The Three Sons

Three sons left home, said goodbye to their dear single mother and went out on their own and prospered. Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly Mother on her birthday. They all loved her dearly, and each wanted more than anything to give her something she’d truly love.

The first said, “I built a big house for our mother. 16 rooms and a huge back yard filled with trees and flowers. A house that is fit for royalty, and will give her all the space she never had.”

The second said, “Well I sent her a Mercedes with a private driver that’ll take her anywhere she wants to go. She never needs to drive again, and he can help her carry heavy things back to the house.”

The third smiled and said, “I’ve got you both beat. You remember how Mom enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know she can’t see very well any more. I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took the Elders in the church 12 years to teach him. He’s one of a kind. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot recites it.”

Soon thereafter, Mom sent out her letters of thanks: “Milton,” she wrote the first son, “the house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house.”

“Gerald,” she wrote to the second son, “I am too old to travel any more. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I stay most of the time at home, so I rarely use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!”

“Dearest Donald,” she wrote to her third son, “you were the only one to have the good sense to know what your Mother likes. That chicken was delicious!!”

With the right light

The Sketchbook

With the right light something really mundane can become extraordinary. I pass by this cell tower all the time. It’s flanked by nondescript brick buildings, and on most days it’s an eyesore in the neighbourhood. Today, with the late day light, it was magical — full of interesting shapes, strong patterns and dazzling contrasts. But this type of light changes fast. I spent less time on the drawing than usual and then rushed to paint it before the sun dropped below the buildings behind me. In fact, you can see the proof at the bottom of the sketch where my hand smudged the wet foreground shadow.

CellTower

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Pakistan: ISIS Plans Terrorist Campaign against Christians

The Pakistani government and military have warned the nation’s tiny Christian minority that Islamic terrorist groups plan to target Christian religious institutions in the near future. The wave of anti-Christian attacks will allegedly include Pakistan’s Christian churches, schools, and hospitals.

The warning issued by Pakistan’s leading generals represents an extraordinary, positive development in the military’s relationship with minorities in general and with Christians in particular. Their warming relationship appears to be a calculated political move to complement the military leadership’s ongoing offensive against the terrorist havens in the northwestern corner of the country.

Emissaries of the most powerful Pakistani generals and the Ministry of Interior have apparently personally warned Christian clerics that the assault will first be launched in the country’s northwest region of Khyber Paktunkhwa.[1] This region abuts the Pushtun-dominated provinces of Afghanistan where Pakistan’s Tehrik-e-Taliban is a potent force.

According to the warnings, the planned attacks against Christian communities in Pakistan will be carried out by some splinter groups that formerly belonged to the Pakistani Taliban. According to sources in the area, these splinter groups have already forged an alliance with the more extremist and brutal Islamic State (ISIS) cells that have already entered Pakistan.

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A Gauntlet Thrown at the United States Feet

Beyond the Cusp

Reportedly a Russian General strode into the United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and demanded to speak with somebody responsible for military actions and handed the officer a letter after which some curt words were exchanged and the Russian left without further explanation. It has been further reported that there has been a Russian demand that the United States cease all air activity and cease and desist any sorties in the greater Syrian theater or risk a confrontation with Russian aircraft who have orders to defend against United States interference, or so it appears was the implication. Other rumored reports claim that the Russian bombing runs today were concentrated on the areas occupied not by the Islamic State but on the Syrian “rebels” which were trained and working with the United States. This we believe is somewhat a bit of hyperbole as the latest reports claimed that the United States…

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Is the Pope’s Dream Our Totalitarian Nightmare?

As the first ever Pope to address a joint session of Congress, he is expected to take some shots at the structural evils of free market capitalism and the unequal distribution of wealth. As early as 2013, when he penned his Apostolic Exhortation, in which he laid out his broad vision for the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has been clarifying his positions on these topics.

With the subsequent release of his controversial encyclical on global warming in June, he established two pressing themes that will likely monopolize his coming visit.

Climate change is expected to be the focus of his address to the UN General Assembly on September 25, as he kicks off the 2015 UN Summit on Sustainable Development and its seventeen-point utopian agenda for the entire planet, packaged in a thinly disguised reboot of Agenda 21. According to IPS news:

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Do Palestinians treat Al-Aqsa Mosque with the respect it deserves?

MYTH:

Muslims revere the Al-Aqsa Mosque and treat it with the respect it deserves

FACT

In recent weeks, the Palestinian Authority has resurrected what journalist Nadav Shragai calls the “Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger libel,” accusing Israel of desecrating the mosque and planning to destroy it and replace it with the Third Temple. 662 This is pure rubbish. Israel has treated the entire Temple Mount with great reverence and granted the Muslims privileges denied to Jews, whose connection to the site predates that of the Muslims by centuries. Jews are only allowed on the Temple Mount during certain times to avoid any conflicts with Muslim prayers; they have been prohibited from bringing Jewish ritual items, including prayer books and prayer shawls, and they are banned from praying on the site. All of these restrictions on Jewish religious rights are imposed out of sensitivity for Muslims and respect for Islam.

Protection of the mosque as well as all Muslim holy places in Israel is enshrined in Israeli law. Furthermore, despite the long Jewish association with the Temple Mount as the holiest place in Judaism, Israel has allowed Muslim authorities, the Waqf, to control the Muslim holy places.

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Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

After Jeremy Corbyn tried to wrap himself in the Union Jack by declaring his love of Britain, David Cameron sought yesterday to show him how it was done. In a rhetorical love letter to the nation, the Prime Minister spoke of his vision for a “Greater Britain”, touching on themes he had been more muted on during coalition like social mobility and inequality. ‘You can’t have true opportunity without real equality. And I want our party to get this right,” he explained.

The Tory leader’s speech quickly drew plaudits, with George Osborne hailing it the “best speech I have ever heard [him] deliver”. Writing in today’s paper, Jesse Norman said that Cameron “moved the centre ground towards his party”, while Dan Hodges concluded: “The socially progressive Left has a new leader”. Allister Heath agreed with his call for a “national crusade for house-building”, but felt he could have gone much further. “[The Tories] need to start embracing sensible, well-managed development: if not, the party will soon find out that it is either on the side of aspiring homeowners, or it is nothing,” he wrote. The Guardian was cautious, praising his “reformer’s speech” but telling readers to “check against delivery”. The paper splashed this morning on the potential impact of Cameron’s tax credit cuts in his “all-out assault on poverty”, reporting on Resolution Foundation research warning that they could leave 200,000 more working households in poverty by 2020.

David Cameron’s speech was over 6,600 words long, with just a few sentences devoted to delivering his strongest attack yet on Jeremy Corbyn. Never naming him, Cameron tore into the “new Labour leader” and his “security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology.” Depicting Corbyn as a man who hates Britain may be crude, but – as Alastair Campbell told HuffPost – it will likely be “effective”, with the Metro splashing on his attack. Polls show that most Britons feel patriotic, and that they shied away from Labour in May – amid Tory claims that Ed Miliband would “stab Britain in the back” – as they feared he would be “bossed around” by the SNP.

The Tories have identified a weak point in Corbyn’s image, which they’re already exploiting. The fact that Cameron boasted of receiving a letter from a former Labour supporting RAF veteran in his speech, while Corbyn gets headlines about “snubbing the Queen”, accentuates this patriotic divide. If voters feel the new Labour leader doesn’t love his country, will they ever love him?

“Why did all the pollsters and the pundits get it so wrong?…Britain and Twitter are not the same thing”

News
Holland-ais Cross
Britain must back deeper integration of the European Union or quit altogether, Francois Hollande, the French president, declared on Wednesday night during furious exchanges with Nigel Farage.

Trust Issues
The BBC Trust should be scrapped and have its powers transferred to a new board and an independent regulator for the first time in its history, the corporation has conceded.

Nothing But The Ruth
Ruth Davidson has urged the Conservatives to revive their “blue-collar” support by convincing voters that “the sun is coming up” after years of economic hardship. She also appealed to Labour and Liberal Democrat voters to help protect the Union by giving their “second vote” in next year’s Holyrood elections to the Conservatives.

Sunday Showdown
They are expected to go head-to-head in a clash of the interviewing titans, after ITV announced a brand new Sunday morning political show. And Andrew Marr has wasted no time in dealing the first blow in the battle with Robert Peston, warning his former colleague he must keep his ego in check and remember “it’s not about him”.