George Soros-Linked Money Used To Promote BDS Movement Against Israel

  • The Open Society Foundations, an international grant-making organization bankrolled by George Soros, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the EIRIS Foundation. 
  • The EIRIS Foundation used the Soros-linked funds to create a “Business in Occupied Lands” database that frames Israel as an occupying government force. 
  • Soros is one of the most prolific mega-donors to Democrats and other progressive causes in the U.S. 

Money tied to George Soros, a liberal billionaire who uses his wealth to support a number of Democratic and progressive causes, funded the creation of a database that singles out business investment in Israel.

The EIRIS Foundation, a charity organization that focuses on investment research, received donations totaling nearly $300,000 from Soros’ Open Society Foundations to build a “Business in Occupied Lands” database, according to financial reports from the U.K. Charity Commission between 2015 to 2017.

The database is advertised as a way to help companies practice better corporate social responsibility, i.e., ethical business investing. However, the information from the database only focuses on two areas: Crimea and Israel, which the EIRIS Foundation simply refers to as “Palestine.” Despite claiming the Business in Occupied Lands project to be an “objective” collection of information on corporate operations in Israel, the ERIS Foundation frames the region as “illegally administered.”

While a growing number of companies across the world are implementing corporate social responsibility into their business practices in an effort to promote justice, experts point out that more partisan-driven actors have weaponized corporate social responsibility to reach political goals. Namely, it has been used to boost the BDS movement, a global campaign that seeks the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” of Israel and Israeli-liked businesses.

“In addition to being promoted by groups affiliated with the BDS movement, elements of the Foreign Boycott Campaign have recently been adopted by [corporate social responsibility] advisors and companies that employ CSR programs. As a result, the Foreign Boycott Campaign represents the intersection of several strains of discrimination with CSR,” Marc Greedorfer writes in an upcoming law review review article.

Greendorfer is an attorney and founder of Zachary Legal Institute, a think tank and advocacy organization that is committed to fighting against anti-Israel movements within the U.S. The institute specializes in research into BDS and other anti-Semitic actives in the commercial sector.

The EIRIS Foundation provides “free and objective information on ethical finance and corporate activity,” according to its website. It bills itself as a charity organization meant to help businesses with “responsible” business and investing, business practices that are considered more ethical and promote social justice. The London-based organization depends on donations to fund its activities, and it explicitly acknowledges the “generous support” from the Open Society Foundations as having made the Crimea-Israel project possible.

Greendorfer and other EIRIS Foundation critics point out that its database is an example of the double standard placed on Israel and not on other governments.

The EIRIS Foundation is a 5 percent shareholder in the British-French research agency Vigeo Eiris, a company that operates two offices in Morocco, a country that is widely considered to be illegally occupying the Western Sahara.

“The dilemma today is that the Eiris team sits with experience on how investors should avoid placing money in Palestine and Crimea, while the Vigeo team is helping Morocco in investments in occupied Western Sahara,” wrote the Western Sahara Resource Watch, an advocacy organization that monitors economic activity in the region. The group’s statement blasted Vigeo Eiris for holding a double standard in regards to its business in Morocco. “The ethical investor community is baffled.”

Soros’ organization touts a long history of backing liberal activism.

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) is an international philanthropic network led by Soros. Not only is the 88-year-old billionaire the founder and current chairman of OSF, he has given the organization over $32 million in donations since its inception in 1993.

While the OSF advertises itself as a human rights organization dedicated to making governments more accountable to its citizens, the group is largely known in the U.S. for supporting progressive campaigns. The Sixteen Thirty Fund, for example, received over $2 million from the Open Society Policy Center — an arm of the OSF — between 2012 and 2016. The Sixteen Thirty Fund went on to lead a campaign against Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 nomination to the Supreme Court.

Soros, himself, is a behemoth among Democratic boosters. Open Secrets listed him as the 8th most prolific individual donor in the country during 2018.

Both the EIRIS Foundation and the OSF ignored multiple requests for comment regarding this story.

Greendorfer — who conducts research on private sector involvement in anti-Israel activity — says it’s par the course for companies engaged in BDS to ignore media inquiries.

