Iran Chairs the UN Conference on Disarmament

Iran Chairs the UN Conference on Disarmament

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The United Nations reaches a new level of absurdity with the appointment of Iran over the disarmament conference.

Beginning on May 27 and lasting until June 23, Iran will chair the UN conference on disarmament. Yes, the UN’s most important disarming forum will be led by one of the world’s greatest threats to nuclear warfare. The ridiculous situation shows the ineffectiveness of the United Nations in preventing the spread of nuclear armaments.

While the position that Iran will occupy is largely ceremonial, it is also a very prominent position that some of Iran’s opponents, such as the United States, would rather see filled by a less confrontational nation. The U.S. plans to boycott any talks that are led by Iran in the meetings to be held in Geneva.

It isn’t the first time a belligerent nation such as Iran has filled the position. In the summer of 2011, North Korea chaired the conference. The reason for these appointments is that there is an automatic rotation system.

Iran will take the seat at a time when the U.S. is accusing the Persian nation of stalling talks designed to halt its aggressive nuclear program. While Iran says it is willing to talk, there has been little evidence of a breakthrough that would lead to Iran giving up its nuclear ambitions.

Now Iran has been provided with another opportunity to flaunt itself as pro-disarmament by chairing the UN conference on disarmament.

“When the United Nations imposes four rounds of sanctions on Iran for illicit nuclear activities, condemns it for illegally arming the murderous Syrian regime, and denounces Tehran’s massive abuse of human rights, this kind of appointment just defies common sense and harms the UN’s credibility,” said Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch.

The UN was established as man’s attempt to bring peace and stability to the Earth. When a violent nation such as Iran is allowed to lead a conference on disarmament, it is a clear indication that the UN is failing in its objectives.

Herbert W. Armstrong was in attendance when the UN was established, and at that time he prophesied of the ultimate demise of the organization. Mr. Armstrong said, “I see the clouds of World War iii gathering at this conference. … I do not see peace being germinated here, but the seeds of the next war! … The United Nations conference is producing nothing but strife and bickering, and is destined from its inception to end in total failure. Yet world leaders are pronouncing it the world’s last hope—with the only alternative annihilation of humanity!”

The danger of Iran’s nuclear ambitions cannot be overstated, nor the UN’s inability to change the situation. Read “The Return of the Mahdi Is Nigh” to more deeply understand why the UN is unable to stop Iran in its quest for the nuclear bomb.

Matthew 24 Unlocks the Seven Seals

In Matthew 24, Christ unlocks the meaning of the seals of Revelation. The first four seals are also known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Do you understand the meaning of the seven seals of Revelation?

Pro-Israel Groups Targeted by IRS

Pro-Israel Groups Targeted by IRS

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Discrimination by the Internal Revenue Service reveals how far-reaching anti-Israel sentiments are in the U.S. administration.

Media fallout from the Internal Revenue Service (irs) scandal has revealed that the organization isolated tax-exemption applications of groups that seemed pro-Israel for extra scrutiny in ways similar to its treatment of Tea Party groups and other conservative political organizations.

One such group that is now suing the irs is Z Street, an educational, Zionist organization founded by Lori Lowenthal Marcus in 2009.

In December 2009, the organization applied for tax exemption from the irs. An irs agent later informed one of Z Street’s attorneys that its application was being delayed and scrutinized by “a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the administration’s public policies.” Specifically, the attorney was informed that Z Street’s application was receiving extra scrutiny because it was “connected to Israel.”

In August 2010, Z Street filed a lawsuit against the irs for what it perceived as viewpoint discrimination and violation of constitutionally protected freedom of speech. In response to that lawsuit, the manager of the irs’s Exempt Organizations Determinations Group, Jon Waddell, wrote, “Israel is one of many Middle Eastern countries that have a ‘higher risk of terrorism.’ A referral to [an irs screening department] is appropriate whenever an application mentions providing resources to organizations in a country with a higher risk of terrorism.”

Writing in November 2010 for the Jewish Policy Center, Matthew M. Hausman observed that this extra scrutiny of Z Street “occurred not long after the left-wing organization J Street announced its campaign to lobby the Treasury Department to revoke the tax-exempt status of Jewish charities that support religious and cultural institutions in Judea and Samaria.” Incidentally, J Street has never been subjected to an irs investigation.

