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Books by Tom Kovach

Dec 2006
Slingshot

Aug 2008
Tribulation: 2008

About the author

Tom Kovach lives near Nashville, is a former USAF Blue Beret, and has written for several online publications. In December of 2006, he published his first book, Slingshot. Tom's second book, Tribulation: 2008, was released in August of 2008.

Tom is also
an inventor, a horse wrangler, a certified paralegal, and a former network talk-show host. (He would like to lauch another talk show -- perhaps on your station.)

One highlight of Tom's career in the Air Force was serving on a protection detail for US President Ronald Reagan. Tom has also run for Congress (and might run again).

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Thursday, 25 December 2008, at 1620 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

"Christmas" versus The Christ

Five years ago, I wrote a column that sought to "rescue" Christmas from commercialism and secularism.  The column was called "The hijacking of Christmas".  My hope was to help return our society to a more reverent view of Christmas.  Little did I realize at the time that the research I began would lead me down a much different path than originally expected.

I have come to realize that it is impossible to rescue Christmas from secularism, and make it more reverent, because Christmas (at least, as we know it in modern times) is actually opposed to Christianity!  The details of my follow-up research can be viewed in a two-part column series called "Christmas needs an extreme makeover".

Don't get me wrong.  I would love for it to be true.  The world certainly needs all of the things that Christmas purports to promote:  peace, love, joy, harmony, and hope.  But, how can we have those things, which come from God, if we pervert the very worship of the God that provides those things?

Even the very day selected to purportedly celebrate the birth of Jesus is actually an insult to God.  The pagans of ancient Rome used the 25th of December to celebrate the Feast of the Invincible Sun.  That was a leftover from Mesopotamian sun-god worship.  The sun god of Mesopotamia was named Baal.  Yes, you read correctly.  We celebrate the birth of the Son of God on a day that was dedicated to the worship of the arch-enemy of God.

Many of my columns tend to "go long".  So, for those of you that prefer the "short version", this column is intended to condense five years of research and spiritual transition into some bite-sized chunks that most people can easily digest.  Hopefully, you will soon be able to see just how far away from God the celebration of modern Christmas really is.

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Christmas custom says:  Put up lights to "help the Wise Men find their way", and to show the world that we are celebrating Jesus.  Hold contests to see who has the "best" lights.

The Holy Bible says:  Jesus is "the light of the world".  (John 1:9 and 8:12)  He needs no other light.  Regarding those pesky competitions, "... what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God."  (Luke 16:15)  Besides, have you ever noticed that the organizations that sponsor those Christmas lighting contests are usually the local chamber of commerce and the local electric company?  Hmmmmmm.

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Christmas custom says:  We must spend lots of money, so that "the children" will have a "good Christmas".

The Holy Bible says:  "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."  (1st Timothy 6:10)  Teaching young children to expect something for free is merely teaching them the same "entitlement mentality" that is now bankrupting our national economy.  Santa Claus is the ultimate welfare sugar-daddy.  (Besides, within a week, half of those toys will likely be broken.  The owners of big retail chains are the ones that have a "good Christmas" when the masses spend lots of money.  Just like Leftist politicians, the retailers hide behind myths and children to bilk most of the public out of their money.)

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Christmas custom says:  Put up an evergreen tree as a place for family gathering, as a sign of everlasting life, and just for fun.

The Holy Bible says:  "You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree."  (Deuteronomy 12:2; see also:  Isaiah 57:5)  Christmas trees are pagan ... period!

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Christmas custom says:  Christmas is about peace on Earth.  Even people that are not Christians can celebrate Christmas.

The Holy Bible says:  "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."  (Matthew 11:27)  "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"  (John 14:6)  Modern people that call themselves Christians seem all too eager to compromise the exclusivity of Jesus and His divinity.  As famous author Josh McDowell put it, "He is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord."  In his classic book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, McDowell then disproves the first two assertions, and proves the third, by a vast array of logical and historical examinations.  How dare we bring Jesus low by saying that "anyone" can celebrate Him?

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The exclusivity and divinity of Jesus was so highly regarded in the early days of Christianity that church doors were guarded.  At a certain point in the worship service, the leader would call for all those that had not been baptized to leave, lest they might even look upon the elements of Holy Communion!  (The original purpose of ushers was to make sure that those non-Christian people would actually leave — not to help them find a seat on the way in.  They would've been considered "church bouncers" in our modern terminology.  The tradition is preserved in the text of the Divine Liiturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, which is routinely celebrated in Orthodox churches -- but, ususally without actually barring the doors shut.  Alas.)  Contrast that with how casually most Christians treat the things of God now.

In ancient times, it was expected that people would consider the Christian faith, and examine it, and be trained in it, for up to a year before even being allowed to make a decision toward baptism.  Such strict discipline was needed to prevent converts from bringing their pagan customs into Christianity and infecting it.  Eventually, people began to relax the rules, and the infection began.

Look how far we have fallen.  Churches actually promote the incorporation of Santa Claus (a.k.a.:  Satan Lucas) into formal worship services at this time of year.  Some churches do the same with elves, which were originally pagan Germanic demi-gods.  I believe it is no coincidence that Santa wears a red suit, and the color of Communism is red.  (And, another group that wore red suits were the Edomites, whom King Saul of Israel failed to "utterly destroy" as commanded by God.  Their name means "red people".)  Santa promotes the welfare mentality, which must become widespread in order for Communism to take over a successful capitalist country from within.  (And, if you don't think that is happening right now here in the United States, then you simply haven't been paying attention.)  There is a significant parallel between Communism and Islam.  Both are totalitarian, both are at war with Christianity, and both require lies and misery in order to come in and "fix" the situation.  When a dumbed-down populace sits around and waits for their next welfare check from Santa Government, then that populace is ripe to be picked by totalitarian thugs.  (And, if you don't think that a Communist-funded version of Islamic Law is about to take over America, just wait until after the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama.)

When a country abandons God, and turns their back upon His Son, then they put themselves into danger.  One of the ways that we have shown our disdain for the truth of the Holy Bible, and our abandonment of "the word made flesh" in Jesus, is by injecting a pagan celebration into our Christian faith, and then allowing that celebration to mold our doctrines.  It is a theological case of a cart pushing the horse.

What will we do to stop the revolt of Christmas versus The Christ?

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And, in other "Christmas" news...

Santa killed a family in California.

-------------------------

While the world sits "fat, dumb, and happy" full of turkey and ham, the Islamists are relentlessly working toward a total takeover of the Holy Land.  Recent rocket attacks by Hamas upon Israel broke the truce, and produced a diplomatic standoff with Israel's neighbors.  Not only does the "lamestream" news media continue to describe the so-called West Bank (which is really the ancient lands of Judea and Samaria) as belonging to the Palestinians (who are really the descendants of the ancient Philistines, and are called Filistin in Arabic; therefore, I shall call them what they are:  Philistines!), but the media also ignores the obvious signals of Islamist takeover intentions.  For example, in remarks that were soon edited out of online Associated Press reports, Philistine president Mahmoud Abbas said, "Come to the ocean of peace that starts from Mauritania and ends in Indonesia."  That is Islamist code-speak.  It means "join the Islamic world".  It comes from the Islamic belief in "dar es salaam" — the so-called "house of peace", which means all that are members of the Islamic faith.  All that are not believers in Islam are regarded as members of the "house of war".  Therefore, what the Philistine president was really saying was that all Israeli citizens should become Muslim!

That would be the Islamists' version of "peace on Earth" at this time of year.

-------------------------

In another news report, amateur science buffs are now engaging in genetic experiments to produce new life forms.  I think it is no accident that the news media waited until Christmas to release this information.  (That way, they could not be accused of totally "suppressing" the information.  They simply published it at a time when the fewest number of people would be reading the news.)  The news story makes it clear that such experiments have been going on for some time, as there are not only companies but also amateur associations quoted as having been active in promoting this activity.

So, again, while everyone is focusing on pagan-inspired sins associated with so-called "Christmas" — such as greed, gaudiness, and gluttony — the forces of evil are at work tinkering with the basic elements of God's design for life.  Although the Holy Bible is technically silent on when Jesus was born, that is because the clues were readily understood in ancient times.  Those clues indicate that Jesus was actually born during the annual Passover celebration.  But, regardless of when Jesus was born, what a horrible contrast this news presents.  On the one hand, the very Author of Life volunteered to take on human flesh in order to save us from our sinful ways, and arrived on Earth in the form of a newborn baby.  On the other hand, created beings are experimenting with trying to create entirely new forms of beings, but have no real understanding of their actions.  Jesus came "that you may have life, and have it more abundantly".  If those "scientists" (some of whom do not even have a degree in biology) make a mistake, it could unleash destructive diseases upon the Earth.  What a coincidence that the Bible predicts that a plague will kill one-third of the people on Earth during the latter part of The Tribulation, which I believe has already started.

--------------------------------

So, even the news reports indicate that Christmas is at war versus The Christ.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008, at 0011 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Blagojevich -- the two-tiger theory

News reports recently revealed the details of clandestine audio recordings by the FBI of deal-making conversations in the political scandal du-jour involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his alleged attempts to sell the US Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Here's where it gets strange.

One of the people named as a possible Obama replacement is Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.  She is the one prosecuting Blagojevich for corruption and possible impeachment.  (And, in a truly bizarre twist, Blagojevich recently asked her to appoint his defense lawyer as a deputy attorney general.)

This reminds me of a children's story with a now-politically-incorrect name.  The story had a moral that applies.  A young boy is confronted by tigers, who demand his clothes as extortion in return for not eating him.  He gives up the clothes.  But, then, the tigers fight among each other.  They chase each other around a tree -- faster, faster, faster -- until they turn into melted butter.  Then, the boy picks up his clothes and walks away.

