Arabic study may have been cover for bomb suspect

Arabic study may have been cover for bomb suspect

Dec 31 04:32 PM US/Eastern


Associated Press Writer

SAN’A, Yemen (AP) – The Nigerian suspected of trying to bring down a U.S. airliner with explosives might have used Arabic studies as a pretext for entering Yemen before disappearing for months, perhaps into one of the lawless country’s al-Qaida strongholds, fellow students and teachers said.

Interviews with staff and students at the Institute for the Arabic Language this week have revealed that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was frequently absent from classes and spent at most one month at the school in Yemen’s capital, San’a, starting in late August before vanishing. Authorities say he didn’t leave the country until December and that his whereabouts during that period remains a mystery.

Adding to the notion that his studies were a ruse, one teacher at the institute said the young man stood out because he already spoke Arabic with a considerable degree of fluency.

“I noticed he understood the language very quickly and he was eloquent and convincing in his speech,” Ahmed Moajjib said.

U.S. investigators have said the 23-year-old Abdulmutallab told them he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. He is accused of trying to detonate an explosive device hidden on his body as a Northwest Airlines flight carrying 289 people approached Detroit on a flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day. …..



GAZA, Dec 31 (NNN-KUNA) – Brazil has launched a peace initiative to bring Israelis and Palestinians to an agreement, according to the Maariv Israeli daily.

The deadlock of the political process compelled world countries to push and do more, and this is Brazil’s contribution in this regard, the Maariv reported.

Brazilian President Luiz da Silva is to visit Israel for the first time since his election in 2002 and he is also expected to visit the occupied Palestinian territories.

Da Silva is to relay a peace initiative based on the Annapolis Conference and he is to urge the two sides to consider the invitation of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to hold a peace summit in Paris.

In November 2007, the United States hosted the Annapolis Peace Conference with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, and key international figures attending the event.

At the conference, the Israeli and Palestinian sides agreed to discuss all standing issues and to hold extensive and continuous negotiations.

According to the Maariv, the Brazilian president is to propose expanding the international Quartet to include countries like Brazil, South Africa and even two or three Arab countries…………



This president has had no formal education yet has become very prominent:

Lula was chosen as the 2009 Man of the Year by prominent European newspapers El Pa”s and Le Monde. On 20 December 2008, he was named the 18th most important person in the world by Newsweek magazine, and was the only Latin American person featured in a list of 50 most influential World leaders. On July 7, 2009, he received UNESCO’s Félix Houphou”t-Boigny Peace Prize at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. On 5 November 2009, President Lula was awarded the Chatham House Prize, awarded to the statesperson who is deemed by Chatham House members to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.


Raincoat buttons

Does anyone else have a major problem with them? I had a raincoat for about 4 years that the buttons kept coming off of. Most of the time I found the buttons and was able to put them back on but eventually enough got lost that I could no no longer use the coat without buying all new buttons. (about 10 of them) Have you priced buttons lately??? 😮 Beside the fact that the material is tough and it hurts my fingers to push a needle through it. So I bought a new coat last spring. Well guess what…. yup, buttons are falling off. :dizzy:

Palestinians: Dramatic development in peace process possible

Palestinians: Dramatic development in peace process possible

West Bank sources tell Ynet Abbas expected to meet Mubarak next week to discuss stalled Israel-PA negotiations. Barak urges Palestinian president to ‘show responsibility, return to negotiations’

Ali Waked

Published: 12.31.09, 17:34 / Israel News

A dramatic development in the peace process is expected in the coming weeks, Palestinian sources told Ynet Thursday.

The sources said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to visit Egypt early next week to discuss jumpstarting the regional peace talks with his counterpart Hosni Mubarak. ……,7340,L-3828100,00.html

Netanyahu Hints IDF Must be Present on Future PA-Jordan Border

Netanyahu Hints IDF Must be Present on Future PA-Jordan Border

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

( Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said for the first time publicly that the IDF must maintain a presence along the future eastern border of a PA state, preventing arms smuggling into Judea and Samaria. He noted that Israel gave up its military presence along the Gaza-Egyptian border smuggling route four years ago, a situation that he said should not be repeated.

At a recent meeting of all Israeli ambassadors and lower-level diplomats, the Prime Minister noted that Israel’s security dangers are not at the borders of Gaza and Lebanon but rather beyond the borders. He said Israel cannot depend on paper agreements, signed or not, and broadly hinted that the IDF must maintain a presence along the eastern borders of any future Palestinian Authority state in Judea and Samaria in order to fight…..

