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Saturday, January 31, 2009

School Children Complain Of "Obama Worship" During Lessons
Giant images of president projected onto classroom walls disturb kids, parents
By Steve Watson

Several disturbing stories have come to our attention over the past weeks and days that further highlight how sections of the American population have elevated Barack Obama to a dangerously inflated "messianic" status normally only associated with Royalty or totalitarian leaders.

What makes the following accounts so much more insidious, however, is that they all involve children.

Perhaps the most insidious is to be found on the Tree of Liberty forum where a concerned parent from Las Vegas reveals that his 1st grader son has complained of having to pledge allegiance every day at school to a huge projected image of the new president.

The post reads:
My son, who is in 1st grade, came home yesterday saying that he didn't want to go back to school anymore. So I asked him why? He said that during the Pledge of Allegiance the teacher put up a large image of Obama next to the flag. I asked him if he was sure of this and I suggested to him that maybe the teacher just put up an 8x10 photo of the president. He said, "No, it is a large picture of Obama and when we are done Ms. **** turns off the image." I also asked if they did this for Bush last year? He again said, "No." This was my sons first day back to school since before Christmas, he was on a 5 week track break.

My wife volunteers a couple of days each week with helping out with my sons teacher doing various duties. She said that she would come in early this morning to see what was going on. She just got back and reported that this was true and then some. She said she waited out in the pod area and could see inside 3 of the 5 class rooms in this section of school. She said that when the kids stand each teacher flips on the classroom overhead and a full body image of Obama, with six U.S. flags behind him, comes up about 4 feet away from the flag that hangs on the wall. She said that the image has Obama staring straight at you with no facial expressions, just a serious look. I asked my wife if Obama had his hand over his heart? She said that she was so taken aback by this that she didn't see it. What is worse is she said that all of the kids in each class faced Obama instead of the flag that hangs in the corner.

What the heck is going on?

Guys and gals, I need some advise on how to approach this. I can be somewhat hot headed so I need to plan accordingly with what to say to the principal when we go in to inquire about this. I am sure I will be brushed off so what is my next step? Obviously it will be the school district but then who? ACLU, Veteran groups, Christian groups? Who would be interested in this vile activity?

This is happening in the Clark County School District here in Las Vegas, Henderson area.

Anyone in their right mind will realize that Americans are not supposed to "pledge allegiance" or "service" to a president. The U.S. Constitution, that piece of paper that Obama clumsily swore to defend and protect, states quite clearly that elected representatives are supposed to act in "service" of the people’s best interests, not the other way around.

Imagine the outcry that would have ensued if it had been revealed that huge images of George W Bush were being projected onto the walls of schools every day during his presidency.

Indeed, a similar incident in 2006 did cause waves of consternation when video emerged of children at a so called "Jesus Camp" being asked to worship a life size cutout of Bush.

Seemingly, now that Obama is president this activity is not restricted to "wacky" religious gatherings and is becoming commonplace throughout schools in America.

Another concerned parent relates a similar story on our own PrisonPlanet forum:

I live in Toledo, Ohio & my 3 kids (16, 13 &10) had to watch the inauguration & ceremony in our Toledo Public Schools. My 13 year old daughter is supposed to write a letter to President Obama & my 10 year old is supposed to write 5 facts & 5 opinions on President Obama. what do i tell them so i dont get CSB called on me?

Given that he has been described as the "global leader", it is quite apt that Obama worship is apparently not restricted to U.S. schools. Two weeks ago the Toronto Star reported on how Rowntree Public School now has its own "Obama curriculum" complete with a theme song that "blasts" out the following lyrics from speakers in the school every day:

"Building blocks of a new vow/ A million stops and a new route ..."

Children are asked to complete "Obama video worksheets" while learning all about the president's life, but apparently not what his policies are or even what party he represents.

As part of the curriculum the students were asked to write a letter to the president, which is also featured in the article (see opposite).

The final paragraph states "You are the best because you are the first African American president in the United States of America!" and the children end by promising that they will "always remember your slogan, 'Yes we can!'".

The "Obama curriculum" is clearly not an isolated phenomenon. We have also recently reported on how one teacher has suggested removing from school curriculums all classic novels that explore racial prejudice in society, purely because Obama is now president.

When added to the footage of glassy eyed children singing beautiful melodic songs about Obama (see below) and the now infamous footage of the Obama youth brigade children blindly reciting what their elders have told them to, these stories add up to a disturbing overall trend.

The youth brigades of Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union are obviously an extreme form of this kind of blind indoctrination, however they were more like scout organizations, their doctrines were never openly instituted in schools!

Perhaps even more disturbing is that there is no significant authoritative pressure pushing this kind of activity in schools. Clearly the teachers instigating the activities in the incidents related above are doing so of their own will, the phenomenon is a cultural one.

The fervor with which Obama is being received by portions of the American public is reaching a frightening level. It has come to the point where the new president is literally being hailed as the anointed savior of humanity.

We have flocks of celebrities encouraging Americans to "pledge service" to Obama, a disturbing notion given the fact that Obama has promised to found a "national civilian security force" and institute forms of compulsory community service for all Americans.

It is one thing for naive adults to buy into such groupthink, but to also subject young children to this, a mentality akin to the desperate prole worship of Big Brother in George Orwell's 1984, is profoundly foreboding for any so called free society.

*First graders pledge allegiance…to Obama? Updated.
** New pledge hoax slams Obama, teachers and public schools

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dating Guide: 40 Things You Can Learn About a Guy in 10 Minutes
If you're curious about the new dude in your life but know better than to grill him with 20 questions, you're gonna love our sneaky read-him tips.
By Stephanie Booth
for Cosmopolitan©Anna Bryukhanova

You don't have to date a guy for six months to get the lowdown on who he really is. With the right clues, you can size him up in 10 minutes. "A man's actions -- especially the ones you see in unguarded moments when he's not going out of his way to try to impress you (or doesn't realize you're watching) -- can speak volumes about his character and personality traits," says Rita Benasutti, PhD, a psychotherapist who specializes in couples' issues. To help you decode a guy you've just started seeing, Cosmo called on a team of experts to tell you how to assess his actions and tap into his boyfriend potential, pronto.

His Favorite Sport
"Solo sportsmen, like runners and swimmers, 1 savor their independence and relish spending a lot of time alone," says relationship-skills coach Steve Nakamoto, author of "Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Catching a Man." Men who are fans of mainstream team sports, like football, basketball, and baseball, 2 tend to be competitive -- on the field and in all aspects of their life -- and they like to hang with their entourage. As for the guy who's just not into sports at all, 3 "he's an independent thinker, usually on the sensitive side."

How Long He's Been Hanging With His Friends
A guy who has been friends with the same posse since he was 10 years old can certainly claim 4 loyalty as one of his strong suits. But "you better like what you see, because he's probably not great with change," says dating coach Liz H. Kelly, author of "Smart Man Hunting." "And be patient, because it will take a while for you to win his trust." If your date has buddies from all areas of his life -- i.e., college, the gym, work -- don't be afraid to drag him to your cousin's wedding. 5 "He has no problem schmoozing strangers and adapts to new situations easily."

Credit vs. Cash
A guy who likes to flash his plastic 6 craves status. "He may be ambitious and confident. He'll reach his financial goals," says Rob Ronin, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and registered financial consultant. "If he always pays in cash, 7 he's self-sufficient and independent," which might make him a difficult dude to corner. And if his wallet is dry? 8 Here's a guy who's dependent on others to take care of him.

His Bad Habits
Gambling men 9 are risk-takers, which can make them a lot of fun. "But their over-the-top optimism that they'll come out ahead makes it difficult for them to face reality," says Mitchell Parks, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. "Hard-core smokers 10 tend to be anxious," says Dr. Parks, so it can be hard to pin them down for couple-time. And if he's a boozer, 11 he could be hiding his insecurity behind his buzz.

His Communication Style
When your date opts to email you -- rather than call -- 12 he could be a hard nut to crack. "The fact that he chooses a communication method that allows him to edit what he says signals that he might not want to show his true self," says Jeff Bryson, PhD, professor of psychology at San Diego State University. An IM addict 13 craves your nonstop attention and needs that instant assurance that you're there for him. And the phone fan? 14 He might be a little old-fashioned and likes to do things by the book. But, according to Bryson, "he's not afraid of intimacy."

The Clothes You Wear That He Prefers
If your fave T-shirt and jeans or a cute little sundress do more for him than your slinky black number, 15 you're dating an earthy, laid-back guy who likes equally laid-back, low-maintenance chicks. A man who's wowed by a woman who likes to get dolled up in high-end designer duds 16 places a high priority on prestige. "He'll probably make a lot of money, but it also might play too important a role in his life," says Los Angeles clinical psychologist Nancy Irwin, PsyD. And a guy who wants a Carmen Electra-sensual girl on his arm 17 is looking for an ego boost. "He places a lot of value on being admired and envied."

How He Deals With Traffic
If he constantly weaves in and out of cars, tailgates slowpokes, and glares at other drivers, 18 "it's pretty clear that he has a problem with aggression," says Leon James, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and author of "Road Rage and Aggressive Driving." While a forceful personality might take him far in the workplace, it could be difficult to deal with this argumentative guy in a relationship. If he's able to exude Zen-like calm when stuck in gridlock, 19 "he's likely to have more self-control."

