Democratic socialism appears to be increasing in the U.S. federal and state governments. Those who advocate it feel that it is the best route to success, even paradise. This is an idealistic fantasy.
One of the most prominent examples in the world of a socialist government is in Venezuela, with Nicolás Maduro as its dictator. Socialism has sunk an oil-rich nation into poverty.
Furthermore, Venezuela’s alleged “democracy” is a farce. The government does not hesitate to repress its people brutally when they rise up in protest.
The Venezuelan dictatorship’s constant aggression toward private property has created an economy incapable of sustaining itself or of offering the goods that people need. Scarcity, inflation, electricity rationing, unemployment and oppression are the direct consequences of this way of governing. It leads to repression and dictatorship when citizens try to resist it or revolt against it.
Democratic socialists are causing an increasing ineptocracy in the U.S. It is an irrational and illogical humanistic system. The further that this nation drifts away from God and His consummate values, the more likely its people are to embrace the failed tenets and principles of socialism.
One year ago today, on Mar. 30, 2018, anti-Israeli protests and demonstrations began on the border between Israel and Gaza. That initiated the “The Great March of Return” on “Land Day.” It was followed by weekly violent protests, during which many Palestinian protesters were killed.
Recently, an Islamic Jihad terror group in Iran made a threat toward Israel. An Al-Quds Brigades spokesman, Abu Hamza, said, “We caution the Zionist enemy against the spilling of Palestinian blood and emphasize that killing civilians will not bring it anything other than war.”
This afternoon, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza came to the border to protest. Most of them remained at a distance from the border. However, some rioters threw grenades, explosives, rocks and burning tires at the border fence and at IDF troops.
IDF solders responded with riot dispersal means and live fire. At least 200 protesters were injured, and 2 were killed.
No doubt, these protests will extend through Passover week: Apr. 20-27. Conceivably, it could result in one of Jesus’ prophecies, which so far has remained unfulfilled, to take place:
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)
This is the day that Great Britain was scheduled to leave the European Union, following the Brexit vote over 2½ years ago on June 23, 2016. However, there have been so many disagreements on how to make the exit that it has not yet happened.
Today, the third Brexit deal proposed by Prime Minister Theresa May was voted down by Members of Parliament 344 votes to 286 votes. In a compromise attempt, May had said that if her deal passed, she would be willing to resign as prime minister.
Even though the deal was voted down, though, there still are many who want her to resign. Ultimately, this might or might not happen.
In any case, had the vote for May’s deal passed today, then the Brexit would have been delayed until May 22. Furthermore, on Apr. 12, is the date when the United Kingdom has to decide whether or not in to take part in EU elections. If not, that is when the U.K. may have to make a potentially catastrophic “no deal” withdrawal from the EU. The complications continue.
There has been a great deal of rain throughout California during the winter and so far in the spring. Since I arrived here in Marin County six days ago on Mar. 23, it has rained at least a little each day. Yesterday, there was a torrent of rain that lasted for hours.
Today there were a few sprinkles early in the morning, but most of the day was rain-free. The sky was blue with little or no clouds. There is green everywhere, as well as some flowers. This was a nice spring day.
Maybe the best part was dinner. My gourmet cook friend made some outstanding salmon, asparagus and rice, which is one of my favorite meals. Yum!
The repercussions of the Brexit vote in Great Britain on June 23, 2016, have become very complicated and convoluted. Yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to resign if her Brexit deal succeeded in a Parliament vote.
A third parliamentary vote should take place tomorrow. Whether it does or not, the Brexit process going forward most likely will remain very complex.
After all charges against Jussie Smollette were dropped yesterday by prosecutors in Cook County, IL, the Chicago Police Department released a 61-page investigative report. Later, a court order barred them from releasing any further files.
Last month, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts by a grand jury. News of the dropped charges came as a surprise to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and to Police Superintendant Eddie Johnson, both of whom angrily pushed back at the unexpected decision. Emanuel, who believes that Smollett committed a crime, said, “From top to bottom, this is not on the level.”
In other news, I was listening to a portion of Michael Savage’s program on KSFO radio this afternoon. One of his guests was Matt Richtel, author of An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System.
During their discussion, Richtel pointed out how a lot of people in today’s society tend to be too “germophobic”—having an extreme fear of germs and an obsession with cleanliness. There is an excessive use of hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps.
It is not necessarily a bad thing for our bodies to be exposed to microbes that exist on surfaces in public places. Doing so helps our immune systems to develop natural immunities to these microbes, as it is supposed to do.
Over time, preventing exposure to common microbes can cause a reduction in our immune response to infections. Furthermore, if our body has not developed a natural immunity to common microbes, its immune system can develop undue stress when exposed to something it’s never been in contact with before, and an autoimmune disorder can result.
After listening to the discussion, I did a search and found this article that gives a synopsis of some of Richtel’s information:
My friend Barry wanted to get some cases of wine at two wineries, so we went wine tasting at both of them. Because he is in the “Royals Club” or “Executive Club” at the wineries, there is no charge to taste wine for him or for any friends he brings with him. He also gets a 35% to 40% discount on the wine he buys...not bad.
I hardly ever drink wine (or any other alcohol), but it’s hard for me to pass up free wine tasting, especially when I’m not driving. All of what we were served was excellent. He bought a total of 48 bottles (4 cases of a dozen each). I think it might take me the rest of my life to drink that much wine.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his findings, two days ago, on his 2-year investigation into President Trump's campaign. The findings were given to Attorney General Wiliam Barr.
Today, in a letter written to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees, Barr wrote, “The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
However, Mueller’s investigation did not take a position on whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to frustrate the ongoing investigation. “[W]hile this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr quotes from Mueller’s report.
The attorney general wrote that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had concluded that the findings of the special counsel were “not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” The Justice Department leaders reached that conclusion, Barr wrote, without regard to the “constitutional considerations” that surround whether the department can seek an indictment of a sitting president.
