Watch: Hollywood star Jim Carrey delivers incredible speech about forgiveness, grace and Jesus

July 25, 2017 Leave a comment

A video showing actor and comedian Jim Carrey giving a remarkable speech about faith and forgiveness to former convicts is garnering significant attention.

Carrey delivered the remarks in June to Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. According to its website, Homeboy Industries “provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community.” More than 10,000 former gang members use Homeboy Industries every year.

“You are heroes to me, and I admire you,” Carrey said to the crowd at Homeboy Industries. “When you stepped through these doors, you decided to be a part of this family. You made a decision to transcend and to leave darkness behind, and it takes a champion to make that decision.”

Citing “challenges” he’s faced, Carrey told the audience “suffering leads to salvation.”

“Ultimately, I believe that suffering leads to salvation. In fact, it’s the only way,” Carrey said. “We have to somehow accept, not deny, but feel our suffering and feel our losses. And then we make one of two decisions: We either decide to go through the gate of resentment, which leads to vengeance, which leads to self-harm, which leads to harm to others. Or we go through the gate of forgiveness, which leads to grace.”

“Your being here is an indication that you’ve made that decision already,” Carrey added. “You’ve made the decision to walk through the gate of forgiveness, to grace—just as Christ did on the cross. He suffered terribly and was broken by it, to the point of doubt and a feeling of absolute abandonment, which all of you have felt. And then there was a decision to be made, and the decision was to look upon the people who were causing that suffering, or the situation that was causing that suffering, with compassion and with forgiveness. And that’s what opens the gates to heaven for all of us.”

 

Watch: Al Gore refuses to give direct answer when confronted over bogus 2006 claims on climate change

July 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Former Vice President Al Gore failed to directly answer a question recently about some of his controversial climate change claims during recent press availability for his newest documentary on the environment.

In his life post White House, Gore has spent much of his time advocating against climate change and global warming. He released a world-famous documentary in 2006 titled “An Inconvenient Truth.” Many of Gore’s predictions in the documentary never came true, so 11 years later Gore decided to release a sequel to his first film.

The movie, which is set to release this week, is aptly titled, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” According to a synopsis: “The film follows the efforts made to tackle climate change and Al Gore’s attempts to persuade governmental leaders to invest in renewable energy, culminating in the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016.”

Nicholas Ballasy, a correspondent for PJ Media, recently confronted Gore over his 2006 claim that “the world would reach a point of no return within 10 years” if countries around the world didn’t take “drastic measures” to counteract what he saw as man-made global warming.

“Looking back on that prediction, why did you make the prediction at the time and are you making a new one right now given the current circumstances?” Ballasy asked Gore.

“Well, first of all, we’ve seen a lot of progress since the first movie came out. We have the Paris agreement now. The cost of renewable energy has come down so quickly that people are switching over. Unfortunately, some elements of the Earth system have crossed a point of no return,” Gore said.

To expand on his comments, Gore explained that a “big chunk” of the west Antarctic ice-sheet “makes a considerable amount of sea-level rise inevitable in the future.” Gore, however, did not offer facts to back that claim.

As it happens, Antarctic sea ice has been in the news recently. Earlier in July, a chunk of ice reportedly the size of Delaware broke off from Antarctica. Climate change alarmists seized on the opportunity to blame man-made climate change, but facts say otherwise as most scientists have deemed the occurrence to be part of the natural iceberg forming process.

Later in his interview, Gore seemingly took a shot at President Donald Trump, who earlier this summer controversially pulled the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“We still have the ability to stop short of other points of no return and we now have the solutions available to really solve this crisis,” Gore said. “We need the political will, but political will is a renewable resource.”

When pressed over “what catastrophe” Gore specifically envisions should the U.S. not take the steps he believes it should take in response to climate change alarmism, Gore failed to provide a substantive answer.

Gore said:

I’m very optimistic because the entire world has now reached the agreement in Paris to go down to net-zero global warming pollution as early in the second half of this century as possible.

Many countries are making dramatic changes now and, regardless of President Trump’s statement about the Paris agreement, our governors and mayors and business leaders are stepping up to fill the gap. I think we’re going to meet our obligations under the Paris agreement regardless of what he does.

Though he gave a long-winded answer, Gore did not list a specific event that might happen should the U.S. not go along with the Paris Agreement.

Watch below:

Report: Bill O’Reilly has big future plans that include doing TV — and he wants Hannity to join him

July 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly is reportedly talking to longtime Fox host Sean Hannity about teaming up to bring their storied success to a new television network.