What He Orders in a Restaurant
A meat-and-potatoes-type guy 20 is usually steady and dependable, says image coach Dianne Daniels, author of "Polish and Presence: 31 Days to a New Image." "But he's also a little unadventurous." If your date goes for exotic dishes, 21 "you're with someone who makes spontaneity a priority and could easily get bored with the status quo."

Neat Freak or Messy Man
A guy who puts his dirty socks in the hamper is one thing; a guy who color-codes them in his drawer is something else. 22 "This man is way too fastidious to have fun," explains Daniels, "and he'll expect you to be just as neat." A mildly messy man 23 is looser and more open-minded. But if the inside of his shower has never seen a scrub brush, 24 he may be immature or just plain lazy.

Favorite TV Shows
Take note if he parks himself in front of one sitcom after another. 25 "Here's a guy who uses humor to defuse stress," says TV producer Hedda Muskat, author of "Dating Confidential: A Single's Guide to a Fun, Flirtatious and Possibly Meaningful Social Life." This can be a good thing, because he won't hold a grudge against you or lose his cool. But it also might be hard to get into a serious conversation with him, which can be frustrating. "The more you try to discuss something important, the more evasive he will become," says Muskat. A couch sleuth who's fascinated by CSI-type shows, on the other hand, 26 is analytical and thoughtful. "He prides himself on his problem-solving abilities and will be there for you when you need support," says Muskat.

His Birth Order
"The oldest child 27 is usually a responsible, take-charge kind of guy," says Nancy Fagan, author of "Desirable Men." If your babe is the baby of his brood, 28 "he's likely to be creative and a little rebellious." As for a middle man: 29 "He's a sensitive soul who needs loads of attention."

How He Approaches PDAs
When you're out in public and he's all over you like a rash, 30 "he's either trying to show you off or marking his territory, both of which are signs of insecurity," says Nakamoto. A guy who's allergic to body contact in public is 31 unsure about his feelings for you or your feelings for him. "PDAs are statements of togetherness," says Nakamoto. "If he has doubts, he'll keep his distance physically."

Whether He Always Drives or Wants You To
"A guy who doesn't automatically assume driving rights 32 is likely to let you steer the relationship at least some of the time," says Kelly. A man who hogs the wheel -- even in your car -- 33 is sweetly old-fashioned at best and, at worst, could be a control freak.

The Guy's Grooming MO
A guy who checks out his reflection in every store window you pass is obviously vain. But, interestingly, 34 it's also a sign of a dude who's intent on succeeding. "Presentation is everything to this kind of man," says Sheenah Hankin, PhD, author of "Complete Confidence." "He sees it as a measure of his self-respect and success." 35 The low-key, less conceited guy might be less ambitious, "but he's easier to connect with emotionally because he's not as superficial," says Hankin. "What counts on the inside matters more to him."

If He Looks You in the Eye
"A man who doesn't make eye contact during conversation 36 may not be trustworthy," says speech coach Diane DiResta, author of "Knockout Presentations." "Meanwhile, if his eyes bore into yours as he's talking, 37 he might be trying to intimidate you." But a smoldering gaze -- you know what that looks like -- 38 means he's immensely fond of you.

His Speaking Style
If your man moves his mouth a mile a minute, 39 you're with a spontaneous, high-energy guy who may be a little too self-absorbed. "Fast talkers get so wrapped up in making a good impression that they don't pay attention to their audience," says DiResta. Slow talkers 40 typically play it safe. "The way they deliberate every word before it comes out of their mouth is indicative of how they approach life: They look before they leap." So although you shouldn't expect a lot of surprises, at least you'll know he means what he says.

Things You'll Only Learn With Time
Your speedy profiling skills won't reveal these tidbits from psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of "Calling in 'The One'."

How loyal he'll be: Wait and see if you're shown the same allegiance as his buds are.

If he's a man of his word:
Will he really keep those promises he made to you early on?

His little quirks:
Time reveals the small details that really make a person tick.

If his parents' split haunts him:
His broken home may have issued him some big-time emotional baggage.

Jessica Alba Calls TMZ, Bill O'Reilly the Stupid Ones
Source: E! Online

Jessica Alba is disappointed in all of us for paying attention to her during what she blogs is "perhaps the most salient time in our country's history." (Don't worry, Jess, we're more disappointed in ourselves than you'll ever know.)

She's speaking, of course about the "a-hole" episode, when Jessica called out Bill O'Reilly and then harassed a reporter who didn't want to answer her questions—taunting him with "Be neutral about it, be Sweden!" This, of course, gave TMZ a chance to call her a ditz for not saying Switzerland.

But Jess isn't going to sit around and let people call her stupid, especially when Wikipedia and MySpace exist to clear her name. This is her defense of giving Sweden the neutral shout-out:

"Last week, Mr. Bill O'Reilly and some really classy sites (i.e.TMZ) insinuated I was dumb by claiming Sweden was a neutral country. I appreciate the fact that he is a news anchor and that gossip sites are inundated with intelligent reporting, but seriously's so sad to me that you think the only neutral country during WWII was Switzerland. Check out: [Wikipedia link] if you want to see what I was referring to. I appreciate the name calling and the accurate reporting. Keep it up!!"

Well, we can't argue with Wikipedia. You win, Jess. You're totally smarter than TMZ.

Prosecutor: Slain toddler said 'I love you' at end
By Juan A. Lozano,
Associated Press Writer

This undated photo released by Sheryl Ann Sawyers shows her granddaughter Riley Ann Sawyers, 2, whose body washed ashore in a storage bin in Galveston Bay, Texas, on Oct. 29, 2007. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, where Riley Ann's mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, will defend herself against charges she and her husband beat and tortured the child before putting her lifeless body out to sea.
(AP Photo/Courtesy of Sheryl Ann Sawyers, File)

GALVESTON, Texas – A slain toddler tried to stop her mother and stepfather from beating her to death by reaching out to her mother and saying, "I love you," a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday. The pleas from 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers didn't stop her mother, Kimberly Trenor, from continuing to brutalize her, assistant district attorney Kayla Allen said in her opening statement at Trenor's murder trial.

But defense attorney Tommy Stickler Jr. told the jury that Trenor, 20, never intended to kill her daughter in 2007 and that things just "spun out of control."

The toddler was dubbed "Baby Grace" by investigators who worked to identify her decomposed remains after the body was found in a plastic container in October 2007 on a tiny island in Galveston Bay.

Trenor's 25-year-old husband, Royce Zeigler II, is to be tried separately on murder charges. His attorney points the finger at Trenor.

Prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty because they didn't think they could prove that either one would be a future danger, as required.

During her opening statement, Allen detailed for jurors the day that she said Riley Ann died for forgetting to say "please" and "yes, sir."

Allen said that on July 25, 2007, Trenor and Zeigler disciplined Riley by whipping her with a belt, pushing her head against a pillow and holding her head under water. She said Zeigler grabbed Riley and tossed her across the room, fracturing her skull. An autopsy concluded the skull fractures caused her death.

"To the very end, Riley said, 'I love you' to her mom. She's reaching out," Allen said. "That's her lifeline, to her mother. What does Kim do after hearing her say I love you? She starts beating her."

Allen said the adults did nothing to help even as Riley lay dying.

She said the pair bought a plastic container, stuffed Riley's body inside and stored it in a shed for a month or two before setting it out to sea, prosecutors said.

Stickler portrayed Trenor as a scared 19-year-old girl who had moved to Texas from Ohio to marry a man she met while playing an online game. She said Riley's father, her former boyfriend, had assaulted her and Zeigler was her "knight in shining armor, her Texas cowboy."

"I don't want to use the word accident, but this wasn't something that was intentional," Stickler said.

Trenor could receive an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted of capital murder. The jury could also convict her of a lesser charge.

Riley's remains were unidentified for weeks until an Ohio woman, Sheryl Sawyers, saw an artist's sketch and told authorities she believed the girl was her granddaughter. Sawyers' son is Trenor's ex-boyfriend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Video game plays strange message?
Mother: toy says 'Islam is the light'
By Jessica Hayes

KNIGHTSVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) - Months ago, Rachel Jones was shocked to discover her 4-year-old's baby doll seemed to have a hidden message: Islam is the light.

Imagine her surprise when a game for her 8-year-old daughter's Nintendo DS had the same message.

Rachel said she bought the Nintendo game, Baby Pals, as a gift for her 8-year-old daughter after a good report card.

She had no idea the game also contained the hidden message "Islam is the light."

"We were sitting in the kitchen, and she was playing it," said Jones. "All of a sudden she looked at me, and I looked at her and she said, 'Mom, I think my baby said something.' And so I played it back, and it says 'Islam is the light.'"

The message on the doll and in the Nintendo game sound exactly the same.

The Nintendo game has an "E" rating, which means it's suitable for any age.

In a virtual reality setting, the child playing the game can feed the baby or teach it to crawl, among other things. It's only when the child gives the baby a bath that it repeatedly seems to say "Islam is the light."

Jones said she's angry this is the second toy she's had to take from her children.

"Not just my daughters' toys, but we have a son too," said Jones. "Now I feel like I need to listen to all of his little toys to make sure they're not saying it."

Nintendo's representatives said the game is manufactured by a third party, so they're not responsible for the content, but the game's packaging clearly states the game is licensed by Nintendo.

News 10 also contacted the game's manufacturer, Crave Entertainment, and we are still waiting on a call back.

