Well, here I sit, wondering if I really want to post anything today. It’s been a long time since I did this. Life has been going by at a quick pace. Thinking maybe it’s time to post again.
Hope your day is going well!
In honor of our troops and all who serve or have served, I would like to thank Vice President Biden for the excellent speech he gave at Arlington today. It was the most profound words I ever heard come from him, and much better than one could have asked for. In his speech VP Biden mentioned a fallen warrior, Major Douglas Zembiec, who was also called “The Lion of Fallujah”. I am posting this in his honor, but also in honor of all who serve. This young man held the highest standards of the Corps and our Military and to all who have given their all on our behalf, I give my undying gratitude.
You can find the profile / bio about this great American Hero here. I think for all intents and purposes, I will stick to citing the words from his journal that were read by his best friend at his funeral service. They speak for him and his character and the character of America’s warriors best. The following was taken from a memorial publication in pdf format that you can download from this link.
The Marine had compiled such axioms and exhortations in notebooks, excerpts of which were read aloud by a close friend, Eric L. Kapitulik, who also recounted this story:
While Zembiec was stationed at Camp Pendleton after the Fallujah campaign, his parents visited. Zembiec and his father, Don, drove onto the base to shoot skeet and were stopped at the gate by a young Marine. Are you Captain Zembiec’s father? the Marine asked. Yes, his father said. “I was with your son in Fallujah,” the Marine said. “He was my company commander. If we had to go back in there, I would follow him with a spoon.”
Kapitulik read heavily from Zembiec’s notebooks. One of the quotes was particularly long, amounting to what Kapitulik said was a summary of Zembiec himself.
“Be a man of principle. Fight for what you believe in. Keep your word. Live with integrity. Be brave. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Serve your country.
“Teach. Mentor. Give something back to society. Lead from the front. Conquer your fears. Be a good friend. Be humble and be self-confident.
“Appreciate your friends and family. Be a leader and not a follower. Be valorous on the field of battle. And take responsibility for your actions.”
Kapitulik said the creed came from the man who knew Zembiec the longest, as indicated by the major’s written description: “Principles my father taught me.”
We were truly blest to have such men in our armed forces. Thank you and God Bless you Major Zembiec.
It is always and honor to give thanks to all who serve and have served our Country. Happy Veteran’s Day!!!!
And especially for Veterans and active duty military:
Applebee’s Free Food on Veterans Day
In recognition of your service to our country, all veterans and active duty military personnel are invited to eat free at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar Restaurants this Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov.11, 2009. As you may recall, Applebee’s launched a pilot program last year on Veterans Day offering free entrees to military service personnel and veterans. Because the response was so overwhelmingly positive, Applebee’s is extending the invitation throughout the country this year. We would appreciate your help in spreading the word. Please help us share details across your various communication channels. All U.S. veterans and active duty military with proof of current or former military service will eat free at all Applebee’s nationwide on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.
Valid Veteran and Active Duty Identification to Obtain Free Entree:
· U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card
· U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card
· Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
· Veterans Organization Card (i.e., American Legion and VFW)
· Photograph in uniform
· Wearing uniform
The Black Wreaths are symbolically hung on the doors of this blog today as I honor the life of a wonderful man, husband and father, Mr. Z, and pay my respects to his family and friends.
Sunday, October 18, 2009: Today, at 2:00 pm (Pacific) I will be joining with Mrs. Z and the family of Mr. Z in prayer and silence as they lay the mortal husk of this awesome man to rest. I will include a prayer for my dear mother who was herself laid to rest on this same day in 1997. Being a Christian in my beliefs, I know that they have gone ahead of us to join with the Savior and we will all be with them in spirit someday. God determines when our work here is done and I shall always trust Jesus to keep his promises. I have felt the love and blessings enough in my lifetime to know that as it is written about my savior, so shall it be done. Mr. Z is now keeping company with the angels until we all meet again in our promised kingdom. All my love and prayers go out to Mrs. Z and her family as they grieve their loss in this life. May the love and precious memories sustain you.
Today, a very dear friend lost her beloved husband. I am overwhelmed with sadness and wish to express my deepest condolences and love. May God be with her in her time of loss.
My heart is reaching out to you,
For what you’re going through;
I’m thinking of you frequently
And praying for you, too. If there’s something I can do,
Anything at all,
Think of me thinking of you,
And don’t hesitate to call.
By Joanna Fuchs
Update: The most beautiful tribute to this wonderful couple, Z and Mr. Z of the Geeez Blog, has been posted by Defiant Infidels Blog. They have also posted a beautiful video in tribute.
“We do not choose the time of transition to God’s Kingdom. It is not for us to choose. And so sadly it came for the dearly loved, devoted husband of “Z” of Geeez weblog. “Mr. Z” passed quietly in his sleep on Saturday, October 10th.”
You can read this beautiful tribute to Z and her beloved Mr Z here.
If you go to Mrs. Z site afterward, please exercise good taste and kindness when posting to the family condolences.
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
God’s Perspective on Human Goodness
God looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!
If you have a sense of déjà vu when reading Psalm 53, it’s because this psalm is virtually identical to Psalm 14. Those who collected the psalms must have believed that the message contained in these ancient poems was so important that it was worth repeating, almost verbatim.
Psalm 53 begins by criticizing fools who deny God’s relevance to their lives and therefore commit all measure of evil. From our perspective, it would be easy to begin to think of people we know who fit this mold, people other than ourselves, of course. But then we get to verses 2 and 3. Here, God looks down upon all people and sees all of us to be lacking in goodness. The divine conclusion: “No one does good, not a single one” (53:3). With hyperbolic rhetoric and poetic intensity, the psalmist underscores the truth that all of us, to one extent or another, share in the folly of those who reject God and do what’s wrong. Thus we mustn’t let the fact that some “fools” are more foolish than we are become an excuse for us to ignore our own failure to live according to God’s wisdom.
In Romans 3, the Apostle Paul quotes this passage from Psalm 53 (or 14, see Rom. 3:10-12). He concludes that all people have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (3:23). This bad news of human folly sets up the good news of the Gospel: “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (3:24). Thus we must not boast of our right-standing with God, since it’s nothing that we have earned. Rather, we humbly and gratefully receive God’s grace and seek to share it with those who are still caught in their folly.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you ever look upon others in their folly as a way of building yourself up? How might Psalm 53 alter your perspective and practice?
PRAYER: O Lord, you know how easy it is for me to look upon the folly and evil of others in order to build myself up. I can think, “At least I’m better than them!” But this psalm reminds me of my own folly, even in thinking that somehow I am categorically better than others. Today I’m reminded of the fact that all have sinned, including me. Left to my own devices, there is no way I can cleanse myself of sin or be righteous in your sight.
Yet you have done what I cannot do. Through Christ, you have declared that I am righteous. You have drawn me into a right relationship with you, so that I might live in a new way, set free from folly. Help me, dear Lord, to live each day for you and by your power. Though I will continue to sin, may sin’s hold on my life diminish. May I flourish in goodness because of my relationship with you.
All praise be to you, gracious God, because, having seen the evil of humankind, you reach out in love to save us . . . including me! Amen.
Visit them online at http://www.TheHighCalling.org
I found in reading Mustang’s wonderful story about the natural bravery and selflessness of children, drove this devotional home for me. You can read the short Sunday Reflection here on Social Sense – Giving When It Counts.
I personally think that this should be “required reading” along with the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, for our House of Representatives and Senate. In my opinion, they have continually demonstrated that most of them do not possess a modicum of spinal fortitude or leadership skills.
Leadership at the Point of the Bayonet
Ten Principals for Success
1. Strive to be a leader of character, competence, and courage.
2. Lead from the front. Say, “Follow me!” and then lead the way.
3. Stay in top physical shape—physical stamina is the root of mental toughness.
4. Develop your team. If you know your people, are fair in setting realistic goals and expectations, and lead by example, you will develop teamwork.
5. Delegate responsibility to your subordinates and let them do their jobs. You can’t do a good job if you don’t have a chance to use your imagination and your creativity.
