Running out of time, running on empty
by Ken Pullen
Thursday, February 2, 2012
There may be slightly over 7,000,000,000 people on this earth now, but there really are only 3 different kinds of people.
1.) Unbelievers of God, Christ, and the Holy Bible.
These people are either highly educated or not. Of all ages and gender. Rich, middle class, and poor. They are either oblivious and so self-absorbed they in truth live as if the entire world existed within mere inches of their noses, their jobs, the towns they live in. Or they may realize the world is larger, but they put their faith in men. In technology. And they are so gullible as to believe every trend, philosophy, and belief created from the minds of evil men. Blind followers one and all. These people, if religious, and not avowed atheists, follow every manmade false religion there is and cling to what is old, evil, and always has been imagining it to be something new, although it is the same old evil merely repackaged. These are the people that gravitate to every new diet scam out there blind to the fact diet is a lifelong choice and way of living, and there are no quick-fixes, no answers from one source of this world.
2.) People professing to be believers in God and Jesus Christ. And they make sure they go to church on Sunday’s. Sometimes.
Yet they do not read the Holy Bible and will not accept the truth. They do not study the Holy Scriptures. They are fed milk and choke on it and never have grown so much as a millimeter in faith. They insist on having different versions of what they in blasphemy refer to as a Bible to accomodate their carnal thinking. They reduce God and Christ to their level pretending they are disciples while in truth they are living as lords, believing themselves to be masters, as they follow every lie and enticement of the old dragon Satan. They love blasphemous Bible translations. They love nothing but distracting entertainment under the guise of worship. They think inclusion means they are following what God and Scripture teaches, when in truth God and the Bible do not teach that everything should be accepted, that all are accepted. They love the lie of peace and security on this earth. They for the most part believe they can make earth the Kingdom of God, because, after all, they are men and women and they are gods! Because everyone they follow has told them so. They love liberalism convincing themselves it is what is taught in the Bible, though they know not the Bible, God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. They love and follow the false teachers, the wolves in sheep’s clothing.
3.) True believers in Jehovah Elyon, Yeshua, Christ the Lord, and the Living Word of God, living in faith, instructed and guided by the Holy Spirit of the Lord.
These people are the rarest of people on this vast earth. So few in number. These people have an awareness within their spirits. They can see and feel the times beyond merely existing, or living in them. They place God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the pure unadulterated complete truth of Holy Scripture above all else. Above self. Above family. Above principalities and the powers of this world. And they know the time for this world is short. Very short. They can almost literally see and feel the sands in the hourglass of earth’s time about to run out.
No matter who, no matter what, there are no more, no less on this earth than these three kinds of people. Yes, the descriptions of each could contain more, but anyone reading this knows exactly what I mean – and every person reading this knows of which three groups they belong to. Even those of dead spirits following evil at the core of their hearts know which group they belong to. As do the professed and pretending.
Enjoy this edition of “Last Days News” for it helps to reveal and make clearer these 3 kinds of people, and the times in which we live, these growing shorter by the hour last days.
New Bible yanks ‘Father,’ Jesus as ‘Son of God’
Islam-sensitive project ignites controversy, online petition
By Joel Richardson
In the world of questionable and sometimes downright silly Bible translations, one would think that it couldn’t get any worse.
After all, we’ve seen the “In da beginnin’ Big Daddy created da heaven an’ da earth” Ebonics Bible, as well as the “Apostle’s Log” Star Trek English paraphrase Bible. In a more serious effort, the New Oxford Annotated Bible was created in part by pro-”gay” and feminist scholars in order to set forth a more “gay” revisionist interpretation of Scripture.
But now there is a major controversy developing as the latest altered Bibles are being created by organizations that most would think of as being more conservative and reasonable. At the forefront of the controversy are the Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Frontiers, all of which are producing Bible translations that remove or modify terms which they have deemed offensive to Muslims.
That’s right: Muslim-friendly Bibles.
Included in the controversial development is the removal of any references to God as “Father,” to Jesus as the “Son” or “the Son of God.” One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL. It changes Matthew 28:19 from this:
“baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”
“cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.”
A large number of such Muslim-sensitive translations already are published and well-circulated in several Muslim-majority nations such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.
According to Joshua Lingel of i2 Ministries, “Even more dramatic a change is the Arabic and Bangla (Bangladesh) translations. In Arabic, Bible translations err by translating ‘Father’ as ‘Lord.’ ‘Guardian.’ ‘Most High’ and ‘God.” In Bangla, ‘Son of God’ is mistranslated ‘Messiah of God’ consistent with the Quran’s Isa al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah), which references the merely human Jesus.”
In response to these translations, many within the evangelical missions movement as well as many former Muslim converts and indigenous Christians from countries where these translations are being used, are indignant. After numerous appeals have been rejected, a petition has been launched to call for the end to the translations.
More than 3,000 already have signed up.
While the organizations that are promoting these translations are adamant that replacing such terms as Father with Lord or Master best conveys the inspired meaning of the text, many of the indigenous Christian leaders from the countries where these translations are being promoted are broadly rejecting the translations.
The indigenous believers see the introduction of these American-made translations with which they so strongly disagree as a form of American cultural imperialism or colonialism.
According to Turkish pastor Fikret Böcek, such new translations are, “an all-American idea with absolutely no respect for the sacredness of Scripture, or even of the growing Turkish church.”
According to the testimony of one leader from a church in Bangladesh, one of the most problematic aspects of this development is that it gives fuel to the often-heard Muslim claim that Christians are liars who change their Bibles to deceive Muslims. Once a Bible translation is well established within any country, the introduction of such radically different translations reinforces the Muslim charge and undermines trust in the Christian community.
According to Lingel, who can be contacted at email@example.com, the crisis in translation methodology is largely due to “a postmodern literary bias” that has crept into some translation circles in recent decades. Such translations would seem to demand that the divine author of the Bible change rather than the Muslim reader.
“But Jesus demanded that many of his listeners change,” says Lingel, explaining that instead of demanding that Muslim readers change their understanding of God, these translations seem to convey that God must accommodate the religious prejudices of Muslims.
“Lingel is also the co-editor of a new book, “Chrislam: How Missionaries Are Promoting an Islamized Gospel,” which represents the first major response against Muslim-sensitive translations as well as the larger movement often referred to as the “Insider Movement” or “Chrislam.”
According to reports, of the roughly 200 translation projects Wycliffe/SIL linguists have undertaken in Muslim contexts, about 30 or 40 remove the terms father and son with reference to God and Jesus.
Lingel’s response is quite direct, “These projects need to be defunded.”
Yet according to a recent Forbes “200 Largest U.S. Charities” report, the Orlando-based Wycliffe Bible Translators USA is the third most well-funded religious charity in the states.
Proponents of the Insider Movement claim that this method of reaching Muslims is bearing great fruit. Opponents, however, point out that the so-called converts within the Insider Movement remain “hidden” within their Muslim culture, continue to attend mosque, pray like a Muslim, acknowledge Muhammad as a prophet, the Quran as inspired, and make the Muslim credal confession, known as the “shahada.”
Some now claim that there are as many as 300,000-1.2 million new “Insider believers” in Bangladesh. But one former Insider who left the movement and speaks out in Lingel’s Chrislam book reports that the number of insiders couldn’t be more than 10,000. According to this source, many of the claims are greatly exaggerated so as to bring in more funding from wealthy American missionary organizations.
“Other former Insiders have reported publicly that many Insiders are really Muslims who will do whatever it takes for the jobs and money they are offered by pro-IM ministries to feed their families,” Lingel says.
Further questioning the funding and support of well-known Christian organizations of this movement, Lingel recounts, “I have consulted with the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention on missions and evangelism among Muslims at various times… [Who] stated that there are tens of thousands of Isa al-masih jamaats, or ‘Jesus congregations,’ in northern Africa. But the members of these jamaats call themselves Muslims, do not believe in the Trinity and believe Muhammad is a prophet of God. Are they Christians or Muslims? Why talk about them in terms of missionary success?”
In response to what many Christians see as a heretical movement based on deception, Lingel’s i2 Ministries is in the process of completing a video-based university called Mission Muslims World University, with 40 of the most experienced professors from around the world teaching courses in Muslim ministries, Islamic Studies, apologetics, evangelism and discipleship.
President Obama Mentions An Energy Company In His Big Speech And It
Goes Bankrupt Instantly
Andrew Restuccia of The Hill is reporting that Ener1, a battery company that President Obama referenced in his State of The Union Speech on Tuesday as an example of successful energy investments, has just filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
That’s just two days after the speech.
“In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries,” Obama said in his speech.
According to Phil Milford and Dawn McCarty at Businessweek, Ener1 had received a $118 million U.S. Energy Department grant to make electric-car batteries. And the grant received bi-partisan support, so it is not entirely on Obama’s shoulders. From Businessweek:
January 23, 2012 4:02 pm
The blame game
By Gillian Tett
A couple of years ago, US government officials often adopted a slightly defensive air when they appeared at Davos. Little wonder: back then, the global financial turmoil appeared to be a “Made in the USA” affair. For not only did that country’s bloated subprime mortgage business lie at the heart of the 2007 financial debacle, but Washington’s clumsy handling of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the investment bank, a year later sparked the ensuing chaos.
While European institutions were not wholly without fault, it was convenient for European and Asian policymakers to lay the blame on Wall Street and Washington. This led to the Chinese and Russian premiers deciding to give the US – and US-style capitalism – a subtle but public dressing down at last year’s World Economic Forum.
On this story
- Martin Wolf Confronting follies
- Special Report The east also rises
- Special Report Actions need to speak louder than words
- Special Report Protect and promote
- Special Report The economics of politics
IN Guide to Davos 2012
Now, however, times have changed. As the 2012 summit gets underway, the current wave of global financial woes carries a different label. The US is no longer solely to blame, with many citing evident problems now made in Europe, China and elsewhere.
Certainly, the US is not in the clear yet. During the past two years, the government has done a reasonably good job of putting its banking system on a healthier footing, and there have been recent hints that its economy is stabilising, with most economists expecting 2 per cent growth in 2012.
Nevertheless, worries remain, not least about a stagnant housing market and the fact that Congress is unable to make progress in producing a coherent fiscal plan to tackle the debt, which is heading to more than 90 per cent of gross domestic product.
But notwithstanding these self-inflicted wounds, it is no longer the case that the US is threatening to drag the rest of the world into a crisis. Instead, the US is worried that the rest of the world could damage its fledgling recovery. Thus the issue that the country’s delegation will wish to discuss in Davos is how to quantify and contain these global risks and protect themselves from any future fallout.
Europe is undoubtedly the most immediate preoccupation. The White House has spent a considerable amount of time talking about the eurozone in recent months, with President Barack Obama himself getting directly involved. In narrow trade terms, US exports to Europe represent barely a couple of percentage points of its economy; a year of stagnant growth in the eurozone – or even recession – is therefore unlikely to have too deep an impact on the real US economy.
However, the bigger issue is the interconnections in the banking world.
US officials fear that if the eurozone were to tip into crisis, or a full-scale break-up, this could hurt US asset managers and banks. These institutions are collectively estimated to have extended around $500bn of credit protection to companies and state entities in the peripheral eurozone, according to the Bank of International Settlements.
But while anxiety is high, there is also a sense of impotence. In the past year, Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, has implored his eurozone counterparts to stave off a crisis, arguing that it is better to act sooner, not later, in terms of injecting public funds into the banking sector.
However, Mr Geithner’s lectures have had limited impact, partly because there is lingering resentment in the eurozone about the events of 2008.
Moves to stabilise the Middle East remain problematic, with some US officials keen to use international forums to increase pressure on Iran. Concerns remain high that the Middle East will produce new, destabilising surprises in 2012.
The great irony of this year’s Davos, in other words, is that while the US has moved into a phase where it seems to have become inwardly focused (due to its upcoming presidential election), it is now deeply uneasy about the outside world. That could make for some frustrating conversations.
Obama: I Pushed Dodd-Frank And Health Care Reform Because Of Christ
Make Way for ‘Saint Obama the Pious’
|Judi McLeod Thursday, February 2, 2012|
Launched to an unsuspecting world from stage prop Greek columns in the summer of 2008 as The Messiah who could walk on water, Barack Obama revealed today all he has since done is for Jesus.
All that was missing at the National Prayer Breakfast, when he claimed that guidance for what he is doing to the Free World comes from above, were the Gregorian chants.
The Marxist misery he’s foisting on the Free World with his job-killing and spirit-killing policies don’t come from Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky, because, according to a freshly minted pious Obama, it is all for Him.
