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Friday, 30 November 2012

On the ingenuity of spammers

I just checked my comments and saw that I had three of them. One was clearly spam, but it wasn't until I took a closer look at the other two that I realized they were spam as well. One of the comments appealed to my vanity. It thanked me for the video I had posted and asked me to please write more (since I was so good at it) and not rely on just posting a video. I was about to reply when I realized that this comment was to a post that didn't have a video! The true giveaway, though, was that the poster included a link to his own commercial website. The other commenter appeared to ask a question: "I have a blog like yours, and I get a lot of spam comments. How to I avoid this?"  Very, very, clever. The best clue in this case was that the comment was vague enough that it could have been sent to thousands of blogs. The other clue, of course, was the link to his own site. The last clue was that all 3 comments had been to the same post. Well, keep trying guys. You may as well know now, though, that I'm not going to approve any comments that appear to be spam. And a link to your own site is usually a dead giveaway.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Legislators laze, pilots perish

Counter It is with great sadness that I read of this plane crash in Oregon today. Apparently one of the wings just fell off, causing the plane to fall out of the sky, killing both occupants. This sort of thing never happened twenty or thirty years ago, when small planes were manufactured by companies like Cessna, Piper, and Taylor. These mass-produced planes were simple to fly and incredibly airworthy. But none of these companies are in business today. Why? Every time a plane crashed due to pilot error, the manufacturer was held liable for the damages. Small plane manufacturers were sued out of existence. The result was fairly predictable--since the demand for small aircraft continues unabated, pilots have to fly their own homemade planes--a situation that has set general aviation back 100 years. Homemade planes were notorious for crashing then--and they are now. The blood of these pilots is on the hands of America's legislators, who sat on their hands while general aviation was being sued out of existence.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The prophetic rabbi--and what he allegedly predicted


This amazing prophecy from World Net Daily:

Following the Christian crusades to the Holy Land, between 1096-1270, a regular correspondence developed between the Jews in the Holy Land and the Christian West. Thus, for example, the rabbis in Worms and Regensburg in Germany knew that Saladin’s Ayyubids had been ruling in the Holy Land since 1187.
At this time, Judah Ben Samuel published the results of his biblical calculations (Gematria) and astrological observations and summarized as follows:
“When the Ottomans conquer Jerusalem they will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees. Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee, and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”
One jubilee is 50 years (Leviticus 25). It is the 50th year after seven times seven years, the year in which each person should regain ownership of his or her land. Ben Samuel’s calculations were purely theoretical; there was absolutely no sign at that time of their being fulfilled. He himself was not able to experience their fulfillment, for it was only 300 years after his death that the first of his predictions were to come true.

The Mamluks, who had been reigning in Jerusalem since 1250, were conquered in 1517 by the Ottoman Turks. They remained for eight jubilees (8 x 50 = 400 years), that is to say they were in Jerusalem for 400 years. Exactly 400 years later, in 1917, the Ottoman Turks were conquered by the British. The League of Nations conferred the Mandate for the Holy Land and Jerusalem to the British. Thus, from 1917, under international law, Jerusalem was no-man’s land.

Then, when Israel captured Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967, exactly one jubilee (50 years) after 1917, Jerusalem reverted to Jewish-Israeli ownership once again. Thereby, according to the prophecies of Judah Ben Samuel, the Messianic End Times began.

Many scholars have studied and made reference to Judah Ben Samuel’s writings in an effort to understand how he reached his conclusions. Among those referencing Ben Samuel were Rabbi Isaac Ben Solomon Luria, a mystic dealing with the messianic world (Jerusalem, 1531-1572, Safed); Joseph Solomon Delmegido (1591 Candia – 1655 Prague), a mathematician and astronomer (“Mazref le-Chochma”), Azulai I (1724-1806), a famed bibliographer; Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865), a Bible scholar; historian Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891); and Torah scholar Jacob Epstein (1925-1993).
The secret of how Judah the Pious arrived at such accurate predictions has less to do with the actual calculations than it does with the fact that he had consecrated his life to God. His pupils Rabbi Isaac ben Moses (Vienna), Rabbi Baruch ben Samuel (Mainz) and Rabbi Simcha (Speyer) testify that Ben Samuel was a model of abstinence and selflessness and was awaiting with a burning desire the coming of the Messiah.

Ben Samuel was often called “Light of Israel.” Even bishops came to him for advice. If anyone asked him where his wisdom came from he would answer, “The prophet Elijah, who will precede the Messiah, appeared to me and revealed many things to me and emphasized that the precondition for answered prayer is that it is fueled by enthusiasm and joy for the greatness and holiness of God.”
 In AD 1217 this scholarly and pious rabbi prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would rule over the holy city of Jerusalem for eight Jubilees. Now, keep in mind, he made this prediction 300 years before the Ottoman Turks seized control of Jerusalem in 1517. If indeed 1217 and 1517 were jubilee years as Judah Ben Samuel believed, then his prophecy was exactly right, because exactly 400 years after the Turks took control of Jerusalem they were driven out of the city and the holy land in 1917 by the Allied forces under the command of General George Allenby – on Hanukkah, by the way.
But it gets more interesting still.
The rabbi also prophesied that during the ninth Jubilee Jerusalem would be a “no-man’s land.” This is exactly what happened from 1917 to 1967, due to the fact that the Holy Land was placed under British Mandate in 1917 by the League of Nations and literally “belonged” to no nation.

Even after Israel’s war of independence in 1948-49, Jerusalem was still divided by a strip of land running right through the heart of the city, with Jordan controlling the eastern part of the city and Israel controlling the western part of the city. That strip of land was considered and even called “no-man’s land” by both the Israelis and the Jordanians.