Questions have come up regarding the timing of the original news conference that revealed the Federal investigation into the Blagojevich-Obama scandal.  Now, the tapes reveal that the state's attorney general was one of the people being considered to replace Obama in the US Senate.  Certainly, the United States Attorney for the Chicago area would be well acquainted with the Illinois Attorney General.   Some have questioned whether the revelation of this investigation -- prior to the inauguration, and prior to any seat-sale deal being consummated -- was timed to protect Obama.  But, with the new revelation that Attorney General Madigan was being considered to replace Obama, one must wonder whether one powerful government attorney might have pulled the lid off the investigation before another powerful government attorney got caught by a mousetrap in the cookie jar.

And, will this new fact enable Gov. Blagojevich to watch all the government lawyers chase each other around a tree, and turn to butter, so that he can pick up his "emperor's new clothes" and walk back into the governor's office without a scratch?

Monday, 22 December 2008, at 2204 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

NASA has four PHAs this Hanukkah

For those that have not read my latest book, nor my other columns on this topic, a PHA is a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.  That is an object in outer space that has the potential for striking Earth and causing damage.  This year, during the eight days of Hanukkah, there are four PHAs in the NASA Near-Earth Object database.

This is significant because, as two of my recent columns explained, the Bible makes a clear prediction that Damascus will be destroyed.  Further, that destruction is linked by historical events to the Jewish festival of Hanukkah (Hebrew for "dedication").  I believe that God will use an asteroid strike to destroy Damascus; and, that He will do it during Hanukkah.  As events unfold, signs seem to point with increasing clarity to the destruction occurring during this year's eight-day Hanukkah festival, which has already begun.

Just today, a follow-up news report from WorldNetDaily announced that Syria is now demanding that Israel give up the Golan Heights as a token for merely starting any further "peace" negotiations.  Not only is the Golan region a strategic high ground, but it is also part of the Biblical territory of ancient Israel.  Therefore, Syria's request not only disrespects the modern Israeli government, but it also disrespects God.

Just today, NASA placed three more asteroids in their NEO database for the Hanukkah timeframe.  Each of them was discovered less than 24 hours before publication of this column.  None of the three new asteroids is designated as "potentially hazardous", even though Asteroid YQ2 has an average estimated miss distance that is very close to that of Asteroid EV5, which is PHA designated.  The new additions bring the total to ten asteroids that will pass astronomically "near" Earth during this year's Hanukkah.  Of those ten, four are designated as potentially hazardous.  (They are:  EV5, LV3, UX34, and AC5.)

Earlier today, I sent my prior columns on this topic to several media outlets and government agencies — both Stateside and overseas, especially in the Middle East.  So far, not one of those recipients has replied.  And, site traffic numbers do not show any noticeable increase.  Therefore, it seems that my warnings are being ignored.  As this blog shows, the Bible makes clear that most of the people in Damascus will ignore a warning.  I've tried.

I find it more than coincidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad chose today to announce a harsher stance regarding potential peace negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.  This is so parallel to the hardness of heart shown by King Ahaz of Judah, and by Governor Antiochus IV of Assyria, both of whom angered Yehowah (the "proper name" of the One True God) by making pagan sacrifices in the Temple of God in Jerusalem.  And, this hardness of heart by President Assad, if extended to the idea of ignoring a warning about a Bible prediction of an asteroid strike against his capital city, could lead to the needless deaths of many thousands of his citizens.  And, by ignoring the warning, President Assad is behaving in a manner parallel to Pharaoh Rameses II of Egypt.  Most everyone on Earth knows that ignoring the warning from Moses did not turn out well for Rameses and his country.

For the record, I sent my previous two columns on this topic to news agencies in Damascus, Jerusalem, and London.  I also sent the information to government agencies of Syria (via their embassy in Washington), Israel (via their embassy in Washington), and the United States.  Over the past five-plus years, I've written on a number of difficult and controversial topics.  I have never even been sued, much less forced to withdraw any of my columns.  That is despite having ruffled some high-level feathers.  For example:  proving that the FBI created a phony paper trail in order to cover up the true cause of the downing of TWA Flight 800 twelve years ago.  I value my credibility.  I would not toss it into the wind.  Therefore, I urge readers to examine the statements made in these blogs and to consider forwarding my warning to people living in the Damascus area.

The scientific facts are lining up with the Bible prediction.  This includes "signs in the sun, moon, and stars".  Who will heed the warnings?

Saturday, 20 December 2008, at 0123 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Does diplomatic deal drive Damascus destruction?

Shortly after I wrote the recent column, "Divine deadline for destruction of Damascus?", a news story in WorldNetDaily reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is negotiating with Syrian President Bashar Assad to work out a foreign-policy "legacy deal".  In an apparent attempt to pursue "peace in our time", Olmert seems intent on brokering an Israeli retreat from the strategic Golan Heights.  I believe this would be an error "of truly Biblical proportions".

Bible prophecies make clear that, during the End Times, Israel will occupy the borders that God established in ancient times.  Those borders mostly affect modern-day Syria, and include the current Syrian capital of Damascus.  As I wrote recently, the Bible says that Damascus will be utterly destroyed from being a city.  The language of the 17th chapter of Isaiah implies that the destruction will be sudden.  I believe that the destruction will be caused by an asteroid strike.  Such an act would carry a "divine signature".  It would also make people wonder about the reason.  This column attempts to explain the "why" behind the destruction of Damascus, based upon clues from the Bible and from history.

The previous column referenced above explains the links between the ancient Assyrian occupation of Israel, the pagan sacrifice in the Hebrew Temple by the occupying commander (Antiochus Epiphanes), the miracle of Hanukkah, and the eventual destruction of Damascus.  But, is there more to God's anger than "merely" having a pig sacrificed upon His altar by pagan Antiochus?  Yes.  As bad as that insult was to God, something else happened.  And, that something else is remarkably parallel to the current plans of Prime Minister Olmert to give away the Golan.

That "something else" can also be described as "something worse", and it is recorded in the Bible in 2nd Kings 16:1-20.  The reason that it is worse is because the pagan sacrifice of Antiochus was made by a foreigner.  But, when a king of Judah removed the required items of God from the Temple in Jerusalem, in order to make room for an altar to a foreign god, that was even worse, because he should have known better.  King Ahaz had a bad record regarding his spiritual life, as we shall now examine.

In verse three of the above-cited chapter, we learn that King Ahaz "even made his son pass through the fire".  That is Bible language for offering a child sacrifice to the demon idol Molech.  (There is a spiritual connection between political power, abortion money, genetic experimentation, and sacrifice to Molech.)  And, the same verse expands the concept by making clear that Ahaz killed his own son "according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had driven out from before the sons of Israel". In other words, Ahaz practiced "appeasement diplomacy" by adopting the spiritual ways of the enemy, and thus insulted the One True God.   But, wait, it gets even worse.

Not long after the reign of King David, the nation of Israel had become divided.  The northern kingdom was the land of the "ten tribes", while the southern kingdom was the land of the tribe of Judah.  (The twelfth tribe was the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe.  They had no tribal lands of their own, and were thus scattered to serve among the other tribes.)  In addition to fighting the enemy nations that surrounded them, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah began to fight each other.  King Ahaz found himself in such a situation, and his response to that situation earned him (and his nation) the wrath of God.

The northern kingdom came to be called Samaria, after its capital.  The king of Samaria at that time was Pekah.  He had made an alliance with the king of Aram, and they jointly attacked the land of Judah.  In a diplomatic end-run, King Ahaz then made an alliance with the king of Assyria, whose name was Tiglath-Pileser.  (His name means, "Thou will uncover the wonderful bond".  Keep that in mind.)  In order to secure the alliance, King Ahaz took gold and silver out of the treasury of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, and gave it to King Tiglath-Pileser.  Now, here is where the story gets bumpy.

The city of Damascus was (and still is) the capital of the kingdom of Aram (also known as Syria; the language is Aramaic).  After the Judean-Assyrian alliance defeated the Samarian-Aramean alliance, the two winning kings met in Damascus.  There, King Ahaz saw a large altar to the pagan gods of Damascus.  King Ahaz sent instructions to Urijah the priest to build a duplicate altar at the Temple in Jerusalem.  Verse 15 documents two important points.  First, Ahaz commanded Urijah to burn regular sacrifices upon this new altar to another god.  Second, Ahaz reserved the use of the bronze altar to God "for me to inquire by".

You might ask, "So what?"  The answer is, "Plenty."

According to the laws of God, as passed down to the Levite priests in the book of Leviticus (and thus known as the Levitical Law), only prophets and priests were allowed to inquire of God.  A king could only make direct inquiry to God if that king were also a prophet (as was King David).  Otherwise, it was forbidden for a king to inquire of God.  The king was required to ask a prophet, and the prophet could then ask directly of God.  Despite having just built an altar to a foreign god in the Temple of Yehowah (the "proper name" of the One True God), King Ahaz still wanted to make direct inquiry to God via the bronze altar.  In modern terms, King Ahaz would be considered a "universalist", who hedges his spiritual bets by worshipping every god that he can think of.  Such practice is very insulting to the One True God.  But, wait, it gets even worse.