The Baby Pals game can be purchased at a number of places, including Game Stop,, and

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama's triumphal entry: Gentle, riding on donkey
Artist creates messianic parade as 'adorers' wave palm fronds
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Clark's Obama sculpture, riding a donkey at the Iowa Capitol

DES MOINES, Iowa – Amid the pomp, circumstance and celebration of welcoming a new president, an artist in Iowa created an inaugural parade sure to draw attention, even hundreds of miles from Washington, D.C.: Barack Obama, riding on a donkey, complete with waving palm fronds and "Secret Service" escort.

As WND reported, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan declared in October that when Obama talks, "the Messiah is absolutely speaking." But artist Matthew J. Clark's parade – marching Obama through the streets of Des Moines in similar fashion to Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem – takes the messianic imagery even farther.

The Bible describes Jesus' procession into Jerusalem in the 21st chapter of Matthew as the fulfillment of the prophet Zechariah's words, "Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass," or as the New International Version paraphrases, "gentle, and riding on a donkey." As the celebrated Messiah entered the city, the Bible also tells of adorers spreading their cloaks at Jesus' feet and waving palm fronds.

Fred Love, a reporter for Lee Enterprises whose account was published by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, witnessed a strange sight earlier this week, as a sculpture of Obama marched down Des Moines' Locust Street in similar fashion.

"Progressing slowly down Locust and holding up traffic was a rubbery Barack Obama sculpture saddled on the back of a donkey," Love writes. "A pair of black SUVs led the procession and two more trailed behind, Secret Service-style. A couple of the SUVs were decked out with tiny American flags."

Love continues, "A few men led the Donkey down the street and a woman made her way along the sidewalk, keeping up with the procession and handing out palm branches to the few perplexed onlookers who had gathered on the sidewalks to see what the fuss was about."

Clark called the marching artwork "A Simulacrum of Hope: Simulation of the Triumphal Entry of the Christ."

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word "simulacrum" as "an image or representation; or an unreal or vague semblance," leaving the viewer to interpret whether Clark considers the parade a celebration of Obama or a mockery of Obama's more adoring supporters.

Get "The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama's War on American Values" and learn about the looming hostile attack on Judeo-Christian values and freedoms Americans hold dear

Clark's website describes the sculpture in equally vague terms.

"This project was inspired by my thoughts about 'icons' and religious symbols and whether they represent truth or merely represent," the website reads. "The sculpture poses a question that relates to social conventions, metaphysics, and the collective response of society in reaction to fearful and uncertain times, but doesn't impose an answer. For me, it has much more to do with the general public as followers than any leader granted power."

According to a bio on his website, Clark is "a contemporary visual artist whose primary medium is sculpture. His projects are concept driven and primarily concerned with highlighting contradictions between ideas and their outworking in our current culture."

The website also reports that since the parade has ended, the sculpture will be retired to sit upon a taxidermist-mounted donkey.

London squatters live like lords in abandoned mansions

A court notice for the attention of the squatters who have taken over two estimated pound15m mansions on Park Lane, in London

LONDON (AFP) - - A stone's throw from the Dorchester Hotel and an Aston Martin car dealership, squatters have taken over two mansions on one of London's most prestigious streets.

Park Lane, which runs up the side of the city's Hyde Park, is a favourite address for celebrities and businesspeople, but the newest occupants of numbers 94 and 95 are cut from a slightly different cloth.

"Stick," one of the squatters, told AFP that he stumbled upon his new seven-storey residence -- complete with penthouse on top -- in November while searching for a place to live with a group of fellow artists.

"The place was empty, man," he said, speaking through the letterbox of number 95 because journalists are refused entry. "The door was open. I just opened it."

Squatting, or occupying an abandoned building, is only illegal in England if it involves breaking and entering or damage to goods.

According to "Stick," the two multi-million pound (euro, dollar) buildings, which boast elaborate wrought iron balconies and airy bow windows, had been empty for around two years because of renovation works.

He said there was no central heating and no shower inside, adding that the squatters ask each new resident to bring their own fuel by way of admission ticket.

Another squatter, Andreas, said that conditions were "pretty good, but I've known much better places."

The tall Swede, who sported an untidy black beard with a blonde streak, has lived in London for two years and never paid rent. "I always find a place," he said.

He has been at Park Lane for eight months -- his longest squat so far -- but will not stay for much longer.

"We knew it wouldn't last long here," he said, adding that he hopes to find a new squat in east London, a poorer area "where the lawyers are not so swift to evict us."

As if to confirm what he said, two besuited bailiffs arrived to post a document on the door warning that the owners will try and evict the squatters at a court hearing on Wednesday, January 28.

This prompted two of the residents inside the building to race to a balcony and tip water on the bailiffs, who retreat, chastened, to the doorway.

One of the squatters raised both fists in the air in a victory salute, tossing his dreadlocked hair in celebration.

The owner of the freehold on the property is Grosvenor, the agent which handles land belonging to the Duke of Westminster, Britain's richest man.

"We have contacted the leaseholder's solicitors asking them to resolve this problem without delay," a spokesman said.

Neighbours of the squatters did not want to comment but Andreas insisted relations were good between them.

"The neighbours are really friendly. I've got a big fridge from one of them," he said.

Another squatter, 20-year-old art student Daniel Moreira, said that all those living in the house were "nice people."

"There are no junkies or crack-heads in there," he added.

Asked about those who see squatters as "scroungers," he said he could understand their point of view.

"I think that's fair. We are invading a house," he said.

5 Marcos cronies face estafa raps
By Edu Punay
Philstar News Service

Five businessmen have been charged with syndicated estafa in court after they tried to sell the historic Luneta Hotel in Manila using a fake title.

Charged were Erlinda Panlilio, Marlo Cristobal, Nicole Morris, Jose Marcel Panlilio and Herminio Valerio.

Prosecutors said the businessmen were associated with the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

In a nine-page resolution dated Jan. 19, State Prosecutor Phillip dela Cruz said the circumstances of the case show that all the elements of syndicated estafa are present in the case.

“Records showed that respondents have resorted to at least two instances of falsification of public documents in order to sell and dispose Transfer Certificate of Title NO. T-110068,” he said.

“Evidently, respondents’ actuations negate their claim of good faith and lend credence to complainants’ claims.”

Investigations showed the five respondents were incorporators of Rizal Park Hotel Inc. (RPHI), the registered owner of the Luneta Hotel and the 450-square-meter lot where it stands in front of Rizal Park along T.M. Kalaw Street in Manila.

The case arose from a complainant filed by H.E. Heacock Resources Corp., represented by corporate secretary Santiago Alvarez Jr., before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In his complaint, Alvarez said the RPHI incorporators have transferred all their shares through Deeds of Assignment on Sept. 15, 1973.

The respondents were then appointed trustees of Heacock, he added. However, Heacock later learned that the respondents – using a new corporate name, Rizal Park Corp., and presenting another title – sold the property to Beaumont Holdings Corp. on May 15, 2007 for P25 million, Alvarez said.

Alvarez said the respondents also tried to sell the Luneta Hotel in September 1987 to JBA Group of Management and Development Corp, but the Registry of Deeds of Manila found that they were using a fake title.

In the second attempt to sell the hotel, Cristobal – representing himself as the duly elected corporate secretary of RPHI – filed a petition for lost duplicate copy of the title, Alvarez said.

During preliminary investigation, the respondents denied the charges against them. They questioned the Deeds of Assignment of Heacock as incomplete and the period of its effectivity lapsed.

DOJ prosecutors, however, said the case has become a question of “credibility of statements of witnesses” that should be resolved in a full-blown court trial.

In 2007, Beaumont announced the hotel would undergo structural rehabilitation and retrofitting. The hotel is dubbed as one of the few remaining structures that survived World War II.

It is also being touted as the only structure in the country reminiscent of French Renaissance architecture with Filipino stylized beaux arts.

Completed in 1918, it was designed by Spanish architect-engineer Salvador Farre, according to a study by Dean John Joseph Fernandez of the University Of Santo Tomas College Of Architecture.

The dilapidated building was declared a historical landmark by the National Historical Institute. It is protected by Presidential Decree 1505, which makes it unlawful to alter or destroy the original features of an edifice classified by the NHI “without prior written permission from its chairman.”

Top 20 signs of a Pinoy flick

So how would you know that you are watching a Pinoy movie?

