Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
October thru December, 2016


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Dec. 31, 2016

A pretty cool way to end the year is to see a comet going by.  Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková (or Comet 45P for short) will be in our sky above tonight.  It has a 5.25-year orbit around the sun.

However, it cannot be viewed with the naked eye.  It can be seen with strong binoculars or with a telescope if one looks toward the crescent moon in the western sky, soon after sunset.  Also, the sky will be very dark; so if there are no clouds, lots of stars can be seen as well.

This comet will zoom by
Earth on New Year's Eve


In other news, a “leap second” is being added to the Coordinated Universal Time today.  This will be the second after 3:59:59 PST = 6:59:59 EST.

It is necessary to add a leap second every so often due to a fractional slowing of the earth’s rotation.  The only time there is a “60” in the seconds position is when a leap second is added.


In yet other news, a swarm of over 100 small earthquakes in So. CA hit the Brawley area today.  They were about 30 miles from the San Andreas Fault.  This, along with other swarms this year, may increase the possibility of a huge quake on that fault.


Dec. 30, 2016

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) began 2016 with the worst five-day start of any year (see my Jan. 8 entry).  However, the Dow closed up the year today at 19,762.60, which was 4,300+ points higher than it began—a 13.4% gain.

Dow finishes wild 2016 with 13.4% gain

Admittedly, I am not very optimistic that the Dow will remain high in 2017.  But let’s hope that it doesn’t plunge during the first week of January like it did earlier this year.


Dec. 29, 2016

Lame duck = President ObamaThe feds have detailed how U.S. officials concluded that Russian military and intelligence services were behind a massive election-related cyber assault on the U.S.  Today, in turn, President Obama issued an executive order expeling numerous Russian diplomats and their families from the U.S.  They have until Sunday (New Year’s Day) to leave.

In response, Russian diplomats at the Russian Embassy in London tweeted out a message calling what Obama did a “Cold War deja vu.”  They also mocked him by including a duck with the word LAME in front of it and added that everybody will be glad to see the end of his hapless administration.

Russia mocks Obama's 'lame duck'
status after new sanctions imposed

Officials in Moscow repeatedly have denied any involvement.  A more detailed report ordered by President Obama is set to be published before he leaves office.

Maybe all of the Russian diplomats and their families, told to leave by Barack Obama, should flee to one of the numerous “sanctuary cities” in the U.S.  I’d like to see how Obama would deal with that.


Dec. 28, 2016

America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, gave an exceedingly lengthy speech this morning, most of which was very skewed against Israel.  Commenting on the U.N. Security Council’s anti-Israel resolution 2334 passed on Dec. 23, Kerry said that the abstention vote by the U.S. was “the right thing to do.”

Kerry denied that the U.S. had helped put together the recent U.N. resolution.  Yet, representatives from Israel, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have stated adamantly for the past few days that the U.S. definitely was instrumental in advancing the resolution and bringing it to the U.N.  They say that proof of this will be presented to the Donald Trump administration after he is sworn in as president in 23 days.

Although I listened to Kerry’s entire 72-minute speech live—which I did not really have the time to do—I found it to be very irritating and aggravating.  It was reaffirmed to me that John Kerry continues to live in an idealistic fantasy world, thinking that Israel’s ceasing to build more settlements and turning over land to the Palestinians will be instrumental in bringing about a peace process.  If you want to see/hear his incessant rambling, it is here:

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has said that the Obama Administration has “strengthened Israel’s enemies.”  Democratic attorney Alan Dershowitz has said that Obama has “stabbed Israel in the back.”

Incoming Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was exactly right when he said this: “While Secretary Kerry mentioned Gaza in his speech, he seems to have forgotten the history of the settlements in Gaza, where the Israeli government forced settlers to withdraw from all settlements and the Palestinians responded by sending rockets from Gaza into Israel.”

Schumer correctly added, “While he may not have intended it, I fear Secretary Kerry, in his speech and action at the U.N., has emboldened extremists on both sides.”  Schumer also was harshly critical of the Obama administration for choosing to abstain from the vote last week on the U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlement enterprise, allowing the resolution to pass.

In a brief 9½-minute response, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Kerry’s speech was “almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the U.N. last week.”  He said that Kerry “spent most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace” and indicated that Kerry completely ignored the deep roots of the Mideast conflict.  Netanyahu also said, “We have absolutely incontestible evidence that the United States organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the United Nations Security Council.”  I hope that this evidence eventually will be made public.

Israel has offered several times to sit down for peace talks with the Palestinians, but the Palestinians always have refused.  Furthermore, there have been countless terror attacks on Israel by Palestinians; for instance, there were thousdands of rocket attacks on Israel in 2014, a wave of stabbing attacks on Jews in Israel in 2015 and days of wildfire attacks on Israel in 2016.  In reality, the Palestinian leaders never have wanted peace with Israel; they only have sought the complete eradication of Israel.

Many of Kerry’s comments parallel phrases in one paragraph of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument for Israel document, written back in 2006.  That paragraph reads this way:

Relations between the EU and Israel are also part of the Union’s wider efforts to contribute to a resolution of the Middle East conflict. The achievement of lasting peace in the Middle East is a central aim of the EU, whose main objective is a two-State solution leading to a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on implementation of the Road Map, with Israel and a democratic, viable, peaceful and sovereign Palestinian State living side-by-side in peace within secure and recognised borders and enjoying normal relations with their neighbours.

The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), extending from 2014 to 2020, is a confirmation and strengthening of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) covenant; both accords include Israel.  Thus, with the passing of the U.N. Security Council’s resolution on Dec. 23, I do not think it is beyond the realm of possibility that Israel could be forced, by the U.N., to accept the existence of a Palestinian State.

If Israel were to resist this order, perhaps military means might be used to force Israel to remove Jews and their settlements from areas, including East Jerusalem, deemed by the U.N. to be part of a Palestinian State.  If so, potentially this could begin the fulfillment of Luke 21:20-24.

Many feel that Israel should make a “land for peace” deal with the Palestinians.  However, it would be very dangerous for Israel, the smallest nation in the Middle East, to do this, due to persistent Palestinian terror attacks on Israel.  Such attacks include, but are not limited to, setting fires in Israel in November and shooting numerous rockets into Israel in July 2014 (see my Nov. 25, 2016 and July 8, 2014 entries).

The fact is, any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are destined to fail because the primary goal of Palestinian and other Islamic leaders is for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”  There will be meaningful and permanent peace in Israel only when Yeshua/Jesus returns to obliterate the transgressors of Israel and then to rule and reign, from Jerusalem, over the whole earth (Jeremiah 3:17; Zechariah 14:8,9).

For now, we all need to pray for the people of Israel, God’s chosen nation, and for the peace of Jerusalem, which is preordained to endure destruction, great persecution, desolation and exile near the end of the age.  This will be just prior to the return of their Messiah, when redemption, great glory, radiance and rejoicing will come to Zion, as described in Isaiah 60 through 63.


Dec. 26, 2016

I went and got 30.37 oz. (1.90 lb.) of 50% off Christmas clearance candy today.  I didn’t go quite as “nuts” as I usually do, though, since I still have candy from Nov. 1, the day after Halloween.

1.9 pounds of Christmas candy

Dec. 25, 2016

Not only is this Christmas day, it also is the first full day of Hanukkah, which began last night after sunset.  There are Hanukkah Blessings to say for eight nights as menorah candles are lit.

Jesus, who was Jewish, observed Hanukkah = the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22,23).  I feel that Jesus’ millennial Temple probably will be dedicated during Hanukkah after He returns.