I flew up to San Francisco (SFO) today. My friend Barry scheduled and paid for my trip a couple of months ago so I could come up and watch his dog, Lulu, while he goes scuba diving in the Philippines. This is the third time he has done that in about six months.
Well, he notified me two days ago that Lulu (age 17) had been very sick and in pain for a couple of weeks. She had not eaten anything for several days and barely could walk. So he had decided to put her out of her misery and take her to the vet to have her put down, which is what happened. She was a very good dog, and I will miss her.
I told him that if he wanted to reclaim the airline credits he had used for my airfare, he could do that and I wouldn’t fly up, since there would no need for anyone to take care of Lulu while he was gone. However, he said that he still wanted me to come, so here I am.
Usually, I fly out of either San Diego (SAN) or Orange County (SNA), but today I flew out of Los Angeles (LAX), which was how he had scheduled my trip. It’s always smoggy in L.A., but today seemed even smoggier than usual. After the plane lifted off, I had to zoom in quite a bit to photograph the L.A. skyline, since it is not close to the airport. In those photos below, the smoggy air is evident.
What was weird was that all the way up the coast, the air was very hazy and I could see a brownish band across the atmosphere. It looked like smog to me, but that would have been extremely abnormal for almost the entire coast of CA to be smoggy.
The lady in the seat next to me said it looked like smoke to her, and I agreed; but we had heard of no news of any fires. Perhaps it was fog, but it looked dirtier than that. It’s still a mystery to me. In any case, it caused most of the photos I took to be unclear and indistinct, especially of the San Francisco skyline.
After Barry picked me up at the airport, we drove up to Marin County. It was pretty dark as we were crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge. At his place, he had prepared panko chicken, Brussels sprouts, potatoes and homemade pasta sauce topped with parmesan cheese. It was the perfect dinner at the end of a trip.
The Golan Heights, a region of Syria, was annexed by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967. Israel’s control of the Golan Heights has given it a buffer on its northeastern border, strengthening its hand against hostile Iranian and Syrian forces. However, most of the world’s nations, particularly Syria, never have recognized this annexation as legal and valid.
Yesterday, President Trump announced the following in a tweet: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump sent his tweet as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Jerusalem, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visiting the Western Wall, among other sites.
There has been a major backlash to Trump’s announcement from many nations—including Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey—as well as from the United Nations Security Council. The Syrian government called Trump’s statement an “illegal action with no impact” and vowed to regain control of the Golan, “using every possible means.”
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, responded to Trump’s announcement by saying that “such calls may considerably destabilize the already strained situation in the Middle East.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that the US announcement could throw the region into turmoil.
In a statement today, a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, “The European Union, in accordance with international law, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories it occupied since July 1967, including the Golan Heights, and does not consider them as part of Israeli territory.”
Today is Purim, which began last evening at sunset. Many communities observe it tomorrow as well.  It is a time celebrated by Jews everywhere in commemoration of being saved from extermination.
There always is a full moon on Purim. This year, it is a super full moon, because it is closer to the earth than it usually is and will appear up to 14% larger than a regular full moon.
Purim is a very interesting account of how God blessed a Jewish girl to the point of becoming Queen over the entire Medo-Persian Empire. The annihilation of all the Jewish people had been decreed, and Queen Esther was in a position to prevent this from happening, even though she risked her life in doing so.
It is a fascinating, true story, in case you would like to read about it in the Book of Esther. In that biblical account is written the mandate that every generation of Jews should celebrate Purim:
These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of them die out among their descendants. (Esther 9:28)
Spring will begin in the Northern Hemisphere today at 2:58 pm PDT = 5:58 pm EDT. It is the Spring or Vernal Equinox, when the daylight hours are virtually equal to the nighttime hours.
After today, the hours of light will increase and the hours of darkness will decrease each day until June 21 (the Summer Solstice). Then the pattern will reverse.
Also, when the moon rises tonight, it will be a super moon that is expected to appear up to 14% larger than a regular full moon. It will be the third and last super moon of 2019, and it will be the first super moon to coincide with the Spring Equinox in 19 years. This full moon will reach its maximum phase at about 6:43 p.m. PDT = 9:43 p.m. EDT.
The next full moon will occur in a month on Passover, which will begin at sunset on April 19. I have a suspicion that some very unusual things may happen in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, during Passover week. I hope not.
I was reminded today of the meeting and signing of a document last month by Pope Francis and Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb. More details are in my Feb. 6 entry.
The document attempts to be one of “human fraternity.” It appears to advance a culture of mutual respect and pushes for a unification of world religions. This goal is very idealistic.
Realistically, such a unification cannot happen because all religions do not worship the one, true God. Ultimately, what very well may happen is that some type of unified conglomerate of religions will attempt to force the people of the world to worship one god. Those who do not will be punished severely.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to my Catholic friends and acquaintances. Today is a celebration of St. Patrick. He was a Romano-British Christian missionary who became the primary patron saint of Ireland in the 5th Century.
Supposedly, March 17 is the date of St. Patrick’s death. It is observed both inside and outside of Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday.
I like how St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock as an illustration of the Holy Trinity or Triune God. Indeed, God is One and Three at the same time. More about this can be found in my singular and multiple section.
President Trump has issued the first veto of his presidency. He vetoed the Senate’s vote that blocked Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.
All of the Senate Democrats voted for the resolution. Twelve Republicans broke with other Republicans and with Mr. Trump to vote for the resolution.
It would take a two-thirds vote in the Senate to override Trump’s veto. It is not believed that there are enough votes for this to happen.
At a news conference in the White House, Trump explained why he chose to veto the Senate resolution. This was after he offered condolences for the mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques, in which 50 people were killed and 47 were wounded.
In other news, Israel has launched air strikes on Gaza hours after rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. Two of the rockets were fired at Tel Aviv, Israel’s most populous city.
The late-night attack on Tel Aviv, Israel’s densely populated commercial and cultural capital, marked a dramatic escalation in hostilities. It was the first time the city had been targeted since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.
Hamas has denied responsibility for the attack on Tel Aviv. However, Israel has long said it holds Hamas responsible for all violence from Gaza, which has been controlled by the group since 2007.
Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv, said he had ordered the city to open public air raid shelters as a protective measure, in case the rocket fire continued. These hostilities are raising fears of a major escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The sudden outburst of fighting comes at a sensitive time for both sides. Hamas has come under rare public criticism in Gaza for the harsh conditions in the territory. Israel is holding national elections in 3½ weeks, on April 9.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is locked in a tight fight for re-election. He could face heavy criticism from his opponents if he is seen as ineffective against this recent violence.
There have been TOO MANY really bad storms crossing the U.S. this winter. Winter storm Ulmer is yet another one that already is really bad, and it has the potential to become much worse as it continues moving east.
Ulmer already has gone through the process of “bombogenesis,” which is the rapid intensification of a winter storm. It is defined as at least a 24 mb drop in atmospheric pressure in 24 hours.
California has gotten huge amounts of rain this winter. One of my friends has said, “This is the wettest drought I’ve ever seen.”
I was totally amazed to learn that, due to all the rain, a huge lake has formed in Death Valley. The ground is so hard that it absorbs very little water. There are reports that the lake is about 10 miles long.
That is almost unfathomable to me, since it typically is one of the driest places on earth. Whenever I have been there, I’ve seen almost no water anywhere.
In most of the United States (except Hawaii and most of Arizona), and in some other parts of the world, time has “sprung forward” an hour today. These regions observe Daylight Saving Time, where the sun will rise an hour later in the mornings but set an hour later in the evenings.
Daylight Saving Time begins tomorrow in most of the United States. At 2:00 a.m., the time will become 3:00 a.m.
I like the fact that there will be an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day for about 8 months. However, I don’t particularly enjoy losing an hour of sleep the first night.
Therefore, at noon today, I set my watch and the clocks in the house and in my car an hour ahead. So I will be adapting to the new time the rest of the afternoon and evening.
Moreover, I will get my full amount of sleep tonight because I will be going to bed an hour early. That way, I won’t be yawning during church tomorrow. I use the official U.S. time clock to obtain the correct time, to the nearest second.
A video came out today that I feel is very enlightening and informative. I usually don’t take the time to watch videos longer than about 10 minutes in length. However, I watched and listened carefully to all of this 23-minute video, and I do recommend it.
It has been somewhat puzzling to me how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) or AOC (“An Occasional Cortex” in my opinion) won her seat in the U.S. Congress in the general election on Nov. 6, 2018. A member of the Democratic Socialists of America, AOC is the youngest woman, at age 29, ever to serve in the United States Congress. She already is an idol to numerous socialist progressives and millennials across America.
It appears that certain people in the Democratic Socialists of America organization were instrumental in getting AOL elected. It would seem that, essentially, she is their “puppet” or an “actress” on the leftist stage in America. Evidently, their goal is to take over the Democratic Party and, ultimately, the U.S. government. The following video, “The Brains Behind AOC Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” provides many more details:
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 407-23-1 for a resolution to condemn “every form of bigotry and hatred against people based on religion, race, or place of birth and origin.” Initially, the resolution had been crafted by senior Democrats to condemn only anti-Semitism.
However, before the vote on the initial resolution could take place, there was a major backlash from some Congressional Democrats and progressive groups. They claimed that the resolution unfairly targeted Ilhan Omar, a democratic representative from Minnesota who was born in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Omar is one of the first two Muslim women ever sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives, which took place on Jan. 3 (see the entry on Jan. 4). Omar has suggested that allies of Israel are adhering to a “dual loyalty” with the Jewish state. She also has stated, “So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country” (referring to Israel).
Omar’s comments have drawn widespread condemnation from senior House Democrats. For instance, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said in a statement, “I welcome debate in Congress based on the merits of policy, but it’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the U.S.-Israel relationship. We all take the same oath. Worse, Representative Omar’s comments leveled that charge by invoking a vile anti-Semitic slur.”
House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) tweeted, “Lawmakers must be able to debate [without] prejudice or bigotry. I am saddened that Rep. Omar continues to mischaracterize support for Israel. I urge her to retract this statement and engage in further dialogue with the Jewish community on why these comments are so hurtful.”
Yet, there was no mention of Illan Omar’s name in the revised House resolution on this matter, following accusations by many Democrats that Omar was being unfairly singled out. In justifying this, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “It’s not about her. It’s about these forms of hatred.”
The upcoming national elections in Israel will take place on Apr. 9. That is only 1½ week before the first day of Passover: Apr. 20.
Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel’s prime minister. Having been in office since 2009, he is the incumbent candidate. Netanyahu, the Likud party chairman, previously has been elected four times to be Israel’s prime minister.
Tonight, Netanyahu launched his re-election campaign in Ramat Gan. In his speech, he indicated that achieving a victory would not be easy; rather, he warned that it will be a hard battle.
Indeed, there are potential obstacles to Netanyahu’s possible re-election. Last week, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said that he plans to indict Netanyahu on a series of corruption charges, pending a final hearing. This announcement led to a dip in the polls for the Likud party.
Opposing Netanyahu in the election are Israel Resilience chairman Benny Gantz and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid. They are making a joint run for the nation’s head position.
Gantz and Lapid have formed the Blue and White party. The two have agreed that should they win, among other things, there would be a rotation in the post of prime minister. Gantz would serve first in the post and Lapid would replace him after two and a half years.
While Gantz has signaled his willingness to engage in peace talks with the Palestinians, he has provided few specifics on his vision for a potential agreement. Conflicting messages from party members have led to some confusion over what positions Blue and White would advocate.
This was the second day of talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. They were taking place in Hanoi, Vietnam. However, the discussions were deemed to be unproductive by Trump, who walked away from the talks.
Trump said that Kim had demanded that all international sanctions on North Korea be removed in exchange for shutting down the Yongbyon nuclear facility. Trump felt that this was not enough of a commitment to complete denuclearization by North Korea.