Here are the “Top 20 Signs” according to a reader who didn’t identify him/herself (thanks to you!):

  1. Sasayaw ang loveteam sa likod ng puno ng buko kapag nasa beach ang eksena. Alternate na lalabas ang ulo nila from behind the puno.
  2. Ang kontrabidang babae yayakap sa bidang lalaki, sabay taas ng kilay at ngingisi.
  3. Ang pansit, nagdadala ng malas. Uuwi ang bida na may dalang pansit para sa kanyang nanay na si Anita Linda. Tatawagin ng bida ang mga bata para kumain at kukumustahin niya ang pag-aaral ng mga bata habang kumakain sila. Biglang may titigil na sasakyan sa harap ng bahay at pauulanan ng bala ang pamilya. Mamamatay si Anita Linda at sisigaw ang bida ng “Inaaayyyy!!!” at mangangakong ipaghihigante ito. Moral of the eksena: Ang pansit ay nakakamatay.
  4. Kapag may magkaribal na babae, ‘yung mabait derecho ang buhok at may bangs. ‘Yung salbahe, laging kulot.
  5. Sa Pinoy action movies, ang bida hindi nauubusan ng bala.
  6. Sa Pinoy action movies, kapag tumakbo ang bida, sa lupa lahat ang tama ng bala ng kalaban.
  7. Kapag may mob na pupunta sa bahay kubo ng manananggal, si Vangie Labalan ang laging lider.
  8. Alam mong moment of truth na kapag sinabi ng bida ang title ng pelikula (sample: Isang Bala Ka Lang or Kapag Puno na Ang Salop).
  9. Ang tawag ng kontrabida sa kanyang mga goons, “Mga bata.”
  10. ‘Yung nakababatang kapatid ng bida habang naglalaro, mabibitiwan ang bola at mapupunta sa gitna ng kalsada. Pagkatapos, may darating na sasakyan at itutulak ng bida ang bata at ‘yung bida ang papagitna ng kalsada. Naka-cross ang arms ng bida who is covering his face. Sisigaw ang bata ng, “Kuyaaa!” Next scene: Nasa ospital sila. Simula na ng drama.
  11. Kapag bakbakan, hindi nasasaktan ang bida pero umaaray siya kapag ginagamot na siya ng leading lady. Next scene: Nagla-love-making na sila.
  12. Kapag sinabi ng kontabida sa bida ang masama niyang plano, sasabibin ng bida, “Hayop ka!”
  13. Ang bidang babae, kapag katulong ang role siguradong iri-reveal ng amo na anak siya nito.
  14. Ang nanay ng mayaman ay laging may pamaypay na pang-mayaman at ang nanay ng mahirap ay laging naka-duster.
  15. Ang hideout ng kontrabida ay parating mansyon na may chicks na naka-hilira sa paligid ng pool.
  16. Ang mga bida sa drama, kapag nakatanggap ng masamang balita laging may pinto sa likod nila para puede sila sumandal habang nag-i-slide dahan-dahan pababa, todo iyak at kung minsan with matching uhog.
  17. Kapag hindi nahuli ng mga goons ang bida, sasabihin ng boss sa kanila, “Mga inutil!”
  18. Laging nakakapulot ng baril na may bala ang bida kapag kinakailangan niya.
  19. Laging mas maganda ang yaya ng bida kaysa sa kontrabidang anak ng amo niya.
  20. Kapag ang ending ng movie ay song-and-dance number sa beach o sa resort, ang huling frame shows the cast na tumatalon, sabay freeze.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Plumber recovers $78,000 diamond ring
Woman accidentally flushed 7-carat gem down restaurant toilet
The Associated Press

PHOENIX - Just a case of plumb luck.

It took a plumber to retrieve a woman's 7-carat diamond ring after city workers failed in efforts to flush the gem out of the pipes of a restaurant toilet.

The $78,000 engagement ring fell from Allison Berry's hand when she flushed the toilet in the restroom of the Black Bear Diner on Jan. 14. The ring plopped in and the water whisked it away, said Elena Castelar, the restaurant's shift manager.

City workers opened a pipe outside the restaurant and continuously flushed the toilet, hoping to push the ring out to the opening. When that didn't work, the city called the office in suburban Tempe of Mr. Rooter, a plumbing services franchise based in Waco, Texas.

"This is going to be like dredging for a treasure chest in the ocean," Mike Roberts, general manager of Mr. Rooter, said at the time.

Roberts guided a tiny video camera into the pipe with an infrared light attached. He eventually spotted the ring just 3 feet down and 5 feet over from where it was flushed.

Then it took an hour-and-a-half of jackhammering and pipe removal before Roberts and a technician could recover the ring, eight hours after it fell in the toilet.

"They always say diamonds are a girl's best friend. In this case, a plumber is a girl's best friend," Roberts said. "She was just so excited, she had tears in her eyes. She gave us a hug and said 'Thank you so much.'"

The Mr. Rooter bill came to $5,200 and the city's bill was $1,000.

Berry, of Eureka, Calif., and her fiance also tipped Roberts and the technician $400 each and gave $200 to a diner employee for staying late.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama and Ahmadinejad
By Amir Taheri

Is Barack Obama the "promised warrior" coming to help the Hidden Imam of Shiite Muslims conquer the world?

The question has made the rounds in Iran since last month, when a pro-government Web site published a Hadith (or tradition) from a Shiite text of the 17th century. The tradition comes from Bahar al-Anvar (meaning Oceans of Light) by Mullah Majlisi, a magnum opus in 132 volumes and the basis of modern Shiite Islam.

According to the tradition, Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib (the prophet's cousin and son-in-law) prophesied that at the End of Times and just before the return of the Mahdi, the Ultimate Saviour, a "tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West." Commanding "the strongest army on earth," the new ruler in the West will carry "a clear sign" from the third imam, whose name was Hussein Ibn Ali. The tradition concludes: "Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us."

In a curious coincidence Obama's first and second names--Barack Hussein--mean "the blessing of Hussein" in Arabic and Persian. His family name, Obama, written in the Persian alphabet, reads O Ba Ma, which means "he is with us," the magic formula in Majlisi's tradition.

Mystical reasons aside, the Khomeinist establishment sees Obama's rise as another sign of the West's decline and the triumph of Islam. Obama's promise to seek unconditional talks with the Islamic Republic is cited as a sign that the U.S. is ready to admit defeat. Obama's position could mean abandoning three resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council setting conditions that Iran should meet to avoid sanctions. Seeking unconditional talks with the Khomeinists also means an admission of moral equivalence between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic. It would imply an end to the description by the U.S. of the regime as a "systematic violator of human rights."

Obama has abandoned claims by all U.S. administrations in the past 30 years that Iran is "a state sponsor of terrorism." Instead, he uses the term "violent groups" to describe Iran-financed outfits such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

Obama has also promised to attend a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference within the first 100 days of his presidency. Such a move would please the mullahs, who have always demanded that Islam be treated differently, and that Muslim nations act as a bloc in dealings with Infidel nations.

Obama's election would boost President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chances of winning a second term next June. Ahmadinejad's entourage claim that his "steadfastness in resisting the American Great Satan" was a factor in helping Obama defeat "hardliners" such as Hillary Clinton and, later, it hopes, John McCain.

"President Ahmadinejad has taught Americans a lesson," says Hassan Abbasi, a "strategic adviser" to the Iranian president. "This is why they are now choosing someone who understands Iran's power." The Iranian leader's entourage also point out that Obama copied his campaign slogan "Yes, We Can" from Ahmadinejad's "We Can," used four years ago.

A number of Khomeinist officials have indicated their preference for Obama over McCain, who is regarded as an "enemy of Islam." A Foreign Ministry spokesman says Iran does not wish to dictate the choice of the Americans but finds Obama "a better choice for everyone." Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Majlis, Iran's ersatz parliament, has gone further by saying the Islamic Republic "prefers to see Barack Obama in the White House" next year.

Tehran's penchant for Obama, reflected in the official media, increased when the Illinois senator chose Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. Biden was an early supporter of the Khomeinist revolution in 1978-1979 and, for the past 30 years, has been a consistent advocate of recognizing the Islamic Republic as a regional power. He has close ties with Khomeinist lobbyists in the U.S. and has always voted against sanctions on Iran.

Ahmadinejad has described the U.S. as a "sunset" (ofuli) power as opposed to Islam, which he says is a "sunrise" (toluee) power. Last summer, he inaugurated an international conference called World Without America--attended by anti-Americans from all over the world, including the U.S.

Seen from Tehran, Obama's election would demoralize the U.S. armed forces by casting doubt on their victories in Iraq and Afghanistan, if not actually transforming them into defeat. American retreat from the Middle East under Obama would enable the Islamic Republic to pursue hegemony of the region. Tehran is especially interested in dominating Iraq, thus consolidating a new position that extends its power to the Mediterranean through Syria and Lebanon.

During the World Without America conference, several speakers speculated that Obama would show "understanding of Muslim grievances" with regard to Palestine. Ahmadinejad hopes to persuade a future President Obama to adopt the "Iranian solution for Palestine," which aims at creating a single state in which Jews would quickly become a minority.

Judging by anecdotal evidence and the buzz among Iranian bloggers, while the ruling Khomeinists favor Obama, the mass of Iranians regard (and dislike) the Democrat candidate as an appeaser of the mullahs. Iran, along with Israel, is the only country in the Middle East where the United States remains popular. An Obama presidency, perceived as friendly to the oppressive regime in Tehran, may change that.

The Collapse of the Left-Wing Press
By Bill O'Reilly

There is much irony in the fact that while liberals have won power in Washington big time, the left-wing media is collapsing all over the place. In the past couple of weeks, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the mother of all liberal publications, the New York Times, all have issued SOS announcements.

The Seattle paper will cease publication in March unless a buyer is found. Even though it can't pay its bills, the Post-Intelligencer should get into the left wing hall of fame after its publisher told the FBI to buzz off when the agency asked for media help in locating two possible terror suspects.

The Minneapolis paper, called the "Red Star" by some in Minnesota, has filed for bankruptcy after its earnings dropped more than 50% in one year. That, despite the Presidential vote and a vicious election between Senator Norm Coleman and Al Franken.

