This has been the worst quarter in the U.S. stock market since at least the crash of 2008-2009. Also, the market has lost almost all of its gains since the beginning of 2017. The primary cause of this has been the impact of the COVID-19 virus so far in 2020, nationally and globally.
Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 1.84% to 21,917.16, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 1.60% to 2,584.59. The NASDAQ Composite index was down 0.95% to 7,700.10.
Stay close to God in this time of turmoil, frustration and exasperation. It probably will continue getting worse, and He is the only one who can help us, particularly those who have a close and meaningful relationship with Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
“My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me.... I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed....” (Psalm 55:4,5,16-18)
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.... For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:9,10,13)
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the $2.2 trillion coronavirus emergency rescue package. Its main purpose is to combat economic problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to send economic relief to workers and businesses. It is the largest spending bill and the costliest stimulus plan in U.S. history.
The bill was sent to President Trump, who signed the bill into law. During an afternoon Oval Office signing ceremony, Trump said, “I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first.”
The legislation includes checks for most Americans, boosted unemployment aid, help for small business and a massive loan fund for corporations. This is at a time when unemployment is surging at a record pace, a consequence of businesses closing in compliance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
It wasn’t until after the stock market closed today that President Trump signed the $2.2 trillion COVID aid bill passed by House of Representatives. After a 3-day increase, the Dow declined a large amount. To some extent, this may be due to the news that the number of U.S. coronavirus cases has exceeded 100,000, and the death toll has exceeded 1,500.
Late last night, the U.S. Senate passed a $2.2 trillion emergency coronavirus aid package. The mammoth bill passed overwhelmingly: 96-0.
It is the 880-page H. R. 748 bill, called the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act.” This is the biggest economic stimulus relief bill in U.S. history.
Next, the bill will be sent to the House of Representatives for a vote, probably tomorrow. President Trump stated yesterday, “I encourage the House to pass this vital legislation and send the bill to my desk for signature without delay. I will sign it immediately.”
The Senate’s passage of the $2.2 trillion COVID aid bill last night caused a significant surge in the stock market today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up 6.38% to 22,552.17, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 6.24% to 2,630.07. The NASDAQ Composite index was up 5.60% to 7,797.54.
An economic stimulus package deal, spawned by COVID-19 problems, was announced by the leadership in the U.S. Senate very early this morning. It was hoped that the whole Senate would pass the bill sometime during the day.
However, objections to certain points in the bill caused a delay in voting. For instance, there were concerns that the deal on unemployment benefits would provide more money to many unemployed people than they were receiving while they were working. That could cause a massive increase in unemployment numbers, which could give rise to the closure of more businesses.
There is optimism that the U.S. Congress will reach a deal on more than a $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package. Also, President Trump said he hopes that businesses will be reopened by Easter Sunday, Apr. 12. Evidently, these are some factors that helped trigger a huge rally in the stock market today.
In other news, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the International Olympic Committee has announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, have been postponed until after 2020. Reportedly, the games will not take place later than the summer of 2021.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is the first senator to test positive for COVID-19. He has no symptoms and was tested as a precautionary measure. Paul is unaware of any direct contact with another infected person.
I had planned a trip up to No. CA on Southwest Airlines. The awesome non-stop discount fare was only $49 one-way, less than $100 round-trip (excluding tax). One great thing about Southwest Air is that you will receive a full refund if you cancel your trip at least an hour prior to departure.
However, since there are numerous cases of COVID-19 in the Bay Area, I decided against going. Also, I was reluctant to be around lots of people on airplanes and in airports.
Now I’m really glad I didn’t go. Six Bay Area counties—San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin (where my friend lives), San Mateo and Santa Clara—have implemented a “shelter in place” order.
Essentially, people there are supposed to remain in their homes for 3 weeks. They can leave only to carry out “essential needs” and go to work. That really would have limited my freedom significantly, so I’m glad I didn’t go.
Things are becoming increasingly limited in So. CA as well, but not quite that bad. However, the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in California, the nation’s most populace state, is continuing to worsen.
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.
There were presidential primary votes in 3 states today.
The extreme volatility of the stock market is continuing. The Dow Jones index was down a gigantic single-day record point drop of -2,997.10 points and record percentage drop of -12.93%. (The record intra-day drop was even worse: -3,069.16 points, which was -13.24%.) There now has been a 31.7% decrease from the all-time Dow high of 29,551.42.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 12.93% to 20,188.52, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 11.98% to 2,386.13. The NASDAQ Composite index was down 12.32% to 6,904.59. Also, world markets were down substantially.
Annually, the National Day of Prayer is the first Thursday of May. This year, that is May 7. However, due to the coronavirus crisis, President Trump has announced that today also will be a National Day of Prayer.
In a tweet, he said, “It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these....” He added, “No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!”
As the cases of COVID-19 virus infections increase globally, basic information about it is important to many people. For instance, the virus survives best on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
It is a good idea to wash our hands, probably more frequently than usual, especially when we’ve been in public places, touching a lot of surfaces and/or near people who have been coughing or sneezing. Also, it is a good idea to avoid touching our faces—especially eyes, nose and mouth—because that is a main way for the infection to take hold in our bodies. Several additional things to know are included in this article:
Today is Friday the 13th. It is the first one this year; the next one will be in November.
For a change, one thing that did not do badly today was the stock market. The Dow made up the majority of its colossal loss from yesterday. The Dow gained 1,985.00 points, which was the greatest single-day point increase ever. It compensated for 84% of yesterday’s record -2,352.60 point decline.
