Prior to hurricane season this year, which extends from June 1 to November 30, forecasters predicted an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. They also estimated that about 16 named tropical storms would form and that as many as 8 of those would become hurricanes.
The following 21 names were chosen in advance, by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO), for this year’s possible tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes:
The formation of all of the 21 named storms this season has taken place. The only time this ever happened before was during the historic 2005 hurricane season, when there were 28 named storms (including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma). Then 6 subsequent storms formed, which were named with letters of the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta. This resulted in a total of 34 named storms.
So far in 2020, 2 storms with Greek names have formed: Alpha and Beta. There are over 2 months yet remaining in this year’s hurricane season. In case 12 more named storms form during that time (all with Greek names), it will surpass the record of named storms back in 2005.
Beta, with 60 mph winds, probably will not attain hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall on the Texas gulf coast Monday night. However, 3 to 5 feet storm surge warnings are in effect along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.
Today is the first full day of the Feast of Trumpets, which actually began yesterday evening at sunset. It also is the Jewish New Year or Rosh haShanah, which means “head of the year.” Furthermore, it is a new moon, which takes place on the first day of every Hebrew month. This is the month of Tishrei or Tishri, the first month on the Jewish secular calendar and the seventh month on the Jewish religious calendar.
Say to the Israelites: “On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.” (Leviticus 23:24,25)
God ordained that trumpet blasts should be heard on the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1). This referred to blasts from a shofar or ram’s horn, which still is done today. In Jewish tradition, the final shofar blown on the Feast of Trumpets is known as “the last shofar.”
The first ten days of the first month of Tishrei, on the Hebrew calendar, are the “high holy days.” They often are called the “days of awe” (Yamim Nora’im) or the Ten Days of Repentance. It is a time to examine one’s ways, to repent from one’s sins and to return fully to God.
This period ends on Tishrei 10, the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, which is the highest holy day during the Jewish year. I believe that the Rapture of believers will occur on a future Feast of Trumpets. I also believe that Jesus will return to earth on a future Yom Kippur, to rule and reign for 1,000 years (the Millennium).
During the Ten Days of Repentance, betweenRosh haShanah and Yom Kippur, there is one 7th-day Sabbath or Shabbat (always on a Saturday). It is called Shabbat Shuvah, which means “Sabbath of Return.”
This year, Shabbat Shuvah takes place on Saturday, September 26. On that day (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT), and also on the night before (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT), an event called “The Return” will be taking place. Information can be found here:
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed away, due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87 and was the oldest sitting member of the Court.
Justice Ginsburg was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She had served for 27 years on the Supreme Court, since Aug. 10, 1993. She was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, after Sandra Day O’Connor.
Ginsberg was a strong advocate of the rights of women and minorities, and she voted repeatedly to limit capital punishment. She also authored powerful dissents of her own in cases involving abortion, voting rights and pay discrimination against women.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late today that the nominee President Trump chooses to replace Ginsburg will receive a vote on the Senate floor. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.
Today in the U.S. is Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. It is observed each year on Sep. 17 because that it date in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution of the United States in Philadelphia. It also is a day that we recognize those who have gone through the process of becoming legal citizens of the U.S.
In 2004, this day was established as a holiday. An act mandated that all publicly funded educational institutions, and all federal agencies, provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on this day.
Today in Washington, D.C., President Trump hosted representatives from Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. They all signed historic deals that the leaders hailed as a “new dawn” for peace in the Middle East.
First, Trump gave a speech in which he stated, “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history.” This was followed by speeches by Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Affairs Minister of the UAE Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and Foreign Affairs Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.
After this, three agreements were signed by the four participants, with Trump signing as a witness. The agreements are being referred to as the “Abraham Accords” after the patriarch of the world’s three major monotheistic religions, Abraham.
During the ceremony, rockets were fired out of Gaza, causing sirens to be sounded in southern Israel. The Palestinians oppose the accords, seeing them as a “betrayal” of decades of Arab policy against Israel. They have condemned these deals as a barrier to the implementation of Palestinian statehood.
The garden of my friend in Marin County went, as he calls it, “totally bonkers” during August. He harvested an innumerable number of red tomatoes and used most of them, and other vegetables, to make gallons of pasta sauce. He put most of it into big containers in his freezers, and he’ll be eating it well into next year. We’ve also been having some on his homemade noodles since I’ve been here.
There still are a lot of tomatoes in the garden, but many of them are there now are green. Most likely they’ll ripen sometime this month. I ate a couple of handfuls of small cherry tomatoes while I was out there, which I like a lot.
He picked a giant zucchini, which I think is the biggest one I’ve ever seen. I told him he could make enough loaves of zucchini bread with that to fill a bakery.
What I mainly wanted from the garden was some very hot red Thai peppers. I chopped up one later and put it the pieces on my plate of food for dinner, along with some hot green chili. I can’t get enough of the hot stuff.
Tropical Storm Sally has entered the Gulf of Mexico, just off the west coast of Florida, and is churning toward the northwest. It probably will become a hurricane tomorrow.
Sally is expected to make landfall on the gulf coast, near the Lousiana/Mississippi border, as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Most likely, it will bring very high winds and flooding, initially to southern Louisiana and Mississippi.
However, this is a very slow-moving storm. While still in the gulf, it may move eastward enough to make landfall near the Alabama/Florida border.
Many people who evacuated to New Orleans, prior to the arrival of Hurricane Laura 2½ weeks ago, have continued to remain there after Laura passed through. The city may get a great deal of wind and rain from Sally this week.
At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell interviewed Laura Perry and Judy Glenney. Laura Perry transitioned from a girl to a man for nine years, until Jesus Christ transformed her. Now she helps those in the confused transgender world.
Laura Perry and her husband, Pastor Gary Glenney of Portland Bible Church, had a son who transitioned from a boy to a girl for several years. He even was saving his money to have transgender surgery.
One thing they talked about is how the church can help deal with this issue, which now permeates society. Many tormented souls are at stake.