Both U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un have arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam. They are scheduled to meet on Wednesday and Thursday, the final two days of February, for the second U.S.-North Korea summit. Trump has tweeted that he is “looking forward to a very productive summit.”
Trump and Kim are expected to discuss North Korea’s pledge to denuclearization, which has reached a stalemate since the first summit in June, 2018. North Korea repeatedly has said that it never will give up its nuclear weapons unless the U.S. first removes its nuclear threat and lifts sanctions crippling North Korea’s economy.
There are other expected topics as well. One is bringing back the rest of the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War. There also may be an announcement of “peace” and an official end to the Korean War between North and South Korea. An armistice in 1953 brought about a cease-fire in the war, but since then there have been occasional hostilities and outbreaks of violence.
TV network Univision has reported that its journalist Jorge Ramos, as well as five of the crew members with him, were detained against their will today by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela. Evidently, Maduro did not like the questions they were asking him during an interview.
Ramos called Univision to tell them what had happened. The call ended abruptly when Ramos’ phone was taken away from him.
Ramos and his team were detained for awhile at the Miraflores Palace, but later they were released. However, their technical equipment and interview material were confiscated and are being kept by Venezuelan officials.
The socialist dictator Maduro, who began his second term last month, is not recognized by dozens of countries, including the U.S., as the legitimate president of Venezuela. There also have been numerous protests by Venezuelan people who are extremely unhappy with Maduro.
Maduro has been told to step down and to allow opposition leader Juan Guaido to replace him. So far, though, Maduro has absolutely refused to do this.
In Jerusalem this weekend, Palestinians declared victory after reopening a site on the Temple Mount that had been closed by Israel since 2003. Israel closed the Golden Gate site in 2003 after Palestinian activists reportedly used it to carry out political activities on the Temple Mount.
In response, Israeli police arrested two Waqf officials, Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab and Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat. Palestinians claim that Israel is planning to turn the area into a site for Jewish prayers.
It looks like Israel is having its first space mission to the moon. An Israeli moon lander, Beresheet (meaning “in the beginning” in Hebrew), was launched successfully tonight, at 8:45 p.m. EST, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The moon lander was deployed on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
A time capsule in the spacecraft contains Israeli memorabilia such as a Hebrew Bible, Hebrew songs, artwork created by Israeli children and a photo of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first and only astronaut. This is the first-ever privately funded mission to the moon, as well as Israel’s first-ever mission into space.
The February full moon was last night or, in some parts of the world, early this morning. The next full moon will be on March 21, which is Purim. This is the day after the Spring Equinox (Northern Hemisphere) or Autumnal Equinox (Southern Hemisphere).
Then the following full moon will be two months from now on Passover, which begins at sunset on April 19 and ends at sunset on April 20. That will begin the week of Passover, also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
I feel it is possible that, during that week (April 20-27, 2019), certain anticipated prophetic events may take place in Jerusalem. They would include (but not be limited to) the following, as described by Jesus:
armies surrounding and/or attacking Jerusalem; and
people fleeing out of the region of Judea to the mountains (Luke 21:20,21).
In case these events do happen during that particular week, I will be convinced that we have just entered the dreaded Great Tribulation period, foretold by Jesus. In my view, it remains possible that these things might happen, instead, during Passover week next year: April 9-16, 2020.
The Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco, CA, has filed a lawsuit against President Trump. The suit challenges Trump’s announcement on Feb. 15, in which he declared a national emergency over border security. Potentially, that move would allow him to access funds from other sources for the proposed wall on the southern border.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent Trump from shifting billions of dollars from military construction to the border without explicit congressional approval. The litigation also includes allegations that Trump is violating the National Environmental Policy Act, saying that he is planning to build a wall that could impact the environment without first completing the necessary environmental impact reports.
The suit asks the court to declare Trump’s actions illegal. It argues that Trump showed a “flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution” by violating the Constitution’s Presentment and Appropriations Clauses, which govern federal spending. Trump says that he will prevail over the lawsuit, insisting that he had a legal right, as president, to make the emergency declaration.
The attorneys general of sixteen states have joined the lawsuit. All of the states have Democratic governors except for Maryland, which does have a Democratic attorney general. Here are the 16 states that have joined the lawsuit:
Today, the third Monday of February, is Presidents’ Day in the U.S. It is a federal holiday.
George Washington’s farewell address in 1796 was not delivered publicly. It first appeared in the Philadelphia Daily American Advertiser and then in papers around the country. For those with an interest in reading it, it is here:
Many have heard the tale that George Washington, as a young boy, chopped down a cherry tree and then told his father, “I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet.” Most likely, this is a myth written about by Mason Locke Weems, one of Washington’s biographers.
In any case, I like cherries. I bet that George Washington did, too. So in honor of our first president, this video shows how to make chocolate covered cherry cookies:
During a speech at the White House today, President Trump said the U.S. must handle what he described as the “national security crisis” at our southern border. The president said that there’s an invasion of drugs, gangs and people coming into our country. By declaring a national emergency, he says he is attempting to try and stop it.
“We’re talking about an invasion of our country, with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs,” explained President Trump. Democrat leadership responded to the declaration by calling it unlawful. The president indicated that it likely will get challenged in court, but he said he’s dealt with that before.
Congress had approved $1.357 billion for a border barrier, less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion that Trump had requested. Trump says that by declaring a national emergency, he will be able to divert about $6 billion from other federal budgets to build a border barrier.
Today I went to Walmart and to three different Dollar stores to get some 50%-off Valentine’s candy. Surprisingly, there was only a tiny amount left at all of those places. That was OK, though, since I didn’t want very much. I mainly wanted a little peanut butter chocolate candy (my favorite combination), so I got a couple of 50¢ bags.