About a half an hour before the stock markets closed, President Trump began a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. His main declaration was a national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. He said that this would allow access to up to $50 billion “for states and territories and localities in our shared fight” against the coronavirus. Soon thereafter, the stock market skyrocketed.
On a global level, I’ve never seen so many health, economic and natural afflictions and disasters in the first quarter of any year as I have seen so far in 2020. Fear and panic are spreading extensively around the world.
There have been numerous calamities and catastrophes, including all of the following:
the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is continuing to spread throughout many countries, potentially threatening the health and lives of millions;
the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season, also known as “Black Summer,” with several months of severe fires burning 186,000 square kilometres or 72,000 square miles, where countless people and animals have been left without food or water.
The negative ramifications of these and other extensive adversities, along with their related hardships and suffering, are not temporary. Many will last for a long time.
I have suggested, for several years, that the Great Tribulation period might begin during Passover week in one of a series of recent years. Jesus prophesied and described that period as a time of great distress or tribulation unequaled from the beginning of the world until then, adding that if those days were not cut short then no one would survive (Matthew 24:21,22a).
So far, the world has not yet entered this alarming, frightening and troublesome period. However, the next time that I feel it could begin is next month. The day of Passover (on which there is a full moon) is exactly 4 weeks from today: April 9. Here are events that Jesus described will take place at the onset of the Great Tribulation:
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)
At that time, the people who flee from Israel will be protected by God in the wilderness for 1,260 days = 3½ years (at the end of which, Jesus will return to earth to rule and reign):
The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6)
I am hoping that these things will not happen sometime during April 9-16, 2020. However, IF we see armies surrounding (and later attacking) Jerusalem and many people suddenly fleeing out of the city toward the east (probably into Jordan, perhaps to Petra), then I will be virtually certain that the dreaded Great Tribulation has begun. Many more complex and confusing details can be read in my lengthy commentary here:
The World Health Organization (WHO) now has declared the spread of the COVID-19 virus to be a worldwide pandemic. The director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called on world governments “to take urgent and aggressive action” to change the course of the outbreak.
An epidemic is the rapid spread of infectious disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time. A pandemic is an epidemic of disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide.
President Trump spoke to the nation about the coronavirus in a 9½-minute message tonight. One thing he said is that all air travel from Europe into the U.S. will be suspended for 30 days, beginning this Friday, March 13.
Today is Purim, which began last evening at sunset. There always is a full moon at the beginning of Purim.
Many communities observe Purim tomorrow as well.  It is a time celebrated by Jews everywhere in commemoration of being saved from extermination. This 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)
The stock market has been going crazy today, with the third significant “zag” (downturn) of 3 trading days in a row. At its lowest point, the Dow Jones index was down a record -2,158.71 points, which was a gigantic intra-day drop. The DJIA closed down -2,013.76 points, which far surpassed the previous single-day point drop at the market’s close of –1,190.95 points on Mar. 2. Today is being called Black Monday (2020).
Immediately after the opening of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) this morning, the S&P 500 plummeted 7%, which resulted in NYSE trading being halted for about 15 minutes. It was the first automatic trading halt to occur since October 1997.
Now, there is a 19.3% decrease from the all-time Dow high of 29,551.42 on Feb. 12. That is almost double the amount technically qualifying as a market correction, which is a 10% decline. The decrease is just a fraction below 20%, and it will qualify as the beginning of a Bear market if the market drops that much.
The significant market decline is not only because of COVID-19 coronavirus fears. There is an oil price war, involving OPEC and Russia. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia announced a stunning discount in oil prices, of $6 to $8 per barrel, and a boost in production.
Also, factories worldwide have been shutting down, travel plans are being canceled and spending is grinding to a halt. Potentially, a banking crisis and other negatives could follow.
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 and 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.
In other news, the COVID-19 coronavirus is continuing to spread in many nations. People may not show symptoms for a couple of weeks after they have become infected with it; yet, during that time, they can be spreading it to others.
Those who have tested positive for it need to be quarantined for at least 2 weeks so that they will not continue to spread it. So far, there is no vaccination or effective treatment for the virus.
Here are some pages with good information at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Also, a friend sent me a link to an informative website created by Avi Schiffmann, an intelligent high school student in Washington State, USA. The site includes COVID-19 statistics worldwide and is updated often:
The stock market today did not rebound from yesterday’s substantial drop. If we consider a “zig-zag” to be an “up-down,” then the stock market has had 2 big “zags” in a row...not good. Of course, the -256.50 drop today could have been much worse, since the intra-day low was -894.66 points down. There now is a 12.5% correction of the Dow below its all-time high.
There have been deadly Turkish attacks for awhile in Idlib, located in the northwestern portion of Syria. Today, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey supports Syrian rebel groups against el-Assad.
It seems that Turkey and Russia have agreed on a ceasefire deal in the Idlib region. Reporters have been told that the truce would go into effect at midnight tonight (Thursday).
When I see something like this, it reminds me of the Gog/Magog attacks described in my lengthy Final Battles commentary. I have a suspicion that Turkey and/or Russia will be involved in this conflict, described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. At some future point, it will involve serious attacks on Israel.
I never have observed anything like the extreme volatility and “zig-zagging” that the stock market has experienced during the past few weeks. After yesterday’s second-highest single-day point increase of the Dow of 1,173.45 points, today the market was way down again. At 11.6% below the all-time high, the Dow is back in correction territory of 10% or more.