6. Anticipate problems and prepare to overcome obstacles. Don’t wait until you get to the top of the ridge and then make up your mind.
7. Remain humble. Don’t worry about who recieves the credit. Never let power or authority go to your head.
8. Take a moment of self-reflection. Look at yourself in the mirror every night and ask yourself if you did your best.
9. True satisfaction comes from getting the job done. The key to a successful leader is to earn respect—not because of rank or position, but because you are a leader of character.
10. Hang Tough!—Never, ever, give up.
Major Dick Winters
Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
“Band of Brothers”
From: “Beyond Band of Brothers, The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters”
This post is in support of our troops going in harm’s way in Afghanistan right now. They are my heroes, and are on the top of my prayer list as they go forward to try to make a difference.
From the article:
Officials described the offensive — dubbed Khanjar or “Strike of the Sword” — as the largest and fastest-moving of the war’s new phase and the biggest Marine offensive since the one in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. It involves nearly 4,000 newly arrived Marines plus 650 Afghan forces. British forces last week led similar, but smaller, missions to clear out insurgents in Helmand and neighboring Kandahar province.
“Where we go we will stay, and where we stay, we will hold, build and work toward transition of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces,” Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said in a statement.
You can read the entire news article by clicking on the title link above.
U.S. Marines launch key operation in Afghanistan
By Peter Graff — Reuter’s UK reporter
SORKHDOZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Thousands of U.S. Marines stormed deep into Taliban territory in an Afghan valley on Thursday, marking the start of a major new effort by the Obama administration to regain the initiative in the war.
The Marines met little resistance on day one of Operation Khanjar, or Strike of the Sword, to seize almost all the lower Helmand River valley, heartland of the Taliban insurgency and the world’s biggest opium poppy producing region.
One U.S. Marine was killed and several others were wounded during the day, the Marines said in a statement, adding that they had not received any confirmed reports of civilian casualties or damage to property.
Other news from Afghanistan:
However the offensive was overshadowed by news of what the military said is the first capture of an American soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan in two to three years.
“A US soldier who has been missing since June 30 from his assigned unit is believed to have been captured by militant forces,” said US military spokeswoman Captain Elizabeth Mathias. “We are using all of our available resources to find him and provide for his safe return.”
A commander of the Taliban’s Haqqani faction, named Bahram, said his militia had captured the soldier in Paktika province, along with three Afghan guards.
He said the soldier had been taken to “a safe place” and demands would likely be made for his release.
“Our leaders have not decided on the fate of this soldier. They will decide on his fate and soon we will present video tapes of the coalition soldier and our demand to media,” he said.
The US military has described the al-Qa’ida-linked Haqqani network as one of the “most lethal Taliban organisations”.
The missing soldier was captured outside his base and was not part of the new US-led operation, in which about 4000 US marines and 650 Afghan troops mobilised yesterday with orders to clear the southern region of militants and restore government services.
The entire news article can be accessed by clicking on the title link above.
All who love America and our troops, please remember these brave men and women who are fighting, pray for the families of the fallen and wounded, and pray that the soldier being held captive, is safely released. We cannot love and support our military enough right now.
Having received the latest newsletter from Cat Moy, Executive Director of Move America Forward, that has become first and foremost, on my mind for this Sunday. It goes like this:
We can’t Forget American Father’s in Iraq and Afghanistan
While we are enjoying our families during this Father’s Day, sharing time with our children, we have close to 100,000 father’s who are in Iraq and Afghanistan without the joy and pleasure of being home. They are lonely as they heroically do their duty of protecting America by defeating the terrorist threat in the Middle East.
Oreo cookies, jelly beans, Gatorade, premium beef jerky and coffee. In addition, small comfort items that are sometimes hard to come by, like lip balm, baby wipes, deodorant and bug repellent. is trying to send of goodies that our military men and women want. We are sending their favorite
Won’t you honor a father away in Iraq or Afghanistan by sponsoring a care package today? Click on the Move America Forward icon to go arrange to send a package to a troop. It is so easy to do.
I was going to post some scripture here, but I think this reflects so much of what “serving is about”. After all, the American serviceman and woman risks life and limb to insure our freedom and Christ died to insure our salvation. We owe them both much.
Defending Truth, Humility, and Justice
In your majesty, ride out to victory,
defending truth, humility, and justice.
Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds! [Psalm 45:4]
When I was a boy, I loved watching the Adventures of Superman on our black-and-white Motorola television set. How I longed to be just like that “strange visitor from another planet” who fought a “never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.”
Superman, ironically enough, has much in common with the king who is praised in Psalm 45. This psalm is unusual in that it is addressed, not to God or to the people of Israel, but to the king on the occasion of his wedding (45:13-15). In verse 4, the psalmist urges the king to “ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice.” That’s not exactly “truth, justice, and the American way,” but two out of three ain’t half bad.
When we pray for our leaders, as Scripture urges us to do (1 Tim. 2:2), we should ask the Lord to lead them in the ways of truth, humility, and justice. Yet Psalm 45:4 also provides a model for our behavior in the world. We too are to be people of truth, humility, and justice.
As people of truth, we will speak and live in a way that reflects God and his revelation. In a world of falsehood, in which truth itself is under attack, we will seek the truth in all things, stand for the truth in what we say and do.
As people of humility, we will never speak the truth in a way that is haughty, as if the truth belongs to us. Moreover, we will always see ourselves as subjects of the King of kings, and offer our lives to him and to others as servants. Thus we will imitate the humble servanthood of Jesus.
As people of justice, we will treat all people fairly and will work for a world that offers justice to all. We will be especially committed to doing justice for the poor and powerless. Where we have been given authority, in our work, our families, our churches, or our community, we will strive for just systems that reflect the character of God.
When you “ride out” today into the world, defend truth, humility, and justice as God’s viceroy, God’s servant.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How can you express your commitment to truth today? How can you live with humility? How can you seek God’s justice in your part of the world?
PRAYER: O Lord, even as the king was to be a person of truth, humility, and justice, so am I. You have called me to speak and to live truthfully. I am to imitate the humility of Jesus and to seek your justice in all things. Help me, dear Lord, to be this kind of person in all that I do.
Even as I go through this day, may your Spirit bring to mind ways that I can be more truthful, more humble, and more just. To you be all the glory. Amen.
For those of us who grew up with parents who were living during WWII, America’s role in joining the fight to free the oppressed people of Europe was never “played down”. We heard stories from our parents, relatives and even the numerous people who immigrated here from Europe after the war. There was never any question about what our participation was about. It was about insuring the freedom of our allies from a tyrant who waged war against neighboring nations and murdered those who did not “fit into the mold of the master race”. We were part of securing the greater good of humanity against one of the most heinous tyrants of our time, Adolf Hitler.
No one summed up D-Day and it’s significance better than President Ronald Reagan in his 40th anniversary speech at Normandy.
Yesterday, the man elected President of my country stood before the people of Cairo Egypt and told a story of America that quite frankly was an outright lie! What this clearly demonstrates is because the American public is so easily brainwashed by campaign tactics via their television sets and don’t research or demand facts during the primary elections, our nation elected a man who is inexperienced and clearly ignorant of what America is. He is a failed community planner (just ask the people of Chicago who were living in the “project housing” that he and his cronies built!) who does not care about the American people, the Constitution or our history. No Mr. Obama, there were NO Islamic people on the Mayflower!
During WWII there were of course people that felt we had no stake in what was going on in Europe. But as time progressed it became impossible for the isolationist to prevent reality from setting in “that there are and always will be those people in power that will try to impose their will over others and do great harm to innocents in the process.” Enter the “Greatest Generation”, the recognition that what happens to other good people in the world does and always will affect us and this country. You can’t drink the Koolaid, sing Kumbayah and hope for the best. Fortunately for the world in 1941 we were not overwhelmed by the wishful thinking apologists who would try to make peace at any cost to freedom, like we have now. Of course England had such a man in Chamberlain. He tried the Obama approach to peacemaking with tyrants and ended up vilified because it almost destroyed England. By the time D-Day came, as Mustang showed on his memorial post quote, then General Eisenhower summed it up very nicely.
