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Repeal the ObamaCare individual mandate
Stop the NSA's warrantless spying on Americans
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White House warns of ‘enforcement action’ for defiance
(WREG) – Amid a growing political controversy, the Obama administration on Wednesday reminded state officials across the country that states do not have legal authority to refuse to accept Syrian refugees.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement said in a letter to state resettlement officials that states may not deny benefits and services to refugees based on a refugee’s country of origin or religious affiliation.
States that do not comply with the requirement would be breaking the law and could be subject to enforcement action, including suspension or termination of the federally funded program, according to the letter, signed by the director of the federal resettlement office, Robert Carey.
The letter came after more than two dozen governors, mostly Republicans, vowed to block efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in their states following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.
The governors said they fear that militants planning a terror attack could enter the country under the guise of seeking refuge from war-torn Syria.
In the House, lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to erect higher hurdles for Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
The Obama administration counters that the vetting process is thorough and can take up to two years.
President Barack Obama has said the U.S. will remain a welcoming place for refugees from around the world.
The letter from the federal resettlement office said would-be refugees “are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States.”
The screening process is “multi-layered and intensive” and involves multiple law enforcement, national security and intelligence agencies across the federal government, the letter said.
A spokesman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees refugee resettlement in the state, said the letter will not change the state’s position of blocking Syrian refugees.
The commission will continue to follow the directive of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has called for Texas not to participate in the resettlement of Syrian refugees, said Bryan Black, a spokesman for the Texas commission.
A spokesman for Abbott declined to comment.
The letter sent Wednesday, first reported by the Houston Chronicle, largely tracks with what legal experts have been saying since Abbott and other governors said they would not accept Syrian refugees due to security concerns fueled by terrorist attacks in Paris.
Abbott has cited a specific part of the law that he says gives him authority to block Syrians, but experts largely have disagreed.
Roughly 2,200 Syrian refugees have been allowed in over the last four years.
Obama has outlined a goal of bringing 10,000 more Syrian refugees to the U.S. during the current budget year.
The House bill would add a requirement for the Homeland Security secretary, along with the head of the FBI and the director of national intelligence, to certify that each refugee being admitted poses no security threat.
A spokeswoman in the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the resettlement office, said 49 states and the District of Columbia have refugee resettlement programs.
Wyoming does not have a refugee resettlement program.
Two Reasons The 'War on Terror' Will Always Fail
written by justin pavoni
If we want to get to a world where terrorism isn’t such a regular tragedy, governments need to start recognizing the fact that the so-called “War on Terror” is a self-fulfilling prophecy destined to foment one thing and one thing only: more terrorism.
The Big Picture: The problem arising in the wake of the recent mass-murder event in Paris and the subsequent French bombing of the Islamic State (also a mass-murder event) is that the two acts (and hundreds like them) serve as justification for more of the same from the other side. They provide fuel for each other’s fire and the situation, not surprisingly, continues to metastasize.
The great paradox at play is that as the West continues to attack the Islamic State, the organization’s appeal continues to grow among those who view the West as an adversary. Nobody knows exactly what causes radicalization but my best guess is that its appeal will continue to increase as the West continues to respond to violent events with exponentially more violence in turn. Such has been the trend thus far.
Why Terrorism? Terrorism is likely to spawn from a number of things, such as a bankrupt ideology, a sense of injustice, and disenfranchisement with the status quo. Regardless of the exact origins in any particular case, there are two primary reasons that the “war on terror” will continue to fail (assuming the goal is to reduce the number of terrorist attacks and the rampant increase in radicalization). Reason #1: Western violence (the principal prescription for fighting terrorism) is also the primary motivation behind successful terrorist recruiting efforts. Reason #2: Western attempts to overthrow heads of state under the guise of fighting terrorism provide an incredible opportunity for terrorist organizations to take root in a more institutional fashion. Let’s discuss these two phenomena in more depth.
Reason #1: Regardless of their origins, where terrorist movements gain the most strength is from the fact that they can point to objective injustices perpetrated by western nations (whether well intentioned or not). Violence begets more violence and Middle East bombing campaigns by Western countries are used to rally otherwise moderate people to nefarious causes. This is also one of the reasons terrorist movements are able to grow beyond an extremely small and fractured group of individuals.
Bombing campaigns are a major contributing factor to radicalization, and the principal motivation Western democracies should be concerned about…because it is one of the few factors they have legitimate control over. The moment a bomb kills a single innocent person – man, woman, or child – it facilitates ten more terrorist sympathizers. What’s more is that even if the bomb kills actual terrorists, it’s still providing rampant material support against the cause of “fighting terrorism.” How many bombs has the United States dropped in the last fifteen years? Millions. In how many countries? Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria and probably a great number more that are largely classified operations.