As for the New York Times, it is Twilight Zone time. The paper is already trying to use equity from its Manhattan office building to pay debts and now has borrowed $250 million from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu. And get this—the Times is paying old Carlos an astounding 14% interest rate! What, was Tony Soprano not available? Does the description "loan shark" mean anything to the ideologues running the Times? I mean, the prime lending rate in America is 3.25%, and these guys are paying Carlos Slim 14%! Wow.

On the TV front, the über-liberal, Bush-hating MSNBC network ranked #31 in total day ratings for the first two weeks of January. I think that's right behind the "Roller Derby Channel." General Electric, which owns NBC, has taken a sharp turn to the left in its corporate philosophy, while at the same time it watched its stock price decline from about 50 dollars a share to around $13. The fact that CEO Jeffrey Immelt still has his job ranks up there with the miracle of the US Airways water landing.

So, why is the liberal media taking a pounding when the left now controls Congress and the Oval Office? It may be because of the economy. After the recession blindsided the folks last fall, anger filled the air. Why weren't we warned that the finance industry was awash in bad housing loans? President Bush and Senator John McCain had no answer. So the folks voted for the Democrats.

But that doesn't mean that the American people suddenly became liberals over night. In fact, some folks became even more conservative with their spending and lifestyles. The images of left-wing media people gloating over the failure of the Bush administration did not cheer many people up. In fact, I believe it teed a lot them off.

Despite the power shift in Washington, America remains a traditional country that largely rejects big government and radical social change. The former hippies running the crazy left media will never get that. They think most Americans want gay marriage, political correctness and unfettered abortion. They think everyday folks think ponytails and pierced ears on old guys are cool.

Well, these Abbie Hoffman wannabes are sadly out of touch... and, soon, may be out of work.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Journalists spar with Obama over access issues
News organizations question new White House rules on photos, briefings
The Associated Press

Obama wanders into briefing room, meets the press
Jan. 22: President Obama surprised the White House press corp with an unexpected visit. He said he just wanted to say hello to everyone and see the place, which he agreed is smaller than it looks on TV.

NEW YORK - News organizations that cover the White House sparred with the Obama administration on Thursday over access issues for photographers and rules for briefings.

Representatives from Obama's press office held a conference call with photo editors, who are concerned that the administration prefers distributing photos taken by a White House photographer in cases where photojournalists have been permitted access in the past. It was unclear whether the two sides had reached any accommodation.

The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse refused to distribute photos taken by the White House of the new president on his first day in the Oval Office because of the dispute. Still photographers were also not given access to Obama's do-over oath of office administered Wednesday night by Chief Justice John Roberts and an economics meeting on Thursday.

Television network bureau chiefs also protested the exclusion of video cameras from the second oath of office.

"We're in an awkward phase and there will be bumps in the road," said Christopher Isham, CBS News Washington bureau chief. "Hopefully they will be speed bumps rather than obstacles."

Four reporters witnessed the oath of office and shared their observations with others, and a White House photo was released.

"We think it was done in a way that was upfront and transparent," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a briefing when questioned why video cameras were not present.

Pressed on the matter, Gibbs said, "we would have had to get a bigger room."

Effort to identify sources
The Associated Press also questioned on Thursday why reporters were not allowed to use the names of administration officials giving a background briefing on issues regarding the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.

Background briefings are hardly new in Washington, and were frequently conducted during the Bush and Clinton administrations. But the AP wanted to establish early with the administration that it's important to get information on the record as often as possible, said Michael Oreskes, managing editor for U.S. news.

"Information is a lot more valuable to the public if you know where it's coming from," Oreskes said. "So we try very hard in all source situations to identify sources as fully as we can."

Gibbs did not directly address the issue when asked about it later, saying that "I hope that you all found the exercise that we did the morning helpful."

Defense for polygamists cites gay marriage
Lawyers: Canada's step to legalize same-sex unions will help in trial
The Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Canada's decision to legalize gay marriage has paved the way for polygamy to be legal as well, a defense lawyer said Wednesday as the two leaders of rival polygamous communities made their first court appearance.

The case is the first to test Canada's polygamy laws.

Winston Blackmore, 52, and James Oler, 44, are each accused of being married to more than one woman at a time. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, British Columbia Attorney General Wally Oppal said.

But Blackmore's lawyer, Blair Suffredine, said during a telephone interview that marriage standards in Canada have changed.

"If (homosexuals) can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can't marry more than one person?" said Suffredine, a former provincial lawmaker. Canada's Parliament extended full marriage rights to same-sex couples in 2005.

Suffredine said the case is also about religious persecution.

Blackmore and Oler lead rival polygamous factions in Bountiful, a town in southeastern British Columbia. Blackmore is charged with marrying 20 women and Oler is accused of marrying two women.

Blackmore openly acknowledges having numerous wives and dozens of children but has said his community abhors sexual abuse of children.

Bountiful's community
Blackmore, who has an independent sect of about 400 followers in Bountiful, once ran the Canadian arm of the Utah-based Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he was ejected in 2003 by that group's leader, Warren Jeffs. Jeffs is in jail awaiting trial in Arizona on four counts of being an accomplice to sexual conduct with a minor.

Oler is the bishop of Bountiful's FLDS community loyal to Jeffs.

Even though many of Bountiful's residents are related, followers of the two leaders are not allowed to talk with each other.

FLDS members practice polygamy in arranged marriages, a tradition tied to the early theology of the Mormon church. Mormons renounced polygamy in 1890 as a condition of Utah's statehood.

The trial of the two men will continue Feb. 18.

Barack Obama inauguration: this Emperor has no clothes, it will all end in tears
By Gerald Warner
UK Telegraph

This will end in tears. The Obama hysteria is not merely embarrassing to witness, it is itself contributory to the scale of the disaster that is coming. What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence - la trahison des clercs - in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night. It will not be all right.

We have been here before. In the spring of 1997, to be precise, when a charismatic, young prime minister entered Downing Street, cheered by children bussed in for the occasion waving plastic Union Jacks. A very few of us at that time incurred searing reproaches for denouncing the Great Charlatan (as I have always denominated Tony Blair) and dissenting from the public hysteria. Three times a deluded Britain elected that transparent fraud. Yesterday, when national bankruptcy became a formal reality, we reaped the bitter harvest of the Blair/Brown imposture.

The burnt child, contrary to conventional wisdom, does not fear the fire. After the Blair experience there is no excuse for anybody in Britain falling for Obama. Yet today, in this country, even some of those who remained sane during the emotional spasm of the Diana aberration are pumping the air for Princess Barack. At a time of gross economic and geopolitical instability throughout the Western world, this is beyond irresponsibility.

To anyone who kept his head, the string of Christmas cracker mottoes booming through the public address system on Washington's National Mall can only excite scepticism. It is crucial to recall the reality that lies behind the rhetoric. Denouncing "those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents" comes ill from a man whose flagship legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, will impose abortion, including partial-birth abortion, on every state in the Union. It seems the era of Hope is to be inaugurated with a slaughter of the innocents.

Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is like one of those toxic packages traded by bankers: it camouflages many unaffordable gifts to his client state. With a federal deficit already at $1.2 trillion, Obama wants to squander $825 billion (which will undoubtedly mushroom to more than $1 trillion) on creating 600,000 more government jobs and a further 459,000 in "green energy" (useless wind turbines and other Heath-Robinson contraptions favoured by Beltway environmentalists).

It is frightening to think there is a real possibility that the entire world economy could go into complete meltdown and famine kill millions. Yet Western - and British - commentators are cocooned in a warm comfort zone of infatuation with America's answer to Neil Kinnock. We should be long past applauding politicians of any hue: they got us into this mess. The best deserve a probationary opportunity to prove themselves, the worst should be in jail.

It is questionable whether the present political system can survive the coming crisis. Whatever the solution, teenage swooning sentimentality over a celebrity cult has no part in it. The most powerful nation on earth is confronting its worst economic crisis under the leadership of its most extremely liberal politician, who has virtually no experience of federal politics. That is not an opportunity but a catastrophe.

These are frank, even ungracious, words: they have the one merit that, unlike almost everything else written today about Obama, they will not require to be eaten in the future.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Outrage at busty Virgin Mary models

SANTIAGO - A prominent fashion designer has sparked outrage in Chile by dressing up models like the Virgin Mary -- in some cases with ample, near-naked breasts.

The Roman Catholic Church condemned Ricardo Oyarzun's plans for a show featuring the models, and a conservative group tried unsuccessfully to block it in court.

Oyarzun said he had received telephone threats and had excrement smeared on his doorstep.

"There is no pornography here, there's no sex, there are no virgins menstruating or feeling each other up," Oyarzun said ahead of the catwalk show set to be held at a Santiago nightclub later on Thursday. "This is artistic expression."

He said his designs -- which include halos, look as though they come from a nativity scene and include religious icons -- were inspired by the Virgin Mary but not intended to represent her.

"We look on with special pain and deplore those acts which seek to tarnish manifestations of sincere love toward the Virgin Mary, which end up striking at the dignity of womankind by presenting her as an object of consumption," Chile's Episcopal Conference, which includes Catholic bishops, said in a statement.

The show is more evidence that Chile, heavily influenced by the church for decades, is shaking off its reputation as one of the most socially conservative countries in Latin America.

Texas boys find 95-year-old's long-lost class ring
The Associated Press
1 hour 1 minute ago

LUFKIN, Texas - Franklin Weeks figures he lost his college class ring sometime in the 1980s while helping his church put in new playground equipment.