Today’s program, lasting over an hour with a commercial break, can be heard here:
Identity Crisis: Transgender or Transformed? — Audio | Video
Below is a U.S. fire and smoke map today. The map is regularly updated at fire.airnow.gov. The vast majority of fires and smoke are in the west-coast states of California, Oregon and Washington. Click on the map to see a larger view.
Today is the nineteenth anniversary of the horrific and ghastly September 11 attacks by radical Islam on the USA. Let us keep in our minds and hearts the great sacrifice that thousands of people made with their lives on that day.
Many in the past have claimed that America is not at war with Islam and have insisted that “a religion did not attack us.” The problem is that true, Qur’an-believing Muslims are at war with the USA, with Israel, and frankly with everyone in the world who does not embrace Allah as “God” and Muhammad as “his Prophet.”
Thus, the idea that we are “not at war with Islam” is merely a “politically correct” notion accepted by those who are asleep and who have chosen not to perceive the obvious because they do not want to acknowledge it. Just as most Christians have not read the Bible from cover to cover, most Muslims have not read through the Qur’an.
Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, have been told that the Qur’an complements and sychronizes with the Bible. Yet, those who have read both books all the way through, which I strongly recommend doing, have seen that this is an erroneous assumption; the two books are incompatible in countless ways. Some ways are demonstrated in this section: Gabriel’s messages.
Here is an email response I wrote about some of Islam’s beliefs, mostly pertaining to Christians and their beliefs, included in the Qur’an:
Although “moderate” Muslims will point to passages in the Qur’an that promote “peace,” such harmony and unity is to be among “believers” who have embraced the god, prophet and tenets of Islam. All others (that is, the Mushrikûn), who have rejected these things, are to be captured, besieged, ambushed and killed. It has happened before, and I feel quite certain that it will happen again—only on a much larger, more mind-boggling scale. God—and I don’t mean Allah—help us.
Another major diplomatic agreement in the Middle East has been mediated by President Trump. Israel and Bahrain have agreed to normalize diplomatic relations. This is less than a month after a similar agreement was established between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Aug. 19.
In a joint statement with President Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa called the agreement “historic.” The statement also said they would continue the effort to “achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Before now, due to the absence of a peace deal establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Bahrain has rejected diplomatic ties with Israel. King Hamad, in a call with Trump and Netanyahu, did state the importance of a fair and lasting peace, based on a two-state solution, between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Fierce and devastating wildfires are continuing along the U.S. West Coast. They mainly are driven by unprecedented heat waves and intense, dry winds. I’ve heard from several sources that this is the worst fire season in California history.
Tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate homes across the region. There also have been numerous deaths and widespread destruction of property.
Two friends, one near Lake Berryessa and one near the town of Paradise, have had their homes burned to the ground. Other friends here in Marin County have packed important possessions to quickly take with them in case an approaching fire causes them to evacuate.
My friend that I’m visiting has done that, but I hope there is no need to evacuate. He is not sure where we’d go.
Yesterday afternoon, the skies above most of the San Francisco Bay Area were yellowish in color. This was due to the smoky air, caused by wildfires, high in the atmosphere. This morning, the smoke way up in the sky had become much thicker.
For over an hour after the sun had risen, it was still dark, which was very eerie. People had to drive with their headlights on for much longer than usual. Even more weird was that the thicker smoke in the atmosphere caused the color of the sunlight getting through to be orange.
One might think that the smell of smoke would be worse today than it has been; but this has not been the case, since most of the smoke is very high above ground level. Yet, in some places, there was ash that looked like snow falling to the ground. It was quite surreal.
This afternoon, I went with a friend to San Francisco airport so he could update his Global Entry status. Depending on the direction we were looking, the sky was colored light orange to dark orange. Back at his house, I noticed tiny ashes on leaves and flowers in his backyard. I don’t recall ever seeing those things before.
This weekend in California, the gigantic Creek Fire near Shaver Lake caused about half of the houses in the town of Big Creek to burn down. As of Sunday, the fire was 0% contained. It burned more acreage in a day than many other fires burned in weeks.
Over 200 people were trapped in the Sierra National Forest. They were airlifted to safety by military helicopters.
When I was flying to northern California three days ago, on Sep. 5, I was taking photographs out the window of the plane. In the far distance, I saw what appeared to be a concentration of smoke rising from a fire. I zoomed in and took a couple of photos of it.
Last night, I did a search for “Creek Fire” and came across the following page, which includes several photos taken by airplane passengers who tweeted them out:
I realized that the rising smoke in the distance that I had photographed twice on Sep. 5 were from the Creek Fire. Below, the first photo was tweeted by Thalia Dockery, who was flying from San Jose to Las Vegas. The other two photos are the ones I took, with the second one taken about ten minutes after the first one.
Our visual perspectives of the fire were different, as our planes were in different locations and flying different directions. However, it appears that we both had photographed smoke from the Creek Fire.
Today is Labor Day in the United States. It always is the first Monday in September, and it is the last national holiday during the summer season. In Canada, Labour Day also is celebrated on the first Monday in September.
The New York legislature was the first state legislature to introduce a Labor Day bill. However, Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday in 1887.
By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty U.S. states observed Labor Day. More information about this day can be found at the United States Department of Labor website here:
Some friends and I went to the Alpine Lodge this afternoon. It is located in Marin County above Muir Woods on the south slope of Mount Tamalpais. We met a couple of other friends there who had driven down from Sacramento for Labor Day weekend. They are members of the California Alpine Club, giving them access to the lodge.
It wasn’t too smoky there, but the view of much of the surrounding forest was hazy. It also was unusually hot, exceeding 100° in the mid-afternoon. It was too hot to eat outside on the deck, so we all stayed inside most of the time.
We all met at the Alpine Lodge last year on Sep. 25. Like last year, we had a fun time and great snacks and food. Last year, we never would have dreamed that the next time we all would be up there together again, we’d all be we wearing face masks, measuring our temperatures and following COVID-19 pandemic guidelines. Things sure have changed a lot in less than a year.