I also have a friend who likes pretzels coated with white chocolate and little stuffed animals. So I got her both of those, as well as a little heart box of candy. It doesn’t take much to make her happy, so I’m pretty sure she’ll like those.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
The grey crowned crane is found in eastern and southern Africa. It also is the national bird of Uganda. These two grey crowned cranes must know that it is Valentine’s day because they are forming a heart together:
In other news, this afternoon the U.S. Senate approved a border security package to avert another government shutdown. The vote was 83 for and 16 against. The border security compromise now heads to the House for a vote. President Trump also may choose to declare a national emergency to obtain additional funding for his long-proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Lawmakers have until 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night to get the agreement through both houses of Congress and signed by Trump. Otherwise, several Cabinet-level departments will be shut down and hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be furloughed in what would be the second partial government shutdown this year.
Also today, the Senate confirmed William P. Barr, 68, as the 85th U.S. Attorney General with a vote of 54 to 45. He also was the 77th U.S. Attorney General, under President George H. W. Bush, from 1991 to 1993.
Following the confirmation today, Barr was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Oval Office at the White House. He is Trump’s second attorney general, following Jeff Sessions who resigned last year at Trump’s request.
Barr has said it is “vitally important” that Robert Mueller, Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, is able to complete his Russia investigation. “I believe it is in the best interest of everyone—the President, Congress, and most importantly, the American people—that this matter be resolved by allowing the Special Counsel to complete his work,” Barr said.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting today, President Trump commented that he is “not happy” about yesterday’s bipartisan agreement on border security. The bipartisan proposal offers more than $1.3 billion for physical barriers and increases the detention cap for ICE arrests.
The proposed allocation for the border wall is far less than Trump’s request of $5.7 billion. Also, rather than a concrete wall, the agreement calls for 55 miles of metal slats or other types of new fencing.
Trump indicated that he is not sure if he will or will not sign the the measure. He said that he would consider pulling money from other less important areas of the government to pay for physical barriers.
He also said that he does not want there to be another government shutdown. The president and Congress have until the end of the week to finalize the deal.
A good friend is moving to another state, where she will be taking another job. She feels positive about the new job, but she is somewhat apprehensive about living in a new place. I have encouraged her to maintain her close relationship with God after she moves.
I have told her that continuing her strong faith in Him, regularly asking Him to show her what to do when she isn’t sure, and thanking Him whenever she sees that things are going well are the best ways to ensure that He will continue to guide her to adapt successfully to things in her new location. I also wrote her the following email:
Today, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attended a meeting with a group of air force officers in Tehran, Iran. He defended “Death to America” chants that commonly are heard at anti-U.S. rallies across Iran.
However, Khamenei said that the chanting is aimed at America’s leaders, not its people. He reiterated that his verbal attacks are not a threat against everyday Americans but, rather, a threat against President Trump and his cabinet. His remarks seemed to come in response to President Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 5.
“U.S. authorities complain and ask why do Iranians say: ‘Death to America’—let me make something clear for U.S. leaders, ‘Death to America’ means death to President Trump, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” stated the Ayatollah. “It means death to American rulers; we have no problems with the American people. ‘Death to America’ is about the rulers of America. It’s about the group of people who are currently in charge.”
The thing about all of this is that Iranian people have been chanting “Death to America” for a very long time. There no doubt are many Iranians who see the nation of America as an enemy, regardless of who is leading it. I suspect that Ayatollah Khamenei probably feels the same way, regardless of what he said today.
I like virtually every type of food. I am not a big meat eater, although I would not consider myself to be a vegan.
On a daily basis, I eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. I cannot think of one of them that I dislike. I even eat the peals of oranges and lemons. There also are a lot of vegetables that I like to eat raw and uncooked.
I found a recent article about a study in the U.K. It appears to show a relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental well-being. I totally would confirm that to be true, at least for myself.
If I happen to go a day without eating either fruits or vegetables, I have a major craving for them the next day. So I am convinced that they not only increase my mental health but my physical health as well.
Pope Francis and Ahmed al-Tayeb have met together in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Pope Francis is the head of the worldwide Catholic Church, while Ahmed al-Tayeb is the Grand Imam of al-Azhar in Egypt.
The Catholic and Islamic leaders signed a document with their hopes for world peace and human understanding. They also embraced each other, calling for peace among all religions and among the nations.
The document was signed in the name of “all victims of wars, persecution and injustice; and those tortured in any part of the world, without distinction.” The document also states, “We resolutely declare that religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism, nor must they incite violence or the shedding of blood.”
Repeatedly in the document, the word “God” is used to refer both to Allah, the god of Islam, as well as to the God of Christianity. It seems evident that this document is a significant thrust toward a unified, one-world religion.
In his State of the Union Address tonight, President Trump addressed a very divided 116th Congress. It was his second State of the Union Address and his third speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
I thought that the address, 1 hour 22 minutes in length, was interesting and informative. I felt it was the best and most comprehensive speech I’ve ever heard Trump give, and I was impressed.
Trump said that “no one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women.” Democratic lawmakers, many of whom were wearing white to honor women’s suffrage, then rose to their feet and cheered, leaving Trump to joke, “You weren't supposed to do that.”
They rose again when Trump said that there were more women in the workforce than at any other point in history. As they continued to celebrate, he said, to laughter: “Don't sit yet—you’re going to like this.”
Trump then said that there were more women serving in Congress than at any other point in history. This led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seated behind Trump, to take to her feet, clap and encourage lawmakers to join her. The other lawmakers then clapped, cheered, high-fived and chanted “USA” over and over and over again. I thought it was both great and hilarious at the same time.
Today is the exact middle of Winter in the northern hemisphere and the exact middle of Summer in the southern hemisphere (see hemisphere map). There also happens to be a new moon today and tonight.
The annual change of seasons seems to be something that most people enjoy, but I’m not really in that boat myself. I think I might like to live for a year somewhere on the equator, where the weather is pretty much the same during all four seasons. At least, that is what I’ve heard.
Super Bowl LIII (53) took place this evening in Atlanta, Georgia. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots beat Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams.
The final score was Patriots 13, Rams 3. It was the sixth Superbowl win for Brady and the Patriots.
The very first touchdown of the game, which was scored by Sony Michel of the Patriots, was in the 4th quarter. That was the longest that it ever took to score a touchdown in any Superbowl game. It also was the lowest total score (16 points) for any Superbowl game.