Anti-Gay Pastor Rick Warren Begs For $900,000

Anti-Gay Pastor Rick Warren Begs For $900,000

By On Top Magazine Staff

Published: December 31, 2009

The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, is begging parishioners for $900,000 before January 1.

In a letter posted at the church’s website, Warren says, “THIS IS AN URGENT LETTER unlike any I’ve written in 30 years. Please read all of it and get back to me in the next 48 hours.”

He goes on to ask parishioners to fill a $900,000 financial gap in the next two days.

“On the last weekend of 2009, our total offerings were less than half of what we normally receive Ð leaving us $900,000 in the red for the year, unless you help make up the difference today and tomorrow.”

Warren says expenses are up because church members are out of work.

The Orange county megachurch pastor continues to make news with his views on homosexuality. In recent weeks, he made headlines for first refusing to take a public stance on a proposed anti-gay bill currently being debated in Uganda, saying “it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.” One version of the bill prescribes execution for gay men and lesbian if they are HIV-positive or have a history of participating in gay sex.

Warren, however, reversed course just days later in a video statement to Ugandan church leaders where he said “it is my role to speak out on moral issues,” and called………

Sun and Moon Trigger Deep Tremors on San Andreas Fault

Sun and Moon Trigger Deep Tremors on San Andreas Fault

ScienceDaily (Dec. 25, 2009) – The faint tug of the sun and moon on the San Andreas Fault stimulates tremors deep underground, suggesting that the rock 15 miles below is lubricated with highly pressurized water that allows the rock to slip with little effort, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, seismologists.

“Tremors seem to be extremely sensitive to minute stress changes,” said Roland Bürgmann, UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science. “Seismic waves from the other side of the planet triggered tremors on the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of Washington state after the Sumatra earthquake last year, while the Denali earthquake in 2002 triggered tremors on a number of faults in California. Now we also see that tides — the daily lunar and solar tides — very strongly modulate tremors.”

…To learn more about the source of these tremors, UC Berkeley seismologists began looking for tremors five years ago in seismic recordings from the Parkfield segment of the San Andreas Fault obtained from sensitive bore-hole seismometers placed underground as part of the UC Berkeley’s High-Resolution Seismic Network. Using eight years of tremor data, Thomas, Bürgmann and Nadeau correlated tremor activity with the effects of the sun and moon on the crust and with the effects of ocean tides, which are driven by the moon.

They found the strongest effect when the pull on the Earth from the sun and moon sheared the fault in the direction it normally breaks. Because the San Andreas Fault is a right-lateral strike-slip fault, the west side of the fault tends to break north-northwestward, dragging Los Angeles closer to San Francisco.

See also:

Solar Storms + Weak Magnetic Field = Disasters

WARNING: The Coming Solar Storm

WARNING: The Coming Solar Storm, Part II

The Coming Solar Storm Part III

2012: Cataclysmic Calendar

2012: Cataclysmic Calendar

By David Reagan

What is the source of the doomsday date of 2012 that so many are talking about?

The 2012 hysteria has produced a doom boom that has been fueled by a series of television programs and the recent Hollywood blockbuster film.

It all relates to a calendar developed by the ancient Mayan civilization that was centered in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Their society flourished from about 250 to 900 AD, when it experienced a sudden, unexplained collapse.

The Mayas developed an advanced society that featured large cities built around stepped pyramids that also served as temples. They excelled in mathematics and astronomy. Combining the two, they produced a series of 20 different types of calendars. It would not be an overstatement to say that the Mayas were calendar-obsessed.

Their calculations were incredibly accurate. Without the help of calculators, computers, or telescopes, they were able to determine the length of a lunar month to be 29.53020 days. The actual length is 29.53059 days.1 Their solar year was calculated to be 365.2450 days minus an error of .002. Modern calculations put it at 365.2425 plus an error of .0003.2

The Mayans had three main calendars.3 One was a solar calendar that was based on 20 day months. The second was a ceremonial calendar that was related to the 260 day cycle of Venus. It was their third measure of time, the Long Count Calendar, that was related to the year 2012.