I flew north to San Francisco yesterday to visit friends in Marin County for awhile. The Southwest Airlines plane I was on was less than half of passenger capacity, due to COVID physical distancing.
Everyone on the plane was required to wear a mask, and no middle seat in any row was occupied. I had two empty seats next to me. The only food and beverage available to passengers were small bags of snack mix and ice water.
As always, I sat in a window seat on the right side of the plane because I like to look at the landscape to the east when flying north. However, the air was hazy most of the way.
About half of the way up, it was smoky the remainder of the way to the Bay Area. This was due to fires that have been burning for awhile in several places, as well as new fires that had broken out that day. In some areas, the smoke was very brown.
Today there is an extensive heat wave taking place in California, as well as a lot of smoke in many places. From my friend’s house, the view across the Petaluma River is very hazy. At 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, it was 105° here, and the temperature has continued to escalate. Although I do not like the haze, I do like the heat.
My friend made 2 loaves of zucchini bread from zucchini that he grew in his garden, and it was outstandingly good. He probably could have baked it outside because it was so hot out there.
Also, there still is an abundance of tomatoes from the garden. I cannot get enough of them, and fortunately they will not be running out while I am here.
At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell featured Pastor J.D. Farag of Calvary Chapel Kaneohe, Hawaii for the hour. At a conference, he spoke about how many of the people he ministers to have become “battle weary,” including himself. For most believers today, who are going through many difficult trials, the return of the Lord Jesus cannot be soon enough.
Nobody wants to go through trials and tribulations. But those who do so especially during very difficult times, and who continue to persevere until Jesus appears in the clouds, will receive greater eternal rewards than they would have if they had just given up and not “finished the race.”
Today’s program, lasting over an hour with a commercial break, can be heard here:
The west coast and southwest are expecting a dangerous heat wave during the upcoming Labor Day weekend. The temperatures probably will be more intense than the historic heat wave just a few weeks ago during mid-August. This could cause many of the fires that have been raging this summer to increase in size.
A large heat dome is forming over portions of several states: California, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. Temperatures will be much hotter than usual for the month of September. There even may be some all-time record highs.
Many places will have temperatures exceeding 110°. In Palm Springs and Death Valley, temperatures should rise above 120°.
The 2020 U.S. presidential election is 2 months from today. Information for the 2020 presidential and vice-presidential debates has been announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The debates will run from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., local time, wherever each debate is taking place.
Here are the dates, moderators and locations for the three presidential debates (between Donald Trump and Joe Biden) and one vice-presidential debate (between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris):
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had her hair styled and washed inside of a San Francisco hair salon two days ago. However, COVID-19 restrictions in the city allow only outdoor services, and activities such as shampooing, color and chemical treatments are prohibited.
Also, a video shows Pelosi not wearing a mask as she is walking through the salon, another violation of city COVID compliance rules. Others shown in the video are wearing masks.
Many are saying that this deals a blow to Pelosi’s credibility. She insists that everyone obey all the COVID rules, yet she did not do so herself.
Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock indices were down yesterday, August 31, both of them had their biggest August rally since 1984 (36 years ago). The Dow, which had substantial declines during several months this year, has erased almost all of those losses.
Furthermore, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite had several daily record high closes during August. The S&P 500 closed at 3,508.01 on August 28, and the NASDAQ Composite closed at 11,775.46 on August 31, both record high closes.
As of yesterday, the Dow’s close of 28,430.05 was down only 3.8% from its all-time record high of 29,551.42 on February 12. Today, the Dow made up 59.6% of yesterday’s loss. Now it is down only 3.3% from its all-time record high.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and other hardships having countless negative effects around the world, it seems natural for people to wonder why a good God would allow all of these terrible things to happen. Someone read one of my email responses related to this topic:
I see violence and riots in the city, surrounding it day and night, filling it with crime and trouble. There is destruction everywhere; the streets are full of oppression and fraud. ... Evil is in their homes and in their hearts. But I call to the LORD God for help, and he will save me. (Psalm 55:9b-11,16)
Everything has changed in just seven months, and there seems to be no going back to how things once were. People now seem to be willing to give up almost everything for peace, safety and security. Yet, doing so probably will lead to destruction, devastation and ruination.
While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
Today’s program, lasting 57 minutes with a commercial break, can be heard here:
President Donald Trump gave a speech last night, on the final day of the Republican National Convention, during which he accepted the Republican nomination for president. The speech was given on the South Lawn of the White House, with a large number of people in attendance.
The lengthy speech, lasting 70 minutes, was the second-longest in the history of conventions, behind only his 2016 acceptance speech. It seemed to be a combination of what might be heard at a State of the Union address and at a standard Trump rally.
Early this morning, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana. It was a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph, which was 7 mph short of a Category 5 storm.
Louisiana’s first reported fatality from the storm was a 14-year-old girl in Leesville, more than 100 miles inland. She died when a tree fell on her family’s house. Many houses and other buildings are gone, and a full assessment of the damage may take days.
The center of Laura is traveling northward through Louisiana. As it goes through Arkansas and then eastward through the Tennessee and Ohio valleys, there will be flood risks the entire way. High winds, flooding rain and isolated tornadoes are expected.
Hurricane Laura has strengthened to a whopping Category 4 storm with sustained wind speeds of 140 mph. Today, this huge storm is almost the size of the entire Gulf of Mexico.
Laura is expected to strengthen even more today, then weaken a bit before plowing on shore near the Texas/Louisiana border. It is the strongest hurricane so far this season.
More than 500,000 coastal residents of those states have been put under mandatory evacuation orders. However, Governors Greg Abbott (TX) and John Bel Edwards (LA) are concerned that not nearly enough people will have evacuated by the time the hurricane hits late tonight and/or early tomorrow morning.
