being called the Second City by a New Yorker writer long ago, Chicago had watched its standing, in the eyes of the coasts, rise along with Mr. Obama’s. Chicagoans were entrusted with important posts in Washington, and many of them, along with the first family, had roots on the South Side, rather than on the richer and whiter North Side.

At points during the eight-year term, Chicago voices seemed to be everywhere. Both Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, who is now back in Hyde Park at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, were senior advisers. Chicago cabinet members included Arne Duncan (education) and Penny Pritzker (commerce). Austan Goolsbee, another Hyde Parker, was an economic adviser, and Desirée Rogers was an early White House social secretary. And Mr. Obama’s first-term chiefs of staff included William M. Daley, the brother of Chicago’s former mayor, and Rahm Emanuel, who was later elected mayor.

But it is not just the shutting of that pipeline that causes concern. In Mr. Obama’s old neighborhood, the notion that Mr. Trump was soon to step in left some speaking of the president’s farewell speech in terms more akin to a funeral than a celebration.

Many recalled watching an ebullient re-election evening here in 2012, when President Obama appeared at McCormick Place — a bookend, it now seems, to Tuesday night. Others recounted how they had felt as they watched his 2008 victory from Grant Park, the city’s downtown front yard along the lake, where he addressed thousands with the gleaming Chicago skyline as a backdrop.

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A plaque noting the Obamas’ first date, at a former Baskin-Robbins on 53rd Street in Chicago.Credit David Kasnic for The New York Times

“It was a magical moment — such a positive buzz all around,” said Kevin Elliott, a manager at 57th Street Books, an underground maze where Mr. Obama had held book signings and often visited before his election.

Even here, though, a few have questioned whether Mr. Obama did as much as he could during his time in office to solve urban problems of gang violence, joblessness and segregation. In Chicago, violence cascaded last year: More people, 762, were murdered in the president’s hometown in 2016 than in New York and Los Angeles combined. Some complained that Mr. Obama had not interceded forcefully enough.

“He was a community organizer here himself, and he should be embarrassed that he came in as president and the problems have actually worsened,” said Ja’Mal Green, a local activist.

But others, like Mr. Coye, the barber, noted that Mr. Obama was president of the United States, not of the South Side: “Who knows what happens now, but you can’t have expected him to solve this city’s violence.”

The Obama’s intend to stay in Washington while their younger daughter finishes high school, but many residents here believe that they might never return to the house on Greenwood Avenue. He is building his presidential library in Chicago, many say, and that is just fine.

“No, he’s not coming back, and he shouldn’t, either — he couldn’t go anywhere without being recognized,” said Stephanie Crouse, 53, a school bus driver eating her lunch from a tray at Valois, a Hyde Park cafeteria Mr. Obama once frequented.

“This is like your kids,” she added. “He’s done his thing. He did what he could. And you’re sending him off now to graduate and move up and go off to better things.”

It’s Was Okay To Kill Them, They Were Sinning

 

This is a short editorial about the New Year’s massacre at a nightclub in Istanbul Turkey. Even though it is my belief that the President of Turkey Mr. Erdogan is the single biggest reason for the turmoil in Turkey because of his policies, I do not wish to make this particular article about his personal evils. This article is about people like the person who was the shooter and anyone who had prior knowledge of his actions or post knowledge of his whereabouts who have not turned him into the police.

 

The Demonic Sunni Islamic group in Syria who calls themselves ISIS as well as many other names has taken “credit”  for the murder of those 39 people in the nightclub as well as the 40 whom were injured. Credit, think about the theology behind that statement. In a civilized society when someone murders a person or persons, they try to keep it quiet, they don’t want the police to know that you murdered that person or persons. Civilized is the key word in that last sentence. A civilized culture, it does not appear that the Arabian Desert of 1,400 years ago was a civilized culture.

