Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
April thru June, 2018


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May 21, 2018

Gina Haspel, 7th Director of the CIA
Gina Haspel
Gina Haspel was sworn in this morning as the 7th Director of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  She is the first female to hold this position.

At the swearing-in ceremony, President Trump spoke many positive words of praise about Haspel.  He said, “no one in this country is better qualified” for the role.  He also said that the CIA is made up of the “most elite intelligence professionals on the planet.”

Prior to today, Haspel was the Deputy Director of the CIA for over a year.  She replaces Mike Pompeo, who now is the U.S. Secretary of State.  Pompeo held the Bible for Haspel, while Vice President Pence administered the oath of office.

In a speech to CIA members after being sworn in, Gina Haspel stated that, for her, the “CIA has been more than a career.  It has been for me, like many of you, a calling.”  She also said, “My years at CIA have rewarded me in ways that I could never have imagined; and I will continue to give it, and you, my all.”

Gina Haspel sworn in as CIA director


May 20, 2018

Pentecost, Shavuot, Feast of WeeksToday is the Christian celebration of Pentecost, exactly seven weeks following Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday).  At the first Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), Jesus’ disciples were filled, supernaturally, with the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and spoke in other “tongues.”  Other God-fearing Jews, who had gathered there from many other nations, heard these men declaring the wonders of God in their own languages (2:5,6,11).

The first Pentecost corresponded to the Jewish celebration of Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-22).  On this day, a firstfruits of the wheat harvest was offered to God.

In most years (with this year and next year being exceptions), most calendars usually list Shavuot a few days before Pentecost due to the way the fifty days are counted from Passover week, referred to as the “counting of the omer.”  I believe the fifty-day calculation is made erroneously by most, as explained in this email response:

On the day of Pentecost, Jews “from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5) had returned to Jerusalem (following the commandment of Deuteronomy 16:16), indicating that they already had been widely dispersed among the nations by that time.  Today, the dispersion is even greater.

After Pentecost, the apostles performed many wonders and miraculous signs (Acts 2:43).  They were the “firstfruits” of all who would receive many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Anyone who is filled by the Spirit of God can receive some of these gifts from God as well.  Each of us is nothing, but God can make something out of nothing with the Power of His Holy Spirit.


May 19, 2018

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle were married today in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.  In attendance were Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Harry’s brother and best man Prince William and his wife Kate, and Harry’s dad, Prince Charles, who walked Meghan down the aisle.  Meghan now is the Duchess of Sussex.

Meghan was born in Los Angeles, CA, to a white father and an African-American mother.  She became the first mixed-race member of the royal family.

Elton John—who sang Candle in the Wind 1997 at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales—performed at the lunchtime reception hosted by the Queen.  It was a poignant nod to Harry’s late mother.

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         
2½-minute slideshow

Below is a video of the entire ceremony, including the wedding and the carriage procession through Windsor.  Meghan Markle enters St. George’s Chapel at the 17:00 point in the video.


At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell and Pastor Billy Crone of Get a Life Ministries in Pahrump, NV.  He is the author of UFO’s The Great Last Days Deception.

They talked about how “UFOlogy” is a new religion today with more people believing in aliens than in God.  They made the case that “alien visitations” are actually supernatural satanic/demonic entities having encounters with people.

It is quite possible that many unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are not coming from outer space.  Rather, they may be coming from “inner space” and another dimension.  Most assuredly, such sightings will increase as the end of the age approaches.

Satan is a “liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44) who masquerades as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).  The host of evil angelic beings do the same and will be eternally condemmed for doing so (Galatians 1:8).  Most likely, people are deceived into believing that these are extraterrestrials who have come to help humanity.

Markell and Crone also laid out the case that, when multitudes of people disappear at the Rapture event, those who are left behind may be told that aliens have removed the “bad people” (i.e., Bible-believing Christians).  Then those who are left—after “Mother Earth” undergoes a catastrophic period of “adjustment, realignment and cleansing”—will enter the ensuing “age of utopia.”  Unfortunately, for them, the opposite will be true.

The audio program, lasting 57 minutes, can be heard here:

Millions Missing: Who’s to Blame?: Audio

May 18, 2018

Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, TXThis was a very sad day in the USA.  Another horrible school shooting took place, this one in Santa Fe, TX, near Houston.  It was the deadliest public shooting since the school shooting in Parkland, FL, on Feb. 14 (see the Feb. 15 entry).

According to the latest reports, the 10 dead include eight students and two adults.  At least 10 have been hospitalized.

The 17-year-old suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was a student at the school.  He was wearing a Born To Kill t-shirt during the incident.  He is being charged with capital murder.

What we know so far about
the Santa Fe school shooting

May 16, 2018

Yanny or LaurelThis evening, I heard about something that was “going viral” on the internet.  Usually, such things don’t interest me, but I found this one kind of intriguing.

A simple audio, where a single word is said, is played over and over again.  Strangely, some people hear the word as “Laurel” but others hear it as “Yanny.”  You can read more about it here, as well as hear the audio:

Laurel or Yanny? This audio clip
is driving the internet crazy

I even heard about it on the news tonight.  Evidently, the actual word being spoken by an automated voice is Laurel.  However, if the pitch is changed, it can sound like Yanny.  It sounds like Laurel to me; but when the pitch was lowered, it sounded like Yanny.