According to New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, who is one of the most connected journalists covering Fox News, O’Reilly is in talks with Hannity to join Sinclair Broadcasting, a conservative-leaning news network that has a massive reach.

Sherman explained the possibility Sunday morning on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show. Sherman is an MSNBC contributor.

“My sources in and around Fox say that [Hannity] and Bill O’Reilly are potentially in talks to take their shows to Sinclair,” Sherman said. “Bill O’Reilly has wanted to get back into the game.”

“So Sinclair has really wants to build the future of a conservative media empire and poaching Fox’s biggest names would help them do that,” he explained. “This, again, is the groundwork for what I think will be the next conservative media platform in the post-Roger Ailes era.”

Sherman followed up his MSNBC appearance with two weeks reiterating his on-air comments. He also added that O’Reilly has been in talks with Newsmax TV:

However, Sherman wrote on Twitter that he is “skeptical” of an O’Reilly-Hannity alliance because they’ve not been the best of friends over the years:

O’Reilly was fired from Fox in April over allegations that he sexually harassed women while at Fox News. O’Reilly settled with the woman out of court, not because he was guilty, but because he wanted the allegations to go away, he later said.

Since his departure from Fox, where he dominated cable news television for years, many have questioned where O’Reilly would end up. O’Reilly has said he’s still interested in doing television. Meanwhile, he hosts a podcast on his website, BillOReilly.com, and joins Glenn Beck on his radio program each Friday. O’Reilly has even hinted at the possibility of doing an in-house television program.

As far as Hannity, it appears all is well with him at Fox. He currently has some of the best ratings on the network and is thriving with President Donald Trump in office. However, since the departure of Roger Ailes’ and Bill Shine from Fox, questions have been raised over Hannity’s future at the network given that Rupert Murdoch’s sons, James and Lachlan, are now running the day-to-day operations.

It remains to be seen what will happen with the future of conservative media, but wherever O’Reilly and Hannity end up, it’s clear they will have very large audiences as they have cultivated millions of loyal followers over the years.

 

NY Times explains why they published name of undercover CIA agent — it does not go over well

July 25, 2017 Leave a comment

The New York Times came under fire on social media over the weekend after they explained why they recently published a news story revealing the identity of a CIA officer embedded in the Middle East.

CIA director Mike Pompeo last week criticized the Times after they published the name of a CIA officer who was tapped to run the agency’s Iran operations. According to the CIA, the officer was working undercover, which made the name publication an “unconscionable” decision, Pompeo said.

When the Times initially reached out to the intelligence agency for comment, the CIA even advised the Times not to publish the agent’s name, citing the fact that he was working in a covert fashion. According to the Times, they “take care not to put national security or lives in danger, and we take that concern very seriously.”

However, they chose to publish the name anyway in a June 2 news story.

The newspaper explained:

In this case, editors decided to publish the name because [the agent] is a senior official who runs operations from the agency’s headquarters outside Washington, not in the field. He is also the architect of the C.I.A.’s program to use drones to kill high-ranking militants, one of the government’s most significant paramilitary programs. We believe that the American public has a right to know who is making life-or-death decisions in its name.

It was also not the first time that [the agent’s] name has been mentioned in our newspaper. After his identity was disclosed in a 2015 article, The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, discussed the rationale in an interview with Lawfare, a website that covers national security law, and gave more insight into editors’ decision-making.

The explanation was published in the paper’s “Resource Center,” which the paper dubs “a newsroom initiative that is helping The Times build deeper ties with our audience.”

While the explanation was an exercise in transparency, people were not satisfied with their reasoning. Needless to say, it did not go over well: FULL STORY

America’s F-16 Fighting Falcon Can Be Converted into a Drone (And Was Just Shot Down)

July 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Boeing’s QF-16 full-size target drone—a converted version of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Fighting Falcon—achieved a new milestone on July 19 by being shot down during a Combat Archer Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) exercise.

“First operational (WSEP) kill of a QF-16 was yesterday!!! Fox, Fox. Well done WEG :),” Col. Ryan Serril, commander of the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, tweeted on July 20 from Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

Col. David Abba, commander of the 53rd Wing based at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida—the parent unit of the 53rd WEG—also commented on the event. “Most satisfying words on a WSEP shot after ‘Fox, Fox’… ‘Clear the drone!!,’” Abba said on his twitter account. “Way to go WEG, 83 FWS, & 82 ATRS!”

