Let’s have some fun with this Caption Contest!

This is the 96th world-famous FOTM Caption Contest!

Here’s the pic. Sorry for the grainy quality.

It's truthtelling time!

You know the drill:

  • Enter the contest by submitting your caption as a comment on this thread (scroll down until you see the “LEAVE A REPLY” box), not via email or on Facebook.
  • The winner of the Caption Contest will get a gorgeous Award Certificate of Excellence and a year’s free subscription to FOTM! :D
  • FOTM writers will vote for the winner.
  • Any captions proffered by FOTM writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered. :(

To get the contest going, here’s “my” caption entry, which is actually the hilarious original pic sent to me by FOTM Facebook reader Mark Carroll:

Hussein & Michael

This contest will be closed in a week, at the end of next Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

For the winner of our last Caption Contest, click here.

Seen any pics that you think will make good fodder for our caption contests? Send it to us at:

fellowshipminds@gmail.com

Thank you!

~Éowyn

Former Muslim says Islam is the religion of war

Mosab Hassan Yousef

Mosab Hassan Yousef

Mosab Hassan Yousef is a Muslim who converted to Christianity and the bestselling author of Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices.

The son of one of the founding members of Hamas, Yousef worked as a spy for the Israeli intelligence service after beginning to question the religion-ideology in which he had been raised. Yousef’s family publicly disowned him after he wrote Son of Hamas, and he said he lost “everything.”

Yesterday, March 30, 2015, Yousef appeared on The Glenn Beck Program to discuss how he rejected radical Islam and converted to Christianity. As recounted by Erica Ritz in The Blaze, Yousef admitted that Islam’s goal is to conquer the world.

He said “I was brought up in a state of delusion, believing the Islamic theory that once we control the globe and build an Islamic State we can bring humanity, justice and happiness and solve the human condition. Islam is a very dark theory and we need to face this reality.”

Instead of former president George W. Bush’s characterization of Islam as a “religion of peace,” Yousef said “Islam is the religion of war.” He explains:

Islam is at war with everything that is not Muslim. Islam has been in a war against the west and its foundations for the last 1,400 years. This is a fact. The Islamic phenomena that we see in ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Taliban — this is not just a new phenomenon. It has been out there for the last 1,400 years. And I think this is the time for humanity to have the courage to say no to the Islamic theory.

On the appeal of Islam, Yousef explains that “it’s easier for them [Muslims] to listen to the leader who is blaming all the social problems and many other problems on Israel and the United States of America. I was brought up believing in the conspiracy theory that the United States of America and the west, including Israel, is plotting day and night to destroy Islam and the Muslim world, which is a lie. And this is how terrorist organizations kept pushing the average person to fight on their behalf against the United States of America and against Israel.

While Yousef believes that George Bush and Barack Obama have good intentions in the Middle East, he vehemently disagrees with Obama’s insistence that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam. Worse still, Obama’s characterization is neither inconsequential nor harmless because “When the president of the free world misleads the public, this is a big, big problem I believe. ISIS is the real face of Islam. ISIS is the real manifestation of the Islamic ideology, of the Islamic theory.”

And unlike some who believe Islam can undergo a reformation like Christianity, Yousef believes “Islam cannot be reformed” because at its core, it is based in tribal conflict and “the mentality of the 7th century.”

However, Middle Easterners are beginning to recognize the danger of ISIS because of the latter’s brutal treatment of fellow Muslims. Yousef says, “I think today, Middle Easterners see the enemy is within. They see ISIS. They see their brutality. Even the Palestinians in Gaza, they see the brutality of Hamas and their absolute control over their lives. And [for] the first time, they come to realize that this is the Islamic theory in action. This is the Islamic theory manifestation.”

See also:

~Éowyn

St. Stephen of Mar Saba (725-794)

St. Stephen of Mar Saba

Stephen of Mar Saba was the nephew of the great early Church Father, St. John Damascene, who was known in part for fighting the Iconoclast controversy that darkened the 8th century.  St. John introduced Stephen, when he was ten years of age, to the monastic life, wherein Stephen was taken to the monastery of Saint Sabas (Mar Saba) where he became a monk.