Not only did Ahaz build a foreign altar in the court of the Temple of God, but he also later moved and defiled other items in the Temple court that were dedicated to God.  He put the foreign altar on the north side of the Temple.  (The north side is considered holy to God the Father.  The east side is holy to the Messiah — whom Christians believe is God the Son, namely Yeshua [Jesus].)  Ahaz also took the bronze Sea (where the priests performed ritual washings) off its custom-made stand (four bronze oxen), and "put it on a pavement of stone".  In other words, he brought it low.  If an occupying foreign king had done such acts, it could at least be understood in terms of psychological warfare.  But, because an Israelite king did it, it can only be understood in terms of spiritual and national treason.

So, kings have defiled the Temple of God twice.  Once was by a treasonous Israelite king (before the Babylonian exile), and the other was by an arrogant pagan king (during the "inter-Testamental period", after the return from Babylon, but before the birth of Jesus).  Both of the defilements were caused by the worship of foreign idols that had been previously worshipped in Damascus.  In both cases, these defilements led to much bloodshed.  (Ahaz begot Hezekiah, whose weak foreign policies mimicked those of his father.  That eventually led to the Babylonian captivity.  The defilement by Antiochus led to the Maccabean Revolt.)  Further, in the early days of Christianity, the Sanhedrin issued a written order (given to Saul of Tarsus) to kill all of the Christians living in Damascus.  Apparently, the Sanhedrin had "agents in place" that would assist Saul upon his arrival there.  (Otherwise, why would Saul have needed a written order?)  Therefore, God has three long-standing reasons to be angry toward Damascus.

But, wait, there's more.

Fast-forward to modern times, and the plans of Prime Minister Olmert to give away the hard-won Israeli territory in the Golan.  The plan is to give away the Golan to neighboring Syria, whose capital is Damascus.  Israel captured the Golan in the Six-Day War, and that victory is considered part of God's miraculous protection of Israel.  And, now, Israel wants to give away this strategic high ground?!  That certainly sounds like a fourth insult toward God.

The prophet Amos wrote, "Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron."  (Amos 1:3)  The language of the verse indicates that the fourth transgression is separated from the other three.  As the paragraph above shows, the first three transgressions were committed in ancient Israel, before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.  The fourth transgression takes place after Israel was revived in 1948.  God has sealed the destruction of Damascus; it will happen.  The only question is when.  My previous column on this topic suggests that it will happen during Hanukkah, possibly this year.

As it turns out, the connection to Hanukkah goes not only through Antiochus, but also through Ahaz.  How?  In 2nd Kings 16:18, we read that Ahaz "... removed the Sabbath pavilion which they had built in the temple, and he removed the king's outer entrance from the house of the Lord, on account of the king of Assyria."  In my previous column, I pointed out that this area, known as Solomon's Portico, was the very place where Jesus told the Jews plainly that He is the promised Messiah.  When the Temple was later refurbished under Nehemiah, after the return from Babylon, he apparently repaired the damage that Ahaz had done.  But, there is still the matter of the insult to God's authority.

What about the people living in Damascus now?  Do they bear responsibility for the sins of generations long past, or for the actions of their current government?  Should they face destruction for things beyond their control?

Perhaps these columns will be used, in this age of instantaneous global communication, to warn those living in Damascus of the impending destruction.  God did the same for the people of Nineveh, and they avoided destruction by repenting.  But, this destruction was foretold thousands of years ago.  The only difference is that now, with the fourth transgression currently in progress, the people of Damascus have a slight degree of advance warning.

Is there any proof that God provides advance warning to the people of Damascus?  Yes.  Jeremiah 49:23-27 says, "Against Damascus. 'Hamath and Arpad are shamed, For they have heard bad news. They are fainthearted; There is trouble on the sea; It cannot be quiet. Damascus has grown feeble; She turns to flee, And fear has seized her. Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.  Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?  Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, And all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,' says the Lord of hosts.  'I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, And it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.'"

The fact that the sea "cannot be quiet" indicates a natural disaster, as opposed to the Israeli nuclear strike opined by Hal Lindsey.  God asks why the city is not deserted, indicating that He expects them to flee in response to a warning.  He says that the destruction will occur "in that day", meaning that it will be sudden.  All of these points are consistent with an asteroid strike.
It is also interesting that God refers to Damascus as the "city of My joy".  Why?  Keep in mind that Saul of Tarsus became a Christian on the road to Damascus.  He was cared for by the very people that he was sent there to kill.  He changed his name to Paul, and became the greatest evangelist in the history of the Christian faith.  And, to this day, the headquarters of the Antiochian Orthodox Church is there in Damascus ... on a street called Straight.  (Paul stayed in the house of Ananias, in Damascus, on a street called Straight.)  Therefore, my belief is that God is sending a warning to the people of Damascus, so that the Christians and Jews can escape the coming destruction.  Sadly, the same text that confirms that such a warning will go out also confirms that many will ignore it.

The same happened in Sodom.

What will happen after the destruction of Damascus?  The areas south and east of there "will be for flocks, and no one will make them afraid".  That rules out a nuclear strike, because lingering radiation would kill flocks of sheep.  I believe the impact of an asteroid will have some dramatic effects that will benefit Israel.  Her borders will be increased, thus returning to their Biblical place.  (And, in a dramatic expression of divine authority, also doing the exact opposite of the Olmert land legacy deal.)  I believe that there will be other benefits to Israel.  I have described one such benefit to a high-level business executive in a private e-mail.  I do not have money to invest in his stock right now.  Perhaps that is a good thing, lest anyone accuse me of writing these words for money.  (See Acts 8:14-25 and 16:16-24)

Think back now to the name of the ancient Assyrian king with whom Ahaz made a deal.  His name means "Thou will uncover the wonderful bond".  What was that bond?  Was it a deal, made with the treasures of God?  If so, it only seems logical that the deal was for Ahaz and Tiglath-Pileser to divide the conqureed kingdom of Aram.  And, if that's true, then the dividing line would essentially return the border of Israel to where it had existed under King David.  Going in the direction of Assyria (on a modern map, eastern Syria and western Iraq), that border would be the Euphrates River.  That would greatly increase the "security zone" for Israel's population centers, provide them with more open land ("for flocks"), and provide Israel with new lands for oil drilling.  The only obstacle is the government of modern Syria.  But, if an asteroid destroys Damascus, then Israel can reclaim the lands of the "wonderful bond" that was purchased from Assyria by King Ahaz with God's treasure from the Temple in Jerusalem.  And, after seeing the capital of Syria wiped out by an asteroid, what nation would be foolish enough to dare dispute a claim enforced by God?

I am absolutely convinced that God will destroy Damascus at Hanukkah.  The only question that remains is whether it will be the Hanukkah that starts in a few days, or will it be another one in the next few years?  Bible history tells us that God sends warnings just in time.  It is always plenty of time, as long as it is heeded promptly.  In these days of Internet communication, cell phones, automobiles, and modern highways, there would be no need for God to send a warning months in advance.  A few days should be all that are necessary.  And, as it turns out, Hanukkah starts in a few days.

I hope that Prime Minister Olmert reads this, and thinks twice about giving away the Golan.  His political ambitions seem to carry more effect than he might have realized.  It seems to me that his daring diplomatic deal is driving the divine destruction of Damascus.

Thursday, 18 December 2008, at 0436 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Arctic oil BOOM, or cosmic quake?

In a recent blog entry, Divine deadline for destruction of Damascus?, I mentioned that I would soon write more about the possibility that comet debris could contaminate one-third of the waters of Earth.  Such contamination would fulfill the Bible prophecy that describes the blowing of the first of the famed Seven Trumpets described in the eighth chapter of Revelation.  Although the information available is sketchy, it appears that the event may have occurred.

Back in October, to describe how debris from a comet could fulfill the prophecy of the first trumpet, I wrote God does not slumber.  That entry contained NASA charts that show how Earth can pass through the debris trail of a comet that has crossed Earth's orbital path.  I also described that NASA did not discover the approach a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid until only a few hours before it came only 37,000 miles from Earth.  (In the world of astronomy, that is a very close shave.)  That asteroid could have knocked bits of debris from the trail of Comet Boattini/Barnard down to Earth.  Some might think that such a scenario is a high degree of speculation on my part.

Oh, yeah?  Well, explain this.

In the icy waters off the northern coast of Siberia, on the 23rd of November, there was a concentration of nine magnitude-five earthquakes in a single day.  Those earthquakes occurred at a point where the continental shelf drops down to the deep ocean floor.  What caused those seismic events?

USGS graphic of Arctic quake events

USGS graphic of quake cluster off the Siberian coast

(What caused nine Mag-5 quakes in a single day?)

Another blogger has suggested that Russia actually detonated several nuclear bombs at the bottom of the ocean, in an attempt to shake loose a deep oil deposit.  But, I could not find any evidence to support that scenario.  (Nor could I find any evidence to negate it.)  Although that might seem like a foolhardy scenario, keep in mind that we are talking about a country that runs truck engines all winter long on vodka.  And, we are talking about the country that produced "Tzar Bomba" -- the largest man-made explosion in history.  The seismic wave from the Tzar Bomba blast completely circled Earth three times!  (Not to throw stones from a glass house, keep in mind that our own country has done some rather foolish things in the name of science -- including the Tuskeegee Experiment and the MK-Ultra program.)  So, admittedly, I cannot rule out the possibility that Russia would risk creating a massive tsunami and geological instability in a pursuit of potential petroleum.

But...

The location, concentration, intensity, and timing of these seismic events suggest to me another possibility.  And, that possibility is "fueled" by an idea that I wrote about several years ago.  What if this cluster of nine earthquakes was caused by ... comet dust?  Absurd, you say?  Read on.