Unfortunately, the QF-16 was not recoverable after the shoot down, Abba noted.

Usually, the Air Force tries to recover its target drone aircraft—which are worth millions of dollars. Normally, if a missile passes within lethal radius of the QF-16, it will count as a kill. However, sometimes the missile physically hits the target and the drone is destroyed.

In this particular case, Abba said that the drone was not recoverable. That being said, Abba said that the shoot down marks an important milestone for the QF-16 program.

“Big step in the QF-16 program!” Abba wrote.

The QF-16 is replacing older jets such as the QF-4 Phantom II in the role of target drone. Not only was the Air Force running out of viable McDonnell Douglas F-4 airframes to convert, the older jets simply do not have the performance to replicate newer threats like the Russian Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker-E. According to Boeing the QF-16 can replicate 4th and 4.5 generation aircraft such as the Chinese J-11 Flanker copy or Russian Su-30SM Flanker-H.

The QF-16 retains the F-16’s full 9G supersonic envelope. In fact, it is probably more maneuverable than an operational Fighting Falcon due to the fact it is most often flown with clean wings with only the occasional ALQ-188 or ALQ-167 electronic warfare pod installed. It is a huge step up from earlier target drones in terms of flight performance and other operational parameters.

Boeing was recent awarded a contract to convert 18 more retired older-model F-16s into QF-16 target drones. That’s on top of earlier contracts to convert 25 jets in 2015 and 30 jets in 2016. The work should be completed by April 2027.

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @Davemajumdar.

Image: Reuters. 

America’s Future Is with India and Israel

July 25, 2017 Leave a comment

The winds of change are blowing not from Beijing, but from Delhi. Trump should seize the initiative.

From the Indo-Pacific to the Mediterranean, a diplomatic transformation is underway. The winds of change are blowing not from Beijing, but from Delhi. President Donald Trump has an opportunity to harness some of that power to help fill the sails of America’s global leadership.

Times are Changing

The White House is expected to unveil its national security strategy some time later this year. There is no question that it will differ from George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s strategies. Bush leaned well into the headwind with a muscular strategy that tried to fix big problems. Obama tried the opposite, disengaging from global conflicts and competition. Trump looks to land somewhere in the middle—disinterested in regime change and nation building, but willing to push U.S. influence forward to safeguard vital national interests.

The main thrust of Trump’s strategy will be to reduce the potential for large-scale destabilizing conflicts in parts of the world where those interests are greatest. This will require reducing friction among big powers in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The new strategy will also pay more attention to Central America, where pressure from transnational criminal networks and unregulated migration stress the U.S. southern border.

The new strategy will pair well with the administration’s intention of refurbishing America’s military and diplomatic instruments. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has taken the lead in pursuing a policy of peace through strength, rebuilding the U.S. military deteriorated badly under the last president. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is looking to shake up the department having gone soft on soft power. Tillerson is looking not just for more efficiency and effectiveness in how the statecraft gets done, but for better policies as well.

A hallmark of American forward presence under the new West Wing team will be deepening and growing the concept of shared responsibility. More than just sharing the load or outsourcing the burden, shared responsibility recognizes that there are like-minded nations interested in regional peace and prosperity and protecting a way of life that allows freedom to flourish (much in the manner Trump described in his Warsaw speech).

Hysterical criticism and Trump’s tweets aside, administration policies ought to reassure friends and allies from NATO to the Middle East, Afghanistan and Northeast Asia, that the United States will honor its ongoing obligations.

That said, there is a lot of white space to be filled in. How will this White House build momentum behind its commitments to shared responsibility? In particular, what replaces Obama’s empty pivot to Asia? How will the United States compete with Beijing’s One Belt One Road initiative?

America needs a forum to coordinate with India, Japan and Australia—key allies in Southeast Asia—on how to respond to China’s effort to rewrite the rules of the commons.

The Trump team needs new ideas on how to deepen ties with longstanding allies and move bilateral dialogues beyond mutual security and trade deficits. It’s time to start looking at truly global issues. An initiative from India offers the U.S. another opportunity to help reset the global stage in a more American-friendly manner.

East Meets West

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unmoored his country from its stagnant, non-aligned foreign policies. Moreover, India is an emerging economic power. Combined, these developments leave India poised to become a net-exporter of regional security, particularly in the Indian Ocean.