Luke and Sam Lytle can vouch for the 95-year-old Lufkin man's theory. They found the missing ring _ Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College, Class of 1937 _ on Monday while testing their new metal detector at the Ryan Chapel Church playground in Diboll.

Twelve-year-old Luke says he and his 8-year-old brother thought about selling it to a gold reclamation shop, but his conscience dictated a search for its owner.

An Internet search using the initials engraved inside the ring traced it to Weeks. He gave them $20 and told them, "I hope you keep on hunting. Pretty soon you might find something you can keep."


Information from: The Lufkin Daily News,

Man wins Austrian luxury villa in unusual raffle
By Veronika Oleksyn,
Associated Press Writer

VIENNA, Austria - When Traude Daniel couldn't find a buyer for her luxury villa in southern Austria, she decided to raffle it off. It turned out to be quite a success: 9,999 tickets priced at euro99 ($128) each sold out within days in early December to raise nearly euro990,000 ($1,280,000).

Daniel said the 400-square-meter (4,305-square-foot) house had an estimated value of about euro830,000 (about $1 million) and had been on the market for about half a year before she came up with the idea of advertising the raffle on a Web site.

Daniel, a German, said she got inquiries from as far afield as the United States and Brazil. "The response was amazing. ... We got e-mails from around the world," she said.

Walter Egger, an Austrian, was picked Tuesday as the lucky winner of the home in Austria's southern province of Carinthia during a drawing in the southern city of Klagenfurt.

The raffle has inspired several other home owners in Austria to try to sell their homes through lotteries as the country starts to feel the effects of the financial crisis. Experts are warning of a tough year ahead.

Juergen Tatscher, who is planning to raffle off his luxury mountain bungalow, said it's an ideal way to cover one's costs, if selling high-end property the regular way proves to be tough.

"I think it's a great idea," Tatscher said.

But not everyone is as enthused.

"I'm skeptical. ... If people are seriously interested in a particular property, they'll make a bid the regular way," said Friedrich Noszek of an association of Austrian property owners.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gaza Will Lead to Israel's Deal with the Devil
By Todd Strandberg

For nearly a month, Israel has launched a military campaign against Hamas fighters. Acting out of pure frustration, the Israeli military sent in troops into the Gaza strip to try to put an end to the barrage of rockets and missiles being fired into its territory. The Israelis have certainly not acted in haste. They endured 6,000 projectile attacks over an eight-year period before taking action.

Israel's years of restraint have not helped it in the battle for world opinion. In many parts of the globe – particularly in the Arab nations - the Jewish state is being condemned as a bully picking on a weaker neighbor. Several nations have suspended diplomatic contacts with Israel over the Gaza operation.

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council voted to condemn Israel. The resolution called the offensive in the Gaza Strip a "grave" human rights violation against the Palestinians. It made no mention of Hamas or its violations of Israeli civilians' rights by firing rockets into Israel.

Thirty-three African, Asian, Arab, and Latin American countries voted for the resolution. Thirteen European states abstained, while Canada was the only country that voted against it.

During a visit to the Mikve Yisrael School in Holon, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reacted to the vote by saying, "They have no right to reproach us and to try and tell us how to defend our citizens. I don't think our demands are exaggerated. We share the right of every state in the world to protect its citizens. We're not asking any other country's permission or approval in order to protect our residents."

Western nations show little concern that they have been pouring economic aid down a rat hole called Gaza. Billions of dollars have gone into this narrow strip of land and the funds have been squandered. If given a choice, Hamas would rather purchase a load of weapons than sacks of flour.

The responsibility for the images of dead or injured Gaza children rests solely at the feet of the Hamas leadership. They are the ones who decided to engage Israel with no provocation, and they are the ones who put their citizens in harm's way by firing rockets from residential areas.

Even though the most liberal reading of international law, totally justifies Israel’s action, it finds itself compelled to give into world opinion. This weekend Israel made yet another goodwill gesture by declaring a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza. Unless a way is found to totally disarm Hamas, I see zero chance that the peace will last for any significant time period.

The incoming Obama administration will certainly put all the more pressure on Israel to make peace with its hostile neighbors. Because America provides billions of dollars in aid to the region, the new president can apply huge leverage on Israel.

There has been some talk of international forces coming into Gaza to make sure Hamas doesn't smuggle in rockets and fire them at Israel. This same type of fix was key to resolving the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The southern end of Lebanon is now under the watch of UN forces.

The Bible strongly indicates that someday all of Israel will be under the care of an international force. The Antichrist will sign a peace agreement with Israel that will somehow give him total control of that nation.

From the day it was founded, Israel has maintained the policy that it alone will ensure its security needs. With Israel facing three other foes of far great capabilities, the idea of turning to an outside protector is probably looking very appealing at this stage.

Bible prophecy warns us that much larger conflicts between Israel and her Arab neighbors are soon coming down the road. If the folks at the UN are having fits over Gaza now, they will need to be hooked up to a heart defibrillator when they read the news of Damascus’ destruction (Isaiah 17:1) or a similar strike in Iran related to it nuclear program.

You can imagine the relief Israel will have when a man from Europe steps forward and offers to secure its borders. Of course, it will be a deal that Israel will greatly regret.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Dan. 9:27).

It pains me to see Israel in a state of constant frustration over enemies that seem to be demonically driven, but this is just one more indication that the time of the end is very near. All we can do is pray, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus."

How long will the Obama honeymoon last?
By Adam Nagourney

President-elect Barack Obama at a dinner in Washington on Monday. (Charles Dharapak/The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON: Given the excitement in Washington this week, one would think that with inauguration of Barack Obama — and the departure of George W. Bush — the economy is about to spring back to life, the troops are all on their way home from Iraq, there will be health care coverage for all and, to quote a certain Obama foe turned Obama Secretary of State, "celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect."

But as Obama takes the oath of office, there is evidence that, as enthusiastic as the public is about the change in power, there are no expectations of quick fixes. The cascade of grim economic news, combined with the calculatedly sober tone Obama has adopted — most recently in his no-applause-line speech to thousands of supporters at the concert on the Mall on Sunday — has provided something of a cushion for Obama.

"People are going to give Obama more time than they would any other new president because they know he is dealing with unprecedented challenges," said Mark McKinnon, a consultant who worked for a time for Senator John McCain, Obama's Republican opponent in the presidential election. "The economic crisis President-elect Obama faces may in some ways help him — it is taking some of the helium out of what would otherwise be stratospheric expectations."

Still, if it is now clear that Obama has some time, the next question is, how much? Just how much patience does the country have for turning the ship of state around, no matter how much it likes its new president?

Obama's advisers, who have been nothing if not diligent about pushing the idea that none of this is going to happen quickly, tend to avoid allowing themselves to be nailed down on any specific timetable, not surprisingly. "I just don't know," David Axelrod, Obama's senior adviser, said in an interview. "I think that's hard to judge. I think right now people are inclined to give us some time. By time I mean more than months. People understand that it's going to take years."

Rahm Emanuel, Obama's designated chief of staff, responded with a terse e-mail message when asked how long he thought Obama had. "Will not put time on it," he wrote.

"I think based on what I see they know these are big problems and cannot be turned around quickly," he wrote. "Public quite pragmatic."

A Times/CBS News Poll, conducted last week, offered at least some guidance for the Obama Expectations Clock. Most respondents said they thought it would take Obama two years or more to deliver on campaign promises to improve the economy, expand health care coverage and end the war in Iraq. One of the more intriguing questions as the nation approaches this transfer of power is this: At what point, if ever, does Bush lose ownership of this recession and it becomes an Obama recession? Most respondents think the recession will last two years or longer.

David Plouffe, who was Obama's campaign manager, argued that there were some ways in which Obama can earn patience from the American public, and that much of it has to do with tone. "People expect a change in priorities," he said. "People expect a change in intensity. But they know it's going to take a long while for things to stabilize and turn around."

In truth, though, according to aides to Obama and outside analysts, the amount of time he has to deliver on promises and deal with problems varies with the problem and the promise. For obvious reasons, he probably has a good deal of breathing room on the economy. That is also true with health care, given the long and tortured history of attempts to change the system.

But given the crispness and certitude of the campaign promise Obama made to bring all combat troops out of Iraq in 16 months, it seems fair to say that the public at large (and his Democratic base in particular) will not be quite as tolerant of delays on that front. The fact that Obama and his aides have not done anything to really walk back that promise, as opposed to some others, suggest that he understands that.

Obama may also find it difficult to delay for too long closing the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. He has walked a careful line on this issue since the election, raising all the complications in closing it while at the same time making clear that it will be closed eventually.

And Obama's ability to slow-walk some campaign promises will also be affected by how well he maintains his standing with the American public and continues to project an air of command and competence. With a series of missteps upon assuming the presidency in 1993, Bill Clinton was quick to squander what political capital he had, as became clear with his party's disastrous showing in the midterm elections of 1994. So far, Obama has managed to remain unscathed by any missteps he has made, but his ability to ask for the American public's patience depends in no small part on the public's confidence in his competence and motives.

Axelrod said he thought that Obama and the country were in tune with one another on the problems he faces and what it will take to turn things around.

"What's remarkable about the polls is that people are at once optimistic and realistic," he said. "They have high hopes for his presidency, and that he can help lead us out of the morass we are in — and they understand how deep the morass is. And that's a good position to be in."