Most of the votes from yesterday’s Super Tuesday presidential votes are in. There were 14 primaries and 1 caucus.
California Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 92.6%
Joe Walsh: 2.6%
Bill Weld: 2.5%
Bernie Sanders: 33.7%
Joe Biden: 24.9%
Michael Bloomberg: 14.3%
Texas Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 94.1%
Bill Weld: 0.8%
Joe Walsh: 0.7%
Joe Biden: 34.5%
Bernie Sanders: 30.0%
Michael Bloomberg: 14.4%
North Carolina Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 93.5%
Joe Walsh: 2.1%
Bill Weld: 1.9%
Joe Biden: 43.0%
Bernie Sanders: 24.1%
Elizabeth Warren: 10.5%
Virginia Primary (D)
Joe Biden: 53.2%
Bernie Sanders: 23.1%
Elizabeth Warren: 10.8%
Massachusetts Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 87.7%
Bill Weld: 9.3%
Joe Walsh: 1.1%
Joe Biden: 33.7%
Bernie Sanders: 26.7%
Elizabeth Warren: 21.5%
Tennessee Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 96.5%
Joe Walsh: 1.1%
Bill Weld: 1.0%
Joe Biden: 41.7%
Bernie Sanders: 25.0%
Michael Bloomberg: 15.5%
Colorado Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 92.6%
Bill Weld: 3.6%
Joe Walsh: 1.9%
Bernie Sanders: 36.1%
Joe Biden: 23.6%
Michael Bloomberg: 20.5%
Minnesota Primary (D)
Joe Biden: 38.6%
Bernie Sanders: 29.9%
Elizabeth Warren: 15.4%
Alabama Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 96.2%
Bill Weld: 1.5%
Joe Walsh: 0.0%
Joe Biden: 63.3%
Bernie Sanders: 16.6%
Michael Bloomberg: 11.7%
Oklahoma Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 92.6%
Joe Walsh: 3.7%
Bill Weld: 0.0%
Joe Biden: 38.7%
Bernie Sanders: 25.4%
Michael Bloomberg: 13.9%
Utah Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 88.2%
Bill Weld: 6.5%
Joe Walsh: 2.2%
Bernie Sanders: 34.6%
Michael Bloomberg: 16.8%
Joe Biden: 17.4%
Arkansas Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 97.1%
Bill Weld: 2.1%
Joe Walsh: 0.0%
Joe Biden: 40.5%
Bernie Sanders: 22.4%
Michael Bloomberg: 16.7%
Maine Primary (D)
Joe Biden: 34.1%
Bernie Sanders: 32.9%
Elizabeth Warren: 15.7%
Vermont Primary (R & D)
Donald Trump: 88.7%
Bill Weld: 10.4%
Joe Walsh: 0.0%
Bernie Sanders: 50.8%
Joe Biden: 22.0%
Elizabeth Warren: 12.6%
American Samoa Primary (D)
Michael Bloomberg: 49.9%
Tulsi Gabbard: 29.3%
Bernie Sanders: 10.5%
Democratic candidates Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren have dropped out of the presidential race. Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Bloomberg have endorsed Joe Biden.
The third national election in Israel took place yesterday. As of this morning, with 97% of regular votes counted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the lead but was short of a governing majority. Official final results will not be available for several more days.
Likud leader Netanyahu met leaders of religious-rightist parties and secured their renewed pledge to join him in a coalition. That initially appeared to promise him 59 seats in parliament—two short of a ruling majority. Later, though, it appeared that Netanyahu’s bloc will remain at 58 seats.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz stopped short of conceding defeat, saying the election could result in another deadlock. He said he understood and shared the “feeling of disappointment and pain” of his supporters.
A likely win by Netanyahu would pave the way for him to make good on his pledge to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley, under a peace plan presented by U.S. President Donald Trump. However, Palestinians have rejected the proposal, saying it would prevent them from establishing a viable state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Potentially, this could result in violent attacks on Israel.
In the stock market today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) broke the record of the single-day point increase ever: up 1,293.96 points. This was 4 days after the Dow’s single-day point drop ever: –1,190.95 points. Evidently, fear of the spreading coronavirus is decreasing a bit, although probably not permanently.
Also, the Dow just barely made it out of the 10% correction territory today. It now is 9.6% below the all-time high of 29,551.42.
Besides the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in numerous parts of the world, there also is a different type of devastating calamity occurring in East Africa. Since the beginning of 2020, Kenya has been battling the nation’s worst desert locust outbreak in over 70 years. So far, the estimated number of these insects is 192 billion.
The locusts arrived from neighboring Somalia and Ethiopia and are eating their way through thousands of acres of crops and animal pastures. Even worse, the locusts are spreading to other countries, including Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Congo.
If left unchecked, the locusts could increase to 20-times the current number. If so, this might delay the planting season and negatively impact food supplies. Furthermore, another generation of locusts, which have a lifespan of between three to five months, could emerge just in time for the September harvest season.
These things remind me of some of the deadly warnings in Revelation 6:8. Among other things, they include plague and famine, and a fourth of the earth will be impacted. It is unknown whether this means that a quarter of earth’s population will die, or people in a quarter of the earth’s inhabited areas will be affected.
The timing of this, which will progress from moderate to severe, is unknown. However, I am considering the possibility that the process already is in its early stages, in which case it might be a good idea to stock up on items on an Adversity Supplies Basic List. I feel it is feasible that during the upcoming Passover week (from sunset on Apr. 8 through Apr. 16), the following warnings of Jesus potentially could become manifest:
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)
I am not resolute that these events are imminent. However, whenever they eventually do occur, I do believe that it will signal the onset of the Great Tribulation; and 3½ years later will be Jesus’ glorious return to earth to rule and reign over the world in perfect righteousness, justice, lawfulness, peace and love.