It was not until the Six Day War in 1967 when the entire West Bank of the Holy Land was conquered by the Israeli army that the whole city of Jerusalem passed back into the possession of Israel. So once again the prophecy made by the rabbi 750 years previously was fulfilled to the letter.

It certainly would be significant if both 1917 and 1967 were Jubilee years, considering the significance of what happened in Jerusalem on those years. But it gets even more interesting, because Judah Ben Samuel also prophesied that during the 10th Jubilee Jerusalem would be under the control of the Jews and the Messianic “end times” would begin. If he’s right, the 10th Jubilee began in 1967 and will be concluded in 2017.

“The Bible should be our standard for prophecy and interpretation of prophetic events,” said Joseph Farah, editor and founder of WND, upon learning of Judah Ben Samuel’s predictions in Israel Today. “But one cannot ignore what this 12th-century rabbi said and wrote. It’s well-documented. And I applaud Israel Today for bringing it to light. The implications of these predictions is staggering to say the least.”

Forget the Mayan Calendar.  Forget, if you will, the Papal Prophecies attributed to Máel Máedóc. With Rabbi ben Samuel, we have a prophetic timetable that has proved true for eight centuries. And it's in its final decade's run.

Soon we will either conclusively determine that these were false prophets, or we will conclusively determine that they weren't.

Stand by. ADDED NOV 30: I've been trying for ten days now to track down the source of this prophecy, as WND has proven not to look too deeply into the veracity of some of its sources. So far, this is the best I can come up with: 1906 Jewish Encylclopedia
Ethical writer and mystic; died Feb. 22, 1217 ("Oẓar Ṭob," 1878, p. 045; Berliner, "Magazin," 1876, p. 220; "Kerem Ḥemed," vii. 71 [erroneously 1216]; "Ben Chananja," iv. 248 [erroneously 1213]). He was descended from an old family of cabalists from the East that had settled in Germany. His grandfather Kalonymus was a scholar and parnas in Speyer (died 1126). His father, also called "He-Ḥasid" (= "the pious"), "Ha-Ḳadosh," and "Ha-Nabi" (Solomon Luria, Responsa, No. 29), was president of a bet ha-midrash in Speyer, and from him Judah, together with his brother Abraham, received his early instruction. Samuel (see A. Epstein in "Ha-Goren," iv. 81 et seq.) died while Judah was still young (idem, "Jüdische Altertümer in Worms und Speier," in "Monatsschrift," xli. 41, 42). About 1195 the latter left his native place and settled in Regensburg (Ratisbon), on account of an "accident" (Moses Minz, Responsa, No. 76)—most probably persecution experienced by the Jews of Speyer generally.
He founded a yeshibah in Regensburg and secured many pupils. Among those who became famous were Eleazar of Worms, author of the "Roḳeaḥ"; Isaac ben Moses of Vienna, author of "Or Zarua'"; and Baruch ben Samuel of Mayence, author of "Sefer ha-Ḥokmah." Eleazar applies to his teacher in several passages terms expressive of the highest esteem, such as "father of wisdom" (Paris MS. No. 772, fol. 73a; comp. Epstein in "Monatsschrift," xxxix. 459).
Legend describes Judah as an excellent bowman who at the age of eighteen was ignorant of the daily prayers. When, however, enlightenment suddenly came upon him he performed many miracles. He restored fertility to a young married woman. The prophet Elijah is said to have partaken of his "Seder" meal and to have been seen by him in a synagogue. He miraculously prevented a Jewish child from being baptized, and knew the exact year of Israel's redemption.
I need a lot better fact-checking than that, before I give any credence to WND's version of this prophecy.

UPDATE Feb 27, 2013 (not 3013)
I was able to find one other source for this story, besides WND:
 There may be a slight problem with the 1917 date though--it's after that year's Rosh Hashanna.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The First American African President

CounterThe White Man never forgets that no one is perfect, especially he. So when I do recognise a mistake in what I wrote, I prefer to be the first to announce it. This is one of those times.

It came to my attention today that, despite claims that Barack Hussein Obama had no ancestors who were American Slaves, he actually appears to be descended--through his 'white' grandmother--from the very first African to be enslaved in Anglo America: John Punch.
PROVO, UTAH – July 30, 2012 – A research team from, the world’s largest online family history resource, has concluded that President Barack Obama is the 11th great-grandson of John Punch, the first documented African enslaved for life in American history. Remarkably, the connection was made through President Obama’s Caucasian mother’s side of the family.
The discovery is the result of years of research by genealogists who, through early Virginia records and DNA analysis, linked Obama to John Punch. An indentured servant in Colonial Virginia, Punch was punished for trying to escape his servitude in 1640 by being enslaved for life. This marked the first actual documented case of slavery for life in the colonies, occurring decades before initial slavery laws were enacted in Virginia.
In the 372 years since, many significant records have been lost – a common problem for early Virginia (and the South in general) – destroyed over time by floods, fires and war. While this reality greatly challenged the research project, genealogists were able to make the connection, starting with Obama’s family tree.
President Obama is traditionally viewed as an African-American because of his father’s heritage in Kenya. However, while researching his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham’s lineage, genealogists found her to have African heritage as well, which piqued the researchers’ interest and inspired further digging into Obama’s African-American roots.
In tracing the family back from Obama’s mother, used DNA analysis to learn that her ancestors, known as white landowners in Colonial Virginia, actually descended from an African man. Existing records suggest that this man, John Punch, had children with a white woman who then passed her free status on to their offspring.

Monday, 12 November 2012


In this post from just over four years ago, I made several predictions for the Obama presidency. Although it's a bit premature to reflect on the end of the first Obama administration, I do note that none of them have yet come true (although it is rather certain that an Obama election loss would have led to riots), with the exception of the one in which the federal deficit doubles. Amazingly, that happened even before Obama took office;