Waves up to 18-20 feet high can be expected along the coast. It will be an “unsurvivable” storm surge, according to the National Hurricane Center. The surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline, and entire towns may be submerged.
Tropical Storm Marco has dissolved and gone away before entering the Gulf of Mexico. However, Hurricane Laura has passed between Cuba and the Yucatán peninsula and has entered the southeastern Gulf.
This morning, the National Hurricane Center has projected that Laura will become a major Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 111 mph or higher, before making landfall. It is even possible that it could reach Category 4 strength, with winds of 130 mph or higher.
Laura is expected to come onshore near the Texas/Louisiana coast late Wednesday to early Thursday, so today and tomorrow are the days for those who live in that area to prepare for this. The hurricane is expected to bring a huge storm surge of as much as 11 feet to coastal areas.
The storms of life, both literal and figurative, are increasing. That why it is vitally important to have a close and coactive relationship with God the Father and with His only begotten Son, Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Triune God will carry us through life’s difficulties and troubles.
The horrendous fires for the past couple of weeks in northern California have burned through over 600,000 acres. The counties of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Stanislaus, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz and San Mateo have experienced a great deal of devastation.
Upon request by Governor Newsom, President Trump has declared a major disaster declaration for some of the counties with the most fire-related destruction. The declaration applies to Lake, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties.
The latter counties will be able to receive support such as crisis counseling, housing and unemployment assistance. Also, increased emergency response support will be given to state, tribal and local governments. Newsom has issued a statement thanking Trump for granting the declaration.
At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell spent the hour with Dr. Ed Hinson. They talked about how our times have never been so desperate with the spirit of Antichrist loose. They also focused on more uplifting things to come including the Rapture, the Millennium, the New Heavens and New Earth, and more.
Things have become, and are continuing to be, very chaotic. The coronavirus pandemic and the negative impact on financial markets everywhere are contributing to a worldwide crisis. God is trying to get the attention of the whole world. In essence, He is saying that He is God, and we all are not. Only He can, and ultimately will, bring this world into a utopian existence; humans are incapable of achieving that on their own. It is time for people to come face-to-face with what He is asking of them; otherwise, this world is on a collision course with disaster.
However, human society is headed toward becoming increasingly out of control everywhere. Inevitably, people will become so disoriented and helpless that they will seek the guidance of a world government to tell them what to do. At some point, the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16-18) will be issued and accepted by all who do not follow God, nor accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Then things will escalate quickly downhill after that.
The last time that two cyclones were in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time was back in 1959. However, it may happen again next week.
Tropical Depression 13, which has become Tropical Storm Laura, is heading toward the eastern portion of the gulf. Tropical Depression 14, which will be named Marco if it continues to strengthen, is heading toward the western gulf. It is possible that both of them could make landfall as hurricanes, which would be a very rare event.
It is highly unlikely that the two storms will merge and become one huge storm. However, there is much uncertainty as to how the storms will interact as they near each other.
This is the first full day of the season of Teshuvah, which began yesterday at sunset. It is a 40-day season each year, with the first 30 days (the “days of repentance”) extending to Rosh haShanah = Feast of Trumpets and the final 10 days (the “days of awe”) ending on Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement.
Most likely, it was during this 40-day period that Jesus was fasting in the desert, after which He was being tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). Yet, He resisted all of Satan’s temptations, which was an example to all who believe in Him and follow Him.
During this time, we mortal people are to examine their lives, repent of their sins and transgressions, turn back to God in revival and with refreshing and be restored back to an active relationship with God and with other people, with whom relationships may have been damaged. A common chapter in the Bible to read during this time is Psalm 51:1-19.
We all have times of personal rebellion against God. This is a time to ask Him to show us favor, according to His faithful love and vast compassion, to wipe out our manifold rebellions. In Hebrew (translated into English), the following is read each day (from right to left):
Early this morning, at about 3:00 a.m., I woke up and prayed. I thanked the Lord for the multitude of undeserved blessings that He has bestowed upon me. I asked Him to help me repent and return to Him in ways that I have strayed.
Then I read about the series of events at the end of Jesus’ mortal life, from His questioning by Pilate all the way to His crucifixion, death and burial (Matthew 27:11-66). Then I continued reading about His miraculous resurrection and the events thereafter (Matthew 28:1-20).
I thanked Jesus again, as I have countless times before, for the remission of all my of sins, as well as His provision for my eternal life with Him, that He has provided. As I view present events in the U.S. and around the world, I long more than anything for Jesus’ return to earth to rule and reign over the whole world, which only He can do with perfect righteousness, justice, lawfullness, peace and love.
During the second night of the Democratic National Convention last night, former Vice President Joe Biden was officially nominated as the Democratic nominee for president. He will run against President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election.
Although the convention this year is centered in Milwaukee, WI, for the first time ever it is not live, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost everything has been taking place virtually, including the role call. Delegates were in their homes, in all U.S. states and territories, when they voted.
A RealClearPolitics poll has Biden leading Trump by 7.7 points. However, this is down from his biggest lead of 10.2 in a poll in late June. In 2016, most polls had Hillary Clinton ahead of Trump all the way up to election day; yet, he won the election.
On Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, at which time it became an operative part of the Constitution of the United States. Ratification requires 3/4 of the states to vote yes on an amendment for it to pass. At that time, there were 48 states, and 3/4 × 48 = 36.
The suffrage amendment’s ratification was certified 8 days later, on Aug. 26, by the Congress. However, it officially was adopted as part of the Constitution on Aug. 18. This culminated a decades-long movement for women's suffrage at both state and national levels.
Back in 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested and convicted for voting in her hometown of Rochester, NY. Today, President Donald Trump posthumously pardoned her.
This weekend, numerous fires exploded in California amid triple-digit temperatures. This included lightning-sparked fires, around the San Francisco Bay Area and other places, causing major power outages. (I’m planning to fly up there next month, so I really hope the fires are out by then.)