The earth takes almost 365¼ days, rather than 365 days, to orbit the sun. Thus, an extra day needs to be added to the calendar every four years.
However, more precisely, the earth’s orbit around the sun is 365.24219 days, which is 0.00781 day or about 11.25 minutes short of 365.25 days. As a result, if an extra day were added every four years, over time that would add too much time to the calendar.
Therefore, a century year must be evenly divisible by 400 to qualify as a leap year. For instance, 1600 and 2000 were leap years, but 1800 and 1900 were not.
The Julian calendar did not compensate for the 4-year discrepancies, but the Gregorian calendar does—for the most part. There still is a more precise adjustment, which is beyond the scope of this discussion.
In other news, the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary was held today:
South Carolina Primary (D)
Joe Biden: 48.5%
Bernie Sanders: 19.9%
Tom Steyer: 11.3%
The Republican party did not hold a primary in South Carolina.
California’s second coronavirus case of unknown origin was reported today. The 65-year-old patient lives in Santa Clara County and has not traveled to any of the countries that have had widespread outbreaks of COVID-19. Although this is the third case of coronavirus in Santa Clara County, the previous two cases were patients who had traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak.
This patient has the United States’ second confirmed case of COVID-19 by community transmission, following a Solano County woman whose case was confirmed yesterday. These cases, involving patients with no known connection to others with the virus, may be precursors to a more widespread outbreak.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has revealed that 8,400 people are being monitored in California for coronavirus symptoms, with 33 having tested positive. This is more than double the number that the CDC recently reported for the entire country.
The first case of coronavirus of “unknown origin” has been reported in the U.S. The patient, a resident of Solano County, is at UC Davis Medical Center in northern California. She has not been to China.
It may be the first example in the country of a community spread of the virus among the public. The term “community spread” implies that the source of the infection is unknown. Furthermore, it is possible that some employees at UC Davis who cared for the patient may have been contaminated, so they will be monitored to see if any of them get sick.
In the stock market, prior to today, the greatest single-day point drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was –1,175.21 points on Feb. 5, 2018. Today, the Dow broke that single-day record by falling a colossal –1,190.95 points, most likely due primarily to fears of the spreading coronavirus.
Furthermore, the Dow has declined 12.8% from its all-time high of 29,551.42 just over two weeks ago on Feb. 12. It now is considered to be in correction territory, which is a decrease of at least 10% from the all-time high. Also, the Dow is now lower than the 26,115.65 closing on Jan. 17, 2018.
President Trump gave a press conference this afternoon at the White House, focusing mainly on the coronavirus. Vice President Pence, whom Trump has put in charge of the administration’s response to the potential pandemic, spoke briefly. A few health experts provided information.
Senior officials from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also spoke. One NIH official said a potential coronavirus vaccine is still at least a year away.
The future of what will happen due to the coronavirus is very uncertain. Some think that there is nothing really to worry about because the worst is over, while others feel that a worldwide pandemic is inevitable. Trump emphasized that “every aspect of our society” should be prepared, “just in case.” The press conference lasted just under 55 minutes. If it displays a “Video unavailable” message, click on this link instead:
Numerous countries in the world have placed travel restrictions on China, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. These include border closures, entry/exit bans, VISA restrictions and flight suspensions. Some countries have more than one ban.
The 2019-nCOV coronavirus is continuing to spread to more countries in the world. Most recently, the virus has become a problem in Iran, South Korea and Italy. There continues to be an ongoing 2020 coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
The number of people being infected by the virus and dying from it is surging. Coronasvirus fears are continuing to cause global stock markets to decline. If it continues unabated, the resulting pandemic very well could throw the world into a global recession.
Today in the stock market, the DJIA had its largest point and percentage drop since Feb. 8, 2018 and gave up all of its gains for 2020. The Dow’s point drop, -1,031.61, was the third highest in history. Also, the S&P 500’s year-to-date gains vanished.
Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a barrage of at least 30 rockets into Israel this evening. The radical group Islamic Jihad said the strikes were in response to Israel’s killing of one of its fighters early today.
This morning, Israel’s army said it had spotted two terrorists approaching the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and placing an explosive device adjacent to it. When the Israeli troops opened fired, one of the men was killed.
About 10 of the rockets were intercepted by the Jewish state’s Iron Dome missile defence system, the Israeli army said. Others crashed into open fields, and there were no reports of serious injuries.
Israel has a general election on March 2, its third in less than a year after deadlocked polls in April and September 2019. Embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again will be neck and neck with centrist challenger Benny Gantz, a former military general.
I have a good friend in Arkansas, a state that is on Central Standard Time (CST). He and I have this “thing” about various sequences of numbers containing a repeat of the numeral 2. Since today is 2/22 (or, in many parts of the world, 22/2), I sent him a screen shot of the https://time.gov page showing 2:22:22 P.M. CST:
I also sent him some photos, most of which we have exchanged in the past, with lots of numeral 2s in them:
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.
Today I went to Walmart and to a Dollar store and got 47.34 oz. (2.96 lb.) of 50%-off Valentine’s candy. Surprisingly, there was only a small amount left at both of those places, even though I got there early. That was OK, though, since I didn’t want very much.