       

       
25-second slideshow

Usually, Hanukkah takes place in early-to-mid December (see the bottom row of this chart: Calendar of Hebraic Feast and Holy Days 2012–2020).  It is extremely rare for Christmas and the first day of Hanukkah to occur on the same day, but this year they do.

Most likely, Jesus was born in a sukkah during the Feast of Tabernacles = Sukkot (see my Oct. 17 entry) rather than in a stable on Christmas.  If so, it is quite possible (I feel probable) that He was conceived during Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.

Since life begins at conception, then nine months before Jesus was born, He was the Light who entered the world (John 3:19).  Speaking of the Messiah and Savior Jesus to come, God said this:

“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept.  I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”  This is what the LORD says—the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” (Isaiah 49:6,7)

Incidentally, here are the items that I contributed to our Christmas feast today: cornbread, cornbread dressing, whipped potatoes, banana bread and chocolate snowflake cookies (all of which can be found at Ted’s Favorite Recipes):

       
13-second slideshow

Dec. 23, 2016

The United Nations adopted U.N. Security Council resolution 2334 today, demanding an end to Israeli settlement building.  Of the 15-member council, 14 nations voted in favor of the resolution with one abstention.

Permanent Members with Veto Power
NationVote NationVote
People’s Republic of China
France
Russian Federation
Yes
Yes
Yes
 United Kingdom
United States
Yes
Abstain
Non-permanent Members
NationVote NationVote
Angola
Egypt
Japan
Malaysia
New Zealand
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 Senegal
Spain
Ukraine
Uruguay
Venezuela
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

The resolution demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”—in which Israel’s holiest plot of land, as well as the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, have been located for millennia.  It also states that the establishment of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed a firm response to this.  He said, “Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. and will not abide by its terms.”

Security Council approves
'anti-settlement' resolution

For the first time in almost four decades, the United States has failed to wield its veto power on behalf of Israel.  Had it done so, the resolution would not have passed.

Instead, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, abstained from voting, enabling the U.N. resolution 2334 to pass.  Both President-elect Trump and Speaker of the House Ryan had supported a veto vote.

US abstains in key Israel vote, clearing
way for condemnation of settlements

Essentially, this is President Obama’s final “wave” to Israel—with only the “middle finger” extended—before he leaves office next month.  It is a contemptible and reprehensible betrayal of Israel, the closest ally to the U.S. in the Middle East.  Obama was hit with bipartisan criticism of this snub, as he should have been.

America’s failure to “have Israel’s back” at this critical time should be very concerning to those who understand what God spoke through the prophet Balaam, pertaining to how nations treat Israel: “May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!” (Numbers 24:9)  I would be especially fearful if I lived in Senegal, Malaysia, Venezuela or New Zealand—the four nations who submitted the resolution against Israel.

Potentially, the passage of U.N. resolution 2334 could have a profoundly devastating effect on Israel’s national security.  Conceivably, if Israel refuses to abide by the terms of the resolution, it could result in Jerusalem’s being surrounded by armies, in its imminent desolation and in people fleeing the region of Judea (included in my anticipated prophetic events section), as Jesus stated would happen one day:

When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. (Luke 21:20,21)

Dec. 22, 2016

I saw this “politically correct” Christmas card at a dollar store.  I bought a couple of them and sent them to friends who will appreciate the humor.  Click on the images to see enlargements.

 

Dec. 21, 2016

This is the winter solstice, which is the first day of winter and the day with the shortest daylight hours of the year.  I don’t like it when daylight hours get shorter, but I sure do like it when they get longer, which is from tomorrow until June 21.

The other day, I happened to see some cookies on a TV show that had won a baking contest.  They were called “chocolate snowflake” cookies.  So I found the recipe and made a double amount of the cookies today.

       
13-second slideshow

The cookies turned out really good.  They will be one of my contributions to our Christmas feast, along with the same items that I made for Thanksgiving, shown in my Nov. 23 entry.

The standard recipe for the cookies, which I doubled, is here: Chocolate Snowflake Cookies.  The powdered sugar on the cookies kind of resembles snowflakes.  I’m sure a lot of people are looking forward to a white Christmas, with billions of snowflakes on the ground, but that’s not really my thing.

Speaking of “snowflakes”—people who are “snowflakes” tend to be very idealistic, overly sensitive and incapable of dealing with any opinions that differ from their own.  They “melt” away when others say things that they find offensive.  These people often can be seen congregating in “safe zones” on college campuses.

A friend showed me the following short video, which is a parody on “snowflakes.”  Something has to be pretty funny to make me laugh, and this definitely did it.

I think that human “snowflakes” should move to socialist and communist countries.  I wonder how fast they would melt and evaporate in that type of oppressive environment.


Dec. 20, 2016

The inauguration of Donald Trump and Mike Pence is scheduled for a month from today.  This is after electors in all 50 states met yesterday and officially elected them President and Vice President of the United States.

Trump secures victory in Electoral
College, as bid to flip electors flops


In other news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) hit another record high today, perhaps due to Trump’s official and final election as President of the U.S.  The Dow was up 0.46% to 19,974.62, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.36% to 2,270.76.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 19,974.62   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index almost record high: 2,270.76

A common consensus seems to be that the DJIA will hit and exceed the 20,000 mark before the end of the year.  I’m not quite that optimistic myself.  I suspect that it may not be until after Donald Trump becomes president, but we’ll see.


Dec. 17, 2016

On American Family Radio (AFR) this morning, Pastors Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian of Fortress of Faith talked about how to distinguish what is true Islam and what is pseudo Islam.  In attempting to determine what is true Islam, it is essential to look at how it has been practiced in its two phases of existence.

The first thirteen years of Muhammad’s “ministry,” which took place in Mecca, was the “peaceful” and “non-compulsive” Islam.  However, the second span of time, from 622 A.D. until now, is the period of “jihad” and “convert or die” period.

Confusion arises because the doctrine of “abrogation” is in place. This means that something that was said earlier is overruled by something that was said later.  The concept of abrogation is in the Qur´an:

Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it.  Know you not that Allâh is able to do all things? (Surah 2:106)

Because many in America are ignorant of what Islam really teaches, they listen to Muslims who quote the “peaceful” passages of the Qur´an that have been abrogated by later passages.  These reformed Muslims have good intentions, but they are teaching a pseudo version of Islam.

The notes and audio recording of today’s Fortress of Faith program are here:

True Islam vs Pseudo Islam: PDF | Audio

Dec. 14, 2016

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen
Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen announced a 0.25% interest rate hike today.  It was the first time the Fed has raised rates since December 2015 and only the second time in a decade.  More rate hikes probably can be expected in 2017.

What The Federal Reserve Interest
Rate Hike Really Means For Your Money

As expected, the rate hike resulted in a downward move in the stock market compared to yesterday.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 0.60% to 19,792.53, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.81% to 2,253.28.

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 19,792.53   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index: 2,253.28

This decline probably will be temporary.  I suspect it won’t be long until the Dow hits the 20,000 mark.


Dec. 13, 2016

The stock market continues to shoot up and break records.  Exactly three weeks ago, on Nov. 22, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above the 19,000 mark.

Today it was thought, by many, that the DJIA might surpass 20,000, and it almost made it.  The Dow was up 0.58% to 19,911.21, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.65% to 2,271.72.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 19,911.21   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 2,271.72

Wall St. adds to record rally,
Dow approaches 20,000

U.S. National Debt ClockThe Dow has closed higher for seven sessions in a row.  Many are wondering how it will react to the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision, which comes tomorrow.  If the Fed raises the interest rate, most likely that will have a negative effect on the stock market, at least temporarily.

I think it’s interesting and very coincidental that, right now, both the DJIA and the National Debt are just over the “19.9” mark.  The Dow is over $19.9 thousand, while the National Debt is over $19.9 trillion.