For some people, though, their brains naturally hear things at a different pitch, or they do not hear the “l” sound very clearly.  So some of them hear Yanny, even when played at a normal pitch.  Also, some audio devices are not as clear and distinct as others, which can cause a difference in what is heard.

Go to YouTube and type in Yanny or Laurel at the top.  Then do a search.  You can watch some interesting videos of people hearing different things.  Some of them are pretty funny.  This video provides a good explanation:


May 15, 2018

For several weeks, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip had been planning for today to be the climax of protests and demonstrations at the Gaza/Israel border.  They had hoped to finally break through the border fence and take back land from Israel that they have claimed, for decades, is rightfully theirs.

Instead, relatively few Palestinians showed up at the border, although 2 were killed.  Many were attending the funerals of 60 who were killed yesterday, in large-scale clashes, by Israeli IDF soldiers protecting the border.  However, this most likely is not the end of the protests.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said that all the violence at the border fpr weels has had nothing to do with the anticipated opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, which happened yesterday.  Indeed, rulers of Hamas have been igniting violence against Israel for many years.

Haley to UN: 'No country would
act with more restraint than Israel'

The following page contains a detailed description of the protests on the Gaza/Israel border this year, beginning on Mar. 30:

2018 Gaza border protests

May 14, 2018

It has been a little over five months, on Dec. 6, 2017, that President Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.  At that time, he also announced that the U.S. Embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The embassy, which has been in Tel Aviv for decades, was moved to Jerusalem today.  This is the 70th Anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.  The dedication ceremony, which lasted over an hour, can be viewed here:

Also, as promised by Palestinians in Gaza, today would be a violent day at the Gaza/Israel border.  Tens of thousands of protesters gathered at the border fence—which they have been doing every Friday for several weeks—with the usual activity of burning tires and tossing stones and other burning objects over the fence.

Dozens of Palestinians were killed.  More violence is expected tomorrow, May 15, which Palestinians refer to as “Nakba Day” or the “Day of Catastrophe.”

Dozens of Palestinians dead in border clashes
with Israel as embassy opens in Jerusalem

May 13, 2018

For all of you moms out there:  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, and God bless you for doing all the great and wonderful things that you do for your families. 

       
15-second slideshow

My mom is in heaven, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing her again one day.  There could not have been a better mom for me than the one I had.


May 11, 2018

Protester slinging stonesDemonstrators are protesting for the last Friday of a six-week protest at the Gaza/Israel border.  As before, they have burned tires, hurled rocks and flown flaming kites over the border.  This is three days ahead of the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Israel has been criticized by human rights groups for its lethal response to the protests.  The Israeli military said on Friday that its troops were defending the border and “firing in accordance with the rules of engagement.”  Israel’s military “will not allow any harm to the security infrastructure or security fence and will continue standing by its mission to defend and ensure the security of the citizens of Israel and Israeli sovereignty, as necessary.”

Organizers of the protest, called the “Great March of Return,” said they expect tens of thousands of Gazans to gather at tented border encampments in the coming days.  They claim that the protests are building to a climax on May 15, the day Palestinians call “Nakba Day” or the “Day of Catastrophe,” marking the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the conflict surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.

Gazans rally near Israel border
in blockade-busting campaign

May 10, 2018

Passionate protesters nears Gaza/Israel borderYahya Sinwar is the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.  He was chosen for this position by Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement in February 2017.

In a major briefing to international media, Sinwar has indicated that he would like to see many thousands of Palestinians break through the Gaza border fence into Israel when the U.S. embassy moves from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  “What’s the problem with hundreds of thousands breaking through a fence that is not a border?” Sinwar queried.

The U.S. embassy transfer ceremony is slated for Monday, May 14, which is the 70th anniversary of Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.  Hamas leader Sinwar hopes to see massive protests on May 14 and 15.

Sinwar said, “The Gaza Strip is like a hungry tiger that has been starved and left in a cage for 11 years.  Now the tiger is loose, and nobody knows what it will do.”

Hamas leader hopes to see hundreds
of thousands storm Israel-Gaza fence

May 9, 2018

Israeli missiles hit air defense position and other military bases in Damascus, SyriaTonight, a few minutes after midnight Israeli time, Iranian forces based in Syria fired 20 rockets at Israeli front-line military positions in the Golan Heights.  The attack triggered a heavy Israeli reprisal, escalating already heightened tensions in what is some of the most serious violence in years.

The Israeli military said its Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted some of the incoming projectiles, while others caused only minimal damage.  There were no Israeli casualties, but there was some damage to Israeli military bases.

Israel has been on heightened alert in recent days.  It has been anticipating an Iranian attack following Iranian vows to retaliate to what it says are recent Israeli strikes in Syria targeting Iranian outposts.

IDF: Iranian forces fire 20 rockets
at Israel; Iron Dome intercepts some

May 8, 2018

President Trump announced today that the U.S. will be withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal with Iran ratified on July 14, 2015.  Trump blasted the deal as being “defective at its core.”

The agreement, reached in Vienna, was between Iran and the six nations of China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and Germany.  Under the deal, the United States committed to ease a series of sanctions on Iran and has done so under a string of “waivers” that effectively suspend them.

However, in his remarks today, Trump said that the United States would impose the “highest-level” of economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.  A waiver, due for renewal on May 12, covers sanctions on Iran’s central bank, intended to target its oil exports.  Failure to renew the waiver means that the sanctions will be restored.

