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Backfire Economics – Trump’s 25% auto tariffs could cost 715K US jobs, reduce new cars sales by 2M - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 13:59


According to research by the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research (CAR), 25-percent auto tariffs will cost Americans dearly. How dearly? We can expect:

  • 2 million fewer new vehicles sold per year.
  • Total U.S. employment losses of nearly 714,700 jobs, and GDP losses of $59.2 billion.
  • A loss of 117,500 of 1.1 million U.S. new-car dealership jobs, with the average franchised dealership losing seven jobs.
  • Increases in the price of the typical vehicle sold in the United States by about $4,400.
  • An increase in used car prices due to heightened demand and constricted supply.
  • Increases in the cost of vehicle maintenance and repair due to higher automotive parts prices, “so even holding on to an existing vehicle will become more expensive.”

Here are more reports on how the 25% tariffs on Chinese imports starting January 1 could have devastating effects on the US auto industry, with higher vehicle prices (both new and used), a significant drop in new car sales, major job losses for autoworkers and employees at dealerships, and increased maintenance costs for car owners.

1. New China tariff list creates risk of ‘downward cycle’ for US auto industry

Trump’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports will add costs to more than 100 car parts – a 10% levy [rising to 25% on January 1] on everything from tires and brake pads to engines and batteries – that go into vehicles made and sold in the U.S.

“It’s going to be felt by Americans, and it’s going to be a big deal,” said Peter Nagle, senior analyst at IHS Markit. “Tariffs are taxes on consumption. Eventually costs will be passed down to the consumer. This will drive vehicle costs higher. It also includes a lot of body shop equipment.”

Kristin Dziczek, vice president at the Center for Automotive Research said “Tariffs are taxes on American consumers. We’re going to sell fewer cars. And not only do we buy car parts from the rest of the world, we sell parts to the rest of the world. It’s all going to cost more. … It starts a downward cycle that isn’t good. China can wait us out. For the car industry, this means a lot of efficiency they’ve gained from building up the global supply chain is lost.”

2. Buying a car before December 31 will save you money

New tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on auto parts from China will hit carmaker profits, cut sales and threaten to “start a downward cycle” in the critical industry, analysts said unanimously Tuesday. In addition, if you’re in the market for a new car, you probably should get to a dealership soon, because prices are going up.

Trump’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports will add costs to more than 100 car parts — a 1% levy [rising to 25% on January 1] on everything from tires and brake pads to engines and batteries — that go into cars made and sold in the U.S. “It’s going to be felt by Americans and it’s going to be a big deal,” said Peter Nagle, senior analyst at IHS Markit. “Tariffs are taxes on consumption. Eventually, costs will be passed down to the consumer. This will drive vehicle costs higher. It also includes a lot of body shop equipment.”

3. Tariffs could mean a 2M drop in car sales and cost 715,000 jobs, warns auto industry group

Experts note that China is a key supplier to the automotive aftermarket, with parts such as tires, wheels, filters, and wiper blades. That means consumers also are facing sharp increases in the cost of maintaining and repairing their vehicles.

But trade is a two-way street, and the U.S. is already beginning to feel the impact in terms of auto exports. Ironically, shortly before the Trump administration enacted the first round of tariffs on Chinese goods, that country announced plans to reduce its own duties on imported vehicles from 25% to 15%. Now, however, U.S.-made vehicles are subject to 40% tariffs, making them even less competitive with auto imports from Europe or Japan, as well as vehicles made in China.

BMW, the largest exporter of American-made vehicles to China, says it is looking for ways to maintain demand for the X5 utility vehicles produced in South Carolina, perhaps boosting sales in the U.S. or Europe. But Ford has already announced plans to cut production of the Mustang and other vehicles shipped to China. The escalating trade war with China “will further harm the U.S. auto industry and American workers and consumers,” said John Bozzella, CEO of the Association of Global Automakers. “Retaliation by China to tariffs already in place has made U.S. auto exports uncompetitive and will eliminate our bilateral auto trade surplus.”

MP: More winning? More greatness?

London Crime Wave: Police Launch Latest Murder Probe as Khan Pledges 'Public Health' Plan to Stop Violence

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 13:38
Police have launched a murder investigation relating to the second London knife attack in just one night, days after Mayor Sadiq Khan announced plans to treat violence in the capital as a “public health” issue.