On some level, that coincidence seems a bit uncanny and kind of eerie to me.  The fact that each one is so close to “20” reminds me of the 20/20 hindsite in my commentary about 2020.  I continue to hope that my proposed hypothesis in that commentary is incorrect; we’ll know, one way or the other, in four months (see anticipated prophetic events).


Dec. 12, 2016

Damage from the explosion inside Cairo's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral is seen inside the cathedral in Cairo, Egypt December 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El GhanyThe worst attack on Egyptian Coptic Christians in recent years took place in Cairo yesterday.  St. Peter Cathedral was bombed, killing at least 27 and wounding at least 65 churchgoers.

One possibility is that the bomb had been placed inside a woman’s purse in the rear of the church.  Anothier possibility is that a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt inside the church.

Whichever act occurred, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombing.  President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi described the bombing as a “terrorist act” that has no place in Egypt.

Egypt's Deadliest Church Attack

Christians in the U.S. usually don’t think too much about persecution and Islamic attacks happening to them.  However, although they have been virtually exempt from this themselves, it is increasing in other parts of the world.  The time is coming, though, when such things will happen to them, and their idealistic Pre-tribulation view of the Rapture will fail them.


Dec. 10, 2016

On American Family Radio (AFR) this morning, Pastors Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian of Fortress of Faith talked about the history of Islam following the death of Muhammad in 632 A.D.  That time period covers almost 1,400 years.

The notes and audio recording of today’s Fortress of Faith program are here:

Islamic History: PDF | Audio

Dec. 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor National Rembrance Day

Today is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  President Roosevelt referred to it as a “date which will live in infamy,” as indeed it has been.

This attack caused the United States to enter World War II.  Had that not happened, Adolf Hitler probably would have won the war, and the world would have been a completely different place.

A Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day celebration can be viewed here:


Dec. 6, 2016

I receive occasional mailings from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  I like this organization because it helps people all over the world who have been ravaged by disasters and calamities.  I always know that my contributions will be used wisely and effectively.

Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, is a sincere and active follower of Jesus/God.  Whenever I see him interviewed on TV, he always points to Jesus as Lord and Savior and stresses the importance of His blood atonement for our sins.  He also usually expresses the importance and the power of prayer.

I liked his November newsletter and agreed with the things he said about the recent presidential election and about Donald Trump.  Here is a sample paragraph that I feel is absolutely true:

No one should think that electing Donald Trump will fix our country. America is still a sin-saturated and divided nation, and Trump himself is a leader with human flaws. Elections matter, and this one will have lasting consequences, but only God can heal and restore a nation—and that comes through committed, faithful prayer.

Franklin’s entire message can be read at their website here:

Franklin Graham: Pray
for Our New President

Those who know me understand that I am not hopeful about the future of the USA or of the world over the next year or so.  I would love for my pessimism to be changed to optimism, but I do feel that God’s patience with mankind’s widespread lawlessness and rebelliousness is wearing very thin.

If there is going to be a positive change in world conditions, it definitely will have to involve a great deal of earnest prayer and supplication.  This includes prayer for Donald Trump and the administration that he selects.  The apostle Paul said this, and I agree:

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 2:1,2)

Dec. 3, 2016

I last organized my vitamins and supplements into individual compartments on June 25.  Each day, I take the following: a daily multiple; vitamins A, B complex, C and E; magnesium, selenium, zinc, fish oil, saw palmetto and glucosamine/chondroitin.

140 days of vitamins Individual vitamins

The supply that I keep on-hand lasts for 20 weeks (140 days).  Keeping them in the refrigerator prevents them from losing their potency.

I began taking my last supply of vitamins on July 10.  Over the past few months, I skipped taking my vitamins for a total of 7 days, for various reasons.  So my new regular supply of vitamins, which I will begin taking tomorrow (Dec. 4), will last me until Apr. 22, 2017 (unless there are days that I skip taking them).


On American Family Radio (AFR) this morning, Pastors Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian of Fortress of Faith focused on the Muslim Brotherhood.  They feel that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood in America.

Logo of the Muslim BrotherhoodThe Muslim Brotherhood is a world-wide organization dedicated to a world-wide caliphate and Muslim world domination.  Their logo on the right is a reflection of their creed, which advocates jihad and death for the sake of Allah:

Allah is our objective, the Qur´an is our law, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.

They wish to establish Shariah, acceptance of Allah as the only god and Islam as the only religion worldwide.  Jihad is their preferred method to accomplish these goals.

The notes and audio recording of today’s Fortress of Faith program are here:

The Fox Is In The Hen House: PDF | Audio

Dec. 1, 2016

Someone asked me about a prophecy from the 12th Century that I had included in one of my commentaries 11 years ago.  I updated my research on it and discovered some interesting things.

Evidently, in the 12th Century, Catholic Archbiship St. Malachy O’Morgair had a prophetic vision of the next 112 Catholic popes.  He provided brief descriptions of these popes, which can be seen in bold print for each pope here:

St. Malachy’s Prophecy of the Final 112 Popes

There is no need to read all the way down that lengthy page.  The point is that St. Malachy predicted that the 112th pope would be the last pope before the end of the age, and Pope Francis is the 112th pope.  More information can be read in my final Popes section.

A few days before Christmas last year (2015), Pope Francis gave an interesting message.  He included an eerie statement indicating that it might be the “last Christmas.”  Presumably, he is aware of St. Malachy’s prophecy and knows that he is the 112th pope, so he may think the end of the age is soon.  I wonder if he will say anything similar in this year’s pre-Christmas message.

Personally, I feel it is likely that Christmas 2016 will come and go as usual.  At least, I hope so.  But in case my “end of the age” hypothesis turns out to be correct (see End of the Age: 2020?), things might begin going downhill after mid-April 2017, especially in Israel.

It’s possible that bad stuff could start happening even before that, depending on what takes place after Trump’s inauguration on January 20.  We’ll see.


Nov. 29, 2016

Alan Horujko
Alan Horujko
More information has been obtained about the Muslim Somali immigrant who injured 11 people yesterday at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.  Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, rammed his car into a group of pedestrians and, after exiting his car, began slashing his victims with a knife.  All are expected to survive.

Fortunately, OSU police officer Alan Horujko, 28, was in the area at the time.  Officer Horujko fatally shot Artan outside an academic building, preventing him from injuring anyone else.  Horujko was a graduate of OSU in 2012.

Ohio State attacker stewed
over treatment of Muslims

Abdul Artan and his family moved from Somalia to Pakistan in 2007.  In 2014, as part of Barack Obama’s welcoming of Islamic refugees to the USA, they came here.  They even received governmental financial assistance.

Donald Trump has indicated that we should put a hold on refugees from countries known for Islamic jihadism.  We’ll see if that happens.

Soon after the attack on the OSU campus, Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine tweeted that he was “deeply saddened by the senseless act of gun violence at Ohio State this morning.”  Several others tweeted contrary responses.

Kaine had not bothered to wait until all the facts of the attack had come out.  Had he done so, he would have learned that the attacker did not use a gun; rather, he was killed by a law enforcement officer using a gun.

Failed Dem. VP Candidate Tim Kaine Tweets
Against 'Gun Violence' After OSU Knife Attack

Nov. 26, 2016

I view the USGS Earthquakes page everyday.  Over the past couple of months, there seems to have been a higher than normal cluster of significant earthquakes.