Isis says that this nightclub was a target because it is a place where Pagans/unbelievers celebrate their Pagan holidays. CNN reported this morning that 24 of the 39 dead were actually believers of Islam, that is about 2/3, they didn’t give the numbers on the wounded. In reality ISIS sent one of their Demonic goons to a nightclub to kill as many people as possible, reality is that somewhere around 2/3 of the people in that club worshiped the same ‘God’ as the ISIS folks do. But you know, that is okay. Do you know why it is okay? It is okay because those ‘Arab’ folks in that nightclub were sinning. These people were drinking alcohol, listening to music and dancing, with infidels (unbelievers) no less, so they obviously were openly sinning. You know, ISIS was only carrying out the Commandments of Allah, so, they were putting themselves in the place of God as God is the only one who has the right to pass judgement on people like that. Who knows, these Muslim people who were murdered may have turned their lives around and started following the strictest versions of Islam later this year or later in their lives. But the gunman and ISIS decided to ‘play God’ and execute them now, before they had a chance to change their ways. It is the gunman and ISIS who put themselves in the place of God by executing these people, thus condemning them to Hell forever. The gunman and ISIS decided it was up to them to be the Judge, Jury, and the Executioner for these people. Who knows, maybe even people of other religions that they murdered would have changed their religions and have started worshiping Allah before they died, but they, the ‘God players’ didn’t give them that chance. Obviously it was okay to kill them, they were sinning. I guess that this means that the ISIS folks are perfect and never sin themselves, we know this because otherwise they would all be dead now from suicide.

Revelation Chapter #5

 

Revelation Chapter #5

The time frame of chapter number five occurs right after the Rapture (the second advent/coming) of Christ. So, at this time “the Church” which is the “Bride of Christ” is in Heaven. This chapter is the start of the 7 year Tribulation period here on Earth. The Tribulation itself will be covered in chapters 6-18. This fifth chapter only has 14 verses in it, so, like chapter number four, it is quite short. In this chapter verses 1-4 we will discuss “The Book with the Seven Seals.” In verses 5-10 the subject matter is the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua) who is “the Lamb of God” who shed His blood to save us all. Also here Jesus is referred to as “the Lion of the Tribe of Juda.” In verses 11 and 12 we find where the Angels are singing songs of praise to the Lord Jesus (Yeshua). This chapter finishes off with the last two verses with all the Creatures in Heaven and Earth giving praise to the Saviour who lives for ever and ever.

Now, if you would, please get out a Bible if you happen to have one and follow along with me on these 14 verses. “And I (the Apostle John) saw in the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne a book written within and on it’s back side which was sealed with Seven Seals.”

“And I saw a strong Angel proclaiming with a loud voice, who is worthy to open the Book and to undo the Seals there of?”

“And no man in Heaven nor in Earth, neither under the Earth, was able to open the Book, nor to look thereon.”

“And I wept bitterly because no man was found worthy to open and to read the Book, nor to look upon it.”

“And one of the Elders (one of the 24 with the Golden Crowns) said to me , weep not: behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has overcome and can open the Book and is able to undo the Seven Seals thereof.”

“And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the Throne and of the four Beasts and in the midst of the Elders, stood a Lamb as if it had been slain having seven Horns and seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the Earth.” (The seven Spirits are the seven Archangels of God who normally surround the Throne of God in Heaven.)

“And He came and took the Book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne.”

“And when He had taken the Book, the four Beasts and the 24 Elders fell down before the Lamb, every one of them having harps and golden bowls full of incense which is the prayers of the Saints.”

“And they sang a new song saying, You are worthy to take the Book and to open the Seals thereof. For You were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people and Nation.”

“And You have made us unto our God, Kings and Priests, and we shall Reign on the Earth.”

“And I beheld and I heard the voice of many Angels round about the Throne and the Beasts and the Elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands.”

“They were saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessings.”

“And every Creature that was in Heaven and on the Earth and under the Earth and those that were in the Sea and all that are in them I heard saying, blessings and honor and glory and power, be unto Him that sits upon the Throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

“And the four Beasts said, Amen, and the 24 Elders fell down and worshiped Him that lives for ever and ever.”