Some of the true believers at this morning’s prayer breakfast must have all but fallen off their chairs when they heard the new Sermon from the Mount from a politician who has admitted he gets his prayer reminders via his Blackberry.
“And so when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street, when I talk bout making sure insurance companies aren’t discriminating against those who are already sick, or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren’t taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody. But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.’” (Buzzfeed, Feb. 2. 2012)
That’s the story from Saint Obama The Pious and he’s likely sticking to it until at least November 6.
The Golden Rule definition that followed Obama’s ‘Love thy Neighbor’ spiel knocked him down off the sanctimonious Sainthood perch to the dark, dank cellar of unbridled Marxism: “I know the version of that Golden Rule is found in every major religion and every set of beliefs—from Hinduism to Islam to Judaism to the writings of Plato,” Obama added.
(OMG! he must have been reading Mark Levin’s runaway bestseller Ameritopia).
All but guaranteed that Obama also knows about the Earth Charter, drafted by his mentor, Canadian-born, UN Poster Boy Maurice Strong and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The Earth Charter was specifically devised to replace the Ten Commandments.
“The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments.” (Maurice Strong).
“Do not do unto the environment of others what you do not want done to your own environment…My hope is that this charter will be a kind of Ten Commandments, a ‘Sermon on the Mount’ that provides a guide for human behavior toward the environment in the next century.” (Mikhail Gorbachev, Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1997).
Steven Rockefeller chaired the Drafting Committee of the Earth Charter and remains a key leader of the organization to this day.
The same Obama, who is forcing abortion on the Roman Catholic Church, today claims he “often falls to his knees in prayer”, and emphasized his religious values in determining where to lead the country.
“I’d be remiss if I stopped there; if my values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends. So instead, I must try—imperfectly, but I must try—to make sure those values motivate me as one leader of this great nation”.
Meanwhile, just seeing Obama at work shows which side he’s on. And it’s not the side of God and Jesus Christ the Lord. (1)
(1) administrator’s note:
I, Ken Pullen, took the liberty to edit the last sentence in Judi McLeod’s above article. It originally read “And it’s not on the Side of the Angels.” That sentence is vague and goes against the Word of God. It is very misleading in these times, especially since people revere angels, speak of them, and proclaim to see them, to know intimately of angels – all things true believers are warned against in the true Word of God.
Satan has his own legion of angels, and all the angels are a creation of God. If people spent more time in study and meditation reading Scripture and less time thinking they were experts on spiritual matters as they followed a worldly church, or their New Age Handbooks we would not contend with these abominations and blasphemies to this degree, but these are the last days are they not? And this is how it is to be, and it will only get worse by the hour. In these last days the angels have subplanted God and Christ in the minds of many as they are led down the deadly paths of false doctrine.
“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind…”
Colossians 2: 18
The angels are not equal to God or Christ, and it is this very subtle erosion of the truth over the years that has brought us to the great apostasy we now reside in, and draws us closer to the final day when Yeshua shall return, slaughter the nations – all nations that has risen up against Him, and corrupted the world and the hearts of men and women, and set His foot upon the Mount of Olives once more. The angels will follow Him, not be equal to Him. And this distinction can never be blurred, for to do so corrupts the truth and misleads – whichh is the keystone to Slewfoot’s plan! Let them imagine themselves following the Word of God and Christ, when in truth they are following my corrupted beguling ways and shall join me in the lake of fire for eternity! Angels are never capitalized in Scripture, unless the word appears at the beginning of a sentence, because they are not God, nor Christ. And while this may seem nitpicky it is the very rot which infects the truth and leads tens of millions to their spiritual deaths as they think they are following the truth!
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of accuracy, context, and living in truth when it comes to the faith. And it is clear few are filled with the Holy Spirit and thus instructed and led by God’s Holy Spirit in clarity of sight, clarity of hearing, clarity of understanding in the truth of Scripture, and in the pursuit of God.
UPDATE: Obama Georgia ballot eligibility hearing
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Run Orly Run: http://runorlyrun.com/
University blasted for intolerance of Christianity
Judges order trial on claims of anti-religious bias, discrimination
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a trial at the district level for a graduate level counseling student who was dismissed from her program for asking that a client with “gay” issues be referred to another counselor because as a Christian she could not affirm that lifestyle choice.
Officials at Eastern Michigan University took that action against Julea Ward, a student approaching the end of her degree program with a 3.91 grade point average, even though, as the appeals judges noted, the school’s own practices in fact permitted such referrals.