“We’ve attempted many times to contact the actual parties that are engaged in this activity and they’ve uniformly refused to respond to emails, calls, inquiries, etc,” Greendorfer told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The only time you will ever get a response from them is when a state authority threatens to enforce a law against them.”

GI Bill: How Transformative It’s Been

If you went to war for the U.S. before World War II, you were left to your own devices for education, housing and job training when you returned to civilian life. It wasn’t exactly easy, because college and homeownership weren’t attainable dreams for the average American at the time.

That’s why the GI Bill of Rights was created 75 years ago — to make sure American vets were given access to opportunity.

The GI Bill is considered one of the most significant pieces of federal legislation ever produced.

While it’s been extended and adjusted several times since, here’s the gist of just how transformative this bill was at the time.

Why It Was Necessary

During World War II, U.S. leaders realized that nearly 16 million American men and women who were serving in the armed forces would be unemployed when the war finally ended, and that this could cause another depression and widespread economic instability similar to the aftereffects of the 1929 stock market crash. To prevent that, experts studied the issue and recommended a series of education and training programs.

On Jan. 10, 1944, Congress passed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed it into law June 22, just over two weeks after the Allied invasion of Normandy. It was dubbed the GI Bill of Rights because it offered federal aid to help veterans buy homes, get jobs and pursue an education, and in general helped them to adjust to civilian life again.

How It Kickstarted Education

The assistance the bill provided for tuition, books, supplies, counseling services and a living allowance caused postwar college and vocational school attendance to jump exponentially. It also kept millions of vets from flooding the job market all at one time.

According to federal statistics:

  1. Within its first seven years of use, about 8 million veterans took advantage. U.S. college and university degree-holders more than doubled between 1940 and 1950.
  2. Within 50 years, the number of Americans with advanced degrees rose nearly 20 percent.
  3. By July 1956, when the bill initially expired, almost half of the 16 million World War II vets had received education or training through the GI Bill.

How It Supported the Baby Boom

We’ve all heard of the infamous baby boom that happened after World War II, when millions of veterans returned home to get married and start families. But because they did so in record numbers, they faced a severe housing shortage.

A home loan provision of the GI Bill helped with that immensely. By 1955, 4.3 million home loans worth $33 billion had been granted to veterans, who were responsible for buying 20 percent of all new homes built after the war. The boom had a ripple effect across the economy, warding off any concerns of a new depression and creating unparalleled prosperity for a generation.

President George H.W. Bush summed up the impact of the bill in 1990 by saying, “the GI Bill changed the lives of millions by replacing old roadblocks with paths of opportunity.”

How It Continues

The GI Bill was extended several times, helping 10.3 million more veterans after the Korean and Vietnam wars. In 2008, a version known as the Post 9/11 GI Bill passed Congress, and more recently, the Forever GI Bill expanded benefits for vets.

There are a few versions from which to choose nowadays, with the most-used being the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Since its implementation in August 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs has provided educational benefits to nearly 800,000 veterans and their families totaling more than $12 billion.

Paypal biggest winner, Apple Pay biggest loser as e-payment options

Paypal gained the most ground as Apple Pay lost the most market share among e-payment solutions, according to findings from the sixth annual 2018 Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey (MPFS), which measures the state of mobile payments and mobile channel fraud from each prior survey year. In surveying nearly 600 merchants, the report found that several major mobile wallets have lost traction, with the percentage of respondents accepting Apple Pay in 2018 down from 48 to 35 percent, the most drastic decline of all mobile wallets, and Google Pay down from 38 to 25 percent.

Since the inaugural MPFS was conducted in 2013, merchants have steadily reported an increased awareness of mobile fraud risks, however, about 35 percent of merchants still do not track mobile fraud or do not know whether mobile fraud attempts increased or decreased from last year. The share of merchants who say that the mobile channel requires specialized tools for risk management is at the lowest recorded level in all six years of this study. Only half of surveyed merchants believe the mobile channel requires additional or specialized tools, compared to between two-thirds and three-quarters of merchants in each of the past studies.