I mainly wanted some peanut butter chocolate candy, my favorite combination. I got a five bags of those, but I’ll keep only a couple of them. The rest, along with the large bag of mixed candy, will be going to others.
The fluffy little bear is for someone age 3 or more. The friend I’m giving it to is decades older than 3, but she loves little stuffed animals.
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)
In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 29,400 and above 29,500 for the first time. The Dow was up 0.94% to 29,551.42, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.65% to 3,379.45, also a record high. The NASDAQ Composite index also closed at a record high; it was up 0.90% to 9,725.96.
Yesterday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll in China from the newest coronavirus (2019-nCoV or COVID-19) surpassed 1,000. Also, for the first time, an international WHO team was allowed into China to investigate the virus outbreak.
On Jan. 30, the WHO declared the recent coronavirus outbreak a global emergency. Today, the agency said that the disease presents a “very grave threat for the rest of the world.” The virus has spread to numerous other nations, and a successful treatment has yet to be found.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has recommended that Israel not annex or apply sovereignty over any parts of the West Bank prior to the next Knesset elections on Mar. 2. In some ways, this could be considered a warning to Israel.
Referring to President Trump’s speech on Jan. 28, Friedman explained that a careful mapping process, by a joint Israeli-American committee, needs to be completed before any annexation action takes place. He said in a tweet, “Any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the Plan & American recognition.”
It is unknown whether or not any annexations by Israel will take place before Mar. 2. However, if it does happen, it is possible that this could result in a subsequent negative situation for Israel in the future.
In other news, the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony took place tonight at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. I had no interest in watching. However, I will list some of the winners below.
Best Picture: Parasite
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix in Joker
Best Actress: Renée Zellweger in Judy
Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern in Marriage Story
At Olive Tree Ministries for two Saturday programs, Jan Markell spent each hour with Get a Life Ministries Pastor Billy Crone. He revealed how modern technology is not the friend we think it is. It is becoming a global managing system. It already is very invasive and is preparing the way for the Antichrist’s kingdom to come.
They advocate that believers in Jesus Christ will be removed via a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, thereby preventing them from experiencing the most unpleasant time of distress in human history when the Antichrist will rule over the world. I disagree with that Rapture view, as explained in these places:
The 68th National Prayer Breakfast took place at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC, today. President Trump gave a 26-minute speech.
He hailed his aquittal in the U.S. Senate yesterday. He also said, “I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when they know that that’s not so. So many people have been hurt and we can’t let that go on.”
The only Republican “guilty” vote was by Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT). That vote was on Article I—Abuse of Power.
Prior to the voting process today, Romney had announced that he would vote to convict Trump on the Article I charge. Romney’s niece, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, disagreed with his upcoming “guilty” vote. She tweeted, “This is not the first time I’ve disagreed with Mitt, and I imagine it will not be the last. The bottom line is President Trump did nothing wrong, and the Republican Party is more united than ever behind him. I, along with the @GOP, stand with President Trump.”
In other news, the Iowa presidential caucus was held two nights ago, on Feb. 3. However, while 100% of the Republican vote was reported late that night, so far only about 86% of the Democratic vote has been reported.
Evidently, the latter is a result of delays due to technology-related issues. So, as of yet, not all of the results have been released. Here are the results as of late this afternoon:
President Trump delivered his third State of the Union Address tonight to a joint session of the United States Congress. It lasted 1 hour 18 minutes.
The address came a day after voting in the 2020 presidential nomination process kicked off with the Iowa caucus and the day before Trump is expected to be acquitted of articles of impeachment in the Senate. The speech can be read here:
Special guests during the speech included the following:
• Stephanie and Janiyah Davis from Philadelphia, PA
• Juan Guaido from Caracas, Venezuela
• Kelli and Gage Hake from Stillwater, OK
• Jody Jones from Farmersville, CA
• Iain Lanphier from Scottsdale, AZ
• Rush Limbaugh from Palm Beach, FL
• Retired Brigadier General Charles McGee from Bethesda, MD
• Paul Morrow from Montgomery, AL
• Carl and Marsha Mueller from Prescott, AZ
• Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz from Del Rio, TX
• Tony Rankins from Cincinnati, OH
• Robin and Ellie Schneider from Kansas City, MO
• Ivan Simonovis from Caracas, Venezuela
• Joshua Smith from Paducah, KY
• The Williams Family from Fort Bragg, NC
Before the speech began, Trump handed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a formal House of Representatives copy of the speech. It was an official government document.
At the end of the speech, Nancy Pelosi tore in half four sections of the speech, one by one. Many analysts say it was “incredibly petty” of her to do that. Personally, I think that it was extremely unprofessional and dishonorable behavior, unbefitting of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, 69, has had a radio show for over 30 years. At the end of his program today, he announced that he recently had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
Limbaugh said that he is feeling okay right now but will be receiving treatments. “I thought about not telling anybody; I thought about doing this without anybody knowing, because I don’t like making things about me,” Limbaugh said. “But there are going to be days when I’m not able to be here because I’m undergoing treatment or I’m reacting to treatment.”
I thought all of the commercials during the game were mostly boring. None of them influenced me to want to buy any of the products. I did think that one was pretty funny, though, since I liked Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day” from 1993:
At halftime, the score was tied at 10-10. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the 49ers were ahead 20-10. However, things fell apart for the 49ers in 4th quarter. There were a few close-calls by officials that very well could have resulted in the loss for the 49ers. I felt that one call, in particular, was incorrect.
Chiefs running back Damien Williams scored what allegedly was the game-winning touchdown. It was on a 5-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes with 2:44 left in the game.
