United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)
Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


The Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.



Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)


Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pope Francis reflects alongside Islamic cleric in Istanbul mosque

In a gesture of harmony between religions, Pope Francis stood alongside a senior Islamic cleric for a moment of contemplation at Istanbul's most famous mosque. It's the second day of the pope's visit to Turkey.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Nov 2014

Pope Francis is welcomed by Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran (R) outside Sultan
 Ahmet mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul November 29, 2014.

Pope Francis removed his shoes as he entered the Sultan Ahmet mosque, widely known as the Blue Mosque, on Saturday.

The spiritual leader of the 1.2 billion believers claimed by the Roman Catholic Church was taken through the mosque by Istanbul's Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran. The two paused for two minutes facing Mecca alongside each other, the pope closing his eyes, bowing his head and clasping his hands in front of the cross he wore on his chest, the cleric performing an Islamic prayer.

Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi described the act as a "moment of silent adoration" for God. A similar act by Pope Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in 2006 drew criticism from some Catholics as well as Muslims.

The pope then toured the Hagia Sophia, formerly the main Byzantine church in what was Constantinople, before it was turned into a mosque after the Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1453. Since 1935, the building has been a museum.

Symbolic gesture

Particular attention has been paid to the Pope's visit to Turkey, given that the country borders Iraq and Syria where the "Islamic State" group is waging a bloody campaign of persecution against those who do not follow their radical interpretation of Sunni Islam.

Saturday's visits were conducted amid heavy security, though the pope kept with his custom of traveling in a modest vehicle.

Though Turkey is officially secular, the vast majority of its population is Muslim and its government is moderate Islamist.

The three-day papal visit to Turkey is seen as a test of Francis' ability to build bridges, as he had to establish and strengthen ties with Muslim leaders while condemning the violence against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. On Friday he was received by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the controversial new presidential palace in Ankara.

Pope Francis is also due to meet with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, as they hold talks and participate in ceremonies as part of efforts to improve relations between the two branches of Christianity, which split in 1054.

se/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

Bartholomew blessed Francis at the pope's request

Fuad Nahdi (front row centre) addresses members of the Church of England's
Synod in central London, on November 18, 2014 (AFP Photo/Leon Neal)


Crime-fighting London Jews claim model for Muslim cooperation


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / CreatorReligions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

“.   New Tolerance

Look for a softening of finger pointing and an awakening of new tolerance. There will remain many systems for different cultures, as traditions and history are important to sustaining the integrity of culture. So there are many in the Middle East who would follow the prophet and they will continue, but with an increase of awareness. It will be the increase of awareness of what the prophet really wanted all along - unity and tolerance. The angel in the cave instructed him to "unify the tribes and give them the God of Israel." You're going to start seeing a softening of intolerance and the beginning of a new way of being.

Eventually, this will create an acknowledgement that says, "You may not believe the way we believe, but we honor you and your God. We honor our prophet and we will love you according to his teachings. We don't have to agree in order to love." How would you like that? The earth is not going to turn into one belief system. It never will, for Humans don't do that. There must be variety, and there must be the beauty of cultural differences. But the systems will slowly update themselves with increased awareness of the truth of a new kind of balance. So that's the first thing. Watch for these changes, dear ones. ...."

Arab League backs plan to seek Palestinian statehood in UN Security Council

The Arab League has backed a plan by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to seek international approval for a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council. Member state Jordan is due to present the draft resolution.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Nov 2014


Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said on Saturday that Jordan, which is currently a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, would present a draft resolution setting out a timetable for the creation of a Palestinian state.

"The Palestinian issue has been circulated in the past, but what is new today is that the Arab states and Palestine decided to go to the Security Council, through Jordan, with an Arab draft resolution," Elaraby said following an extraordinary meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Egypt's capital Cairo, according to Reuters news agency.

Arab League foreign ministers attending in extraordinary League meeting decided to press the issue and to create a follow-up committee to seek international backing for the draft resolution. It comprises Kuwait, Mauritania, Jordan and Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby.

'Internationalizing' the issue

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there had been no other option but to turn to the international community.

"The current situation in the Palestinian territories cannot continue," he told League ministers in Cairo, according to Reuters.

"There is no longer a partner for us in Israel and there is nothing for us but to internationalize the issue," Abbas said.