Rosie O’Donnell Demands ‘Too Old’ GOP Senators Retire, Ignores Aging Democrats

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 13:37
Comedian Rosie O'Donnell said that Sen. Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch were "too old" and "should be done" with politics on Friday, ignoring the many liberal politicians that are of similar age.

Chuck Grassley Gives Kavanaugh's Accuser More Time After Missed Deadline

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 13:36
Chuck Grassley announced late Friday evening he is granting another extension to Christine Blasey Ford in reply to her lawyer's latest counteroffer.

Imam Deported from Italy After Celebrating Terror Attacks in Prison

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 13:17
A Tunisian imam has been expelled from Italy after it was revealed that he had celebrated the Berlin Christmas Market terror attack in December of 2016 from his prison cell.

Soros-Backed Group Ramps up Campaign for Second Referendum, EU Court to Hear Case on Revoking Article 50

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 12:13
Factions of the Remain campaign have doubled down their attempts to stop Brexit after the Soros-backed Best for Britain group will target voters in 'swing' constituencies, while another group of anti-Brexit activists are taking their case to the European Union's highest court to see if MPs can vote to stop the UK leaving the bloc.

Pictures: Iran Blames U.S. and Israel After Gunmen Open Fire on Military Parade

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 12:10
At least 24 people including women and children were gunned down at a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday, state media reported, in a rare attack the government blamed squarely on an unidentified U.S. regional ally.

California Restaurants Banned from Providing Plastic Straws or Kid’s Meal Sodas

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 11:57
Gov. Brown signed 41 bills into law on Thursday including banning restaurants from automatically distributing plastic straws or advertising kid’s meals with a soda.

Rite Aid Shooter Self Identified as Transgender Male

The Stream - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 11:38

A friend of the woman who killed three people in a mass shooting in Maryland Thursday revealed that she identified as a transgender male.

Authorities identified the shooter who killed three people and wounded two others at a Rite Aid distribution center in Aberdeen as a 26-year-old woman named Snochia Moseley. While both the police and court documents identified Moseley, who worked at the distribution center, as biologically female, Troi Coley, a high school friend of the shooter, revealed that she identified as transgender as early as 2016.

"I just started talking about [being transgender]," Moseley wrote in a Facebook message from December 2016, according to The Baltimore Sun. "My sister is totally supportive, my brothers already had an idea, my mom I haven't gotten around to admitting it to yet. but she's heard about it somehow."

She also chatted with Coley about starting hormone treatment.

Moseley's motives for the shooting remain unclear. She died Thursday in a local hospital of a self-inflicted gun-shot wound. Coley, who shared Moseley's Facebook messages with the media, said that she was not an especially angry person but often felt alienated.

"She wasn't a monster, wasn't an angry person. I just believe this was emotional distress. If she did this, it was her last straw," Coley said.

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Be that as it may, Mike Carre, Moseley's coworker at Rite Aid, said Moseley desire to pick a fight was evident from the outset of the workday.

"Normally, she was a nice person, but she came in in a bad mood," Carre said, adding "she wanted to pick a fight. And then she started shooting," according to The Washington Post.

She also claimed on Facebook that her favorite Bible verse was "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," according to New York Post.

Moseley had some minor legal trouble in the days leading up to the shooting. Police stopped her six times in a span of a few days from the end of August to the beginning of September and issued her tickets for expired registration plates, suspended registration, and failing to update her address with the Motor Vehicle Administration. Court records show a September 14 request to take her cases to trial.

The Baltimore County Office of Budget and Finance also sued Moseley in April over $117.

Moseley did not, however, have a criminal record, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office, and the Glock 9mm she used in the shooting was registered to her.

 

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Committee Gives Kavanaugh Accuser More Time to Decide Whether to Testify

The Stream - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 11:11

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The high-stakes brinkmanship over whether Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee came to a momentary standstill as GOP Chairman Chuck Grassley gave Christine Blasey Ford more time to decide on the terms of her appearance.

The Republican-led committee insisted that if Ford missed a Friday night deadline to respond to the panel’s latest offer it would hold a vote Monday on recommending Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination for the full Senate to consider.

