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  • The Scriptorium

    7/20/2006

    Middle East Hostilities May Cancel Homosexual ‘WorldPride’ in Jerusalem

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 4:16 pm

    Awwwwww. That’s too bad. Coincidence? I doubt it.

    The sudden outbreak of new violence in the Middle East may have the unexpected effect of cancelling the week-long homosexual extravaganza WorldPride in Jerusalem, scheduled for August 6 to 12.

    An outcry went up from religious groups and faith communities around the world when Jerusalem was named by organizers as the city of choice for the next WorldPride event. The choice of Jerusalem was seen by many as a flagrant taunting of religious groups opposed to homosexuality, as was the choice of Rome for WorldPride 2000.

    The gay pride event was originally scheduled to be held last year in Jerusalem, which led to concerted efforts by religious leaders in the country to block the homosexual celebration from taking place. Organizers eventually decided to postpone the event, citing upheaval due to the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip.

    Religious leaders from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities within Israel have been working together to prevent the event from taking place in the holy city—earlier in the month Jerusalem police officials finally conceded that the event would “likely” be moved to Tel Aviv. The decision was not finalized, but the police said in a statement to the press, “Tel Aviv is more used to such events, and therefore it should take place there also this time.”

    Bush worried about border-hopping terrorists

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 3:57 pm

    While I agree that Bush has finally started to take the border situation seriously, I still don’t believe it’s enough. Illegals are still crossing the border in droves, and the National Guard should be out there doing what the Minute Men proved could be done, instead of filling desk jobs and covering for border agents who’ve never been able to control the borders. It only takes one terrorist to blow up a market or a school.

    Presidential press secretary Tony Snow today defended his boss’ level of commitment to border security, saying President Bush is “cognizant” of the fact terrorists may be entering the U.S. illegally.

    “The president has made his views on border security well-known,” WND told the spokesman, “and my question: Would the president make border security a higher priority if he were convinced it was being used as an entry point by terrorists like those who are part of Hezbollah and al-Qaida?”

    WND Exclusive WND AT THE WHITE HOUSE
    Bush worried about border-hopping terrorists
    Tony Snow says president ‘already very concerned about it’
    Posted: July 20, 2006
    3:00 p.m. Eastern

    By Les Kinsolving
    © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

    Presidential press secretary Tony Snow today defended his boss’ level of commitment to border security, saying President Bush is “cognizant” of the fact terrorists may be entering the U.S. illegally.

    “The president has made his views on border security well-known,” WND told the spokesman, “and my question: Would the president make border security a higher priority if he were convinced it was being used as an entry point by terrorists like those who are part of Hezbollah and al-Qaida?”

    Responded Snow: “Think of it this way. The president committed as much money to the borders already as the House of Representatives was planning on doing in five years. So, he was serious before – he’s perfectly cognizant of the possibility there may be terrorists crossing over. We have intelligence assets deployed in the area, and so he’s not going to be anymore concerned because he’s already very concerned about it.”

    Yesterday, Snow indicated the president “is already putting National Guardsmen in positions where they can relieve the Border Patrol” – part of a $1.9 billion supplemental appropriation.

    Israel Hints at a Full-Scale Invasion

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 1:50 pm

    Fighting continues in the Middle East, but we can all rest easy. Kofi Annan of the “do nothing” U.N. has the answer.

    Israeli troops met fierce resistance from Hezbollah guerrillas Thursday as they crossed into Lebanon to seek tunnels and weapons for a second straight day, and Israel hinted at a full-scale invasion. Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Security Council that “hostilities must stop” between Israel and Hezbollah.

    That’ll work! I’m sure terrorists everywhere are pondering Kofi’s words, and considering putting down their rockets, missiles, and suicide belts to live peacefully with the Jews.

    Israeli pilots have told local news stations that they’ve already dealt Hizbellah a critical blow in preperation for a possible ground invasion. Most interesting, is the support Israel is getting for this kind of attack. Even some of the Arab countries, who fear this war could backfire and ruin their chances to nuke Israel later, are giving Israel a green light to fight back.