After catching the swing pass and getting shoved by 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, Williams stretched the football just inside the pylon at the corner of the sideline and the goal line. Yet, it appears that the front of William’s right foot barely went out of bounds as he was reaching the ball toward the goal line.
The referee calling the touchdown evidently felt that William’s foot went out of bounds after a portion of the ball was over the goal line. Officials ruled that the ball broke the plane of the goal line an instant before he stepped out. However, I feel that the two shots below show the tip of his foot out of bounds before the ball was over the goal line:
In any case, the questionable call on this play and on a few other plays were approved by the officials. So congratulations go out to the Kansas City Chiefs for their win.
Incidentally, this is an interesting date for both the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day to take place. It is abbreviated as 02/02/2020. Looking at only the digits, it is 02022020, which contains only 2 different digits and is totally symmetrical. That will not occur again for over 1,010 years from now, on Mar. 3, 3030 (03/03/3030 or 03033030).
Today is the 14th anniversary of the “Ted’s Remarks” section of my website. I probably will continue making entries here, at least for awhile.
Recently, I was visiting friends in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Founded in 1610, it is the oldest state capital in the United States. Also, with an elevation of 7,199 feet (2,194 meters), is the hightest state capital in the U.S.
Santa Fe is in the southern portion of the lengthy Rocky Mountains chain, which explains why the elevation is so high. Both Santa Fe and Albuquerque (the largest city in NM) are higher in elevation than Denver, Colorado, which is known as the “mile high city.” A relief map of New Mexico shows the mountainous portions of the state:
It is amazing how many people do not even realize that New Mexico (or Nuevo México) is a state in the U.S.; they mistakenly think that New Mexico is part of Mexico. In fact, it became the 47th U.S. state on Jan. 6, 1912 and is the 5th largest state (in area) in the union (after Alaska, Texas, California and Montana).
Northwest of Santa Fe is the very large Valles Caldera. It is in the class of supervolcanoes. The caldera is 13.7 miles wide, and its last eruption was well over 50,000 years ago. It used to be a very tall mountain—some say taller than Mount Everest—until it exploded long ago.
Traveling north of Santa Fe and looking west, the side of the volcano actually looks like a mountain range. On the following page is a relief map of northern New Mexico, with the Valles Caldera and Santa Fe circled in red:
I drove several miles north of Santa Fe and took a photo toward the west. The picture shows what appears to be a mountain range, with some snow on the highest places. However, that really is the east side of a single large volcano—the Valles Caldera. On the other side is a lengthy caldera which, at some point in the future, probably will erupt again.
A friend in Santa Fe works at a place called Meow Wolf. It used to be a bowling alley but, beginning in 2008, was transformed into a unique art attraction featuring an astonishing new form of non-linear storytelling that unfolds through exploration, discovery and 21st century interactivity. The created premise is that something happened inside a mysterious Victorian house in Mendocino, CA, that dissolved the nature of time and space.
My friend gave me a free tour through the large facility, commonly referred to as the “House of Eternal Return.” Exploration of the place ranged from beautiful artwork to bizarre encounters, as if entering other dimensions. It is very difficult to put into words; you would have to see it for yourself to absorb its complexity. I did take a large number of photos inside, and I have placed 72 of them (about a third of all the ones I took) on this page:
Tonight, the United Kingdom officially will withdraw from the European Union after joining the EU in 1973. At midnight tonight, Brexit (“British Exit”) will be in effect. The Brexit vote took place on June 24, 2016, so it has taken a little over 3½ years for it to commence.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson heralded the event as a moment of hope for the Brits who voted to leave the EU. However, he also attempted to allay the fears of what is on the horizon for those who voted to remain.
In other news, a vote was taken in the U.S. Senate today on the Democratic motion to call new witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial. The Senate vote was 51 against to 49 for, thereby blocking the motion. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) crossed party lines and voted with Democrats in favor of calling more witnesses.
The trial will continue in three days, on Monday. President Trump will give his State of the Union address on Tuesday, and a final vote to acquit or convict Trump most likely will take place on Wednesday. A vote to acquit is virtually certain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak a global emergency, amid the recent jump in the number of infected patients. 2019-nCoV is now said to be transferable between humans; 38 new deaths and 1,737 new infected cases have been reported in the last 24 hours.
At a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced, “The main reason is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries.” He added, “Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it.”
Scientists in Australia have announced that they have developed a lab-grown version of the new coronavirus. It was grown from an infected patient and is the first to be recreated outside of China.
There is hope that this is a breakthrough that could help quicken the creation of a vaccine for the virus, which continues to spread. The researchers, who are at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, have said that they plan to share the virus with organizations around the world.
This afternoon, U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a joint address at the White House, as Trump presented his long-awaited peace plan. At the beginning of his remarks, Trump said, “Today Israel takes a big step towards peace. Young people across the Middle East are ready for a more hopeful future, and governments throughout the region are realizing that terrorism and Islamic extremism are everyone’s common enemy.”
In the details of his long-awaited “Deal of the Century” for Middle East peace, Trump declared that Jerusalem would remain the “undivided capital” of Israel. Yet, later he stated that the Palestinian Arabs would have a capital in eastern Jerusalem.
President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is not happy about the plan. Violent protests already have begun in the Gaza Strip, and clashes have broken out between Palestinian protestors and Israeli forces.
Since the last record highs in the stock market took place on Jan. 17, there has been a steady decline. The DJIA has decreased 2.77%, the S&P 500 has decreased 2.58%, and the NASDAQ has decreased 2.66%.