Ford’s accusations of Kavanaugh’s behavior 35 years ago and the unusually tense standoff over the terms of her appearance have captivated the nation as the appellate court judge’s confirmation to the court hangs in balance.

In a late-night tweet Grassley said he was granting Ford more time.

“I just granted another extension,” Grassley wrote around midnight Friday. He did not say how long he would wait for Ford “to decide if she wants to proceed.” Aides did not respond to requests for more information.

In backing away from his deadline, Grassley underscored the sensitivity with which Senate Republicans have tried handling Ford. Less than seven weeks before elections in which Democrats could capture congressional control, moderate female voters will be pivotal in many races and the #MeToo movement has elevated the political potency of how women alleging abuse are treated.

But Grassley also struck an apologetic tone toward Kavanaugh, adding he hoped the judge understands. “It’s not my normal approach” to be “indecisive,” Grassley tweeted.

The late-night back-and-forth left in question whether Ford would appear before the GOP-run committee and describe her allegation to millions of voters. Now a 51-year-old California psychology professor, Ford says an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s.

Kavanaugh, a District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has repeatedly denied the accusation. He has said he wants to appear before the committee as soon as possible to clear his name.

Lawyers have been negotiating various aspects of the public session and Grassley set a 10 p.m. deadline Friday to respond to the panel’s latest offer.

Just was time was running out, Ford lawyer Debra Katz late Friday requested another day to decide. She called Grassley’s deadline “arbitrary” and said its “sole purpose is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision that has life-altering implications for her and her family.”

Earlier Friday, Grassley rejected concessions Ford wanted if she is tell her story publicly before the committee.

Grassley turned down Ford’s request that only senators, not attorneys, be allowed to ask questions. The committee’s 11 Republicans -- all men -- have been seeking an outside female attorney to interrogate Ford, mindful of the election-season impression that could be left by men trying to pick apart a woman’s assertion of a sexual attack.

He also rejected her proposal that she testify after Kavanaugh, a position lawyers consider advantageous because it gives them a chance to rebut accusations.

Grassley’s stance underscored a desire by President Donald Trump and GOP leaders to usher the 53-year-old Kavanaugh onto the high court by the Oct. 1 start of its new session and before the November elections, when Democrats are mounting a robust drive to grab congressional control.

Friday was the latest in a string of tumultuous days for Kavanaugh, whose ascension to the Supreme Court seemed a sure bet until Ford emerged last weekend and provided details of the alleged assault.

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Earlier, Trump ended a week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford, tweeting that if the episode was “as bad as she says,” she or “her loving parents” surely would have reported it to law enforcement.

Trump’s searing reproach of the California psychology professor defied the Senate Republican strategy, and the advice of White House aides, of not disparaging her while firmly defending his nominee and the tight timetable for confirming him.

The president’s tweet brought blistering rejoinders from Democrats and a mix of silence and sighs of regret from his own party. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who hasn’t declared support for Kavanaugh, called the remark “appalling.”

The Judiciary panel’s top Democrat expressed fury at Grassley’s negotiating position with Ford and maintained Democrats’ effort to build the battle into a larger election-year question about the treatment of women.

“Bullying a survivor of attempted rape in order to confirm a nominee -- particularly at a time when she’s receiving death threats -- is an extreme abuse of power,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

Grassley said he’d schedule a hearing for Wednesday, not Thursday, as Ford prefers.

Grassley rebuffed other Ford requests, including calling additional witnesses. Ford wants an appearance by Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh friend who Ford asserts was at the high school party and in the bedroom where Kavanaugh’s assault occurred. Ford eventually escaped.

Grassley consented to other Ford demands, including that she be provided security and that Kavanaugh not be in the hearing room when she testifies.

Ford’s request for security comes after her lawyers said she has relocated her family due to death threats.

The GOP letter to Ford’s lawyers said Kavanaugh and his family have received death threats too, “And they’re getting worse each day.”

Kavanaugh had seemed to gain momentum among Republican senators this week, with growing numbers saying it was approaching time to vote and those who’d voiced concern about Ford’s charges stopping short of expressing opposition to Kavanaugh. But with the slender 51-49 GOP majority and the unpredictability of how Ford and Kavanaugh would come across to millions of American voters should she agree to testify, his approval remains in question.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell played verbal hardball of his own, drawing a standing ovation when he assured a gathering of evangelical activists that the conservative Kavanaugh would soon be a justice.