    If anything good can come from this clear example of why we’re fighting a war on terrorism, maybe it will wake up the Israeli government, and they’ll stop handing over more Jewish lands to terrorists.

    Israeli warplanes also launched new airstrikes on Beirut’s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, shortly after daybreak, followed by strikes in the guerrillas’ heartland in the south and eastern Bekaa Valley.

    The strikes followed bombings Wednesday that killed as many as 70 people, according to Lebanese television, making it the deadliest day since the fighting began July 12.

    Of course, Kofi never misses a chance to condemn Israel. As the media tosses around the idea of charging Israel with war crimes (terrorist attacks don’t count as war crimes), Kofi condemned Israel for using excessive force. I guess they should be more gentle and understanding with the animals launching rockets at innocent civilians in Israel.

    Annan also condemned Israel’s “excessive use of force” against Lebanon.

    “There are serious obstacles to reaching a cease-fire or even to diminishing the violence quickly,” Annan said.

    He added that the fighting had triggered a humanitarian crisis.

    Russia sharply criticized Israel over its onslaught against Lebanon, now in its ninth day, sparked when Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Israel’s actions have gone “far beyond the boundaries of an anti-terrorist operation” and repeating calls for an immediate cease-fire.

    Good grief!

    Two students indicted for jihad

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 1:21 pm

    We’re seeing more and more arrests and indictments like this, and it makes me wonder how long it will be before we’re suffering the same attacks and suicide bombings the Israeli’s have been dealing with for years. Probably, not long. Somehow, I don’t think our government will exercise the same level of restraint we expect from Israel though.

    A federal grand jury indicted two U.S. citizens on Wednesday on charges of plotting “violent jihad” and undergoing paramilitary training in northwest Georgia to prepare themselves for terrorist acts.

    Syed Haris Ahmed, 21, born in Pakistan and a student at Georgia Tech, was arrested in March. Wednesday’s charges superseded an earlier indictment against him, adding three counts of material support of terrorism and a foreign terrorist organization.

    FBI officials in April arrested Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, born in 1986 in Bangladesh. He was also added to the indictment.

    Both men developed contacts with other supporters of jihad, traveling to Toronto, Canada, and made video clips of “potential terrorist targets” in Washington including the Capitol building, the indictment said.

    “Ahmed, Sadequee and another person known to the Grand Jury engaged in physical and rudimentary paramilitary training including activities with paintball guns in northwestern Georgia,” said the indictment filed at Atlanta district court.

    It said Ahmed traveled to Pakistan to get paramilitary and religious training with the aim of fighting in
    Kashmir, while Sadequee went to Bangladesh in part to support jihad.

    The case is one of several in which U.S. justice officials have prosecuted suspects whose alleged plots were in their very early stages.

    7/18/2006

    More on the War in the Middle East

    Here are some of the headlines I’ve seen this morning concerning the war in the Middle East.

    Blair in push for peace in Middle East
    Big power diplomacy to stop the fighting in Lebanon ground into gear yesterday as Britain and other European states pushed hard for the deployment of an international intervention force on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

    Arab world fed up with Hizbullah
    With the exception of the Palestinians, the Arab world appears to be united in blaming Iran and Syria for the fighting in Lebanon. Until last week, Arab political analysts and government officials were reluctant to criticize Hizbullah in public. But now that Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and his top aides are in hiding, an anti-Hizbullah coalition is emerging not only in Lebanon, but in several other Arab countries as well.

    Diplomacy Gains Traction in Mideast Crisis
    BEIRUT, Lebanon — Diplomatic efforts to end Israeli-Hezbollah fighting gained traction Monday, with Israeli officials saying they would agree to halt fighting if their two captured soldiers were returned and Islamic guerrillas withdrew from the border.

    New York Jews rally in support of Israel
    Thousands of American Jews clogged the streets leading to the United Nations building here in a massive show of support for Israel on Monday afternoon. The turnout was particularly impressive for a weekday and one of the hottest so far this summer.

    Americans, Europeans Begin to Evacuate Lebanon Amid Mideast Conflict
    Lebanon — Westerners fled by land, sea and air as Israel launched three waves of bombings on southern Beirut and on a Lebanese army base in the early hours Tuesday.