If the impact of an asteroid with air can produce a 1.8-kiloton explosion (equal to a tactical nuclear weapon, and one-seventh the size of the bomb that flattened much of Hiroshima), then what could happen if comet debris landed in the ocean, fell to the bottom, and then was ignited by an undersea volcano?  The answer to that question would, of course, depend upon the chemical makeup of the comet debris.

The possibility of such an intense reaction is suggested by, of all things, my work to uncover the cause of the downing of TWA Flight 800.  Among other things, it turned out that metal-alloy shrapnel found in the bodies of the Flight 800 crash victims is consistent with highly-specialized oxidizer pellets used in missile warheads to intensify the explosive effects.  What if the comet debris at the bottom of the ocean contains a compound that has the same explosive-enhancing effects as the oxidizer pellets used in missile warheads?  What if the comet debris fell to Earth back in October, struck the polar ice off the Siberian coast, melted through, and then settled upon the ocean floor?  What if, a few weeks later, an undersea volcano (not an unusual event at the border of a continental shelf) ignited the debris that was lying dormant there?  What if, upon being ignited by the volcano, the compound produced such an undersea explosion (actually, a series of explosions) that it was registered as nine separate earthquakes by United States Geological Survey seismographs located thousands of miles away?  And, what if, after detonation, that dormant compound changed into something so toxic that it could contaminate one-third of Earth's total water supply?  (For an example of how a chemical compound can change after detonation, I again rely upon the research done on the Flight 800 disaster.  Military-grade conventional explosives leave a distinctive residue called PETN, which was found on the beams of the Flight 800 wreckage.)

Not only does the above scenario follow a logical progression, but it also matches the Biblical description of the events that follow the sounding of the first of the Seven Trumpets.  As my book, Tribulation:  2008 reveals in detail, I believe that the seven-year Tribulation period started this past September, on the Hebrew Feast of Trumpets.  According to a variety of signs (some of them astronomical, and thus beyond human control), I believe that the angel blew the first trumpet in Heaven at the same time that the first trumpet was blown in Jerusalem to begin this Feast of the Lord.  The prophecy in Revelation 8:7 uses distinctive language -- not used in any of the other prophecies of the trumpets -- that a series of events followed the blowing of the trumpet.  The original Greek word used suggests events unfolding over a period of time.

Regardless of whether the undersea explosions were caused by comet debris, or by Russian nuclear weapons, the question remains whether the trigger for the seismic events produced any toxic effects upon the waters.  If it did, then it matches the description of Revelation 8:7.  As for me, I'm leaning in the direction of comet debris, because it follows a logical progression from the near-pass by Comet Boattini/Barnard back in October.  That event matched, to the day, the Biblical formula for the decompression of time between Heaven and Earth, as explained in my book.  What are the chances that such an event could match -- in precise detail, including the day of its arrival -- descriptions predicted almost two thousand years prior by a fisherman living alone on a Greek island?  The only explanation that makes logical sense is that John's prophecies in Revelation are true to the N-th degree, and that they are now unfolding before our eyes.

Besides, I believe that another Bible-predicted event will be connected to a nuclear disaster.  Keep in mind that the Ukrainian word for Wormwood happens to be chernobyl.  Hmmmmm.

With all of these facts in mind, were the Arctic undersea events a Russian "oil boom", or were they cosmic quakes?

Monday, 08 December 2008, at 2350 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Is CBS trying to kill "The Unit"?

Most of my writing is about very serious topics.  But, this one falls into the category of "Fun Stuff".  Regular readers know, however, that I even take my fun quite seriously.

Having grown up during "The Golden Age of Television", I've reached a point in life where I don't watch many TV programs.  Most of them are either "fluff", or are poor attempts to portray serious situations.  One program, 24, takes itself far too seriously.  (It used to be a good program.  But, the writers began giving Jack Bauer almost supernatural abilities.  It became "obvious" fiction, although the show's biggest success was built upon realism.)

There are only two shows left on TV that I watch regularly:  NCIS and The Unit.  My list previously included JAG (created by Donald Bellisario, who created the spin-off NCIS) and The Agency.  In the case of JAG, they went out at the top of their game after ten years on television.  It survives in syndication, and probably will for a long time.  The classic Magnum: PI (another Bellisario creation) remained in syndication for twenty years after its eight years as an active TV series.  (There has been occasional talk of a JAG movie or a reunion special.  Attention, producers:  I have a sample script available, if you'd like to read it.)

The plight of The Agency was far different.  Like the pioneering Mission:  Impossible, it seems to me that The Agency suffered from being "too" real.  Perhaps someone in the government got nervous, and then put pressure on the network to cancel the series.  The realism was by design.  Two former high-ranking CIA officers were the show's technical advisors.  Tony Mendez, the former Chief of Disguise (yes, that was his real job title) advised on the "inside" portions of the program.  (An entire section of the International Spy Museum is dedicated to Mendez' work to rescue American embassy employees held hostage in Iran.)  Baz Bazzel, a former Marine Corps intelligence officer and later CIA paramilitary operative, advised on the "field" portions of the program.  (Bazzel also appeared on the program, and as a competitor on the short-lived reality show Combat Missions.  That was the only "reality" show that ever had any actual elements of reality.)  The plots of The Agency were ripped from the headlines, and the scripts were skillfully crafted.

Side note:  Many bars around the country host Survivor parties, but I was the only person in the country to host a network-authorized Combat Missions TV-watching party.  (I still have the T-shirts.  Really.)  The first night that I hosted one, there was a big table of about 20 military recruiters in the audience.  Believe it or not, they had not yet heard of the program at that point.  But, when the show came on, they really got into it.  During a commercial break, I did a live telephone interview with Ed Bugarin.  A former Delta Force commando, and veteran of Operation Eagle Claw, Ed was another of the show's competitors.  (Shortly after the embassy takeover, I had gotten wind of the possibility of a rescue in Iran, and had attempted to join Delta Force back when it was still in the development stages.  It was called Project Blue Light back then.  I didn't make the cut.)  Sadly, the Combat Missions parties fizzled out, just like the series.  (Again, it was probably a case of "too much reality" for some folks.)

Anyway, with that background, you can understand that I take my fun seriously.  That includes my TV watching.  And, I'm getting a bad vibe that The Unit is about to go the way of The Agency.  The show went into a long hiatus last year, due to the writers' strike.  But, when other shows recovered, The Unit was still being replaced by the "reality" show Big Brother.  When this year's regular season started, The Unit made a surprise comeback.  But, it is now in the final time slot on Sunday evenings.  (Traditionally, that is a losing time slot, as people turn off the TV after the football games.  The Unit had been part of the "action Tuesday" lineup.)  And, the show is now opposite Army Wives — the top-rated show of Lifetime, the Left-tilting network billed as "television for women".  That juxtaposition would seem intended to create some "combat hot-spots" in living rooms across America — as husbands and wives battle for the remote control, thus deciding in "trial by combat" whether to watch a military show fueled by testosterone or estrogen.  (Has our society really devolved to that point?  Yep.)

If the network executives are not trying to starve Sergeant Major Jonas Blane and his team, then it seems that the scriptwriters are trying to stress them into self-expendability.  The Unit's commander, Colonel Tom Ryan, had an affair with the wife of one of the special operators, Master Sergeant Mack Gerhardt.  Later, Ryan and Gerhardt work elbow-to-elbow on an especially dangerous mission in the Middle East.  The team had already decided that Ryan must die for his transgression.  Tiffy Gerhardt tips off Ryan, just before the mission; but, Ryan accepts his fate as justly deserved.  The fight scene was amazing.  (Both experienced actors are also experienced martial artists, but I still think they really hurt each other in that scene.)  Blane stops the fight, because the mission is to rescue his daughter's convoy, which has been captured by terrorists.  (In the real world, the presence of his daughter would likely bar Blane's presence, as it could cloud his judgement ... or cause him to commit suicide if the mission failed.)  Ryan then offers himself in exchange, thus simultaneously aiding the mission and enabling the terrorists to become the executioners of his "sentence" for the affair.  Although I understand that such scenarios can become a part of real-life military operations*, I also think that the show's scriptwriters are trying to pack too much "emotion" into the program.  If they continue along that track, they will turn The Unit into a soap opera.  (No doubt, the writers are trying to appease the female viewers by adding so many distractions.  If they keep changing the nature of The Unit, however, then eventually there will be no distinction from Army Wives.)  (*I once served on an OSI-led protection detail for an Air Force wife who was going to testify against her husband for drug dealing.  He had given that info to his suppliers, who then put out a contract on her life.)

The Unit's wives have been forced into the position of behaving heroically, even if reluctantly.  Army intelligence discovered that some well-funded bad guys were keeping the wives under surveillance.  Colonel Ryan decides to whisk them away into a group undercover living arrangement, ostensibly to protect them.  But, it turns out that some of the bad guys are in awfully close proximity to their new lives.  (This story line has spread out over several episodes.  We still don't know how this happened.  Was it "chance", or is there a mole inside The Unit?)  Kim Brown becomes especially vulnerable, as she must act as bait by pretending to consider an affair with a traitor by whom she is disgusted.  (In the last episode, Kim was taken hostage, but the bad guy was later killed ... after he had killed an accomplice.  Does his organization still exist?  Has the cover been blown?  Are the wives still in danger?)  Through it all, Unit "senior wife" Molly Blane remains unsinkable.  She is everything a military wife should be:  loyal, patriotic, focused, smart, sexy, supportive, smooth-talking, and very savvy.  She summed it all up in one line that should become part of the ceremony for military marriages:  "A distracted soldier is a dead soldier!"  But, is it also true that a distracted viewer is a channel-changing viewer?  Is a show that is too close to reality destined to end up like The Agency?   (Sadly, there really can often be a lot of high-stakes drama in military marriages.  But, do we need to portray that on television for our enemies to watch?)