The proposed resolution is not likely to be passed by the UN Security Council because the United States, Israel's main ally, holds veto powers. It may also fall short of the needed number of votes.

'Jewish nation' not recognized

Elaraby also ruled out League recognition Israel as a Jewish nation, following moves by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to enshrine Israel's status as the Jewish national homeland in Israeli law. Israel's Knesset parliament is due to vote on the proposal on December 3.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations brokered by the United States collapsed in April. Since then, relations have worsened, with Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip fighting a deadly 50-day war earlier this year.

Fatal outbreaks

That was followed by continued settlement-building by Israel on occupied territory and fatal outbreaks of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and further afield.

Palestinians seek to establish a state on land captured by Israel in a 1967 war, encompassing the Israeli-occupied West Bank, blockaded Gaza Strip and a capital in East Jerusalem.

Several countries have held symbolic votes on whether to recognize Palestine as a state, including Spain and and Sweden. Parliamentarians in France are due to hold a similar vote on the issue on December 2.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Debate over monetary system grows

Nearly all money is created by commercial banks in the act of lending. They also decide whom to lend it to, and for what purposes. Is this good for the economy? A growing movement is arguing for an alternative.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Nov 2014


Where does money come from? Printing it yourself, unsurprisingly, is illegal. But in today's digital society, creating money has less and less to do with the printing of notes or minting of coins.

"If you ask people where money comes from, most of them will say it's made by the government," says Ben Dyson, founder of the UK organization Positive Money, part of a growing international movement pushing for reform to the current monetary system."But the reality is that the government is only responsible for creating three percent of the money that we use, and that three percent is the cash: the coins and the paper money."

In fact, money is created when commercial banks issue credit, or "make loans". Banks don't take money from someone else's account when they make a new loan. Rather, they enter the amount of the loan simultaneously as a debt and a credit, in equal amount, on either side of a double-entry bookkeeping ledger.

“When a bank makes a loan ... it credits the borrower's bank account with a bank deposit ... At that moment, new money is created," explains the Bank of England in its 2014 introduction to money in the modern economy.

That is how new money - and debt - enter the financial system. Conversely, when a borrower pays back a bank loan, the entries on both sides of the ledger are cancelled - both the "money" (credit record) and the corresponding debt are destroyed.

Cash is actually just a physical token
that people can obtain for money that
 originally arose as an electronic credit
record in the banking system, when a loan
was approved
So if everyone in the Eurozone paid back the principal of all their bank debts tomorrow, at the end of the day, there would be no debt, but neither would there be any money left anywhere in the system. The modern monetary system, in fact, is a scorekeeping system composed of precisely equal amounts of bank credit and bank debt.

Transferable IOUs administered by the banking system

What we think of "money" is really nothing other than transferable IOUs created and administered by the banking system, and supported by contract law.

The banking system's job is twofold: First, to keep track of exactly how much is owed to whom - by debtors to banks, and by banks to creditors.

And second, to decide on the allocation of new loans - to whom, and for what purposes. That's a powerful role - and a growing international movement is pushing for a wide social and political debate over the role of banks in making such decisions.

Creating electronic money

In the UK, 97 percent of the money that exists, Dyson says, is electronic money – money which exists only in computer banking systems and not in physical form. This is created not by the state, but by commercial banks.

In Germany, where many businesses do not accept card payments, around 85 percent of money is electronic and created by commercial banks, and 15 percent is cash, according to a German branch of the monetary reform movement called the Monetative.

While governments create money as coins and notes, commercial or high street banks create money as debt.

Financial instability, social disadvantage

"What this means for the economy is that because it is the banks that are creating the money and deciding who to lend it to, they get to choose where that money goes, for what purposes," Dyson told DW. The monetary reform movement argues that this is not only undemocratic, but damaging to the economy too.

According to Positive Money's research, in the ten years leading up to the financial crisis, around half of the money created by commercial banks was going directly into mortgage lending - loans to enable people to buy houses or commercial property - and around a third into the financial market, in order to buy existing financial assets, not to make new investments in things like factories.

"All that mortgage lending had the effect of pushing up house prices, and created a lot of instability in the market," Dyson says. Unaffordable housing has been a particular problem for the UK during the past couple of decades, as mortgage over-lending has relentlessly inflated a bubble in the price of housing.