With the irs now publicly apologizing for its “insensitive” and “inappropriate” discrimination of Tea Party groups, it appears it also owes an apology to some pro-Israel groups that it has discriminated against. For the first time since Z Street’s 2010 lawsuit, a hearing will now take place on July 2 in the U.S. District Court in Washington.

The irs’s anti-Israel actions come at a time when the Jewish state of Israel is in desperate need of strong allies such as the U.S. Unfortunately, America has not been friendly of late.

This state of affairs perfectly lines up with Bible prophecy, which states that the brotherhood between Israel and America, in particular, will be broken in the end time. For more about the prophecies on this subject, read our article “Band of Brothers” and our booklet America Under Attack.

It’s Time You Read ‘America Under Attack’

It’s Time You Read ‘America Under Attack’

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The White House is engulfed in scandal. Why now?

America Under Attack. That’s the title of the latest book by Gerald Flurry, editor in chief of the Trumpet. The book was published last month. It’s free and you can read, or request a free hard copy, here.

There’s a lot to be impressed by in this book, but for me one of the most striking is the way events since its release have so powerfully vindicated its message.

America Under Attack is a smartly structured, well-researched, hard-hitting exposé of a terribly destructive war currently being waged on America, a war that is being waged, sadly, from the inside. The book has some pretty condemning observations which are delivered with some uncompromising, refreshingly straightforward language. Mr. Flurry explores and explains the sinister and destructive actions of America’s leadership, including the behavior of both political parties but especially the radical left, the mainstream media, the White House and President Obama. Unlike the many other books on this subject, criticizing the president and his men, or the media and radical left, is not the central purpose of the book.

What makes America Under Attack so profound—and so entirely unique—is the way Mr. Flurry gets to the central cause of America’s internal conflict. The book doesn’t merely criticize the decisions or behavior of America’s leaders: It gives the reason America’s leaders think the way they think and act the way they act.

But again, it’s the way this book has been so powerfully punctuated by events that I find especially remarkable, and that I want to write about here.

First, think back on that horrible week in April that began with a terrorist bombing in Boston—the first successful attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, followed by a massive explosion at a fertilizer factory in Texas two days later, and concluded with two failed bio-attacks on the government. Remember that week? That was also the week America Under Attack began landing in mailboxes.

I remember thinking to myself while reading about the Boston bombing, Wow, what a rough week for the States. America is really under attack. And I remember that same day opening an envelope that arrived in the mail and experiencing an adrenalin rush as I read the title of the book that fell out: America Under Attack.

Since then, the message of America Under Attack has been punctuated over and over and over.

We’ll review some of these events in a moment, but first let’s highlight just a few statements from this book. Here’s what Mr. Flurry wrote about U.S. foreign policy, which is essentially designed to shrink America’s global presence, ruin relations with friends and allies, and empower the enemies of the West (emphasis his throughout):

[I]n looking at the decisions this administration is making, I’m hard-pressed to think of any that don’t have the effect of weakening America, and strengthening the forces of evil in this world.

There’s a chapter in America Under Attack on the growing tendency among many of America’s politicians, journalists and intelligentsia to reject, circumvent and undermine the U.S. constitution. Why is this happening? Mr. Flurry answers:

It is because the Obama administration is taking actions just about every week that raise constitutional questions and that threaten to undermine America’s foundational document.

In another section, Mr. Flurry explains the level of deceit and deception coming from the Obama administration, and inflicting U.S. politics in general.

We are seeing bold, blatant lies become a bigger and bigger part of today’s political landscape.

The book quotes Mr. Obama assuring the American people, “You know where I stand. You know what I believe. You know I tell the truth.” To that, Mr. Flurry delivered a bold and frank response:

Does the president tell the truth? Is anyone paying attention?

Think on that last question, “Is anyone paying attention?” When Mr. Flurry wrote this book, and even when it was released last month, it’s safe to say most Americans were not “paying attention,” at least not nearly as seriously as they ought to have been. In fact, a good number of people, were they to read America Under Attack even as recently as April, might have felt Mr. Flurry’s evaluations were over the top and exaggerated.

Yet today, just a few weeks later, many Americans—some even on the left—find themselves coming to the same conclusions!

Since America Under Attack was released, we’ve seen one scandal on top of another engulf Washington and the White House. These aren’t minor scandals either. And they aren’t low level. Each scandal is taking place within the federal government. Each involves high-level figures, congressmen, senators, White House employees, cabinet leaders—most of whom were appointed by the president—committing despicable acts, acts of outright deception and lying—acts that directly impacted the well-being of America and its citizens.