“For the third consecutive year, merchants are showing signs of complacency and even regression in terms of managing mobile fraud risk,” said Don Bush, Vice President of Marketing at Kount. “Despite the increase in mobile fraud and the evolution of tactics carried out by criminals to commit fraud in this channel, the number of merchants implementing specialized tools has decreased, demonstrating that merchants struggle to properly address fraud in the mobile channel, including both apps and mobile browsers.”

Additional survey findings include:

More Money, More…Payment Options
Support is up across the board for Near-Field Communication (up from 29% to 37%) and other mobile payments at the physical point-of-sale, while 26 percent of merchants plan to increase or add support for social commerce (purchases made directly through social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter etc.) this year, and merchants’ support for mobile wallets climbed from 22 to 29 percent. However, this increase in choice and support comes at the detriment to specific mobile wallets:

  • Most notably, online merchant support for Apple Pay has gone down from 48% to 35%
  • Google Pay (previously Android Pay), is down from 38% to 25%
  • Support for PayPal increased (from 48% to 64%) while 10% accept AliPay and 10% accept other e-wallets
  • The share of merchants who accept Samsung Pay, Visa Checkout, MasterPass, and Chase Pay all stayed constant from last year, while AMEX Express Checkout enjoyed the biggest gain in support, growing acceptance from 9% to 16% of merchants

Mobile Pains and Gains
As is typical for any emerging technology, commerce in the mobile channel has faced its fair share of growing pains, from issues with ease of use to payment processor compatibility in mobile apps.

  • The most commonly cited challenges by mobile channel merchants today include:
    • Maintaining ease of use for the consumer (60%)
    • The ability to detect fraudulent order attempts (52%)
  • Nearly one-third of merchants surveyed believe the mobile channel will represent at least half of their total revenue by 2020
  • Of the merchants who track abandonment rates:
    • About 42% of merchants report a mobile checkout abandonment rate of less than 20%
    • 25% say their abandonment rate is more than 40%
    • 11% say their abandonment rate is at least 60%

Channel Risk: Varies by Vertical
About half of merchants (49%) stated that traditional eCommerce, consumers shopping from desktop browsers, is still their highest risk channel. Mobile web browser transactions are the next most likely to be considered the highest fraud risk, as indicated by about 21 percent of merchants, followed by 18 percent of merchants who say mobile app payments are the highest risk. However, this varies by vertical:

  • More than 75% of financial institutions and lenders, as well as food and beverage merchants, say that mobile fraud attempts increased last year
    • More than two-thirds of digital streaming/download, health/beauty merchants, and dating social sites say the same
  • More than 38% of merchants overall consider the mobile channel higher risk than desktop eCommerce, or 43% of merchants when excluding those who don’t support the mobile channel today. This is up from just over 25% of merchants last year, and back in-line with what merchants reported in 2015 and 2016
    • Money movement or remittance organizations are the most likely to report the mobile channel as being highest risk, as half of these merchants list either mobile app or mobile web browser transactions as the highest fraud risk
    • Dating and social sites (80%) and health/beauty merchants (73%) are the most likely to say desktop web browser transactions are the highest fraud risk
    • Just 17% of merchants definitively state they have separate risk management strategies for mobile versus desktop eCommerce channels
    • More than 35% of each digital download or streaming, hardware/home improvement, and jewelry merchants indicated that mobile app or mobile web browser transactions are their highest risk channels

Mobile App-titude
Among the industries that prioritize mobile, merchants selling jewelry (71%), electronics and computers (63%), health/beauty products (63%), and apparel or accessories (56%) are the most likely to consider the mobile channel very important to their overall strategy. The mobile sales channel increased as a source of total revenue once again after remaining stagnant last year, while mobile sales as a portion of total revenue have grown significantly since 2013.