The Unit is playing very close to the edge right now.  Either it will unfold some story lines that restore some degree of stability, or it will implode under the weight of too much of a potentially good thing.  (If the show were on five nights per week, then some of these other story lines might carry better.  I understand that all soldiers, and special operators in particular, must be ready to "adapt, improvise, overcome" at all times.  But, I'm not sure that CBS executives can expect the same from a high percentage of their viewers.  (Although I hope they can, because The Unit certainly counter-balances a lot of other "fluff" programs with each episode.)

Time will soon tell whether CBS is trying to kill The Unit; or, if it is practicing Friedrich Nietzsche's maxim, "That which does not kill me makes me stronger."

Sunday, 07 December 2008, at 0252 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Divine deadline for destruction of Damascus?

background

Even people that do not know God are beginning to wonder if the recent election of Barack Obama as president somehow fits into a divine timetable.  My answer is a resounding "yes".  The details of why I believe that are explained in my book, Tribulation:  2008.  The main premise of that book is that The Tribulation — the final, seven-year period of human history on Earth — has already begun.  (It began on the 29th of September, the Feast of Trumpets on the Hebrew calendar.  The book was released about six weeks prior, after several months of research and writing.  Events since then have confirmed key predictions in my book.  One of those predictions was that Barack Obama would be elected, and that he would play a key role in End Times prophecy.  (But, according to my analysis, he is not The Anti-Christ.  Are you surprised?)

In the introduction of Tribulation:  2008, I explain that I owe a great debt to author Hal Lindsey.  His first book, The Late, Great Planet Earth put the foundations under my pre-existing curiosity about Bible prophecy.  I was 15 years old when I read the paperback version in 1973.  I consider it one of the classic works of Christendom.  Yet, also in the introduction of my book, I declare that I think Hal Lindsey was wrong about at least one key detail.  (If you read this, Mr. Lindsey, don't worry.  I still regard you as a man of great knowledge, insight, and wisdom.)

This column was sparked by Hal Lindsey's most recent column in WorldNetDaily.  Lindsey's column, "Revisiting 'the burden of Damascus'", suggests that Israel will soon launch a surgical nuclear strike against her enemies.  The primary goal will be to prevent Iran from launching an all-out nuclear strike against Israel.  In the process of this Israeli attack, Lindsey suggests, the Syrian capital of Damascus will be utterly destroyed.  I agree with his premise that Damascus will be destroyed, because the Bible passage that he quotes plainly states that it will.  And, I agree that the timing — after Obama's election, but before his weak and anti-Israel foreign policies are put into effect at his inauguration — is on-target, so to speak.

But, I disagree with the method.

The premise of this column is that Damascus will be destroyed by a divine event, totally beyond human control.  Why do I believe that?  There are several reasons.

First, there is the strategic consideration of nuclear contamination.  Any nuclear strike by Israel upon Damascus would result in lingering area contamination, plus downwind fallout contamination.  I do not think that a "tactical" nuclear weapon, which could limit nuclear fallout to within Syria's borders, would be sufficient to utterly destroy Syria's capital.  The use of a "strategic" nuclear weapon would surely enrage Syria's downwind neighbors -- primarily Jordan, and possibly Saudi Arabia.  That, in turn, would trigger the type of regional war that Israel has been careful to avoid since 1973.  And, a nuclear weapon of any size would render the area uninhabitable at a time when Israel's population is growing and her neighbors are becoming increasingly unruly.  Why would Israel destroy "prime real estate" in such circumstances?  If I can figure this out, then surely Israel's ministries of defense and intelligence have already considered it long ago.

Second, there is the foreign-affairs angle.  This includes not only the "downwind neighbors", but also all of the nations in Israel's sphere of influence — whether positive or negative.  The current policy of the United States is that our country is a staunch ally of Israel.  (I suspect that will change in a hurry after the upcoming inauguration, when Barack Obama makes clear his meaning of the "58th state".  If that happens, then we will quickly shift from ally to enemy of Israel.  And, if that happens, then it will be too late to stop the falling of the Biblical "dominos".)  In the world of foreign affairs, a large-scale Israeli strike against a neighbor (even if that strike is non-nuclear) could have negative repercussions in trade, economics, and other aspects of diplomacy.  In the shaky transition between the Bush and Obama administrations' policies toward Israel, disrupting the foreign affairs situation could become a case of "he that makes waves gets wet".

Third, and most important, is the spiritual angle.  It is not widely advertised, but there are Jewish scholars that study the Christian prophecies.  And, it is becoming increasingly clear to even the most skeptical observers that there is complete integration between the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament prophecies.  (Hal Lindsey has made that abundantly clear for almost four decades.  An increasing number of Jews agree.)  I believe that the continued growth of the Messianic Jewish movement proves that Jews recognize that their Messiah is coming ... back.  But, even those Jews that do not recognize Jesus as their Messiah are still coming to the realization that the Old Testament prophecies are lining up toward ultimate fulfillment.  With that in mind, a nuclear strike against Syria or Iran might be viewed by some religious leaders in Israel as an attempt to do God's job for Him.  Thus, I believe the religious leaders in Israel would discourage such an attack.

I believe that God will perform a strike of His own, and soon.

Why do I believe such a radical thing?  There are many reasons.  Some of the evidence is beyond human control.  (Many of the proofs used in Tribulation:  2008 were "signs in the sun, moon, and stars", so that no one could claim that any form of human manipulation was used to create any sort of "self-fulfilling prophecy".)  Just as I had predicted that the Bible's description of "blood mingled with fire" matches comet debris contaminating the waters of Earth (more about that soon), I believe that God has put signs in place to announce that He will soon perform a "divine air strike".

Hanukkah is coming.  For those that do not study "religion", here is a brief explanation.  The holiday of Hanukkah celebrates the "rededication" of the Hebrew Temple, after a group of God-trusting "insurgents" threw off the yoke of the occupying Assyrian governor, Antiochus IV Epiphanes.  This cruel, pagan oppressor had defiled the Temple of God by sacrificing a pig in the Most Holy Place, and smearing the pig's blood onto the altar.  (He did this to defile the Temple, in anticipation of building a statue of Zeus in the Temple of God.)  God was not happy.  So, He inspired the Hebrews to rebel; and, God gave them the strength to be successful against a militarily superior occupying army.  (The Hebrew insurgents came to be known as the Maccabees, which means "hammers".)  After defeating the oppressors (whose capital was in Damascus), the Israelites needed to cleanse and rededicate the Temple.  But, there was not enough oil to keep the lamps lit.  God caused a one-day supply of oil to burn in the lamps for eight days*, thus giving the Israelites enough time to press more olives to produce enough oil to keep the lamps lit.  The Hebrew word "Hanukkah" means "dedication".  (I did not know this linguistic fact, nor its significance, until a telephone chat late Friday afternoon with Messianic scholar Pastor Mark Biltz, whose research into the Biblical significance of celestial signs has now become world-famous.)  My call to Pastor Biltz was prompted by the recent close-alignment of Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon.  I inquired whether there was any celestial significance.  It was only after that chat that I read Hal Lindsey's column.  The combination of the two sparked this column. 

*Keep in mind that, in Hebrew numerology, eight is the number of the Messiah.  Jesus spent His last eight days in Jerusalem.  Just as Hanukkah celebrates a "second chance" for the people of Israel, Jesus is the "second chance" for the entire human race.  And, when He was asked directly if He was the Messiah, He answered the people directly at one point.  The timing of that Q&A is very important.  Read on.

buckle your seatbelts

I use that introductory phrase a lot; but, it's even more true this time than usual.  If my analysis is correct, then God has passed judgment upon Syria, and He is about to execute the sentence.  And, as usual, God's timing is perfect.  What a great Hanukkah present for the nation of Israel.

1868 German map -- Part One

1868 German map shows Damascus well within Biblical border of Israel

(image source:  Jewish National and University Library)

The map above shows the borders of the Kingdom of Israel as they existed under David and Solomon.  In the northeast part of the kingdom, the border was the Euphrates River.  Because of various territorial wars (which David mostly won), the borders at that time were somewhat larger than the original borders of the Twelve Tribes during the time of the Judges.  Almost five centuries later, during the time of Jesus, the borders of Israel had shrunk under Assyrian and then Roman occupation.  But, even then, Damascus was barely outside the border of Israel.

1868 German map -- Part Two

Yellow area shows Damascus barely outside the shrunken border of Israel

(different portion of same map as above; click for complete map in new window)

Now, here is where it gets really interesting.  Israel had conquered those portions of the land of Canaan that God commanded.  Thus, the land of Israel was carved out of the lands of several pagan nations.  When the people and their leaders fell into sin and corruption, God raised up the Babylonian Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar to sack Jerusalem and take Israel into captivity.  When the people of Israel repented, God allowed them to return and rebuild Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah.  Then, they fell into sin again, and God sent the Assyrians to occupy and oppress Israel.  Then, the Romans conquered that part of the world.  Then, God sent His only Son to save first the people of Israel and then the rest of the world.  When the leaders of Israel turned their backs upon Jesus the Messiah, and used the Romans to kill Him, then God used the Romans to destroy Jerusalem.  That left a piece of unfinished business:  the pig at the altar.