In at least one place, north of Lake Tahoe, a “firenado” (or fire-induced tornado) formed. This occurs when high winds collide with a big fire and whip it into the air, generating a tall spiral of smoke and flames.
In southern California, especially in the Los Angeles National Forest, some fires have been burning out of control for awhile. Hundreds of people have had to flee away from their homes.
In Death Valley, the temperature soared to 130° F. It was the highest temperature there for at least 107 years.
It’s been several years since I’ve been in Death Valley—Apr. 2, 2012. It wasn’t very hot at the time, but I’d like to be there sometime when it is. I was tempted to drive over there yesterday, but even I consider 130° to be a bit too hot.
At Olive Tree Ministries yesterday, Jan Markell spent the hour with Jill Martin Rische (daughter of Dr. Walter Martin) and Eric Barger. They talked about how occult influences certainly are at work in today’s societal unrest. Evidently, their goal is to bring the evil deeds of people out of the shadows and into the mainstream.
Witchcraft, paganism and rebellious anarchy are becoming widespread. Witches and satanists have a great deal in common with Antifa and Marxists, which is why they have joined together to bring the country down and into anarchy, as well as into the mayhem that will follow.
Incitement against lawful government, including ferocious, calamitous and murderous riots and incinerations, have been taking place in numerous cities. Bibles have been burned in public places. The spirit of rebellion against God is in the world, and it is causing people to want to search out the things of darkness.
Many people have used much of their free time, during COVID-19 lockdown, to learn about the mystic arts. There has been a skyrocket in products related to the occult, the paranormal and black magic, such as Tarot cards and astrology. Fortunately, there also have been many others who have turned back to God (not to the false “gods” of paganism) and to the Bible.
The U.S. proposed a resolution to the U.N. Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran beyond its expiration date of October 18. Only the U.S. and the Dominican Republic voted for the resolution. Russia and China voted against it, and the remaining members of the Council abstained. The resolution would have requred nine votes to pass.
U.S. officials have warned that the expiration of the embargo would allow Iran to buy fighter jets, attack choppers, tanks, submarines and missiles with a range of up to 300 km. In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Council “failed today to uphold its fundamental mission set.”
U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft said that the United States would be “keeping the space open” for talks with Britain, France and Germany, as well as with Russia and China. However, she warned that “we will not take no for an answer.”
For those on Medicare, you also may want to contact your Medicare prescription drug plan to see if they’ve temporarily waived certain requirements to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. A couple of examples are waiving prescription refill limits or relaxing restrictions on home delivery or mail delivery of prescription drugs. You also can ask your Medicare drug plan about extended-day supplies. For more information at the Medicare site, go here:
President Trump announced today that Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to establish diplomatic relations. A statement that was released said that the two countries “agreed to the full normalization of relations.”
Israel has agreed, as part of the deal, to suspend its plan to annex parts of the West Bank. In the weeks to come, negotiators from both countries will meet to sign bilateral agreements on several criteria.
Many are referring to this as an “historic” deal. However, Palestinian leadership is calling the agreement “an assault on the Palestinian people and an abandonment of the rights of the Palestinians and the holy sites.”
United Arab Emirates is the third Arab nation to engage in formal diplomatic ties with Israel. The other two were Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California, as his vice-presidential running mate. The presidential election, in which they will run against Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, will take place on Nov. 3, 2020.
Other Democratic contenders, whom Biden has been considering to be his running mate, have praised this announcement. These include Susan Rice, Stacey Abrams, Karen Bass and Elizabeth Warren.
Senator Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama also gave their support for Biden’s choice of Harris. Obama said that he “nailed this decision.”
Harris was a presidential candidate before dropping out of the race in 2019. During some of the Democratic debates, there were some contentious exchanges between Biden and Harris about various issues. More than likely, between now and the election less than 3 months away, many of these will be voiced by Trump and Pence and those campaigning for them.
In other news, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced today the registration of what Russia claims to be the first vaccine in the world for the coronavirus. He also said that one of his daughters had already taken the vaccine. Full-scale production of the Sputnik V vaccine is expected to begin in September.
Putin said that the vaccine has passed all the necessary checks. Clinical trials of the vaccine in Russia have been completed in less than two months, with phase three trials set to begin tomorrow. Countries including the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia are taking part in those trials.
A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman has said that rigorous review is required for a Covid-19 candidate vaccine. He said that WHO is in close contact with Russian health authorities about the possible pre-qualification process for a vaccine.
Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb has urged caution about Russia’s vaccine. He said that he would “certainly not” take it outside of a clinical trial where patients are closely monitored.
Global health experts have said that without full trial data, it will be hard to trust the vaccine. Immunologists and infectious disease experts are saying that conducting large-scale trials of the shot, to show that it works, could be a “reckless” step, as potential adverse effects of a vaccine may not be picked up.
Following a gigantic explosion and massive destruction on Aug. 4 in Beirut, Lebanon, an outraged public has been protesting and demanding accountability for the biggest peacetime catastrophe in the nation’s history. As a result, Lebanon’s government has decided to resign.
“Resignation is a responsibility,” Health Minister Hamad Hassan said today, almost a week after the catastrophic explosion of over 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in the Port of Beirut killed more than 150 people, injured thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands more. “We resigned as a responsibility and not an escape from it.” Prime Minister Hassan Diab, who also is resigning, said, “We will back down and stand with the people. We need to open the door for the people.”
For decades, the government has been unable to lift the country out of its deepest political and financial crisis since the 15-year civil war ended in 1990. For years, the government has been barely functioning, not even able to regularly collect trash or keep electricity flowing.
Politics remains has continued to be increasingly influenced by the Iran-backed Hezbollah, who has been classified by the U.S. and Gulf Arab states as a terrorist group. Decades of mismanagement, nepotism and cronyism have left the country gasping under mountains of debt, along with countless other problems. It is unclear how long it will take to form a new government where political divisions can cause talks to drag on indefinitely.