  • The percentage of merchants who earn the majority of their revenue via mobile channels grew five-fold between 2015 and 2018:
    • Just 2-3% of merchants earned more than half of their total revenue in the mobile channel between 2013 and 2015, compared to 17% of merchants earning that much of their revenue in the mobile channel today
  • Nearly one-third of merchants surveyed believe the mobile channel will represent at least half of their total revenue by 2020, while 60% of merchants say the mobile channel will represent at least 30% of their total revenue by then

Few Merchants in Fraud-Fighting Shape
The majority of merchants surveyed (52%) indicated using third party tools or service providers to manage risk and detect fraud in the mobile channel, while one-third do not use third party services, either managing mobile channel fraud entirely in-house or not managing it at all. And 15 percent of respondents were uncertain, suggesting little or no fraud prevention strategy. The most-utilized risk management tools for detecting fraud in the mobile channel include:

  • CVV or card verification value check (62%)
  • Fraud scoring (43%)
  • Address Verification Services (AVS) (39%)

Although steadily increasing over the years, less than 20 percent of merchants are making strides by adopting one of the most effective fraud fighting tools available to merchants. AI/machine learning was utilized by just five percent of merchants for mobile channel transactions in 2015, compared to over 18 percent of merchants today.

True Detectives
The ability to detect transactions coming from mobile devices has grown considerably since the inaugural Mobile Payments and Fraud Survey, from just 16 percent of merchants who could detect and differentiate between types of mobile device in 2013 to 46 percent of merchants with this capability today.

  • While the share of merchants unable to detect when a transaction is coming from a mobile device increased to 27% from 14% last year, this is still significantly lower than the 55% of merchants overall who were unable to differentiate desktop eCommerce from mobile eCommerce in 2013
  • Just over half of merchants (52%) can tell which mobile operating system is in use (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.), while 46% can differentiate the specific type of mobile device, for example whether the consumer is using a smartphone or tablet

Tech, Tools, and Techniques
More than 83 percent of merchants are using two or more fraud prevention tools or techniques in the mobile channel, while two-thirds are employing three or more, and 25 percent are utilizing seven or more tools or services.

  • One-in-three merchants use identity authentication in the mobile channel, while about one-in-four are currently using velocity checks, device identification, and a rules engine
  • Mobile geolocation and 3D secure consumer authentication programs like Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode are each used in the mobile channel by about one-in-five merchants

“It’s been remarkably insightful to compare data across the six years of this study, enabling us to monitor trends around support for mobile commerce and risk management, as well as areas of weakness and concern expressed by merchants over this time,” said Justin McDonald, Senior Risk Management Consultant at The Fraud Practice. “While merchants are more likely to distinguish between a mobile and desktop transaction today than they were two years ago, fewer are taking the next step to secure the mobile channel with a dedicated fraud strategy. Although mobile fraud attempts increased for 60 percent of merchants last year, just 17 percent employ a separate risk management strategy for the mobile channel.”

Christianity, the Roman Empire & Israel’s Place in It

A vantage point for inquiring minds and those who’ve lived faith shy of geographical or historical context. Biblical maps are enlightening for tethering us to what was and what is and understanding how small our world has become, bringing Israel and the Middle East today into sharper focus.

The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire caused people to start questioning what they thought they knew. By 392 A.D. it was the official religion of the region. As it spread across the Mediterranaen, Christianity connected with larger themes in Roman history.

Reading Historical Dates

Without going into all of the science, emporer and political changes to calendars over time – and there were a lot of them – this keeps understanding date abbreviations simple. For more information see the “More Reading” resources below:

There is no Year 0.

There is no difference between “A.D.” & “CE.” They are the same.

There is no difference between “B.C.” & “BCE.” They are the same.

B.C. – means ‘Before Christ’ and starts with Year 1

A.D.– means ‘Anno Domini’ or ‘Year of our Lord.’ This is the year of Christ’s birth and also starts with Year 1. (Commonly referred to as ‘After Death,’ obviously not correct.)

CE – a more recent term meaning ‘Common Era,’ used in place of A.D.

BCE – a more recent term meaning ‘Before Common Era,’ used in place of B.C.

Jesus in Judae (Israel) & the Roman Empire

It’s widely accepted that Jesus Christ was born 4-6 B.C., two years before the death of the Roman Empire’s Herod the Great. Scientific calculations suggest Christ was born in the month of September or October.

Christianity began in Judea about 2,000 years ago with the birth and teachings of Jesus and the disciples who followed Him. Judea was a cultural hub of cities and farms. Click the map to view the area in what we now know as current day Israel.

When Jesus taught the “new covenant” (New Testament) in Judea, Rome was under its first emperor rule. Jesus is known by Christians as the Son of God and of Man, conceived by God by immaculate conception with the virgin Mary, who married Joseph.

The Jews hated Roman rule because it was a pagan reminder of their historical oppression and it violated their faith under the Torah* (Old Testament). The Romans worshiped a number of gods and superficial idols they‘d built to those gods. That was in direct conflict with the Jewish faith, which recognized the one and only God of the Bible.

*”Torah” refers to the Five [Biblical] Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. But the word “torah” can also be used to refer to the entire Jewish bible (the body of scripture known to non-Jews as the Old Testament and to Jews as the Tanakh or Written Torah), or in its broadest sense, to the whole body of Jewish law and teachings.

The start of Christianity is recorded in accounts of the New Testament but its history began with Old Testament prophecy. There are over 300 predictions of the coming of a Jewish Messiah that are recorded in the Old Testament, spanning more than 1000 years.

Click this map to see the Jews’ exodus from Egypt through the Wilderness and into Cannan (current day Israel), their Promised Land.

Some Jews saw conforming to the Roman Empire as their only hope. Others became religious zealots developing warlike guerilla resistances against Rome. Still others withdrew into the Judean wilderness to study Jewish law and wait for the coming of their Messiah, or savior, as promised in the Old Testament.

Isa 7:14 [OT] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Immanuel means “God with us”. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, had come to dwell with, or tabernacle on earth with, His people.

John 1:14 [NT] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.

Jesus was a Jew. He observed Jewish faith and was well studied in its law. Said to be a carpenter by trade (though that is questioned today), by His early thirties Jesus traveled between villages teaching in synagogues, healing people and performing miracles. His news traveled swiftly. From a young age He challenged religious leaders to repent from their self-righteous and hypocritical ways and to realize that the Kingdom of God is rooted in service and love.

Jesus taught during the Roman rule of Augustus, their first emperor from 27 B.C. through 14 A.D. He urged purification of the Jewish religion with a moral code of love, charity and humility. Christ’s teachings stirred the hearts of people and His healings grew in influence and ever-increasingly high demand as word of His message and acts spread.

These things and Jesus’ growing popularity because of them created an instability that Jewish authorities feared. The disciples were faithful men who followed Him and Jesus taught them about the “new covenant” that God was bringing to humanity, because men had fallen into so much sin they’d lost the personal relationship with God that they had in Old Testament days.

Jesus was crucified on a cross about 30 A.D., believed to be in Golgotha or “The place of a skull” just outside of Jerusalem. His followers believe he rose three days later, proving that He was the Son of God. The Christian faith, unlike any other religion, hinges on historical events. An example can be seen in the eye-witness accounts evidenced by Paul in I Corinthians 15:3-6.

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”

Manuscript studies point to this scripture being written within a few years after Christ’s death. Paul, born Greek, ends this passage with “most of whom are still living,” inviting people to confirm the facts for themselves. He wouldn’t have if he was trying to perpetrate a myth or fraud. It is the historical validity that gives Christians their belief and a genuine and eternal hope.

Roman Mythology & Christianity

Before the coming of Christ and Christianity the Roman Empire was “embroiled in myth,” having archeological traces of early settlements dating back to 750 B.C. The myths were based on both fiction and history in stories passed down through the ages.

Roman mythology was an emphatic state religion consisting of rituals and ceremonies. Their myths were more practical than the Greek’s but they adopted most of the Greek deities.

Every Roman god served a purpose and had an office to fill. There were “divisions of labor” between them, some presiding over births; some over bakers and some over the bakers’ ovens. Every vocation and household function had presiding gods and goddesses. This picture depicts a god tending to the wound of a solider with a Greek goddess looking on.

The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire caused people to start questioning what they thought they knew. By 392 A.D., Christianity was the official religion. As Chrsitianity spread it connected with larger themes in Roman history.

Christianity comforted social grievances in an empire marked by inequality and among the poor. Slaves, dispossessed farmers and impoverished city dwellers found hope in a religion that encouraged a goodness of morals and after-life rewards for living morally.

The Christian faith also answered cultural needs that Roman values, which stressed political goals and ethics about living in the world, did not. It brought political benefits to the Romans as their empire grew and consolidated, as well. The new faith was seen as universal, open to all, whether people followed the Jewish faith or not.

Click to enlarge this map showing the growth of the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean area; and Israel’s place within it (boxed).

Belief in Jesus spread among Jewish communities in the Middle East, the Roman Empire and beyond. When His disciples realized that Jesus was not returning to earth to set up the Kingdom of God, they fanned out to spread the news, particularly around the eastern Mediterranean area.

The predominant language of the day was Greek. Paul’s Greco-Roman culture helped to explain Christian beliefs in Greece and in Italy as well as in the Middle East. Paul essentially created Christian theology as a set of intellectual principles; and some speculate that he emphasized women’s more subordinate role to men and the dangers of sexuality in the books of the New Testament.

By the 4th Century A.D. Christian writings were the only creative cultural expression of the Roman Empire. Theologians sought to explain issues brought up by the new religion; and to relate it to ethics and Greek philosophy. Just as the Roman Empire was in decline Christianity produced complex thought and elegant language, redirecting its culture and preserving its earlier literary and philosophical achievements.

Christianity goes well beyond Rome and had more to do with opening a new era of history of the Mediterranean region than in shaping the Roman Empire.

Today’s Conflicts between the Middle East and Israel & The West

In the Bible’s Old Testament book of Genesis, chapter 17, God promised Abraham that he would become “the father of many nations.” Many today aren’t familiar with the divisions hinged on that promise.

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, could not bear children so she gave to her husband her Egyptian maiden, Hagar. Hagar birthed Abraham’s son, Ishmael. Many years later Sarah gave Abraham a son named Isaac (described in the scripture below).

When dissention in the houshold grew, Hagar returned with her son to her homeland of Egpyt. By then Abraham and Sarah had located to Cannan (Israel), where they remained. Today Sarah’s descendants are Christian and Hagar’s are Muslim. Indeed Abraham was “the father of many nations.”

Genesis 17 (OT, KJV excerpted): And when Abram was ninety years old and nine the LORD appeared and said, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect and I will make my covenant between me and thee and will multiply thee exceedingly and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house [and] which is not of thy seed. And God said unto Abraham, as for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Then Abraham fell upon his face and laughed and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him.

Coming: What was Constantine the Great’s role in Christianity?

“From the time of Constantine onward, the worship of the Roman Catholic Church, in its forms and ceremonies, has been more clearly identified with the paganism of Ancient Rome, than with the religion of the New Testament. The customs of pagan religion were only baptized with Christian names.”

-Paganism Surviving in Christianity By Abram Herbert Lewis “The Control of Christianity by the State Under Constantine and his Successors,” Chapter X; pg. 210


More Reading:

Wise Geek, Bible Time, Got Questions, History of Religion, Judaism 101:Torah, BibleLight, Greek & Roman Religion, History of Christianity, Romans Empire, Cynric

Media Matters President Misleads About Offensive Blog Posts — With Brian Stelter’s Help

Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said on Wednesday that his old blog containing offensive posts was a “parody of a right-wing blowhard,” but additional statements on his site suggest otherwise.

Carusone’s left-wing activist group is leading a boycott campaign against Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a co-founder of The Daily Caller News Foundation, over statements Carlson made on a radio shock jock show between 2006 and 2011.

In light of the boycott campaign, TheDCNF on Tuesday reported several of Carusone’s past statements, which included degrading references to “japs,” “jewry” and “trannies.”

Carusone declined to comment on the posts until Wednesday evening, when he told Stelter that “the entire context and tone” of the blog “was intended to be a giant, obnoxious right-wing caricature, a parody of a right-wing blowhard living my life.”

Archives of the blog seem to contradict that explanation.

The archives show that, through his blog, Carusone espoused left-wing political positions, promoted former Vice President Al Gore as a presidential candidate and attacked Republicans around the same time he authored the inflammatory posts.

Stelter published Carusone’s inaccurate statement in his widely read media newsletter Wednesday night without a fact-check.

Stelter, who hosts the CNN show “Reliable Sources,” spread misinformation in his newsletter as well.

The CNN host called Carusone’s comments “offensive,” but falsely claimed that TheDCNF’s article did not include new reporting.