St. Stephen of Mar Saba Monastery, JerusalemThe St. Stephen of Mar Saba Monastery was established in the 5th century by St. Sabas (Mar Saba in Arabic), a monk from Turkey. The monastery hangs dramatically down the cliff edge of the Kidron Valley—the Valley that divides the Temple Mount and the Mt. of Olives in Jerusalem, and runs toward the Dead Sea. 

It was in this environment for the next 14 years of his life, that Stephen received his education and formation, wherein he was ordained a priest.  On one occasion when he was celebrating Mass, a brilliant light emanated from him, wherein he received the mystical favor that whatever specific intention he prayed for during the Eucharistic liturgy, that intention was granted.

Stephen was a talented individual who served the community earnestly, which included being a guest master.  He knew how to serve others and how to be hospitable.  He was also a valuable counselor.  At or about the age of 24, receiving a calling to prayer, silence and meditation, he requested of the abbot to live a hermit’s life.  The abbot granted his request, but qualified it requiring Stephen on the weekends to continue serving as a counselor, because he had invaluable “people” skills, a real social sense.  Stephen put this note, an actual “do not disturb sign,” on the door of his cell, “Forgive me, Fathers, in the name of the Lord, but please do not disturb me except on Saturdays and Sundays.” 

He, like St. Francis of Assisi, loved God’s creation, especially the animals.  The birds came to him as he fed them out of his hands, such as doves and starlings, and he fed the deer similarly.  Most noteworthy is the fact that he even had empathy and love for the black worms that crawled through his hermitage which motivated him to gather the worms into a spot where they would not be stepped on, so that they would be safe.

It is important and noteworthy that at the end of Stephen’s life, he reported that various cities, such as Gaza, were laid waste by the Saracens, which is another term used to describe the Muslim Caliphate under the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties.  Accordingly, many monks met their death/martyrdom.

A biographer wrote about Stephen, “Whatever help, spiritual or material, he was asked to give, he gave.  He received and honored all with the same kindness.  He possessed nothing and lacked nothing.  In total poverty he possessed all things.”

With respect and love,

Joan

Sources:  Franciscan Media; Catholic Online

Joseph’s example of forgiveness

joseph-forgives_brothers

Joseph Reassures His Brothers 

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

– Genesis 50:15-21

Joseph_reveals_himself_to_his_brothers_s


This is a perfect example of what St. Paul wrote approximately 1500 years later: 

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28

PS: I’m not just preaching to you, dear reader. I am preaching to me. We all suffer wrongs and need a reminder to forgive.

Iran is a terror threat to the Middle East, Latin America & USA

Dr. Eowyn:

Did you know that in 2010 in New York City, the heads of the New Black Panthers and Nation of Islam met secretly with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and forged an alliance against their common enemy — the white race?

P.S. To the bashers and mockers of conspiracy theories, here’s a real conspiracy!

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

Iranian and Western officials are in Lausanne, Switzerland rushing to reach a nuclear framework agreement by an end-of-month deadline, which means today.

It doesn’t help that an Iranian defector, a journalist who was a close media aide to Iran’s president and was present at the nuclear talks, said on television after his defection that the U.S. negotiation team is an advocate (“speaks for”) for Iran at the negotiation table.

And so it is with good reason that on March 29, 2015, in Jerusalem, newly reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran. More ominously, Netanyahu said that “Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East.” Referring to the unrest in Yemen, Netanyahu said that “While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake…

View original 1,939 more words

Weather Underground bomber unmasked — as city schoolteacher

The Weather Underground's work...

The Weather Underground’s work…

NY Post: The “bomb guru” for the terrorist group the Weather Underground never served a day in jail — but he did spend decades teaching in New York City classrooms, a new book reveals.

Ronald Fliegelman built explosives for the Weather Underground, a far-left group that launched a domestic bombing campaign in the 1960s and ’70s, including one explosion inside NYPD headquarters.

Bomb builder and school teacher Fliegelman

Bomb builder and school teacher Fliegelman

But when the group dissolved, Fliegelman managed to safely fade away into the square life. For 25 years, he worked as a public special-education teacher, retiring to a quiet life in Park Slope, Brooklyn, according to “Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence” (Penguin Press).