Still, if this past few years have proved anything, it is that things move much more quickly in politics than they ever have before; public opinions shift, events change, perceptions change. Even as McKinnon, the media adviser, argued that Obama enjoyed a lot more running room than other presidents, his estimate of when the check might come due was probably one that Axelrod would not like to hear.

"I think Obama can count on a very long honeymoon," said McKinnon, who also advised President George W. Bush on media strategy. "I think he's got about six months, which is about five and half months longer than usual."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Scientists find new creatures of Australian deep
by Amy Coopes Amy Coopes

One of Australia's deepest residents a carnivorous sea squirt, or ascidian, standing half a meter tall on the seafloor on the Tasman Fracture Zone at a depth of 4006 metres

SYDNEY (AFP) – Scientists said Sunday they had uncovered new marine animals in their search of previously unexplored Australian waters, along with a bizarre carnivorous sea squirt and ocean-dwelling spiders.

A joint US-Australian team spent a month in deep waters off the coast of the southern island of Tasmania to "search for life deeper than any previous voyage in Australian waters," lead researcher Ron Thresher said.

What they found were not only species new to science -- including previously undescribed soft corals -- but fresh indications of global warming's threat to the country's unique marine life.

"Our sampling documented the deepest known Australian fauna, including a bizarre carnivorous sea squirt, sea spiders and giant sponges, and previously unknown marine communities dominated by gooseneck barnacles and millions of round, purple-spotted sea anemones," Thresher said.

Using a submersible car-sized robot named Jason, the team explored a rift in the earth's crust known as the Tasman Fracture Zone, a sheer two kilometre (1.24 mile) drop to 4,000 metres (13,200 feet) below the ocean's surface.

Blogging on board the ship, researcher Adam Subhas said the team witnessed some "cool biology" as they descended the fracture, including the sea squirt, which he described as "basically an underwater Venus fly trap, but much bigger."

The sea squirt, also known as an ascidian, stands 50 centimetres tall on the sea floor at a depth of just over 4,000 metres. It traps prey in its funnel-like front section if they touch it when they swim past.

"The geology was fascinating too -- the sediment was incredibly fine and lightly packed; it made me think of powder snow," Subhas wrote.

Fossil coral fields were found, dating back more than 10,000 years. Thresher said samples taken would provide ancient climate data for use in global warming projections.

"Modern-day deep-water coral reefs were also found, however, there is strong evidence that this reef system is dying, with most reef-forming coral deeper than 1,300 metres newly dead," he said.

Though close analysis of samples was still required, Thresher said modelling suggested ocean acidification could be responsible.

"If our analysis identifies this phenomenon as the cause of the reef system's demise, then the impact we are seeing now below 1,300 metres might extend to the shallower portions of the deep-reefs over the next 50 years, threatening this entire community," he said.

Rising sea temperatures are blamed on global warming caused by the build-up in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide -- which is also blamed for higher acidity in sea water.

A UN report warned in 2007 that Australia's Great Barrier Reef, described as the world's largest living organism, could be killed by climate change within decades.

The World Heritage site and major tourist attraction, stretching over more than 345,000 square kilometres (133,000 square miles) off Australia's east coast, could become "functionally extinct", the report said.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Son of Hamas Leader Turns Back on Islam and Embraces Christianity
By Jonathan Hunt


Mosab Hassan Yousef is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary story. He was born the son of one of the most influential leaders of the militant Hamas organization in the West Bank and grew up in a strict Islamic family.

Now, at 30 years old, he attends an evangelical Christian church, Barabbas Road in San Diego, Calif. He renounced his Muslim faith, left his family behind in Ramallah and is seeking asylum in the United States.

The story of how his life unfolded is truly amazing, whether you agree or disagree with his views. Below is a transcript on an exclusive FOX News interview with Hassan as he tells firsthand how a West Bank Muslim became a West Coast Christian.

JONATHAN HUNT: Why, after 25 years, did you change?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: I believe that all those walls that Islam built for the last 1,400 years are not existing (sic) anymore. They don't recognize this. They built those walls and made people ignorant because they're afraid. They didn't want people to discuss anything about the reality of Islam, about the big questions of Islam and they asked their followers, the Muslims, 'Don't ask about those certain questions.'

But now, people have media. If the father closes the door for his daughter not to leave the house, she's going to go behind her computer and travel the world. So people easily can get information, knowledge, searching (sic) engines, so it's very, very available for everybody to study about Islam, about other religions. Not from the Islam point of view, but from other points of view.

So for the next 25 years this is for sure going to make huge change in the Muslim and the Arab world.

JONATHAN HUNT: You speak from a unique perspective, a man who grew up not just in an Islamic family but as part of an organization seen by many people around the world as an extreme force in Islam: Hamas. What is the reality of Islam? You say people don't see the reality; What is the reality of Islam?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: There are two facts that Muslims don't understand ... I'd say about more than 95 percent of Muslims don't understand their own religion. It came with a much stronger language than the language that they speak so they don't understand it ... they rely only on religious people to get their knowledge about this religion.

Second, they don't understand anything about other religions. Christian communities live between Muslims and they're minority and they (would) rather not to go speak out and tell people about Jesus because it's dangerous for them.

So, all their ideas about other religions on earth are from Islamic perspectives. So those two realities, most people don't understand.

If people, if Muslims, start to understand their religion — first of all, their religion — and see how awful stuff is in there, they'll start to figure out, this can't (be) ... because most religious people focus on certain points of Islam. They have many points that they are very embarrassed to talk about.


MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Such as Muhammad's wives. You will never go to a mosque and hear about anyone talking about Muhammad's wives, which is like more than 50 wives — and nobody knows (this), by the way. If you ask the majority of Muslims, they will not know this fact.

So they're embarrassed to talk about this, but they talk about the glory of Islam, they talk about the victory, the victories that Muhammad made. So, when people just like look at themselves and see they're defeated, they have ignorance, they're not educated, they're not leading the world as they're expected to do. They’re think they want to get back to that victory by doing the same, what Muhammad did, but disregarding (sic) the timing. They forget that this happened 1,400 years ago and it's not going to happen again.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do they want to destroy Christianity?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Islam destroyed Christianity from the beginning and Muslims don't recognize that they stabbed Christianity (in) its heart when they said that Jesus wasn't killed on the cross. They think that they honor him in this way.

Basically, any Christians understand that this way, (but Muslims) tell Jesus, okay, we don't care, you didn't die for us. Someone sacrificed his life for you, (but) you tell him, okay, you didn't do it!

This is what Muslims are doing basically. But they don't understand that this is the most important part of Christianity: the cross!

So, they are ignorant, they don't know what they are doing and it explains what an evil idea it is behind this Islam.

JONATHAN HUNT: What specific event or events began to change your mind about Islam?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Since I was a child I started to ask very difficult questions, even my family was telling me all the time, 'You're a very difficult person and we were having trouble answering your questions. Why are you asking so many questions?' This was from the beginning, to be honest with you.

But I felt that everybody — and my father was a good example for me because he was a very honest, humble person, very nice to my mother, to us, and raised us on the principle of forgiveness, okay? I thought that everybody in Islam was like this.

When I was 18 years old, and I was arrested by the Israelis and was in an Israeli jail under the Israeli administration, Hamas had control of its members inside the jail and I saw their torture; (they were) torturing people in a very, very bad way.

JONATHAN HUNT: Hamas members torturing other Hamas members?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Hamas leaders! Hamas leaders that we see on TV now, and big leaders, responsible for torturing their own members. They didn't torture me, but that was a shock for me, to see them torturing people: putting needles under their nails, burning their bodies. And they killed lots of them.

JONATHAN HUNT: Why were they torturing people?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Because they suspected that they had relations with the Israelis and (were) co-operating with the Israeli occupation against Hamas ... So hundreds of people were victims for this, and I was a witness for about a year for this torture. So that was a huge change in my life. I started to open my (eyes), but, the point (is) that I got that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims. Good Muslims, such as my father, and bad Muslims, like those Hamas members in the jail torturing people.

So that was the beginning of opening my eyes wide.

JONATHAN HUNT: You talk about the good Muslims, like your father, yet you still now renounce the faith of your father. Could you have not been a good Muslim?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Now, here's the reality: after I studied Christianity — which I had a big misunderstanding about, because I studied about Christianity from Islam, which is, there is nothing true about Christianity when you study it from Islam, and that was the only source.

When I studied the Bible carefully verse by verse, I made sure that that was the book of God, the word of God for sure, so I started to see things in a different way, which was difficult for me, to say Islam is wrong.

Islam is my father. I grew up for (one) father — 22 years for that father — and another father came to me and told me, 'I'm sorry, I'm your father.' And I was like, 'What are you talking about? Like, I have my own father, and it's Islam!' And the father of Christianity told me, 'No, I'm your father. I was in jail, and this (Islam) is not your father.'

So basically this is what happened. It's not easy to believe this (Islam) is not your father anymore. So I had to study Islam again from a different point of view to figure out all the mistakes, the huge mistakes and its effects, not only on Muslims — (of) which I hated the values ... I didn't like all those traditions that make people's lives more difficult — but its effects also on humanity. On humanity! People killing each other (in) the name of God.

So definitely I started to figure out the problem is Islam, not the Muslims and those people — I can't hate them because God loved them from the beginning. And God doesn't create junk. God created good people that he loved, but they're sick, they have the wrong idea. I don't hate those people anymore but I feel very sorry for them and the only way for them to be changed (is) by knowing the word of God and the real way to him.