It is Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil came out of his burrow this morning and did not see his shadow, which allegedly forecasts that spring weather will begin early.
Hopefully, Phil’s prediction for an early spring is correct. However, sometimes his predictions are wrong. If that happens to be the case this year, there probably will be a lot of people who aren’t too happy about extended winter weather.
This has been a very harsh winter for much of the U.S. Many locations had a lot of snow and freezing temperatures, often below 0° F, earlier than usual. Then winter storm Jayden, caused by a major polar vortex, swept across much of the U.S. earlier this week.
On Jan. 22, following New York’s legalization of an abortion up to the point of a baby’s delivery, Governor Cuomo had the spire of the World Trade Center lighted pink in celebration. He said that this would “shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”
It looks like the next state that has attempted to follow New York’s lead is Virginia. A bill was submitted that would allow an abortion while a woman is in labor. There even appears to be an allowance in the bill for a mother and her physician(s) to decide, after the delivery, whether the baby should live or die. Potentially, this could result in infanticide.
Israeli scientists are saying that they have discovered the cure for cancer and will have it available within a year’s time. The treatment is known as MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) and works like an antibiotic against cancer cells.
The new treatment is being developed by Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. Dan Aridor, a leading scientist with the company, says that their cancer cure will be effective from day one. It will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects. It also should be available at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market.
Cancer cells have the ability to mutate their receptors that are targeted by cancer-killing toxins. However, MuTaTo seeks out multiple receptors simultaneously, making it too difficult for the cancer cell to mutate fast enough to prevent their destruction.
President Trump’s annual State of the Union (SOTU) address originally was scheduled to take place tomorrow, Jan. 29, in the House Chamber and before a joint session of Congress. However, weeks after a partial shutdown of the federal government went into effect on Dec. 22, Speaker Pelosi told Trump that she would not allow him to address the nation in the House during the shutdown.
Then, on Jan. 25, a deal was reached to end the shutdown and to reopen the government (at least until Feb. 15). Today, Pelosi invited the president to deliver the SOTU address, in the House Chamber, on Feb. 5, which is a week from tomorrow. Evidently, Trump has agreed to this.
In other news, a major winter storm, Jayden, is sweeping across much of the U.S. It is having or will have devastating effects on the upper Midwest, the deep South and the Northeast today and for the next couple of days. This is being caused by significant polar vortex blast, which is dipping much further south than normal.
Snow and ice are making traveling extremely difficult in some places. Scores of spin-outs and crashes are happening and will continue for the next few days.
On Wednesday and Thursday this week, temperatures will fall into the minus 20s and 30s below 0° in some northern states. With the wind chill effect, it could feel in the 50s and 60s below 0°. The high temperature at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Wednesday is predicted to be -14°, which would break a 25-year record. Where is “global warming” when we need it?
Even Atlanta will be receiving some snow and cold temperatures. Hopefully, the weather will settle down by the time Superbowl LIII is played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium this coming Sunday, Feb. 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
Today is the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the concentration camp where over one million people died or were killed by Nazis. This is only a fraction of over six million people who died or were killed in all of the Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
This date officially was designated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005 by the United Nations. Here are five Holocaust memorials and museums that can be visited in the U.S.:
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C.
The Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Los Angeles, California
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Skokie, Illinois
At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell talked with Gary Kah, who has been monitoring the “New World Order” for 30 years. This will be the kingdom of the Antichrist, which is outlined in the Bible.
In his work as a trade specialist, Gary learned of efforts underway to establish a one-world political and financial system. He also discovered a religious motivation connected with these endeavors.
Gary stated the following:
If there was a world government, we would lose our current system of checks and balances. Right now in the world, if one country steps out of line, other countries can ally themselves, come together and oppose that power and put it back in its place. But under a one-world regime, where would people run to? If the world government itself is corrupt, there’s no place left to go to because the entire world is under a single global umbrella.
Satan can deceive mankind in a number of different ways to follow his agenda. He is increasing the amount of chaos and creating an atmosphere of crisis in the world. This can be done with environmental changes, as well as with large swings in the global economy and in political situations.
Such things can cause people to experience fear, trepidation and even helplessness, causing them to seek a firm solution—such as a one-world system that, allegedly, will bring about world peace, unity, and a solution to all of our problems. But, in reality, Satan’s “solution” will do just the opposite. Revelation 13 provides an overview of this.
Today’s audio program, lasting 57 minutes with 3 commercial breaks, can be heard here:
Those who embrace a Pre-tribulation view of the Rapture do not believe it is possible that we could have entered the final 7-year period of this age, known as the 70th Week (commonly referred to as the “Tribulation” period). However, I have speculated that I feel it is possible that we are in that 7-year period now, although I am not adamant about this.
We usually look for things to happen on our own timetable and calendar. On the other hand, God has His own timetable and calendar, and He uses the sun and the moon in the sky as “signs to mark seasons and days and years.” (Genesis 1:14b)
I leave open the possibility that the prophesied 70th Week may have begun with the last of the four Lunar and Solar Eclipses: 2014 & 2015—that is, with the “blood moon” eclipse on the Feast of Tabernacles, Sep. 28, 2015. I believe that we will know for certain whether or not this is true if specific anticipated prophetic eventsdo or do not take place during Passover week, Apr. 20-27, this year. I am hoping that they will not.
This is day 35 of the partial federal government shutdown, the longest such shutdown in U.S. history. President Trump spoke just outside of the White House this afternoon, saying that a deal had been reached to end the shutdown and to reopen the government, at least until Feb. 15. He said, “I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government.”
Trump also said, “In a short while I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks, until February 15th. I will make sure that all employees receive their backpay very quickly or as soon as possible. It’ll happen fast.” He then spoke at length about the dangers of criminals and drugs coming across the border.
In conclusion, he said, “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15th again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security.” Trump’s 18-minute speech can be heard and seen here:
President Trump may be preparing to declare a national emergency along the southern border. It also seems that there may be as much as $7 billion in potential funds available for a border wall. This would bypass Congress’ inability, so far, to pass legislation that would fund the building of a wall.