Fast-forward two thousand years to the present.  Weapons now exist that can cause more death and destruction in an hour than the most powerful ancient armies could have done in a month.  Certain nations, most notably Iran, have openly threatened to use weapons of mass destruction to "wipe Israel from the map".  The chemical WMD stockpiles that were in Iraq before the US invasion were smuggled into Syria.  Modern Syria is the historical descendant of ancient Assyria.  And, given that chemical weapons were used against the Jewish people before (by Nazi Germany), it is unlikely that God would allow another nation to use such weapons against His people now that they have returned to their ancient homeland.  And, even if God were planning to use another nation to rebuke Israel, the instrument that He would choose would not be the same nation that sacrificed a pig upon His altar.

In early October of this year, an asteroid struck Earth's atmosphere with such force that it produced an explosion equal to a tactical nuclear weapon.  The explosion occurred high in the sky over the desert in Sudan, and was witnessed with the naked eye by people as far away as the coastline of Somalia.  Although NASA is capable of accurately predicting the path of incoming asteroids, they also admit to potential uncertainties in such predictions.  (And, sometimes asteroids can suddenly appear — shortly before a potential impact — that were previously undetected.)

During the eight days of Hanukkah this year, there are eight Near Earth Objects already in NASA's database.  (As noted above, eight is the Hebrew number of the Messiah.)  Of those eight, Asteroid 2008 EV5 is designated as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.  It just happens to be scheduled to pass near Earth on the first full day of Hanukkah.  As the column by Hal Lindsey noted, the Bible makes clear that Damascus will be utterly destroyed (Isaiah 17:1).  Not only shall it be destroyed, but also verses 7-8 make clear that it shall be done specifically by a divine event, and not by human hands.  (That is the point that I believe Mr. Lindsey overlooked in his recent column.)  Verse 14 specifies that it will happen at night.  (Interestingly, the Hebrew word used for "evening" in this verse is "ereb".  It comes from the root word for "dark", which is "arab".)  If an asteroid strikes a city at night, the resulting explosion will be visible from far away.  It would have a devastating effect equal to a nuclear weapon, but without the resulting contamination.  Verse 2 says that the destruction will reach beyond the borders of Syria, also destroying "the cities of Aroer" — the region near the River Arnon in modern Jordan.  Nuclear destruction is ruled out by verse 2, because the area "will be for flocks" after the destruction "and none shall make them afraid".

If the area described above is destroyed in that manner, then two things will result.  First, the land will become inhabitable by Israelis that have been displaced by that nation's compromising "peace" accords.  Second, and more importantly, it would expand Israel's territory to its original Biblical borders.  This is no small matter, because many of the End Times battles described by the prophet Ezekiel take place in areas that were part of Israel's territory during Bible times, but are not (yet) during modern times.  Therefore, as we quickly draw closer to the return of Jesus, some event must cause Israel to reclaim its Biblical borders.  The destruction of Damascus — along with large areas of Syria and Jordan, but without nuclear contamination — would be an event that corresponds to the Ezekiel scenario.

Why on Hanukkah?

There are three main reasons why I believe that such an event could occur on this coming Hanukkah.  First, it would be a clear sign of God's vengeance upon the Assyrians for having sacrificed a pig upon His altar.  ("God is not slow, as some count slowness...")  Second, given that such an event must happen in order to clear the way for the battles of Israel's coming war with "the Gog-Magog Alliance", causing that event to happen during Hanukkah would be God's clear "signature" for all to see.  Third, and most important, by tying the event to Hanukkah, God will also make clear to the Jewish people that Jesus truly is their Messiah.  How?  Because, when the question came up to His face, it was during Hanukkah.  (see John 10:22-23)  Jesus was walking at Solomon's Porch, during the "Feast of Dedication" (Hanukkah).  Just in case any skeptics try to claim that it was otherwise, verse 23 adds, "... and it was winter".  Hanukkah is the only Hebrew feast that takes place in winter.

but, wait, there's more

In order for a loving God to redeem His chosen people, even though they had previously rejected His Son as their Messiah, there needs to be convincing proof that Jesus really is their Messiah.  The 10th chapter of the Gospel of John culminates in the answer that Jesus provided when the Jews standing nearby asked him plainly if He was the Messiah (the Christ).  To paraphrase the dialogue, Jesus told the Jews that, if they would not believe His open answer that He is the Messiah, then they should believe the works that He did in His Father's name.  Some accused Jesus of having a devil.  Others questioned among themselves, "Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?"  But, for the purposes of this discussion, the key historical point is that this dialogue occurred during Hanukkah.

Now, let's recap the situation in light of the facts discussed herein.  Approximately 165 years before Jesus was born, the Maccabees successfully overthrew the occupation of Israel by the Assyrians.  The Assyrians were led by Antiochus IV, who angered God by sacrificing a pig upon His altar.  Later, when Jesus was in Jerusalem, a group of Jews openly asked Him if He was the Messiah.  This occurred during Hanukkah.  Jesus told them that they should believe the miraculous works that He did.  Two thousand years later, Israel is threatened by the presence of chemical weapons hidden in modern Syria.  Their capital is Damascus, which was also the capital from which Antiochus has ruled over Israel during his occupation.  The Bible predicts that Damascus will be utterly destroyed.  The method of destruction leaves the land safe for flocks of sheep, thus ruling out a nuclear strike by Israel.  There is a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid expected to pass near Earth during Hanukkah.  If an asteroid strikes, the explosion would parallel that of a nuclear weapon, but without the contamination.  If such an event occurs during Hanukkah, it would be a "good work" for Israel.  Thus, it would simultaneously complete both the vengeance of God upon the Assyrians (Old Testament) and the declaration of Jesus about His good works as the Messiah (New Testament).  Such a simultaneous event would bridge the gap, thus proving to modern Jews that Jesus really is their Messiah.  (That realization is necessary, so that many Jews can be saved before the terrible destruction during the seven-year Tribulation, which has already begun.)  This event can only occur during the End Times, thus setting the stage for Israel's predicted war with Gog and Magog.  That war eventually leads to the Battle of Armageddon, which is cut short by the divine return of Jesus to establish the one-thousand year Kingdom of God on Earth before the final Judgment Day.

When viewed in that light, it appears that God has set a divine deadline for the destruction of Damascus.

Wednesday, 03 December 2008, at 0107 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

DelGiorno digs deeper ditch

 This blog entry was originally written on the 20th of November.  I have purposely withheld its publication, in hopes that it would not be necessary.  Sadly, it is.

Because of the delay, all time-related terms in the below entry (such as "last week", or "less than a month ago") should be mentally adjusted accordingly.

The subject of this blog entry is married to an attorney.  He tried to tell me that my previous blog entry on this topic was not true.  I told him that he was bluffing, because if it had actually been untrue then he would've threatened a lawsuit.  He hasn't, nor can he.  Legal doctrine"truth is an absolute defense to a charge of libel".

 ------------------------------

Believe it or not, I don't like fighting.  But, I like bullies even less.  That is why I spent a good chunk of my adult life wearing a uniform and carrying weapons to prevent terrorism and other bad things from happening.  There is a quote on my Web site from philosopher John Stuart Mill, who wrote, "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things."  (For the rest of the quote, feel free to visit my site.)

Here's some good advice for any situation:  "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight."  It is especially unwise to start the gunfight if one doesn't have a gun, or has a gun but can't shoot very well.

Such is the case with "live and local" Nashville talk-radio host Michael DelGiorno, who recently made the mistake of starting a feud with me.  And, of all things, he has picked the topic of "credibility" as the basis for the feud.  He should've done his homework.  I have.  One of the things that Michael should study is the origin and meaning of the intelligence term "blowback".

The fuse was lit — on my end — when DelGiorno jerked me around last week, after inviting me to call his program to discuss my recent book.  As documented in a recent blog entry, instead of living up to his word, Michael spent a huge chunk of the final hour of his program that day by repeatedly telling listeners that "Faith Hill smells like toilet paper".  (Then, after that blog appeared, he tried to say on-air that tens of thousands of people heard wrong, and that what he really said was that she smells like "baby powder".  Hey, paisano, "I was born at night, but it wasn't last night.")

The above might seem like a small thing, but it's the tip of an iceberg.  Michael has jerked me around for months, and I've been as gracious as possible under the circumstances.  As I said, the fuse was not lit on my end until recently, but the fuse has been lit on his end for a long time.  I'm not being "overly sensitive", either.  For about a year, friends have asked me why DelGiorno treats me so rudely on his program.  He doesn't treat other callers or guests that way, especially considering that we are both "standing up for what's right".

After my previous blog about him appeared, Michael sent me an e-mail.  The timing was quite ironic, because the week prior he had told me to "direct all further communication" to the acting program director of the station.  He wanted me to respect his boundary, but it was OK for him to trample over the boundary that he had just set ... as long as the trampling was done in my direction.  In other words, "It's all about Michael."

Well, unfortunately, Michael has some credibility problems.

In our e-mail exchange, Michael stated that "many" people had "warned" him not to give me "extended air time".  I challenged him to name even one of those people, and/or to describe what their warning said would happen.  He never replied.  And, that seems to be a pattern.

Other people have tried to rattle Michael during his program with regard to the reason that he left his previous radio station, in Tulsa, in such a hurry.  To his credit, Michael handled those cheap shots fairly well.  (Speaking of cheap shots, the publicity agency that put out my previous blog has suddenly been hit with hundreds of spam e-mails almost simultaneously.  That has never happened before this week.  The company has several e-mail addresses, but the one that was hit was the one that went out in the cover e-mail publicizing my blog about DelGiorno.  Mere coincidence?)  I knew about some of those job-destroying circumstances before he ever got on the air in Nashville.  Why?  I had applied for that same job, and I wanted to know about my competition.  (And, for the most part, his show has gone fairly well.  But, recently, there has been a noticeable decline in quality.  I have attributed the problem to his consumption of a certain caffeine-laden beverage with a bovine mascot.)