The main reason for the widespread decrease seems to be concern over the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China (see Jan. 22). As more cases of the virus are discovered and an increasing number of people are dying worldwide, the fear and concern are becoming more global.
The March for Life took place in Washington, D.C., today. It is an annual rally protesting both the legality and the practice of abortion in the U.S.
Donald Trump was the first president ever to address the event in person. He told told the tens of thousands of gatherers that an unborn baby shows “a glimpse of the majesty of God’s creation.” He also said, "The pro-life movement is led by strong women."
A new or novel coronavirus, originating in China, is spreading quickly. The virus, which still lacks a formal name, is being called 2019-nCOV. Chinese officials have confirmed that the virus can spread from person to person. The virus may have come from snakes or possibly may be a combination of viruses from bats and snakes.
The virus has has infected hundreds of people and killed at least 17 in China. Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the United States are among the other nations that also have reported infections.
The World Health Organization may soon decide to declare the outbreak a global public-health emergency. It would need to declare a “public health emergency of international concern”—a step it reserves for events that pose a risk to multiple countries and that require a coordinated international response.
China has quarantined the city of Wuhan, where the virus first was detected on Dec. 31, 2019, in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market there. That is a city of over 11 million people.
Hundreds of millions of people in China are taking to the roads, railways and skies to be with their families for the Chinese New Year holidays, which begin in a few days on Jan. 25. Authorities in China and in countries around the world have mounted an enormous operation to track and screen travellers from Wuhan in central China.
The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump began today. Not surprisingly, the trial began with political infighting over the rules and other topics.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) proposed an amendment to the Senate’s impeachment rules. Had it been approved, a variety of White House documents would have subpoenaed before House impeachment managers issued their opening statement.
However, Schumer’s measure was rejected by a party-line vote of 53 to 47. Next, Senators began debating over rules for the trial proceedings that were introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
This trial probably will continue to be a complex and complicated. It will go six days per week, from Monday through Saturday, beginning at 1:00 p.m. and lasting 4 to 5 hours a day through the end of the trial. There is no telling how long it will last.
On the last day of 2019, I indicated that I believe a new decade begins this year: 2020. I realize there is disagreement with that view, and there are many who believe that the new decade will not begin until next year: 2021. The reasons for my view are detailed here:
In the AFC Championship game tonight, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans with a score of 35-24. Later, in the NFC Championship game, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers with a score of 37-20.
So the 49ers and the Chiefs will meet in Superbowl LIV on Feb. 2. The game is scheduled to take place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST.
This is the sixth day that I have not eaten anything containing sugar. I began abstaining on Jan. 13, the first day of National Sugar Awareness Week. After going the regular five-day period, I decided to add an extra day.
It wasn’t difficult to go without any sweets, since I typically don’t eat too many of them anyway. When I do, it’s usually only a few pieces of candy or a slice of cake, and that’s about it.
I mainly wanted to see if it might enhance my concentration during the day, my sleep at night, or anything else. Actually, one of the only things I noticed was that my appetite was decreased somewhat, so I did not eat as much. When I do eat something with sugar in it, it does tend to stimulate my appetite so that I tend to eat more regular food before the day is over.
The only other thing I noticed was that I lost 3 pounds. I was 2 pounds over my optimum weight, so now I am 1 pound under. Maybe tomorrow I will eat a couple of chocolate doughnuts or candy bars so that I can gain back that pound.
In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 29,300 for the first time. The Dow was up 0.17% to 29,348.10, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.39% to 3,329.62, also a record high. The NASDAQ Composite index also closed at a record high; it was up 0.34% to 9,388.94.
Today, the Senate opened the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. This is nearly four months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi first announced an impeachment inquiry.
House impeachment managers presented the two articles of impeachment before the assembled senators. They read the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress into the record.
Chief Justice Roberts was sworn in by Senator Grassley for the upcoming impeachment trial. Grassley asked him, “Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the constitution and laws: so help you God?” Roberts, with one hand on the Bible, swore that he would. He will be presiding over the Senate trial.
Next, Chief Justice Roberts swore in all the senators who were present in the Senate chamber, stating the same details in the oath that he had taken. They all stood, raised their right hands, and said that they would. Then they all lined up to sign an “oath book.”
Opening arguments in the trial should begin on Tue., Jan. 21. An eventual acquittal is expected in the Republican-controlled Senate.
General Raymond was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence. A Bible was used during the swearing in ceremony.
Later, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) condemned the use of a Bible in the ceremony. They claimed that members of the Armed Forces have religious freedom and that their First Amendment rights are protected.
Yet, Bibles have been used to swear in presidents, members of Congress and those in other federal government positions since the founding of the United States. It is a legal and historic heritage of the nation.
There is no doubt that in the U.S. (and in many places around the world), there are too much sugar-related health issues, such as obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, these can lead to numerous other problems such as cancer, which thrives on sugar.
Basically, too much sugar can have negative effects on our bodies, minds, emotions and lives. It is worth abstaining from sugar intake for 5 days just to see if any negative symptoms that we are having may be alleviated to some extent.
I do not eat a lot of sugar, and my health is good. I’ve found that the times when I have gone on a “sugar binge,” it actually has made me more hungry. So then I will eat more, causing me to gain more weight, which I do not want to do.
I am eating no sugar today, nor for the next 4 days, just to see if maybe my degree of concentration during the day is enhanced, or maybe I get better sleep at night, or something I haven’t thought of improves. We’ll see what happens.
There is virtually no doubt that Iran shot down a Ukranian Boeing 737 aircraft, which crashed in Iran on Jan. 8. All 176 people aboard the plane, including 63 Canadians, were killed.
So far, Iran has denied downing the jetliner with an anti-aircraft missile. Yet, they have refused to turn over the aircraft’s black box, which should provide evidence as to how and why the plane came down.
In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 28,900 for the first time. The Dow was up 0.74% to 28,956.90, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.67% to 3,274.70, also a record high. The NASDAQ Composite index closed above 9,200 for the first time; it was up 0.81% to 9,203.43.
Early this morning at 1:30 a.m. Iran time (or 5:30 p.m. EST U.S. time last night), Iran fired at least a dozen rockets short-range ballistic missiles into Iraq. The missiles struck military bases, housing American and coalition troops, in Irbil and at Ain al-Asad.
It was discovered that Iran had warned Iraq about the pending missile attack hours before it happened. Evidently, U.S. and Iraqi troops evacuated the premises because there were no reported casualties and minimal damages at the military bases.
This Iranian attack on U.S. forces in Iraq, Operation Martyr Soleimani, came hours after the funeral and burial of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by U.S. drone strikes on Jan. 3. After the drone strikes, Iran had announced that it planned a retaliation.
In an announcement this morning lasting a little over 9 minutes, President Trump said, among other things, that “Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” He also said that additional punishing economic sanctions would be placed on Iran.
I believe that everything at my website is safe and secure. Since there is nothing to purchase at my site, there is nowhere for anyone to enter a charge card number. Also, there are no places at my site to interact with me or with anyone else. Therefore, there is nowhere for a visitor to enter a name, address, phone number, password, or any other type of private information.
Up until now, “http” was at the beginning of the page addresses at my website. Recently, I took steps to provide official security for my site, and now it has “https” at the beginning of the page addresses. This is supposed to cause a small closed padlock to appear before the address on the pages of my website. Some information about my certificate can be viewed here: Certificate Information.
All of the page addresses at my site should show “https” at the beginning. Depending on the browser being used, although most of the pages should have a small closed padlock before the address, it is a mystery to me why some pages may show a small information image or even a small warning image before the address:
For instance, with some browsers, the image before the web address on my home page may seem to indicate that it not secure. If so, I do not know why.
On that page, the date/time image and the weather map image link to other sites. Perhaps this is why the page might be labeled as insecure. Yet, both of those sites are “https” sites, so they should be secure.
There are hundreds of pages at my website, and I have not taken the time to look at all of them. If you, as a visitor, happen to see a page (other than my home page) with an insecure image (other than a closed padlock) before the web page address and want to let me know about it, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Senators from 11 states in the U.S. Senate have co-sponsored a resolution to allow the Senate to dismiss the articles of impeachment against President Trump. The two articles of impeachment were approved by the U.S. House on Dec. 18, 2019.
For 19 calendar days, House Speaker Pelosi has delayed sending the articles to the Senate for a trial. Once a period of 25 calendar days has passed (on Jan. 12), the proposed resolution would allow the Senate to vote to dismiss the articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution.
The resolution of dismissal was introduced by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO). In a statement today, he said, “Speaker Pelosi started this bogus impeachment by claiming President Trump was an urgent ‘threat to democracy’ who had to be removed now. But after a bipartisan vote against the articles in the House, and with the public opposed to the Democrats’ partisan games, Pelosi has changed her tune. Now she wants to prevent a Senate trial, perhaps indefinitely. But the Constitution gives the Senate sole power to adjudicate articles of impeachment, not the House.”
The U.S. blames now-deceased Irani General Qasem Soleimani for the deaths and injuries of hundreds of Americans over many years. U.S. officials say that he was plotting more attacks against U.S. interests in the region.
The death of Soleimani yesterday was a serious blow to Iran’s regional agenda. He was the second most powerful man in Iran, answerable only to the country’s supreme Islamic leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Khamenei has replaced Soleimani with Brigadier-General Esmail Ghaani as the new commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. In a statement, Khamenei said that Ghaani was among “the most prominent” IRGC commanders and will continue Soleimani’s path in directing the Quds Force.
Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Iran-funded Hezbollah, mourned Soleimani as a “master of resistance.” Ghaani, Soleimani’s successor, is expected to follow in Soleimani’s violent footsteps.
Hezbollah and other Shiite militias have extensive global networks and could launch retaliatory operations almost anywhere in the Middle East and in the world. Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, an advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, said, “I am telling Americans, especially Trump, we will take a revenge that will change their daylight into to a nighttime darkness.”
It was just over 40 years ago, in November 1979, when the Embassy of the United States, Tehran, was seized by Iranian college students. For 444 days, 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage during the Iran hostage crisis. The hostages were released on Jan. 20, 1981, just minutes after President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.
Earlier this week, Iran-backed protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. As in 1979, the protesters shouted “Death to America!” and smashed their way into the diplomatic compound, setting fire to a reception area as U.S. combat helicopters swooped over the complex.
Today, President Trump ordered a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport. The strike resulted in the death of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Now clerical and military leaders in Iran are threatening revenge.
The Jan. 2, 2020 stock market began the new year with a significant leap upward. In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 28,700 and above 28,800 for the first time. The Dow was up 1.16% to 28,868.80, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.84% to 3,257.85, also a record high.
Below are links to my annual calendar and a list of 2020 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 2020. 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.