A draft of the presidential proclamation contains the following, among other statements, “The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency.” Evidently, if the declaration is made, the US Army Corps of Engineers would be deployed to construct the wall.
This is the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973. It allowed abortions to take place up to the third trimester of pregnancy.
Today, the New York State Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act by a vote of 38 to 28. It makes it legal not only for doctors but also for other health care professionals, such as midwives and physician assistants, to perform abortions up until the point of birth.
Weeks ago, anticipating a vote on the Reproductive Health Act, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “We have said we’re going to pass it in 30 days. I believe we’re going to pass it in 30 days and just so there’s no ambiguity — we do the budget in April. I will not pass a budget until the Reproductive Health Act and the Contraceptive Care Act are passed, period.”
After the pro-abortion act passed, Cuomo had the spire of the World Trade Center, in the nation’s largest city, lighted pink in celebration. He said that this would “shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.” Sarah Weddington, the Texas attorney who successfully argued Roe v. Wade before Supreme Court, was at Cuomo’s side when he signed the Reproductive Health Act into law.
There were standing ovations and cheering in the NY Senate after the vote. I suppose they figured that this is a furthering of the “enlightenment of human existence.” That is not how I see it, though.
It is a dark day when any innocent human being is executed, at any point following conception. In my opinion, the legalization of abortions, at any point before their births, is an approval of the serial killing of human fetuses and embryos.
God gives life and sees the value of all human lives, even those who are still fetuses and embryos. So God’s invaluable presence is being ripped out of countless little lives, via abortions, before they ever see the light of day.
Human abortion is a blatant defiance of God and is an example of pushing Him out of human decisions, making those choices more emotional and less rational. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10; Psalm 111:110) I feel that the legalization of the Reproductive Health Act, at this point, should raise concern that God’s dire judgment on America is more likely to happen than not.
In the NFC Championship game last night, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints with a score of 26-23. Later, in the AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs with a score of 37-31.
So the Rams and the Patriots will meet in Superbowl LIII on Feb. 3. The game is scheduled to take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST.
The totality phase of this eclipse will be visible in virtually all of North, Central and South America (see Eclipse Map). In the U.S., the totality will last from 8:41 p.m. to 9:43 p.m. PST = 11:41 p.m. to 12:43 a.m. EST.
This will be the last total lunar eclipse viewable from anywhere on earth until May 26, 2021. That is well over 2 years away, which I think is really weird. It makes me wonder if perhaps God might even be giving us a sign of some major event(s) happening between now and then.
Actually, the first possibility that comes to mind is the following happening (as described by Jesus) in Israel, perhaps during Passover week this year (Apr. 20-27), although I hope not:
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)
President Trump presided over the swearing in of 5 new legal immigrants, who became American citizens today. Following that ceremony, Trump outlined a new border security proposal to end the partial government shutdown. However, Speaker Pelosi said in a statement, “It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter.”
Trump said that a wall would save many lives and stop drugs from pouring into the U.S. He also said that, rather than a concrete wall, this would be steel barriers in high-priority locations.
Among many of the things that Trump outlined, he said that he was prepared to back a three-year extension of protections for 700,000 immigrants. These came to the country illegally as children and were shielded from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This would be in exchange for the $5.7 billion he has requested for a barrier on the southern border with Mexico.
In case the video is unavailable, you can watch it here:
At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell talked with former New Ager Steven Bancarz for the hour. This $10 billion movement has “Christianized” its tactics to fool Christians and to infiltrate the church.
Bancarz notes that over 60% of Christians embrace at least one New Age belief, and the doctrine of demons has moved into many church sanctuaries. His warnings are very interesting and compelling.
Today’s audio program, lasting 57 minutes with 3 commercial breaks, can be heard here:
Today at a stage on the National Mall in Washington, DC, thousands of pro-life activists were gathered. This was the 46th annual March for Life event.
Many people in the crowd held various signs. “Choose love, Choose life,” “I am the pro-life generation,” and “Defund Planned Parenthood” were some examples.
Both last year and this year, President Trump was the first president to address the crowd live via satellite from the White House Rose Garden. He promised to veto any bill that “weakens the protection of human life.”
Vice President Pence made a surprise appearance at the rally. He credited Trump with nominating conservative judges to the federal bench.
British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote last night, which was called by members of her own Conservative Party. The vote in favor of her continued leadership of the ruling party was 200 votes for and 117 votes against.
This followed a vote largely rejecting her Brexit negotiations deal, a couple of days ago, by the British Parliament. The magnitude of last night’s pro-May vote probably was at least partly due to fear that if May resigned, she could be replaced by far-left Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who identifies, ideologically, as a democratic socialist.
There was a vote today in the British Parliament to reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations deal with the European Union. The vote was a whopping 432 votes against and only 202 votes for. Many hard-line Brexit supporters within her own party felt that the deal handed too much power to the E.U.
The initial Brexit deal was approved narrowly, over 2½ years ago in June 2016, by British voters 51.89% to 48.11%. At the time, Prime Minister David Cameron had wanted for the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union. Cameron resigned as prime minister less than a month later and was succeeded by Theresa May.
The U.K. is scheduled to leave (exit) the E.U. on March 29 of this year. Following today’s vote in Parliament, though, this could change. Many want to have another Brexit vote by British citizens which, I’m guessing, this time would fail. Many also want for Theresa May to resign as prime minister.
In any case, it is a huge complicated mess. We’ll see what happens in the coming months.
I remember seeing and smelling the smoke from wildfires in No. CA, particularly the devastating Camp Fire, when I was up in Marin County on Nov. 8, 2018. That was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in CA history, and it took 17 days to be 100% contained.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) notified customers for two days before Nov. 8 that it might shut down power due to a forecast of high winds and low humidity. Ultimately, though, PG&E did not do that.