JONATHAN HUNT: Does it worry you that in saying these things — and given your background and your words carrying extra weight — there is a danger that you will increase the difficulties, the hatred between Christians and Muslims in the world right now?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: This could happen if a Christian person will go talk to them about the reality of Islam. They put Christians on the enemy list anyway, before you talk to them about Islam. So if you go to them and tell them, as a Christian, they will be offended immediately and they will hate you and this will definitely increase the vacuum between both religions — but what made someone like me change?

Years ago, years ago, when I was there, God opened my eyes, my mind also, and I became a completely different person. So now, I can do this duty, while you as Christians can help me do it, but maybe you wouldn't be able to. (Muslims) have no excuse now.

JONATHAN HUNT: How difficult a process has this been for you to effectively walk away from your family, leave your home behind? How difficult is that?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Taking your skin off your bones, that's what happened. I love my family, they love me. And my little brothers, they’re like my sons. I raised them. Basically, it was the biggest decision in my life.

I left everything behind me, not only family. When you decide to convert to Christianity or any other religion from Islam, it's not (enough) to just say goodbye and leave, you know? It's not like that. You're saying goodbye to culture, civilization, traditions, society, family, religion, God — what you thought was God for so many years! So it's not easy. It's very complicated. People think it's that easy, like it doesn't matter. Now I'm here in the U.S. and I got my freedom and it's great, but at the same time, nothing is like family, you know. To lose your family —

JONATHAN HUNT: Have you lost your family?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: My family is educated and it was very difficult for them. They asked me many times, especially for the first two days, to keep my faith to myself and not go to the media and announce it.

But for me it was a duty from God to announce his name and praise him (around) the world because my reward is going to be that he's going to do the same for me. So I did it, basically, as a duty. I (wonder) how many people can do what I can do today? I didn't find any.

So, I had to be strong about that. That was very challenging. That was the most difficult decision in my life and I didn't do it for fun. I didn't do it for anything from this world. I did it only for one reason: I believed in it. People are suffering every day because of wrong ideas. I can help them get out of this endless circle ... the track the devil (laid) for them.

JONATHAN HUNT: Have you spoken to your father recently?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: There is no chance to communicate with my father because he's in jail now and there is (sic) no phones in the jail to communicate with him.

JONATHAN HUNT: Have other members of your family told you how he's reacted?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: They've visited him from time to time. Till this moment, I don't know his reaction exactly but I'm sure he's very sad (over) a decision like this. But at the same time, he's going to understand, because he knows me and he knows that I don't make any decisions without (believing strongly in them).

JONATHAN HUNT: Is it making his life more difficult among fellow Hamas members?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Definitely. My family, including my father, had to carry this cross with me. It wasn't their choice. It was my choice, but they had to carry this cross with me and I ask God — I pray for (my father), all my brothers and my sisters here in this church, praying all the time for them — 'God, open their eyes, their minds, to come to Christ. And bless them because they had to carry this cross with me.'

JONATHAN HUNT: Tell me about Hamas and the way it works. Is Hamas a purely Islamic religious organization as you see it, and that's where, in your eyes, its faults lie, or are there other parts of it which are a problem for you? Or is Hamas a good organization? What is Hamas to you?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: If we talk about people, there are good people everywhere. Everywhere. I mean, good people that God created.

Do they do their own things? Yes, they do their own things. I know people who support Hamas but they never got involved in terrorist attacks, for example ... They follow Hamas because they love God and they think that Hamas represents God. They don’t have knowledge, they don't know the real God and they never studied Christianity. But Hamas, as representative for Islam, it's a big problem.

The problem is not Hamas, the problem is not people. The root of the problem is Islam itself as an idea, as an idea. And about Hamas as an organization, of course, the Hamas leadership, including my father, they're responsible; they're responsible for all the violence that happened from the organization. I know they describe it as reaction to Israeli aggression, but still, they are part of it and they had to make decisions in those operations against Israel, (for) which there was the killing of many civilians.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you believe Israel blameless in the conflict?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Occupation is bad. I can't say Israel — I'm not against any nation. We can't say Israelis, we can't say Palestinians, we're talking about ideas. Israel has the right to defend itself, nobody can (argue) against this. But sometimes they use (too much) aggression against civilians. Sometimes many civilians were killed because those soldiers weren't responsible enough, how they treat people at the checkpoints.

My message even to the Israeli soldiers: at least treat people in a good way at the checkpoints. You don't have to look really bad and it's not about nations, it's about just wrong ideas on both sides and the only way for two nations really to get out of the endless circle is to know the principles that Jesus brought to this earth: grace, love, forgiveness. Without this, they will never be able to move on, or break this endless circle.

JONATHAN HUNT: You've seen your father jailed, you've been in prison yourself. You've seen Hamas carry out acts of terror against Israelis, and yet you say everybody needs to rise above that?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Definitely. This is the only choice. Nobody has magic power to do something for the Middle East. No one. You can ask any politician here in the U.S., you can ask any Palestinian politician or Arab politician, Israeli leaders; no one, no one can do anything. Even if they believe in peace now: they're part of the game.

They're part of the trick. They can't, even if you find a brave person, like Rabin, who was called by an Israeli to make peace with the Palestinians and give them a state, no one, even if you find a strong leader, they can't do this. You can't force an independent country to give another country independence. (Especially when) the other country wants to destroy it.

Everybody is hurt. Israeli soldiers, they lost their friends. Palestinians, they lost their children, their fathers. (There are) many people in prison still, and many people were killed. Thousands. So everybody will never forget this. If they want to keep looking to the past, they will never get out of this circle. The only way to start (is just by) moving on. They were born under the occupation as Palestinians.

The last two generations, it's not their choice. The new generations from Israel — if we say disregarding the existence of Israel is right or wrong, what's the guilt of those people who were born in Israel and they have no other country to go to? It's their country now, that's how they see it. And they are going to keep their resistance and defense against whomever. (They will) say, 'Get out of this land!' So the only way is for both nations to start to understand the grace, love and forgiveness of God, to be able to get out of this.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you believe that Israel can ever strike a peace deal with Hamas?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: There is no chance. Is there any chance for fire to co-exist with the water? There is no chance. Hamas can play politics for 10 years, 15 years; but ask any one of Hamas' leaders, 'Okay, what's going to happen after that? Are you just going to live and co-exist with Israel forever?' The answer is going to be no ... unless they want to do something against the Koran. But it's their ideology and they can't just say 'We're not going to do it.' So there is no chance. It's not about Israel, it's not about Hamas: it's about both ideologies. There is no chance.

JONATHAN HUNT: Aren't you terrified that somebody is going to try to kill you for saying these things — which would be approved of according to parts of the Koran?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: They got to kill my ideas first, (and) that's it, they're already out. So how are they going to kill my idea? How are they going to kill the opinions that I have? ... They can kill my body, but they can't kill my soul.

JONATHAN HUNT: You're not afraid?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: As a human, you know, I can be very brave now, I'm not thinking about it at this moment and I feel that God is on my side. But if this will be the challenge, I ask God to give me enough strength.

JONATHAN HUNT: Have you been threatened?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: No, not really. Honestly, most Muslims and Muslim leaders here in the U.S. community, European communities, they are trying to get ahold of me. They are calling my famiily, my mother, and asking for my contacts. They are telling her, 'We want to help him.'

JONATHAN HUNT: They think you need help?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Yeah, they think that Christians took advantage of me, and this is completely wrong. I've been a Christian for a long time before they knew, or anyone knew. I love Jesus, I followed him for many years now. It wasn't a secret for most of the time, and this time I just did it to glorify the name of God and praise him.

They're not dealing with a regular Muslim. They know that I'm educated, they know that I studied, they know that I studied Islam and Christianity. When I made my decision, I didn't make it because someone did magic on me or convinced me. It was completely my decision.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you miss Ramallah?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: Definitely. You've been there and you know how a wonderful country (it is). Very, very beautiful. It's a very small spot and it has everything — this is why people are fighting for that piece of land. I definitely miss Ramallah. Jereusalem. The Old City.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you believe you will ever be able to go back?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: I think I belong to that land, and sooner or later I'm going to go back, no matter what. If they want to kill me, they (will) do whatever they want to do. I have a family there, they love me, they completely support me now with my decisions. Maybe they don't want me to talk to the media but they believe that I made a decision that I completely believe in. So they support me, so I love my family. I'm going to go back there again one day. I love my town.

JONATHAN HUNT: Do you think you'll ever go back to a Middle East living in peace?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: There will be a 100-person peace when Jesus comes back, when he judges everybody. His kingdom's going to be 1,000 years and it's going to be completely peaceful and it's going to be the kingdom of God.

JONATHAN HUNT: What is your basic message to any Muslim listening to this right now?

MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF: My message to them is, first of all, to open their minds. They were born to Muslim families — this is how they got Islam and this is just like ... any other religion, like growing up (in) a Christian family, or growing up (in) a Jewish family.

So my point is that I want those people to open their eyes, their minds, to start to understand and imagine that they weren't born for a Muslim famiily. And use their minds.

Why did God give them minds? Open their hearts. Read the Bible. Study their religion. I want to open the gate for them, I want them to be free. They will find a good life on earth just by following God — and they're also going to guarantee the other life.