But only two of the five blog posts referenced had previously received attention. The other three posts — two of which contained ethnic slurs — were reported for the first time in TheDCNF’s article on Tuesday.

Screenshot/Reliable Sources Newsletter

Stelter, who did not reach out to TheDCNF before writing his inaccurate newsletter, did not return an email informing him of his error.

Medal of Honor Monday: Army Pfc. Bryant Womack

Medics on the battlefield have a crucial job: to care for the wounded despite the chaos around them. Army Pfc. Bryant Womack understood that job so well that he refused to quit helping others in Korea, even after he’d lost a limb. That selflessness led to his death, but it also earned him the Medal of Honor and a place in Army history.

Womack was born in Mill Springs, North Carolina, in May 1931. His family said he was a quiet young man who loved playing practical jokes on them. He also loved his dogs, hunting, fishing and riding bikes.

Womack joined the Army shortly after high school and became a medic with the 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Soon thereafter, he was sent to Korea.

On March 12, 1952, Womack was part of a night combat patrol that was overwhelmed by a huge enemy force near Sokso-ri, an area that belonged to the north during the war. He was the only medic attached to the unit.

A lot of the unit’s men were getting hit, so Womack went to their aid despite having to run out in the thick of the fight. He was seriously injured in the process, but he refused medical aid for himself, instead continuing to help others who were hurt.

While helping one man, Womack was hit by a mortar and lost his right arm. He knew if he didn’t get help immediately, he would die, but he still refused aid, insisting that the other wounded were helped first. While Womack was too injured to physically help at this point, he stayed at the scene and directed other soldiers on how to perform first aid for him.

Womack was the last man to get out of the line of fire, waiting for all of the injured to make it to safety until he tried to leave. He walked until he collapsed from the blood loss. He died a few minutes later in the arms of his comrades, who carried him away. He was 20 years old.

Womack’s outstanding courage and intense devotion to duty earned him the Medal of Honor, which was given to his family on Jan. 12, 1953.

In recognition of his extraordinary heroism, the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was dedicated in his name in 1958. The facility moved locations in 2000, but the name has stayed the same.

Womack’s sister, Rachel Elliott, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2000 and said her brother would be proud that his name is still associated with the medical profession.

“He enjoyed being a medic and saving people’s lives, helping the wounded and the sick,” Elliott said at the time.

We’re sure the many men he helped save are thankful for that.

This article is part of a weekly series called “Medal of Honor Monday,” in which we highlight one of the more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor.

2019 On Track To Experience Highest Level Of Illegal Immigration In A Decade

Unusually high illegal immigration in January and February at the U.S.-Mexico border has put fiscal year 2019 on pace to experience the highest levels of unauthorized migration in a decade.

Roughly 58,000 migrants were detained at the U.S. southern border in January. Preliminary figures show the rate is only climbing, with over 70,000 recorded migrant apprehensions in February. In fact, one day in February made history as being the largest number of “family unit apprehensions” ever recorded on a single day. The Department of Homeland Security is expecting even larger numbers for March and April, putting 2019 in position to witness record levels of illegal immigration.

“The numbers are staggering, and we’re incredibly worried that we will see another huge increase in March,” a Homeland Security Official said to The Washington Post.

Critics of President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration for the southern border point out that these numbers, while they are rising, are still historically lower than the levels of illegal immigration seen in the early 1990s and 2000s. However, it’s the type of illegal immigration, border patrol officials say, that is causing the crisis.

The extremely high number of Central American migrants reaching the southern border are not from Mexico or Canada, which means they cannot be quickly deported due to trafficking laws. Many of them are family units, not individuals. Also, instead of trying to evade border enforcement officials, they are actively seeking them out and simply pleading for asylum.

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost says the combination has stretched her agency to the breaking point.

“Each day, nearly 25 percent of my agents are diverted away from our border security mission to care for, transport and process family members and unaccompanied children,” Provost said while testifying in front of a House Judiciary committee. “We know that when agents are occupied, narcotics smugglers, criminal aliens, gang members and others use the opportunity to violate our borders and our laws.”

Along with declaring a national emergency at the border, giving him $8 billion to fund a border wall, the president has implemented other strategies to curb illegal immigration into the country.

The president’s “remain in Mexico” policy seeks to keep asylum-seeking Central Americans in Mexico as they wait for the claims to be processed through the U.S. immigration courts, preventing many illegals from claiming asylum and simply disappearing within the interior of the U.S. However, this policy has been confined to San Ysidro port of entry in California.

The president’s travel ban on several, mostly Muslim, countries has led to nearly 40,000 visa applications getting denied in 2018.

4 Avenues You Can Explore When Trying to Get Money Quickly

If you are short on cash, you may find it is nearly impossible to meet your commitments. However, there are options out there. Knowing what your options are can help relieve some of the stress you are under and ensure you get the funds that are needed, when they are needed. Whether you are looking for a loan or credit cards for bad credit, you can find a variety of options online. Failing to do your research before pursuing a form of credit or a lending option can lead to you biting off more than you can chew financially. Some of the most common options for getting funds when you are low on cash are found here.

1. Ask about a Payment Plan

There are many businesses and individuals who will work with people who are short on cash. This means the person does not have to worry about all the money that is needed to pay the bill right away, but instead they can make the payment in intervals. This is beneficial because it means you won’t have to default on the payment and you will be able to pay the bill slowly.

2. Banks, Credit Unions or Finance Companies

There are some people who would prefer to get their loan from a traditional bank, credit union or another type of finance company. This is an agreement between you and the lender. You should also shop around for this loan since they will all have different terms. In many cases, you can get pre-approved by a lender, which will let you know exactly what you are qualified for. However, keep in mind, most traditional lenders don’t have many options for people who have bad credit.

Before you decide on which financial institution to use, you will need to take some time to do your homework. Looking around online will allow you to find out what type of reputation a lender has. If all you can find out about a particular lender is bad, then you probably need to extend your search.

3. Online Lenders

An option that is becoming more popular is to use an online lender. These lenders will provide you with everything you need to get the financing online. In fact, payday loans are a popular option for anyone who needs funds and has bad credit. Many people prefer this option due to how easy it is to get the financing they need. Be sure to research the lender carefully prior to accepting the loan. Always read the fine print to make sure there are no terms you don’t understand prior to accepting anything.

You will also need to call in and speak with a representative for an online lender to find out whether or not the terms of the loan can be tweaked. In some cases, a company will be able to customize a loan to better fit your needs

4. Peer to Peer Lending

One of the most popular lending options out there is known as peer to peer. These types of loans are paid for bypeople instead of banks. This means that the interest rate on these loans are generally a bit cheaper. Before choosing a peer to peer loan, you need to study the terms thoroughly. You need to also find out how long you have to pay back the loan. In some instances, a peer to peer loan will have higher monthly payments. This is due to the fact that the people who fund these loans will want to get their money back in a hurry. The time you spend finding the right lending options will pay off.

Being informed and knowing all the options can help you make an informed decision regarding the loan that you ultimately take. Don’t accept just any offer since this may cause you to get in over your head on the payments.

Watch: Ariana Grande’s #OneLoveManchester benefit concert

Ariana Grande is holding a benefit concert in Manchester, England as a tribute to the victims of the terrorist bombing at her previous concert in the same city. Grande’s song “One Last Time” has been re-released as a benefit single with all proceeds going to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

Artists expected to perform are:

  • Marcus Mumford: ‘Timshel’
  • Take That: ‘Shine’, ‘Giants’, ‘Rule the World’
  • Robbie Williams: ‘Strong’, ‘Angels’
  • Pharrell Williams: ‘Get Lucky’,
  • Pharrell Williams & Miley Cyrus: ‘Happy’
  • Miley Cyrus: ‘Inspired’
  • Niall Horan: ‘Slow Hands’, ‘This Town’
  • Ariana Grande: ‘Be Alright’, ‘Break Free’
  • Stevie Wonder: ‘Love’s in Need of Love Today’ (brief appearance via video-link)
  • Little Mix: ‘Wings’
  • Victoria Monet & Ariana Grande: ‘Better Days’
  • Black Eyed Peas & Ariana Grande: ‘Where is the Love?’
  • Justin Bieber
  • Usher
  • Katy Perry
  • Coldplay