Amtrak Conductor: Train May Have Been Shot

AmtrakOne of three conductors aboard the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia this week told investigators she heard the locomotive’s engineer say the train had been struck by an object, National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said Friday.

The assistant conductor said she overheard radio transmissions made Tuesday by Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian and the engineer of a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) train.

“She recalled that the SEPTA engineer had reported to the train dispatcher that he had either been hit by a rock or shot at, and the SEPTA engineer said that he had a broken windshield, and he placed his train into emergency stop,” Sumwalt said. “She also believed that she heard (the Amtrak) engineer say something about his train being struck by something.”

Bostian was interviewed Friday afternoon for the first time since the derailment of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188. Eight people were killed and more than 200 were injured. . .

The locomotive’s windshield was shattered in the derailment. But Sumwalt said there is “particular damage” to the lower portion of the windshield that the FBI will examine. He described it as a “circular pattern that emanates out just a bit.” (Read more from this story about the assistant Amtrak conductor’s statement HERE)

Saeed Abedini Update: U.S. Senate Unanimously Approves Resolution for Release of Iranian-American Pastor and Others in Iran

Photo Credit: Gospel Herald

Photo Credit: Gospel Herald

The Senate has passed a resolution demanding Iran to release Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other Americans presently imprisoned in Iran.

In the middle of ongoing nuclear talks between U.S. and Iran, U.S. senators on Monday voted 90-0 in favor of the resolution authored by Senator James Risch calling on Iran to set Abedini, Amir Hekmati, Jason Rezaian and former FBI agent Robert Levinson free.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the resolution directs the administration to “use the tools it has in pursuit of what should be a bipartisan goal: securing the release of American citizens being held as hostages by the regime in Iran,” according to Charisma News. . .

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said that involving the captivity of these Americans in the discussion with Iran is unacceptable.

He said, “The President would certainly veto any amendment or any bill with an amendment that undermined the unanimous compromise that was reached in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or that interfered with the ongoing negotiations.” (Read more from “Saeed Abedini Update: U.S. Senate Unanimously Approves Resolution for Release of Iranian-American Pastor and Others in Iran” HERE)

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Almost Half of US States Are Officially Broke

download (16)Last month, we documented the case of Louisiana State University, the large, well-known public institution whose 2014 enrollment totaled nearly 31,000 students. LSU, it turns out, is facing funding cuts of as much as 82% which, if realized, would likely force the school into financial exigency, the college equivalent of bankruptcy. The reason for the cuts: the sharp decline in oil prices and fiscal mismanagement have conspired to blow a $1.6 billion hole in the state’s budget.

Bloomberg has more:

With tax revenue from the oil industry falling short of projections, the deficit has swelled to $1.6 billion for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s say they may lower Louisiana’s credit rating if officials don’t come up with sustainable budget solutions . . .

The real problem however is that large budget shortfalls aren’t confined to Louisiana. In fact, a new study from AP shows that big gaps are becoming more the rule than the exception across the US.

Via AP:

An Associated Press analysis of statehouse finances around the country shows that at least 22 states project shortfalls for the coming fiscal year. The deficits recall recession-era anxiety about plunging tax revenue and deep cuts to education, social services and other government-funded programs.

(Read more from “Almost Half of US States Are Officially Broke” HERE)

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Do You Have Any Complaints About Ads on Restoring Liberty?

Photo Credit: Katy Miller

Photo Credit: Katy Miller

From time to time, we receive reports that readers have seen inappropriate ads on Restoring Liberty. This past week was no exception. Yes, we can block any problem ads but we need your help to do it! Here’s how you can help in just two simple steps.

But first, some background on advertising. We use ads that are served primarily by Google. Google returns revenue to Restoring Liberty for how many “clicks” readers make on those ads and that – along with your generous donations – help us make ends meet.

Google uses a number of inputs in determining what ads to place on the page you are viewing including your geographic region, search history, browsing history, and story content. Sometimes, the placement is just totally random.

Since the inception of Restoring Liberty, we have blocked literally hundreds of inappropriate sites based our volunteers’ feedback. But we’ve discovered that many readers are completely unaware that we can actually prevent certain ads from showing on the pages you view.

Here are the two simple steps to help us block bad ads: First, to provide us with the necessary information to block an ad, you need to copy that ad’s website address (the URL). Second, please then paste that website address (URL) in an email and send it to us at [email protected]

It would be helpful if you could make the subject line for your email, “Bad Ad”.

In response to your email, you will receive an automated message confirming our receipt of your message. As we rely on volunteers to respond to these messages, the blocking will not occur immediately. Typically, it’s a one or two day turnaround, but the block of the offensive site is then permanent.