“Keep the faith, don’t get rattled by it,” McConnell said at the Values Voter Summit. “We’re going to plow right through and do our jobs.”

___

AP reporters Catherine Lucey, Mary Clare Jalonick, Eric Tucker, Ken Thomas, Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller contributed.

 

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rosenstein Comments About Using 25th Amendment to Remove Trump Put Him in Hot Seat

The Stream - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 10:59

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who discussed secretly recording President Donald Trump and possibly suggested removing him from office, could turn on whether Trump believes the account of an ex-FBI official who he once tweeted had “LIED! LIED! LIED!”

The revelation that the No. 2 Justice Department official had even broached those ideas, sarcastically or not, creates greater uncertainty for Rosenstein’s job status at a time when Trump has railed against law enforcement leadership as biased against him. The president on Friday night said there was a “lingering stench” at the Justice Department that “we’re going to get rid of,” though he didn’t name names.

A key witness in the episode is Andrew McCabe, the FBI official who was temporarily elevated to director after James Comey’s firing and who documented conversations with senior officials, including Rosenstein, in memos that have been provided to the special counsel as part of the Trump-Russia investigation. (And apparently leaked to The New York Times.)

The discussion about possibly recording Trump occurred during a meeting with McCabe in May 2017 following Comey’s firing, a decision that infuriated many rank-and-file agents and that the White House has said was done on the Justice Department’s recommendation. A memo from McCabe also describes Rosenstein as having discussed the potential removal of the president under the Constitution.

Yet even though Trump has publicly scorned Rosenstein, he’s been every bit as harsh toward McCabe -- who was fired in March amid a watchdog investigation that concluded that he had repeatedly lied about his involvement in a news media disclosure. Trump had called McCabe’s firing a “great day for democracy” and asserted McCabe knew all “about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI.” The inspector general’s findings have been referred to prosecutors for possible criminal charges.

To Fire or Not to Fire

Friday’s news reports raised the prospect that Trump could fire Rosenstein, an action some conservative commentators called for him to take immediately. Any dismissal could affect special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe given that Rosenstein appointed Mueller and oversees his work.

Trump told a campaign rally in Missouri that the department has some “great people” but also “some real bad ones.” He said the bad ones were gone, “but there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that, too.” It was unclear to whom he was referring, and the White House did not respond to questions about Rosenstein’s remarks.

Rosenstein’s comments were first reported by The New York Times, which also said that he raised the idea of using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump as unfit for office. Rosenstein issued a swift -- if carefully parsed -- denial, saying “I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.”

It’s also the latest revelation that could affect Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Sessions recused from that issue soon after he took office, to Trump’s dismay, and Rosenstein later appointed Mueller. Trump has resisted calls from conservative commentators to fire both Sessions and Rosenstein and appoint someone who would ride herd more closely on Mueller or dismiss him.

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The differing accounts of the conversation underscore the conflicts that roiled the FBI and Justice Department early in the Trump administration after Rosenstein, just weeks into his job, wrote a memo critical of Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation that the White House used as justification for firing the FBI director.

Rosenstein distanced himself from the White House after Comey’s firing by saying he didn’t intend for his memo to be used as the basis for Comey’s termination. Comey, meanwhile, has criticized Rosenstein’s role in the firing but has said he since acted honorably. And Comey and McCabe, once close associates, have provided wildly divergent accounts about who knew what when regarding a 2016 Wall Street Journal story on an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

McCabe says he told Comey that he had authorized FBI officials to share information with the reporter in order to push back against a story he felt was going to be unfair to the bureau and inaccurate. Comey, however, has said McCabe did not acknowledge having done so and left the impression that he didn’t know who had shared the information with the journalist.

The Justice Department, in moving to defend Rosenstein, sought to exploit those differences by distributing a list of instances in which the inspector general said McCabe had made false statements in the past. The department also released an email from one attendee who said Rosenstein’s “statement was sarcastic and was never discussed with any intention of recording a conversation with the president.”

Rosenstein called the Times story “inaccurate and factually incorrect.”