Seen in this light, is it really hard to understand why terrorist movements are growing and becoming more unified? It’s much easier for a terrorist to convince the average person to hate foreigners when foreigners are actively bombing their country, either through boots-on-the-ground invasions, drone warfare, or manned bombing campaigns.
Reason #2: The second thing that facilitates terrorism is the active attempt to overthrow established governments with force. Despite the fact that Sadaam Hussein was a tyrant, Iraq was not a terrorist haven while he was in charge. He was certainly a criminal dictator, but he didn’t put up with terrorists. Compare this to the emerging reality in present day Iraq now that he’s gone. Or consider Libya. Muammar Qaddafi was also a tyrant, and now that he’s been removed (courtesy of a Western air campaign), his former country is a jihadist wonderland.
The UN resolution designed strictly to “protect civilians” was used as an excuse to act as the rebels' Air Force. Should it surprise us that “good” rebels might be fighting alongside “bad” rebels? The entire campaign did little more than make a bad situation much worse.
Next, consider Syria. Western governments, led by the United States, have been actively supporting militia groups trying to overthrow yet another head of state, Bashar Al-Assad. The hypocritical reality is that the militia groups in Syria are fighting in common caucus with the Islamic State against Assad (who somewhat legitimately calls them all “terrorists”) while simultaneously fighting against the Islamic State (and thus on the same team as Bashar Al-Assad himself). Is it really a mystery why the region is such an overwhelming disaster? The narrative of fighting terrorism is completely undermined by the obvious reality of ulterior geopolitical motivations.
Conclusion: The truth is that the political war hawks in the United States aren’t solely interested in combatting terrorism (an otherwise legitimate concern). They’re also interested in forcefully removing those from power whom they don’t like (whether it means an aggressive war or not). If the two interests align: great. If not, they do their best to brainwash the public in hopes that the blatant hypocrisy of their position doesn’t outshine the international “villain” of choice.
At present, the foe-du-jour is Bashar Al-Assad. Now Assad is clearly not a benevolent dictator, but what happens when he’s gone? Will the replacement be that much better?
Do we have any right to choose a replacement to govern other people? Can you imagine if a foreign country was doing that in the United States? You may or may not like former President Bush and you may or may not like President Obama, but do you think it preferable to have a foreign country (e.g. Russia or China) undermine them with force? That’s absurd. And it would rally a whole bunch of Americans to fight against the common invader. Would it be legitimate if Russia or China subsequently labeled such people as terrorists? Of course not. It is no less absurd for America to behave in such a way. Contrary to the theoretically possible idea of actually fighting terrorists (which is largely impractical in reality due to the nature of terrorist ideology), overthrowing foreign governments is a completely illegitimate and imperial motivation. Until we accept this reality and get back to the legitimate defense of our own country, terrorism will continue to gain momentum.
The Secret of Spreading Revival
I believe the secret is summed up in that most significant little statement- "they had been with Jesus." Revival in the last analysis - whether praying, praising, or preaching - is Jesus. It is the manifestation of the glory, power and blessing of the Son of God among His people. It must always be characterized by the place and prominence it gives to the person, office and work of our matchless Savior.
The early disciples had been with Jesus and the outside world could not fail to recognize it. Their lives were Christ-captured, Christ-centered and Christ-controlled. In his writings, Luke tells us,
"When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus."
The Apostle Paul testifies of the same experience when he writes,
"For to me to live [or, life itself] is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).
Thus, wherever the apostles went, and whatever they said or did, Christ was seen and heard and felt. The Lord Jesus Christ always creates an issue. That was true of His
human life on earth.
Study His contact with individuals, groups or even large crowds, and you will notice that He never neutralized. He always antagonized or attracted them. When He spoke, people either believed on Him or they picked up stones to stone Him. In the Gospel of John particularly, we come across words like this:
"There was division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, “He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye Him?”
“These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?" (John 10:19-21).
We must never forget that He is the same Lord who indwells us by the power of the Holy Spirit. The same power of the Holy Spirit should characterize our lives.
Pastor Robert K. Teske
Tomorrow: Revival - Part 8D - The Secret of Spreading Revival
Vladimir Putin is preparing to send 150,000 troops to Syria in a bid to wipe out the evil Islamic State once and for all.
The Russian leader is reportedly mounting an enormous military mission to take control of the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa.
The city is the self-declared capital of ISIS in Syria and is patrolled by as many as 5,000 jihadi members.
Putin is set to mobilise 150,000 reservists who he conscripted into the military earlier this week.
An insider revealed: “It is very clear that Russia wants to sweep up the west of the country, taking Raqqa and all the oil and gas resources around Palmyra.
“This is fast becoming a race to Raqqa – to secure the oil fields they need to cleanse the region of insurgents, and the IS capital is vital to do that.”
It comes a day after Russian jets obliterated nine ISIS outposts in just 24 hours using bunker-busting bombs.
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