And, perhaps most significantly, each scandal directly incriminates President Obama.

Phonetapping the Press

Last week, it was revealed that the U.S. Justice Department—headed by Eric Holder, an Obama appointee—secretly obtained telephone records of Associated Press reporters and editors. According to AP attorneys, the Justice Department seized records from about a year ago for more than 20 telephone lines used by the news organization. The Justice Department was interested in records of outgoing calls from the work and personal telephones of individual reporters, as well as calls from AP offices in New York, Washington and Hartford. More than 100 journalists work in the offices the Justice Department targeted. “They haven’t told us what they are looking for and nor have they explained why we got no prior notice, which our lawyers tell us is not only customary but required,” stated Kathleen Carroll, AP senior vice president and executive editor.

AP said it received a letter from the Justice Department last Friday that notified it of the seizure but offered no explanation. In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation.

The White House and Mr. Obama have tried to distance themselves from the Justice Department. The fact is, besides Eric Holder having been appointed by Mr. Obama, the Justice Department has for four years been a key appendage of the White House. As Alberto Gonzales, the former attorney general, stated: “It would surprise me that the White House would not have received some type of heads-up. [Something like] ‘Hey, we’re about to do this, there’s going to be some type of negative reaction.’”

Unleashing the IRS

Then there’s the Internal Revenue Service scandal, which grows with each passing day, and which Peggy Noonan, George Will, and others, have stated could be as significant as Watergate.

The irs recently admitted that it targeted conservative groups during the 2012 election season. Lois Lerner, irs director of Exempt Organizations, admitted to flagging groups that used the name “tea party” or “patriot” for review and had their tax returns examined. Groups that advocated education about the American Constitution were also flagged.

Lerner claimed that this was not “out of any political bias.” That’s poppycock. As the Wall Street Journal wrote: “If there was no political bias, why were only conservative groups targeted?” The Journal goes on to explain the significance of the irs’s actions: “It’s important to understand that the timing of these requests, in the middle of the 2012 campaign, had the effect of stifling political activity. The targeted groups had tax-exempt status that allowed them to participate in certain kinds of political messaging. But any such group receiving irs missives is immediately going to become cautious, lest it risk the arbitrary wrath of some tax official. The speech-squelching effects may have been especially important in Ohio, which was ground zero in the battle for the White House.” (emphasis added).

In other words, the actions of the irs may have assisted the re-election of Barack Obama!

At first, the irs claimed only a few individuals were responsible. Now even Lerner herself has been implicated, and it’s clear that this was the work of more than a couple of rogue employees. USA Today wrote: “In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the irs in 90 days, no questions asked. That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months. In that time, the irs approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA Today review of irs data shows.”

This week two U.S. congressmen claimed that nearly 500 groups were affected. The whole truth probably hasn’t emerged yet. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the irs’s actions “inappropriate.” My favorite commentary on this comes from veteran commentator George Will. “No, using the salad fork for the entrée is inappropriate,” he wrote. “Using the Internal Revenue Service for political purposes is a criminal offense.” His article was titled: “In irs scandal, echoes of Watergate.”

Benghazi

Benghazi is not a new story. What is new, however, is the level of attention finally being given to the actions of the White House that awful night. Details have now emerged showing that leaders at the very top of the U.S. government not only refused to dispatch the military to help rescue consulate employees during the terrorist attack, but that they knowingly, carefully orchestrated a cover-up.

Last Friday, abc Newsnot exactly a conservative source—revealed that the U.S. administration had tried to cover up the extent of their failure and had lied to the press.

Immediately after the September 11 attack last year, UN Ambassador Susan Rice described what happened using a set of talking points put together by the intelligence community. At the time, we were told that these talking points were barely edited. According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions was changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

We now know that Mr. Carney, the president’s spokesman, was telling a bald-faced lie. The State Department heavily edited and even censored the talking points—or at least heavily leaned on the intelligence community to do so. Statements about links to al Qaeda were cut out, as were references to the cia giving advanced warning of the attack. The attack on the embassy became a “demonstration.” America’s leaders said the attack was sparked by a demonstration about a YouTube video, even though there was no demonstration.

Last week, the deputy head of the mission, Gregory Hicks, said that the YouTube video was not a big deal in Libya, and no one saw the attack as a demonstration. Here’s how the Weekly Standard summarized the White House’s behavior: “After pushing the intelligence community to revise its talking points to fit the administration’s preferred narrative, administration officials would point fingers at the intelligence community when parts of that narrative were shown to be misleading or simply untrue. …

[F]resh evidence emerged that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults” (emphasis added).