What's next for Iran nuclear
deal after Trump ditches accord


May 7, 2018

Israeli minister Yuval Steinitz said today that Israel will “liquidate” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if Syria lets Iran use its territory to launch attacks on Israel.  Israel estimates that Iran has 70,000 fighters and more than 100,000 missiles and rockets in Syria.

Steinitz said, “Assad cannot sit calmly in his palace and rehabilitate his regime while letting Syria be turned into a base for attacks against the state of Israel.”  Furthermore, Israeli officials are concerned that Iran may seek revenge for Israeli strikes against Iranian air bases in Syria.

Israel threatens to 'liquidate' Assad
if Iran launches attacks from Syria

It is concerning that Steinitz’s remarks come soon after reports that Iran is planning a missile strike against Israel.  Israeli defense officials have warned that missiles may be fired at military targets in northern Israel in the near future.

Defense officials warn of impending
Iranian missile strike on northern Israel

May 6, 2018

This is the fourth day of the most recent big eruption of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The eruption was preceded by hundreds of small to medium earthquakes over several weeks.

Not long after the initial eruption, a major 6.9 earhquake rocked the island—the strongest quake to hit Hawaii since 1975.  Many more quakes have followed, as well as increased volcanic activity in surrounding areas.  The quakes reflect the volcano’s adjusting to subterranean shifting magma.

Lava has been spurting out of the ground from multiple new vents that have formed.  Some areas have experienced dangerous levels of sulfuric gas and spattering hot rock.

Many roads have been severely cracked and/or covered in lava.  At least 26 homes have been destroyed so far.

All residents of Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people near the Big Island’s eastern edge, and nearby Lanipuna Gardens have been ordered to evacuate.  The American Red Cross has opened two shelters at the Pahoa and Keaau Community Centers.

The last big eruption of Kilauea in 2014 lasted for several months.  Seismologists have no idea how long the present eruption may last, nor how much more seismic activity may take place.

       

       

       
38-second slideshow

May 5, 2018

I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had the time to prepare my huge stash of vitamins for 24 weeks (168 days).  I did 4 weeks’ worth on Apr. 7.  Today I organized a new supply for another 4 weeks.

I am taking the same vitamins and supplements as before.  However, I have added hyaluronic acid and manganese to my daily intake.

28 days of vitamins Individual vitamins

May 4, 2018

Tear gas comes down upon Palestinian protestors at Gaza/Israel border Tear gas comes down upon Palestinian protestors at Gaza/Israel border
For the sixth consecutive Friday, massive protests erupted along the Gaza/Israel border.  Countless Palestinian protesters burned tires and threw stones at Israel’s IDF soldiers nearby.

There were two attempts to break through the security fence and enter Israel from Gaza.  Both attempts were stopped by the IDF.

The Israel military confirmed that two IDF documentation drones were downed.  This incident is being investigated.

IDF confirms 2 downed drones
during today's Gaza border protests

May 3, 2018

       
15-second slideshow

Today, the first Thursday in May, is the National Day of Prayer.  It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and it was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.  Be a good prayer warrior and seek God’s grace, mercy, guidance and safety for your family, the place where you live, and the world as a whole.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)

O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you.  Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. (Isaiah 33:2)

President Trump and Vice President Pence acknowledged the National Day of Prayer during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.  Trump made the following statements about prayer:

Prayer, by which we affirm our dependence on God, has long been fundamental to our pursuit of freedom, peace, unity, and prosperity.  Prayer sustains us and brings us comfort, hope, peace, and strength.  Therefore, we must cherish our spiritual foundation and uphold our legacy of faith.
Later, Trump signed an executive order creating a new faith-based initiative.  This was an effort to continue the White House tradition that dates back to President Truman of proclaiming the National Day of Prayer.


Apr. 30, 2018

Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a prime-time address from Tel Aviv on Israeli TV.  He presented what appears to be evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Israel has been against the Iranian nuclear deal since its inception in 2015.  That deal was signed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and six other nations, including the U.S.

According to Netanyahu, “Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program.”  However, he revealed that one hundred thousand secret files prove that Iran did have such a program.  He added that “even after the deal, Iran continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons knowledge for future use.”

Netanyahu indicated that he had shared this intelligence with the United States.  Later, in a statement, the White House said, “This information provides new and compelling details about Iran’s efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons.  These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people.”

These are Netanyahu’s four main conclusions:

  • Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program.
  • Even after the deal, Iran continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons knowhow for future use.
  • Iran lied again in 2015 when it didn’t come to the IAEA as required by the nuclear deal.
  • The nuclear deal is based on lies.
Naturally, the Iranian government in Tehran called Netanyahu’s presentation “propaganda.”  Tehran has denied ever seeking nuclear weapons and accuses its arch-foe, Israel, of stirring up world suspicions against it.  Netanyahu was called “the boy who cried wolf.”  Personally, I feel that Netanyahu’s information is very plausible and credible.

Netanyahu says Iran 'brazenly lying'
after signing nuclear deal, moved
documents to a secret location

The following video is the 20-minute presentation by Benjamin Netanyahu.  If you watch it, skip to the 1:30 (1 minute 30 second) point to begin.



Begin video at 1:30 point.

Apr. 29, 2018

Central American migrants straddling U.S./Mexico border fence between San Diego and Tijuana Central American migrants straddling U.S./Mexico border fence between San Diego and Tijuana
A caravan of hundreds of Central American migrants has reached the U.S./Mexico border between San Diego and Tijuana.  Some of them climbed and straddled the border fence for hours today.