On Nov. 8, PG&E reported at 6:15 a.m. PST that there was an outage on one of its transmission lines at Pulga Road. Cal Fire reported that the Camp Fire began at 6:33 a.m. PST. Investigations on whether or not PG&E’s negligence resulted in the fire’s inception are continuing.
Since Nov. 8, PG&E has lost more than two-thirds of its market value. Today, PG&E stock fell over 52%. Now PG&E is planning to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over possible liability in various fires, not only of the Camp Fire but also of other fires in 2017 and in 2018. The company’s liability could exceed $30 billion.
Also, PG&E announced that its CEO, Geisha Williams, has stepped down. She became the CEO in March 2017. Williams will be succeeded by John Simon, on an interim basis, until a long-term replacement can be found.
Recent measurements appear to indicate that the Earth’s north magnetic pole is shifting rapidly. There is concern that this will impact navigation in the Arctic and elsewhere, including GPS navigation. Scientists now are realizing that the 2015 World Magnetic Model, which was supposed to be good until 2020, needs updating earlier than planned.
Since late 2014, the core field has varied in an unpredictable manner, which is continuing. This led to the World Magnetic Model becoming less accurate, particularly at high northern latitudes, much faster than normal.
The variations have been attributed to an abrupt unpredictable and unexplainable change in 2014/2015. Since then, there has been an acceleration of flow in the Earth’s core in the northern hemisphere.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, has missed all of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments for three days this week. She also will miss oral arguments next week.
It is the first time that she has done this since joining the Supreme Court in 1993. This follows surgery, three weeks ago today on Dec. 21, 2018, to remove cancerous growths in her lung.
Ginsburg’s past health issues, while on the high court, include the following:
2018: cancerous nodules removed from lung
2018: fractured three ribs, due to fall
2014: stent placed in coronary artery
2009: treated for early stages of pancreatic cancer
1999: underwent surgery to treat colon cancer
Now some are wondering if she possibly might be considering resigning from her senior position on the Supreme Court. If that should happen, then President Trump would have his opportunity to nominate a third judge on the court to replace her.
In the past, when asked how long she expected to remain on the bench, Ginsburg’s standard response has been, “I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam.” For now, she still plans to take part in the resolution of cases through reading briefs and argument transcripts.
The postal rate for a U.S. First Class stamp, for an envelope weighing no more than 1.0 ounce, will be increasing 5¢ on Jan. 27. The new charge for a Forever stamp will be 55¢, which is a 10% increase.
Each additional ounce for a First Class letter will cost an extra 15¢. So people have about 2½ weeks remaining to buy First Class Forever stamps at the present rate of 50¢ per stamp.
Tonight, President Trump delivered an immigration address from the Oval Office to the nation. It lasted a brief 9½ minutes.
Next, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered a sharp rebuttal to Trump’s address. Their combined response lasted under 5 minutes.
Now, having heard all of that, listen to Democrats Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, in past years, talking about problems with illegal immigration and the need for effective border security, and then changing their tone during Trump’s presidency:
The 76th Golden Globe Awards took place tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Many of the nominees will be nominated again for Oscars at the 91st Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre on Feb. 24 in Hollywood, CA.
The Golden Globe Awards show were hosted by Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh. They also spoke onstage together at the 70th Emmy Awards on Sep. 17, 2018.
“The Americans” won top TV drama in the FX show’s final chance at the trophy; the movie version of that award went to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Rami Malek claimed the evening’s top dramatic acting award for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the Queen-sanctioned biopic. Glenn Close bested Lady Gaga for best actress.
Christian Bale, who played Vice President Dick Cheney in the movie Vice, took a few shots onstage at Cheney. He joked that he was the obvious choice to play the “charmless” Cheney.
Bale then went on to thank several people for helping support Vice, including the devil himself: “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role.” If that isn’t beyond bizarre, I don’t what is.
The first two Muslim women were sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday. Both are Democrats, and both were sworn in on the Quran, the holiest book of Islam.
Rashida Tlaib, 42, represents Michigan’s 13th congressional district. She was born in Detroit, MI, to two Palestinian immigrants. Ilhan Omar, 37, represents Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. She was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, immigrating to the U.S. in 1995.
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), age 78, has regained the position of the U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives. She previously served in that roll from 2007 to 2011. She succeeds outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
In today’s vote in the House, Nancy Pelosi received 220 votes, while Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) received 192 votes. There were 15 Democrats who did not vote for Pelosi. McCarthy, age 53, will be the new House Minority Leader.
There still remains no resolution between President Trump and Congress to end the partial government shutdown. Any measures by the House to reopen the government, without any border wall funding, probably will not be approved by Trump or the Senate, which still has a Republican majority.
Below are links to my annual calendar and a list of 2019 holidays and observances that many like to download and tape to a wall nearby. That is what I do, with the calendar on one side and the holidays/observances on the other side of one piece of paper. Both are in DOCX, DOC and PDF formats.
This calendar is not meant to substitute for a 12-page calendar on which scheduled reminders can be written. I have mine on the wall behind my desk and frequently use it as a quick reference for future dates.
Click on each image below and print out the two pages (either as DOCX or DOC files) on either side of one piece of paper. Just change my name, at the top of the calendar page, to your name before you print it.
Or else you could print out these two pages (PDF files), with no name on the calendar page. If you would like a calendar with your name on it in a PDF file, email me and I will try to send you one when I can find some free time.
If you’ve never read the Bible straight through, from cover to cover, you might want to do it in 2019. Go to the following page, print out the pages in either DOC, PDF, or HTML format, and check off the passages as you read them:
Another option is a daily reading schedule that skips around the Bible. I now prefer reading it this way myself. Samaritan’s Purse has a yearly reading list, which I like, that does this. You can download and print it in any of these three formats:
So in case you’ve never read the Bible all the way through, do it! If you’ve done it before, do it again; you never can get too much of God’s written Word! I am in the process of doing it now, which I have done numerous times before.
You can read one of a number of Bible versions at BibleGateway.com. If you read it for an average of 15 minutes a night before bed, you will sleep better for a whole year.