Significant Earthquake Swarm
September 23 — November 25, 2016
DateLocationMagnitude   DateLocationMagnitude
Nov. 25
Nov. 24
Nov. 21
Nov. 20
Nov. 16
Nov. 14
Nov. 13
Nov. 13
Nov. 13
Nov. 11
Nov. 8
Nov. 7
Nov. 4
Tajikistan
El Salvador
Japan
Argentina
Indonesia
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand
Japan
Chile
Oklahoma
Chile
6.6
7.0
6.9
6.4
5.7
6.5
6.2
6.5
7.8
6.2
5.9
5.0
6.4
  Nov. 2
Oct. 31
Oct. 30
Oct. 26
Oct. 26
Oct. 21
Oct. 19
Oct. 17
Oct. 15
Sep. 24
Sep. 24
Sep. 23
Sep. 23
Oklahoma
Colombia
Italy
Italy
Italy
Japan
Indonesia
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Fiji
Tonga
Philippines
Japan
4.5
5.6
6.6
6.1
5.5
6.2
6.6
6.8
6.3
6.3
6.4
6.4
6.2

During the Spring of 2016, I observed a Great Earthquake Swarm, with all but one of the quakes being 6.0 or above.  I’m wondering if there will be another major swarm or swarms of quakes during the next year.


Nov. 25, 2016

Fires burning throughout IsraelFor the third day in a row, several fires continue to burn in several places throughout Israel.  Reports appear to indicate that those causing the fires are Palestinian arsonists.  Israeli police have made at least 13 arrests.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from homes and businesses.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the arson-caused fires in Israel are “terror in every way.”  He also stated, “Anyone who tries to burn parts of the State of Israel will be severely punished.”

Netanyahu calls deliberately
set fires 'terror in every way'

For about the past year, there has been a series of seemingly lone-wolf attacks targeting Israelis.  Like much of this “wave of terror,” the arson terrorists may or may not be directed by any one central jihadist organization or extremist group.

Fires burning in HaifaMicha Gefen, a government policy analyst for Israel Rising, says Arab terrorists are resorting to a “burn it all down” strategy.  He feels that this is part of an orchestrated series of events launched by Hezbollah and their Iranian sponsors.  He also feels that Hezbollah infiltrators are preparing to penetrate Israel’s northern border.

Arabs Start the Fire Intifada
and Engulf Israel in Flames


War Drums: The Fire Intifada is Only
the Beginning, Hezbollah is Next

I think it is possible that these attacks could be leading up to occurrences listed in my anticipated prophetic events section.  Jesus described some of these events, including armies surrounding Jerusalem and people fleeing from Judea (Luke 21:20,21).  In case my speculative hypothesis turns out to be correct, they could take place during or immediately following Passover week next year (April 10-18, 2017).


Nov. 24, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving
This is Thanksgiving Day in the USA.  Our first president, George Washington, issued a General Thanksgiving Proclamation.  Its focus is on the Almighty God, to whom we all should be thankful for both good and happy times, as well as bad and sad times.

In his instructions to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul wrote the following:
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.  And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.  Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt.  Test everything.  Hold on to the good.  Avoid every kind of evil.  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-24)

On this special day, the prominent phrase that Paul wrote is, “give thanks in all circumstances.”  For many who are going through difficult and trying circumstances, this is not easy to do.  Spiritual maturity enables us to understand that we should give thanks even for the thorny and challenging things in life.

It is hard for us to understand why we should be thankful for the terrible things that happen to us, and to others close to us, along this journey of life.  We must realize, though, that we cannot understand the infinite Mind of God, nor can we comprehend His plans and purposes for our lives.  It is in obedience and in faith that we thank God for all things.

Today, let us remember that God is in charge and in control of all situations.  He allows us to go through hard times to strengthen us and to cause us to depend on Him—rather than on ourselves or other people—even more.  It is one of the greatest lessons we can learn before Jesus returns to rule and reign, when He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.


Nov. 23, 2016

I don’t really like to cook/bake food, and it takes me forever to make multiple items because I do my best to follow recipes exactly.  But people (including myself) seem to like the things I make, so it is worth the effort.

My contributions to the Thanksgiving meal tomorrow are four items (click on them to see my recipes):

jalapeño cornbread | cornbread dressing | whipped potatoes | banana nut bread

I usually get requests for the first three above.  When I was at the store getting ingredients for them, I picked up a big bag of salad for only $1.00, since I had a coupon.

I also saw bags of ripe bananas for only 99¢ each.  Besides the fact that it is difficult for me to pass up a great deal, I immediately pictured loaves of banana bread in my mind.

While I was making the batter, I got distracted by a phone call and forgot to separate the egg yolks from the whites.  I didn’t realize my error until I already had beaten the eggs.

The batter was a little thin, so I just added some more flour.  The banana bread turned out very yummy, although it would have been a bit more healthful without the egg yolks.

         

         

         
45-second slideshow

Nov. 22, 2016

For the first time ever, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 19,000 today.  The Dow was up 0.35% to 19,023.87, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.22% to 2,202.94.  Some are calling the continued rise of the Dow after the election a “Trump bump.”

Dow Jones Industrial Average first close above 19,000: 19,023.87   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 2,202.94

On a tear, Dow closes above
19,000 mark for first time

I know that a whole lot of people are very excited about this.  Personally, I am kind of nervous.  The higher the stock market goes, the harder it is going to crash, which I feel eventually will happen.


Nov. 19, 2016

A couple of months ago, while Donald Trump was running for president, he had an interview with Harvey Levin of TMZ.  During the interview, Levin explored the keepsakes in Trump’s residence at Trump Tower in NYC.

Trump revealed new details about his life and the lives of his children.  Last night, the full interview (38+ minutes) was aired on Fox News.  “Donald Trump Objectified” can be viewed here:


Nov. 18, 2016

This is the fifth day in a row that I have heard a specific internet video being discussed on multiple talk radio programs.  The video was shot by a mother in Fort Bend County, Texas, who forced her 8-year-old son to leave the house because he voted for Donald Trump in a mock election at school.

The scared boy screams, cries and pleads with his mother not to throw him out of the house.  After she pushes him outside with his suicase that she had packed for him, she continues filming and taunting her son as he rolls his suitcase to the curb.  He continues to sob, as does his younger brother.

This is an appalling, despicable video.  It contains profanity and is not appropriate for all viewers.

I feel that this woman is an example of how “out-of-control liberalism” may be considered to be a mental disorder.  Countless Democrats have become exceedingly emotionally distraught and distressed after the election of Donald Trump.

The protests and riots in city streets and college campuses across the nation are continuing.  Frankly, I wish that all of these people would move to other countries, as many have said they would do if Trump won the election.


Nov. 17, 2016

Today is the Great American Smokeout.  It is meant to be an encouragement to smokers to quit this unhealthful habit.  More information can be seen at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site here:

Great American Smokeout—
November 17, 2016

I used to smoke cigarettes occasionally in the 1970s.  I quit “cold-turkey” on June 28, 1978.  Since then, I have not taken one drag off of a cigarette.  I encourage other smokers to do the same.


Nov. 15, 2016

I have been near Birmingham, Alabama, for a couple of weeks.  I’ve been visiting some cousins, who are super smart and conservative (like most people around here) and a lot of fun.  I never get tired of hanging out with them.

The weather has been nice almost everyday.  There has been a severe drought here, though; so the autumn colors on the trees don’t seem quite as vibrant as they have been on some of my trips here in the past.

I have taken numerous walks in the area while I’ve been here, at least every other day.  The majority of them have been in the nearby township of Mt. Laurel, which I really like a lot.  For the first few days, Halloween decorations were still up, so I snapped a few of those.

There is a nearby ridge covered with trees, and I like going into that area.  I found a trail that leads through the forest to Spoonwood lake, and I took that path several times.  Due to the drought, though, the lake is much lower than usual.

The camera I’m using doesn’t take extremely sharp photos.  I can sharpen them in my photo program, but I haven’t taken the time to do that.  I might get around to doing it at some point, or maybe not.