Most of the migrants are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.  Some already have met with American immigration lawyers, who organized workshops for them in Tijuana on how the asylum process works in the U.S.

Many asylum seekers say they are fleeing from the gang violence and dangers they face in their native Central American countries.  Migrants have been entering the country illegally by climbing the metal fence since Friday.

Caravan Migrants Mull Next
Move At U.S.-Mexico Border


Apr. 27, 2018

Hundreds of Palestinians waged another large-scale protest today along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.  Stones, flaming tires and molotov cocktails were flung toward the border.  They also tried to burn and rip through the fence with hooks and wire cutters, drawing heavy Israeli fire.

This was one of the most violent incidents yet in five weeks of protests.  The violence came shortly after a top U.N. official urged Israel to refrain from using excessive force against the protesters.

Three Palestinians were killed and dozens were reported wounded.  The Israeli military accused Gaza’s Hamas leaders of orchestrating a “serious and irregular” attack and said it would not tolerate similar activity in the future.

3 killed in 5th straight Friday
of clashes at Israel-Gaza border

       

       

       
38-second slideshow


Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in standing on either side of the border between North Korea and South Korea Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in hugging at their summit meeting in South Korea
In other news, for the first time since 1953, a member of the Kim dynasty of North Korea stepped across the border into South Korea.  North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un went to South Korea to have a summit meeting with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.  It was the first inter-Korean summit since 2007.

On TV, millions of South Koreans watched Kim—whom they have considered a dangerous, hostile neighbor for years—physically embrace their President Moon.  Kim talked, smiled, laughed and joked.  Most of the world, including South Koreans, never have seen any of that before.

Kim and Moon pledged at their summit today to work for the “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”  They also announced that they would work with the United States and China this year to declare an official end to the 1950s Korean War.

However, some U.S. officials and experts doubt Kim’s sincerity.  They see the recent North Korean diplomacy as a ploy to win relief from economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

Kim and President Trump are planning a summit meeting in late May or early June.  If that takes place, it will be interesting to see what happens.  I suspect there are many more skeptics than believers that anything good will result.  We’ll see.

North, South Korea agree on denuclearization
of peninsula after historic meeting


Apr. 26, 2018

Mike Pompeo, 70th Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo
Rick Grenell, Ambassador to Germany
Rick Grenell
Today, the U.S. Senate voted 57-42 to confirm Mike Pompeo as the 70th Secretary of State.  Before this, he had been the Director of the CIA.  The final day of the previous Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was March 31.

The Senate also voted 56-42 to confirm Rick Grenell as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany.  He previously had been a spokesman at the United Nations.

Mike Pompeo confirmed as secretary of
state; Senate OKs Germany ambassador


In other news, decades ago a burglar, rapist and murderer terrorized portions of northern, central and southern California.  From 1975 to 1986, this mysterious man committed numerous home burglaries, at least 45 rapes and 13 known murders.

Recently, DNA evidence that was examined at the Sacramento County crime lab.  Police linked the various killings and rapes together through DNA and other evidence.

DNA samples from some of the crimes were matched to DNA from online family trees.  Clues were linked to individuals in the family trees to identify potential suspects.

Last week, the DNA from Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 72, of Citrus Heights, CA, was obtained from something he had discarded.  After a second sample was obtained, it also was found to be a match.

This week, DeAngelo was arrested and jailed.  Currently, he is ineligible for bail.

After searching for more than
40 years, authorities say an
ex-cop is the Golden State Killer
    Joseph James DeAngelo:
5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
    Golden State Killer attacks:
map and full list

I remember some of the crimes of the Golden State Killer.  His first murder in So. CA (in Santa Barbara) was in 1979, the year I graduated from optometry school in Fullerton.  Four of his murders took place in Orange County in 1980, 1981 and 1986.

The murder in 1986—of teenager Janelle Cruz, 18—was a few miles from my home in Irvine.  I remember talking to a neighbor about it.  We were freaked out, since Irvine had a relatively low crime rate.

I totally am amazed how advanced DNA techniques were able to be used to nail this thug decades after his heinous crimes.  It’s a good example of how people’s past sins can catch up with them, many years or even decades later.


Apr. 23, 2018

Samaritan's Purse International ReliefI like the Samaritan’s Purse organization.  It’s President and CEO is Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham.

Some of their main activities include international crisis response and world medical mission.  There are many more helpful activities in which they engage to help people all over the world.

One never knows how much of one’s contributions to an organization go for what we want them to.  Samaritan’s purse is one organization what I trust for my money to go for what I designate it to go.

In one of their mailings, I received an interesting card called the Gospel Alphabet.  I like it a lot, so I am including the front and back of the card below.

The Gospel Alphabet A-M  The Gospel Alphabet A-M

Apr. 22, 2018

       
15-second slideshow

Today is “Earth Day.”  It was founded, in 1970, by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin).  In school at the time, I remember the first Earth Day well.  We had a big rally, and then we were released from classes early and encouraged to clean up the school grounds.  I picked up a few pieces of trash, threw them away, and went home.

Back then, “global cooling,” rather than “global warming,” was the concern.  Not only was Senator Nelson an environmentalist, he also believed that population growth was ultimately detrimental to the environment.  I recall how unsettling that view was to me, even back then.