    Congress Considers Resolutions Supporting Israel
    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are preparing to vote this week on resolutions backing Israel and condemning Hezbollah, which last week kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, sparking violence across the Israel-Lebanon border.

    Iran parliament speaker: No part of Israel safe
    Iran’s parliament speaker warned Tuesday that no part of Israel is safe during Hizbullah’s battle with Lebanon – a statement made despite Iran’s claim that it is not aiding the guerrillas in their fight.

    7/17/2006

    War in the Middle East Update

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 4:40 am

    Here are more headlines and links concerning the war in the Middle East.

    Hezbollah Rockets Hit Nazareth
    By Sher Zieve – Hezbollah rockets are reported to have struck upper Nazareth, Sunday night. Reports are that the attacks also hit 5 other close by towns.

    Israel strikes back after Haifa attacked
    BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) — The Israeli military and Hezbollah traded deadly attacks for a fifth straight day on Sunday, with the Lebanon-based militants striking Haifa and other towns deeper inside Israel.

    U.S. Evacuation Teams Arrive in Lebanon
    U.S. security teams landed at the American embassy just outside Beirut on Sunday to plan the evacuation of some of the estimated 25,000 U.S. citizens living in war-torn Lebanon.
    Witnesses said two helicopters flew in from over the Mediterranean and landed on the embassy grounds, located on a fortified hilltop in the north Beirut suburb of Aukar.
    “The arrival of the teams is an important first step in facilitating the safe departure of Americans who want to leave Lebanon,” the embassy said in a statement.

    Rockets hit Haifa, Tiberias, Safed, Karmiel, Acre
    A barrage of rockets fired from Lebanon hit the Haifa region Monday afternoon.
    A rocket hit a building in Haifa causing it to collapse. Two people were evacuated by medical personnel and others have been trapped beneath the rubble.
    Two of the rockets landed before the city’s warning siren was sounded.
    Rockets landed in Tiberias and adjacent Lake Kinneret beaches, Acre and Safed as well. In addition, rockets were fired for the first time on communities in the southern Golan Heights.

    Hezbollah Appears in Control of Lebanon
    Hezbollah and its backers, not the government, now appear in control of Lebanon’s fate.
    After moderating their stance in recent years, the guerrillas surged back to the war front with a surprise attack on Israel and a sophisticated arsenal, leaving Lebanon’s politicians and army looking nearly powerless. The government seems paralyzed over how to deal with Hezbollah, whose Shiite Muslim fighters have had near autonomy in the south for more than a decade.

    Syria vows to respond directly to any Israel strike
    Syria has warned it would respond directly and by all means necessary to any Israeli attack on its territory, in its first official reaction to Israel’s offensive on neighbouring Lebanon.
    The warning Sunday coincided with a similar threat by Damascus’s key ally Iran, and came amid rising fears that the Middle East is being dragged deeper into the spiralling conflict sparked by the capture of Israeli soldiers by militants linked to Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Iran heaps praise on Hezbollah fight against ‘tumour’ Israel
    TEHRAN (AFP) -Iran has rallied behind allies Hezbollah and Syria, praising the Lebanese Shiite militant movement’s battle against “infected tumour” Israel and warning the Jewish state against widening the conflict.

    Ground troops enter southern Lebanon
    A government spokesman said Monday afternoon that IDF ground forces have entered southern Lebanon to attack Hizbullah bases along the border in order to push the terrorist group out of rocket-firing range.
    In addition, the IDF has denied Lebanese news reports that an Israeli F-16 jet was downed near Beirut. Virtually all Lebanese news agencies were showing unclear video footage of what was claimed to be the downed jet.

    7/14/2006

    Iran warns Israel of ‘fierce response’

    Filed under: — Steve @ 10:01 am

    Things could escalate rapidly in the Middle East.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today an Israeli strike on Syria would be considered an attack on the whole Islamic world that would bring a “fierce response,” Haaretz reports.
    “If the Zionist regime commits another stupid move and attacks Syria, this will be considered like attacking the whole Islamic world and this regime will receive a very fierce response,” Ahmadinejad was quoted by Iranian state television as saying in a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
    Israel has blamed Syria and Iran for the Hezbollah rocket attacks on towns and cities in northern Israel. In recent weeks, Israel has buzzed the palace of Assad with fighter-bombers as a warning against hostile actions.
    Ahmadinejad has called repeatedly for the destruction of Israel – or for moving the Jewish state to Europe. Iran is believed to be developing a nuclear weapons program and has long-range missiles capable of striking the Jewish state.
    Hezbollah rockets today rained down on northern Israeli towns as the Jewish state’s warplanes carried out strategic strikes against the Hezbollah’s infrastructure and the Beirut International Airport. A total air and sea closure was imposed over Lebanon.
    Hezbollah threatened to use longer range rockets against the major northern port city of Haifa, in which case military officials tell WND Israel would likely launch a major ground invasion inside Lebanon.
    The fighting today was instigated by a well-orchestrated Hezbollah attack against Israel’s northern border yesterday in which two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and three others were killed.

    Original Link.

    7/13/2006

    North Korea walks out of talks, South freezes aid

    Filed under: — Steve @ 4:16 am

    And more problems from North Korea.

    PUSAN, South Korea (Reuters) – North Korea stormed out of talks with South Korea on Thursday and Seoul froze food aid to its impoverished neighbor, as regional fissures over how to deal with Pyongyang’s missile tests widened.
    Pyongyang also appeared to have stood up to its closest ally, Beijing, which has sent a “friendship delegation” to North Korea.
    “So far they don’t seem to be interested in listening, much less doing anything,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters in Beijing. “I think the Chinese are as baffled as we are.”

    Original Link.

    War in the Middle East

    Filed under: — Steve @ 4:11 am

    Here are the latest headlines concerning the developments in the Middle East.

    US says Israel has right to defend itself
    ROSTOCK, Germany (Reuters) – The United States, reacting to escalating violence between
    Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, on Thursday urged restraint on both sides but said Israel had a right to defend itself.
    In a widening of reprisals after Hizbollah guerrillas captured two soldiers in a border clash, Israel aircraft attacked Beirut airport and blockaded Lebanese ports.
    “We are urging restraint on both sides, recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself,” a U.S. administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Lebanon braces as Israel responds to attack
    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon braced for spiraling violence on Thursday a day after Israel vowed a severe response to Hizbollah attacks in which two Israeli soldiers were captured and eight killed by the Syrian-backed group.
    A statement issued by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s cabinet after an emergency meeting on Wednesday night said that Israel held the Lebanese government responsible for the attacks and for the safe return of the seized soldiers.
    But it offered no details about what type of action would be taken.
    Hizbollah’s bold attack drew Olmert into a second crisis over captured soldiers. Israel is engaged in a military offensive in the Gaza Strip after Palestinian militants captured a soldier on June 25.
    Israeli aircraft attacked the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Gaza City on Thursday, causing a fire in the building, witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
    Israel killed at least 23 Palestinians in Gaza on Wednesday, including nine members of one family in an air strike that destroyed a house where the army said senior Hamas commanders were meeting.
    Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the soldiers had been seized to force Israel to release prisoners, but Israel state says the attack was an act of war and that it would not swap prisoners.
    “You don’t negotiate with terror organizations,” Gideon Meir, senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official, told Reuters.

    Syrian VP blames Israel for escalation amid worry over Israeli retaliation
    Syria’s vice president blamed Israel for the escalating violence in Lebanon and Palestinian territories Wednesday, and Arab countries worried over possible Israeli retaliation against Syria after the capture of two Israeli soldiers by its ally, Hezbollah.

    Ahmadinejad: World will soon witness the demise of Israel
    Tehran, Iran, Jul. 12 – Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that the world will soon witness the demise of Israel, the government-run news agency Fars reported.
    “In the near future we will witness the rapid collapse of the Zionist regime”, Ahmadinejad told a crowd in the north-western city of Jolfa.
    “The nations of the region will record the names of states that support the Zionist regime alongside the Zionist’s crimes”, he added.
    Ahmadinejad caused an international furore last year when he publicly declared that the Holocaust was a “myth” and said that Israel must be “wiped off the map”.