You can view a slideshow below (click on a link below the photos).  I went a little nuts snapping a lot of trees with colored autumn leaves because that is what I enjoy seeing most when I review my photos.

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           
3½-minute slideshow | larger photos

Nov. 14, 2016

There’s a Supermoon shining brightly in the sky, both last night and tonight.  The center of the moon will be the closest to the center of the earth (221,525 miles = 356,510 kilometers) than it has been since 1948, the year Israel became a modern nation.

The moon appears somewhat larger and brighter than a normal full moon.  There will not be another Supermoon like this until 2034.

Supermoon: Closest Full
Moon to Earth Since 1948

I got a shot of it last night (Nov. 13) about 30 minutes after it rose over the ridge behind Mt. Laurel, Alabama.  It did seem somewhat larger and brighter than normal.

Supermoon over Mt. Laurel, Alabama, Nov. 13, 2016

Nov. 13, 2016

In the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8, Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence received 290 electoral votes.  The results in a couple of states are still out, so that number could increase.  They needed only 270 electoral votes to win the election.

In Washington D.C., on December 19, the U.S. Electoral College will cast their votes for U.S. President and Vice President.  Presumably, Trump and Pence will win.

However, there is a move among some Democrats to change the outcome of the election.  They claim that this would be fair, since Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine won the popular vote.  So now there are petition drives to get electorates to switch their votes from Trump/Pence to Clinton/Kaine.

Voters target Electoral College members
to switch their Trump ballots, elect Clinton

Countless Hillary Clinton followers have become “unglued” since the election, and there have been major protests and riots in the streets of several U.S. cities.  However, I doubt that anyone could imagine the amount of “unglued” people that would be seen if the election were to be stolen away from Donald Trump.


Nov. 11, 2016

To all the vets out there:  Thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your faithfulness.  Many of you have paid an extremely high price for my freedom, and I appreciate that.

         
15-second slideshow

If you are an American, remember Veterans Day.  Fly your flag if you have one, and thank a veteran.


Nov. 10, 2016

There were record highs in the U.S. stock market today.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.17% to 18,807.88, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.20% to 2,167.48.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 18,807.88   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 2,167.48

Dow rises to a record high, lifted by
optimism that Trump will help banks

These markers have gone up each day since the election.  I suspect that they would be going in the opposite direction if Hillary Clinton had won.

However, this is not to suggest that a crash could not happen at some point during Donald Trump’s presidency.  For instance, the potential rebellion and violence by disgruntled objectors and protestors, not to mention future terror attacks on U.S. soil, could have very negative effects on the market.


Nov. 9, 2016

Mike Pence, Donald Trump, Barron TrumpToday is not just “hump day”—it is “Trump day.”  Although it appears that Hillary Clinton may have won the popular vote yesterday by a slight margin, Donald Trump has won the election and is the 45th President-elect of the United States.

I watched the election returns for several hours last night.  Finally, I went to bed after it was confirmed that Trump had won Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Furthermore, Republicans will retain control of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  It seems to me that the results of this election were a statement to big-government liberalism to “take a hike.”

Trump wins presidency, defeats
Clinton in historic election upset

Here is Donald Trump’s 15-minute victory speech early this morning:

So what will Hillary Clinton do now?  Perhaps Donald Trump should appoint her as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya with her headquarters in Benghazi. 


Nov. 5, 2015

Most of the United States will “fall back” to Standard Time early tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 2:00 a.m.  I like the following clock because it is accurate to the second, plus it can be adjusted to any time zone: http://time.gov/HTML5.  Except for Hawaii and Arizona, don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed tonight.

Some people prefer Standard Time because they typically get up early and like it when the sun rises an hour earlier.  Personally, I prefer Daylight Saving Time because I like the extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day.  I wish Daylight Saving Time could continue year-round.


Nov. 2, 2016

The Chicago Cubs are the World Series champions after beating the Cleveland Indians tonight in game 7.  Congratulations, Cubs!  The game lasted 10 innings and was delayed due to rain after the 9th inning.

The final score was Cubs 8, Indians 7.  Here are the scores for the final game tonight and the runs, hits and errors for each inning:

Cubs 8, Indians 7 in the final game of the 2016 World Series

In the series, the Cubs won 4 games and the Indians won 3 games.  That’s as close as it gets.  The Cubs had not won the World Series since 1908.  Here are a few stats for the 7 games:

Tuesday, Oct. 25
Game 1 — Chicago at Cleveland
9 innings
6    0

Wednesday, Oct. 26
Game 2 — Chicago at Cleveland
9 innings
5    1

Friday, Oct. 28
Game 3 — Cleveland at Chicago
9 innings
1    0

Saturday, Oct. 29
Game 4 — Cleveland at Chicago
9 innings
7    2

   

Sunday, Oct. 30
Game 5 — Cleveland at Chicago
9 innings
3    2

Tuesday, Nov. 1
Game 6 — Chicago at Cleveland
9 innings
9    3

Wednesday, Nov. 2
Game 7 — Chicago at Cleveland
10 innings
8    7


Nov. 1, 2016

I went to WalMart early this morning to buy 50%-off Halloween candy.  I wanted to get there before they cleared the candy out of the Halloween aisles.

A few other customers were looking for half-priced candy as well.  I said, “This is the best part about Halloween!” and they agreed.

I purchased less than a third as much candy as I did a year ago on Nov. 1, 2015 (24.92 pounds).  Today I got only 111.82 ounces or 6.99 pounds.

7 pounds of Halloween candy

I mostly prefer chocolate mixed with peanut butter, as well as plain dark chocolate, but I did get a few other kinds as well.  This candy will last quite awhile.


Dallas Love Field layoutToday I flew cross-country to Alabama, but the trip was not without its problems.  I made it to Albuquerque okay.  But the flight from there to Dallas was delayed almost an hour.

That plane, which had flown in from Oakland, hit a flock of birds as it was descending into Albuquerque to land.  There were numerous dents on the fuselage and in the engine.  It took a maintance crew awhile to check out everything very carefully to decide whether the plane could continue flying or else be taken out of service for repairs.

Fortunately, they determined that it could go on to Dallas.  I had been told that my connecting flight at Dallas Love Field would held, since we would be arriving late.  A very competent flight attendant, Waylon, gave me further information and told me that I would not have time to stop and eat anything between flights.  Then he brought me a few bags of various snacks, hoping that they would tide me over until I reached my ultimate destination, Birmingham.

After landing in Dallas, I knew I had to get from gate 20 to gate 1 as quickly as possible to catch my next flight, which already was boarding.  I walked fast and then ran from one side of the terminal to the other, with my backpack on my back and pulling my suitcase on wheels (since I never check in luggage), and got a great seat on the next plane.  I called my cousin in Birmingham to let her know when my new arrival time would be, and she was waiting for me; so it all worked out fine.

           
18-second slideshow

Oct. 31, 2016

Clinton and Trump Halloween costumesHalloween is an irrelevant day to me...ho hum.  The only good thing is that Halloween candy is on sale the next day, usually at half the price.

I suppose that many people will wear Clinton and Trump costumes to Halloween parties tonight.  I think that if I were to go to a Halloween party, which I wouldn’t, I’d rather wear a clown costume.

Hmmm...actually, come to think of it, it seems that Clinton and Trump costumes are clown costumes.

Happy Face Pumpkin    Clinton and Trump Pumpkins

Finally, I think this cartoon pretty much sums up Hillary Clinton and the liberal/progressive (semi-socialist) agenda:

Democrat crap

Oct. 28, 2016

Only 11 days before the presidential election takes place, a possible “bombshell” has been dropped on the Hillary Clinton campaign.  FBI Director James Comey informed Congress in a letter today that the FBI has reopened its investigation into Clinton’s secret emails.  He said that that investigators were taking another look at whether classified information had been mishandled.