No one rightfully can accuse me of being “environmentally unfriendly.”  I bet that I am much more conscious about saving energy, and about not polluting the environment, than most people.  For me, though, these things are a lifestyle; I am not out to “save the planet.”  Here are just a few things that I do, on a small scale, to be “good to the environment” and to leave behind only a small “carbon footprint”:

  • filling up my car with gas no more often than once a month;
  • turning up my water heater only before a shower or before washing clothes, and only by the amount necessary to “get the job done,” and then turning it back down to the lowest setting when the heater turns off;
  • turning on lights only in the room I am in at the time, and off as soon as I leave the room, causing the average standard light bulb where I live to need to be replaced every 5+ years (and never using compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, because they contain mercury, are hazardous, and are ridiculously difficult to clean up if broken;
  • taking my own bag(s) to put groceries in, or telling store cashiers and baggers to place as many items as possible in one bag, to reduce the number of bags that I take home;
  • reusing things such as plastic and paper bags, aluminum foil, and paper (making it into notepads);
  • taking several months to go through one tube of toothpaste, even though I brush my teeth twice a day (and have not had a new cavity for over 30 years); and
  • making a roll of toilet paper last a few weeks (which is not difficult if one eats healthfully).

I think anybody who knows me reasonably well could predict how I view “Earth Day.”  I feel that it has metastasized into a politically-correct monster.  I also think that too many people have placed “Mother Earth” at the center of their collective universes and made “her” their primary “goddess.”

Furthermore, I believe it is highly likely that human history—and the earth as we know it—will be radically changed, just before and after the return of Jesus Christ back to earth to rule and reign.  Soon thereafter, there no longer will be anything to be concerned about—environmentally, socially, financially, or economically.  Everything will be under the Lord’s direct control and management (Zechariah 14:9).

Just prior to Jesus’ return, there will be a colossal, supernatural destruction of much of the earth’s surface (look at just the first three Trumpet Judgments: Revelation 8:6-11).  This will render the present anxiety, apprehension, and hand-wringing about “long-term” environmental and global climate change (whether man-made or otherwise) to be pointless, if not senseless.


Apr. 21, 2018

Barbara Bush's funeral at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, TX Barbara Bush and daughter, Robin, greet each other in heaven
The funeral service of Barbara Bush took place today at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, TX.  She passed away peacefully on Apr. 17 with her family surrounding her.

Some 1,500 guests filled the church for the service.  Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush had been devoted members of this church for decades.

The former first lady was remembered as a loving wife, mother and friend with a “devilish” sense of humor.  She represented the best of the World War II generation. 

In his eulogy, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush described his “precious mother” as someone who “filled our lives with laughter and joy.”  He also said, “She was our teacher and role model on how to live a life of purpose and meaning.”

Following the service, a funeral procession brought Barbara Bush’s casket to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum near Texas A&M University in College Station for a private service.  She was buried there in a family plot next to her daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia at age of 3 in 1953.

Barbara Bush remembered for her
dignity and wit at Houston funeral

A very interesting photo was taken today.  It includes George H.W. Bush, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump.  Donald Trump was unable to attend the event.

George H.W. Bush, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump

Apr. 20, 2018

Dark smoke from burning tires at the Gaza/Israel border

Palestinian protesters fly a kite with a burning rag dangling from its tail to during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Friday, April 20, 2018. Activists use kites with burning rags dangling from their tails to set ablaze drying wheat fields on the Israeli side. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)
This is the fourth Friday in a row that thousands of Palestinians have waged a large-scale protest along the sealed border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.  Similar to a week ago, huge black plumes of smoke from burning tires engulfed the border area, and stones were slung toward the border fence.

Today, activists also flew kites with flaming rags dangling from their tails.  The fiery kites floated over the border fence, setting ablaze drying wheat fields on the Israeli side.

Israel’s military is sticking to its open-fire rules, despite international criticism of the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters.  Israel says it is defending its border and blames Hamas, which rules over Gaza Palestinians, for using protests as cover for the attacks.

The kites are part of a new tactic aimed at setting fields, on the Israeli side, on fire.  Most kites showed the colors of the Palestinian flag.  One white kite bore a Nazi swastika.

Gaza violence: Israeli fire in new
border protest kills 4 Palestinians

Apr. 18, 2018

Jennifer Riordan
Jennifer Riordan
Tammie Jo Shults
Tammie Jo Shults
A tragic accident occurred yesterday on a plane of my favorite airline, Southwest Airlines.  One person was killed and seven others were injured after a plane engine exploded in midair.

Flight 1380 was headed from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas' Love Field.  After the explosion, the plane made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport around 11:20 a.m.  The airliner had 144 passengers and five crew members aboard.

Shrapnel from the exploded engine smashed through a plane window.  Passenger Jennifer Riordan, 43, was partially sucked out of the window.  Flight attendants and other passengers were able to pull her back in, but she was unconscious and later died from her injuries.  This was the first fatality ever on a Southwest Airlines aircraft and the first fatality on any U.S. airline plane in over nine years.

The airplane’s pilot and former navy pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, was able to land the crippled plane safely at the airport in Philadelphia.  She rightfully is being considered a hero for doing this and successfully protecting the lives of everyone else on board.

Passenger killed in Southwest engine explosion
was partially sucked out of plane's broken window

Apr. 17, 2018

Former first lady Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush: 1925-2018
Former first lady Barbara Bush passed away today, at the age of 92, in Houston, TX.  She was the wife of 41st President, George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), who also was the 43rd Vice President (1981-1989).