The Long Count Calendar was a measure of “world age cycles” that repeat over and over again. This calendar was divided into five units or cycles that started with the mythical date for the creation of the Mayas – August 11, 3114 BC. The fifth cycle was supposed to end on a date that corresponds to December 21, 2012 on the Gregorian Calendar that is used in the Western World. Since the calendar ends on that date, some modern day interpreters have jumped to the conclusion that it marks the date for the end of the world.

The man who put 2012 on the map as a pivotal date for world history was José Arguelles, a Mexican-American, who authored a mystical book in 1987 titled The Mayan Factor.4 He was also instrumental that year in organizing a worldwide event called the Harmonic Convergence.5 During two days in August, people were urged to gather at sacred sites to awaken the “energy grid” of the world and thus initiate a 25-year era of spiritual growth that would culminate in 2012.

Since that time, a man by the name of Christian John Meoli has been organizing and conducting 2012 conferences that have the flavor of a Star Trek convention. He plans to hold the final conference on December 21, 2012 at the Mayan pyramids in Mexico. He describes 2012 as “the shift,” and the slogan for his conferences is “Shift Happens.”6

Meanwhile, the History Channel on television has promoted the 2012 craze with a zeal, broadcasting a whole series of programs focused on the date: “Mayan Doomsday Prophecy” (2006), “Last Days on Earth” (2006), “Doomsday 2012: The End of Days” (2007), “Seven Signs of the Apocalypse” (2009), and “Nostradamus 2012” (2009).

In the next installment of this 2012 series, we’ll look at the apocalyptic factors that are used to substantiate the doomsday date of 2012.


1. Lawrence E. Joseph, Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilization’s End (New York: Broadway Books, 2007), page 12.

2. Synthia Andrews and Colin Andrews, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 2012 (New York: Alpha, 2008), page 11.

3. Mark Hitchcock, 2012: The Bible and the End of the World (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2009), page 32.

4. José Arguelles, The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology (Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Company, 1987).

5. Wikipedia, “Harmonic Convergence,”

[ame][/ame], accessed October 16, 2009.

6. Pauline O’Connor, “12/12/12: The end of the world as we know it?” Los Angeles Times, February 28, 2008,, accessed on October 16, 2009



By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Dec 30, 2009 in Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism

This so-called “spiritual discipline” is the chief vehicle of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism and is without question a “Christian” form of transcendental meditation. Consider the following from Contemplative (Centering) Prayer:

In 1974, Father William Meninger, a Trappist monk and retreat master at St. Josephs Abbey in Spencer, Mass. found a dusty little book in the abbey library, The Cloud of Unknowing. As he read it he was delighted to discover that this anonymous 14th century book presented [I]contemplative meditation as a teachable, spiritual process enabling the ordinary person to enter and receive a direct experience of union with God.

This form of meditation, recently known as ‘Centering Prayer’ (from a text of Thomas Merton) can be traced from and through the earliest centuries of Christianity… (Online source)[/I]

The last statement is true to a point; as you’ll see in Keeping You Apprised Of: Contemplative/Centering Prayer it did not originate with Jesus or His Apostles, but circa third century from hermits in the desert of Egypt who’re romanticized today as “the desert fathers.” And as you can see the terms Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP) are synonymous for this practice of “wordless prayer.”

You’ll also see that practioners of CCP, such as Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, will often refer to CCP as “the silence.” Foster tells us:

Contemplative Prayer immerses us into the silence of God. How desperately we in the modern world need this wordless baptism… Contemplative Prayer is the one discipline that can free us from our addiction to words. Progress in intimacy with God means progress toward silence… It is recreating silence to which we are called in Contemplative Prayer…

A Warning And A Precaution

At the outset I need to give a word of warning,… Contemplative Prayer is not for the novice. I do not say this about any other form of prayer… Contemplative prayer is for those who have exercised their spiritual muscles a bit and know something about the landscape of the spirit. In fact, those who work in the area of spiritual direction always look for signs of a maturing faith before encouraging individuals into Contemplative Prayer…

I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection. (Prayer: Finding The Heart’s True Home, 155, 156, 157)


CCP has no place in the Body of Christ; because if it did, when Jesus was asked by His disciples how to pray, He would surely have mentioned this alleged “wordless baptism” supposedly so necessary for, “Progress in intimacy with God [i.e. Law].” But the Master did not. How do we know; well, I’m glad you asked.

We know because God the Holy Spirit tells us in His inspired, inerrant, and infallible, text of Holy Scripture through His chosen vessel Luke:

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:1-4, ESV)