FBI reopens Clinton
email investigation

At a rally in New Hampshire, Donald Trump told supporters that Clinton was guilty of corruption “on a scale we have never seen before.”  He added, “We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.  I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and the Department of Justice are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made.”

In Iowa, Clinton said, “Even Director Comey noted that this new information may not be significant, so let’s get it out.”  I agree.  Let’s see what new information the FBI has uncovered.  It sounds like an “October surprise” without knowing exactly what the surprise is.  Of course, even if it is something very significant, it is difficult to get anything to stick to the “Teflon Queen.”


Oct. 26, 2016

Election 2016: The Christian's DilemmaA cousin sent me an article that he requested I share with others.  The article is by Dutch Sheets: an evangelist, author and teacher.  He is a registered Independent.

Mr. Sheets primarily is addressing conservative Christians who will have a difficult time giving Donald Trump their vote for president.  His main point is that electing Hillary Clinton would have a much more long-term devastating and destructive effect on the United States than electing Donald Trump.  The article can be read here:

The Christian’s Dilemma

We will know the results of the presidential election two weeks from today.  At least, this should be the case if the results are not a dead heat between Trump and Clinton and if significant questions have not arisen about voting fraud or hacking.

Admittedly, regardless of who wins, I do not have a positive feeling about the future of America.  I do not believe that the disastrous policies which have been implemented by the Obama administration, for almost 8 years, can or will be completely reversed until Jesus returns to rule and reign over the whole earth (Zechariah 14:9)—which, speculatively speaking, could be as soon as the Fall of 2020.


Oct. 25, 2016

The first game of the World Series in baseball is taking place in Cleveland tonight.  The two teams in the Series are the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.  The Cubs have not won the Series since 1908, and the Indians have not won it since 1948.

Chicago Cubs       Cleveland Indians

2016 World Series Schedule

I have the game tuned in on the TV right now.  However, I am listening to it in the background, and I am glancing at it only occasionally.  I have a ton of things sitting on my desk and around the house that I need to get done before bedtime.

Actually, I have been swamped with things to do since I returned from No. CA last week, and I have a gazillion more things to do before flying to Alabama next week.  Unfortunately, a lot of stuff will not get done.  I doubt that I even will be able to watch most of any World Series game.

In fact, I have fallen way, way behind on responding to emails and modifying pages at my website in the past few weeks.  Probably over half of the emails I have received and will receive, at least through the end of the year and maybe well into 2017, will have to go unanswered.   Moreover, most likely, I will not have the time to read or watch most of the articles and videos that people send me.

So for those reading this and not receiving responses to emails they have sent me or will send me, I’m sorry about that.  Things are changing in my life, and this very well may continue indefinitely.  The first four paragraphs on the following page are more true for me now, and in the forseeable future, than ever before:

Ted’s Email Responses

Oct. 22, 2016

On American Family Radio (AFR) this morning, Pastor Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian of Fortress of Faith talked about some of the rituals of the religion of Islam.  These include the following:

  • Ashura — a season of self-mutilation in the Islamic year during which Muslims cut or beat themselves until their blood flows;
  • Ramadan — the most holy month of Islam during which Muslims fast during daylight hours and feast at night;
  • the Salat — an obligatory religious duty for Muslims to say prayers to Allah, which are memorized recitations in Arabic, five times a day;
  • the Hajj — the journey to the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that every Muslim should make at least once in his/her life;
  • Ablutions — ritual cleansings that Muslims perform to prepare themselves for prayer;
  • Warding off an Evil Eye — wearing blue talismans and jewelry with eyes on them or having an ornament in their house, along with saying incantations, to ward off the “evil eye” of someone trying to cast an evil spell on them;
  • Stating the Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim: “In the name of God, most gracious, most compassionate” as a consecration of a person or thing to Allah; and
  • Prayer Beads — reciting prayers of the 99 beads that represent the 99 names or characteristics of Allah.

The majority of rituals are external actions practiced by Muslims done in an attempt to please Allah.  Without them, they have no hope of attaining Paradise.

In Islam, there is no concept of the Holy Spirit of the one true God, who moves in our minds and hearts to lead us to a saving knowledge of the Father and Son.  An acceptance of Jesus as Lord, and of His blood atonement on the cross for our sins, are requisites for receiving salvation and eternal life.

The notes and audio recording of today’s Fortress of Faith program are here:

The Rituals of Islam: PDF | Audio

Oct. 21, 2016

U.S. cyber attack outage mapThere was a widespread cyber attack on major internet services and sites today.  These included Amazon, Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Reddit, PayPal, Pinterest, CNN, Fox News, the New York Times and the Boston Globe, among others.  The attacks were in the United States and in Europe.

The internet service company Dyn, which routes and manages internet traffic, said that it had suffered a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on its domain name service shortly after 7:00 a.m. EDT.  Dyn, which is headquartered in New Hampshire, said that its domain name service was attacked, causing interruptions and slowdowns.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that it was monitoring the situation.  DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said, “We’re aware and are investigating all potential causes.”

Major cyber attack disrupts
internet service across Europe and US

Massive Cyberattack Hits America — Will Russia
Take Down The Entire Internet If We Go To War?

The latter article brings up the possibility that an extended Internet outage, for instance due to an extensive attack by Russia, would cause financial markets all over the planet to start crashing.  This among other possibilities, including widespread power outages, potentially would be extremely devastating.  It also would not surprise me in the least.


Oct. 20, 2016

Great Shake Out Earthquake DrillsToday, the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills were held worldwide, including in California.  At 10:20 a.m., millions across CA performed a “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill as a preparation for when the earth really shakes.

There are 7 important steps to take in preparation for an earthquake and in knowing what to do after the shaking begins:

Step 1 | Step 2 | Step 3 | Step 4 | Step 5 | Step 6 | Step 7

Students at UCLA participated in the earthquake drill today.

Earthquake drill rocks campus
with the Great California ShakeOut

That article mentions the earthquake swarm that struck the Salton Sea in late September, which I talked about in my Oct. 3 entry.  Many seismologists feel that this significantly enhanced the chance of a large quake on the San Andreas fault, at least temporarily.

The article also includes a reference to the 1994 Northridge earthquake.  The magnitude of that earthquake was 6.7, and the epicenter actually was in Reseda.

I distinctly recall waking up within moments after the shaking started, which was at 4:30 a.m.  I remember grasping the top and side of my mattress because I felt like I might be shaken out of bed.

After about 15 seconds of shaking, I was afraid that the intensity might increase and my house in Irvine might be rocked off of its foundation.  Fortunately, there was no damage, although something slid off of a table, and a picture hanging on the wall fell down.


Oct. 19, 2016

The second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was televised tonight.  Chris Wallace of Fox News was the moderator.  I think he did the best job and asked the most appropriate questions of all the moderators for the three Trump/Clinton debates.

The debate took place at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, NV.  It lasted about 92 minutes with no commercial breaks and can be viewed here in its entirety (beginning at the 19 second point):

For the first 30 minutes or so, there was mostly a polite discussion over policy that featured a far more cordial tone than their previous two debate engagements.  After that, Trump and Clinton often interrupted each other and Chris Wallace during various exchanges.  During the debate, some of the topics discussed were abortion, Russia, the southern border, immigration, Obamacare, Medicare and other topics.

Overall, I agreed much more with Trump’s views and opinions than with Clinton’s.  I feel strongly that a Clinton presidency would be a continuation of the Obama presidency, which overall has been disastrous economically and socially for the U.S.  As for a Trump presidency, I do not see how it could be the same or worse, and I would keep my fingers crossed that it might be better.