“What exactly did Ward do wrong in make the referral request? If one thing is clear after three years of classes, it is that Ward is acutely aware of her own values. The point of the referral request was to avoid imposing her values on gay and lesbian clients. And the referral request not only respected the diversity of practicum clients, but it also conveyed her willingness to counsel gay and lesbian clients about other issues – all but relationship issues – an attitude confirmed by her equivalent concern about counseling heterosexual clients about extra-marital sex and adultery in a values-affirming way,” said the opinion, written by Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton.
The opinion said the evidence suggests “Ward was willing to work with all clients and to respect the school’s affirmation directives in doing so. That is why she asked to refer gay and lesbian clients (and some heterosexual clients) if the conversation required her to affirm their sexual practices. What more could the rule require?” the judge said.
“Surely, for example, the ban on discrimination against clients based on their religion (1) does not require a Muslim counselor tell a Jewish client that his religious beliefs are correct if the conversation takes a turn in that direction and (2) does not require an atheist counselor to tell a person of faith that there is a God if the client is wrestling with faith-based issues.”
The judges said, “Tolerance is a two-way street. Otherwise, the rule mandates orthodoxy, not anti-discrimination.”
“Public universities shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree. The court rightly understood this and ruled appropriately,” said Alliance Defense Fund Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued before the court in October of last year.
“Rather than allow Julea to refer a potential client to another qualified counselor – a common, professional practice to best serve clients – EMU attacked and questioned Julea’s religious beliefs and ultimately expelled her from the program because of them.”
He noted that the judges determined, “A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems based on a phantom policy as the price for obtaining a degree…. Why treat Ward differently? That her conflict arose from religious convictions is not a good answer; that her conflict arose from religious convictions for which the department at times showed little tolerance is a worse answer.”
The school launched its disciplinary attack on Ward shortly after she enrolled in a “practicum” in the counseling school in 2009. She was assigned a potential client regarding assistance with a same-sex sexual relationship.
Ward recognized the potential issue and asked her supervisor how to handle the matter. She was told to reassign the client to a different counselor.
Then, however, Ward was ordered to undergo “remediation” to “see the error of her ways” and change her “belief system” or be dismissed.
EMU faculty members then “denigrated” Ward’s Christian beliefs, including a taunt about whether her “brand” of Christianity was superior to that of other Christians.
In fact, the appeals court noted, even the textbooks used by EMU affirmed that a sound counseling practice is to allow values-based referrals. One said, “If the client selects goals that severely conflict with the helper’s values … the helper may decide to refer the client.”
Even the school’s own expert was conflicted, the opinion said, stating that while refusing to counsel on issues related to sexual orientation is a violation of ethics, he also confirmed many counselors do, in fact, refer homosexuals to others.
“A reasonable jury could conclude that practicum students were required to follow the written code of ethics, not an unwritten (yet-to-be-enforced) no-referrals policy. The epitome of a pretextual explanation for a student’s expulsion is a reason never expressed or invoked before.”
The judges said, “A reasonable jury also could find evidence of religious-speech discrimination from the formal review. … Many of the participants’ comments and questions focused on Ward’s beliefs and her religious objection to affirming same-sex relationships.”
Such statements, the court said, “permit the inference that Ward’s religious beliefs motivated their actions.”
“A reasonable jury could find that the university dismissed Ward from its counseling program because of her faith-based speech, not because of any legitimate pedagogical objective.”
WND earlier reported that lawmakers in Michigan raised objections to the school’s actions, with members of the Michigan Senate working on legislation including a provision calling on university counseling programs to evaluate and affirm how they can accommodate the religious beliefs of students.
State Rep. Tom McMillin told WND at the time the case was “extremely alarming,” and there was growing support for an effort to penalize universities that don’t accommodate religious beliefs.
“This is a state-taxpayer-supported university,” he said. “She’s got a court case. Hopefully that will be resolved.”
Banking giant accused of laundering billions
Ex-employee in New York has 1,000 pages of customer account records
NEW YORK – A former employee of HSBC in New York has 1,000 pages of customer account records he claims are evidence of an international money-laundering scheme involving hundreds of billions of dollars by the global banking giant, which reportedly is under investigation by a U.S. Senate committee.