Okay friends that is the 14 verses, even though this is a short chapter it does give us quite a bit of information. I am going to take a few moments to breakdown this information to try to help folks who are new to this Book to understand a little bit more of its meanings. The first thing that we must understand it that Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and He is the ‘Lamb of God’ the Father (Yahweh). Jesus (Yeshua) is also the centerpiece of this chapter and of the whole Book of Revelation. In verses 1-4 the subject of discussion is the Book with the Seven Seals. This Book was in the hands of He who sat upon the Throne, this “He” is/was God the Father (Yahweh) and the only one that was worthy to unseal the Seven Seals and to be able to open the Book was the “Lamb of God” which was/is Jesus (Yeshua). Scripture does not say exactly what this Book is called though a lot of folks believe this is the “Book of Judgement.” There are also many folks, like myself, who believe that it is basically a “Title to or a Deed” to this world, remember, Jesus bought this World with His own blood, He owns it. If you would, please read in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament chapter 7 verses 13 & 14, this should help clarify what I am speaking of.

In verse 7 Jesus came and took this Book out of the hand of the Father. In verse 8 Jesus had this book in His hand and the 4 Beasts and the 24 Elders fell down before Him and worshiped Him. There is something else in verse 8 that needs to be clarified and that is about the Bowls of Incense that each of the Elders had and we are told that these contained the prayers of the Saints. Saints are simply the people who are true believers and followers of Christ. Before the Tribulation Jesus was/is the Intercessor (the go between) for the faithful to “The Father” but at that time the Church is in Heaven so Jesus transforms to the role of Judge. This is an event as this is when the Tribulation phase begins.

I would like us all to take a close look at chapter 5 verse 9. When Jesus was killed He redeemed all of us to the Holy Father by His own blood. If Jesus had not done this we would all just be the walking dead, spiritually speaking. If the Jews of Jerusalem had not had Jesus killed, the only ones who would have been able to be saved would have been the Jewish people with 100% Hebrew blood. Because God the Father hardened the hearts of the people so that they would do this horrible thing, all people, all of us today, can be saved from the eternal fires of Hell. This verse and this chapter tell us that if you are a racist who believes that only one skin color or one nationality is going to be saved and that all the ‘other people’ are going to Hell, you need to wake up and read the Scriptures because what you are saying is contrary to the teachings of God. What part of this message is beyond your ability to understand? The blood of Jesus redeemed people of “every kindred, of all people, of all languages from every nation.” Folks, there is no one skin color that is ‘privileged’ above another!

In verse number 10 it reads “and He (Jesus) has made us to be unto God Kings and Priests.” Please also note the final sentence. “We shall reign upon the Earth.” Many people (I believe, through their ego’s) believe that this sentence is speaking to everyone who is faithful to the end of their lives to Christ. I do not believe this, think about it, this idea would create a situation where the Earth would be full of Chiefs, with no Indians. I believe that this statement was to these 24 Elders. A lot of Scriptures are misunderstood because people do not take into account the situations of who is talking to whom about what, and what the issue at the time of the conversations. Way too often people want to take Scriptures out of their context so that it will apply directly to themselves when the conversation was much more narrow in its context. The last sentence in this verse the “We shall reign upon the Earth” throws a lot off of their personal train track because they have been being taught in their Churches that  we “God’s Saints” will live forever in Heaven with Christ Jesus. The Scriptures do not teach that! The Scriptures teach plainly that Jesus will rule on the Earth from the new Jerusalem that will come down out of Heaven, remember, the Earth is God’s footstool! The Earth is where God/Jesus will create a new Earth and this will be His Kingdom.

In verses 11 and 12 John simply tells of the many thousands of Angels who were worshiping  singing praise to the Lamb of God (the Christ, Jesus). John simply was telling us that there were to many Angels for him to count. In the last two verses 13 & 14 John speaks of all the Creatures in Heaven and on Earth and those under the Earth whom were also singing praise to the Lamb of God who “lives for ever and ever.” Folks, I hope that this breakdown was helpful to you in your understanding of this chapter. Hopefully I will be able to get chapter #6 written out and broken down for you within the next couple of days. Until then, God’s peace and love to you and your’s. Shalom

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oldpoet56

oldpoet56

truthtroubles.wordpress.com/ Just an average man who tries to do his best at being the kind of person the Bible tells us we are all suppose to be. Not perfect, never have been, don't expect anyone else to be perfect either. Always try to be very easy going type of a person if allowed to be.

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