In the 19 months that Michael has hosted a program in Nashville, I have never mentioned what I knew from the beginning.  Why?  I didn't want to take any personal shots at him.  I'm an "issues oriented" fighter.  And, I had no fight with him.  But, apparently, Michael decided to pick one with me.  Well ... OK, Michael ... if you insist.

When the publicity went out about my previous blog on this topic, it included a link to an Inside Radio report.  That report quoted a newspaper article from the Tulsa World, which detailed how Michael had been banned — for the second, and final, time — from a Tulsa casino.  There are several Web pages that bash Michael for an apparent problem with compulsive gambling.  Again, I knew about those pages before he even arrived in Nashville, but I've never mentioned them.  When others have mentioned them to me, I have tried to sidetrack the topic.  Why?  "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  (That quote certainly applies to me.)  But, when his arrogance got to the point that Michael seems to think that there is a special set of rules that allows him to trample on other people, then it's time to teach him otherwise.  (Any regular listeners to WWTN will tell you that I've turned the other cheek far more times than most people would.  Even in the best of families, sometimes the wise older brother needs to simply knock the #&*%! out of a pestering younger brother.)  In this case, my weapon of choice is a metaphorical "mirror".

Recently, I began a series of e-mail exchanges with Ziva Branstetter, who wrote the newspaper article about Michael being banned from the Creek Nation Casino — Tulsa.  Michael prompted my curiosity by telling me in his e-mail that I was spreading "lies and distortions" with regard to the casino incident.  So, just as I did with Michael in the first place, I went directly to the source.  She was cooperative and factual in documenting her experience with Michael.

When she confronted Michael about the incident, at first he denied that it happened.  Then, she told him about the casino's surveillance video.  Immediately, he switched to "no comment" mode.  Ziva related to me that she had never even shown him the video!  As soon as he heard that a video even existed, he clammed up.  (What?  He didn't think that casinos have surveillance?  Duh!  They had surveillance long before VCRs were invented.)  Ziva had been allowed to view the video at the casino's security department, but not to keep a copy.

In keeping with journalistic standards, I didn't merely accept the reporter's word.  I contacted the casino's security department for myself.  They, in turn, had to make an official request with the Oklahoma Gaming Compliance Unit.  After two days, someone from the unit called me back with their official decision.  They would not allow the casino to release the video to me, because I was planning to post it on this blog for public viewing, and the video was so detailed that it would reveal the casino's surveillance capability.  But, by their reply, that outside government agency had confirmed that such a video did actually exist.  And, Ziva had obtained affidavits from several witnesses at the casino before running the newspaper story.  (Originally, the Web version of the story also had included the security report from the casino, but that document is no longer posted.)

So much for me spreading "lies and distortions".

Speaking of distortions, Michael's program recently took a peculiar turn.  Listeners might not realize the "story behind the story".  Two days ago, on-air, Michael mocked another radio host — John Moore, a former Green Beret — who has said on his program that there is a tenth planet in our solar system.  Moore has gone on to say that the CIA is moving its headquarters to Denver, because of concerns about the sudden rise of ocean levels in the near future.  While poking fun at Moore's report, DelGiorno had the theme music from the TV series The X-Files playing in the background.  DelGiorno repeatedly emphasized the folly of there being a tenth planet in our solar system.

Here is the official NASA Web page documenting their discovery of a tenth planet in our solar system.  (Michael seems to think that, if he hasn't heard of it, then it can't exist.  Oh, yeah, I forgot – "It's all about Michael DelGiorno.")

Interestingly, that tenth planet is larger that Pluto.  Astronomers have scanned the skies for five hundred years.  But, it was only three years ago that this tenth planet was discovered.  John Moore claims that his well-placed confidential sources have told him that the yet-unnamed planet will soon cause disastrous effects upon Earth's ocean levels, etc.  The headquarters of the CIA is at Langley, Virginia, more than 30 miles inland from where the Potomac River meets the Atlantic Ocean.  A sudden and catastrophic rise in ocean levels would accompany the impact of an asteroid or comet in the Atlantic.  That precise scenario is described in my recent book.  And, another celestial event described in my book has already occurred — on the exact date when my interpretation of the Bible formula said that it would occur.  John Moore relied upon confidential government sources.  I relied upon the Holy Bible.  Moore and I have never met, nor have we exchanged e-mails.  Yet, we both seem to be predicting a similar event for the near future.  (Is it possible that scientists will name that tenth planet Wormwood?)

And, now, for the "story behind the story".  You see, John Moore happens to be a talk host on the Republic Broadcasting Network.  And, earlier this year, I also hosted an RBN talk show.  (And, out of professional courtesy, I did not call in to Michael's program during the time when I hosted one of my own.)  So, by attempting to discredit one host on RBN, it appears that Michael was attempting to set the stage to discredit me.  Oops.

But, DelGiorno's blunder doesn't stop there.  You see, RBN is owned by John Stadtmiller.  He happens to also be a principal in a company that sells gold.  John can afford his own radio network.  Michael doesn't even own one station.  So, if there were a lawsuit for slander, it appears that Michael would be seriously outgunned.

Speaking of being outgunned, there is another aspect to consider.  John Moore was a Green Beret.  The station that carries Michael's program, WWTN-FM in Nashville, has a signal the reaches well beyond Fort Campbell, 60 miles away.  Fort Campbell is home to the 5th Special Forces Group.  (You know, the group that operated in Vietnam, where Moore served.)  Every special operator that I ever met was a straight shooter, both literally and figuratively.  It's not smart to insult the integrity of someone that wears one of those "funny-shaped hats" with their military uniform.  (I was capable of a head shot from a half-mile away, and Green Berets train even more extensively than we did.)

My beret is Air Force blue.  The WWTN signal also reaches down to Arnold Air Force base, approximately 70 miles in the opposite direction as Fort Campbell.  In prior applications to host a talk show on WWTN, I've included the selling point that my military background would appeal to audiences at both installations.  Perhaps, after realizing that Michael DelGiorno has insulted the integrity of a former Green Beret (while simultaneously undermining his own credibility), the station might reconsider putting this former Blue Beret on the air.  (You can help that process along by e-mailing:  Charley.Connolly@cumulus.com, or by calling him at 615-321-1067.)  And, if WWTN asks nicely, there might be a way to simulcast my show on RBN to expand the audience.  (Perhaps, if the station asks very nicely, then John won't sue them for slandering his host and his network.)

This isn't the first time that DelGiorno has put his employer into jeopardy of a lawsuit.  He jeopardized his employer last week by insulting Faith Hill.  He did it two days ago by insulting RBN and John Moore.  And, the reason that Michael is in Nashville in the first place is because he jeopardized his former employer in Tulsa.  In short, it seems that Michael DelGiorno is a loose cannon with a short fuse and a growing credibility problem — much like host Kevin Miller that WWTN had to fire just before DelGiorno came to Nashville.  (And, less than a month ago, Miller jeopardized his new employer in Pittsburgh by "pretending" to have been "scolded" on-air for negative remarks about Barack Obama.)  Two years ago, when I was on the Republican ballot for the 5th Congressional District, Miller was also very rude to me on-air when I would call.  He seemed intent on discrediting me.  Did anyone pay Miller to undermine my campaign for Congress?  And, why would someone who claims to stand for certain staunch principles undermine a candidate that stands for the same things?

By contrast, my investigative work has been above reproach.  I have exposed political frauds, gone after corrupt officials (including a retired two-star general), found important evidence at a bombing scene, helped to unravel a cover-up that involved the FBI and the news media, and investigated aviation disasters.  When I still lived in Upstate NY, I organized that state's first anti-Hillary rally.  (In 2006, I did the same for Tennessee.)  Last year, I sued the governor of Tennessee.  I've gone after some powerful people, and I've never even been sued, much less had to forfeit a settlement.  (DelGiorno e-mailed me to say that my previous blog was "slander".  I replied that his wife is an attorney, and that if I had truly slandered him, then he would've threatened a lawsuit.  He didn't, and neither did any of the corrupt officials that I've confronted.  I back up what I say, and I don't suffer well with people that can't.)  I've interviewed country music stars, government officials, and TV producers without insulting any of them.  (And, I'm available immediately, in the event that WWTN finds itself in sudden need of a replacement talk-show host with experience.  As I said in my previous blog, I would start the job at half of the $150-K/year that a host in Michael's market situation typically makes, until I can prove my real worth.  Now, there is a truly conservative idea in this difficult economy.  Competition helps businesses, including talk-radio hosts, to improve.)

As an example of the declining quality of the program, here is a direct quote from one of Michael's disjointed e-mails to me.  "This may come as a surprise to you, but caller interaction is NOT the highest priority of mine, or most talk shows."  (That is an actual quote.  I have the e-mail.)  I'm sure that his operating philosophy would also come as a surprise to all those people on hold each day.  Hello?!  It's called "talk" radio.  (Perhaps we should start using the British name, "chat radio", which keeps the perspective that the talk is supposed to go in both directions.)

In short, I have much more credibility than the person that started a feud by attacking my credibility.  He doesn't look so good in the "mirror" of facts, truth, and logic.  Attacking my truth by telling lies and half-truths wasn't a very good idea on his part.  Diverting conservative voters by being a Relief Valve hurts, not helps, our society.

Here's another old saying that Michael DelGiorno should heed ... while he still has a job:  "When you're in a hole, stop digging."  Put another way, "When you're outgunned, disengage."  The reason I don't like fighting is because it's messy and painful ... for everyone involved.  But, that doesn't mean I won't fight when it's necessary, nor does it mean that I'm not good at it.  It just means that I don't go looking for a fight.  I've finished a lot more fights than I've started.  And, I didn't start this one.