A Witness Account

One of the people briefed on the conversation in question, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the interaction, said it occurred during a moment of frustration between McCabe and Rosenstein.

Rosenstein was rankled by the revelation that Comey had kept memos about his interactions with the president; McCabe wanted a more aggressive approach toward the White House, the person said.

At that point, Rosenstein said to McCabe something to the effect of, “What do you want, you want me to wear a wire?” according to the person. Rosenstein was asked in the meeting if he was serious, and he said yes, but he did not mean for the wire comment to be taken seriously as a tactic to investigate Trump, the person said.

The person also said that a memo from McCabe describes Rosenstein as referencing the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which says that a president can be declared “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” upon a majority vote of the vice president and the Cabinet.

But the person said notes and recollections from other attendees at the meeting, including former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, do not include the 25th Amendment reference.

___

Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire in Springfield, Missouri, contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Three Signs of the Church’s ‘Spiritual Disorientation’

The Stream - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 10:25

It is a scary thing to be disoriented. At best, it means you're headed in the wrong direction. But if you're flying airplanes, it means you have no reference to the ground. You can't navigate. You may not even know which way is up. In other words, being disoriented is not just an annoyance. It's dangerous. But there is something even more dangerous than being disoriented -- and that is not knowing you're disoriented.

I hate to say this, but I believe many people in the church are becoming spiritually disoriented. And many of them don't even have a clue. Let me explain what I mean.

Spatial Disorientation

On the evening of July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr. crashed his private airplane into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. I remember that night well, because I was the First Officer on a Delta Boeing 767 descending into New York's LaGuardia Airport at exactly the same time.

The visibility over the water that evening was horrible. The haze, humidity, and sun angle combined to turn the sky around us into a giant, yellow-gray blob. There was no horizon. No way to tell which was up. Between us, the Captain and I had nearly 40 years of combined flight experience. Even so, we were uncomfortable. New York air traffic control was allowing airplanes to use visual flight rules. But we insisted on using instrument procedures for our approach and landing.

Spatial disorientation occurs when a pilot loses his reference to the ground. With no visible horizon, his inner ear and eyes begin to give him conflicting signals.

John Kennedy, Jr. had no business flying in weather conditions like that. He was not an experienced pilot. Sadly, the plane he was flying did have the instrumentation he needed to operate in those kinds of conditions. But Kennedy wasn't trained to use it. An investigation of the accident revealed the cause. JFK, Jr. had "failed to maintain control of the airplane ... as a result of spatial disorientation."

Unable to Recover

Spatial disorientation occurs when a pilot loses his reference to the ground. With no visible horizon, his inner ear and eyes begin fighting with each other. They give him conflicting signals. He gets the sensation he's turning when he is actually flying straight. What he sees and feels don't match. Making the correction that feels right actually exacerbates his problem.

Experienced pilots know how to recognize the symptoms of spatial disorientation. When they do, they are trained to trust their flight instruments. A failure to do so can quickly become a matter of life and death.

Kennedy didn't understand what was happening to him. Inexperienced pilots rarely do. By the time he realized something was wrong, it was too late. His lack of training doomed him. His attempts to correct the situation only made it worse. Within a matter of seconds, he was plunging toward the ocean in a "death spiral."

It probably went something like this ...

Three Signs of Disorientation

There are three elements of spatial disorientation to be aware of:

You can't see the ground. Your sensations lie to you about your alignment with the world. You think everything is fine. When you realize something is wrong, your attempts to correct things make them worse. Spiritual Disorientation

I share this story for a very specific reason. I believe that many in the church have become "spiritually disoriented." They are flying through this life in a way very similar to the way JFK, Jr. was flying over Long Island Sound.

I don't say this to be provocative. I say it because I have evidence to back it up.

Media research pollster George Barna makes a living studying the beliefs and behaviors of the Christian community. He has published several findings about how evangelical Christians think and act very much like the world around them. He also looks at their actual beliefs and attitudes. The parallels between spatial and spiritual disorientation are fascinating to see.

They Can't See the Ground

What grounds the Christian worldview? What is our reference point? I submit that it is no different than what grounds reality itself.

The truth.