Oct. 18, 2016

I have been asked, by Christians, for whom I will be voting on Nov. 8: Trump or Clinton.  They point out that neither of these candidates seems to be a strong Christian, and neither appears to live by true Christian values.  I agree, which is why I am not publicly backing or supporting either Trump or Clinton.

U.S. National Debt ClockWhat I have told people for the past few years is that I am convinced that the many incompetent and failed policies of the Obama administration have caused permanent ruination and devastation in the United States.  A prime example is Obamacare or the so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” mentioned in my Mar. 21, 2010 entry.  Another huge example is the U.S. National Debt, which today stands at an unfathomable $19.7+ trillion, about half of which has been accumulated during the years of Obama as president.

Essentially, I feel that America has been “flushed down a toilet,” and there is no way to un-flush a toilet.  At this point, it is unknown how fast we will reach the main “sewer line,” which I feel is inevitable.  There is no way to reverse and undue America’s vast problems.  Those who think and hope that there is are living in an idealistic fantasy dreamworld.

There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton, as president, would greatly speed up the process of flushing us all the way into the main sewer line.  Perhaps Donald Trump could slow down this process somewhat, although I am not completely convinced of this.  Nevertheless, of all the candidates running for president, I probably am leaning toward voting for Trump...if I even vote.

There is an article online by Carl R Gottstein Jr. with Brian Olesen, who are Trump supporters.  This was written a few days ago as a “message to Christians” about Donald Trump.  It includes some interesting points, and I do understand the message that is being conveyed.  Yet I continue to be very skeptical that a Trump presidency is going to “save” America and make it “great” again.

You can click here to read the article.  In case that gets taken down, it can be read here:

Is Trump our Rowboat?

Regardless of who wins the presidential election, I sadly feel that very bad things will be happening to America relatively soon.  Perhaps it even could be during the next six months.

On a calendar, the month of April next year matches, day and date, with October this year (except that October has one more day).  Six months from last week is Passover week, and it could turn out to be extremely critical in world events.  More details can be found in my End of the Age: 2020? commentary (abbreviated version).


Oct. 17, 2016

This is the first full day of the week-long Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.  It also is a special Sabbath when no regular work is to be done (Leviticus 23:34,35).

       
15-second slideshow

Sukkot in JerusalemAll native-born Israelites are to construct and to dwell in booths or “sukkot” (which is the plural of booth or “sukkah”) for a week (Leviticus 23:42,43).  This is a reminder to them of the temporary tabernacles in which their Israelite ancestors lived for 40 years after leaving ancient Egypt.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1) in a sukkah during Sukkot, not in a stable in December.  The word “tabernacle,” used as a verb, means “to take up temporary residence, especially to inhabit a physical body” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).  So Jesus tabernacled with mankind for a few decades while He was here the first time.

Being a Jew, Jesus celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles and even taught in the temple courts during the days of this feast (John 7:1-44).  In the future Messianic era, during the Millennium, Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah will return to tabernacle with us again.  Representatives from the nations of the world will go to Jerusalem, where King Yeshua will be sitting on His throne, to observe the Feast of Tabernacles—essentially, a giant birthday celebration for Jesus:

The LORD will be king over the whole earth.  On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. ... Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:9,16)

Oct. 14, 2016

One of the great things about California is that the growing season, for most vegetables and fruits, is so long.  A large amount of tomatoes, a few eggplants and some basil had been harvested from my friend’s garden in the past few days.

He always likes to make huge amounts of pasta sauce that he can freeze for the winter months.  Below are some photos of the process, which took a few hours.  As usual, on a scale of 1 to 10, the pasta sauce was a 15.

       

       

       

       
50-second slideshow

Oct. 12, 2016

Today is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.  It is the highest Sabbath during the Hebraic year.

       
15-second slideshow

God ordained this day in ancient Israel for the high priest to enter the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle, and later the temple.  He was to make atonement for his sins and for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16:1-34).

Later, God also told Moses that this Day of Atonement was to be a special day of commemoration.  It was to be a day of sacred assembly, a day to deny oneself (for instance, to abstain from eating), and a day to refrain from work (Leviticus 23:26-32).  It also is a day to repent from our sinful acts and to restore a meaningful relationship with God.

I have been abstaining from food since sunset last evening, which is when Yom Kippur began.  I will be fasting for 25 hours.  I have no work to do today (unless typing with my fingertips is considered to be work), and I will not be driving a car.

I believe that Yeshua/Jesus will return to earth, to begin to rule and reign, on a future Yom Kippur, at the end of the 70th Week.  Here are two email responses I have written in the past having to do with Yom Kippur:


Oct. 10, 2016

Amidst all the banter and tense political conflicts in the American election, there are other significant events going on in the world.  For instance, the ongoing deadly clashes in Syria—involving the government of Bashar al-Assad, rebels against his government, and militant members of the Islamic State—are a very complicated mess.

Russia, who supports Bashar al-Assad, and the U.S., who supports the rebels, have sent their own troops into this brawl, whether on the ground or in the air.  Recently, Russia has ratcheted up its warnings to the U.S. not to interfere with Russia’s military operations in Syria, threatening to shoot down any airstrike attempts.  But there may be an even bigger threat looming behind the scenes.

Is Russia Preparing For War? Iskander
Missiles Moved To Polish Border; Russian
Tabloid Predicts Confrontation With West

The last sentence of that article mentions “a massive civil defense exercise last week, accompanied by instructions on how to survive a nuclear attack.”  Here is more on that:

Russia claims nuclear war could be imminent as it
evacuates 40 MILLION people in drill and warns
that 'schizophrenics from America' could attack

This reminds me of what Jesus said would happen near the end of the age:

When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.  These are the beginning of birth pains. (Mark 13:7,8)

So when tensions in the world escalate over the next few months, we do not need to be alarmed that the very end of the age is imminent.  However, we do need to be aware that things will be getting progressively worse until the day that Jesus returns to earth to rule and reign.  What a day of rejoicing that will be!


Oct. 9, 2016

The second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was televised tonight.  Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC were the moderators.

The debate took place at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.  It lasted about 100 minutes with no commercial breaks and can be viewed here in its entirety (beginning at the 31:55 minute point):

I thought this was a somewhat better debate than the one on Sep. 26.  However, at least half of it consisted of Trump and Clinton bashing each other, and the portions dealing with important policies and issues were less than I had hoped for.  Perhaps this debate could be summed up as “sex, lies and videotape.”


Oct. 8, 2016

Category 1 Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in McLellanville, SC, on Oct. 8, 2016.Hurricane Matthew made landfall in McClellanville, South Carolina, at 11am EDT.  This raging storm has been a hurricane for 10 days, having had strengths as a category 5, 4, 3, 2 and now 1.

Several days ago, it passed over Haiti (where it caused at least 840 deaths), Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic and The Bahamas.  Then it inched up the eastern coast of Florida (causing at least 6 deaths) and Georgia.  Several more have died since then in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Over 1 million people have lost power in Florida, and at least 478,000 have lost power in Georgia and South Carolina.  States of emergency have been declared in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  Matthew should make a turn to the east and go out to sea by mid-afternoon tomorrow.

Hurricane Matthew lashes Charleston
as weakened Cat 1 storm


In other news, two other big “storms” appeared on the scene last night.  They could affect the U.S. presidential election, which is exactly one month from today.

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has kept his promise about leaking documents connected to Hillary Clinton.  The WikiLeaks site posted emails from a private account belonging to John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign chairman and President Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff.

The emails contain excerpts from paid speeches that Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms.  Assange has said that WikiLeaks will be publishing new information every week for the next several weeks.