Monday, 01 December 2008, at 0104 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

December 1st is CIVIL AIR PATROL Day

Six days before the Japanese Empire conducted the surprise attack upon the American military bases around Pearl Harbor, civilian and military leaders culminated three years of pioneering discussions by creating the Civil Air Patrol.

Who?

Sadly, that is the reaction of most Americans.  During the post-Vietnam days, many young Americans learned to look down upon military service.  (Sadly, many of them were taught that outlook by their parents — many of whom were alive to raise families because they had dodged the draft a few years earlier.)  And, if people looked down upon professional military service, imagine how much more the "Me" Generation looked down upon unpaid, volunteer, para-military service.  Yet, even during the darkest days of the Jimmy Carter administration, teenage Americans became CAP cadets.

Those that joined the Civil Air Patrol during those anti-military years of the late 1970s became part of a rich history of patriotism and service.  In the mid-1930s, during the early days of the aviation industry, forward-thinking leaders of government, business, and industry conceived of a way that civic-minded aviators could serve their country and advance aviation safety.  The concept took the best aspects of the Army (remember, at that time there was no separate Air Force) and volunteer organizations such as the Boy Scouts, and put those aspects together in an aviation framework.  Although the Civil Air Patrol is the volunteer civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force, the CAP is actually older than the Air Force that it serves.  (The CAP was founded in December of 1941.  The USAF, evolved from the Army Air Corps, became a separate Armed Service in September of 1947.)

From the very beginning, the primary mission of Civil Air Patrol has been air search leading to ground rescue.  But, even as that important mission was being organized, our country was suddenly plunged into World War Two by the attack upon Pearl Harbor.  So, simultaneous with all the other war-related activities in America at that time (Victory Gardens, food rationing, gasoline rationing, young men leaving family farms to join the military, women going into factory work to replace the men that went to war, etc.), the volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol managed to create the first nationwide search-and-rescue network and create war-specific missions such as the Coastal Patrol.  And, keep in mind that these volunteers did this with their own money — buying their own uniforms, their own field gear, and — yes — even their own airplanes.

During World War Two, the Coastal Patrol missions of the Civil Air Patrol spotted 143 Nazi submarines off the United States coastline.  The CAP Coastal Patrol observers were credited with "assists" in the Navy's sinking of dozens of those enemy submarines.  Eventually, these volunteer, civilian pilots (nicknamed the "Flying Minutemen") were allowed to carry bombs aboard their aircraft.  Aircrews of the CAP Coastal Patrol actually sank two Nazi submarines without assistance!  They also used their bombs to damage other submarines that were later destroyed by the US Navy.

Other wartime missions of the Civil Air Patrol included courier flights of documents, material, and medicine.  The CAP also provided aerial towing of gunnery targets.  (Keep in mind that the artillery crews on the ground were students!)  And, during that time, the CAP also grew and improved their search-and-rescue (SAR) capabilities.  Those capabilities included developing the CAP Ranger Teams that conducted the ground rescues of lost people spotted by the aircrews.  Information gathered from various CAP SAR activities nationwide was consolidated into the development of the Hawk Mountain Ranger School.  (In the past, I've received angry e-mails from some former members of USAF Pararescue, who have tried to belittle the pioneering role of the CAP Rangers.  I've replied to several former PJs by telling them to research their own history, and write me back if they could prove me wrong.  Not one has ever written back.)  The original CAP SAR teams were developed in the early 1940s — building upon techniques by pioneering aviators before CAP was officially founded.  The Air Rescue Service, the parent organization of modern Pararescue, was founded in 1946  (although they trace their roots to a 1943 mission on the China-Burma border).

Both organizations serve vital functions, and many PJs were CAP Ranger cadets before they joined the Air Force.  The Air Force also conducts Pararescue Jumpers Orientation Course (PJOC) for selected CAP cadets.  (Keep in mind that the active-duty PJ instructors get paid to be there, but the CAP cadet students in this PJOC video pay to be there, and buy their own uniforms and basic gear.  One of my goals if ever elected to Congress is to provide funding for CAP members' uniforms and equipment, as the Canadians do for their Air Cadets.)  Just as the Hawk Mountain Ranger School was created to standardarze SAR procedures within CAP, the PJOC helps recruit and motivate those cadets that can become qualified as instructors at their various Wing-level schools in their home states.  The PJOC is one of the most sought-after cadet activities, and the selection process is designed to ensure the continued high quality of the course.  The Air Force also sees the value of the PJOC as a recruiting tool for the next generation of Pararescuemen.  Both organizations work together Stateside; only Pararescue operates overseas or in combat.  Because of the expense of operating Pararescue helicopters, CAP light aircraft are often used to fly grid searches.  The CAP aircrews will then radio their findings to mission headquarters, which might dispatch a Pararescue helicopter crew to the area.  Pararescuemen are trained to a much higher degree than CAP Rangers, but the CAP has also saved thousands of lives throughout its history.

The Vietnam War was "drawing down" in June of 1974, when I became a cadet.  My best friend in high school recruited me.  He was the "cadet commander" of the local CAP cadet squadron.  (Cadet squadrons have a two-tiered command structure.  Adult officers supervise all operations, but cadets have their own internal rank structure.  Both follow the Air Force model.)  In August of that year, my friend was also the cadet commander of the NY Wing Ranger School, which was located at a remote site known as Thunderbird Land-Rescue Training Center.  The "T-Bird" school followed the Hawk Mountain model, and used the Pennsylvania Wing Ranger Manual for curricula.  Hundreds of cadets passed through T-Bird in the 20-year history of that school.  Subjects included physical conditioning, obstacles, land navigation, survival, field sanitation, basic and advanced first-aid, various forms of communication (hand signals, radio, signal panels, mirrors, etc.), marksmanship, basic climbing, basic rappelling, etc.  Training was provided by people with SAR experience, and culminated in three-day "survival hikes" with minimal food or gear.  The survival hikes included timed cross-country navigation objectives, coupled with realistic SAR exercise scenarios.  The PJOC was developed after the Thunderbird School was shut down, due to NYC-area parental complaints that the school was "too tough" on their children.  (I was a staff instructor at the time, and heard some of those complaints -- from parents who claimed that they were only "sending their boy to camp".  But, those parents had signed about a half-dozen forms that stated the intense nature of the school, which had a fifty-percent washout rate every year of its existence.)

The CAP cadet program has been the foundation for many successful military careers, and successes in civilian life.  During the 20-year history of the T-Bird school, only six cadets ever earned the rating of Expert Ranger.  The first was Dick Cole, who went on to become a civilian Emergency Medical Technician.  The second was Don Carter, who became a CAP cadet squadron commander, an instructor at the T-Bird school, and an IBM engineer.  The third was Ted LaPlante, who went on to become a B-52 wing commander and later a senior staff member at The Pentagon.  (He was once part of a Time magazine cover story.)  The fourth was Charlie Hayes, who went on to become a reactor officer on a nuclear submarine, and later an instructor at a nuclear power plant.  The fifth was Dick Van Patten, who went on to become a C-130 navigator.  I was number six.

I spent 17 years in Civil Air Patrol, and 16-plus years in an Air Force uniform.  At my first "permanent" Air Force base, three former cadets met and we founded a CAP cadet squadron.  From that base, I also went "permissive TDY" back to T-Bird as an instructor.  Later, I became a deputy commander of my original cadet squadron.  At my last base, I became commander of a cadet squadron that was in the group commanded by my old high-school friend Charlie Hayes.  One of my cadets from that squadron went on to become a medic during Operation Desert Storm.

During my Air Force career, I tried to join Pararescue, but did not make the grade.  (Their school is nicknamed "Superman University" for good reason!)  I was able to do most of the things that they do -- including freefalls from ten thousand feet, sometimes on chopper loads that included PJs -- but I could not handle extreme Nap-of-the-Earth flights without vomiting from somewhere deep within my boots.  Watch a passenger go weightless inside a helicopter, not far from the ground, halfway through this NOE flight video.  At one point, the helicopter also does a complete barrel roll.  That is the sort of gut-wrenching flying that gets PJs into, and out of, battlefield hot spots.  They really are "a breed apart".

The Civil Air Patrol has a rich history of volunteerism and patriotism.  The CAP still provides important functions.  Those include air transport of human blood and organs, radiological monitoring (this was critical in the response to the Three-Mile Island nuclear incident), earthquake damage assessment, and the ever-present SAR missions that made CAP famous.

Speaking of famous, one of the many famous former CAP cadets is Nashville music superstar Aaron Tippin, whom I've interviewed a couple of times.  He was a commercial charter pilot before he was discovered as a musical talent.  He told me that his strong voice comes from singing over the sound of the tractor engine while working on his father's farm as a teenager.  (Aaron's father retired from the Air Force as a colonel.)

Tom Kovach in studio with Aaron Tippin

Sadly, the lamestream news media has chosen to focus annual attention on another anniversary that has been allowed to overshadow CAP Day.  Modern civilians are only told that the 1st of December is "World AIDS Day".  In the past 20 years since the inception of a day to commemorate political lobbying in favor of a disease, less and less news coverage has been given to Civil Air Patrol Day.  As a result, many Americans — especially high school students — do not even know that the CAP exists.  Civil Air Patrol Day was a legally-recognized anniversary in America for 42 years before "World AIDS Day" was even conceived.  So, the next time someone gets in your face about AIDS activism, simply remind them that the 1st of December has been, and will remain, Civil Air Patrol Day.


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