If and when that bubble pops, many people will be left with housing debt in excess of the current market value of the house they borrowed so much money to buy. Precisely that problem - the bursting of a huge bubble in real estate prices - is what led to the economic depression in Spain after 2008. Instead of spending money on consumer goods or investment, Spaniards have been trying to pay down excessive debt accumulated pre-2008 during a decade-long era of real estate speculation.

Post-crisis public spending austerity has hit
 the UK hard - yet critics say it could be
 ended tomorrow with fresh central bank
money
Growing debate

Dyson and his counterparts around the world – the International Association for Monetary Reform lists initiatives in 20 countries – are not alone in believing in the need for change. The debate is also taking off among economists and politicians, particularly in the UK, where last week a backbench parliamentary debate took place to discuss the issue took place.

Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, has written several recent columns in favor of stripping the banks of their monopoly on the power to create money.

Lord Adair Turner, former head of the UK's Financial Services Authority, recently wrote a Financial Times opinion article calling on the UK government to direct the Bank of England to create debt-free money to fund the government deficit.

The government could spend a carefully calibrated amount of new, debt-free money into circulation to stimulate demand - for example, by using it to build new low-carbon energy infrastructure or improved rail systems. The new infusion of cash in workers' pockets would circulate, and as it got into the hands of debtors, it would them a source of fresh funds with which to pay down excessive previously accumulated debt, Turner and others have argued.

Mervyn King, who headed the Bank of England for ten years until 2013, has also called for reform of the monetary system, saying that "of all the many ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today."

Calls for monetary reform from such prominent figures remains "barely imaginable" in Germany, says Klaus Karwat of the Monetative. "The banking sector plays a much greater role in the UK economy than it does here, so the need for debate is much more pressing there," he told DW.

The movement's focus is raising awareness of how the current system of money creation works: surveys conducted by Positive Money and Monetative showed that many MPs in both countries lacked a general understanding of the monetary system.

Returning the power to create money to the state

"What we're saying is that commercial banks shouldn't have the ability to create electronic money, the deposits in your account, because they have incentives to lend recklessly. The more they lend, the more interest they can charge. So they over-lend, especially in housing, and create bubbles - debt bubbles and housing price bubbles.

Lloyds TSB was one of the UK banks
to receive a government bailout in 2007
Dyson and his colleagues propose that the power to create money should be returned to the central bank, which is owned by the government, working closely with the Treasury. The state would then control the creation of electronic money as well as notes and coins.

"But the government monetary authority's job will be to create what the economy needs, looking at the economy as a whole and on a long term basis, whereas the banks are currently looking at the very short term, and only at their opportunity to profit rather than the wider needs of the economy," Dyson said.

"We don't need banks nearly as much as we think we do," added Dyson. "And if we take the power to create money away from them, we'll need them even less, because we'll have a source of money created by public central banks which will come into the economy without debt - without anybody having to borrow it."

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spanish police arrest several priests in pedophilia inquiry

Spanish authorities have arrested four Catholic priests accused of child abuse in the southern city of Granada. The country's Interior Ministry says investigations into the case began "some time ago."

Deutsche Welle, 24 Nov 2014


The arrests came a week after a 24-year-old man wrote to the Vatican alleging a number of priests sexually abused him when he was an altar boy in a Granada church. Media reports claim that Pope Francis ordered an inquiry into the allegations and had personally called the man in August to apologize on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.

"Police this morning arrested four priests implicated in this affair," Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters on Monday, adding that he could not divulge more details because of the nature of the case.

Francisco Javier Martinez, the Archbishop of Granada, removed several priests from their duties last week and initiated the church's own probe.

News agency AFP reported last week that Spanish officials had launched an investigation involving 12 people.

Pope Francis has pledged a zero-tolerance towards child abuse scandals related to the church since he took over from Pope Benedict XVI last year.

On Sunday, Granada's archbishop and six other priests prostrated themselves in front of the altar as a gesture to seek pardon for alleged sexual abuse.

Pentagon boss Hagel out as IS war heats up

Yahoo – AFP, Dan De Luce, Jérôme Cartillier, 24 Nov 2014

US President Barack Obama announces the resignation of US Secretary
of Defense Chuck Hagel on November 24, 2014 (AFP)

President Barack Obama announced the departure of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday, with the White House under fire over perceived fumbling in its response to the Islamic State threat.