WikiLeaks posts apparent excerpts
of Clinton Wall Street speeches

As for Donald Trump, a video from 2005 was revealed in which he used lewd, vulgar and unacceptable language.  He described how he made the move on a married woman.

Trump also said that he “automatically is attracted to beautiful women” and wanted to kiss them.  He added, “When you’re a star, they let you do it.”  He said these things not long after marrying Melania.

I’ve watched the video, and there was obscene language that I will not include here.  I also will not place a link to the video here, but it can be found on You Tube by doing a search for Trump video 2005.  Although Trump apologized for the video in another brief video, I did not perceive his apology to be genuine.

Trump apologizes for video
bragging about groping women

Trump’s campaign dismissed the things he said as merely “locker room banter.”  I found what he said to be disgusting and revolting.  Numerous top Republicans have distanced themselves and withdrawn their support from him.  Even Mike Pence and Melania Trump have said that they found his language “offensive.”

I expect that additional negative things like these, for both Clinton and Trump, will come out prior to the election on Nov. 8.  I continue to be very disappointed with these two candidates and am extremely disillusioned with this election, more than any other as far back as I can remember.


Oct. 4, 2016

Tim Kaine (D), Virginia Senator
Tim Kaine
Mike Pence (R), Indiana Governor
Mike Pence
The only vice-presidential debate before the election took place tonight in Farmville, VA.  Tim Kaine (D), U.S. Senator from Virginia, and Mike Pence (R), Governor of Indiana, were asked questions by moderator Elaine Quijano.

Rather than discussing important issues, much of the debate consisted of attacks being made on the presidential candidate of the opposing party, particularly Kaine blasting Trump.  There were a great many interruptions, mostly by Tim Kaine when Mike Pence was speaking.

Several times when both candidates and the moderator were talking, all at the same time, it often was impossible to understand what anyone was saying.  I did like some of the points Pence made when he was able to state them without being interrupted.  I would say that he won the debate.

Overall, I didn’t learn too much new information.  During the final 30 minutes, I kept looking at my watch and wishing the debate was over, and then I would yawn.  Ho-very-hum. 

I will say that considering these two vice-presidential candidates and the two presidential candidates (Clinton and Trump) whose first debate was on Sep. 26, I would vote for Mike Pence for president, if I could.  Too bad that isn’t an option.

The whole debate, which lasted a little over 90 minutes, can be viewed below.  The first 3 minutes of the video can be skipped.


Oct. 3, 2016

shofar or ram's hornToday is 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.

God ordained that trumpet blasts should be heard on the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23,24; Numbers 29:1).  This actually meant 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 referred to 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 referred to as the “days of awe” (Yamim Nora’im) or the Ten Days of Repentance.  It is a time to examine one’s ways, repent from one’s sins, and 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).


Recent earthquake swarm in the Salton SeaIn other news, there has been increased activity on the Brawley Seismic Zone in the Salton Sea, located in Southern California, in the past week.  The southern portion of the 800-mile-long San Andreas fault runs through the Salton Sea.

A swarm of over 200 small earthquakes have been recorded.  These have included a 4.1 and two 4.3 magnitude temblors on Sep. 26.  As a result, a heightened alert has been issued by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Service, until tomorrow, for the possibility of a major earthquake.  My May 6 entry talks more about that possibility.

Risk of big earthquake on San Andreas
fault rises after quake swarm at Salton Sea

Incidentally, that article mentions the 7.3 Landers earthquake and the 6.5 Big Bear earthquake three hours later.  Both of them took place on June 28, 1992.  I was in Mission Beach in San Diego at the time and got rocked by both of those shakers.

Although I am in Northern California right now, this raises a bit of a concern for me.  I am watching my friend’s dog, Lulu, while he is gone.  Recently, she has been acting very strangely, even though she is getting fed, walked and petted/rubbed regularly.  Typically, she is very inactive and content and will stay on the couch for hours at a time.

However, the past couple of days, she has been in a wild frenzy much of the time.  She comes over to me and sits and stares at me.  I’ll feed her a few little apple scraps, but she doesn’t even eat some of them (which is not like her at all because she usually gobbles up anything I give her).  Then she’ll look around like something just entered the room and freaked her out, and she’ll run over to the other side of the room and hide under the desk.

In a few minutes, she’ll come out and stand in the middle of the room, look around, run around in circles a couple of times and then run over and hide behind the elliptical machine for a couple of minutes.  Then she’ll whine a couple of times and run back to me, and it starts all over again.

I’ve tried to calm her down, but nothing works.  It kind of reminds me of how my friend’s three dogs were carrying on in Anaheim the night before the 5.2 quake in Borrego Springs on June 10.


Oct. 2, 2016

Aleppo, SyriaThe ongoing devastation and human tragedy in Syria is becoming increasingly ominous and unmanageable.  Over the past few years, Syrian and Russian troops have killed countless thousands of innocent victims, along with rebels fighting against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The largest surgical hospital in Aleppo, bombed yesterday for the second time in a week, is completely out of service.  There now is only about one doctor for every 10,000 people.  The infrastructure of many Syrian cities, including Aleppo, is collapsing.

Russia has warned the United States against taking direct action against the Assad government.  Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said, “If the US launches a direct aggression against Damascus and the Syrian army, it will lead to terrible, tectonic shifts not only on the territory of this country but also in the region in general.”

Russia warns US not to
attack Syrian regime

U.S.-Russian tensions over Syria have increased since the breakdown of a cease-fire last month.  Each side has blamed the other for its failure.  These hostilities are only going to continue to escalate, with no end in sight.


Oct. 1, 2016

On American Family Radio (AFR) this morning, Pastor Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian of Fortress of Faith talked about two possibilities concerning Islam.  They discussed whether Islam is a religion of peace that many are preverting or a militant religion attempting to cause everyone else to submit to Islam.

Those in the former group say they are following the teachings of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam.  Those in the latter group say that the violence we see by Muslims is not representative of true Islam and that it can be reformed and made peaceful.

Muhammad claimed that an angel from heaven gave him revelation and enlightenment.  However, in the Bible, the apostle Paul stated this:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)
There are countless other inconsistencies between the Qur´an and the Bible.  The notes and audio recording of today’s Fortress of Faith program are here:

Will The Real Prophet Please Stand Up?: PDF | Audio


In other news, a change in control over a portion of the Internet has taken place.  Since 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), located in Los Angeles, has overseen the process of assigning the Internet’s domain names and the underlying IP addresses.

All this time, ICANN and its Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) department have contracted with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Up until now, the NTIA has had the authority to regulate the Internet.

As of today, though, that contract has ended, and the IANA has handed over its authority directly to ICANN.  Now, ICANN will be accountable to an international multi-stakeholder community, which includes members from the global technical community, businesses, telecommunications experts, civil society and governments.

Some haved said that Barack Obama is “giving away the internet.”  However, the long-term ramifications of this are, as of yet, unknown.

The Attorneys General of Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas filed a federal lawsuit attempting to block the transfer, saying that doing so required congressional approval.  Yesterday, though, federal Judge George Hanks, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, denied this request.

The lawsuit argued that the states “will lose the predictability, certainty, and protections that currently flow from federal stewardship of the Internet and instead be subjected to ICANN’s unchecked control.”  On the other hand, those who approve of the transfer refute this argument and feel, for various reasons, that the change will be beneficial.

What you should know about the ending of a US
contract some say amounts to 'giving away the internet'

Personally, I am very apprehensive about this historic transfer, especially because I feel that we may be near the end of the age.  I think it is quite possible that the international system may gain control over the Internet and unleash numerous restrictions over it.  If so, websites like mine could become nonexistent.

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