John Cruz has delivered to WND customer account records he says he pulled from the HSBC computer system before he was fired. Cruz was terminated Feb. 17, 2010, after two years at HSBC for “poor performance,” but he contends he was let go because senior management didn’t want to him to pursue his personal investigation.
“We support efforts to protect the integrity of the financial system, and our commitment to AML (anti-money laundering) includes rigorous internal processes and a close working partnership with regulators and law enforcement,” the statement said.
One of the largest banks in the world, London-based HSBC has about 7,500 offices in more than 80 countries and territories in Europe, North and South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.
In his position as an account relationship manager, Cruz worked in the HSBC southern New York region, which accounts for about 50 percent of HSBC’s North American revenue. He was assigned to work with several branch managers to identify accounts in which HSBC might introduce additional banking services.
Cruz told WND he has “firsthand knowledge and proof of how HSBC transferred billions of dollars through accounts linked to companies that did not exist.”
“I had poor job performance because the portfolio of HSBC accounts I was given to work ended up being 90 percent fictitious and fraudulent accounts,” he said. “How could I expand HSBC bank relations with fraudulent accounts that were created to be used for illegal money laundering?”
Meanwhile, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has begun probing money-laundering activity at HSBC, according to a Reuters report last week, with the intention of scheduling hearings in the spring.
Elise Bean, chief legal counsel and majority staff director for the Senate subcommittee, told WND the panel has “no comment” on any possible HSBC investigation.
Cruz came to WND with the 1,000 pages of evidence before the committee’s investigation of HSBC was reported.
He previously brought his complaint to Jeremy Scileppi, bureau chief of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office on Long Island.
“Scileppi was no more interested in hearing what I had to say than was the HSBC senior bank management,” Cruz said. “I got stonewalled. That’s when I decided to write a book.”
Titled “World Banking World Fraud: Using Your Identity,” the book was published Oct. 7, 2011.
Scileppi and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office did not respond to a WND request to confirm Cruz’s claim.
Cruz said that in the two years he worked for HSBC, he eventually discovered that money laundering was being carried out not only by branch managers but also by senior officers of the bank, both within the U.S. and internationally.
“From what I saw, I came to suspect HSBC had become the Mexican drug cartels’ bank of choice,” he said.
The customer account records suggest identity theft was used to capture legitimate Social Security numbers and create bogus retail and commercial bank accounts through which HSBC employees could deposit and withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars on a daily basis, apparently without the knowledge of the identity-theft victims.
Cruz said he ultimately was fired after his supervisors made numerous attempts to discourage him from pursuing his personal investigation.
“When I began bringing to the attention of my supervisors suspicious activity in accounts that needed to be reported to legal authorities, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, I was told to shut up,” he said.
His job required him to access the HSBC computer system to find accounts to contact and visit in person.
“I was shocked to find accounts through which millions of dollars were being deposited and withdrawn without any apparent business activity being conducted,” he said. “Then when I went to visit the business, I found nothing – shell companies, vacant offices with no furniture, or no such business whatsoever at the address listed on the account records.”
Cruz said he never imagined that keeping his job at HSBC would mean turning a blind eye to criminal behavior.
“I always thought that if you ran a bank, you would keep away from customers with fake names,” he said. “Instead, what I found at HSBC were thousands of accounts established for phantom businesses that had apparently only thousands of dollars of claimed business each year, but millions of dollars flowing into and out of the accounts every month.”
One of Cruz’s first calls on an HSBC customer required a drive east on the Long Island Expressway to visit a small insurance company. But the phone number turned out to be disconnected, and the tax ID number corresponded with another HSBC customer from Yonkers who had recently closed his account with the bank.
Another business Cruz visited, near the Brentwood Station on the Long Island Rail Way off Suffolk Avenue, turned out to be an abandoned building that evidently had not been occupied in some time. It had broken windows, and weeds pushed up through the cracked cement in the parking lot.
WND has contacted HSBC customers identified in the account records. They appeared to fall into several distinct categories, including former customers of the bank who claim to have closed their accounts and people with no HSBC account history who were independently victims of identity theft related to credit card use.
In all cases WND investigated, the Social Security numbers used to open the HSBC accounts were legitimate and connected to the person in whose name the retail or commercial bank account was opened.
In most cases, WND found the phone numbers listed with the HSBC accounts to be disconnected or assigned to new users who claimed no knowledge of the accounts.