The former Republican senator, who has been in the job for less than two years, was chosen to oversee a shift to a peacetime military with smaller defense budgets, but found the United States at war again.

Rapid advances by Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq forced the Pentagon chief into managing a complex campaign, and Obama concluded Hagel was not the man for the task.
The 68-year-old Vietnam war veteran joined Obama at the White House to confirm his departure.

US army soldiers march from the Forward
 Base Honaker Miracle at Watahpur District
 in Kunar province during a joint patrol led
 by the Afghan National Army on April 18,
2013
"When I asked Chuck to serve as secretary of defense we were entering a significant period of transition: the drawdown in Afghanistan, the need to prepare our forces for future missions and tough fiscal choices to keep our military strong and ready," Obama said.

"Last month, Chuck came to me to discuss the final quarter of my presidency and determined that, having guided the department through this transition, it was an appropriate time for him to complete his service."

Both Obama and Hagel presented the decision as mutually agreed, but administration officials privately suggested he had been pushed out, while Obama's critics said Hagel had become frustrated.

At the White House announcement, Hagel thanked Obama for his "friendship" and "leadership," saying he believed he had put the military and the nation on a "stronger course toward stability."

On jihadist websites and Twitter accounts, Islamic State supporters celebrated "victory" against Hagel, claiming he had been forced out by their successes against US allies on the battlefield.

'At odds' with White House

The White House did not say who might be Hagel's eventual replacement at the Pentagon, but in Washington three candidates are widely considered to be in the running.

Former under-secretary of defense Michele Flournoy, who would be the first woman to run the Pentagon, is touted as the most likely choice, followed by former deputy secretary Ashton Carter.

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island -- a former army airborne officer -- has also been cited as a plausible contender, but his spokesman told reporters that he was not interested in the job.

Confirmation hearings for whoever gets the nomination will provide Republican critics a platform to slam the Obama administration's campaign against the Islamic State group.

Islamic State militants have gained huge
 swathes of territory and established a
caliphate in Iraq and Syria
Some hawks are demanding bolder action, including the use of US ground units to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces in their battle to contain the jihadist threat.

As a senator, Hagel voted in favor of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, but later became a critic of the drawn-out conflict that ensued.

Hagel's combat experience as a non-commissioned officer who was wounded in Vietnam was seen as a strength as he took on the job.

But his public appearances have often appeared clumsy or underwhelming as the administration struggles to adapt to new conflicts and articulate its strategies.

Although administration officials indicated the defense secretary had been pressured to resign, a senior national security staff member in Congress told AFP that was not the case.

"Hagel quit," the aide said. "Hagel found himself at odds with the administration."

Hagel's experience was similar to that of his predecessors, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, who both complained after they left office of meddling by political appointees in the White House, the aide and some lawmakers said.

Senator John McCain, an outspoken critic of Obama's foreign policy, said he had spoken to Hagel by phone Monday.

"I know that he was very, very frustrated," McCain said.

"Already the White House are leaking, 'Well he wasn't up to the job.' Believe me, he was up to the job."

McCain said the Obama administration had "no strategy" to fight the Islamic State group and that Hagel had never been allowed into a White House inner circle making decisions.

Hagel had disagreed with the administration's approach to Syria, writing a two-page memo arguing for a more assertive stance towards President Bashar al-Assad, his aides recently disclosed.

US-led air strikes have prevented Islamic
 State (IS) militants from capturing the
 Syrian border town of Kobane, as seen
 from the Turkish village of Yumurtalik,
on October 23, 2014
Apart from the air war against the IS group, the White House has also come under criticism for its plans in Afghanistan, with some Republicans questioning a timeline that will have all US troops out of the country by the end of Obama's term in two years.

Calling off Vietnam trip

Speculation about Hagel's future gathered steam in October, when anonymous administration officials criticized his performance to a high-profile Washington Post columnist, David Ignatius.

Hagel was once considered a potential Republican presidential contender but in his current job, officials said he often said little at strategy sessions in the White House situation room.