Besides Abigail Adams (1744-1818), Barbara Bush was the only woman who was both the wife and mother of U.S. presidents.  Her son, George W. Bush, was the 43rd President (2001-2009)

George and Barbara Bush were married for 73 years (1945-2018).  It was the longest marriage of a “first couple” in U.S. history.  Today, George was at Barbara’s bedside holding her hand when she passed away peacefully.

Her life was dedicated to public service.  She worked to advance the cause of universal literacy and founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.


Confusing messages on Direct Pay page of IRS websiteIn other news, today is Tax Day in the U.S.  Normally, that is on Apr. 15, which this year was on a Sunday.  Also, Apr. 16 was a federal holiday—Emancipation Day.

Inconveniently, the Internal Revenue Service website has experienced a major outage for several hours today.  The web page for the IRS’ “Direct Pay” option came crashing down, leaving many irate taxpayers furious with the government website.

People going to the site saw strange, conflicting and nonsensical messages, such as how the “planned outage” would extend until December 31, 9999, or that there would be a “planned maintenance” until September 22, 2016 (not 2018).  There also is a message reading, “Note that your tax payment is due although IRS Direct Pay may not be available.”  However, the IRS has extended the deadline to file taxes until tomorrow.

The IRS website for filing tax returns experiencing
technical issues as Tax Day deadline looms

I would not be at all surprised if this was a website hacking job by Russia or some other rogue nation or group.  I’m just glad I got all my tax returns sent in over a month ago.  I would not need a hassle like this today.


Apr. 16, 2018

Following the missile attack on Syria by the U.S., U.K. and France on Apr. 14, Russia threatened retaliation of some type.  Now it appears that Russia may be attempting to carry out cyber attacks against the governments, private organizations, individual homes and offices in the United States and Britain and maybe even in other countries as well.

This most likely was going on, to some extent, before the missile attack.  Now, it apparently is accelerating.

“Russian state-sponsored actors are using compromised routers to conduct spoofing ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations,” the British government said in a prepared statement.  “Multiple sources including private and public-sector cybersecurity research organizations and allies have reported this activity to the U.S. and U.K. governments.”

US, UK issue joint warning
on Russian hackers

Apr. 14, 2018

In Syria this morning, at about 4:00 a.m., more than 100 missiles were fired on three chemical weapons sites in and around Damascus.  The airstrikes were a coordinated effort by U.S., British and French forces against the Syrian government for a suspected poison gas attack against civilians in Douma a week ago.

President Trump has tweeted out, “Mission Accomplished!”  Vice President Pence said the U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria “degraded and crippled” the country’s chemical weapons capability.  French President Macron said the joint military operation on Syrian targets has achieved its goals.

U.S. strikes in Syria hit
every target — Pentagon


At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell and Eric Barger concluded their two-part discussion that was begun on Apr. 7.  Each part lasts 57 minutes and can be heard here:

How the Digital Cartel Prepares for the Antichrist — Part 1: Audio | Part 2: Audio

Apr. 13, 2018

Protestors carry Palestinian flag and tires to Gaza/Israel borderThis is an ominous Friday the 13th in Israel.  It is the third Friday in a row that thousands of Palestinians have waged a large-scale protest along the sealed border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

More tires were taken to be burned along the border.  In response, Israeli solders fired tear gas and live bullets from across the border fence.

Israel mapRights groups have described the Israeli military’s open-fire regulations as unlawful.  They say that soldiers are permitted to use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters.

Israel has accused Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers of using the protests as a cover for attacks.  They say that Israeli snipers have targeted only the main instigators.

Israeli forces wound 30 more Palestinians
in Gaza-Israel border protests

Palestinian flag, Gaza and West BankThere is competition within Palestinian political movements to demonstrate who can be the most anti-American and anti-Israeli.  So it is conceivable that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is concerned that it could be upstaged by Hamas’s “Great March of Return” in Gaza.

Therefore, to place the focus on themselves, they could organize a march of their own from the West Bank into Jerusalem, Hebron or Bethlehem.  Israeli politician and diplomat Zalman Shoval says, “No security fence or even a concrete barrier can stop an organized mass attempt to breach the Israeli border along a much larger front than merely the Gaza border.

Furthermore, there are about 1.5 Palestinian citizens in Israel.  Their allegiance is to their Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank.

Potentially, then, they could join an influx of other Palestinians into Jerusalem and the surrounding area.  Such a civil war within Israel most likely would ignite a firestorm of violence in the region.

Could a Mass March on
Jerusalem Ignite the Middle East


In other news, missile airstrikes were made on Syria tonight, which was about 4:00 a.m. in Syria.  The U.S., U.K. and France engaged in the joint strikes on targets in and around Damascus.

While President Trump announcing that the strikes were going to take place, loud explosions were heard in Damascus and in the countryside of Homs.  The attack was in response to the chemical weapons used, presumably by the Syrian government, on many of its innocent civilians last weekend.

The Russian Embassy responded to the strikes, saying that their “worst apprehensions have come true.  Our warnings have been left unheard.”  They added, “A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. ... Again, we are being threatened.  We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.”  The Russians did not elaborate about what those consequences might be.

This certainly has been a noteworthy Friday the 13th.  I’m glad it’s over, but the ramifications and reverberations from today’s events in the Middle East probably are not.


Apr. 11, 2018

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced today that he will not be seeking re-election later this year.  He will retire in January 2019 after serving for 20 years in the U.S. Congress.  He replaced John Boehner as the House speaker in October 2015.