Thank you for your continued readership and support! And thank you for helping us clean up the advertising space on Restoring Liberty!

Supreme Court Justice Asks If Constitutionally Guaranteeing Same-Sex Marriage Could Lead to Polygamy

downloadDuring Tuesday’s oral arguments in the Supreme Court, Justice Samuel Alito questioned whether the possibility exists that marriages between same-sex individuals could lead to polygamous marriages of more than two people.

When discussing whether the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriages, Justice Alito postulated the idea that ruling in favor of the pro same-sex marriage argument could result in a path to polygamous marriage . . .

Bonauto opined that the possibility to deny them would exist. Elaborating further, she said to Alito:

“There’d be two. One is whether the State would even say that that is such a thing as a marriage, but then beyond that, there are definitely going to be concerns about coercion and consent and disrupting family relationships when you start talking about multiple persons. But I want to also just go back to the wait and see question for a moment, if I may” . . .

The federal lawsuit, Obergfell v. Hodges, takes on the issue of same-sex marriage. The lawsuit alleges that the state of Ohio discriminates against couples who get married in other states where same-sex marriage is legal. (Read more from “Supreme Court Justice Asks If Constitutionally Guaranteeing Same-Sex Marriage Could Lead to Polygamy” HERE)

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Gay Mafia Flouts Own PC folly [+video]

In 2015 America, a remnant of faithful Christian pastors, not imams, are being targeted by gay activists. No Christian pastor I know has ever proclaimed or financially supported the beheading of anyone, let alone gays.

The “Gay mafia,” as Bill Maher calls them, are like fools flouting their own folly. They impose standards (that they don’t follow) solely on Christians through discriminatory legal measures — but completely ignore imams who advocate their death.

No gays are protesting, subpoenaing or demanding that Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) be arrested, tried, or deported.

He asserts:

“Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption … No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education.

“There are many reasons why it is forbidden in Islam. Homosexuality is dangerous for the health of the individuals and for the society. It is a main cause of one of the most harmful and fatal diseases … It is the most un-natural way of life. Homosexuality leads to the destruction of family life.”

Gay activists aren’t protesting ISNA, an organization directly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and lauded by former President Jimmy Carter.

Muslims who follow the Koran understand its words as literal, from Allah. The Koran states that those who act on same-sex attraction and behavior make a “god (ilah) of there own lusts,” reject Allah’s will, and practice “wickedness” (Koran 26.165-166; 27.055; 29.028-29).

There is no such thing as a gay Muslim. Nor is there any public acceptance for the gay lifestyle in any Muslim majority country — or in any Muslim neighborhood or no-go zone in a Muslim minority country.

According to sharia law, the sodomizer and the sodomized both deserve death. Likewise, the rules and punishment for zina (adultery) are applied to lesbians — death for married, lashes for unmarried.

It is common knowledge throughout the Muslim world that no one can be gay and follow Allah. It is also widely acknowledged that the “people of the book,” Jews and Christians — whose laws actually seek to safeguard human rights — must be killed.

Yet, no gays are protesting, subpoenaing, or asserting the arrest, for example of Imam Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi of Memphis, Tennessee, who publicly asserts: “Jews and Christians are filthy, their lives and property can be taken in jihad by the Muslims.”

Anyone who believes they are immune from the outworking of Islamic ideology does not understand it. Mr. Qadhi asserts, according to the Koran, everyone — not only in America — but worldwide, “must bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah” and because of this “principle of monotheism … the prophet has been commanded to do jihad.”

Likewise, Brooklyn, New York, Imam Tareq Yousef Al-Masri recently declared at the Oulel-Albab mosque, “We, the Muslims … the Muslims of the religious sector are time bombs.”

These imams are not alone.

According to the Mapping Sharia Project, 51 percent of mosques in America had “texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari’a-based political order or advocated violent jihad; another 30 percent had texts that were moderately supportive of violence.” Distribution of anti-Western literature, videos and textbooks is documented, as are the Islamic centers that operate as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Imam advocacy for extermination of non-Muslims has existed in America for decades, yet these imams have not been deported, let alone investigated by the IRS or any other government organization for their alleged constitutional violations.

In 1999, Naqshbandi Sufi Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani testified to the U.S. State Department that 80 percent of mosques in America had “extremist leaders.” In 2006, Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom exposed widespread dissemination of hate ideology in literature and sermons by mosques nationwide. And in 2007, during the Holy Land Foundation trial, perhaps one of the most important documents discovered — the Muslim Brotherhood’s manifesto — revealed its “General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” to destroy it from within.