Earlier this month, Hagel called off a long-planned trip to Vietnam and Myanmar at the last moment.

jca-ddl/dc/jm
Related Article:


There's too much information to give you in one channelling, in one sitting, so I refer to past messages for you to better understand and reference the information in order to get the bigger picture. So I wish to remind you of something I also told you in a recent channelling called Do Not Despair. You're winning! It's because you're winning that the dark consciousness on this planet is feeling it, and the humanity that represents darkness is pulling out everything it has to survive.

It Has Always Been There

Let's look at it, because it's all over the news. Are you shocked at the sudden existence of the organization that will remain unnamed [for this channelling]? Where did it come from? How could it be so organized? How could it be so well funded? This organization could have its own country soon! They might as well name it, “The Old Energy Dark Country”, for that's what it will represent.

The barbaric past of humanity comes forward to show its face. It has always been there, hiding under the rocks and between the cracks of civilized humanity. It couldn't show itself until now, but now it has to. It's ugly and it's not for the faint at heart, is it, dear ones? Seeing evil personified in Human action is abhorrent. It is so ugly and so dark that you cannot look upon it with a gentle heart. God is not a part of it and this is obvious.

You're winning! Light is winning! The uprising of dark consciousness would not have shown itself with this strength, or this quickly, if this were not so. This is exactly what I told you to look for, and it is proof that those representing this dark consciousness are in trouble. Dear ones, dark consciousness has always had a tried-and-true system. It lurks in the shadows and influences all the power places of the planet - government, commerce, finance. Suddenly, it can't hide there as well anymore and it's out in the open.

Where is the funding coming from? It is coming from a storehouse that has always been there, dear ones. It uses income that has been generated from low consciousness acts, collected for a very long time. Funding didn't just appear. It has been stored, waiting to be used in order to spread fear and darkness to save what they believe is their way.

Who Will Win?

Dear ones, they haven't got a chance! But it looks like they do, doesn't it? Everything that they are doing is calculated to scare you into submission. Are they winning? Now, that's a question I want you to take from here and examine every day.

Fear is black. If you're in fear, there is no light. You can be the grandest Lightworker, or even be the channeller, but if you're in fear, it doesn't matter how many years you've done light work, or how much light you've accumulated personally. It all goes away with fear, and then they've won the battle for your mind. Do you understand this?

The Strength of the Old Soul - YOU

Old souls, Lightworkers reading this, the experiences you have had over lifetimes and lifetimes are incredible! The old soul knows fear. I don't want to be too graphic, but I want you to understand! What was it like when you put your head in the guillotine because you talked about God in a way that was inappropriate? What was it like to be bound hand and foot when they lit the match at your feet? Old soul, that's fear! You carry those experiences in your Akash.

I want to tell you they haven't got a chance to scare you! You absolutely know what fear is, and they haven't got a chance as long as you cling to that part of you that is the strength of God. You've been through it all. That means you've got the weapons of truth, wisdom and light. Don't forget it. Don't forget who you are!

Do you see how fast they assembled? It seemed like only yesterday that there was no organization at all. Where did they come from? Have you noticed a certain hesitancy to fight them? Why is it that the citizens of the lands that they are invading are hesitant to fight them? Instead, these leaders are calling on others to help. Why is it that the others are also hesitant? I want to show you that there are some anomalies of logic that are not making sense, because this is a battle you have never seen before on this planet. We've expected it, but you haven't. It's about consciousness, not land or resources.

How to Win?

We gave you the secret before of how to defeat them without taking even one life: Simply take away their funding. They cannot exist without their funding. The funding has to be organized, stored, and distributed. It has to be generated in such a way that it must also go through institutions. Did you hear that? All you have to do is stop the system. Winning won't be done with bombing. It's going to be done with intelligence, clever thinking and financial forensics. It's time to get smart on some of these things and not to be afraid to look at this puzzle differently than you have before. Do not apply the energy they are using in order to fight them, because you won't win. Figure it out. It's the last bastion of organized darkness and evil thinking on this planet coming together to try to survive the assault of your light. Don't be afraid to look at the funding trail, no matter where it takes you.