On serving as the speaker, Ryan said it was a great honor, but “it’s easy for it to take over everything in your life.”  Speaker Ryan added that he is retiring to spend more time with his family, because he does not want his kids to know him only as a “weekend Dad.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan won't seek re-
election: 'I like to think I've done my part'


Apr. 10, 2018

There were no prophetic events last week in Israel indicating that the beginning of the final 3½ years of this age, culminating with the return of Jesus back to earth to rule and reign, had begun.  The two things that I have felt would make international news, whenever they take place, are included in Luke 21:20-24, which are part of a prophecy stated by Jesus.

Some have suggested that all the recent turmoil taking place on the Israel/Gaza border might point to an invasion of armies into Israel and Jerusalem soon.  Palestinians have said that they intend to continue violent activities at the border fence up through May 15, which they refer to as Nakba Day or the “Day of Catastrophe”

Also Syria, to Israel’s north, is becoming increasingly volatile and unstable.  Some feel that this is where the armies that eventually will surround Jerusalem will come from.  Perhaps, but no one knows for certain.

In any case, if nothing significant happens within Israel—particularly in Jerusalem—by May 15, I most likely will feel that Luke 21:20,21 and related events will not take place until at least Passover week of 2019.  Of course, God’s thoughts and ways are infinitely higher than ours, so prophetic events will take place on His precise schedule, not on our perceived timetable.


Apr. 9, 2018

In a meeting with his cabinet today, President Trump said that he would be deciding soon whether or not the U.S. would proceed with military retaliation against Syria.  He said that he would make the decision within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Bashar al-Assad, prime minister of Syria, is suspected to have ordered chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians over the weekend.  Dozens of people, including children, were killed.  Trump described it as a “barbaric act.”

Just over a year ago, on Apr. 6, 2017, Trump ordered the firing of 59 missiles onto Shayrat Air Base in Syria.  This was in response to the deadly nerve gas attack on Syrian civilians just two days prior to that.

Trump to Decide Soon Whether to
Retaliate for 'Barbaric Act' in Syria

Apr. 7, 2018

At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell and Eric Barger talked about the overwhelming surveillance that everyone is under today with their cell phones and even with modern electronc equipment in their homes.  They are calling it a “digital war.”

Former digital executives are heard saying how grieved they are that they “sold their souls” for this.  They now warn others of the potentially negative consequences of the regular use of social media, including Facebook.

We are being watched and listened to daily, even hourly.  This is a system that eventually will be turned over to the Antichrist and his global system.

This is part one of a two-part series.  The audio program, lasting 57 minutes, can be heard here:

How the Digital Cartel Prepares for the Antichrist — Part 1: Audio


I last organized my vitamins and supplements into individual compartments on Oct. 14, 2017.  Each day, I have taken the following: a daily multiple; vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E; magnesium, selenium, zinc, fish oil, saw palmetto, glucosamine/chondroitin, iron and turmeric curcumin.

I would have needed to put together my new vitamin supply on Mar. 31.  However, I skipped taking vitamins for 7 days, so I had an extra week before finishing them.

I did not have the time today to sort out the vitamins for 24 weeks, so I did it for 4 weeks.  Hopefully, that will give me enough time soon to assemble my vitamin supply for 24 weeks.

28 days of vitamins Individual vitamins

I have heard a lot of good things about hyaluronic acid, so I ordered several bottles of it from Puritan.com.  I’ve taken it for over a week, and within the first few days the pain I was having in my knees and hips decreased significantly.  So I intend to continue taking it regularly.


Apr. 6, 2018

Palestinian protestors creating black smoke from burning tires at the border fence between Gaza and IsraelAnother round of Palestinian attacks, which began a week ago, took place on the Israel/Gaza border today.  Thousands of Palestinians took part in the mass protest along the volatile border.

Stones, firebombs and burning tires were thrown toward the border fence.  Israel mobilized snipers and other special forces on the other side of the fence.

The demonstrations are being orchestrated by Hamas, who has ruled in Gaza since 2007.  They say that the protests are against a decade-old border blockade by Israel.

However, Israel accuses the Islamic militant group of using the protests as cover for trying to infiltrate the border and attack Israelis.  It has warned that anyone approaching the border fence is risking their lives.

Hamas’ top Gaza official, Yehiyeh Sinwar, made a surprise visit to one of the protests and appeared to issue a new threat.  He declared, “Wait for our great move, when we breach the borders and pray at Al-Aqsa,” referring to the major Muslim mosque in Jerusalem.

Sinwar’s threat probably sets the stage for more serious rounds of violence through mid-May.  Hamas has called for a series of demonstrations in the coming weeks, culminating on May 15, the day after the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment.

Deadly violence for second
week on Gaza-Israel border

Apr. 5, 2018

Danny Danon is Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.  Recently, he wrote a letter to the editor at the New York Times.  In the letter, he explains the Israel perspective about Gaza and why the multiple problems there should not be blamed on Israel.

Crisis in Gaza: The
Israeli Point of View

Following the aggressive Palestinian demonstrations, protests and rioting on Fri., Mar. 30, they have vowed to do this again tomorrow, Fri., Apr. 6.  Backed by the radical Islamic group Hamas, the Palestinian activists are being urged to display their desire to return to their ancestral homes in Israel, which they deem to be “Palestine.”

As preparation for this, they have been collecting hundreds of old car and truck tires and transporting them to the barrier fence, which separates Gaza and Israel.  They’ve said that they intend to set the tires on fire to create a smoke screen.  The objective is for the smoke to shroud them from the clear view of Israelis security forces.

The Palestinians have expressed their intent to continue their demonstrations for the next few weeks, culminating on May 15.  They refer to that date as Nakba Day or the “Day of Catastrophe.”  This year, it will be the day after the commemoration of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.

Palestinians in Gaza vow to continue
protest despite Israeli gunfire

Apr. 4, 2018

Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Apr. 4, 1968.  He was 39 years old at the time.  Here is a link to a very good historical article about him:

Martin Luther King, Jr.


YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, CAIn other news, yesterday, Apr. 3, there was a gun attack on YouTube headquarters (owned by Google) in San Bruno, CA.  It is located between the city of San Francisco and the San Francisco (SFO) airport.  The weapon used was a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun.

The shooter was Nasim Najafi Aghdam (38, and would have been 39 on her birthday tomorrow, Apr. 5).  She was born in Iran but had lived in Southern CA for several years.

Two females were taken to nearby hospitals.  One of them suffered a broken ankle, perhaps while running from the crime scene.

Initially, it was reported that the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute and that a male shooting victim, 36, might have been involved with Aghdam.  However, further investigation revealed that none of this was the case.  That victim remains in critical condition.

Aghdam believed she was being suppressed and treated unfairly by YouTube, claiming that her videos on YouTube were being filtered and censored.  She had told her family members that she hated the company (view her poster).

The shooter’s father, Ismail Aghdam, said that he had reported to the police that Nasim had been missing for two days.  Early Tuesday morning, Mountain View police discovered her sleeping in her car.

Nasim’s father was called and told that she was okay.  The police did not feel that she was a threat to anyone, and she was not deterred.  More information about the shooter can be found here:

Nasim Aghdam: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Apr. 3, 2018

This is week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread following Pesach or Passover.  I enjoy eating crispy strips of unleavened bread or matzah each day, especially with peanut butter spread on top.

Unleavened bread has no yeast, which is why it is flat.  From the religious perspective of Christians and Messianic Jews, yeast represents sin, such as malice and wickedness.  Our sinless Passover Lamb, Yeshua/Jesus, was sinless but took our sins upon Himself on the cross.  As described by the apostle Paul:

Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are.  For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.  Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7,8)

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

The subject of an email today from Valerie Moody is “Unleavened Messiah.”  She elaborates on the concept that the sinless Messiah has cleansed us from our sins and that we should “live as unleavened people.”

Unleavened Messiah


I receive semi-regular updates from Jonathan Hansen at World Ministries International.  I like the things that this organization has done for people around the world.

Today, Dr. Hansen sent out an article today saying that “the weather is a vital form of God communicating to humans.”  Hansen says that “scientists and intellectuals in the past used the weather as God’s thermometer on man’s morality.”  He also says that “God sends the storms and uses the weather to correct mankind for their sins.”

I do not necessarily endorse every word and concept in this article.  However, I do feel that it is an interesting and thought provoking article.

I am placing links to the article below.  The PDF version is the original.  However, since the print might be a little small on some screens, I have translated the article into an HTML format, where the print should be a little larger.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WEATHER? — PDF | HTML

Apr. 2, 2018

I went to WalMart and got 81.4 oz. (5.09 lb.) of 50%-off Easter clearance candy today.  I didn’t purchase as much as I normally would have, since I still have some Valentine’s Day candy left.

The best deal was the two boxes of chocolate covered marshmallow eggs, for 50¢ each box, at 10¢ per ounce.  Each box has a dozen eggs, so that’s only about 4.2¢ per egg.  One of my friends loves those, so she’ll get one box (or maybe both of them).

The Butterfinger bars—my favorite candy—were not Easter candy, so they were not 50% off.  However, they were 25% off because they were beyond the expiration date.  Candy lasts forever, though.

 
5-second slideshow

The same packages of candy are in both photos.  I just felt like arranging them different ways.

Besides half-off candy, I also got another deal today.  Little Caesars was giving away a free lunch combo, deep-dish pepperoni pizza with a 20-oz. soft drink, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

I’m not a huge pizza fan, but I couldn’t pass up a free deal; so I waited in line for 10 minutes to get my freebie.  It was worth the wait.

     

     
20-second slideshow

Apr. 1, 2018

Here is not here. He has risen! Luke 24:6This is the Feast of Firstfruits or Resurrection Day.  It is the day that Jesus rose from the dead.  Eventually, all who believe in His blood atonement for their sins will do the same.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

The majority of these resurrections, I believe, will take place at the main Rapture event.  These glorified saints never will need to fear God’s severe judgment, and they will be exempt from His righteous wrath.

Today also is the first day of a 50-day count, the counting of the Omer, culminating on Shavuot, Feast of Weeks, or Feast of Harvest.  For Christians, that is the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).  This year, that is May 20.

During the week of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the Feast of Firstfruits fell on the date of Aviv 17 on the Hebraic calendar (as described in the prophecy fulfillment section of my Good Thursday commentary).  It was the same date that Noah’s ark landed and rested on Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4).  On that day, Noah and his family were safe and secure from harm, with no further chance of sinking or drowning.

Someone looking at my Holy Week chart questioned me about this.  Here is my response:

Incidentally, of all the “superheros” who have claimed to possess the power to save the world, there is only one who actually has:

Jesus: and that's how I saved the world

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