And he’s unapologetic about his past, according to author Bryan Burrough. “Ron is proud of what he did,” he told The Post.

The Weather Underground first organized in 1969 as a splinter of the Revolutionary Youth Movement within the ’60s protest group Students for a Democratic Society. Their members were mostly white and middle class, advocating the complete overthrow of the US government.

Obama buddy Bill Ayers

Obama buddy Bill Ayers

Under the leadership of co-founder Bill Ayers — who went on to become a University of Illinois professor whose political relationship with then-candidate Barack Obama was scrutinized during the 2008 presidential campaign — the group also pushed for a sexual revolution. Their slogan? “Smash monogamy.”

To achieve their goals, the militant group — popularly known as the Weathermen, derived from the Bob Dylan lyric, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” — embarked on a years-long bombing campaign, targeting places it considered pillars of US imperialism, capitalism, racism and anything contrary to their “ism” of choice: communism.

To protest the US invasion of Laos, for example, they bombed the Capitol Building in 1971. That same year, they targeted the headquarters of the state Department of Corrections in Albany for the deaths of 29 inmates during the Attica prison riot. They even busted LSD guru Dr. Timothy Leary out of a California jail and helped smuggle him to Algeria in 1970 — the same year they issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States.

“We believed Third World countries would rise up and cause crises that would bring down the industrialized West, and we believed it was going to happen tomorrow, or maybe the day after tomorrow,” a former Weatherman tells Burrough.

“The myth, and this is always Bill Ayers’ line, is that Weather never set out to kill people, and it’s not true — we did,” group member Howie Machtinger tells Burrough. “You know, policemen were fair game.”

Despite the tough talk, the group was already in crisis not long after its formation. On March 6, 1970, a bomb exploded prematurely inside a town house at 18 W. 11th St. in Greenwich Village. Three Weathermen were killed — the two building the bomb, Terry Robbins and Diana Oughton, and another, Ted Gold, who was entering the building.

If the Weathermen were going to wage a war, they needed to do so without killing their own members, Burrough notes. “No one knew what to do. I gave a thought to giving up, and I had a gun pulled on me and was told I was not leaving,” recalls Fliegelman.

The son of a Philadelphia doctor, Fliegelman got his start with Students for a Democratic Society, where he gained a reputation for being a technically proficient workaholic, once manually printing hundreds of leaflets when the mechanical printer broke down. “Fliegelman was the one person who knew how to strip down and reassemble guns, motorcycles and radios, who knew how to weld, who could fix almost anything,” writes Burrough.

fliegelman2

“Everyone was afraid of the stuff, for good reason,” Fliegelman says. “What we were dealing with was a group of intellectuals who didn’t know how to do anything with their hands. I did. I wasn’t afraid of it, I knew it could be handled.”

After the Village town-house explosion, Weather Underground founding member Jeff Jones summoned Fliegelman to a meeting in Central Park. “You either know how to build something or you don’t,” Fliegelman says. “[Jones] said, ‘Well, what do we do?’ And I said, ‘This can never happen again. I’ll take care of it.’ And I did.”

From that day on, Fliegelman spent hundreds of hours studying explosives. “When you’re young and you’re confident, you can do anything. So, yeah, you play with it, and try to build something. The timer is the whole thing, right? It’s just electricity going into the blasting cap,” he says.

“Eventually, I came up with a thing where I inserted a lightbulb, and when the bulb lit, the circuit was complete, and we were able to test things that way. If the light came on, it worked. The rest of it is simple.”

Members recognized his contribution. One member described him as possessing “a Santa Claus twinkle in his eye that inspired confidence.” “Without him,” former Weatherman Brian Flanagan tells Burrough, “there would be no Weather Underground.” From then on, Fliegelman says, he built most of the group’s bombs, even jetting off to the San Francisco Bay Area to help members there. “Maybe they did two or three things without me,” he tells Burrough. “But I doubt it.”

Weather Underground also bombed the Pentagon

Weather Underground also bombed the Pentagon

His first attack, in 1970, was the most nerve-racking. And why not? They were going inside NYPD headquarters. “That first one was the scariest,” Fliegelman recalls. “Going into a public building, there was security, and you had to get past it. We had people who did the casings. We needed people who wouldn’t be noticed, so they went in dressed like lawyers. Still, I was scared. Very scared. We knew if we did this, they would come after us.”