Fear is Their Weapon

I want you to know something as you look at your news. It may appear that you are unable to stop them. In many places, they will gain strength as they create fear. The fear is easily created in those who are not old souls and who don't know fear like you do and who don't have the armor of your spiritual experiences. This puts you in the front line, dear one. Did you realize that? But you don't have to go fight them on their terms. All you have to do is broadcast light. High consciousness will beat fear any day.. .”

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gay singers test country music's appeal

Yahoo – AFP, Shaun Tandon, 23 Nov 2014

Ty Herndon attends Country Weekly's 5th 
annual fashion show & concert in Nashville,
 Tennessee, June 7, 2011 (AFP Photo/Mike
Coppola)
New York (AFP) - Church, pickup trucks and dive bars -- the imagery of classic country songs evokes "traditional" small-town American life. Now a rising number of openly gay crooners are testing just how inclusive that vision can be.

Two prominent singers came out of the closet within hours of each other on Thursday. Ty Herndon, who rose to stardom in the 1990s with both love ballads and Christian songs, declared himself to be an "out, proud and happy gay man."

Herndon, who at 52 has been married twice to women, said that he had struggled since his childhood to come to terms with his sexuality.

He said he was now in a relationship with a man and has reconciled his Christianity and sexual orientation.

"I sit on the tailgate of my pickup truck, and I meditate, and I talk to God," he told celebrity magazine People.

Soon after the article appeared, another major name in country music said he was inspired by Herndon to come out -- Billy Gilman, who first entered the country charts in 2000 at age 11.

Compared with Herndon's choreographed coming out, Gilman's was rawly personal. He released an emotional video on YouTube, saying he was "scared to death" to go public but had been hurt by gossip about his life.

"Being a gay male country artist is not the best thing," Gilman said of the Nashville-based industry.

"If people don't like your music, that's one thing. But after having sold over five million records, having a wonderful life in the music industry, I knew something was wrong when no major label wanted to sit down and have a meeting and listen to the new stuff," he said.

The former child star said he was not ashamed to be gay but voiced dismay that he was "in a genre and in an industry that is ashamed of me for being me."

More gay themes

Dolly Parton performs at an event on 
April 18, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee
(AFP Photo/Terry Wyatt)
Openly gay artists have historically faced obstacles across genres. Pop giants such as Elton John and George Michael waited until well after they made it big before being public about their sexuality.

Boy George, when his band Culture Club was topping pop charts in the 1980s and his androgynous look faced scrutiny, famously told an interviewer that he preferred a "cup of tea" to sex.

The political and cultural climate has shifted rapidly in recent years, with same-sex couples now able to marry in 35 of the 50 US states -- most recently, through a court decision, in conservative and country music-loving South Carolina.

Country music is not uniform and Dolly Parton, one of biggest names in Nashville, has an avid gay following that she has embraced.

Two female country stars, Chely Wright and k.d. lang, are both out of the closet, although they have pursued careers out of the Nashville mainstream.

The winner for Song of the Year at this year's Country Music Association awards was Kacey Musgraves' "Follow Your Arrow," whose message of not caring about outsiders' judgment alludes both to same-sex love and marijuana-smoking.

"Do you guys realize what this means for country music?" Musgraves said as she accepted the award. She co-wrote the song with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, who are both openly gay but whose lyrics tend to stay gender-neutral.

The country industry's struggles with gay acceptance have also featured prominently on the television soap opera "Nashville," in which one of the main characters is gay, but remains in the closet and even marries a rising female star as he tries to maintain his heartthrob image with women.

Insular world of Nashville

A general view of downtown Nashville,
 Tennessee on November 29, 2009
(AFP Photo/Streeter Lecka)
Besides country music, hip hop -- whose stars often vie in their macho bravado -- also has relatively few openly gay stars. But Frank Ocean came out in 2012, and received words of support from the genre's titans such as Jay Z.

Gilman said that he has received encouragement from fellow country stars. But it remains to be seen how far Nashville will go.

Country music's popularity has grown rapidly in recent years, with country stars repeatedly topping the mainstream Billboard charts.

But country decision-makers are close-knit and see their key audience as 30- 35-year-old women, said Joseph Brant, managing digital editor of Out & About Nashville, a monthly newspaper aimed at the LGBT community.

"It's not like the industry is anti-gay. They are just trying to guess what they know about their core audience -- that there will be a disconnect, that these women, even if they are suburban moms, they still won't find that relatability," Brant said.