Additionally, the prime minister’s historic trip to Israel this month augurs an important shift of the Modi government on Middle East policy. For decades, India has had warm relations with Iran, if for no other reason than the country was major importer of oil. India is also principal investor in the Chabahar Port project in Iran.

Delhi has not walked away from Tehran. Still, once the Iran Deal lifted many sanctions against the regime, Delhi noticeably did not race to ramp up ties. Modi’s visit to Iran last spring was restrained and very carefully orchestrated.

Even before the trip to Israel there were signs that Modi was broadening and rebalancing India’s relationships in the region, stepping-up dialogue with Gulf Cooperation Council countries as well as Israel. Previously, the government downplayed engagement with Israeli government. Now, Modi’s team was less inclined to hide the fact that they were picking up the pace of defense cooperation, economic ties and diplomatic talks with the Israelis.

India’s shift dovetails well with the view from Washington toward both South Asia and the Middle East. The Trump administration shows every sign of continuing the momentum toward a closer relationship with India. The recent meeting between Modi and Trump could not have gone better, and there is plenty of room to grow that relationship.

Trump has also clearly signaled that he wants to be a better friend to Israel than the last administration. Leaders of the two countries exuded nothing but positive vibes at the conclusion of Trump’s visit earlier this year. Additionally, it is increasingly clear that the Trump administration’s strategy to limit Iran’s destabilizing influence and crush the likes of al Qaeda and ISIS calls for the United States to align more closely with Israel and the Arab states.

Time for a Trilateral

The growing strategic convergence between Washington and Delhi suggests another initiative that could help advance the administration’s notion of shared responsibility. Few steps signal shifting strategic intentions more than multilateral dialogues. They presage evolving networks of relationships—particularly when the talks span multiple strategic regions. In that respect, a trilateral dialogue among India, the United States and Israel would draw the attention from friends and competitors alike.

U.S. participation in this dialogue would demonstrate that the White House is thinking of the long bridge that spans vital U.S. interests and protection of the commons across the expanse of the Indian Ocean. It would also reassure the other participants Washington sees them as valued global strategic partners—not just regional allies.

Here are five natural issues where high-level consultation among these like-minded nations could prove highly productive.

Getting Serious About Cyber.

Cyber will unquestionably be a cornerstone of the U.S.-India strategic relationship. There are exciting opportunities for both countries. Already a small-cyber power punching above its weight, Israel fits in nicely between the interests and capabilities of the other two countries.

Pondering One Belt One Road.

Hard thinking about the opportunities and challenges posed by China’s initiative ought to be paired with a discussion of what role the United States should play in making its economic presence felt across the expanse of the Indian Ocean. China’s biggest tool these days is the checkbook. What is Washington going to bring to the table, where and why? Learning the perspectives of nations from different parts of the commons linking East and West can help the United States develop the right answers to these questions.

Countering Islamist Threats.

From terrorist attacks to Islamist ideology, the United States, Israel and India have the same problem—stopping terrorist murderers, dangerous ideologues and building common cause with the breath of the Islamic world that rejects the violence and extremism that affects them worst of all. Few topics merit joint discussions and action more.

Seeing the Sea.

Situational awareness in the maritime domain is a priority for all the three countries. These are topics where sharing ideas make sense.

Defending the Free World.

U.S.-Indian defense cooperation is the face of the future. F-16 production in India is one big idea on the table. There are many more. With global supply chains for major defense equipment that might well include suppliers and manufactures across multi-tiers in all three countries, discussing the possibilities together at one table might spark some innovations.

Start at the Start

A trilateral dialogue might profitably address a long list of topics, from energy to artificial intelligence. The five ideas presented above are a logical place to start. All that’s needed is the will to get a high-level dialogue going—a dialogue that can move the United States to the next level of global diplomacy.

James Jay Carafano is a Heritage Foundation vice president and directs the think tank’s research on national security and foreign relations.

 

FBI Seized Smashed Hard Drives from Former DNC Chair IT Aide’s Home

July 25, 2017 Leave a comment

(Luke Rosiak, Daily Caller News Foundation) FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s information technology (IT) administrator, according to an individual who was interviewed by Bureau investigators in the case.

Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back, the individual told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

A high-level congressional source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, confirmed that the FBI has joined what Politico previously described as a Capitol Police criminal probe into “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network” by Imran and three of his relatives, who had access to the emails and files of the more than two dozen House Democrats who employed them on a part-time basis.

Capitol Police have also seized computer equipment tied to the Florida lawmaker.

Awan’s younger brothers, Abid and Jamal, his wife, Hina Alvi, and Rao Abbas, Imran’s best friend, are also under investigation. There have been no arrests in the case.

There is also evidence of financial schemes that extend beyond the Capitol Police’s purview and may expand to Pakistan, where Imran spends significant portions of the year.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said in March that the Capitol Police are “getting the kind of technical assistance they need to do that. This is under an active criminal investigation, their capabilities are pretty strong but, they’re also able to go and get the kind of help they need from other sources.”

The brothers’ stepmother independently filed court documents in Virginia accusing the brothers of wiretapping and extorting her.

Soon after Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, his two brothers and two of their wives — plus Abbas and another friend — began appearing as IT staffers on the payrolls of other House Democrats. Collectively, the Awan group has been paid $4 million since 2009.

Fellow IT staffers interviewed by TheDCNF said the Awans were often absent from weekly meetings and email exchanges. One of the fellow staffers said some of the computers the Awans managed were being used to transfer data to an off-site server.

Shortly after the criminal probe was revealed in February, Imran abruptly moved out of his longtime home on Hawkshead Drive in Lorton, Va., and listed it for rent on a website that connects landlords with military families.

One of new tenants — a Marine Corps veteran married to a female Navy Officer — said he found “wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destroy, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner.”

The tenants called the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and not long after, FBI agents arrived together with the Capitol Police to interview them and confiscate the equipment. The Marine spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns for his wife’s naval career, saying she doesn’t want to be associated with a national security incident.

“It was in the garage. They recycled cabinets and lined them along the walls. They left in a huge hurry,” the Marine said. “It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over.”

Wasserman Schultz resigned as DNC chief in July 2016 after the committee’s IT system was hacked. She has since refused to fire Imran despite learning that he is a target of a criminal investigation.

The Marine said Imran wanted the hard drives back so desperately that he threatened to sue the renter for stealing them.

“It was unbelievable. I don’t know where they get off thinking they’re going to sue us for items we have no obligation to hold onto,” he said.

Imran came to the house for the items “three to four times,” but the Marine wouldn’t let him enter.

“Their lawyer contacted us today via email and said we owed $350 in late charges and the items he left in the house,” the Marine said.

The Marine heard about the House investigation on the radio, and by that time, he had noticed other bizarre signs of desperation from his landlord.

“When we first moved in, a mailman came with certified mail from the House of Representatives. We were trying to be nice and signed for it. They lost their shit, saying ‘why did you sign for it, this is illegal!’ It was certified from the [Chief Administrative Officer of the House],” he said.

“The postman came a second time with a certified letter and I called Imran on the spot, asking ‘what do you want me to do.’” He said ‘just send him away, I’m homeless.’ They refused to forward their mail.”

Imran’s brother Abid has also been evasive about his location, failing to provide an accurate address for delivery of court materials in a lawsuit in which he is accused of defrauding the brothers’ stepmother. Imran’s wife, Hina, has traveled to Pakistan since the probe was revealed, according to neighbors.

Wasserman Schultz has demanded return of a laptop seized by the Capitol Police because it was purportedly used by Imran and was found hidden in a vacant office. The Florida Democrat used a Capitol Police budget hearing to threaten “consequences” for them if the laptop wasn’t returned.

On Thursday it was reported that police have not examined its contents because of the invocation of the Constitution’s “Speech and Debate clause,” and after months of refusal, her lawyer is now “negotiating” access to the data on yet-to-be-determined terms.

Members have been unusually mum about the apparent cybersecurity breach, especially given the pattern of cyberattacks on other government and political institutions.

The Marine expressed disgust with the muted reaction, saying “I served in the Marine Corps for 14 years; if I downloaded files to an offsite server, I’m going to prison for a lot of years.”

He implied he’s a Democrat but said when it comes to national security “political ideology doesn’t matter.”

He believes “there’s no way they could get this far without help” from some of the Democratic members of Congress for whom the brothers worked. Other Democrats have ignored a major security breach because it could look like a “black eye” in that they failed to vet the Pakistanis, he said.

“He’s dangerous. This is a crime syndicate that has successfully indicated Congress,” he said.

“If Donald Trump and the Republicans had hired foreign nationals to be their top IT guys and somehow their congressional files had been compromised, this would have been all over the news.” he continued.

A Bureau spokesman said the “FBI does not have anything to provide on this and I will still have to refer you to [Capitol Police] for any public comment.”

Republished with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation via iCopyright license

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