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world….
Read the rest of the quote on Social Sense. It is the truest celebration of what our parents and grandparents did for the people of Europe, our legacy and freedom worldwide. No one can ever say the words of gratitude to those who gave their lives on a battlefield, many of which had young and promising futures at stake, but they CAN refuse to forget the precious gift given by these souls to preserve our freedom and defend the Constitution and all it means to the numerous people who live here. I say Thank You to all who served and give my undying gratitude to all the heroes who gave their all for my freedom.
And on another note, please view this You Tube presentation from the Mark Levin radio show. A young military wife called in to give her thoughts and feelings on President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Egypt. It will make you think twice about the man in the White House.
Always remember those who have served and sacrificed and support those who are on the home front supporting them in their mission.
This picture communicates much more than any number of words; for the dead lie peacefully, and the living continues to remember the horror of war, and the pain of brothers lost.
(Photo: der Spiegel via Mr. Z)
Since I was much younger, I have always liked Linda Ronstadt. I chose a few youtube’s of performances I am particularly fond of . Hope you enjoy.
Long, Long Time
Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris (I love Emmylou Harris… so this performance in mho is wonderful.)
I Can’t if I’m Still in Love With You
This is my Memorial Day post. It has to do with the “original pain” that is behind Arlington National Cemetery. It starts with the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, Mary Anne Randolph Custis Lee, her father being Washington Custis, the adopted son of George Washington. The estate of Arlington was left to Mary Custis Lee’s father and passed on to her and her husband, Robert E. Lee. It was her beloved ancestral home. The outbreak of the American Civil War created the necessity for her to leave Arlington House, as her husband had chose, as men on both sides had to choose, to fight for Virginia. Prior to the civil war, people were prone to swear alligence and loyalty to their home states, so this was not an isolated event. This is how Arlington House probably looked (without grave stones and tour buses of course) when Mrs. Lee was forced to leave and locate herself and her children in Richmond, VA.
Enter Quartermaster/Brigadier General Montgomery Meigs. You can read about this honorable soldier’s stellar career here. Now the Army Quartermaster history page states in it’s bio how the cemetery came into being as:
General Meigs recommended that property in Arlington, Virginia owned by Mary Custis Lee, the wife of Robert E. Lee, be used as a military burial ground. Based on this recommendation, Arlington National Cemetery was created in 1864. In October of that same year, his son, First Lieutenant John Rodgers Meigs was killed at Swift Run Gap in Virginia. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery.
Now the story, behind the story is the fact the General Meigs so deeplly resented Robert E. Lee’s decision to resign his commission as an officer in the U.S. Army to join the Confederate cause, upon Mrs. Lee’s departure, the embers in the fireplace of Arlington House were still hot when he moved to make the house a headquarters for Union officers. General Meigs blamed Lee’s refusal to stick with service to the Union for prolonging the war, so when his beloved son was killed at Swift Run Gap, he ordered that his body be laid to rest in “Mrs. Lee’s Rose Garden”. It is the very human part of interaction during challenging times. Meig’s personal pain is forever enshrined at Arlington.
At the close of the American Civil War, Mrs. Lee not only lost her beloved ancestral home and left to bear the injustice of it (it was one of many unconstitutional actions taken by Lincoln and the Union). Also, her health had deteriorated and her beloved husband returned a broken man in spirit and in health as well. The war had taken a toll and the sacrifice had shortened lives and destroyed fortunes. Robert E. Lee eventually was offered the presidency of the struggling Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, VA. During his few years before his death, he brought it back to a viable institution of higher learning, and his son took up the mantle after his death in 1871. Mrs. Lee passed away two years later, still holding bitterness over the loss of her home and birthright. Her losses and grief being felt for the last few years of her life.
Knowing this story behind the honored resting place of so many of our fallen warriors, is to understand the grief and pain that those who lose their loved ones in any war, must endure. From it’s beginning, Arlington has been about pride in our nation and those who serve, but also about personal loss, suffering and grief. One of the most moving photos I’ve seen from Arlington is the photo of Mary McHugh who lost her fiance, Sgt. James J. Regan in Iraq. Mary has joined league with the honored loved ones who, as Lincoln so eloquently described, “laid down such a precious sacrifice on the alter of freedom”. In my mind Arlington Cemetery has become the symbol of the honored sacrifices made by Americans for hundreds of years, and so we must honor them and never forget what it means. God bless America and all our warriors who swear the oath to defend it at all costs.
What does a soldier do when he is in sleeping quarters and his base comes under attack? Well it turns into a “come as you are” fight featureing “pink boxers, body armour and flip flops”. A huge Memorial Day Salute to Army Specialist Zachary Boyd, 19, of
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – boxer shorts and flip-flops.on Thursday praised an Army soldier in eastern Afghanistan who drew media attention this month after rushing to defend his post from attack while wearing pink
In fact, Gates said he wants to meet the soldier and shake his hand the next time he visits Afghanistan.
“Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage,” Gates said in remarks prepared for a speech in New York.
“I can only wonder about the impact on the Taliban. Just imagine seeing that: a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his cross-hairs. What an incredible innovation in psychological warfare,” he said.
Read the rest of the story here.
Honoring the memory of every single man and woman who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedom and defending the Constitution of the United States of America. God bless them all in glory and may we never forget them or take for granted what they have all done for us... HoosierArmyMom
It’s been 85 years since “a filly” won the Preakness Stakes, and in it’s history, now, only 5 fillys have won the second leg of the Triple Crown. Rachel Alexandra became the 5th today. What a beautiful girl she is! Congratulations to this filly and her proud owner and jockey!
BALTIMORE — Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to win the Preakness since 1924, holding off a late charge by Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to capture the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
The only filly in the race, Rachel Alexandra went off as the 9-5 favourite. She moved to the front from the No. 13 post and took a big lead before Mine That Bird tested the filly in the stretch.
Musket Man finished third.
Rachel Alexandra, with jockey Calvin Borel on board, won in 1:55.08.
She paid $5.60, $4.60 and $3.60.
To all my readers of all stripes, may you have a wonderful Mother’s Day and thank you for all you do and everything you have done.
Last night I was notified by my dear PGR brother, that his beloved wife of 45 years has passed away in Arkansas. She was 84. This is my tribute to her memory.
Lucille (Lucy) Katherine Harris Olds
(January 23, 1928 – April 21, 2009)
Through my affiliation with the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR), I have got to know some incredible people. For those who are not familiar with the organization, it was started by a group that belonged to the American Legion Riders (a club for Veterans who like to ride!); in response to an evil group of people who masquarade as a “church” in Topeka, KS. They were protesting fallen American heroes at their funerals. They did so with offensive signs such as “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”, etc, and shouting insults at the families and mourners. In response, the veterans would show up on motorcycles, form a line between the “protesters” with American flags and bikes and when they started shrilling their insanity, they would “reve up their bikes”, sing patriotic songs or play patriotic music to drown the offending parties out. There is nothing more sacred than a family’s abilitity to say “good-bye” to a loved one who has sacrificed a young and promising life, in service to their country in time of war. I was drawn to the organization due to my desire to help sheild these families and show respect for their precious sacrifice.
Bob and Lu Olds are part of the wonderful circle of friends I have made in the PGR. Here is a man and woman who have dedicated a lifetime of service to our country. Bob served in the military and then as career law enforcement officer in California, and Lu as a Civil Air Patrol member, and as the support system for her husband and children over his career of service. I don’t think you will find a military, active duty or vet or law enforcement professional who won’t agree, they are only as good as the life-partner who supports them on the homefront. This couple had 45 years together in support of each other, retired and then proceeded to show us that retirement doesn’t mean you stop living and giving.
Last night I found out that Bob’s precious wife Lu had passed on to our Savior. I remembered what my father went through when my mother passed on. My feelings at losing my mother were self-pity and celebration, a mixed bag, but Dad’s feelings were even deeper. As a Christian, I knew she was with our Lord and no longer was suffering with cancer, but I was not ready to lose my mother, as Dad was not ready to lose his beloved wife. I learned the meaning of love from my father during those days proceeding and after her death. So to my dear friend, Bob, I give heartfilled condolences at his time of loss, but also gratitude for the wonderful example their life has been for so many good people like myself. His precious Lu has now gone on to Glory and will be waiting for him when his time comes, and what a glorious reunion it will be. As his friend, PGR sister, fellow Christian and American, I pledge love and support always for this good man and the woman who served us all for a lifetime. I give them both a debt of gratitude for their service and friendship. Thank you both and God Bless.
God Will Always Love Us
It’s amazing and incredible,
But it’s as true as it can be
God loves and understands us all
And that means you and me.
His grace is all-sufficient
For both the young and old,
For the lonely and the timid,
For the brash and for the bold.
His love knows no exceptions,
So never feel excluded,
No matter who or what you are
Your name has been included.
And no matter what your past has been,
Trust God to understand,
And no matter what your problem is
Just place it in His Hand.
For in all of our unloveliness
This great God loves us still,
He loved us since the world began
And what’s more, He always will!
© Helen Steiner Rice
I have been wondering what I would like to post in honor of the Easter Sunday holiday. Breaking news has given me my inspiration.
To my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ I wish to give my deepest thanks for all he gave to give my life the richness of hope, salvation and his perfect love. And I would like to give Him thanks for delivering Captain Richard Phillips from the pirates who were holding him hostage. Much love and joy to his family and loved ones on this glorious day! What a wonderful Easter we have been witness to. Thanks to this brave man for all he’s done to save his ship, crew and stand for what is right. He has honored our country and the spirit of America. Special thanks to the US Navy for their perserverance and action in saving this brave man.
Much to be grateful for on this Easter Sunday! Captain Phillips is Free and Safe!!!
An accountant (posted under the name Heidi) on a forum I was reading, posted this information about the stimulus money that we are now seeing on our paychecks. On your 2009 return, if you either individually or as a couple make more than $30,000 a year, you really need to be aware of this, and may want to adjust your withholding (W-4) accordingly. Contractors who work 1099 may also benefit from this knowledge and adjust (depending on the rate change magic the IRS has done). Not being an accountant myself or being familiar with the tax laws per se, I’m not sure. Please comment if you understand the 1099 effect, if there is one at all. Knowing the IRS code and rate changes that will effect income taxes for 2009 and tips on avoiding penalties and fees that could result, is in my opinion, very important. I am grateful to this accountant for this information. I am posting this as a service to my readers.
sigh… so, for those of you who still have jobs… I don’t know how many people noticed, but in mid-December, the IRS issued a new withholding tax table dropping the withholding tax by approximately $2/exemption claimed on your W-4 form (you saw an additional roughly $13/paycheck in your pocket)… on January 1st they raised the income tax by 2% across the board (for 2008 tax filing) and then gave an additional $1000 of exemption (gee thanks!)… if you made $30,000 or less you saw more money back on your return, otherwise this probably hurt you. Now they have finished the adjustment for 2009 Stimulus Package (“Making Work Pay Credit”) and ALL companies must have it online in your check by 4/15/09. This credit is $400/person ($800/married joint) and is payable on your 2009 1040 form even if you have no tax due. However, they are giving it out as a reduction in withholding tax. The credit is approximately $2/exemption claimed (again) payable each week for the remaining 40+ weeks of the year. Your paycheck will show (depending on what your W-4 says now) an additional $5-$20 more in your pocket because that same money is no longer going to your withholding tax. THE PROBLEMS (yes, there is more than 1):1) If you are claiming married 4 dependents it will be approximately $20/paycheck credit. It will not stop coming to you once it reaches the $800 limit. I repeat – it will NOT stop coming to you once it reaches the $800 limit. And the taxtable WILL NOT take into account whether or not your spouse’s check IS ALSO GETTING THE CREDIT. This credit is designed to FORCE YOU to double dip the credit and have to pay it back next year in April. With penalties and interest. The penalty is 25%. Interest rate for IRS is set at 5%… your double dipped $800 just turned into $1200 that you have to pay back… ouch.2) I received an email from a friend in IRS office in DC… they are raising the tax tables for next year by 4% across the board and raising the bar another $1500 dollars. Again, if you make less than $30,000 this will not affect you – you will probably get more back. If however, you are making more, or COMBINED you are making more, you will be screwed.3) If you have more than 1 job, the credit will be given ON ALL YOUR JOBS. So, if you have a full time job, it will be given there. If you have a part time job, IT WILL BE GIVEN THERE. Both at FULL CREDIT. Again, can you say ‘penalties and interest’?
I know we are ALL hurting for money right now. However, I strongly urge everyone to go in and file a new W-4 form requesting that the additional tax be withheld to negate this new ‘credit’. If the planned raise in rate does not occur, you will get an additional $400/$800 come April next year. But if it does, at least you won’t owe penalties and interest on money you don’t have in the first place… increasing your debt will NOT save you.
I’m sorry if no-one wants to hear this, but as an accountant, I feel a need to pass along the warning… I see the federal government creating a trap to pay for the stimulus and I don’t want to see the unwary walk into that trap blindfolded under the guise of ‘we’re helping you’… friendly fire IS NOT friendly.
An interesting post can be found at GM’s Place!
Hat Tip to Heidi for publicly sharing this information.
In my effort to help keep my readers informed of new virus threats on the web, here’s another one to watch out for, (courtesy of Info Packets):
by Bill Lindner
Filed Under: Security
A new type of worm has been reported to infect 55 different home-based
routers and DSL/cable modems has been discovered. Originating in Australia,
Psyb0t, is the first worm capable of infecting residential routers and
modems, including common brands like Linksys and Netgear. A blog post from
DroneBL researchers says that Psyb0t (also known as Bluepill) is suspected
of infecting at least 100,000 …
Daily Reflection and Prayer
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
Let God Transform You
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. [Romans 12:2]. If we are to offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1), we have a crucial role to play. We must choose to say “No” to the ways of the fallen world.
But that’s not the whole story. You will be able to discern and do God’s will only when you “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” The original Greek calls us to “be transformed,” not by our own efforts, but by the power of God.
The verb meaning “be transformed” utilizes a Greek mood that conveys an ongoing process. Transformation doesn’t happen automatically, once-and-for-all, when we first put our faith in Christ. Rather, it is a life-long process of opening ourselves to God’s renewing power.
Notice that God transforms you by “changing the way you think.” This renewed mind comes as you allow Scripture to teach you God’s truth. It comes as you reflect upon the Bible, using it as the basis for your daily prayers. A new mind comes when you gather with other believers to study the Word, to hear it proclaimed, and to experience it in the sacraments. Though we cannot transform ourselves, we can participate in that which opens our minds to the Spirit. As this happens, we will be able to know God’s will so that we might desire it and do it.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How has God transformed you by changing the way you think? What activities of your life help you to be available to God’s ongoing renewal?
PRAYER: O Lord, I can see evidence of your transformation in my life, and for this I give you thanks and praise. But I am so aware of how much more transformation is needed. I confess how much I still think as the world thinks, valuing that which really doesn’t matter and devaluing that which does matter. Forgive me, Lord, for my worldly ways of thinking.
By your Word and the power of your Spirit, I ask that you will continue to transform me. Give me a new mind, Lord, the mind of Christ! May I think your thoughts after you. May my heart beat in sync with yours.Help me, gracious God, to know your will, to desire what you desire, and to do it with gusto. May I offer my whole self to you each day as a living sacrifice! I pray in the name of Jesus, who makes this possible. Amen.
The origins of the Federal Reserve goes back to England and the Monarchy, this is a fastenating article so I am posting it in it’s entirety. HoosierArmyMom
The Federal Reserve – Its Origins, History & Current Strategy
– Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2004 on GoldSeek by Wayne N. Krautkramer –
Few perceive the truth about the Federal Reserve. Rare are those who know its origins. It is right in front of us, but our relative ignorance of economics and history is their protection. A quick history lesson is in order.
On October 14, 1066, AD., King William I (the Conqueror) founded the English monarchy. The Corporation was created by William in 1067 AD. to facilitate trade, and assure the continuation of the wealth of the monarchy. The City of London’s legal name is The Corporation of the City of London. The City of London has unique political and economic privileges that do not apply to Greater London, or anywhere else in the British realm. The “City” even has its own police force that is sovereign.
The Bank of England was granted a royal charter on July 27, 1694, by William III to regularize the monarchy’s finances. This scheme was invented by a Scot promoter named William Paterson. The scheme was to create a bank with a “fund for perpetual interest”. Fractional reserve banking was created, along with the radical monetary concept of a “monopoly” bank which would create money for loans that would never be repaid. A perpetual money machine for the monarchy was born. The permanent National Debt was born. The Bank of England would finance the emerging empire from its headquarters in the City of London. Never again would the lack of money, or liquidity, hamper the British empire under normal economic conditions. Conveniently, the monarchy also controls the City of London. This assures that the heart of the economic machine will always be protected.
The United States fought a hard and expensive war against England in 1776 to achieve sovereignty. That included the right to have her own currency, control her own tax policies, and the avoidance of involvement in the affairs of other nations.
HistoryCentral.com > > War of 1812> United States Declares War on Great Britain: The United States declared War on Great Britain on June 12, 1812. The war was declared as a result of long simmering disputes with Great Britian. The central dispute surrounded the impressment of American soldiers by the British. The British had previously attacked the USS Chesapeake and nearly caused a war two year earlier. In addition, disputes continued with Great Britain over the Northwest Territories and the border with Canada. Finally, the attempts of Great Britain to impose a blockade on France during the Napoleonic Wars was a constant source of conflict with the United States.
The US did everything in their power to remove British influence and control from this continent. Again and again we defeated all attempts to allow our money to be controlled by a National (Central) bank. When Central banks were established, we abolished them. Times changed, and Thomas Woodrow Wilson was elected. The intellectual who wanted the League of Nations (the progenitor of the United Nations) was elected. Under his leadership, we received the Federal Reserve, and the Sixteenth Amendment (Income Tax) shackling us into slavery to the British Crown forever. In 1917, Wilson made the world safe for democracy by plunging the US into World War I.
On December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve Act, also known as the Glass-Owen Bill, was passed. The Republican controlled Senate rammed the bill through when many members of the US Congress were home for the holiday. The President, Dr. Thomas Woodrow Wilson, signed it into law one hour after being passed by the Congress! Somebody very powerful really wanted this law passed. The Federal Reserve System is an independent central bank. Although the President of the United States appoints the chairman of the Fed, and this appointment is approved by the United States Senate, the decisions of the Fed do not have to be ratified by the President, or anyone else in the executive branch of the United States government. Buried in the legislation was the granting of total power over the monetary policies of all US banks. A very curious statement is found in the original 1913 law. SEC. 30. The right to amend, alter, or repeal this Act is hereby expressly reserved. Reserved expressly to whom, or what? No definition is provided. This is the entire Section 30 statement! ” Curiouser and curiouser, cried Alice”.
Stock not held by member banks shall not be entitled to voting power. This clause guarantees that no outsider can justify buying shares in the Federal Reserve. “But wait! There’s more!”
Sec. 341 Second. To have succession for a period of twenty years from its organization unless it is sooner dissolved by an Act of Congress, or unless its franchise becomes forfeited by some violation of law. The Federal Reserve was only given a corporate life of 20 years! Their time was up in 1933! Who was President at that time? Franklin. D. Roosevelt, of course. Somehow, the Federal Reserve’s termination did not occur. Reader, do I have your attention yet? My research failed to find any reauthorization of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, other than the tacit approval given by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
No Senator or Representative in Congress shall be a member of the Federal Reserve Board or an officer or a director of a Federal reserve bank. No member of Congress is have access to the inner sanctum! Hello, what is this? Are they afraid that an American might come upon something untoward? 12 USC 3019: Federal reserve banks, including the capital stock and surplus therein, and the Income derived there from shall be exempt from Federal, State, and local taxation, except taxes upon real estate. People, I think we are a roll now.
SEC. 25. Any national banking association possessing a capital and surplus of 1,000,000 dollars or more may file application with the Federal Reserve Board, upon such conditions and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the said board, for the purpose of securing authority to establish branches in foreign countries or dependencies of theUnited States for the furtherance of the foreign commerce of the United States, and to act, if required to do so, as fiscal agents of the United States. Such application shall specify, in addition to the name and capital of the banking association filing it, the place or places where the banking operations proposed are to be carried on, and the amount of capital set aside for the conduct of its foreign business. The Federal Reserve Board shall have power to approve or to reject such application if, in its judgment, the amount of capital proposed to be set aside for the conduct of foreign business is inadequate, or if for other reasons the granting of such application is deemed inexpedient. Wow, the US government has no formal control over the foreign operations of the Federal reserve banks! The Federal reserve banks are exempt from all taxation. These people are very independent. Independent of audits, independent of congressional supervision, and independent of the American voter.
The Federal Reserve claims that nobody owns it – that it is an “independent entity within the government.” The Federal Reserve is subject to laws such as the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act which cover Federal agencies but not private corporations; yet Congress gave the Federal Reserve the autonomy to carry out its responsibilities insulated from political pressure. Each of the Fed’s three parts – the Board of Governors, the regional Reserve banks, and the Federal Open Market Committee – operates independently of the federal government to carry out the Fed’s core responsibilities. Once a member of the Board of Governors is appointed, he or she can be as independent as a U.S. Supreme Court judge, though the term is shorter. As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. The Fed’s financial independence arises because it is hugely profitable due to its ownership of government bonds. (It gives the government billions of dollars each year.) However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by the Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Also, the Federal Reserve must work within the framework of the overall objectives of economic and financial policy established by the government. Note: No mention of the Constitution here.
The only statements of ownership made by the Federal Reserve Board is an allusion to the twelve Federal district banks. This circle puts us back at the beginning, for no information is provided regarding the ownership of the twelve Federal district banks. However, a 1976 government study commissioned by the Federal Reserve Directors revealed the following:
OWNERSHIP OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE: Most Americans, if they know anything at all about the Federal Reserve, believe it is an agency of the United States Government. This article charts the true nature of the “National Bank.” Chart 1 Source: ** Federal Reserve Directors: A Study of Corporate and Banking Influence ** – - Published 1976 Chart 1 reveals the linear connection between the Rothschilds and the Bank of England, and the London banking houses which ultimately control the Federal Reserve Banks through their stockholdings of bank stock and their subsidiary firms in New York. The two principal Rothschild representatives in New York, J. P. Morgan Co., and Kuhn, Loeb & Co. were the firms which set up the Jekyll Island Conference at which the Federal Reserve Act was drafted, who directed the subsequent successful campaign to have the plan enacted into law by Congress, and who purchased the controlling amounts of stock in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1914. These firms had their principal officers appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Advisory Council in 1914. In 1914 a few families (blood or business related) owning controlling stock in existing banks (such as in New York City) caused those banks to purchase controlling shares in the Federal Reserve regional banks. Examination of the charts and text in the House Banking Committee Staff Report of August, 1976 and the current stockholders list of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks show this same family control.
George Bush presided over a minor change in the Federal Reserve Act. The Sarbanes-OxleyAct was passed in 2002. The American Congress failed again to deal with the Federal Reserve. Bush managed to keep all discussion and changes confined to some reporting requirements for financial institutions. Bush knows very well who he serves, and he really serves his master well. It’s amazing how few grasped the significance of Alan Greenspan being knighted by the Queen of England! Greenspan was knighted on September 26, 2002. An obvious reward for preventing any real discussion, or change, of the Federal Reserve during the Sarbanes-Oxley Act debates. Had an American President been knighted, serious questions would have arisen. It was so much easier to reward her manager, Alan! Do you still believe that Alan Greenspan has the power of Dearth Vader? He is only a little man, faithfully serving his queen.