    7/11/2006

    Satellite photos detect activity at North Korea missile bases

    Filed under: — Steve @ 4:03 am

    Well, as most of us suspected, the North Korean governement isn’t going to stop being crazy and is preparing to carry out more missle test. And on top of this, China has introduced a non-binding resolution at the U.N. against North Korea. A binding U.N. resolution doesn’t carry any teeth, so I guess a non-binding one isn’t even worth the paper it’s written on.

    TOKYO (AFP) – North Korea could be preparing for new launches of mid-range missiles following last week’s tests, with activity detected at its bases, a report has said citing Japanese government sources.
    US and Japanese satellite photos show that mid-range Rodong missiles had been set up on launch pads at a base in southeastern North Korea, but were later removed, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported.
    Fuel tanks could be seen near the launch pads, the report said.
    The report said the satellite photos were taken after last week’s tests of seven missiles, but did not give a specific date.
    “We think North Korea can launch missiles whenever it wishes,” the top-selling daily quoted a government source as saying.
    Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso on Sunday suggested Tokyo would have the right to launch a pre-emptive strike to protect its citizens from a missile launch by Pyongyang.
    He said there were “visible signs” of activity at a North Korean missile base from which North Korea launched a Rodong missile last week.
    Japan submitted a draft binding resolution in the United Nations Security Council that would impose sanctions on North Korea over the missile tests.
    But on Monday, the Security Council put off a vote on the resolution to allow more time for Chinese diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis.

    Original Link.

    Illegal Immigration Bills Passed in Colorado

    Filed under: — Steve @ 3:54 am

    I hope the federal governments figures this illegal immigration thing out soon. The states are taking matters into their own hands in order to protect their citizens and legal immigrants.

    State lawmakers approved a measure late Monday that would force a million people receiving state or federal aid to verify their citizenship, part of a package of bills dealing with illegal immigration that Democrats called the toughest in the nation.
    The measure would deny most non-emergency state benefits to illegal immigrants 18 years old and older _ forcing people to prove legal residency when applying for benefits or renewing their eligibility. The measure passed the state Senate 22-13 and the House 48-15. Both are controlled by Democrats.
    “At the end of the day, everybody who serves in this building as senators or representatives knows we’re making Colorado history,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald. “We want to be able to look in the mirror and say we did legislation that is tough, enforceable and humane.”
    Republicans said the bill didn’t go far enough, and left glaring loopholes, including allowing benefits for minors and denying voters the chance to have a direct say on the issue.
    The bill would apply to Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, energy assistance programs and aging and adult services. Republican Gov. Bill Owens said an estimated 50,000 illegal immigrants could be thrown out of those programs.
    “It simply puts teeth into existing federal regulations,” Owens said.
    Sen. Dan Grossman was one of the four Democrats to vote against the measure.
    “I don’t think the poor people of the state of Colorado or businesses of the state of Colorado should have to pay because we want to play politics with immigration,” Grossman said.

    Original Link.

    7/6/2006

    Ben’s Dad has Passed Away

    Filed under: — Steve @ 3:41 am

    Jennifer Rast wrote to inform us that Ben’s dad passed away yesterday.

    Ben asked me to write all of you and let you know that his Dad passed
    away today. He was in good spirits this morning, and he had a good day
    with Ben’s mom. They watched “Cat Ballew” on TV and had some good
    laughs together. After lunch, at about 1:30, he laid down for a nap and
    died peacefully in his sleep. Ben wanted you to know that his Dad and
    Mom were very grateful for everyone’s prayers, as is the rest of the
    family. We’d appreciate continued prayer for the family and especially
    Ben’s Mom. You are all part of our family as brothers and sisters in
    Christ. Someday you’ll meet Don if you haven’t already, and we’ll get
    to see him again.

    Please join me in praying for God’s peace and comfort for Ben, Jennifer and all the rest of their family and friends.