Together, these three scandals seem to be changing the perception of Mr. Obama and his administration, even in the mainstream media and among some of his liberal supporters. After four years of being blindly loved and embraced, and being given a free pass on its many indiscretions and flaws, the Obama administration appears to be under real pressure. More and more people are coming to see the lies and deceit.

Richard A. Epstein wrote in Foreign Policy:

The very president who has pledged himself to be the most open and transparent administration ever is now perceived on all sides of the political spectrum as a secretive soul who skulks about in the shadows, so sure of his own moral rectitude that he thinks that it is alright to ignore the procedural safeguards that the U.S. Constitution wisely puts in the path of less wise and omniscient presidents. Long ago, James Madison warned in Federalist No. 10 that the Constitution had to be rigged for bad times because it is in the nature of politics that ‘Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.’ Madison’s time has come.

Again, it’s the timing of these scandals that is especially remarkable. Eight weeks ago, Gerald Flurry released a book explaining that America’s government is run by immoral, dishonest figures who are pursuing policies and actions designed to ruin America. Since then, not one, or two, but three enormous scandals have broken that vindicate every detail of his message. Pretty extraordinary, isn’t it?

It makes me want to read America Under Attack again.

Tornadoes Kill Six in Texas

Multiple tornadoes swept through North Texas on Wednesday night. In Granbury, Texas, six people were killed and about 50 were injured. At least 250 were left homeless.

Approximately 50 people were taken to a local hospital. Fourteen were admitted for treatment of injuries, while two were transferred to a hospital in Fort Worth.

As of Thursday morning, Granbury officials were still trying to locate 14 people. They don’t yet know if the people are missing or just not in the area.

The tornado littered Granbury with debris and aluminum panels. About 20,000 homes and businesses lost electricity.

Police set up roadblocks on Thursday morning near the stricken areas. People affected by the devastation congregated in public areas.

Elizabeth Tovar: “We were all, like, hugging in the bathtub, and that’s when it started happening. I heard glass shattering and I knew my house was going. We looked up and then, like, on top of the bathtub, the whole ceiling was gone. And that was when we knew we were, we were probably gone—we were in trouble.”

Last May, an F5 tornado swept through Joplin, Missouri, demolishing the southern part of the city and killing over 150. Hurricane Sandy ravaged much of the eastern United States in October, killing nearly 300.

Why is so much violent weather striking America? Those personally affected by these storms need answers. You need answers. These answers can be found in our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?

IRS: An Abuse of Power

IRS: An Abuse of Power

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What the IRS scandal reveals about the state of the U.S. administration

Investigations into the dealings of the Internal Revenue Service have begun after irs officials confirmed on May 10 that they had targeted groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names. From 2010 to 2012, at least three officials, one in Washington and two in California, directly targeted these groups, which were seeking tax-exemption status. The actions of the irs run diametrically opposite to what is expected of the agency. It is supposed to remain free of bias.

There were at least 75 such groups that were targeted merely because of their names. They make up almost one quarter of all groups that were singled out for further analysis by the irs in Washington in that time period. Some of the targeted organizations were burdened with questionnaires that were designed to determine, among other things, the extent of their voter outreach. Not only were these questionnaires time consuming, they forced the conservative groups to give up valuable, confidential information.

In a Jan. 9, 2012, letter to the Richmond Tea Party, for example, irs officials asked questions about “the names of donors, contributors and grantors,” as well as how much money they gave, and when they gave it. According to Richmond Tea Party officials, the harassment led to a drop in donors, because the donors were concerned about remaining anonymous.

Other groups were frustrated by the irs after being blocked and delayed for two years. The Wetumpka Tea Party of Alabama was delayed in its acquisition of tax-free exemption before being hounded with more questionnaires that asked for the names of all its volunteers and contributor amounts, as well as the names of legislators it had been in communication with. This questionnaire came in 2012, in the lead-up to the presidential elections. Political conservatives are calling it an intimidation tactic.

The organizations with “tea party” or “patriot” in their name were not the only ones singled out. There were groups that opposed the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—that also came under heightened scrutiny. This raises concerns that the scandal goes beyond the irs, to the White House. Recent U.S. history proves that the irs isn’t immune to manipulation by the government.