This is a topic for another discussion that I will engage more completely later. For now, let me say that for thousands of years, thinking humans have seen truth as an objective feature of the world. It is something external to us. We don't invent it. We discover it. For that reason, truth is as real as the ground we walk on. And truth is what should ground our thinking.

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But today, we have come to believe that truth is up to us to decide for ourselves. As one example, Barna discovered that only 59% of Christians said that there are moral truths that are unchanging -- that truth is not relative to the circumstances.

In other words, we have lost sight of what should ground our thinking. We have no firm reference to the truth.

They Think Everything is Fine

No longer grounded in the truth, most Christians think and act just like the world around them. For example:

Only 19 percent of born-again adults hold to a Christian worldview Less than 0.5 percent of 18-23 year-olds hold a Christian worldview Only 14 percent of Christians act consistently with Jesus' teaching

At the same time, this little nugget ought to jump out of Barna's data and grabbed you by the throat: 92 percent of self-described evangelical Christians view themselves as being "spiritual."

We think and act pretty much like the world around us. But we overwhelmingly believe ourselves to be "spiritual." How is that possible?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that society has lured us into redefining what it means to be "spiritual" by dissecting our heads from our hearts. We have let the culture convince us that the heart is the most important thing about us. Feelings and emotions guide us. When those feelings and emotions are positive, we are on the right track. Those who have perfected this search are considered society's most "spiritual" people.

Their 'Corrections' Make Things Worse

Once feelings and emotions replace truth as the most important point of reference, we use them as our primary means of engaging the world. In our efforts to avoid making people feel bad, we dodge the truth. Feelings become more important than reality itself.

Grace abounds, but truth is dying in the streets.

A church that avoids the truth by honoring feelings above truth is a church that has lost sight of the meaning of love.

As an example, imagine an anorexic girl who is nothing but skin and bones. When she looks in the mirror, she thinks she is overweight. She diets and purges. Her weight continues to decline.

Would it be loving and kind of us to tell her she's looking great? Should we encourage her to continue down the path she has chosen? After all, telling her she looks like death warmed over would certainly hurt her feelings.

Obviously not. We have a duty to tell her the truth, no matter how much it hurts her feelings. Playing along with her delusion would only make things worse. It wouldn't be loving. It would be dangerous.

One doesn't have to think very hard to see the parallels going on in our culture with all forms of sin and rebellion. Yet we have prominent church leaders and spokesmen demanding that we do just that. A church that avoids the truth by honoring feelings above truth is a church that has lost sight of the meaning of love.

Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is tell someone the truth.

Overcoming Spiritual Disorientation

The culture has infiltrated the church. As a result, the church is becoming more and more spiritually disoriented. Many prominent church leaders deny the core principles of our faith. They promote a disoriented Christianity that allows the culture to critique the church instead of leading a biblical critique of the culture. And too many in the church have accepted what they're saying.

 

Originally appeared at True Horizon. Reprinted with permission.

Gunmen Attack Military Parade in Iran, At Least 24 Killed

The Stream - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 10:12

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Gunmen attacked an annual Iranian military parade Saturday in the country’s oil-rich southwest, killing at least 24 people and wounding 53 others, local media reported.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault in Ahvaz, which saw gunfire spray into a crowd of marching Guardsmen, bystanders and government officials watching from a nearby riser. However, Iran faced a bloody assault last year from the Islamic State group and Arab separatists in the region have attacked oil pipelines there in the past.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif immediately blamed the attack on regional countries and their “U.S. masters,” further raising regional tensions as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers is in jeopardy after President Donald Trump withdrew America from the accord.

“Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives,” he wrote on Twitter.

State television aired footage of the aftermath of the assault on Ahvaz’s Quds, or Jerusalem, Boulevard, which like many other places around the country saw an annual parade marking the start of Iran’s long 1980s war with Iraq. The images included paramedics trying to help one person in military fatigues as other armed security personnel shouted at each other. The semi-official ISNA news agency published photographs of the attack’s aftermath, with bloodied troops in dress uniforms helping each other walk away.

A local news agency in Khuzestan province, of which Ahvaz is the capital, aired grainy mobile phone footage showing parade goers fleeing as soldiers lay flat on the ground. Gunfire rang out in the background.

“Security forces have restored security in the area but the parade has totally been disrupted,” a reporter on the scene for Iranian state television said by phone in a live broadcast. “People have been killed but we have no figures yet.”

Zarif on Twitter said that the gunmen were “terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime.” He did not immediately elaborate. However, Arab separatist groups in the region have launched attacks on oil pipelines there in the past and Iran. The separatists also accuse Iran’s Shiite theocracy of discriminating against its Sunni Arab citizens. Iran has blamed its Mideast archrival, the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for funding their activity.

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Reports of how the attack unfolded remained unclear immediately afterward. The state TV reporter said the gunfire came from a park behind a riser. The semi-official Fars news agency, which is close to the Guard, said two gunmen on a motorcycle wearing khaki uniforms carried out the attack.

The state-run IRNA news agency said the attack killed 24 people and wounded 53, citing “knowledgeable sources” without elaborating. It said gunmen were dressed in Guard uniforms and targeted a riser where military and police commanders were sitting.

Khuzestan Gov. Gholamreza Shariati told IRNA that two gunmen were killed and two others were arrested.

Who carried out the assault also remained in question. State television immediately described the assailants as “takfiri gunmen,” a term previously used to describe the Islamic State group. Iran has been deeply involved in the fight against IS in Iraq and has aided embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country’s long war.

Among those involved are members of the Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Guard also has vast holdings in Iran’s economy.

Meanwhile, Guard spokesman Gen. Ramazan Sharif told ISNA that an Arab separatist group carried out the attack, without elaborating. However, those groups in the past previously have only attacked unguarded oil pipelines at night.

Saturday’s attack comes after a coordinated June 7, 2017 Islamic State group assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

Khomeini led the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the Western-backed shah to become Iran’s first supreme leader until his death in 1989. The assault shocked Tehran, which largely has avoided militant attacks in the decades after the tumult surrounding the Islamic Revolution.

___

Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.

Celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day with a Look Ahead to the 2019 Great American Outdoor Show

NRA Blog - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 10:00
On this day honoring sportsmen and women, start preparing for the annual nine-day outdoor lifestyle event...

Denmark to Extradite Man Suspected of Committing Genocide in Rwanda

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 09:15
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — An appeals court in Denmark says a man can be extradited to his native Rwanda where he is suspected of committing crimes against humanity in 1994.

Military Photo of the Day: Generals Getting Briefed

The Stream - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 09:00

Briefing, Generals Almond, Shepherd, MacArthur, and Smith, 17 September 1950

“Briefing on 17 September at the Division CP in the southeast outskirts of Inchon. Left to right: Gen. Almond, Gen. Shepherd, Gen. MacArthur, Newspaper Correspondent, Gen. Smith, and Col. McAllister.”

From the Oliver P. Smith Collection (COLL/213), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

European Court Ruling Opens Up Censorship of Comparing Abortion to Murder

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 08:40
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has rejected the appeal of a German pro-life campaigner, opening up censorship to those who compare abortion to murder.

Student Editor Fired for 'Transphobia' After 'Women Don't Have Penises' Tweet

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 08:21
A student has been fired from a position with a “free speech” society and as assistant editor of a university journal for so-called “transphobia” after sharing an article and comment reading “women don’t have penises”.

Sen. Cory Booker Admitted to ‘Groping’ Female Friend at 15

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 04:09
A Star-Ledger columnist has revisited a piece written by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, in which he admitted to “groping” a female friend at age 15.

Maher: Kavanaugh 'Shouldn't Be Up' for SCOTUS 'It Should Be Merrick Garland'

Breitbart News - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 03:37
On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher argued Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh “shouldn’t even be having this hearing because he shouldn’t be up for the Supreme Court. Because it should be Merrick Garland.” Maher said, “[H]e shouldn’t even be having this hearing because he shouldn’t be up for the Supreme Court. Because it should be Merrick Garland. And if we didn’t have the Electoral College, okay, Al Gore would have appointed the two that Bush appointed, and if we didn’t have the Electoral College, Trump — Hillary would be president. The Supreme Court would be a liberal court. That would reflect the people. That’s not what we have.” He added, “Before 2000, the Supreme Court more or less reflected the makeup of the people’s politics. Now because they steal elections, partly with the help of the Constitution, yes, partly, now, it doesn’t.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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