In these despairing and hopeless times, so many people in this world are giving up any anticipation of returning to normalcy. Yet, our Heavenly Father above knows everything that is going on, including how events are affecting the lives of each one of us.
At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell spent the hour with R.N. and health expert Twila Brase, president of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom. They discussed how “spikes” in COVID-19 cases may consist of many probable cases being counted as confirmed cases.
It appears that, due to the coronavirus, totalitatianism has been creeping into the free world, including America. One example may be the process of contact tracing that is being enforced by the government.
The health department is in the process of finding people that have been around others (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. If someone has been determined to be in that group, that person may be called and told to stay home and away from others (self-quarantine) and monitor your health for 14 days. Eventually, people may be forced by the government to take COVID vaccinations.
Today’s program, lasting 57 minutes with a commercial break, can be heard here:
Now, because health and safety conditions have improved in many countries, that international “do not travel” advisory has been lifted for some places. U.S. citizens are continuing to be advised not to travel to some countries, and caution still is advised when traveling anywhere abroad.
For those wanting to plan any trip abroad, the U.S. Department of State—Bureau of Consular Affairs has provided a page with a list of “Reconsider Travel” and “Do Not Travel” advisories here: Travel Advisories.
Today, and three days from now, mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, by the United States, on August 6 and 9, 1945. The uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima was called “Little Boy,” while the plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki was called “Fat Man.”
Japan had not responded to an ultimatum, the Potsdam Declaration, on July 26, calling for the unconditional surrender of their armed forces. On August 15, following the bombings, Japan surrendered to the Allies. World War II officially ended on September 2, 1945, when the Japanese government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.
Most people, particularly older adults, have at least some risk of getting COVID-19 if they are exposed directly to the virus. Some who have contracted the virus will show no symptoms, while others will show symptoms and may even get very sick (or worse). A great deal of information can be found on this recent CDC web page:
People who are most likely to become severely ill are those with certain medical conditions. These include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, COPD and other conditions. Also, obesity may increase the risk for dementia and severe illness. It is a good idea to know what your Body Mass Index is.
It is easy to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). All you need to know is your height (in feet and inches) and your weight (in pounds). Adults can use the calculator below.
BMI is below 18.5: underweight
BMI is 18.5 to 24.9: normal weight
BMI is 25.0 to 29.9: overweight
BMI is 30.0 or above: obese
In case the BMI calculator does not appear above, you can see it here:
In Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, a massive explosion and subsequent shock wave occurred this afternoon. This was preceded by a big fire. Many people thought an earthquake had hit, while others thought that an atomic bomb had been detonated. However, neither of those things happened.
One theory is that Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist political party, had hijacked a ship filled with explosive ammonium nitrate, which they had stored near a big warehouse containing fireworks that somehow caught fire. At least 60 people were killed, and over 3,000 were injured. Those numbers probably will increase.
Some have accused Israel of somehow causing the explosion, but there is no evidence of that and Israeli officials adamantly have denied it. As of yet, the actual cause of the initial fire, followed by the gigantic explosion, are unknown.
Recently, a few professional baseball and basketball players stood during the National Anthem, which was played prior to their games. These include Sam Coonrod (San Francisco Giants), Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic) and Meyers Leonard (Miami Heat). All of the other players knelt during the anthem.
This reminds some of the ancient biblical account of the Image of Gold and the Fiery Furnace in Daniel 3:1-30. We don’t know the names of any of the countless numbers people who willingly fell down and worshiped the image of gold, as ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar. The only names that stand out are the three men—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who were thrown into the fiery furnace but who, miraculously, were saved out of it.
Coonrod and Isaac have said that their strong faith in God has caused them to choose to stand rather than to take a knee. Leonard has indicated that his reason for standing is because his brother served as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan and has various Navy Seal friends, so he cannot bring himself to kneel in protest.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule has splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, south of Pensacola, Florida. The astronauts on the spacecraft were Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, who were launched into space 64 days ago on May 30.
This was the first water landing by returning astronauts since the Apollo–Soyuz landing in July 1975. Both astronauts were in good spirits as they began their readjustment to gravity after more than two months in weightlessness.
As soon as Jesus died on the cross, the graves or tombs of deceased saints in that vacinity were opened, and they were raised from death (Matthew 27:52). A few days later on the Feast of Firstfruits, after Jesus was raised from the dead, the risen saints came out of their graves or tombs, went into Jerusalem and appeared to many people (27:53).
Someone has asked me what these saints might have been doing after they were raised from death and until Jesus also was resurrected. Also, I was asked what eventually happened to these risen saints. My response is here:
Hurricane Isaias already has already passed over Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. Many trees and electric lines were downed, and multiple buildings were inundated.
There is some concern that, due to Florida’s immense COVID-19 problem, people might be prone to stay in place rather than get out of the hurricane’s path. Depending on where the highest winds hit, this might not be advisable.
Governor Rom DeSantis has urged Floridians to stock up on enough water, food and medicine to last a week. Today, Isaias is a Category 1 storm but is expected to strengthen this weekend, probably remaining a hurricane for the next few days. Hopefully, the eye will remain off the east coast of Florida and other states as it travels north.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) became a federal agency on July 1, 1971. It is the third-largest civilian employer in the United States, behind the federal government and Walmart.
The USPS has been losing revenue for many years. There are complaints, in many places, of lengthening postal delivery times. There also are indications that downsizing the Postal Service, including closing post offices across the country, may occur soon.
Recently, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a statement about the Postal Service. He began by saying, “The Postal Service is in a financially unsustainable position, stemming from substantial declines in mail
volume, and a broken business model. We are currently unable to balance our costs with available
funding sources to fulfill both our universal service mission and other legal obligations.”
He would like Congress and the Postal Regulatory Commission to enact legislation and regulatory reforms to help address the situation. He also said that it is imperative for the Postal Service to operate efficiently and effectively. His full statement can be read here:
In other news, today is the observance of Tisha B’Av, which is regarded as the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. It began at sunset yesterday evening.
Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning to commemorate many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout the millennia of history. Primarily, it commemorates the destruction of the first Temple by the Babylonians, in 586 B.C.E., and second Temple by the Romans, in 70 C.E.
Following both of these events, there was a Jewish exile from the region of Judea. Also, on Tisha B’Av is remembered the expulsion of the Jewish people from England in 1290, from France in 1306 and from Spain in 1492.
This is a full day of fasting and mourning. A 25-hour fast is common, as well as a reading of the book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem.
It was reported by Politico that presumed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had selected Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his vice-presidential running mate. However, the report said that Biden had done this on Aug. 1, which of course is a few days in the future. This is what was reported:
Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris to become his running mate for the 2020 election on Aug. 1, two weeks before the Democratic National Convention, after keeping his choice close to the chest for months.
Harris previously was one of Biden’s opponents during the presidential campaign, before withdrawing herself on Dec. 3, 2019. In his alleged announcement, Biden called Harris “a worthy opponent and a worthy running mate.”
After saying that the information was mistakenly published, Politico took down the article. However, it has caused some to wonder if Biden already has chosen Harris, and Politico somehow was given this information and accidently reported it too early.
Senate Republicans have unveiled a new coronavirus response proposal. It is called the Health Care Economic Assistance Liability Protection and Schools (or HEALS) Act.
On the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated that the HEALS Act contains policies that are tailored to the state of the U.S. economy, which has one foot in the pandemic and one foot in recovery. He said that the legislation will target key areas, including jobs, health care and children.
The HEALS Act proposes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals plus aid for families caring for adult dependents. It also allocates over $100 billion to help schools and childcare facilities reopen, as well as more financial support for hospitals, health centers and coronavirus research.
This weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended their annual naval parade in St. Petersburg. He has indicated that the Russian Navy is closer to getting weapons that can travel at hypersonic speed (faster than the speed of sound).
Putin indicated that Russia’s navy is preparing to equip its ships with these weapons. He said, “The widespread deployment of advanced digital technologies that have no equals in the world, including hypersonic strike systems and underwater drones, will give the fleet unique advantages and increased combat capabilities.”
In a separate statement, the Kremlin’s defense ministry said that it currently was testing the Russian submarine Belgorod. This is the country’s first submarine that can be equipped with the Poseidon nuclear drone.
All of this information comes the year after Putin said the Kremlin would deploy hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines outside U.S. territorial waters if the U.S. deploys intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe. However, the U.S. has not announced any intention of doing so.
At Olive Tree Ministries yesterday, Jan Markell spent the second hour of a two-part series with Curtis Bowers (see the first part on July 18). They talked about how the Marxist agenda has made its way into some church denominations across America. Evangelical churches have been increasingly targeted by those who want to bring down the U.S.
Many Marxist and Communist followers gradually have been turning the Christian church (their #1 enemy, besides freedom) into one of their greatest assets. An increasing number of churches are being turned into counterfeits of the faith. A false god is worshipped, and a false gospel of salvation by “good works” is presented. Furthermore, the notion of “saving the planet” is stressed above the importance of saving other people unto eternal life through faith in Jesus.
The message today, in many churches and synagogues in America and in the west, is that the Lord is a God of “social justice.” However, the Bible says, “For the Lord is a God of justice” (Isaiah 30:18). Justice does not mean social justice, because social justice is not just. Justice means “getting what you deserve without favor”; social justice means “getting what you don’t deserve because you are favored.”
With justice, if anyone is accused of a crime—such as murder, burglary, arson, destruction of public or private property, etc.—that person is tried in a court of law and, if found guilty, is punished accordingly. However, with social justice, secondary conditions about the person are considered, such as the person’s economic condition, the person’s upbringing and what kind of childhood he/she had, whether the person is poor or wealthy, the person’s race or ethnicity and if the person is a member of a group that has been historically oppressed.
If a random crime is committed, justice asks, “Who did it?”; whereas, social justice asks, “Why did the person do it?” God’s absolute justice demands that everyone be treated equally under the law. Humanity’s social justice demands that everyone be equal socially, economically and in every other possible way. Increasingly, churches are leaning toward the latter view, but that is falling away from the absolute Law of God. The perfect law gives freedom and brings blessings (James 1:25).
Hurricane Hanna is the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It is a Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained winds of about 85 mph.
Hanna is in the Gulf of Mexico and is heading toward the Texas coast. It may increase in strength and is expected to make landfall early this evening south of Corpus Christi.
So far, power outages have occurred to about 20,000 customers along the coast. The National Hurricane Center has said that Hanna is expected to produce 6 to 12 inches of rain in south Texas through Sunday night, with isolated maximum totals of 18 inches.
A couple of months ago, on May 27, the European Commission had an important meeting in Brussells, Belgium. One topic discussed was the crisis across the European Union caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, a new recovery instrument was proposed. It was referred to as the Next Generation EU (NGEU).
A 7-year timeline, spanning 2021-2027, was discussed for the implementation of the NGEU. More meetings were planned during the remainder of 2020 to discuss and negotiate the possible execution of the NGEU, beginning in 2021. Negotiations for 2021 and Onwards have continued for the past two months.
In a recent 5-day meeting, ending earlier this week on July 21, the European Council agreed on an overall budget of €1,824.3 billion for 2021-2027. It will combine the multiannual financial framework (MFF) and a recovery effort under the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument. Numerous details can be found here:
In a floor speech, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that Republicans want to include a second round of stimulus checks and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding. He indicated that the economy needs “another shot of adrenaline” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
McConnell did not provide details on who would qualify for the next round of stimulus checks. However, he suggested that Republicans could place a lower income ceiling to qualify for the direct assistance in the next coronavirus bill. He felt that the new plan being pushed by Republicans would have Democratic support.
An executive order was signed today by President Trump to prevent illegal immigrants from being included in the 2020 census for congressional apportionment. He said the order is needed for “respect for the law and protection of the integrity of the democratic process.” This fulfills a pledge he made last year “to determine the citizenship status of the United States population.”
Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, feels that the move is anti-immigrant. He said it is “an unconstitutional order that has no purpose than to silence and disempower Latino voices and communities of color.”
Today is National Moon Day. It commemorates the day astronauts first walked on the moon 21 years ago, during the Apollo 11 mission, on July 20, 1969.
The American crew that flew to the moon were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who both walked on the moon, and Michael Collins, who orbited the moon in the command module. All three men were born in 1930. In the past 51 years, 12 people have walked on the moon.
At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell spent the first hour of a two-part series with Curtis Bowers. They talked about how Marxists, progressives, socialists, communists and globalists seem to be winning the battle to take over America and other nations.
Many people, unaware of globalist strategies, actually are helping the globalist movement to progress without even knowing it. Socialistic infiltration in the public school system is common. The “cancel culture” is even in some churches, thanks to the death of discernment.
The safest location to be is “sheltering in place” under the Most High God. He is the only One who can provide rest and true satisfaction, now and forevermore.
The first nuclear test in the world happened exactly 75 years ago today on July 16, 1945. Code-named Trinity, the detonation took place at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico (which became the 47th U.S. state in 1912 and is the 5th largest state in area).
The atomic bomb was developed and produced as part of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, located in northern New Mexico. The bomb was nicknamed “The Gadget” and released the explosive energy of 18-22 kilotons of TNT.
For several months, there has been work in several places on a COVID-19 vaccine. There are nearly two dozen possible vaccines in various stages of testing around the world.
The company Moderna is expected to be the first in the U.S. to enter the final stage of clinical testing. Initial testing results seem to indicate that the vaccine is effective in causing an immune response against the virus, and it also appears to be safe. The next phase of clinical trials should begin before the end of July.
There has been a consensus by some seismologists that a major earthquake on California’s San Andreas fault has greatly increased. This follows the large 6.4, 5.4 and 7.1 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquakes a little over a year ago, as well as the 5.5 aftershock on June 3 this year. A new study by the Seismological Society of America seems to indicate that the chance of a huge quake may have approximately tripled.
Yesterday morning, a huge fire broke out on the navel ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), the second-largest ship in the navy. This took place at the naval base in San Diego, CA (my favorite city in the world).
The fire followed a large explosion on the ship as it was undergoing routine maintenance. There were about 160 sailors on board the ship at the time of the explosion. Although there were no fatalities, at least 57 people have been treated for heat exhaustion, smoke inhalation and minor injuries.
While the fire burned all day, smoke could be seen for many miles around. San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell said that the ship could burn for days, even “down to the water line.” If this happens, potentially the ship could break apart and sink.
Tropical Storm Cristina formed a few days ago in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It was anticipated that it would become the first hurricane of 2020 Pacific hurricane season.
Today, its maximum sustained winds are 65 mph, but it needs to have at least 74 mph winds to become a hurricane. It now looks like it will remain a tropical storm/cyclone for a few days and then decrease to tropical depression status.
Sometimes tropical storms in this area move north and then northeast into Mexico and the U.S. However, Cristina is expected to move west out into the Pacific Ocean and eventually dissipate.
This morning, it was reported that yesterday the U.S. had its highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases. There were at least 63,200 cases. The report also said that two days before, the U.S. had its second-highest one-day increase with at least 60,000 cases.
The report supports a conclusion by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that there is limited scientific evidence showing that increases in extreme weather are caused by human-caused climate change. In the introduction of the report, the author states, “The purported link between extreme weather and global warming has captured the public imagination and attention of the mainstream media far more than any of the other claims made by the narrative of human-caused climate change.”
Israel has successfully launched a spy satellite into orbit. It is named Ofek-16 and is a reconnaissance satellite. The last satellite launched by Israel was Ofek-11 in 2016.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that it “very much increases our ability to act against Israel’s enemies, near and far alike. It greatly expands our ability to act on land, at sea, in the air and also in space.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the launch is a “mighty achievement for the defense establishment, the defense industries in general and Israel Aerospace Industries in particular.”
Many are traveling this weekend and during the summer. At airports, due to the COVID pandemic, certain modifications and changes have been implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This page includes some general information and also some sections to click on with more specific details:
It is rare for there to be a full moon on July 4. However, in the U.S. tonight (July 4: 9:44pm PDT, 10:44pm MDT, 11:44pm CDT and July 5: 12:44am EDT), not only will the moon be full but there also will be a penumbral lunar eclipse. The latter will not be easy to detect, as the full moon will be only a bit fainter than usual.
Also, July 4 is not on a Saturday too often, but it is this year. It reminds me of a line from one of my favorite songs, by the group Chicago, from 1972: “Saturday in the Park, I think it was the 4th of July.” There won’t be many people congregating in parks this year, so I’ll include a video of it. If it displays a “Video unavailable” message, click on this link instead:
This weekend, the Mexican state of Sonora is toughening restrictions on its northern border with the U.S. state of Arizona. This is due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases in both locations.
Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich has indicated that the border patrol will prevent Americans and Mexicans living in the U.S. from crossing over the border. It will be a restriction on nonessential travel from Arizona into Mexico, just as there is a restriction on nonessential travel from Mexico into Arizona.
It is possible that there may be yet another set of stimulus package payments to millions of Americans. The first payments, authorized by the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in late March, went out to over 160 million people.
For many months, I have included stock market entries on most days. This is because it has been fluctuating (“zigging” and “zagging”) so much, especially since the last record high of the Dow took place (29,551.42 points) on February 12. That has caused my two “Ted’s Remarks About Stuff” pages, for people viewing them, to take much longer to load than ever before.
Therefore, now that the page from January through March and the page from April through June have been archived, I have removed most of the stock market information from those pages (unless that was the only information included for any given date). Instead, for days that I added stock market entries, I now have placed “Stock Market” links, which can be clicked on, immediately below those dates.