Presidents have used the irs to harass political opponents in the past. In 1969, President Nixon agreed to use the irs to examine left-wing tax-exempt organizations. In the ’90s, conservative non-profit organizations accused the Clinton administration of targeting them through the irs.

The irs is not only selective with individuals and organizations, but also with states. A study published in the Economics and Politics journal in 2001 stated that “the percentage of tax returns audited by the irs is markedly lower in states that are important to the sitting president’s reelection aspirations. We also find that the irs is responsive to it oversight committees.” The pattern was noticed between 1992 and 1997. It shows that the irs is willing to be less troublesome to states that the president wants in his electoral camp.

As soon as the latest irs scandal started making headlines, Republicans across the board began calling for heads to roll. However, there are few in the irs that can take the blame. The commissioner at the time, Douglas Shulman, stepped down in November 2012. He could hold partial responsibility after receiving a briefing from the treasury inspector general for tax administration that gave a rundown of how the irs was targeting specific groups. He received the briefing in May 2012. His assistant, Steven Miller, was also made aware of the situation at that time. As the White House began to respond to the scandal, one of the first steps was for the Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, to request and accept the resignation of Mr. Miller. Since Mr. Shulman stepped down, Mr. Miller fulfilled the role of acting-commissioner.

Both men were supposedly informed numerous times about the problem within the irs. “I wrote to the irs three times last year after hearing concerns that conservative groups were being targeted,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

Now it is time to ask, Did the White House know? With the White House condemning the irs scandal and distancing itself from it, it is not yet clear what role it had in the irs’s targeted investigations. The president claimed he first heard of the story on May 10. It was on the same day the irs acknowledged it was targeting specific groups.

Lois Lerner, the irs official overseeing tax-exempt groups, said the targeting was “a misguided effort to come up with an efficient means of dealing with a flood of applicants from organizations seeking tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012.” Another way of saying that would be to give pro-liberal organizations a free pass, and burden the opposition with as many questionnaires and delays as possible.

Lerner may try to hide behind “misguided” efforts, but her actions speak louder than her words. When President Obama’s half-brother applied for tax-exempt status for his organization, Mrs. Lerner approved the application within a month. This is despite the fact that it operated illegally for years prior to that time. The application was submitted on May 23, 2011, and Lerner signed off on it on June 26. That is a stark contrast to the three years that other non-profit organizations had to wait. The situation has continued to stir controversy between Washington’s chief political parties.

Republican and Democratic political parties view each other as wrong, if not evil. When a political party holds such a mindset, then it is likely to do whatever it can to stop its opposition. Obviously such a mindset should be intolerable at the governing level, particularly for the president. Yet, as Peter Morici from Fox News said, “President Obama cultivates a culture of anything goes to defeat opponents and advance his liberal agenda.” This is evident in the way his subordinates within the irs have singled out certain groups for questioning.

At the outbreak of the scandal, President Obama responded by saying, “If you have the irs operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions.”

The traditions that the president is referring to are the national laws which state that the federal government is not allowed to target specific people for tax purposes without a valid cause.

Here’s more on the response of the president and other policymakers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGAT336ECfc&feature=youtu.be

The irs is a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The commissioner is elected by the president of the United States for a five-year term. He reports to the secretary of the treasury. When the highest official in the irs is directly involved in the cover-up of the scandal (the acting commissioner responded to concerns from Congress last year by assuring it no such groups were being targeted), it shows a level of corruption that has permeated the government of the nation.

This latest scandal—the latest of many—has come just after the Philadelphia Church of God released a booklet titled America Under Attack, which highlights the corruption within the U.S. government, the judicial system and the attack on the law of the land. If the administration used the irs to attack its political opponents, that is an outright violation of constitutional law. In the booklet America Under Attack, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes, “This type of anti-Constitution reasoning is suddenly becoming quite popular. Do you know why? It is because the Obama administration is taking actions just about every week that raise constitutional questions and that threaten to undermine America’s foundational document.”

If you haven’t already, order a free copy of the booklet. It will show you how the administration has been systematically undermining to the point where it is working to bring down the very nation that it governs! The booklet will show you the reason behind society’s deadly decline, as well as where the attack is coming from, and how it is undermining the Constitution.

The irs investigation is the latest in a slew of scandals that lead right up the steps of the White House. Watch as this pattern of corruption continues as the Obama administration disregards the laws that were set in place to provide safety, and instead chooses to continue down its destructive path.