And while Herndon and Gilman are both big names, both already established themselves as stars years ago.

"If you had your number one this week and you come out this week, that's what's going to blow up the whole machine," said Brant.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Vatican may answer China's prayers and build diplomatic ties

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-11-22

Pope Francis greets to the crowd after he was elected the 226th reigning
pope of the Catholic Church, March 14, 2013. (File photo/ Xinhua)

China and Vatican City have had a breakthrough that may lead to the building official ties.

According to Hong Kong's pro-Chinese government Wen Wei Po, the two nations have reached a basic consensus regarding bishop ordination in China. China has proposed an institution of ordination to the Vatican, which is expected to respond by early next year, said an unnamed authority close to the negotiations.

Communist forces, which took over mainland China in 1949, rejected any exercise of power by the Catholic Church outside of China. The Vatican, in 1951, then built ties with the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government that fled to Taiwan.

The current Catholic representative body in mainland China, established in 1957 by the People's Republic of China's Religious Affairs Bureau to supervise mainland China's Catholics, is led by the two supervisory institutions, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) and the Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC), which do not recognize the Holy See or Vatican mandates.

The China-Vatican relationship though has been warming in recent years, as both sides have made efforts to build ties. In March 2013, the Pope Francis phoned Chinese president Xi Jinping to greet him after he took office as the leader of the country. In August, Pope Francis's flight was granted permission to cross China's airspace for his South Korean visit.

The major disagreement between the two sides is in regard to the appointment of Catholic bishops in mainland China, who are now named by CPCA, while the Vatican mandates that bishops can only be appointed by the Pope.

According to the source, one of the two compromising solutions for both sides is that each Chinese parish may select a bishop candidate and report to the BCCCC and the Religious Affairs Bureau. Foreign affair agencies would then submit the candidate information to the Vatican for approval. No one would be ordained before both sides reach an agreement.

The other option is that a parish may present two candidates for the BCCCC to make recommendations to the Holy See, which can then pick from the two.

"It can be anticipated that the Holy See would not be satisfied with a sole agreement on appointing bishops," said the source. "They want a series of agreements, including whether the CPCA and the Catholic Congress should continue to run. China would not easily give in on these points."

As to the "Taiwan issue," or the close tie between the Vatican and Taiwan which some believe has been one of the major blocks between mainland China and the Holy See given China's "One China Policy," is "not a problem," according to the source, who added that the Vatican has made detailed plan as to how it will make "arranges" for the island after it builds official ties with mainland China.

The Vatican is Taiwan's last remaining ally in Europe.

In response to the un-verified China-Vatican consensus, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Nov. 20 that whereas ties between Taiwan and the Vatican remain strong and close, the authorities will follow up closely on this issue.

Anna Kao, spokesperson for MOFA, said that as a religious state, the Vatican expresses concerns for regions without the freedom of religion and aims to help improve the treatment of its believers in said areas.

Higher-ranking officials in both Taiwan and the Vatican have close ties. Taiwan will continue to make efforts to strengthen its partnership with the Vatican in promoting peace and charitable acts, said Kao.

Wang Kun-Yi, a professor with the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies in Taiwan's Tamkang University, said it is no surprise that Vatican City may cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and build them with mainland China. He is surprised, however, about the timing of the agreement talks.

This will severely damage the ruling KMT government, led by president Ma Ying-jeou, which has been trying to maintain a friendly relationship with China. If the Vatican cuts official ties with Taiwan, Ma's "viable diplomacy" policy can be declared a failure, said Wang.

The news would also potentially affect island-wide elections coming up at the end of the month, in which the KMT is perceived as having an uphill battle against candidates from opposition parties.

There has been a cross-strait consensus though, that China and Taiwan do not "attack each other in the international community," as Li Baodong, deputy minister of China's foreign ministry, stated after Gambia's president made a unilateral announcement to cut ties with Taiwan in November, 2013. Unlike precedents in which countries would soon befriend China after they cut ties with Taiwan, China has not built official ties with Gambia, said Wang.

The Vatican is a Catholic religious city state. Wang believes that the Chinese president, by actively seeking to reach an agreement and build ties with the Holy See, aims to demonstrate to the world that China is a country with religious freedoms, so as to gain more public support.

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