The British Crown, or the British monarchy is the owner of the Federal Reserve. This is their real secret. The strategy of the Federal Reserve is their other secret. Again, it is right of front of us, but no one sees the obvious. The strategy of the Federal Reserve is to accumulate all the wealth through the very slow, but effective, technique of currency debasement. The monarchs of old used to shave or clip the coins as they passed through their treasuries. Now the process is more sanitary (no more clipping and scraping all those dirty coins). John Maynard Keynes clearly stated that at there is no more effective method of destroying a society than through currency debasement.
The primary reason for its success is the inability of most people to understand that more is not necessarily better. A recent conversation highlighted Kenyes’s observation. There is some agitation to raise the minimum wage in my state. I listened to a proponent of a higher minimum wage. I attempted to point out that an increase in a large number of people’s income would only result in prices going up, along with the obvious tax increases. “What was I talking about?” was the response. I explained that some percentage of people might wind up dealing with tax bracket creep (increases), and all will have with the obligatory tax increases that follow from any price increase. If nothing else, the sales tax must go up because the prices have gone up. I was immediately informed that I was the most negative person they had ever talked to. [If you haven't read Stogie's piece I posted, please do. It will help you understand this.]
The Federal Reserve will always debase the currency to take its cut, and guarantee that the government has a tax base available to feed its bureaucratic family. The government is a total slave of the Federal Reserve. For example, analyze the latest real estate boom. There will be a major boost in property taxes based on the new valuations. Many people will be surprised when they receive their new tax bill. This will guarantee more money for the government coffers. They know that people will do almost anything to keep their homes. What’s another job or two per family? Besides, the extra job will provide more tax revenue for the government. This will require more day care, or baby-sitting services for many families, which create more income for the government. This will cause more meals to be eaten out, which creates more revenue for the government. Meanwhile, prices will continue to go up, which creates more sales tax revenue for the government. Are you getting the point yet? Deflation is end of the government. The local, state, and federal government will all fail! [Remember... this was written in 2004... gives the writer credibility in my book!]
This is the strategy of the Federal Reserve. The majority of the people will always believe that more is better. Knowing that, and now having a democracy ensconced in the US, it was time to feed and breed. Prices always go up, and everything is “Wunnerful, Wunnerful” Bring on the Champagne Lady. Alan runs the bubble machine. The illusion of money has destroyed most people since society (goverment) developed socialism. Democracy feeds on the illusion of something for nothing. As each demagogue promises more than his competition, the tax burden becomes oppressive. The monetary illusion serves to conceal the costs through currency debasement. This assures the complete destruction of the society that embraces this perversion. Any attempt to introduce logic into a dialogue will be defeated by claiming you’re an elitist devoid of compassion. Envy, hate, and manipulated passions are the hallmark of democracies. While all this destruction is occurring, money diverted by the mechanism of currency debasement is constantly being transferred to the British Crown in the City of London.
Any questions, gang?
Note: While all this distruction is occurring…. it is happening right under our noses. Currency debasement… the devaluating of the American dollar is happening now!!! While we have watched the “AIG Outrage Show” in Congress, The Fed has moved forward with printing a Trillion dollars as a loan and our massive debt is the collatteral!!!! They are playing Russian Roulette with the dollar! In the weeks and months to come, it will be a miracle if we don’t see “hyperinflation” and the value of the dollar sink to the lowest value ever!!! Only those who want to see the fall of our nation and society would do such a thing as this. Even with a limited understanding of economics, it isn’t hard to see that this is utterly insane and destructive. HAM.
Free Markets For Free Men Wayne N. Krautkramer
More commentary at http://onlypill.tripod.com
The Corporation of the City of London:http://www.fact-index.com/c/ci/city_of_london.html
The Bank of England:http://www.fact-index.com/b/ba/bank_of_england.html#History
The Sixteenth Amendment:http://www.lovetolearnplace.com/SpecialDays/IncomeTax/
Federal Reserve Act of 1913:http://aor.cat4.net/federalreserveact1913/
Federal Reserve: 2002 Amendment:http://www.frbdiscountwindow.org/federalreserveact.html
Federal Reserve ownership:http://land.netonecom.net/tlp/ref/federal_reserve.shtml
3 officers dead, suspect killed in Oakland, Calif. – (Update as of 11:00 Eastern… 4 officers have died)
OAKLAND, Calif. – Police say three officers and a suspect are dead and another officer is in grave condition after two related shootings, the first after a traffic stop and the second after a massive manhunt ended in gunfire.
Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason says two officers were shot just after 1 p.m. Saturday after they stopped the suspect’s vehicle in east Oakland. One officer was killed and another badly wounded.
The suspect fled the scene on foot into a nearby neighborhood, leading to an intense manhunt by dozens of officers. Thomason says officers acting on an anonymous tip found the suspect around 3:30 p.m. barricaded inside a building. Shots were fired and two members of the SWAT team and the suspect was killed.
Condolences to the families and loved ones of these 4 heroic, fallen officers. Rest in Peace. HAM
Current Serving Special Forces Soldier Warns: “Gun confiscation being set up inside the military”
To Free The Oppressed
It’s about time that something like this has formed. I’m an E7 in the Army National Guard (Colorado, B co. 5/19th SFG) I’m an 18C and I’m getting the hell out of the Army. I’ve had enough. I ETS in October and I’m picking up my family and we’re moving to New Hampshire to join other defenders of the Republic in a place that is still one of the freest places in the nation. (I’m a member of the Free State Project.)I’m currently serving on OWT status at Ft. Bliss, TX. I wanted to share what is going on here…
Read on… http://caosblog.com/9892
A patriot knows when his duty is to disobey the Commander-and-Chief; in order to UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION and DEFEND LIBERTY.
Learn more about these men of honor on Stogie’s blog… Sabrepoint
The Oath-Keepers: the Beginnings of Internal Rebellion Against Obama?
A society of members of the military and police have formed to oppose potentially unconstitutional orders and laws passed by Barack Obama and his Democrat supporters. They have listed laws and orders that they will not obey, remaining true to their oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States”.
Their blog is http://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/.
Subscribe via web: http://www.gdwm.org/subscribe.htm
Conficker Time Bomb Targets Southwest Airlines, Others This March
Sophos Security is warning that the Conficker/Downadup worm (“Conficker worm”) is targeting multiple domains — including Southwest airlines — that could end up causing Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and temporary disruptions. The Conficker worm has been kicking around since last year and usually spreads via a) removable storage devices such as USB drives and b) network sharing. It exploits a Windows vulnerability that was patched by Microsoft last year.According to a blog entry by Mike Wood of SophosLabs Canada, those computers infected with the Conficker worm are programmed to contact wnsux.com, which will redirect visitors to the main Southwest.com site on March 13. (Source: sophos.com) Conficker and Southwest: Why Tango?
The problem with a legitimate site like Southwest.com making it onto Conficker’s radar? Wood gives two reasons: without proper investigation, Southwest may end up on a blocklist, and users will be prevented from accessing their services. In addition, millions of infected machines contacting the domain on the 13th may overload the site and shut it down. (Source: cnet.com). Wood says the worm is targeting about 7,750 domains of which nearly 3,900 are active, but only resolve to 42 unique IP addresses. Of those, only 28 are involved in a covert operation of ISPs and others trying to thwart Conficker/Downadup by pre-registering domains. The vast majority of those 28 domains are currently up for sale.Key Sites Targeted By Conficker/DownadupKey sites listed by Wood whose visitors may see a disruption in service include: jogli.com — Big Web Great Music — March 8wnsux.com — Southwest Airlines — March 13qhflh.com — Women’s Net in Qinghai Province — March 18
praat.org — Doing phonetics by computer — March 31
Other less frequented sites of interest that appeared on the list include ‘The Tennesse Dogue De Bordeaux’ dog breeders site (tnddb.com — March 14) and the ‘Double Super Secret Message Board’ site (dssmb.com — March 11). (Source: sophos.com). Other less frequented sites of interest that appeared on the list include ‘The Tennesse Dogue De Bordeaux’ dog breeders site (tnddb.com — March 14) and the ‘Double Super Secret Message Board’ site (dssmb.com — March 11). (Source: sophos.com).
Wood contacted the owners of the domains to draw their attention to the problem, and thankfully Southwest Airlines has already taken action to prevent the attacks. Solutions for network administrators to combat the problem were offered in the post by Wood from SophosLabs Canada.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you apply the patch from Microsoft to prevent your computer from being exploited. See “Cleaning Systems of Conficker” at the bottom of the page.Visit Bill’s Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!This entire article and links is available at the Info Packs Newsletter site.
Koobface, Other Worms Target Facebook Friends (NewsFactor)
Posted on Thu Mar 5, 2009 11:31AM EST
Beware, a nasty bug is already at work on Facebook!
As Facebook works to make itself more relevant and timely for its growing member base with a profile page makeover, attackers seem to be working overtime to steal the identities of the friends, fans and brands that connect though the social-networking site.Indeed, Facebook has seen five different security threats in the past week. According to Trend Micro, four new hoax applications are attempting to trick members into divulging their usernames and passwords. And a new variant of the Koobface worm is running wild on the site, installing malware on the computers of victims who click on a link to a fake YouTube video.The Koobface worm is dangerous. It can be dropped by other malware and downloaded unknowingly by a user when visiting malicious Web sites, Trend Micro reports. When attackers execute the malware, it searches for cookies created by online social networks. The latest variant is targeting Facebook, but earlier variants have also plagued MySpace.Koobface’s Wicked AgendaOnce Koobface finds the social-networking cookies, it makes a DNS query to check IP addresses that correspond to remote domains. Trend Micro explains that those servers can send and receive information about the affected machine. Once connected, the malicious user can remotely perform commands on the victim’s machine.
“Once cookies related to the monitored social-networking Web sites are located, it connects to these Web sites using the user log-in session stored in the cookies. It then navigates through pages to search for the user’s friends. If a friend has been located, it sends an HTTP POST request to the server,” Trend Micro reports.
Ultimately, the worm’s agenda is to transform the victim’s computer into a zombie and form botnets for malicious purposes. Koobface attempts to do this by composing a message and sending it to the user’s friends. The message contains a link to a Web site where a copy of the worm can be downloaded by unsuspecting friends. And the cycle repeats itself.
Read up on how to protect yourself by accessing the rest of this article on Yahoo Tech.
– Very IMPORTANT UPDATE on March 11, 2009 –
by Bill Lindner on 20090311 @ 12:37AM ESTThe frightening Conficker worm is just getting bigger and meaner all the time. W32.Downadup.C, a third variant of the Conficker/Downadup worm, is reportedly being pushed out to systems that are already infected.Analysis of the third variant of the worm by Symantec is still in the early stages, but their initial research found a couple of new attributes — one of which includes targeting antivirus software and security tools with the intention of disabling them. (Source: symantec.com)
ARLINGTON, Va. — Sixty-four years ago on Feb. 23, 1 945, U.S. Marines stormed the sands of Iwo Jima and raised the American flag atop Mount Suribachi.
In honor of the 64th anniversary of that historic event, dozens of spectators and Marines, including nine individuals who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, gathered at the Marine Corps War Memorial today for a flag-raising ceremony.
One of the Iwo Jima veterans present at the event acted as a forward observer during the battle, calling for and guiding indirect artillery fire from the island.
“The [flag-raising] brings back so many memories,” said former Pfc. James Wheeler, a Falls Church, Va., native. “It gave me goose bumps all over to see that flag go up again.”
Wheeler also said Feb. 23 should be an important date everyone should remember because a lot of Marines sacrificed their lives for that victory.
Before the ceremony’s conclusion, the Iwo Jima veterans placed a wreath at the base of the memorial to pay homage to those who were killed during the battle.
The Marine Corps War Memorial was sculpted by Felix de Weldon, using the iconic flag-raising photograph shot by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. The memorial was officially dedicated Nov. 10, 1954, on the Corps’ birthday by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“This war memorial is a reflection of all Marine sacrifices. Not just the Marines who fought at Iwo Jima, but Marines who fought years before that, years after that and today,” said Michael Kessler, national executive director for the Young Marines National Headquarters and a retired Marine colonel.
Daily Reflection and Prayer
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
Sorrow for Those Who Do Not Know Christ
READ Romans 9:1-5
My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ! —if that would save them. [Romans 9:2-3]
The transition from Romans 8 to Romans 9 is a sharp and surprising one. Paul has just affirmed the incredible good news of God’s love for us, a love that will never be taken away from us. But then he changes gears dramatically, admitting “My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief.” Why? Because so many of his Jewish brothers and sisters have not recognized what God has done in Jesus Christ. God’s own “adopted children” (v. 4), those who had received his manifold gifts as his chosen people, did not see in Jesus the fulfillment of God’s plan for them. And this fills Paul’s heart with grief because he cares so deeply for his fellow Jews.
As we make our way through Romans 9-11, we’ll reflect further on the playing out of God’s faithfulness to the Jews. For now I want to focus on Paul’s grief for those who don’t know Christ. This anguish comes, in part, from Paul’s compassion for the Jewish people. It also stems from his experience of God’s love in Christ, that which is, for Paul, the most wonderful thing in all creation. Thus Paul aches because he wants those he loves so much to know the inestimable love of God in Christ.
Many of us know this sort of sorrow. It comes when dear friends or family members don’t know the love of God in Christ. Because we love them so much, we want them to experience the wondrous love of God. I have spent many times as a pastor with parents weeping over their children who aren’t Christians, or with husbands aching because their wives don’t know Christ. Paul’s example suggests that this kind of sorrow is not to be neglected. Rather, it moves us to be faithful in praying that those we love will come to know the Lord. It also encourages us to be a channel of God’s love to others, so that they might be drawn to Christ through us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are there people in your life for whom you have sorrow because they are far from the Lord? What do you do with this sorrow?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, when we experience the joy of knowing you, we want others to feel that same joy. When we delight in the assurance of our salvation, we want those we love to have this same confidence. Thus when our loved ones do not recognize you, our hearts are heavy. Like Paul, we are filled with sorrow, wanting so very much for those we love to know your all-surpassing love for themselves.
I expect, Lord, that our sorrow is like your own sorrow in some small way. You created us to be in relationship with you, to know your love and live our lives in service to you. But we have wandered far away from your love. And so many have never returned, like the Prodigal Son, to your forgiving embrace. So as we feel sorrow for those who don’t know you, we are sharing a bit of your heart.
May this sorrow not leave us until those we love come to know you. Instead, may it motivate us to prayer and to living in a way that your love is evident in us. O Lord, may those in our lives who don’t know you see your grace in us. May they be drawn to you. Reach out to them, dear Lord, even today. Amen.
Shocked Obama Considering Bringing 9/11 Mastermind to the U.S.
I’m Lorraine Arias-Beliveau, and my wonderful brother, Adam Arias, was taken from us in the horrendous attack on the World Trade Center by murderous Islamic terrorists.
On the morning of September 11th, I was driving to the dentist’s office in New York City when I saw the shadow of a plane pass over very quickly. It was flying dangerously low and was extremely loud. It wasn’t but a few minutes later that I heard through the radio that the first World Trade Center tower had been hit.
Later, sitting in the dentist’s chair, I heard over the radio about the second tower being hit. I had that terrible feeling because my brother worked in that building! The phone lines were down, I could not call anyone, so I drove to my parent’s house a few blocks away to tell them not to go out.
I heard later that Adam had been seen running all over his office urging and pleading his co-workers to get out of the building and get as far away as possible. Our other brother, Lt. Col Don Arias who worked for the Air Force, had called Adam, VP of Operations for Euro Brokers on the 84th floor, and told him “get out, it is a hijacking!”
There were reports that he even forced some people out to safety, and many people today credit Adam with saving their lives. Reports say he was last seen outside the towers helping the firefighters leading people to safety. Adam stayed to the very last minute, trying to get as many people out as he could, but he did not make it away from the towers before they collapsed. We were notified on the 8th day that Adam’s remains had been found.
Our family has been waiting for seven years to get justice for our little brother Adam. When our family was invited down to Gitmo late last year to attend the trial of the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, we thought justice would come soon. What we saw was heartbreaking; it was like a circus! There he was, this monster who engineered the murder of my brother, and he was so smug, laughing at us, boasting about his terrible actions.
We were then startled earlier this year to learn that President Obama had called all the trials to halt, and issued an order to close Guantanamo Bay. Honestly I cannot think of a worse way to honor Adam and bring justice to his killers. They do not deserve to leave Gitmo; they do not deserve a trial in our federal court system. And, they sure don’t deserve the constitutional rights that will enable them to escape prosecution.
Too many Americans are unaware of the important role Guantanamo Bay plays in not only holding these murderous terrorists, but also providing a source of new intelligence to help our military men and women win the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That is why Move America Forward has prepared a TV advertisement to awaken people to the issues involved with bringing these terrorists into the United States. But, we need your financial support if we are going to get the TV spot on the air.
Please Make a Contribution here, so Move America Forward can run this AD on TV.
Thomas Jefferson could be called a prophet.
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe .
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
Very Interesting Quote
In light of the present financial crisis, it’s interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802 :
‘I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
“The essential principles of our Government… form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.” –1st Inaugural Address, 1801.
Hat tip to a dear lady in Arizona.
Daily Reflection and Prayer
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
God Is on Your Side
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? [Romans 8:31]
It’s hard to imagine better news than this: God is for us! This means God is on your side. God is there to help you when you need it. God is cheering you on. God is in your corner. God has your back. Now that’s great news, don’t you think?
The rhetoric of Romans 8:31 doesn’t mean that we literally have no enemies. At times, people will oppose us. More profoundly, in this life, we are in a spiritual battle with sin and the powers of darkness. So, yes, there are forces that are against us. But, when we consider the fact that God is on our side, the power of our enemies shrinks in comparison. We have no need to fear because the very Creator of the universe is backing us up. Thanks be to God!
Of course, the fact that God is for us does not mean that he blesses everything we choose to do. God is not some blind force that we yield for our purposes. Rather, the Almighty seeks our very best. When we get off the right path, the God who is for us doesn’t send us on our merry way. Rather, he leads us back to the right way.
When I try to understand God being for me, I think of how I feel about and am committed to my own children. I want the best for them. I cheer them on. When they go astray, I yearn to get them back on the straight and narrow. When they suffer, my heart breaks. I would give anything for my children to flourish in this life.
So it is with God, my Heavenly Father, only so much more. God is for me—and you—in the most exquisite way. This great news gives us confidence to live boldly for him each day.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you think of God as being on your side? Or do you think of God as being against you? How might the truth that God is for you transform your life?
PRAYER: O Lord, I’ve read Romans 8:31 a hundred times. Maybe five hundred. Yet whenever I stop and think about what it says, I am blown away. Not only are you “for” humanity in general, but y ou are also “for” me. You are on my side. My side! What a wonder! It’s amazing enough that you even think about me, that I matter to you. But the fact that you are for me in a profound way is truly astounding.
When I face opposition, may I have confidence in the fact that you are on my side. May I turn to you for wisdom, for direction, for encouragement, for safety. Help me, Lord, not to be afraid, but to trust in you each and every day.
Gracious God, even as you are for me, I pray that I might be for you. May I live my life for your purposes and glory. May I seek to honor you in all that I do, at work and at play, at home and at church, in my private life and public life. In the name of Jesus, who proves that you are for me, Amen.
Love Enough To Let Go
In the message “Their Field of Pigs” we considered the parable of the prodigal son and were encouraged to remember that God will use every tool available (even pigs) to draw His children Home. Our highest desire for our children must be to see them secure in the arms of God. Notice that in this parable there’s no mention of the father between the time the son left and when he returned home. The father appears to have watched his son leave and then simply waited for his return.
The father must have known of his son’s condition while away; “this son of mine was dead and is alive again” (Luke 15:24). There must have been many reports of the son’s activities which were openly discussed with the rest of the family: “The older brother became angry…’this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home’” (Luke 15:28,30). And yet, while the son was away, the father never once stepped in to “rescue” him.
Was the father lazy and uncaring? Was this simply the product of a macho culture that didn’t show much emotion? Or rather, was this a father who truly knew how God’s grace could work a difficult situation toward a wonderful good?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
We often reference this passage during times of personal trial. These verses encourage us to understand the purpose of our difficult times and to trust God so fully that we actually rejoice because we know He is using our trials to make us complete.
Many of us understand and at least try to apply these verses in our own life. But it’s an additional step of faith (a very big step) to trust and apply these verses in the life of others – especially those we dearly love. If we are to rejoice in our own trials because of the good being worked within us, there is also a sense in which we should rejoice in the trials of others.
As painful as it must have been, the father allowed God to complete His work – even though it meant his son would actually long to eat with the pigs! And yes, this father loved his son.
When someone we love goes astray, let’s continue to lift them up in prayer – always let them know they are loved and continually speak a gentle message of truth. Let’s NEVER give up hope, but let’s allow God to finish the glorious work He’s begun. Let’s trust Him above ALL else and love enough to let go.
Daily Reflection and Prayer
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
God Works All Things Together for Good
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. [Romans 8:28]
—I grew up hearing Romans 8:28 in the King James Version, which proclaimed: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” This translation, though possible in Greek, made “all things” the subject of “work together for good,” as if the world was somehow endowed with the ability to make sure that good prevailed over evil.
The New Living Translation, along with many contemporary biblical translations, chooses another possible rendering of the Greek, making God the specific actor of the sentence. Rather than having all things work out for good, in this version “God causes everything to work together for good.” Surely this captures the fundamental message of Romans 8:28, no matter how you translate the original Greek.
In this fallen world, good and evil are mixed together like flowers and weeds in a wild garden. We all experience both blessing and suffering. Sometimes it’s hard to make sense of the bad that happens in our lives, especially when it is laced with injustice. But God, in his providence, is able to weave all things in life together into a tapestry. When we finally look upon the finished product of our life, we’ll see the beautiful picture God has been weaving.
In the meanwhile, when bad things happen in our lives, we hold on to the promise that God will use them for good, not just his good, but our good, if we love him and are part of his sovereign purpose. Thus we can endure the hard times, confident that God is using them for the best. Our task is to be faithful to God, letting the difficulties of life be part of God’s work in and through us. Thus, as Howard Butt Jr., has said, we will learn to be “good stewards of pain.”
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you experienced hard things in life, things that you later understood to be part of God’s good work in your life? What helps you to trust God when things in your life aren’t going as you had hoped?
PRAYER: Gracious God, how glad I am that you cause everything to work together for good in my life. As I look back upon hard times—and they were really hard—I can see how you were at work through them. You are not the author of evil, Lord. You never do what’s wrong. Yet you can use even wrongdoing in your sovereign plan. How marvelous!
When I experience hard times, help me, Lord, to have confidence in you. Help me to wait faithfully, trusting that you are working all things together for good. Amen.
Hat tip to the High Calling website http://www.TheHighCalling.org
Alert to all my readers because knowledge is power.
This bug is what one would call a very sophisticated, smart virus. Read on.
From Infopackets Newsletter:
by Bill Lindner
Filed Under: Security
A new strain of malware that can spread rapidly from machine to machine
using a variety of infection techniques, including the poisoning of web
servers which then go on to contaminate visitors, has reportedly been
identified by Security Researchers. (Source: theregister.co.uk) The
malware, dubbed VIRUX by security researchers at Trend Micro, is spreading
around the globe, but seems to be …… Click to read the rest of the article (and our most recent articles)
Do you suffer from *paraskavedekatriaphobia?*
Yes, that’s really a word! It is “the fear of Friday 13th” — a fateful date which has come round once again!
So there you have it, your Word of the Day!!!