But things went smoothly. “It wasn’t like they had metal detectors back then. There was just a guy at the desk, and we walked right past him,” Fliegelman tells Burrough.

The bomb — created in an apartment on quaint Amity Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn — had a simple design: 15 sticks of dynamite attached to a Westclox alarm clock bought at a RadioShack. The device, hidden in a hollowed-out law book, was placed above a ceiling tile in a second-floor bathroom at the Centre Street building, about 125 feet from Commissioner Howard Leary’s office.

At 6:40 p.m. on June 9, a warning was called in, and 17 minutes later, the bomb exploded, destroying two walls and blasting a 20-by-40-foot hole in the floor.

Mayor John Lindsay promised a “relentless” investigation, but that didn’t slow down Fliegelman, who built the bomb that blasted a toilet in the Corrections offices in Albany, Burrough writes.

“Tonight we attacked the head offices of the New York State Department of Corrections,” the group boasted afterwards. “We must continue to make the Rockefellers, Oswalds, Reagans and Nixons pay for their crimes. We only wish we could do more to show the courageous prisoners at Attica, San Quentin and the other 20th-century slave ships that they are not alone in their fight for the right to live.”

Fliegelman’s memory gets hazy when asked about the Capitol bombing of 1971. He says he “believes” he built the device placed in the first-floor men’s room near the Senate, which caused about $300,000 in damage, according to Burrough. And he says he can’t remember whether he built the bomb that went off in a fourth-floor rest room at the Pentagon in 1972 in retaliation for US raids in Hanoi.

Burrough says Ayers, in his memoir, “Fugitive Days,” refers to Fliegelman’s involvement in the Pentagon caper, calling him by the pseudonym “Aaron.”

“Aaron was the backbone of the group — entirely committed and trustworthy, hardworking and dependable . . . A guy we all believed could easily survive in the Australian Outback or the Siberian wilderness for weeks with nothing but a pocket knife . . . The model middle cadre,” Ayers writes.

The group began to dissolve after a peace accord was signed to end the Vietnam War in 1973, and four years later, it was defunct. By then, Fliegelman was living with fellow Weatherman Cathy Wilkerson, a bomb-maker in her own right.

The two had a daughter and split up. Fliegelman, meanwhile, simply returned to his parents’ home in Philadelphia, working at a school for troubled children, abandoning his bomb-making ways as easily as a snake sheds its skin. “For me, it was really seamless,” he tells Burrough. “No one — the FBI, no one — ever came looking for me.”

Fliegelman was among 13 Weathermen indicted on charges of conspiring to commit bombings and assassinations, but the indictment was dropped in 1973 by the Justice Department in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that barred the use of electronic surveillance without a court order. Fliegelman was underground at the time and never arrested, Burrough notes.

There’s a five-year statute of limitations on most federal crimes except for murder, so by the time he began working for the city in 1983, Fliegelman didn’t have to look over his shoulder.

He started as a special-education teacher at PS 54 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and later taught at PS 305, also in Bed-Stuy, according to the Department of Education. He retired in 2006. Now 70 years old, Fliegelman collected $40,035 in pension last year, according to public records.

His life now appears to have taken on all the trappings of the leisure class. On Thursday, he was seen walking a small white dog in idyllic Park Slope before climbing into a Subaru Forester SUV.

Approached by The Post, Fliegelman, who wears a neat ponytail, said: “What happened 40 years ago is different from what’s going on today. War was a big thing. It was on TV every night. You don’t know that with the Iraqi war, the Afghanistan war. There was the draft, as well.”

Asked whether he considered himself a terrorist, he said: “Did you ever notice how many people were hurt by our bombs? People were not hurt by our bombs.”

DCG

Paging Code Pink: Troops from 10th Mountain Division heading to Iraq this summer

Stars and Stripes: Troops from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division will be headed to Iraq later this year, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Monday.

About 1,250 soldiers from the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., will deploy in August or September to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces as they battle the Islamic State. The deployment will last nine months, according to Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesman for the 10th Mountain Division.

Deploying members of the unit will replace soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division.

DCG