Iran moving closer to stage where it will be too late to destroy nuclear
facilities, Israel warns
Iran is moving closer to the point when it will be too late to destroy its nuclear facilities with a precision air strike, Israel’s defence minister has warned
By Adrian Blomfield, Jerusalem
7:40PM GMT 27 Jan 2012
Reviving Western concerns that his government is still contemplating unilateral military action against Iran, Ehud Barak gave one of the clearest signs yet that Israel’s support for new US and EU sanctions remains strictly limited.
“We are determined to prevent Iran from turning nuclear,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos. “And even the American president and opinion leaders have said that no option should be removed from the table.
“It seems to us to be urgent, because the Iranians are deliberately drifting into what we call an immunity zone where practically no surgical operation could block them.”
Although Israeli intelligence and military officials have privately spoken of Iran’s nuclear programme entering a “framework of immunity”, it is the first time that a senior figure in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has done so in public.
Israel’s fears that it might soon be too late to launch military action were bolstered earlier this month when Iran announced that it had begun to enrich uranium at its Fordow plant, which is buried so deep within a mountain it may be impossible for Israeli warplanes or missiles to destroy.
Mr Barak’s ministry believes that once the bulk of uranium enrichment is carried out at Fordow, Iran will be in the immunity zone. Israel also reckons that Iran could be in a position to build a bomb within months, although US officials have been quoted as saying that Tehran will not be able to fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile for some years.
Mr Barak’s warning came as inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, prepare to resume inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Yukiya Amano, the organisation’s head, urged Iran to show full co-operation after an IAEA report published last November concluded that Iran appeared to be pursuing the development of a nuclear weapon. Tehran has long insisted that its nuclear programme is peaceful in intent.
Iran has sent conflicting signals over its nuclear intentions. It has agreed to allow inspections and has spoken vaguely of its willingness to resume negotiations on the future of its nuclear programme.
But it has also threatened to seal off the world’s most important oil waterway by blockading the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
In a demonstration of bravado, the Iranian parliament is to meet on Sunday to impose an immediate halt to all oil exports to the European Union.
The EU agreed this week to an embargo on importing oil from Iran, but said it would phase in the sanctions over six months.
If Iran carried out its threat it would pose serious challenges to Greece, Spain and Italy, the EU’s three most vulnerable economies, which account for more than 80 per cent of Iranian oil imports to Europe.
But such a measure would also harm Iran, which exports 18 per cent of its oil to the EU, as there is no guarantee that it would find alternative markets unless it was prepared to sell crude at a heavy discount.
Hamas and the Washington establishment
Jerusalem Post | Jan 31, 2012 By Caroline Glick
Europeans Increasingly Converting to Islam
by Soeren Kern
January 27, 2012 at 5:00 am
Irish actor Liam Neeson says he is thinking about becoming a Muslim after undergoing a spiritual awakening in Turkey.
Neeson, who was born into a Roman Catholic family in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, told the London-based newspaper The Sun that he was impressed by the religious atmosphere in Istanbul while filming a movie in the city.
He said: “The [Islamic] call to prayer happens five times a day, and for the first week, it drives you crazy, and then it just gets into your spirit, and it’s the most beautiful, beautiful thing. There are 4,000 mosques in the city. Some are just stunning, and it really makes me think about becoming a Muslim.”
Neeson is just one of hundreds of thousands of Europeans who are trading their Christian heritage for the supposed exoticism of Islam. The surge in conversions is contributing to the mainstreaming of Islam in Europe and contributing to the Islamization of the continent.
In Britain, the number of Muslim converts recently passed the 100,000 mark, according to a survey conducted by an inter-faith group called Faith Matters. The survey revealed that nearly two thirds of the converts were women, more than 70% were white and the average age at conversion was just 27.
The survey, conducted by Kevin Brice from Swansea University in Wales, asked converts for their views on the negative aspects of British culture. They identified alcohol and drunkenness, a “lack of morality and sexual permissiveness” and “unrestrained consumerism.”
More than one in four acknowledged there was a “natural conflict” between being a devout Muslim and living in Britain. Nine out of ten women converts said their change of religion had led to them dressing more conservatively. More than half started wearing a head scarf and 5% had worn the burka.