Gays’ civil rights, human rights, or even lives for that matter, are irrelevant to imams. If gays want to live, they should consider redirecting their vitriol toward imams who preach their death, and toward a silent — yet active — political and legal system perpetuating and enabling treasonous hate speech to their detriment. (This story originally appeared HERE, reposted with permission of the author)

Blackwater Guards for US Diplomats Sentenced to Life, 30 Years, Say “Our Government Betrayed Us”

File photo of Blackwater Worldwide guards Liberty and Heard leaving federal courthouse after being arraigned on manslaughter charges in WashingtonA former Blackwater security guard was sentenced to life in prison and three others got 30-year terms on Monday in the massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007, closing a case that had outraged Iraqis and inflamed anti-U.S. sentiment around the world. . .

The four guards opened fire with machine guns and grenade launchers on the Iraqis, including women and children, at Nisur Square. A heavily armed, four-truck Blackwater Worldwide convoy the men were in had been trying to clear a path for U.S. diplomats.

Nicholas Slatten, 31, of Tennessee was convicted in October of killing the driver of a car the defendants had argued at trial they believed contained a bomb. . .

In their statements, all four former guards maintained their innocence. [One guard told the court,] “I feel utterly betrayed by the same government I served honorably.” (Read more from “Blackwater Guards for US Diplomats Sentenced” HERE)

You’ll Never Guess What a Reporter Says John Kerry’s Response to a Nuke Deal Was

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee while on Capitol Hill in WashingtonSecretary of State John Kerry allegedly responded in a most unusual way to a reporter’s question Friday whether a nuclear arms deal could be reached with Iran before the March 31 deadline.

“Allah willing,” Kerry replied — in Arabic, according to Laura Rozen, a reporter covering the Iran nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the Washington, D.C.-based online publication, Al-Monitor.

As news reached the public Friday that a deal may be forthcoming, Rozen tweeted:

Friend of colleague ran into @JohnKerry at chocolate shop tdy. She said friends in #Iran are looking forward to deal. He said ‘inshallah’

— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) March 27, 2015

“Inshallah” is Arabic for “Allah willing,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (Read more from “You’ll Never Guess What a Reporter Says John Kerry’s Response to a Nuke Deal Was” HERE)

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Rabbi Warns of Civil War in the United States

RabbiThe Riminov Rebbe visited the Florida communities made up of South American immigrants from France, [and] gave an unequivocal command to the Jews to leave and go to Israel, saying that there will be a civil war in the US.

BeHadrei Haredim reported that the Rebbe said: “Leave while you still can. The situation will get worse and it will be difficult to move from state to state. After World War II the survivors came to the great men of Israel and Hasidic leaders and asked why they had not ordered the Jews of Europe to leave and immigrate to Israel or the United States before the war broke out? The truth must be told: they said and how much they said, begging Jews to please flee the burning ground, but part of the evil decree was that they were not listened to.

“Today,” the Riminov Rebbe said, “Listen to me carefully dear Jews, whoever has in his hand to get up and go and go to the Holy Land Israel as soon as possible while it is still is possible, this includes leaving large parts of South America and most of Europe.

“Also the US will be a place of danger in the war and it is still too early to say which states within the United States will survive, but many parts will be destroyed and poisoned, even civil war will break out in the United States and states will cut themselves off from the federal government. The US may not be used as a refuge but there will remain here survivors. Eretz Israel will be the safest place to survive the war, although there will also be terrible difficulties there.” (Read more from “Rabbi Warns of Civil War in the United States” HERE)

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Massive Suicide Bombs Kill Christian Worshippers in Pakistan

[Warning: this article contains graphic images, below]A Pakistani evangelist reports this morning that radical jihadists attacked Christian churches during the middle of worship, killing at least 14.

The BBC reports that more than 70 were injured in twin blasts at two separate churches.

One Pakistani pastor, currently working outside of Pakistan, told Restoring Liberty that the blame for the continuing attacks on Christian worshippers in Pakistan should be laid squarely at the feet of the country’s increasingly Islamist government:

One more time the Government of Pakistan failed to provide security to Christians in Pakistan. Twin suicide blasts in two different churches in my city, Lahore, Pakistan, during Sunday worship. 14 killed and 70 injured.

The Pakistani pastor notes that at one of the churches that was attacked, a boy stopped the attacker from entering the church, saving perhaps dozens of lives:

A little Christian hero, “Akash,” gave his life by stopping suicide bomber at the Church gate. He was in Church security team as volunteer. He saved many lives but he gave his life.

The pastor then hits the Pakistani government again for failing to protect its people:

Many of the Churches in Pakistan need security but government failed to do, so now the youth in Churches are trying to have their own people to stand on gate. PLEASE PRAY FOR CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN.