D.K. Foreman – Personal Blog

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Endtimes: WDBJ Shooting Suspect Identified as Vester Lee Flanagan

by on Aug.26, 2015, under 2015 Year, African-American Community, Endtimes, General, Revival In America

Vester Lee Flanigan, AKA; Bryan Williams, Former WDBJ Reporter

Vester Lee Flanigan, AKA; Bryan Williams, Former WDBJ Reporter

The Augusta County Sheriff’s office has reportedly identified the alleged gunman responsible for this morning’s shooting in Roanoke, VA as Vester Lee Flanigan, 41. Flanagan, who also goes by Bryce Williams, is still at large and reportedly driving a 2009 silver Ford Mustang.

The Augusta County Sheriff’s office has reportedly identified the alleged gunman responsible for this morning’s shooting in Roanoke, VA as Vester Lee Flanigan, 41. Flanagan, who also goes by Bryce Williams, is still at large and reportedly driving a 2009 silver Ford Mustang.

UPDATE 11:35 am: Flanigan/Williams posted video of the the shooting to his Twitter and Facebook pages. Both pages have since been suspended. http://gawker.com/alleged-wdbj-g…

UPDATE 11:50 am: Flanigan/Williams has reported killed himself.

This post has been updated to correct the spelling of Flanigan’s last name.

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Protecting The Lambs: Pope Francis’ approval ratings slump sharply in U.S.

by on Jul.25, 2015, under 2015 Year, Endtimes, General, Protecting the lambs

Pope Francis addresses the congregation from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter's square during his Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican on July 19, 2015. (Photo: Gabriel Bouys, AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis addresses the congregation from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s square during his Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican on July 19, 2015.
(Photo: Gabriel Bouys, AFP/Getty Images)

Growing conservative disaffection with Pope Francis appears to be taking a toll on his once Teflon-grade popularity in the U.S., with a new Gallup poll showing the pontiff’s favorability rating among all Americans dropping to 59% from a 76% peak early last year.

Among conservatives, the drop-off has been especially sharp: Just 45% view Francis favorably today, as opposed to 72% a year ago.

“This decline may be attributable to the pope’s denouncing of ‘the idolatry of money’ and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives’ beliefs,” Gallup analyst Art Swift wrote Wednesday, when the survey was published.

But liberal fervor for the Argentine pope, who was elected to great acclaim in March 2013, has also cooled, dropping an average of 14 points.

Some observers have predicted that many who embraced the pope’s candor and his views on a range of social justice issues would temper their ardor as they realized he would not change church teachings on hot-button issues such as abortion or contraception or gay marriage.

Another major factor is that the number of those who expressed “no opinion” about the pope or said they don’t know enough about him rose from 16% to 25%. That may be linked to fewer magazine cover stories on the pope, or more critical stories.

The poll comes just as American Catholics are set to welcome the pope this September for his first visit to the U.S. It essentially returns Francis to approval levels he had in the first months after his election.

The fall-off appears to be relatively recent: A Pew Research Center survey from February showed Francis’ approval rating among all Americans at 70%, and at a remarkable 90% among all Catholics.

That number had been steadily increasing, among Republicans and conservatives, as well, despite their concerns that Francis was not stressing issues such as abortion while highlighting social justice themes.

But the Gallup poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for results based on the total sample, was conducted earlier this month in the middle of Francis’ visit to three countries in Latin America during which he delivered some of his most powerful remarks on economic justice and environmental protection.

That prompted Western journalists on the papal plane, with a view to Francis’ upcoming U.S. visit, to ask whether he needs to say more about “the middle class, that is, the working people, the people who pay taxes, normal people.”

Francis responded by saying that he needed to address that aspect of his message and would read his critics ahead of the Sept. 22-27 U.S. trip.

Stephen Schneck, head of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, blamed pundits on the right and left, like Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow, for “politicizing” the pope’s teachings.

“He’s not a conservative or progressive, not a Democrat or Republican. So stop trying to clobber him with those yardsticks,” Schneck wrote in an email. “How many times do our pundits need to be told that he’s carrying the same message as John Paul II and Benedict XVI?”

Schneck said that as the visit approaches, he expects Francis’ poll numbers “to rebound to his strong, earlier levels — that is, if both the right and the left will stop dragging him into their partisan squabbles.”

Is it too late? Has “Francis fatigue” displaced the “Francis effect”?

After the Latin America trip, popular conservative Catholic blogger Elizabeth Scalia wrote a lengthy post saying she is “frankly just tired of feeling scolded.”

“I love His Holiness Pope Francis, but for a while now, I have been feeling harangued by him, as he’s been harping on us to do more, and ever more, to practice mercy on the world; to welcome the stranger, to clean up the rivers, to bring about justice and peace in our time; to level the playing fields, visit the sick, and so on,” Scalia wrote.

That lament was picked up by other conservatives, such as Carl Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, who complained about what he sees as Francis’ constant “haranguing, harping, exhorting, lecturing.”

“It probably doesn’t help,” Olson added, “that Francis obsesses over particular points, to a degree that is, frankly, grating.”

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A Vision for African Americans – Excerpt from the book Prepare For the Winds of Change By: Nita Johnson

by on Jul.13, 2015, under 2015 Year, African-American Community, General, Hispanic Community, Native American Community, Revival In America

~A Vision for African Americans~

As she gazed intently at the sight before her, she saw a black man in his late 20’s standing by a railway blowing a trumpet. The train looked typical to the 1930’s and was full of black passengers. The young trumpeter was wearing sun glasses and light weight clothes as though prepared for a warm summer’s day.

“Be not enslaved to the things in the yesteryear. Put on a new robe – walk in a new light. I go before you to prepare the way. Look not to the left or the right. Keep your eyes blinded to the things the world offers. Keep your eyes on the Giver of life and light, and all you need to be restored and satisfied will be yours. For I am coming soon for a holy people, a people set apart from the world. How do you expect to take part in the things I’ve prepared for you if you have one foot in the things of yesteryear, with the other foot in the world today?” Cried the Spirit of the Lord.

This was given to my dear friend, Bonnie Daughenbaugh, in a vision in the middle of the night.

A warning for African Americans: I saw two men raised up as what looked like Islamic leaders. They had signs and wonders operating through them, particularly in the area of healings; although these were not divine healings. They incited hatred against the white race and promised healing for the African American.

I was given the ability to see their hearts. Their true interest was the wealth of the black man. After healings would be manifested, they would take up offerings. Their followers would fill the bucket with their hard-earned income.

God through Jesus Christ is the only answer to all people everywhere. He will liberate those who are of a willing heart. But all alike must forget the ways of yesterday and move forward.

There is going to be an unprecedented move among both Native Americans (Indians) and African Americans by the Holy Spirit in evangelism and healing of these two nations. But to be a part of it, they must turn from their ways of yesterday and take on the restorative power of Jesus. Forgive and seek victory through love and the power of the Lord’s cross.

If something isn’t done quickly, there is going to be a major uprising from within the black community. I saw this in 1990. It was shortly thereafter fulfilled. However, it will be repeated if there are not dramatic changes. The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in its purity and without segregation, is the only answer.

One might argue, as many have, “Since I didn’t cause the problems for these or any other race, I won’t take the emotional responsibility for their reversal,” To that sincere statement, I’d like to offer the following!

Imagine, if you will, that your great grandfather captured a young eaglet and put it into a cage. His desire was to have the magnificent beauty of this bird in his living room, not knowing that eagles, although one of the cleanest and most majestic birds in their natural environment, are one of the dirtiest in captivity.

Soon, after, your great grandfather passed away, leaving the eagle to your grandfather. Likewise, your grandfather passed away, leaving the mature eagle to your father.

Before long you marry, and your father decides he no longer wants this messy bird, so he gives it to you. A short time later, when walking through your living room, you pass by the eagle and for the first time, notice its condition. It looks as if it is dying of sadness. Deep in your heart you know its only hope is freedom.

You didn’t put the eagle into captivity, but the question now remains, “Will you enter into its pain, identify with its plight, and set it free?”

Will you? Can we not all see the various races of humanity, not the least of which are the Native- and African-Americans, which are in generational captivity, as we see this eagle to be? Seeing their captivity, will we enter into their pain, identify with them in their battle, and walk with them as a brother, working together until we see the chains of imprisonment bliterated? If we will, we can hope to help the wounded! ~

African American Community

African American Community

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Endtimes: Not One Drop: How Long Will California Survive Life Without Water?

by on Sep.27, 2014, under Endtimes, General, Hispanic Community, Leadership, World News

TULARE COUNTY, Calif.—The old man knew of the $500-a-day fine for people caught wasting water. He heard the plea for conservation from Governor Jerry Brown. But the water police can’t scare a person whose water isn’t running in the first place.

“Look,” said Carlos Chavez, a retired farm hand in the small town of Seville. He turned the wheel on a big outdoor faucet, the kind of high pressure spigot that’s illegal to operate in California without at least a hose attached to it. Nothing came out except air. It was the same story inside his home, where his plates piled up beneath a kitchen faucet as dry as the shop model.

As the California drought approaches its fourth year, Seville’s well is one of hundreds of private water holes coughing up sand and spitting air in the Central Valley, according to Tulare County officials. As many as 100,000 more wells are at risk around the state if the rains don’t come by October.

In what is still the most productive agricultural county in America, the pantry of brands like Hershey’s and Häagen-Dazs, Sun-Maid and Yoplait, the rising number of completely dry homes here has shocked officials and become a visceral symbol of California’s unending dry spell. Thousands of people—most of them farm workers and their families—find themselves with no running water to wash, drink, flush or cook.

“We’re the epicenter,” said Eric Coyne, a spokesperson for the Tulare County Resource Management Agency. “The need here is dire.”

With the help of volunteers, Tulare County has handed out thousands of gallons of emergency bottled water, a lifeline to the modern world. But now the state is also working on the well problem, according to Kelly Huston, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Just don’t expect a solution to flash like lightning. “As the drought continues,” he warned in an email, “more wells are likely to go dry.”

Water Pipes in Seville, CA

Water Pipes in Seville, CA

Almost every dollar in Tulare County has deep ties to planting, picking, or packaging food. But this summer, for the first time that residents can remember, the plants and animals got cleaner, more abundant water than many of the people who tend to them. The farms have the resources to drill deeper, taping ancient aquifers the backyard well owner can’t reach.

“It’s never been this bad before,” said Chavez, looking back on nearly 80 years in Seville, which hasn’t had reliable running water in months.

Chavez and his wife spent their prime as fruit pickers and boxers, making a good enough living to buy a little house, raise children, retire comfortably. In his youth, Chavez recalls, “everybody worked in the fields and the water was cold and clean and it tasted good. But now…” He stopped and looked up, pointing to the brown spire on his once-green pine tree, the mark of another drought-induced death.

A few blocks away, Maria Dominguez, a 28-year-old mother of two, pulled over to question a stranger she saw standing near the town’s faltering well. “What can you tell me about my water?” she hollered. “I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”

Since the middle of summer, she’s been filling buckets with a friend a town over, then leaving them outside to warm in the sun. It’s the only way her mother, a picker, can sluice the field dust off before kissing her grandkids goodnight.

–VIDEO PLACEHOLDER–

“It’s feels like we’re back in Tijuana,” said Dominguez, who came with her family when she was a little girl. “This is how they do it in Mexico.” She was on the way home with boxes of food and water, sixty pounds of drought disaster relief, paid for by the state and pulled off the back of flatbed truck.

One of her neighbors, Ray Quintana, was nearby helping the delivery. He served two combat tours in Vietnam, driving convoys through the jungle. Now, at 62, the water crisis has made his hometown feel like a conflict zone instead of some of the richest farmland on earth.

“To shower, I use a cup, just like when I was in ‘Nam,” he said, stepping away from a stream of glistening neighbors, most of them just back from the fields. Some had dust on their ear lobes and deep in their wrinkles. None had a simple way to shower in town that night.

“We’re living in a third world country now,” he continued.

Volunteers and county officials from Tulare County deliver water in East Porterville, CA.

Volunteers and county officials from Tulare County deliver water in East Porterville, CA.

For more than a decade, Ray and his wife Becky have occupied a cheerful two-bedroom house on Seville’s main road. The carpets are soft and the butter tray is real silver. But like the rest of town, the Quintanas are a hard-working family with no running water. They are a strange hybrid of upright citizens and bewildered refugees, like squatters who happen to own their homes.

“Sometimes I pull over at a gas station and go into the bathroom, just to wet my hair down,” admitted Becky, a school bus driver. “I feel like a homeless person.”

There are people like her all over this county, in places like East Porterville and Monson, people who walk through doors with brass knockers and then live like hobos in an abandoned building. They bathe out of a bucket, which they refill at convenience stores, fire stations, and churches. They flush with a bucket, too, and because the water may be tainted, they teach their kids to close their eyes and mouths when they rinse off. They never feel clean.

And in the morning they have to do it all again.

“I think of water 24 hours a day,” Becky said. “When I go to sleep, I’m thinking about tomorrow morning. If I don’t have any water, what’s my plan? In the evening I’m thinking, what am I going to do? Am I gonna take a shower at my daughter’s house? Or am I going to take a shower at my sister’s house? I’m constantly thinking about Plan A, Plan B.”

“I think of water 24 hours a day.”

By the sad standards of parched towns, Seville is one of the fortunate places. Its water system has been troubled for years, threatened by fertilizer run-off and old, leaky pipes, lashed together in places by old bicycle tire inner tubes, according to Diane England, an analyst for the county water commission. “The system was already hanging by a shoestring,” she said, “and the drought stressed it to the breaking point.”

But at least Seville had an infrastructure. For that reason, when the well faltered sometime in June, the state stepped in to fund a new well, three times deeper than the old one. It may produce water as undrinkable as the old well, Becky said, showing off an August 2014 flyer that advised residents not to trust what may come from their tap. But, hey, at least the water will flow.

That won’t be the case elsewhere in the county. Aside from the odd chemical spill and poisonous algae bloom, Americans may imagine that access to clean drinking water is a far-off problem, a challenge for people who bath in rivers and sleep under corrugated iron roofs. But roughly 2 million people right here at home lack access to clean water, according to the Rural Community Assistance Program, a federally-funded network of small town water systems.

–Video Placeholder–

Most of those people are black or Latino, and they tend to live in the West and South, where climate change could make water problems even more acute. That’s certainly the fear in East Porterville and Monson. In a normal year, the private wells pump water just fine, and the state’s industrial farms are served by a network of snow-and-rain-fed canals.

But this year, the farms of Tulare County got almost no water from the canals, forcing them to drill into the ground water. The result was like everyone at the prom putting a straw in the same punch bowl at the same time, and sucking hard. It lowered the water table until eventually the residential wells were dry.

“It’s literally a race to the bottom,” said Laurel Firestone, a prominent California water activist.

Becky Quintana, resident of Seville, CA shows the old public water works infrastructure near her house.

Becky Quintana, resident of Seville, CA shows the old public water works infrastructure near her house.

But while farms can invest heavily in deeper wells, most of the agricultural workers they employ can’t afford to do the same at home. When a residential well goes dry in East Porterville—as have more than 150 this year, according to the county—people turn first to their neighbors, who are often happy to help. Jesus Halfaro, a retired carpenter here, said he has almost 20 families on his still-thriving well.

“I’ll give you water until God say I going to be like you,” he said, leaning on a fencepost, his shirt unbuttoned mid-chest, philosophizing about the basic human right to clean water. “I mean, we can endure a little hardship. Everybody does. But try to go to the bathroom with no water? That will mess you up.”

When a neighbor’s well runs dry, and that neighbor’s neighbor runs dry, residents turn reluctantly to store bought water. On a recent morning, Lila Rosales, 17, was headed to the store on a water run, when she paused to calculate the costs of her weekly journey. As she spoke, her infant daughter snoozed nearby in a car seat.

Lila’s father was a picker but that week he was off with a chainsaw, chopping down a grove of parched orange trees. For the work, he expected to take home $300—$80 of which she would pour directly into blue gold. “Well, my baby,” she said, “she’s a hot-head, so I guess you can say I have to bathe her like every day, maybe twice a day, and it’s like, I have to run to the store to get a least a gallon of water.”

“Every night I pray … I pray for water!”

Unlike Seville, there is no long-term plan for helping the people of East Porterville. With enough money, patience, and political will, the homes on the east side of town could be fit to the water system that feeds Porterville proper. The medium term plan, funded in part by a $500,000 grant from the state, is for volunteers to go door-to-door, as Ray Quintana did one recent Friday, dropping off a ration of bottled water per person, per week.

It was grueling work, he found, and he didn’t mean physically.

“God bless, America,” he said, after a day spent peering into one waterless home after another. “It’s still the greatest country in the world, but we need to take care of our people, you know?”

In the absence of a bailout, some people are trying to take care of themselves. One man in Seville installed his own supplemental pump, sucking in enough water to create an oasis just off his back porch. Another man took to YouTube, where the click-count on “Dig Your Own Well” videos expands each day the water table does not.

But prayer is perhaps the most popular option, if not in a church than in the cathedral of one’s own hot shower. Manuel Valdez is a smiley-eyed 70-year-old who decided to show off his shower prayer, shimmy and all, near the chip rack at the Seville corner store: “Please God, you give me some water, you know what I mean—I am all soaped up. Every night I pray. I kneel down and I pray for everything, for everyone. I pray for water!”

Finally, there are the realists. Maria Patcheco is a 29-year-old mother of three, including a 6-week-old who came home from the hospital days before the Patcheco’s well went dry. The faucets gave a final groan, the shower gasped, and the toilet bowl gulped. Then the water was gone.

Soon, the Patchecos will be, too. They’re not planning to be like the Chavez family, struggling through an unnecessarily hardscrabble retirement. They don’t want to live “Mexico-style.”

“Everything was so nice,” admitted Maria. But not anymore. “California is going dry.”

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