Separately, government authorities revealed that an increasing number of inmates at British prisons are converting to Islam. For example, one-third of the inmates at one of Britain’s most notorious youth jails are Muslims and the religion is attracting a large number of converts.
There are 229 Muslims out of a total of 686 youngsters detained at Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution in West London, according to Ministry of Justice figures. There are now so many worshippers at Friday prayers that they have to be split between Feltham’s mosque and its gym.
Prison insiders say most non-Muslims are locked up during Friday prayers because so many guards are needed to monitor the lunchtime service. As a consequence, many disillusioned youngsters are becoming attracted to Islam by the prospect of getting better food and superior treatment at the prison.
One of the more prominent Britons to convert to Islam is Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Booth, who converted after feeling a “shot of spiritual morphine” on a trip to Iran, now wears a hijab head covering whenever she leaves her home and prays five times a day.
In France, an estimated 70,000 French citizens have converted to Islam in recent years, according to a report by France 3 public television. As in Britain, the majority of converts to Islam in France are young women who say they are disenchanted with materialism.
In Italy, Ambassador Alfredo Maiolese, an Italian MP, recently became a Muslim and now dedicates his time trying to improving the image of Islam in the West. In Sweden, there are now at least 5,000 converts to Islam.
In Germany, at least 20,000 people have converted to Islam in recent years, according to a report by RTL television. Some of these converts are playing a growing role in jihad in Germany. In 2010, for example, two German converts to Islam who were found guilty of plotting to create what a judge called a “monstrous blood bath” by carrying out terrorist attacks against American targets in Germany.
“This trend has taken on a very threatening quality toward our security, and while not every convert is a potential terrorist, we are facing a sort of homegrown terrorism that has sprouted in our own backyard,” according to Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
Many European coverts to Islam on fact become vastly more pious than Muslims who were born into Islam. Such converts, taking an absolutist approach, are often easily led into extremism.
In Belgium, for example, Muriel Degauque, a woman from Charleroi and a convert to Islam, committed a suicide car bomb attack in November 2005 against American troops in Iraq. A bakery worker, Degaugue had married a Muslim man and quickly became radical in her religious views.
In Switzerland, young converts to Islam are a potential threat to the country’s security, according to Alard du Bois-Reymond, who was head of the Swiss Migration Office until he was removed for his politically incorrect observations.
Du Bois-Reymond told the German-language newspaper NZZ am Sonntag that Swiss converts include people who want a “radically different society” and are “resistant to dialogue.” He described the Central Islamic Council of Switzerland, which was founded and is run by Swiss converts to Islam, as “the most radical group in Switzerland.”
Also in Switzerland, Daniel Streich, a former member of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which campaigned against the construction of minarets for mosques, converted to Islam. He now says Switzerland needs more mosques.
In Spain, at least 50,000 native Spaniards have converted to Islam in recent years, many of them women. Webislam.net, a Spanish-language website devoted to propagating Islam in Spain, recently published an article that encourages Spanish women to wed Muslim men. The article describes marriage to a Muslim this way: “Multiculturalism is a rewarding experience for all concerned.”
Rise of Islam plotted at secret meeting
Look what Muslim Brotherhood is scheming now
JERUSALEM – The Muslim Brotherhood last week held a secret meeting in Egypt to coordinate the Islamic group’s rise to power in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, WND has learned.
Egyptian security officials told WND the meeting included Brotherhood members from Gaza, Syria, Jordan, Sudan and Egypt. The group discussed methods of gaining more influence in the respective countries.
The meeting followed the Brotherhood’s sweeping victory in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, taking 47 percent of the seats in the new assembly.
The confab took place as the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad faces an insurgency that is reportedly being coordinated in part by Muslim Brotherhood-allied groups.
In a related development, on Sunday, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal made his first official visit to Jordan since the kingdom expelled him more than a decade ago. He met with King Abdullah, who has traditionally been a U.S. ally opposed to Hamas.
The Meshaal-Abdullah meeting is being widely seen as a sign of the region’s major shift of power toward the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas.
The Hamas visit also reportedly gave a boost to Jordanian Islamists, who make up the country’s main opposition and have been at the forefront of street protests demanding sweeping political reforms that would likely result in the group’s rise to power in Jordan.
“There are forces that are not pleased with this visit and see themselves losing as a result,” said Zaki Bani Irsheid, a leader of the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood.